Is Cannibalism forbidden in the Bible?
The Bible does not explicitly address the issue, although many ABSURD, biased and frankly silly opponents of the Bible try to use verses about “mothers will eat their children” and the Lord’s Supper being the body of Christ… and try to put those passages forth as the God condoning and in fact, commanding, Christians to practice cannibalism. (Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53-57; Jeremiah 19:9; Ezekiel 5:10; Lamentations 4:10; Matthew 26:26-30)
That type of argument is so patently ridiculous, and such a wicked twisting of Scripture, I’m not going to waste time with a rebuttal here on that particular point. Even a cursory reading of the Bible by a fair-minded atheist will show how comically stupid this argument is. Only those who oppose the Bible at all costs and are unwilling to accept ANY reasonable interpretation of Scripture believe such nonsense. To the contrary, Christianity, when embraced by a pagan culture, has always brought THE END of cannibalism if practiced.
There are several things to think about.
First, the divine moral law on our heart makes the whole thought of cannibalism repugnant. It is hardly arguable that the act of killing someone (murder) in order to eat them is wrong on both counts… the killing and eating.
But what about “survival” situations where people have consumed the dead? Is this necessarily wrong? I would say YES if the choice was made to KILL someone for the purpose of survival (food). I would say NO, if the choice to consume an already deceased person is made in the desperation of facing life or death UNLESS you are clearly violating your conscience.
When the eternal spirit leaves the body, the body is just flesh, nothing more than the flesh of any animal. However, we appropriately treat it differently under NORMAL circumstances.
I could find no Biblical reason to automatically condemn someone in a life or death struggle who chose the option of cannibalizing someone already dead, but in all cases where a life is TAKEN for that purpose, you commit murder.
However, I do not hesitate to CONDEMN the practice as part of war, religion, paganism, fetishes, sick curiosity or anything other situation short of a truly desperate survival situation because it clearly violates our collective God-given conscience and divine moral compass.
If I’ve missed a Bible verse or principle that you think should be included with my answer, please let me know. I’ve never really seriously studied this question, so I might be missing something.