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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there have been threads discussing this topic before, but I found this article particularly insightful: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kamran-pasha/was-jesus-a-vegetarian_b_276141.html" target="_blank">http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kamran..._b_276141.html</a><br><br>
Muslim scholar, Kamran Pasha, who is not a vegetarian himself, has found evidence of an earlier Christian vegetarian movement, so he believes. The movement he refers to are the Ebionites or the Nazarenes, whose <a href="http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/gospelebionites.html" target="_blank">gospel</a>, written in Aramaic (the language which Jesus spoke) consistently portrays Jesus as a vegetarian and fervent enemy of the animal sacrifices at the Temple (thus Jesus' famous "cleansing of the Temple"). These Jewish Christians, who seem to have had access to people who actually knew Jesus and were probably much closer than what came to be Orthodox Christianity to Jesus' inner circle, were led by Jesus' brother, James the Just. There was a lot of bad blood between the Jewish Christians, centered in Jerusalem, and the apostle Paul who came to represent Christian orthodoxy. A critical look a the New Testament illustrates the rivalry between Paul and Gentile Christianity and the Jewish Christians. Pasha writes:<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">According to Paul's Letter to the Galatians, James the Just sent envoys to check up on him and what he was preaching (Galatians 2:12). And when these envoys heard his doctrines, especially with regard to faith in Christ removing the need for Christians to follow Jewish dietary laws, all hell broke loose. As Paul himself describes the incident in Galatians, he had a shouting match with Peter and other disciples, and was very much the odd man out (Galatians 2:11-13)<br><br>
Several of Paul's letters in the New Testament were written to respond to the critiques of these Jewish Christians, who claimed Paul was misguided and perhaps even lying about his encounter with Christ (see Galatians 1:20, 2 Corinthians 11:31, 1 Timothy 2:7 where Paul repeatedly insists that he is not lying, since clearly this is a charge being regularly made against him). Indeed, the modern Christian notion that Paul was on good terms with the disciples who had known Jesus in his lifetime is simply not borne out in Paul's own letters. While the Acts of the Apostles, written years later by Paul's followers, often portrays the debates between James and Paul as cheerful disagreements between brothers, Paul's own letters show that their differences were intense and volatile. It was as if the two movements were actually competing religions rather than branches of the same faith.</div>
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Hence in Romans 14:1-2, Paul denigrates those Christians who "eat only vegetables" saying that their "faith is weak." That he had to respond to some early Christian group that believed refraining from eating meat was a part of Christian piety means at the least that ethical vegetarianism was being represented as a moral requirement to be a Christian, presumably by the Jewish Christians.<br><br>
Pasha continues:<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">In the <i>Panarion</i>, his epic treatise against heresy, Epiphanius gives us many details about the Ebionite lifestyle. He says that the Ebionites claimed that the Apostle Peter had been a vegetarian and had ordered his followers to abstain from eating meat. In the Ebionite Gospel, they quote Jesus as saying "I came to abolish sacrifices, and unless you cease from sacrificing, my anger will not cease from you." The reference is to the practice of animal sacrifice in the Jewish Temple, where thousands of animals were ritually slaughtered every year as offerings to God, the meat being shared with the Priests.<br><br>
The Ebionites claimed that Jesus was horrified by cruelty to animals and that one of the primary aspects of his mission was to abolish the practice of ritual slaughter. Their argument was that Temple sacrifices were an innovation and had no basis in the authentic Law of Moses, and Jesus was sent to restore the Torah as Moses had practiced it. To the extent that the Jewish scriptures appeared to endorse animal sacrifice by the Priests (cf. the Book of Leviticus), they claimed that such passages were forgeries inserted by the Priesthood itself to promote its livelihood (the falsification of parts of the Bible would be a central claim of Islam centuries later).</div>
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But what is most interesting is his exegesis of John 2:13-17:<br><br>
"When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">In the Gospel of John, Jesus physically drives herds of animals out of the Temple courtyard using a whip. It is an incredibly powerful visual image. Yet in all the years of that I have listened to the story of Jesus at the Temple, I have never heard anyone focus on this compelling scene. The overturning of the currency tables seems to be what is stuck in the Christian consciousness, and yet the most dramatic and chaotic event in this incident is clearly the freeing of the animal herds...the direct attack on the Priests' principal source of livelihood, the animal sacrifices, could not be ignored. The Priests had to respond to the threat Jesus posed to their power, and they did. And the outcome changed the course of history.</div>
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Was Jesus' crucifixion a result of his stance against animal sacrifice? Was the opposition he received from the Sadducees because he disrupted the primary source of income for the Temple -- the trade of animals for ritual slaughter? Did Jesus care so much for animals that he actually endangered his own life to free them from their bondage?<br><br>
I find Pashan's article very compelling. What do you think?
 

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As a grad student in the discipline of English (literature emphasis), I must say that this is a fascinating way to look at the New Testament. Looks like a cool article, Rotoshave. I'm gonna bookmark it.
 

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<b>I</b> was a vegetarian (before I went vegan). What more do you need to know, really?
 

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I find this very interesting. I like this article that you found.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2829521"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><b>I</b> was a vegetarian (before I went vegan). What more do you need to know, really?</div>
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Jesus, is that you? Did you get caught in the interwebs on your way into heaven?
 

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Interesting article for sure! I disagree with some of the statements he makes, but it is fascinating to see his point of view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>joanm</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2829676"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Interesting article for sure! I disagree with some of the statements he makes, but it is fascinating to see his point of view.</div>
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Sure, I don't particularly like what he says about the Jewish Christians representing true Christianity and the Pauline tradition being a false abberation. I don't think, however, that the two are exclusive. One can believe that these Christians actually new Jesus better than Paul and thus were vegetarians while still maintaining that they missed much in their understanding of Jesus that Paul was able to pick up.
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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Interesting but not really anything new. But still a nice little summary.
 

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IMO there is simply no evidence to support that Jesus was a vegetarian or that any early Christians were vegetarian for ethical reasons. If anything Jesus took it in the other direction and promoted eating meat by essentially declaring all foods to be "clean". Some didn't eat meat because it meant they didn't have to really worry about whether what they were eating was "clean" or "unclean". Paul says they lack faith because Jesus has essentially done away with Jewish dietary laws yet they are still sticking to their old ways just to be on the safe side.<br><br>
The incident in the temple was about turning a Holy place into a market place, not about selling or eating animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>dividedsky</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2830441"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
IMO there is simply no evidence to support that Jesus was a vegetarian or that any early Christians were vegetarian for ethical reasons. If anything Jesus took it in the other direction and promoted eating meat by essentially declaring all foods to be "clean". Some didn't eat meat because it meant they didn't have to really worry about whether what they were eating was "clean" or "unclean". Paul says they lack faith because Jesus has essentially done away with Jewish dietary laws yet they are still sticking to their old ways just to be on the safe side.<br><br>
The incident in the temple was about turning a Holy place into a market place, not about selling or eating animals.</div>
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I think there is compelling arguments in both directions. Certainly we know that the New Testament writings are subject to human fallacy, especially political infighting, where historical accuracy may take a back seat to rhetorical effectiveness. On the other hand there is some kernel of truth within the New Testament writings. The problem is seperating the kernel (that Jesus lived, identified with the poor, was crucified) from the chaff (that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, fled to Egypt, road two donkeys into Jerusalem, etc).
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>dividedsky</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2830441"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
IMO there is simply no evidence to support that Jesus was a vegetarian or that any early Christians were vegetarian for ethical reasons. If anything Jesus took it in the other direction and promoted eating meat by essentially declaring all foods to be "clean". Some didn't eat meat because it meant they didn't have to really worry about whether what they were eating was "clean" or "unclean". Paul says they lack faith because Jesus has essentially done away with Jewish dietary laws yet they are still sticking to their old ways just to be on the safe side.<br><br>
The incident in the temple was about turning a Holy place into a market place, not about selling or eating animals.</div>
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I agree that Jesus was not a vegetarian and I agree that the incident in the temple was about turning the Holy place into a market place. But Jesus did not make unclean meats clean. God was showing Peter that he should not call the gentiles unclean.<br><br>
Vegetarianism does make the keeping of the Biblical dietary laws easier since everything in a vegetarian diet is Biblically clean. We just have to make sure it is low in fat and healthy.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>dividedsky</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2830441"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
IMO there is simply no evidence to support that Jesus was a vegetarian or that any early Christians were vegetarian for ethical reasons. If anything Jesus took it in the other direction and promoted eating meat by essentially declaring all foods to be "clean". Some didn't eat meat because it meant they didn't have to really worry about whether what they were eating was "clean" or "unclean". Paul says they lack faith because Jesus has essentially done away with Jewish dietary laws yet they are still sticking to their old ways just to be on the safe side.<br><br>
The incident in the temple was about turning a Holy place into a market place, not about selling or eating animals.</div>
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Dividedsky, Pasha's take on that incident was one of the points I was disagreeing with in my earlier post. It was, as you say, the fact that the Temple had been turned into a place of business rather than a place of worship that enraged Jesus.<br><br>
Pasha turns his focus on the freeing of the animals in that scene, like it was something Jesus felt compelled to do and that that was the reason of his rage. The reason was that money was exchanged over them in the Temple itself, rather than outside the Temple. For Jesus to set those animals free on the basis Pasha says he did, would have meant him going against his own word. He knew those animals were there for sacrificial purposes.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sevenseas</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2829521"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><b>I</b> was a vegetarian (before I went vegan). What more do you need to know, really?</div>
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Hi Jesus *waves* I guess I won't see you anytime soon, so hi and bye <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 

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Romans 14 is usually interpreted by Biblical scholars as being about church unity and judgementalism. Vegetarianism is just the example used to illustrate the point. Although these verses do establish that not only were at least some early Christians vegetarian and used their faith as a basis for this choice, but also that they were known to other communities.
 

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Jesus never existed. "Jesus Christ" is a metaphor for the sun. The bible is all about astrology... So therefore no, Jesus wasn't a vegetarian..
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Backdrifting</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2832061"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Jesus never existed. "Jesus Christ" is a metaphor for the sun. The bible is all about astrology... So therefore no, Jesus wasn't a vegetarian..</div>
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Not bad for your first post! Welcome. You might want to wander over to the introduction forum and introduce yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Backdrifting</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2832061"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Jesus never existed. "Jesus Christ" is a metaphor for the sun. The bible is all about astrology... So therefore no, Jesus wasn't a vegetarian..</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/shocked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":eek:"><br><br>
Actually there is very good historical evidence that Jesus existed.<br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus</a><br><br>
Just whether he was the son of God, divine, was born in Bethlehem or was ressurected from the dead; that is what we do not and in the case of resurrection, cannot know.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rotoshave</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2829297"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I know there have been threads discussing this topic before, but I found this article particularly insightful: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kamran-pasha/was-jesus-a-vegetarian_b_276141.html" target="_blank">http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kamran..._b_276141.html</a><br><br>
Muslim scholar, Kamran Pasha, who is not a vegetarian himself, has found evidence of an earlier Christian vegetarian movement, so he believes. The movement he refers to are the Ebionites or the Nazarenes, whose <a href="http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/gospelebionites.html" target="_blank">gospel</a>, written in Aramaic (the language which Jesus spoke) consistently portrays Jesus as a vegetarian and fervent enemy of the animal sacrifices at the Temple (thus Jesus' famous "cleansing of the Temple"). These Jewish Christians, who seem to have had access to people who actually knew Jesus and were probably much closer than what came to be Orthodox Christianity to Jesus' inner circle, were led by Jesus' brother, James the Just. There was a lot of bad blood between the Jewish Christians, centered in Jerusalem, and the apostle Paul who came to represent Christian orthodoxy. A critical look a the New Testament illustrates the rivalry between Paul and Gentile Christianity and the Jewish Christians. Pasha writes:<br><br><br><br>
Hence in Romans 14:1-2, Paul denigrates those Christians who "eat only vegetables" saying that their "faith is weak." That he had to respond to some early Christian group that believed refraining from eating meat was a part of Christian piety means at the least that ethical vegetarianism was being represented as a moral requirement to be a Christian, presumably by the Jewish Christians.<br><br>
Pasha continues:<br><br><br><br>
But what is most interesting is his exegesis of John 2:13-17:<br><br>
"When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the moneychangers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."<br><br><br><br>
Was Jesus' crucifixion a result of his stance against animal sacrifice? Was the opposition he received from the Sadducees because he disrupted the primary source of income for the Temple -- the trade of animals for ritual slaughter? Did Jesus care so much for animals that he actually endangered his own life to free them from their bondage?<br><br>
I find Pashan's article very compelling. What do you think?</div>
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Just reading from the verses here, I didn't get the impression that Jesus was concerned for the animals when he drove out the people at the market. Just from the quote itself "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market." This seems to refer more to the fact that the synagogue was turned into a place where people buy and sell animals (which supposedly defiled the holy place). Unless Jesus said something else about saving the animals which were not recorded in the Bible, I don't see it as a sign that Jesus' main purpose was to free the animals.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rotoshave</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2832085"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/shocked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":eek:"><br><br>
Actually there is very good historical evidence that Jesus existed.<br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus</a><br></div>
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Sorry, not convincing. Not that he didn't exist but it's not essential to my beliefs on the subject.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Rotoshave</strong> <a href="/forum/post/2832085"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
Actually there is very good historical evidence that Jesus existed.<br></div>
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No, there really isn't. None of the "evidence" of his existence holds up to any kind of real scrutiny.<br><br>
Just saying.
 
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