Questions and Answers




            Well, Gen. 9:2-3 states, “the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”  So, we can kill to eat.  Grocery stores are filled with meat, chicken, fish, whether fresh, frozen, or canned.  And, there is nothing wrong to eat meat.

            However, I do have a problem with just murdering or killing for sport.  I remember target shooting once with some friends and they would just shoot innocent birds who did nothing to noone: they were just sitting there.

            But, the closest reference to sport hunting is Proverbs 12:27, “ The slothful (treacherous) man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.”  So whatever view one takes on sport hunting, it is good and right for the hunted animal to be eaten, not just killed for a trophy.  As for the Bible, sport hunting was not a common practice then.  The reason for this is the fact that man hunted for food.  In order to put food on the table you either had to grow it, hunt it, and in some cases buy it or trade for it.  Furs were used for clothing or sold in order to purchase things, and in many cases the furs of animals were currency.  For early Americans, this was the case.  You simply did not sport hunt in those days.  So, it is hard to make a sport out of something you depended upon daily.

            Now, as for animal spirits vs. man’s spirit, animals have a soul in the sense that they possess life, they breathe and are aware.  And so, men and animals alike possess a soul in the sense of breath.  However, in the sense of possessing a part or element that lives forever, as man possesses, animals do not possess an eternal spirit.  In Matt. 25:46, Jesus tells us the two groups that are eternal.  The animal simply and totally returns to the dust, the spirit of man continues to exist (Eccl. 3: 21, cp. 12: 7).

            But, the fact that animals do not possess an eternal soul in the sense that man does, does not de-emphasize their value as companions to man.  Pets can and do become an important part in the lives of millions.  Also, in man's charge over the animal kingdom, it is necessary that man protect and not abuse animals (Gen. 1: 26-28).

Robert Notgrass

Back to Questions