A-Z: General definitions: Unclean

Definition

Outward cleansing was a social and hygienic necessity in Old Testament culture, but was also used ritually, symbolising the need for people to be cleansed of their wrongdoing inwardly, in order to deal with a holy God (Leviticus 15:31). The Old Testament declared certain foods, animals and substances unclean and touching them contaminated a person. However in the New Testament Jesus said being 'clean' before God wasn't a matter of what one touched but a person's attitude of heart (Mark 7:19), and a vision given to Peter showed that a Christian could eat any food (Acts 10:11-15).
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