Messianic Apologetics

Addressing the Theological and Spiritual Issues of the Broad Messianic Movement

Kosher / Dietary Laws

Much of the Messianic community has promoted what it considers to be “Biblically kosher,” which primarily begins and ends at not eating pork and shellfish. In traditional Judaism, however, what it means to be kosher is much more involved than observant Jews not eating certain meats labeled to be “unclean.” Kashrut involves classification of unclean meats to be sure, but also involves some significant traditions regarding the butchering of animals, how meat is to be prepared, what can and cannot be eaten together, separation of utensils and cookware—as well as a variety of theological and philosophical reasons proposed for the institution of these Biblical instructions, and their subsequent interpretation and application over the centuries by Jewish religious authorities and diverse Jewish communities.

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics goes through the study questions for Ch 6 in the Messianic Beginnings workbook:

1. What verses in the Torah does Peter quote from where the Lord says “you shall be holy for I am holy”? What is some of the context of “holiness,” knowing its Torah background?

2. What is the Hebrew term kashrut derived from?

3. What was the first commandment given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

4. Describe what the forbidden fruit might have been like in light of the Hebrew word ta’avah.

5. Do you or do you not believe that there was an understanding of clean and unclean prior to the Noahdic Flood? Why or why not?

6. Do you think that the Tanach (Old Testament) meaning of “food” carries over into the Apostolic Scriptures (New Testament)? Why or why not?

7. List some of the land animals, marine creatures, and birds that people eat today which are considered unclean according to the Torah.

8. What is the interpretation of Peter’s vision of Acts 10, given by Peter himself?

9. What aspects of your diet do you think may have to change?

10. What do you think about those who defiantly oppose the dietary laws in light of Isaiah 66?

The discussion of the Apostle Paul in Romans 14, has been traditionally viewed from the perspective that he considers matters of the seventh-day Sabbath and kosher dietary laws, to be one entirely of opinion for Messiah followers. If a person keeps Shabbat or eats kosher, that is fine—but if a person does not keep Shabbat or does not eat kosher, that is fine as well.

Some controversial circumstances arose among the Roman Believers, involving sacred days and eating. But are these sacred days and eating, actually the appointed times and dietary laws? Or, might something else be in view? Is it possible to have a pro-Torah vantage point when approaching Romans 14?

Judah Himango and John McKee both agree that God’s Torah is essential instruction to be known, studied, and implemented by all of His people—yet there are challenges and problems which have to be navigated when one identifies the extremes of legalism and lawlessness.

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics responds to three categories of questions: Tanach (OT), Apostolic Scriptures (NT), and theology/Biblical Studies.

1. Is it true that Torah allows sojourners to eat animals that died of natural causes?

2. Yeshua is described as “firstborn.” Wouldn’t that mean that Yeshua was created?

3. Will my Torah observance as a non-Jew, provoke Jewish non-Believers to jealousy for Messiah faith?

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics goes through the six study questions for Unit Three in The Messianic Walk workbook:

1. Have you ever been taught that it is only one’s internal heart condition that is important, and that external actions or deeds do not matter? Describe some of your experiences.

2. What external areas of Torah adherence are you most familiar with? What external areas of Torah adherence will you need to study and investigate further?

3. What are some of the challenges that today’s Messianic people often have with eating a kosher style of diet? How many of them are theological, and how many of them involve deep family traditions?
4. What is some of the variance one may witness at a Messianic congregation, in terms of how the Torah’s dietary laws are honored?

5. Why can there be various controversies associated with external forms of Torah adherence? How much do they relate to an individual’s or family’s interpretation and application of various instructions?

6. What are the kinds of Torah-based practices that you think require an individual or family to consult with congregational leadership? Why do you think some people are more divisive than others, in matters of Torah keeping?

J.K. McKee of Messianic Apologetics responds to three categories of questions: Tanach (OT), Apostolic Scriptures (NT), and theology/Biblical Studies.

1. Does Leviticus 11 only command ethnic Israelites to follow the kosher dietary laws?

2. Yeshua says that only God is good.

3. Are today’s Messianic people “Christians”?

Email Update List
Podcast Feed