Jesus was Vegetarian, Part 1 of 3: The Breaking of the Bread

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“For of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs alone do I partake.” (Gospel of the Nazarenes)“You shall not take away the life of any creature for your pleasure, nor for your profit, nor yet torment it.” (Lection XLVI, 10)


In today’s program, it is our honor to present to you evidence that Jesus and the original Aramaic Christians were vegetarians, which is based on the document entitled; “Evidence That Jesus and The Original Aramaic Christians Were Vegetarians -- Uncovering A Vegetarian Jesus at the Beginning of Christianity” by Mr. James Bean. It is generally agreed by historians that Jesus and his disciples primarily spoke Aramaic, the common language of Judea in the first century AD, most likely a Galilean dialect distinguishable from that of Jerusalem. It is through profound reading of historical documents and research of many Christian scholars, that James Bean concludes undoubtedly that Jesus was raised in a vegetarian family and demonstrated the love and compassion for animals by preaching to end animal sacrifices. Thank you, James, for allowing us to use your document.

All the evidence put together in James Bean’s research can be referred to in the Holy Bible. The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the original Hebrew Bible, the sacred scriptures of the Jewish faith, written at different times between 1200 and 165 BC. In the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, the Old Testament includes writings considered apocryphal by Protestants. The New Testament books were written by Christians in the first century AD, dealing with the life, the person, and the teachings of Jesus and the formation of the Christian church. It contains four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), Acts, 21 Letters, and Revelation.

Before we delve into the supporting evidence that Jesus was vegetarian, let us first take a look at the lineage of Christianity and its development. The Essenes, meaning “Doers of Torah”, who wrote (or collected) the Dead Sea Scrolls, existed over 150 years before the birth of Jesus. Some believe that Jesus was an Essene and was raised on Mount Carmel. Some scholars believe that Jesus was at least influenced by them. The earliest followers of Jesus were known as Nazarenes, and perhaps later, Ebionites. The Nazarene/Ebionite movement involved mostly Jewish/Israelite followers of Saint John the Baptist and later Jesus. They were led by “James the Just”, the oldest brother of Jesus, during the years 30-80 A.D. The term “Christian” came about later. It actually was an attempt to translate the term Nazarene into Greek, meaning a “Messianist” and referred to the followers of Christ who did not acknowledge the emperor of Rome. So, the terminology is flexible; many self-designations used by the Jesus movement, had previously been used by the Essenes.

The main Essene scripture is the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, also known as the Gospel of the Nazarenes. According to legend, this Gospel was collectively written by the 12 apostles immediately after Christ’s death, and it is the scripture on which all of the Biblical synoptic Gospels are based and derived. This version of the New Testament portrays Jesus as a strict vegetarian. “You shall not take away the life of any creature for your pleasure, nor for your profit, nor yet torment it. (Lection XLVI, 10) “You shall not eat the flesh, nor drink the blood of any slaughtered creature, not yet anything which brings disorder to your health or senses. (Lection XLVI, 12) “You shall cherish and protect the weak, and those who are oppressed, and all creatures that suffer wrong. (Lection XLVI, 18) “Be on guard, so that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all who dwell upon the surface of the earth. (Jesus, Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe — Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the New Testament Gospels) “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. (1 Corinthians 6:13)

The Biblical basis for vegetarianism is shown in Genesis, the early chapters of the Hebrew Bible. It shows that vegetarianism is consistent with the spirit of early Christianity, which is to advocate kindness, mercy, non-violence and to love all of God's creation. Here are some of the quotes from the Old Testament. For of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs alone do I partake. (Gospel of the Nazarenes) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Genesis 1:29-30) But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. (Genesis 9:4) Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13) Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. (Proverbs: 15:17) Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh. (Proverbs 23:20) To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats… And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil. (Isaiah 1:11, 15-16)

Attentive viewers, we will be right back after this meaningful message. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back, loving viewers. In the New Testament, the stories of the feeding of the multitudes have generated the most discussion. When Jesus refers back to His feeding of the multitudes in Matthew 16:9, he says, “Do you not yet perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered?” He doesn’t mention fish. Jesus: “May I share thy bread. I am the bread of life. He that cometh to me shall never hunger. And he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” Given the way Jesus spoke in Matthew 16:9–10, the insertion of fish becomes obvious. As it now stands, in the New Testament Gospels references to “bread” are frequent but “fish” are only referred to on a couple occasions. This strongly suggests that the original tradition was about distribution of bread, not bread and fish.

Luke recorded that Jesus’ family made annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. In fact, the Gospel of Ebionites clearly indicates that Jesus rejected the Passover meal by saying: “I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.” Jesus said: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.” Furthermore, Jesus condemned animal sacrifice. The Ebionite or Hebrew Gospel quotes Jesus as saying, “I have come to abolish the sacrifices, and if you cease not from sacrificing, my wrath will not cease from you. (Panarion 30.16.5)

Another clear proof that Jesus did not want animal offerings but mercy is found both in Matthew 9:13 and John 2:13-17. “And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” (John 2:13-17) “and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So, he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: ‘Get out of here.’” (John 2:13–16)

One of the earliest Ebionite Christian documents, the Clementine Homilies, was written in the second century based on the teachings of Saint 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". Thus, all three groups, Essenes, Nazarenes, and Ebionites, were vegetarian, which was highly likely the required practice in Early Christianity.

For more information on the booklet “Evidence That Jesus and The Original Aramaic Christians Were Vegetarians -- Uncovering A Vegetarian Jesus at the Beginning of Christianity, By James Bean” Please visit SupremeMasterTV.com/JamesBean-Evidence-Jesus-was-vegetarian.pdf or email james@spiritualawakeningradio.com

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