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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a lot of evidence that Jesus and his followers refrained from eating animals for compassionate reasons, occasionally eating fish.

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- The first 3 church leaders of the church were listed as being vegetarian in the Catholic's Encyclopedia. This is a very reliable source. These leaders lived before Paul's teachings (saying that one should not abstain from meat on the grounds of mercy, opposite of what the early Christians/apostles practiced) became central to the religion when Constantine added Paul's writing's to the Bible.

- We do know that 4 of the Apostles would not eat meat (John, James, Matthew and Peter). That's a lot of vegetarians randomly hanging around Jesus.

- The church leader Eusebius said that James the brother of Jesus was in fact raised as a vegetarian by Jesus' family (Ecclesiastical History 2.23). Eusebius is known as "the father of church history" because of his work in recording the history of the early Christian church.

- Why would Jesus' parents have raised James as a vegetarian, unless they were vegetarian themselves and raised Jesus as a vegetarian as well?

- Eusebius also states (Proof of the Gospel 3.5) that "all the apostles abstained from meat and wine."

- Perhaps he meant from excess wine (when it alters your thinking) and excess meat (a little fish now and then, but not chicken, cows, pigs, and sheep). This would have been spiritual and healthy.

The topics of meat-eating are addressed in the Bible because in early Christianity, a veggie-diet was a main theme to the religion, but later abandoned after the Counsel of Nicea (325 years later):

"For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay on you no greater burden than these necessary things:

That you abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if you keep yourselves, you shall do well." Acts 15:28,29

- "It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumble, or is offended, or made weak." Romans 14:21

- "I require mercy, not sacrifice" (Matthew 9:13 & 12:7)

-St. Augustine, while vehemently arguing against the idea that Christians must be vegetarians, nevertheless stated that those Christians who "abstain both from flesh and from wine" are "without number" (On the Morals of the Catholic Church 33). His "heretical" Manichean opponents were entirely vegetarian. But the Christian vegetarians to whom Augustine is referring are clearly orthodox, indicating a widespread acceptance of vegetarianism both among heretics and the orthodox.

- One of the earliest Christian documents is the "Clementine Homiles," a second-century work purportedly based on the teachings of St. Peter. Homily XII states, "The unnatural eating of flesh meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its impure feasts, through participation in it a man becomes a fellow eater with devils."

- Jesus taught compassion. At passover dinner, there is no reference of eating lamb, nor the buying of the lamb nor its slaughter.

- The first church leaders, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian, Heronymus, Boniface, St. Jerome, and John Chrysostom were all veggies. Clement of Alexandria, one of the central leaders in the early church, wrote, "It is far better to be happy than to have your bodies act as graveyards for animals. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, nuts and vegetables, without flesh."

- Historians know for a fact that Jesus was raised in an area that was mostly inhabited by a group of people called the "Essenes," who practiced a compassionate lifestyle and lived on a vegetarian diet. They also staunchly refused to kill lambs for passover dinner.

-John the Baptist, cousin to Jesus, who frequently taught near the Essene settlement, held the same political beliefs that the Essenes did.

- Both Hegisuppus and Augustin testify that the first head of the church in Jerusalem after the death of Christ, namely Christ's brother James the Just, was a vegetarian and raised as one!

- Paul, who was a converted tax collector and who never met Christ in person, and whose writings were highly controversial at the time, wrote that compassion for animals should not be a Christian characteristic, contradicting the beliefs of many of the apostles and all of the early church leaders.

Through Paul, we learn that Christians are arguing that a meatless diet should be a necassary practice in this compassionate religion. Paul argues the contrary, contracting all the church leaders and practices of the apostles:

"As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not for disputes over opinions. One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables," says Paul (Romans 14:1-2). Paul counsels patience between the meat-eaters and the vegetarians: "Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience." (I Corinthians 10:25).

- Why would he even address this topic unless it was a big issue in the early church?

-Jesus taught that through ones works of compassion and love, man could get to Heaven: Jesus said, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37) Jesus also said, "This is my command: Love each other." (John 15:8)

---> It is hard to imagine that Jesus said this and then went to get the butcher knife to go kill Betsy the cow so he could have a steak. (I imagine the image of Colonel Sanders holding the chicken and the knife while grinning :p).

- Jesus taught his apostles: "Faith without works is dead," And "You have faith and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:18)

Paul taught compassion and a vegetarian lifestyle did not need to be practiced by Christians and that a vegetarian diet was unhealthy. (Uhmm? This guy sounds like a crackpot).

- It is interesting to note that Paul's writings were highly controversial at the time, but when his writings were included into the Bible at the Counsel of Nicea, Paul's teachings became central to the Christian religion and the compassionate lifestyle that Jesus, his deciples and the early church members taught were abandoned.

Also, the books removed from the Bible at the counsel of Nicea stated that Jesus was a vegetarian. Perhaps Jesus occasionally had fish on very important occasions and to be polite.

- Jesus went into the temple and over turned the money tender's tables and set the pigeons free, which were going to be used for sacrifices.

Jesus did eat fish on a few occasions, but it looks like he chose not to eat all other animals for compassionate reasons. People in modern times make this same compassionate decision: To abstain from all animal meats and to occasionally eat fish. It is a very compassionate decision. I CAN see Jesus making this decision out of compassion.

In those days, it would have been harder to get nutrion. The Bible mentions Jesus the eating of fish, but NEVER a "leg of lamb" or pork or beef or other creatures.

If so, shouldnt Christians live the way Jesus, his apostles and early church leaders modeled their lives?
 

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Luk 24:42 And1161 they3588 gave1929 him846 a piece3313 of a broiled3702 fish,2486 and2532 of575 a honeycomb.3193, 2781

Luk 24:43 And2532 he took2983 it, and did eat5315 before1799 them.846

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broiled 3702:

G3702

ὀπτός

optos

op-tos'

From an obsolete verb akin to ἕψω

hepsō (to "steep"); cooked, that is, roasted: - broiled.

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fish: 2486

G2486

ἰχθύς

ichthus

ikh-thoos'

Of uncertain affinity; a fish: - fish.

======

Yeah early Christians used the greek for fish as an acronym to denote themselves as Christians: IXOYE (Iesous Christos, Theou, Uios, Soter.)(Jesus. Christ. God. Son. Savior) But I don't think Jesus would have asked for something to eat, then taking a broiled "acronym for himself?" and eat it?
 

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Are you suggesting Jesus was a vegetarian, and later church leaders expunged this information from historical and religious documents? Since references to other church leaders being vegetarians exist, they didn't do a very good job of wiping away every trace.

It seems like a pretty important piece of information to leave out, and thus, unlikely.
 

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Quote:
John the Baptist, who frequently taught near the Essene settlement, held the same political beliefs that the Essenes did.
I know John the Baptist wore camel skin... not sure about food, but I know that much... I could find the reference if anyone wants to see. (one of the gospels, I know that much)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bekajoi View Post

I know John the Baptist wore camel skin... not sure about food, but I know that much... I could find the reference if anyone wants to see. (one of the gospels, I know that much)
He also wore a leather belt and ate locust and wild honey. Matt 3

I don't think Jesus was a vegetarian, but chances are he did not eat nearly as much meat as your modern day omni. He grew up as the son of a lowly carpenter. Chances are meat was for special occasions, except for maybe fish.

~Wondre
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, but Jesus was raised in the settlements of the Essenes who would not eat meat for compassionate reasons, and Jesus' Brother/cousin James and John did not eat meat, there is a good chance that Jesus himself did not eat meat.

Jesus' cousin John held the same political beliefs as the Essenes, and quoted the scriptures of the Essenes, and those scriptures are in the Bible.

Also, if the first leader of the church says that James the brother of Jesus was raised a vegetarian by his family, there is a good chance that Jesus' himself was raised that way since it was in the family.

Plus, the father of Jesus' cousin John would have had a similar paying job as Joseph, yet they raised their son as a vegetarian.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple_Blossem View Post

Yes, but Jesus was raised in the settlements of the Essenes who would not eat meat for compassionate reasons, and Jesus' Brother/cousin James and John did not eat meat, there is a good chance that Jesus himself did not eat meat.

Jesus' cousin John held the same political beliefs as the Essenes, and quoted the scriptures of the Essenes, and those scriptures are in the Bible.

Also, if the first leader of the church says that James was raised a vegetarian by his family, and James is considered the brother of Jesus or perhaps his cousin, there is a good chance that Jesus' himself was raised that way since it was in the family.
Then why would it be left out in relation to Jesus? They didn't think it was important? It was important enough to say about James, and James is hardly the central figure of the faith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well it easily recognizable that Jesus did not eat any animal in the Bible other than ocassionally fish.

Most of Jesus' family were vegetarians: His cousin John was vegetarian, and Jesus' brother James was raised vegetarian by Jesus' parents. Their neighbors were vegetarian.

So, the Bible cannot say that Jesus is vegetarian, because he is not. He occasionally eats fish. However, he does not eat animals such as cows, pigs, lambs, etc.... and has a pretty big respect for life.

It seems like he was raised to be compassionate and did pretty much hold to that rule. He then taught the people to love one another even more so.

However, in the books edited from the Bible at the Counsil of Nicea, there are many references that state that Jesus was a vegetarian. I'll get the names of the book tomorrow and post them
. Eucebius also, one of the first leaders of the early church, stated that Jesus and his family were vegetarians, or close to it.

Whether he had fish on important occasions, it still shows that they had enough respect for life to leave cows, pigs, rabbits, sheep, lambs, piglets off their plates for compassionate reasons.
 

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Eh. A Seder meal traditionally included(-es) lamb, and it would be a pretty big deal not to have any. Even if Jesus were accustomed to having Seder without lamb, his disciples wouldn't have been. It would likely have been recorded in some way if Jesus were quite particular about having no lamb at the table. As the host, it would have been his call. Unless, he provided lamb for the rest and didn't partake himself. Doesn't sound like the role-model angle he was going for at that time, though.
 
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I wonder how much of the text in the Bible that advises against eating of 'flesh' and 'meat' actually refers to acts of cannibalism, which is seems was quite the issue in Biblical and ancient times.

The symbolism of the eating of the flesh and drinking of the blood of Christ seems to me to be connected to this... if i consider that in Biblical times human sacrifice was still commonplace in many religions, and something done in times of famine - perhaps the 'don't eat flesh' stuff was related to this, as aposed to cows and sheep, in many of these texts.... and the 'eating of god in bread and wine form' was seen as much more preferable than the actual 'eating of god embodied in sacrifice' and the 'eating of other people', which i hope was sold by Christian leaders as not quite the desirable thing to be doing at the time by followers of Christianity.
 

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this does not mean Christians should not strive for this today.

Old Testament involved wars and the death penalty - but tells of the law being set, bringing the people from a state of unjust penalty, to 'let the punishment fit the crime'.

New Testament declares that we should love our enemies, and pray for those that harm us, turn the other cheek, etc. But it also allows for slavery and the subjugation of women - both of which are looked down upon in todays society.

They key is that the society of mankind moves upward along a path of ethics. I believe that God knew we couldn't automatically go from one step to the next, and that He understand this, and so moves us along slowly.

I also believe that the next big jump in societal ethics is the extension of compassion to the animals. The Spirit is ever working in the hearts of believers, and it is my prayer that we can all extend that compassion past our own species one day.

I think its easier for someone to accept the extension of compassion, than to doubt the factualness of church documents, and start thinking that Constantine or whoever, started destroying vital pieces of cannon. I believe God is bigger than human attempts at silencing His truth.

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"And what is a merciful heart? It is the hearts burning for the sake of the entire creation, for men, for birds, for animals, for demons and for every created thing; and by the recollection and sight of them the eyes of a merciful man pour forth abundant tears. From the strong and vehement mercy which grips his heart and from his great compassion, his heart is humbled and he cannot bear to hear or see any injury or slight sorrow in creation. For this reason he continually offers up tearful prayer, even for irrational beasts, for the enemies of the truth and for those who harm him, that they be protected and receive mercy. And in like manner he even prays for the family of reptiles because of the great compassion that burns in his heart without measure in the likeness of God."

- St. Isaac the Syrian

"I believe in my heart that faith in Jesus Christ can and will lead us beyond an exclusive concern for the well-being of other human beings to the broader concern for the well-being of the birds in our backyards, the fish in our rivers, and every living creature on the face of the earth."

-Wesley, John

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I think it better to use biblical truths and fact when trying to spread the cause of veganism to Christians, instead of holding on to hypotheses that Christ was a vegetarian when the scriptures themselves say he ate fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
People -- I am not looking for unresearched opinions. I have done several days worth of research...and am trying to find people who know the topic better than I do so we can learn something together
.

There is a problem: Half my post is pointing out that Jesus and Paul butt heads on many topics. Jesus taught to love everyone equally. Jesus taught that women could make their own decisions and were equal to men. On the other hand, Paul taught that it was okay to have slaves and that women were lower than men.

Again, I am talking about only JESUS' teachings. Not the whole Bible, nor the Old Testament, nor the whole New Testament.

There have been several comments from people who say they do not know if any of the apostles were vegetarian. This clearly shows that most poeple didn't even READ the first sentence of evidence that I posted.

Did anyone even read the entire post before posting?
 
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erm.... that comes across as a little rude, although i'm sure you don't intend it to.


i apologise if my sharing my own thoughts (and which i thought were related) upset your aims for this thread, i assumed that you would be open minded and tollerant enough to accept input from people whos ideas may differ from you, or whom may not have researched exactly what you have, and whom may not be as educated on the subject as your self, and that you would be accepting of allowing a free discussion to develop, that didn't alays fully fit your narrow brief.

i also thought it would be insightful and informative for all of us to share our thoughts and ideas, and learn from each other- i didn't understand that you solely wanted to soak up others more educated knowledge on your restricted subject.

perhaps you might also consider that this community isn't just for christian vegetarians who have studied jesus and his alledged vegetarianism in great depth, so there won't be a huge and vast number of people for you to draw knowledge on the matter from, who frequent here.

perhaps a community with more of a niche of members who share combined vegetarianism and belief in christianity, like that at http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/ might be able to offer you more insight with this discussion?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple_Blossem View Post

People -- I am not looking for unresearched opinions. I have done several days worth of research...and am trying to find people who know the topic better than I do so we can learn something together
.

There is a problem: Half my post is pointing out that Jesus and Paul butt heads on many topics. Jesus taught to love everyone equally. Jesus taught that women could make their own decisions and were equal to men. On the other hand, Paul taught that it was okay to have slaves and that women were lower than men.
I read your entire post, I have done some research on this topic, and I never mentioned Paul. If you are offended I didn't find interesting every point you did, then I politely ask you to grow a thicker skin.

You have not, by the way, even attempted to address the issues I brought up, which are directly related to the topic at hand.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple_Blossem View Post

People -- I am not looking for unresearched opinions. I have done several days worth of research...and am trying to find people who know the topic better than I do so we can learn something together
.

Again, I am talking about only JESUS' teachings.
What are our records of Jesus' teachings?

The gospels.

What do the gospels say? He ate fish.

But I don't see how the creator of the universe participating in the customs of first century Mediterranean fishing villages means that in our common day we should consume and rule over animals like tyrants.

To me, declaring Jesus a vegetarian in opposition to the scriptures is detrimental to trying to convert Christians to veganism.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post

What are our records of Jesus' teachings?

The gospels.

What do the gospels say? He ate fish.

But I don't see how the creator of the universe participating in the customs of first century Mediterranean fishing villages means that in our common day we should consume and rule over animals like tyrants.

To me, declaring Jesus a vegetarian in opposition to the scriptures is detrimental to trying to convert Christians to veganism.
Precisely.
 
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