Romans 14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.
Let’s start with the deception; the ‘truth’ has been hidden from us for far too long!
In almost every single English translation of verse 14 we have the word “unclean,” three times!
This is a lie, three times!!
The Greek word that Paul actually wrote in this verse is κοινὸν/koinon, Strong’s G2839, all three times!!!
This is the English word ‘common’, NOT ‘unclean’!!!
◊♦◊♦◊ Or should we start calling ‘Koine Greek’, “Unclean Greek”??? ◊♦◊♦◊
To mean “unclean“, Paul would have used ἀκάθαρτος/akathartos, Strong’s G169.
Instead, the Greek text reads koinon, which means ‘common’, ‘defiled’ or ‘profane’ (as opposed to set-apart or holy).
Therefore, in truth the verse reads ~
Romans 14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is common in itself, but it is common for anyone who thinks it common.
Here is the disconnect: Unclean is as bad as it gets. It is impossible for an unclean thing to become ‘common/defiled/profane’; it’s already worse than all of those! The only thing that can become ‘common/defiled/profane’, is something that is ‘clean’ or ‘Holy’.
So, now that we know only something ‘clean’ or ‘Holy’ can become “common,” what does that Scriptural fact reveal?
Well, since the apostle Paul actually wrote, “common,” it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt, that it was impossible for the food he referred to in Romans 14:14 to be an unclean animal; it’s impossible!
Paul did not say, ‘unclean’ in this verse; we have been lied to!
The translators have ‘changed’ the Word of God, twisting the context of the verse, redefining the doctrinal position of the apostle Paul, in order to fit their preconceived denominational dogma. Switching a word from the original text in the Word of God three times in the same sentence, to twist the context, in order to ‘change’ God’s doctrine is blasphemy! This is exactly the same kind of deception I expounded upon in the first part of this series, ‘(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 1 | Mark 7:19’. In that study, I showed how the majority of the modern translators ‘added to the Word of God’, in order to change the context of the Scripture. Whether this was done on purpose or in ignorance is irrelevant, it’s still deception.
You need to understand, mainstream theology has kept hidden from us, the ‘Truth’ of what the Scriptures actually reveal. There is a big difference between ‘koinos’ and ‘akathartos’, between ‘common’ and ‘unclean’!
In Acts 10:14, Peter used both “common/koinos” and “unclean/akathartos”, in the same sentence, to describe food that he had never eaten, and still refused to eat (see ‘Part 2’ of this series).
What does the text say?
Acts 10:14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is G2839common or G169unclean.”
Since there was obviously a difference between the two terms to this 1st Century/Post-Resurrection Disciple of the Son-of-God, shouldn’t we also accept the distinction?
We know that the Bible defines “clean” and “unclean” animals/meat in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, but when is meat considered “defiled/common”? The circumstances in which ‘animal/meat’ is considered defiled, is when a “clean” animal dies naturally or is torn by beasts (Leviticus 22:8); or when the blood has not been properly drained from the “clean” animal (Leviticus 17:13-14; 3:17, Acts 15). Such animal flesh was considered common, or profane. Similarly, in Acts 15:20 & 29, the Christian Council forbade the new converts to eat the meat of a strangled animal, or meat that had not been drained of blood, i.e. common/defiled/profane meats. These are basic food Laws from the Law of Moses that were requirements of new Christian converts ‘Post–Resurrection‘.
Here is another disconnect: we have been taught for centuries that anything you can shove into your mouth is ‘food’, and that in times-past, some of it was considered ‘clean food’, and some of it was considered ‘unclean food’. That premise is 100% Scripturally wrong! God NEVER said, ‘pig, crab, snake, dog, shrimp, vulture, etc. were ‘unclean food’; He said, they were “unclean animals” and “NOT to be eaten” | Leviticus 11. In the eyes of Almighty God, the unclean creatures of Leviticus 11 are not, what we today call, “food”.
In the case of Romans 14:14, “common or profane” would be the correct terms to use. The meat under discussion was most likely that which was offered to idols, then the left-overs were sold in the marketplace for public consumption. Remember, most if not all of the believers outside of Israel were brought up as pagans/gentiles. They knew that some of the meats sold at market could have been used as sacrifices to idols. As Paul mentioned in ‘Corinthians’, we know this was an issue for some of his congregations. This concern among the 1st century believers is completely ignored as Scriptural context by today’s mainstream teachers.
To paraphrase then, the verse should read: ‘. . . there is nothing profane of itself; but to him who considers anything to be profane, to him it is profane.’
The meat was more than likely, not defiled/profane/common. However, those “weak in the faith” believed that, because the meat had potentially ‘become’ common or profane or defiled, Paul is claiming we shouldn’t argue the point.
Paul explained, in 1 Corinthians 8:4-7, that the demon behind the idol is nothing, because “there is no other God but one” (verse 4). Thus, there is no ‘taint’ to the clean animal in and of itself that could make it “defiled/common”.
What does the text say?
1 Corinthians 8:7-8 However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. But food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat, are we the better, nor if we do not eat, are we the worse.
So, as we’ve read, Paul by no means claimed that God’s Dietary Food Laws changed; he never stated a change in the Law concerning “clean” and “unclean” animals. The topic of Law NEVER even came up!
Mainstream theology ‘assumes’ that Paul endorsed the annulment of the dietary instructions in the Law of Moses; this is called ‘Eisegesis’. If you carefully read the chapter (without that preconceived idea or the deceptive mistranslation), you will see that theory is false; it’s “assumed.”
To reiterate, Paul is discussing “food” (v.20) that may have ‘become’ profane or common (v.14); unclean animal/meat can NEVER ‘become’ common or profane, it’s ALREADY worse than that!
ONLY that which is clean can become G2839koinon/common!
Most CRITICAL, is the fact that just 13 verses later, Paul told us that “the Scriptures”, i.e. the Law, the Prophets and Writings, were written for our “instruction”. Those instructions, the ones that the apostle Paul said are for you and me, they’re how we’re to determine what is food and what is not food; this was his conclusion to the issue of what is considered food.
What does the text say?
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction…
Paul told Timothy the same thing ~
2 Timothy 3:15-17 15and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for “teaching”, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
What mainstream theology fails to comprehend (and teach), is that Paul is NOT referring to his own letters when he says “All Scripture” or “the sacred writings”.
Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying the apostle Paul wasn’t inspired by the Spirit of God when he wrote his letters, but think logically not emotionally; think like a 1st Century Berean. When he wrote these letters to Rome and Timothy, the ‘New Testament’ didn’t even exist yet! When he says, “All Scripture” & “the sacred writings”, Paul is referring to the Old Testament, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. In 2 Timothy above the Apostle Paul stated that “the Law” (All Scripture) is ‘profitable for teaching and training in righteousness’! He didn’t say it was abolished, did he? (Please click this link and read ‘The Law: Fulfilled or Abolished?‘) He said, ‘it is profitable‘!
How did Paul come to that conclusion? Where did he learn in the “sacred writings” about training in righteousness?
What does the text say?
Deuteronomy 6:25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us.
Psalm 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
Psalm 119:172 My song sings of Your word, for all of Your commandments are righteousness
Isaiah 51:7 “Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law
Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be righteous.
The apostle Paul unequivocally stated that God’s Instructions in Righteousness, the Law, the Commandments are “profitable“; these are “the Scriptures” which instruct us on what is “good food to eat”.
In ‘Part 1’, ‘Part 2’, and ‘Part 3’ of this ‘(Thus he declared all foods clean)’ study, we read verses where Jesus, Peter and then Paul, all proved that the ‘Food Laws’ were either not the topic of discussion as is errantly taught by todays mainstream teachers, or the ‘Food Laws’ are manifestly promoted and upheld.
The apostle Paul’s letters are ‘interpersonal commentaries’ that addressed specific doctrines and/or traditions, and how his assemblies were either misunderstanding them or disobeying them. The context of Romans 14 is not about a change in the Food Laws, or even Sabbath Laws for that matter! Please click this link and read ‘Did Paul Really Say “Any Day” Can Be The Sabbath?’, which is a study of the first half of ‘Romans’ chapter 14.
Verse 1 of the chapter starts with Paul calling the whole contextual issue ‘an opinion’, not a new command. It is not a “thus declares The LORD” proclamation; those words are not found anywhere in the letter to the Romans. The apostle Paul is discussing ‘human opinions‘ in this dialogue with those in Rome!
What does the text say?
Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
Paul was not introducing brand new doctrines; they were NOT ‘secret’ downloads from God that were independent of “established Scriptural doctrine”.
Never, in any of his letters, did the apostle Paul make the declaration, “Thus says יהוה ”, or “Now the Word of the LORD came to me”, or “Thus, declares the LORD”; Never!
He always quoted from the “established Scriptures”, and he said that those “Scriptures” are for our Instruction today.
Let’s use critical thinking and logic, not stand on emotions tied to denominational dogma.
Does God change?
What does the text say?
Malachi 3:6 For I the LORD do not change
The Lord GOD does not change; whatever has been ‘unclean’ or an ‘abomination’ to Him does not change.
The Lord GOD does not change; to claim that He does is blasphemy.
That being said, according to mainstream Christian theology, Paul’s “mistranslated statement” in Romans 14:14 claims to be a ‘change in the Lord GOD’s dietary food Laws’. According to current mainstream doctrine, the animals which are listed by the Lord GOD as unclean and an abomination have changed.
Mainstream Christian theology contradicts the established Scriptural truth that GOD does not change.
Lastly, I would like to bring to light another point of context that is NEVER taught from the modern mainstream pulpit.
The first 13 chapters of Romans has Paul promoting, reverencing, upholding, and teaching the Law of Moses:
Romans 2:13 for not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law shall be declared righteous.
Romans 2:18,20 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—
Romans 2:23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law.
Romans 3:1-2 what is the value of circumcision? Much in every way.
Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
Romans 7:7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.
Romans 7:12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.
Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being
Romans 7:25 So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind
Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law
If you haven’t already, please read the 19 studies, and many other quotes from the apostle Paul, on my ‘Romans Page’.
- In our “future”, at the End of Days, God’s Judgement will bring a consuming wrath upon those who eat unclean animals; eating pig’s flesh will still be considered worthy of judgement and punishment by the LORD!
What does the text say?
Isaiah 66:16-17 For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many. “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, they shall be consumed altogether”, declares the LORD.”
Is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a liar???
- The Greek word κοινός [koinos/common/G2839], and its cognates are used only 4 times in the Septuagint [Old Testament in the Greek], and every time in reference to things “shared in common”. In the Septuagint, the Greek word koinos is never used to refer to “uncleanness” or to something as “unclean”; NEVER!
In fact, in Leviticus chapter 11, the word “unclean” is listed 32 times in regard to animals that are NOT considered food.
What does the text say?
Leviticus 11:4-84Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is G169unclean to you. 5And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is G169unclean to you. 6And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is G169unclean to you. 7And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is G169unclean to you. 8You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are G169unclean to you.
There are another 27 usages of the word “unclean” in this chapter, and every single time in the Septuagint, “unclean” is translated from akathartos/G169, EVERY time!
- For further study of Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, see the ‘Links’ at the top of this page or blog posts at the bottom. Be like the Bereans, and test Paul’s doctrines to the “Scriptures”; look up for yourself more than 60 of the “forever verses” listed directly below. Please ‘share’ this study. Thank you for your time!
4 thoughts on “(Thus he declared all foods clean) Part 4 | Romans 14:14”
By saying, “You shall not eat it,” the Lord is acknowledging that obviously these animals ARE food, but unclean to His people. You cannot say they are not food. He doesn’t have to tell us not to eat rocks. Only certain FOOD can be designated as unclean food. I’m afraid this weakens your entire argument.
I humbly disagree; I believe The Creator is stating the exact opposite, that these specific creatures are ‘not’ food, and that’s precisely why He said, ‘do not’ eat them. Other people-groups and cultures who don’t know better may “think” they are food, but God is proclaiming that we are not to be like them, and that these creatures are not to be eaten, therefore in “His” judgement they are not, what we today call “food”. The Almighty does not call the unclean animals “food”, and He does not call clean animals “food”; He said ‘these creatures are “clean” and you can eat them, but these other creatures are “unclean” and you shall not eat them’ (I paraphrase of course). For centuries we have been misled and lied to regarding the authoritative commands of God, so the dogma is hard to shake off; the word “food” is an English word that has been lost in translation. Nothing in the commandments of the Creator ever states this is “food” and this is not “food”; that word “food” is modern vernacular. The English-versions are wrong 99.9% of the time when using the English word ‘food’ in the Old Testament, especially in the first five books. Almost every single time, the Hebrew word that is changed into the English word ‘food’, actually means either ‘literal bread’, or ‘grain’ or just ‘that which is eaten’. The modern day conception is, ‘anything that you can put in your mouth and consume, which does not kill you or can be digested is considered food’; but just because it can be digested and excreted does not mean the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob considers it to be what we today call “food”. Please read Leviticus chapter 11 and verify that the commands are, ‘these specific living creatures are clean and can be eaten, but these other specific living creatures are unclean and can not be eaten’; Yah never calls clean or unclean animals, “food”.
May Yah bless you as you read His Word,
Thank you so much for the time you have put in this writing. We can KNOW we have truth when there is NO contradiction in Scripture!!
You are most welcome! Thank you for taking the time to read the study, I hope and pray this and many of the others will help you on your “walk”. Please feel free to forward the studies to all interested parties.
May Yah bless you as you read and study His Word.