Unclean Meats

Moses then issued three doctrines concerning meats with a spiritual significance; but they received them according to fleshly desire, as if he had merely spoken of [literal] meats. David, however, comprehends the knowledge of the three doctrines. Barnabas (A.D. 70-130) ch. 10

But again their (the Jews) scruples concerning meats… are ridiculous and unworthy of any consideration. For of the things created by God for the use of man to receive some as created well, but to decline others as useless and superfluous, is not this impious? Letter to Diognetus (A.D. 125-200) ch.4

Moreover, you were commanded to abstain from certain kinds of food, in order that you might keep God before your eyes while you ate and drank, seeing that you were prone and very ready to depart from His knowledge, as Moses also affirms: ‘The people ate and drank, and rose up to play.’ And again: ‘Jacob ate, and was satisfied, and waxed fat; and he who was beloved kicked: he waxed fat, he grew thick, he was enlarged, and he forsook God who had made him.’ For it was told you by Moses in the book of Genesis, that God granted to Noah, being a just man, to eat of every animal, but not of flesh with the blood, which is dead. Justin Martyr (A.D. 160) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.1 pg.204

But neither do the Jews pride themselves upon abstaining from swine’s flesh, as if it were some great thing; but upon their having ascertained the nature of clean and unclean animals, and the cause of the distinction, and of swine being classed among the unclean. And these distinctions were signs of certain things until the advent of Jesus; after whose coming it was said to His disciple, who did not yet comprehend the doctrine concerning these matters, but who said, “Nothing that is common or unclean has entered into my mouth,” “What God has cleansed, call not you common.” It therefore in no way affects either the Jews or us that the Egyptian priests abstain not only from the flesh of swine, but also from that of goats, and sheep, and oxen, and fish. But since it is not that “which enters into the mouth that defiles a man,” and since “meat does not commend us to God,” we do not set great store on refraining from eating, nor yet are we induced to eat from a gluttonous appetite. Origen (A.D. 248) Ante-Nicene Fathers vol.4 pg. 565

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