A: Under the old covenant, the people of Israel were given dietary laws which outlined clean and unclean foods they could eat (Genesis 9:2-4; Exodus 23:19; Leviticus 7:23-27, 11:1-47, 17:10-16; Deuteronomy 14:3-21). Not only were these laws protective of their health, but they were also required to be obeyed in order to be in right-standing with God. If they obeyed, they were blessed; if they disobeyed, they came under the curse of the law (Deuteronomy 28).
But we no longer live under the letter of the law. Under the new covenant, Jesus has redeemed us from the curse (Galatians 3:13). Our right-standing with God is based on our faith in what Jesus has done for us—not in our ability to keep the law. In regard to dietary laws, we can especially study Mark 7:14-23; Acts 11:5-10; Romans 7:6-7, 8:1-2; and 1 Timothy 4:3-5.
That perspective, however, does not dismiss possible health benefits from those Old Testament dietary laws. Even though the dietary laws are no longer a requirement for us as new covenant believers for righteousness’ sake, we can certainly learn from them.
In fact, science has confirmed that the things God forbade us to eat in the old covenant are actually unhealthy. So even though they are not required for right-standing with God, the dietary laws are good guidelines to follow for healthy living. If you would like to do further study regarding the health benefits of eating according to the dietary laws, we recommend Dr. Don Colbert, www.drcolbert.com, as a resource. His books and resources can be purchased or ordered at most bookstores.