How can we harmonize the Scriptural counsel, “Everything that is sold in a meat market keep eating, making no inquiry on account of your conscience” (1 Cor. 10:25), with the advice recently contained in The Watchtower, to make reasonable inquiry at places where one buys meat to be sure that it has been properly bled? (The Watchtower, September 15, 1961, page 557)
"Questions From Readers," The Watchtower, November 1, 1961, pp. 669-70.
Both of these statements of counsel must be viewed in their context. First Corinthians, chapter 10, contains
a discussion concerning foods that have been offered to idols. It points out that Christians cannot “become sharers
with the demons” by participating in religious ceremonies in which the worshiper shares a meal in common with some
demon god. (1 Cor. 10:18-21) In fact, it would be wrong for the Christian to eat the meat anywhere if he ate
it “as something sacrificed to an idol,” that is, with any feeling of reverence for the idol. (1 Cor. 8:7)
So it was to protect Christians from idolatry that the command was given to “keep yourselves free from things sacrificed
to idols.” (Acts 15:29) However, the offering of food to an idol does not bring about any change in the meat itself
that would make it unfit for use. So if part of an animal that was offered in sacrifice were sold in a meat market
it would be just as good as any other meat. Certainly a Christian would never ask for this meat in preference to
other meat, feeling that it was “holy meat,” but, on the other hand, he was not under obligation to make inquiry
to find out if the source of supply was a religious temple or a regular slaughterhouse. So the point under discussion
in 1 Corinthians 10:25 was the purchasing of meat in a market that obtained some of its supplies from a religious
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