Chapter 4 What Should a Christ-Believer Eat and What Not? Food Laws in the Gospels and Paul

In: The Challenge of the Mosaic Torah in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Author:
Lukas Bormann
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Abstract

The paper demonstrates that there was no unequivocal rejection of the food laws of the Mosaic Torah in the Gospels and Paul. Different positions were taken concerning food habits in the early movement of the Christ-believers. The debate on food was embedded in a broader discourse about the connection between ritual and moral purity. This discourse was taken further by the Christ-believers, and it became a more serious challenge after the early communities integrated Christ-believers from non-Jewish heritage. Even Mark and Paul do not reject Jewish food laws as such, but they emphasize the ethical conditions of “eating together” over the ritual requirements which were seen not as part of the Mosaic Torah but merely as “human rules”. To God, “human rules” are not decisive, but moral behaviour is.

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