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Eating food can't make you spiritually unclean? A clear biblical error



The following verse from the Bible is used by some Christians to justify eating pork, something explicitly prohibited by the Jewish Bible:

Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.' "After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods "clean.") He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' (Mark 7:14-20)

Now to clarify, as Muslims, we find these supposed sayings of Jesus to be highly doubtful, and even from a historical perspective, it’s highly unlikely Jesus would ever utter such teachings.

The biggest problem with these passages, which is mainly why we as Muslims would reject them, is because these passages are clearly wrong, and as Muslims we wouldn’t expect a Prophet of God to be teachings things as part of religion, that are just plain wrong.

The moral of the story is simple, foods don’t make you unclean, so banned foods like pork, don’t make you unclean, so it’s not the end of the world if you eat pork. Also important to note here, by clean, the passages are referring to spiritual cleanliness, rather than physical cleanliness, as the verses even say, the food doesn’t go to the hurt.

And this is where the big problem comes, because the fact is that people can become spiritually unclean by foods they eat, with these passages trying to say otherwise. For example, foods that are slaughtered in the name of idols, false gods etc, and are then eaten by the people who do such sacrifices, would make those people spiritually unclean.

The above verses say that eating food doesn’t make you spiritually unclean because it doesn’t enter your heart, yet in the case of people who have slaughtered and eaten food in the name of their idols, the process has definitely entered their heart, as the food is connected to their faith and their gods and idols.

So from 2 angles the above verse is proven wrong, because firstly, people who sacrifice foods for their idols and then eat them become spiritually unclean. And secondly, this matter of slaughtering-eating foods sacrificed for their idols-gods is completely connected to their hearts, it’s all part of their faith, and rites, so eating that food connected to the whole rite would make someone spiritually unclean.

Lastly, if a person eats foods that have been prohibited by God, that in of itself would make the person spiritually unclean because they have sinned. If God for example told you don’t eat A, and you decided to eat food A in full knowledge that you are sinning and going against the command of God, and you are eating food A not because of necessity or desperation, but just because you felt like it, then you have indeed become spiritually unclean as you have sinned against God. Therefore again this teaching is wrong from this angle as well.

In conclusion, we certainly don’t believe that Jesus (pbuh) would ever utter such a teaching so riddled with mistakes-inconsistencies. The fact of the matter is that eating foods can indeed make you spiritually unclean, and eating foods is sometimes connected to the heart, such as when done as part of pagan or other religious rites.


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