Black Spirituality Religion : JESUS WAS A VEGETARIAN...

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by Aqil, Mar 25, 2003.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    First of all it must be said that the Bible does not contain every word that Jesus spoke during the time he lived on this planet, simply because it is impossible to record every word a person speaks during a lifetime. There are some profound words spoken by Jesus that are NOT recorded in the New Testament of the Bible...

    In an enlightening book that was translated from the Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke) by Dr. Edmond Bordeaux Szekely titled Gospel of The Essenes, the great Prophet – who was a member of the Essene sect that practiced vegetarianism – espouses on God’s laws of eating in the following profound statement:

    “God commanded your forefathers: ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill!’ But their hearts were hardened and they killed. Then Moses decided that at least they should not kill men, and he suffered them to kill beasts. And then the hearts of your forefathers were hardened yet more, and they killed men and beasts likewise.

    But I say unto you: Kill neither men nor beasts, nor the food that goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you; but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and from death always comes death. For everything that kills your foods kills your bodies also. And everything that kills your bodies kills your soul also. And your bodies become what your foods are; even as your spirits, likewise, become what your thoughts are. Therefore eat not anything which fire, frost or water has destroyed. For burned, frozen and rotted foods will burn, freeze, and rot your body also.”


    Jesus also admonishes us to:

    “Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scriptures is dead. For I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws in writing, but through the living word. The law is the living word of the living God to living prophets for living men.

    In everything that is life the law is written. You find it in the grass, in the trees, in the rivers, in the mountains, in the birds of heaven, in the fish of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture – which is without life. God so-made life and all living things that they might – by the ever-living word – teach the laws of the one true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit.”
     
  2. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    THE GREAT PROPHET DANIEL WAS ALSO A VEGETARIAN...

    The 1st chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Bible tells us that after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered Jerusalem, he ordered Ashpenaz, master of his eunuchs, to “bring certain children of Israel, and of the King’s seed, and of the princes; children in whom was no blemish, but well-favored and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the King’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans."

    And the King appointed them a daily provision of the King’s meat (i.e., “food”) and of the wine that he drank: so nourishing them three years, which at the end thereof they might stand before the King.” [Daniel 1:3-5]

    “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the King’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank.” [1:8]

    In 1:12, Daniel tells the prince of the eunuchs who was in charge of them (himself, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego): 'Test your servants for ten days; let us be given pulse (i.e., “vegetables”) to eat and water to drink. then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the King’s food be observed by you, and according to what you see deal with your servants.' “So he hearkened to them in this manner, and tested them for ten days.

    At the end of the ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the King’s food. So the steward took away their rich food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

    As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all letters and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

    At the end of the time, when the King had commanded that they be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; therefore they stood before the King. And in every manner of wisdom and understanding concerning which the King required of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in his kingdom.”

    (Daniel 1:12-20)
     
  3. A007

    A007 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I am still confused. Is the vegetation not dead when we eat it??
     
  4. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "But I say unto you: Kill neither men nor beasts, nor the food that goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you; but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also. For life comes only from life, and from death always comes death. For everything that kills your foods kills your bodies also. And everything that kills your bodies kills your soul also. And your bodies become what your foods are; even as your spirits, likewise, become what your thoughts are. Therefore eat not anything which fire, frost or water has destroyed. For burned, frozen and rotted foods will burn, freeze, and rot your body also."
     
  5. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "Jesus ate fish."

    Christians today must ask themselves, considering the fact that they have absolutely no physical justification for consuming the flesh of any animals, "why do we choose to do so"? We know that, biologically and physiologically, fish feel pain in the same way others animals do. We know that eating them is not good for us. Why, for a simple palate preference, would we cause pain and suffering to God's creatures?

    It's important to remember that Jesus was not a fisherman, but a carpenter like Joseph, and that the fish symbol has deep meaning for Christians, as it has for almost 2,000 years. The meaning given to the fish in Christianity is a result of the Greek word for fish, "IXOUS," being a Greek acronym for "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior." In many instances, seeing the fish as symbols makes far more sense than a literal interpretation, within the context of the stories. Let's look at each of the fish stories, both literally and symbolically:

    The loaves and the fishes:

    Clearly, this story has deep symbolic meaning beyond a literal interpretation, and that is the entire meaning of the story, according to most Biblical scholars. For most scholars, the story has two meanings: first, this story represents Jesus' espousal of an ethic of compassion. Jesus teaches us that we are to share what we have with the needy, and that if everyone shares, there will be plenty for all. Second, the story represents Jesus' promise to the disciples that he will make them "fishers of men." That is, in multiplying fish, he multiplies disciples, symbolized by the fish...

    But even a literal interpretation does not justify eating animals. Multiplying fish who are already dead (thus causing no additional suffering), to feed them to hungry people who do not understand the ethical objection to eating fish, could be seen as an act of compassion. Three other observations regarding the events as written down seem warranted:

    *When the disciples ask where they will get enough food to feed everyone, they speak only of bread. This is borne out later as well: Every time the disciples discuss food, they discuss vegetarian food, principally bread.

    *This miracle takes place on the sea, and Jesus at no point suggests that anyone go fishing, the logical choice, if he has no objection to causing God's sea animals to suffer. Rather, he creates plenty where there is want...

    *When Jesus refers back to this event (Matthew 17 and Mark 8), he refers only to the loaves, never mentioning the fish, and he interprets the event symbolically, saying explicitly that the disciples are totally missing the point when they interpret the event literally...

    At the very least, we can say for certain regarding this miracle that Jesus does not cause fish to suffer or die, and does not consider the fish to have been an integral aspect of this miracle. Again, though, no matter how this miracle is viewed, it does not justify the horrific treatment of fish and other animals for food today.

    The nets filled with fish:

    In Luke and John, Jesus is seen helping the disciples catch a vast quantity of fish. In Luke, the event is depicted as his first call of the disciples. In John, the event occurs after the resurrection.

    Most reputable Biblical scholars see the events symbolically, and from a symbolic standpoint, Jesus assisting the disciples in netting massive quantities of fish could not be much clearer, especially considering his promise that he will make them "fishers of men." They are bringing disciples (fish) into the fold.

    Regardless, a literal reading of the text shows animals cooperating with Jesus to prove his divinity. In both Gospels, so many fish fill the nets that the boats begin to sink. In Luke, Jesus told the disciples, "Henceforth, you will be catching men," and then they returned to shore, "left everything, and followed him." The story is clear: They couldn't get the fish into the boat because the boat was sinking. And since they immediately leave everything and follow, it seems unlikely that they somehow got the fish to the shore and left them to suffocate and rot.

    The post-resurrection fish consumption stories:

    The post-resurrection stories are seen by most scholars as late additions to the Gospels, intended to settle a historical schism in the Church regarding whether Jesus rose bodily. The inclusion of fish consumption, which occurs only in the Gospels of Luke and John (the last two written), would bolster the idea of Jesus rising bodily, showing that he must and can fulfill his need for food.

    Interestingly, the post-resurrection stories include the one aspect of Jesus' life that almost all scholars consider dubious. Jesus' statement that "these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover." Few Christians believe they can consume poison or should play with poisonous snakes.

    Regardless, it is difficult to imagine that these stories as precise representations of events, considering that there is almost no similarity among the four Gospels regarding the events that take place. And again, even if literally true, Jesus' decision to eat fish upon his return to Earth should not make us feel good about supporting cruelty to God's creatures today. That Jesus may have had some ethereal reason to consume animal flesh, which seems very unlikely, does not justify the horrific practices of commercial fishing fleets, slaughterhouses, and so on, today...
     
  6. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    The Garden of Eden, God's perfect world, was vegetarian (Gen. 1:29-30). Immediately, God calls this ideal and non-exploitative relationship "good" (Gen. 1:31). This is the one time when God makes such a statement. Then follows many years of fallen humanity, when people held slaves, waged war, ate animals, and committed various other violent acts.

    Although there are passages in the Scriptures that endorse eating animals, war, slavery, polygamy, animal sacrifice, and other practices that most people find immoral, these passages are a representation of what existed as a part of fallen humanity, not of God's ideal plan or vision. Despite the fall, the prophets tell us to expect a new age, a return to Eden, God's peaceable kingdom, when even the lion will lie down with the lamb and there will be no bloodshed or violence at all, "for the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of God" (Isaiah 11).

    If Jesus is "the new Adam," who returns us to the Garden of Eden, as Christians believe, and if he is "the Prince of Peace" described in Isaiah 11, who ushers in God's new (and vegetarian) vision, as Christians also believe, it would be inconceivable for him to dine on animal carcasses.

    And in fact, the evidence is convincing that the historical Jesus was a vegetarian. There were many faith-based vegetarians Jews in Jesus' time, for the same reason there remain so many today. They understood that God's ideal was the vegetarian Garden of Eden depicted in Genesis and the peaceable kingdom described by the Prophets. Three issues that distinguished the Jewish religious sects that advocated living the vegetarian ideal on Earth were: 1) baptism, in place of animal sacrifice, for forgiveness of sins; 2) opposition to selling animals for slaughter in the temple; 3) celebration of the Passover with unleavened bread, rather than lamb.

    In Jesus' day, preaching baptism for forgiveness of sins in place of animal sacrifice placed one clearly among the vegetarian sects of Judaism (e.g., The Essenes) who were attempting to usher in the new age of Isaiah 11. It would not have been lost on anyone in first-century Palestine that John, who came to "prepare a way for the Lord," was baptizing people, not sacrificing animals. Isaiah 11, of course, declares that God's will is for compassion, for an age when even the lion lies down with the lamb, and there is no bloodshed at all.

    For example, Luke explains that "the will of God" is baptism for forgiveness of sins, "whereas the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, in not letting themselves be baptized, ignored this will of God." Thus, John preached baptism for forgiveness of sins. Jesus was baptized, and the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles all clearly and consistently advocate baptism. For the Jews who were not vegetarians, animal sacrifice was the way to forgiveness (and of course, after the sacrifice, the animal was eaten), but for the vegetarian Jews, baptism was advocated.

    Complementing the new focus on baptism were opposition to the Temple, where the animals were sacrificed, and celebration of Passover without the lamb (slaughtered sacrificially in the Temple). In fact, Jesus rails against the Temple, and his single act of direct confrontation with the authorities is in the Temple, the slaughterhouse of first-century Palestine, when he engages in direct action by casting out all those selling animals for sacrifice. We can debate his reasons, but the practical effect was a Jew preventing others Jews from engaging in the Passover slaughter they felt was called for by God. Clearly, Jesus rejects this notion, claiming twice that they should all learn the meaning of Hosea when he says, speaking for God, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."

    Additionally, there are no scriptures in which Jesus eats lamb, which he would surely have eaten at Passover, had he not been a vegetarian. Vegetarian Jews, as one significant aspect of their faith, celebrated a perfectly orthodox vegetarian Passover. We see Jesus eating on the Passover exactly twice, and neither time is lamb involved. John places the first multiplication miracle on the Passover, yet the disciples ask Jesus only, "Where will we buy enough bread to feed all these people?" giving not even a thought to lamb, which would have been eaten had they not been vegetarians opposed to animal sacrifice. The Last Supper was a Passover meal and was also, apparently, vegetarian. The non-vegetarians ate lamb at the Passover, but the vegetarians ate only unleavened bread as, it seems, did Jesus.

    One final point to make is that many Christians of the first three centuries, including all of the "Desert Fathers," were vegetarians, and that they continued, despite being Jewish, to celebrate the Passover with bread and wine, not lamb's flesh. It would be strange indeed for the first Christians to have adopted a diet not followed by Jesus himself.

    The Fish Stories:

    In fact, the only Scriptures that depict Jesus eating or providing meat of any kind involve fish: Post-resurrection, Jesus is depicted as eating fish with the disciples; during his life, he is depicted multiplying loaves and fishes to feed the peasants who have gathered to hear him preach. From the perspective of the scholars who argue that Jesus was a vegetarian, the arguments warrant a reconsideration of the fish stories.

    Thinking about these stories in the light of all the evidence that Jesus was a vegetarian who took compassion for animals very seriously, it helps to remember that Jesus probably spoke in Aramaic, the Gospels were written generations after the resurrection in Hebrew and Greek, and the earliest versions we have are Greek translations and transcriptions from the 4th century - more than 300 years, two translations, and many transcriptions post-resurrection. None of the four Gospel authors ever met Jesus.

    Most scholars agree that the post-resurrection stories of Jesus eating fish were added to the Gospels long after they were written, in order to settle various schisms in the early Church. (e.g., the Marcionites and other early Christians believed that Jesus did not actually return in the flesh. What better way to prove that he did than to depict him eating?) The scribes who added the stories were not, apparently, averse to eating fish. But since this is the only depiction anywhere in the Gospels of Jesus eating any animals at all, and in light of all the additional evidence, above, it seems clear that Jesus was.

    Although it would not contradict the technical definition of a vegetarian to multiply fishes who are already dead to feed people who aren't opposed to eating fish (vegetarianism is based on compassion, not dogma), there are some interesting points to notice about this story. First, the disciples ask Jesus where they will get enough bread to feed the multitudes, never even thinking of buying fish or other animal products, and never suggesting a fishing expedition, despite being beside a sea. Also, evidence indicates that the story of the loaves and the fishes did not originally include fish. For example, the earliest (pre-Gospel) accounts of this miracle do not include fish, and Jesus, when he refers to it, refers only to the bread (e.g., Matthew 16:9-10, Mark 8:19-20 and John 6:26).

    Fish were added to the stories by Greek scribes, probably because the Greek word for fish, "ixous," is an acronym for the phrase, "Jesus Christ Son of God Savior." Indeed, the fish is still a symbol of Christianity today. In this very likely interpretation, the multiplication represents a prediction of the burgeoning Church, Jesus making his disciples "fishers of men" as he promised, and has nothing to do with eating animals.

    Also, some scholars contend that the Greek word for "fishweed" (a dried seaweed) has been mistranslated in this story as "fish." It is certainly true that dried fishweed would be more likely in a basket with bread, and fishweed remains a popular food among Jewish and Arab peasants like the people to whom Jesus was speaking.

    So what did Jesus definitely have to say about fishing? Jesus calls multiple fishermen away from their occupation of killing animals and pleads with them to show mercy to all beings, quoting Hosea: "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." In each instance, they immediately abandon their occupation of fishing to follow Jesus (e.g., Matthew 3, Mark 1, and Luke 5). This resembles Jesus' call to tax collectors, prostitutes, and others who are engaged in activities that are not in line with his message of mercy and compassion.

    Conclusion:

    The evidence that Jesus was a vegetarian is strong, and the evidence that he would be one today is irrefutable. Quite simply, it is impossible to imagine Jesus paying people to treat God's creatures like so many boxes in a warehouse, genetically manipulating and mutilating their bodies, pumping them full of hormones and antibiotics so they will live through the cramped and miserable conditions in which they're kept, trucking them to slaughterhouses through all weather extremes with no food or water, and then hanging them upside down, slitting their throats, and hacking off their limbs, often while they are still conscious...
     
  7. A007

    A007 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Luke 2-6

    He saw two boats there at the shore of the lake;the fishermen had gon out of them and were washing their nests. He got into one of the boats the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and tought that crowds from the boat. When he finished speaking he said to Simon "Put out into the deep water and let down your netss for a catch" Simon answered "master we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.

    Granted in verse 11 they brought the boats ashore and left everything behind. But...Would Jesus have fisherman fish and help them do so if it were his wish that they we not fish? Is there any evidence that he counseled anyone at anytime to do something that was against God's will?

    The fact is that these "scholars" you speak of use scripture when it suits them or when they agree with it...and 'INTERPRET" it when they don't agree or understand it. There have been plenty of false prophets that are "scholarly" enough to twist scripture into what they want it to say and have masses believe them.

    It is possible that Jesus was a vegetarian....it is possible that he wasn't. It is a fact that we eat too much meat and that we should be mindful of how cruel they are to animals all in the name of profit. It is also probable that we are not going to live on water, fruits,vegetables, nuts, and grains for the rest of our lives because we all eat and drink things that are not necessary for us to sustain life.

    There are plenty of inconsistancies in this theory that we are inherently vegetarians, but there is nothing inconsistant about us taking care of our temples in order that we may serve the kingdom of God.
     
  8. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Not true, A007. Those who have given this subject consideration will not deny the fact that man is a vegetarian by nature. It is obvious that his teeth are designed to masticate vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains, whereas the teeth of carnivorous animals – which are tusk-like – are best adapted for flesh-tearing, and are also grown apart, so as to prevent the lodgment of particles of decayed flesh in the animal’s mouth...
     
  9. mell

    mell New Member MEMBER

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    This is such a funny topic to me. I wonder how many Holy Ghost filled Chirstians we have today. God place animals of the earth for us to eat. Just think about the situation between Peter and Cornelius. When Jesus came to Peter in a vision telling to arise kill and eat. When Peter said not so because he hasn't eaten anything unclean. The Lord's reply was what God has cleanse why called it unclean. The two fishes and five loaves are evidence. That ate meat a fish is a type of meat. If you choose to differ. I will show you are scriptures especially the Passover in which meat is eaten.
     
  10. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I quite am familiar with the scripture you referred to, mell. As always, it's a matter of interpretation. I'll quote the verse. It deals primarily with Peter's report to the Church at Jerusalem:

    "Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, 'Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?'

    Then Peter began to explain it to them, step-by-step, saying, 'I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from Heaven - being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me...

    As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, 'Get up, Peter; kill and eat.' But I replied, 'By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'

    But a second time the voice answered from Heaven, 'What God has made clean, you must not call profane.' This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to Heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesaria, arrived at the house where we were.

    The spirit told me to go with them and make not a distinction between them and us. These six also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. He told us how he had seen the angle standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.

    And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?'

    When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, 'Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.'"
    [Acts 11: 1-18]

    In those times, mell, Jewish law prevented any Jew from eating with an uncircumcised Gentile. The above scripture shows that this man-made law was discriminatory and divisive. And Peter explains his actions (eating with the uncircumcised Gentiles) to his brethren by relating a dream that he had which enlightened him re: the discriminatory law...

    How Christians began to refer to this particular scripture as their justification for eating swine - which is forbidden by God - and all those other animals they eat is beyond my comprehension...
     
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