Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.
The first clear evidence that Master Jesus was a vegetarian is that his apostles abided by the plant-based diet. Church Father Eusebius wrote in his work “Demonstratio Evangelica” (“Proof of the Gospels”):
“They [the apostles] embraced and persevered in a strenuous and a laborious life, with fasting and abstinence from wine and meat.”
And in his “Church History” text, Father Eusebius wrote that apostle John “never ate meat.” The Early Church Father St. Clement of Alexandria, who was also a vegetarian, wrote about the apostle Matthew:
“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.”
And in St. Clement’s “Clementine Homilies,”, St. Peter is quoted as having said: “I live on olives and bread to which I rarely only add vegetables.”
In the Gospel of the Hebrews, which was sacred to Early Christian groups such as the Ebionites, Jesus Christ and John the Baptist are portrayed as vegetarians. The Ebionites as well as the other Early Christian groups were themselves vegetarians. The Ebionites accepted only the Gospel of the Hebrews as authentic and believed that this gospel was the original Gospel of Matthew. In their version of the Gospel of the Hebrews, known as the Gospel of the Ebionites, Jesus said:
“I am come to do away with sacrifices, and if you cease not sacrificing, the wrath of God will not cease from you.”
According to the Gospel of the Ebionites, Lord Jesus also rejected the Passover meal:
“Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?”
To which he replied:
“I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.”
The view that Jesus did not eat lamb at the Passover meal is also supported by His Holiness Pope Benedict XIV, who stated:
“In all likelihood he [Jesus] celebrated the Passover with his disciples in accordance with the Qumran calendar, hence, at least one day earlier; he celebrated it without a lamb, like the Qumran community which did not recognize Herod’s temple and was waiting for the new temple.”
Master Jesus’s brother, James the Just, is also reported to have been a vegetarian. According to the Church historian Hegesippus and the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus’ brother James became the leader of the Early Church after the passing of Jesus. Hegesippus, as quoted by Eusebius, wrote:
“After the apostles, James the brother of the Lord surnamed the Just was made head of the Church at Jerusalem. Many indeed are called James. This one was holy from his mother’s womb. He drank neither wine nor strong drink, ate no flesh, never shaved or anointed himself with ointment or bathed. He alone had the privilege of entering the Holy of Holies, since indeed he did not use woolen vestments but linen and went alone into the temple and prayed in behalf of the people.”
Biblical scholar Dr. Robert Eisenman wrote in his highly acclaimed book “James, the Brother of Jesus”:
“Because of James’ pre-eminent stature, the sources for him turn out to be quite extensive, more than for any other comparable character, even for those familiar to us as John the Baptist and Peter. In fact, extra-biblical sources contain more reliable information about James than about Jesus.” Dr. Robert Eisenman concluded: “Who and whatever James was, so was Jesus.” When Dr. Eisenman was asked if it can be assumed that Jesus was a vegetarian as well, he replied: “Almost certainly.” In an interview with Supreme Master Television, Keith Akers, author of the book “The Lost Religion of Jesus,” reaffirmed the evidence that Lord Jesus was indeed a vegetarian:
There were a bunch of people in the Early Church who didn’t eat meat and didn’t drink wine. It’s clear. We hear from other sources, that all the Apostles were vegetarian, and that James, the brother of Jesus, was also a vegetarian. Hegesippus is quoted as saying that James, the brother of Jesus, was not only a vegetarian, but he didn’t drink wine. And he was raised that way. He was holy from his mother’s womb. In other words, he was vegetarian from his birth. So why would Jesus’ parents raise James as vegetarian, and not raise Jesus as a vegetarian? It was a vegetarian family. So I think it’s pretty clear, actually, that Jesus was a vegetarian.
There are versions of the Gospels in which Jesus directly denounced the eating of meat. One such version is the Evangelion Da-mepharreshe, also called the Old Syriac Gospels. Syriac is a dialect of Aramaic, the language in which Jesus spoke. Two manuscripts of the Old Syriac Gospels exist: the Syriac Sinaiticus and the Curetonian Gospels. The Syriac Sinaiticus was found in the St. Catherine Monastery on Mt. Sinai in Egypt in 1892, and the Curetonian Gospels were brought from the Wadi El Natrun monastery in Egypt to the British Library in 1842. In the Old Syriac Gospels, Luke 21:34, Lord Jesus is quoted as saying:
“Now beware in yourselves 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 up upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all them that sit on the surface of the earth.”
And in the Gospel of Matthew, there are also teachings of Jesus which make the most sense when deciphered from a vegetarian standpoint. For example:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Another incident in the Gospels that depicts the Master’s concern for animals is when he boldly puts an end to the animal sacrifice.
This is a critical event in the life of Jesus, and just the week before his death, Jesus goes into the temple and he disrupts the animal sacrifice business. And this is the incident that everyone remembers as Jesus overturns the tables of the moneychangers. But in fact, he’s not primarily interested in the moneychangers, he’s interested in the people that are selling and buying animals. Why are they selling and buying animals?
These are the animals that are going to be sacrificed. The incident in the temple is actually found in all four Gospels. It’s one of the few incidents in Jesus’ life, which is found in all four Gospels. And this is how John describes it: “When the Passover of the Jews was at hand and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, in the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons and the moneychangers at their business.
And making a whip of cord, he drove them all with the sheep and oxen out of the temple. And he poured out the coins of the moneychangers and overturned the tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons: ‘Take these things away.’” And so, what is going on here? It’s primarily directed against the people who are dealing with animals. And this is what got Jesus killed.
The sacrifice of animals is also condemned in the Hebrew Bible. For example, in the Book of Jesaja it is stated:
“Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being; whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck”
Distinguished American monk, Zen priest, and author Dr. Steven Hairfield shared with Supreme Master Television his research findings about Master Jesus Christ’s upbringing.
Jesus was an Essene. You read an older Bible and you read a newer one and there are huge blatant differences. In the older ones, it said Jesus would retire to Mount Carmel; in the newer Bibles it said he would go up on the mountain. Where’s mountain Carmel? That’s where they found the Dead Sea Scrolls, that was the home of the Essenes. Mary, his mother, was a master in the Essenes, and she was a leader. The second thing is: The older Bibles don’t say that Joseph was a carpenter. What it says is, Joseph was a master of the craft. He was an Essene, he was an alchemist. So what does that make Christ? An Essene.
Dr. Hairfield, many think that Jesus was a vegetarian, what’s your take on that?
I have no doubt or no question that he was.
In an interview with journalist Andrea Bonnie that was published in the Irish Independent newspaper in December 2008, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed Lord Jesus’ teachings regarding a compassionate diet and biblical translation variances that may have led to misinterpretations.
Poor Jesus. Everyone tries to put meat or fish into the Lord’s mouth. He’s a pure vegetarian. He came from Essenes tradition and the Essenes are vegetarian all the time. clearly in the Bible it’s stated in many places, that humans should not eat meat at all. “Be thou not among flesh eaters and wine drinkers.” “Meat for the belly, belly for the meat and God will destroy both meat and them.”
“Who told you to kill all the bullocks and the she-sheep to make offer for me? Please stop the killing of all these innocents. Wash your hands because they are full of blood. If you continue to do that, I will turn my head away when you pray.” And there is a translated book from Aramaic, by Edmund Bordeaux Szekely, he’s Hungarian. From the old text books which were found in the Vatican archive, believed to be the teachings of Jesus. In that, Jesus instructed that his disciples should not eat animal flesh at all.
If the Lord were to eat fish, why would he tell his first 12 disciples to forsake fishing and follow him to fish men instead? (Yes.)
A compassionate Master like Jesus, who would carry a stranger’s weak, injured lamb up the hill so the lamb would not be beaten up or kicked by the shepherd or dragged by the shepherd, how would he eat any living creature?
Keith Akers also points out the existence of different versions of the same biblical story.
If you look at other accounts of the same incident. If you look, for example, at the Early Church Fathers, who also talk about these stories, Irenaeus mentions the feeding of the 5,000. Eusebius also mentions that, and Arnobius, another early church writer also discusses Jesus’ feeding of the multitude, the miraculous feeding of the multitude.
And in every case they discuss, they discuss the bread but they don’t mention anything about fish. So I think that fish is a later addition. In fact, if you even look at the New Testament, it says, at another point, when Jesus is talking about the feeding of the five thousand, he says, “Don’t you remember when I fed the multitudes and all the bread that we took up?” And he doesn’t mention the fish.
So it looks like, it looks to me like some editor went through and put fish in there. There’s another consideration, which you might want to think about, and that is that fish is a mystical symbol in early Christianity. Fish was an acronym in Greek. So if you take that “Jesus, Son of God, Savior,” and spell out the first initials of that in Greek, you come up with “ichthys,” which is the Greek word for fish.
So, and there’s a lot of examples of this is clearly used symbolically by a lot of people in early Christianity.