Abstain from Meats Offered to Idols, Acts 15:29

Hard Verses Episode 17: Abstain from Meats, Acts 15:29

Welcome to the Hard Verses podcast. Episode 17: Abstain from Meats, Acts 15:29

Hard verses is a podcast not afraid to take on the harder verses in the Bible.  Each week we find difficult verses in God’s word.

The Problem.

Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

  1. Are we to abstain from eating meats offered to idols?
  2. Other verses would indicate that a strong Christian can eat meats offered to idols. Why the change?

1Co 10:19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

1Co 10:25  Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

1Co 10:26  For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

1Co 10:27  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

1Co 10:28  But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

1Co 10:29  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

1Co 10:30  For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

 

  1. Are Christians still not supposed to eat blood or things strangled?

 

The Solution.

Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

This would be indicative of what was instructed to the Gentiles minus all the junk that the Jews were trying to put in there.

The idol meat.

The meats offered to idols would have been the remaining meat from the sacrifice of the pagan priests.  The meat would go either back to the worshipper and to the priest to sell at the market (Barclay 1976, 116). Barclay would go on to say that “No Christian must risk pollution by eating such meat for it had been offered to an idol” (ibid).

The strangled and the blood.

The Jews would have looked at animals strangled and not drained properly of blood as unclean.  God had said life is in the blood (Lev 17:11).  Barclay would go on to indicate that this act would make it possible for Jew and Gentile to be able to come together

The law of eating blood predates the law of Moses.

 

Gen 9:3  Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Gen 9:4  But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Gen 9:5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

 

And is also shown to be inspired instruction for the church.

Act 15:28  For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;

Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

 

It is understood that this would make things better between Jew and Gentile, since blood and idol feast offerings would be something of an abomination to a Jew.

What about those verses that say that is nothing to it?

1Co 10:19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

1Co 10:25  Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

1Co 10:26  For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

1Co 10:27  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

1Co 10:28  But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

1Co 10:29  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

1Co 10:30  For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

 

It seems that the market place, one would not know if it had been offered to idols or not. Also if you were invited to a house, there would be no way to know if it had been idol food.

 

 

The lesson for us today.

  1. Don’t add to or take away from God’s word.
  2. Don’t do things that will cause others to stumble.
  3. Take some time on the hard verses and dig until you get a decent answer. Don’t skip. Use your resources.

Tools I Used

Albert Barnes (e-sword module).

Barclay, William. The Acts of the Apostles, rev. ed. Philadelphia: Westminster (1976).

Burton Coffman Commentary (e-sword module)

https://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=2276

 

Call to action.

If you are lost concerning Mosaic law and law with Noah, and the New Testament law, you need to get and do my Bible Genius Study on Acts- all the chapters, you will understand the laws.  Free on preacherbryan.com.

Subscribe and rate.

 

You can also write a review. (Itunes).

 

There are also the podcasts available on Youtube, look for “hard verses” with some additional videos besides the podcast.

 

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