Does Isaiah 66:16-18 tell me not to eat pork, or else the Lord will destroy me for doing so? Was the Lord really talking to the Jews only? -- Chris Everett

The text reads, "For by fire will the LORD execute judgment, and by his sword, on all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following the one in the center, eating the flesh of pigs, vermin, and rodents, shall come to an end together, says the LORD. For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory" (NRS).

Of course this passage refers to Gentiles, as do many of the prophetic texts. The text describes what they do – in connection with idolatry. Now whether this is meant to be a specific condemnation of porcine consumption, e.g., or a denunciation of idolatry (along with its concomitants), cannot be concluded from this text. That would be over-reaching. At any rate, Jesus declared all foods clean (Mark 7:19), and Hebrews 13:9, Colossians 2:21 and other passages warn us about the legalism of regressing to the kosher laws.

For these reasons I conclude that it is fine to eat pork. Provided, of course, that by so doing I do not destroy my brother's faith (Romans 14:1-15:7, 1 Corinthians 8:1-11).