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Dear Refiner's Fire...

Please help me clear up some confusion! The Apostle Paul is quoted as saying:

Romans 14:14-17 (from the CJBV) 14 I know - that is, I have been persuaded by the Lord Yeshua the Messiah - that nothing is unclean in itself. But if a person considers something unclean, then for him it is unclean; 15 and if your brother is being upset by the food you eat, your life is no longer one of love. Do not, by your eating habits, destroy someone for whom the Messiah died!16Do not let what you know to be good, be spoken of as bad;17for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, shalom and joy in the Ruach HaKodesh.

Since kosher law is in the Torah and in other parts of the Scriptures (such as in Peter's vision of the food that has been misinterpreted as "eat what you want"), this section seems very inconclusive, and yet somehow negates the kosher law.

Any advice?

Our Response...

Actually, we can find the answer in the Aramaic English New Testament:

Romans 14: 14. I know indeed, and am persuaded by Master YHWH (who is) Y'shua, that there is nothing which is unclean in itself;[1] but to him who thinks any thing to be unclean, to him only it is defiled. 15. But if you grieve your brother because of food, you walk not in love. On account of food, destroy not him for whom Mashiyach died. 16. And do not let our good thing be matter of reproach. 17. For the Kingdom of Elohim is not food and drink; but it is righteousness and peace and joy in the Ruach haKodesh. 18. For he who is in these things a servant of Mashiyach, is pleasing to Elohim and approved before men. 19. Let us strive after peace and after the edification of one another. 20. And let us not, on account of food, destroy the work of Elohim. For everything is (indeed) pure; but it is evil to the man who eats with stumbling.[2] 21. It is proper that we neither eat flesh nor drink wine nor (do) any thing, whereby our brother is stumbled. 22. You are one in whom there is faith; keep it to yourself before Elohim. Blessed is he who does not condemn himself in that thing which he allows. 23. For he who eats and doubts, is condemned; because (he eats) not in faith. For everything which is not of faith, is sin.

Footnotes:

[1] The context of this discussion (verse 2) concerns meat versus a vegetarian diet. There is no discussion here about unclean foods according to Torah, because this is already clearly understood by Greek followers of Mashiyach. However, mainstream Christians twist this verse to teach that unclean food was made clean by Paul, which is a lie.

Paul was joined together with the other Shlichim (Apostles) in Jerusalem when the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit) spoke through Ya'akov HaTsaddiq, and instructed the non-Jewish converts to avoid unclean foods; i.e., foods sacrificed to idols, and blood. Notice also in Acts 15:20-21 that the expectation of the non-Jewish converts was that they would learn Moshe (Torah) as they grew in their relationship with Mashiyach and his people.

[2] Anything fit to be "food" is required to be from a "clean" animal and be properly prepared. The issue is to not question the good intentions of a host who by tacit agreement would have made an effort to drain the blood from the meat, as Torah requires. It was and is considered rude to go into the kitchen of your host, right before a meal, to act as a "kosher policeman." If your host erred, it would be he, not you, who transgressed; therefore, don't cause an uproar over this issue during the meal.