Genesis 9:3 in the Context of the Continuity and Discontinuity Debate on Dietary Choices: Implications for Human Health

Genesis 9:3 in the Context of the Continuity and Discontinuity Debate on Dietary Choices: Implications for Human Health

Author by Dr. Theodore Uchechkwu Dickson

Journal/Publisher: Insight: Journal Of Religious Studies

Volume/Edition: 7

Language: English

Pages: 44 - 60

Abstract

As part of the “New Creation” order after the Flood story (Gen 6-9), God includes animal flesh to human diet (Genesis 9:3) probably to avert the emergency resulting from the temporal destruction of vegetation during the deluge. The content, scope, applicability, and implications of the dietary regulation of Genesis 9:3 have continued to generate endless debate among contemporary scholars, especially with the addition of the Mosaic dietary regulations in Lev.11 and Deut. 14. Whereas some scholars argue that the Mosaic laws were abrogated by the death of Christ thereby removing the restrictions between clean and unclean animals, others believe the dietary laws are still applicable today, arguing that Genesis 9:3-4 was given within a context. Consequently, whereas some Christians believe everything God created is good for food without restriction, others believe the dietary regulations as evident in the Pentateuch are still valid. Using the historical grammatical method of exegesis, the study examined the context, syntax and meaning of the key words of Genesis 9:3 in the light of related dietary regulations to determine its meaning, scope, applicability, and the overall health implications. The study reveals that the tension resulting from the concise but well-loaded text of Genesis 9:3 rests on the proper understanding of Kol-reºmeS in relation to ´oklah and its applicability. The key words in Genesis 9:3 elucidate the fact that “all or every” does not imply ‘all encompassing’, but rather ‘all of its kinds’ or better put, ‘all specified’. The latter suits the immediate context of Genesis 9:3 in relation to Genesis 7:2, rendering any argument that one can eat everything untenable and necessitates a rethink of dietary habits among contemporary Christians, especially in the face of adverse health risks.

 

 


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