In this interview with Derek Lambert, host of @MythVisionPodcast , I present the arguments, seldom put forth, other than by Keith Akers and a few others, that Jesus followed a vegetarian diet and did not eat meat–or even fish! I realize there are a very few passages in our New Testament gospels–three total–that imply otherwise–but I believe they are either being misread or are late and do not stand any test of authenticity. It is generally acknowledged that Jesus’ cousin John the Baptizer–as well as his brother James, who grew up in his household, never ate meat. But Jesus is made an exception by many. My guess is Paul, as is the case on so many ideas within Christianity that seem to emerge as something close to received “doctrine,” is finally responsible for this blind spot in spot in our attempts to recover the Jesus of history. After all, he clearly labels such folks as “weak in faith,” not to be condemned, but certainly to be seen as lacking spiritual maturity–and then what he says about God’s care for animals–well I cover that in another recent video, “How Paul Created Christianity,” as well as in my book, Paul and Jesus—echoing Paul’s assertive question–God does not care for oxen does He? The implications are huge!
Jesus was in fact, very much, a ‘back to Eden” figure, who always emphasized, within the varieties of Judaism of his day, “from the beginning it has not been so.” Over the years I have noticed that people get very emotionally involved in dietary questions, every bit as much as the proverbial forbidden topics “religion and politics,” as around the table discussions. I hope folks will objectively consider this evidence. I also recommend Keith Aker’s work on this topic, both his books and articles, see his web site, and this post in particular: “Was Jesus A Vegetarian?”
I also have some related blog posts that supplement these ideas for those who want to dig a bit further: