Bat soup crazy

On the applicability of Kosher law

Looking at social media in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic can often be a thankless task, particularly reading things written by other Christians. One thing that crops up a lot is the reference to bats within the Kosher laws in Leviticus 11.13-19:

These, moreover, you shall detest among the birds; they are abhorrent, not to be eaten: the eagle and the vulture and the buzzard, and the kite and the falcon in its kind, every raven in its kind, and the ostrich and the owl and the sea gull and the hawk in its kind, and the little owl and the cormorant and the great owl, and the white owl and the pelican and the carrion vulture, and the stork, the heron in its kinds, and the hoopoe, and the bat.

Leviticus 11.13-19

I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that these verses get quoted when rumours frequently circulate that the source of SARS-CoV-2 is from bat soup. It’s well known that cultures in the far East are much more relaxed about eating animals that we in the West wouldn’t want to eat. Add to that many rumours that eating a bat started this whole thing off, potentially killing hundreds of thousands of people, and it seems to be fair game to quote verses from the law of Moses that forbid eating such creatures. It’s surely game, set and match.

Continue reading “Bat soup crazy”

Cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk

Not all great explanations hold up

I was listening to a bible podcast recently and heard a discussion around a peculiar law repeated three times in the Torah. The specific law is found in Exod 23:19, 34:26 and Deut 14:21.  In each it simply reads:

You must not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk

The commandment is a good demonstration of the maxim that the Bible was written for us not too us.  In this case of this particular law, no-one truly knows what it means. Continue reading “Cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk”

Ethics in the Law of Moses: Animal welfare & animal sacrifice

How is animal sacrifice compatible with animal welfare?

A reader of the previous article in this series raised the issue of animal sacrifice, which was commanded by the Law of Moses and carried out on a large scale by Israel. How is animal sacrifice compatible with animal welfare? Continue reading “Ethics in the Law of Moses: Animal welfare & animal sacrifice”

Ethics in the Law of Moses: Environmental Welfare

Care for the environment enshrined in the Law

The early Hebrews maintained an unparalleled degree of ecological sustainability, since the Law of Moses regulated fruit crops, prohibited certain mixed crops, and required the non-cultivation of the land in the seventh year, enabling the land to recover from human activity. Continue reading “Ethics in the Law of Moses: Environmental Welfare”

Ethics in the Law of Moses: animal welfare

“Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast.”

Many passages in the Bible are typically understood as teaching an explicit ethic of care and concern for animals and the environment, including the commandment that young birds may be taken from their mother, but their mother must be left alone (Deuteronomy 22:6-7), an ox or sheep not to be slaughtered on the same day as their young (Leviticus 22:8), animals used commercially are not to be overburdened or exploited (Exodus 23:5, Deuteronomy 25:4), and the statement that a righteous man takes care of his animals (Proverbs 12:10).

There was no tolerance for animal cruelty or animals being killed for entertainment. Continue reading “Ethics in the Law of Moses: animal welfare”