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Early Christians Were Vegetarians

Tom PeaceApr 26, 2021, 8:50:35 AM

Apostle Father Papias (60-125) has written: "The unnatural eating of meat is as polluting as the pagan worship of devils with its sacrifices and unclean feasts. The person who participates in them eats side by side with the devils..." (written in 2nd century - source "Clemente Homilies", Hom. XII) 

Clemens Prudentius, the first Christian composer of hymns, admonishes his Christian brothers in one of his hymns: "...do not defile your hands by slaughtering innocent cows and sheep... It is much better to be happy than to have the Devil in you, because happiness can only be found in virtue. According to this, the apostle Matthew also ate seeds, nuts and plants, and not meat... is it not in keeping with the meekness and simplicity of feeding on various plants, roots, olives, milk, cheese and fruit?" (Ecclesiastical Father Clement of Alexandria, Titus Flavius Clemens, lived in 150-220) 

"...We, the Christian leaders, abstain from eating animal flesh to subdue our bodies. Unnatural eating of meat has a demonic origin... No streams of blood flow between them (early Christians). No cooking of selected dishes, no heaviness of the head. There is neither a terrible smell of meat nor unpleasant fumes from the kitchen between them..." (Saint Chrysostomos, 347-404) 

"The fumes of meat obscure the light of the spirit... It is difficult to achieve virtue for those, who indulge in meat dishes and feasts..." (Saint Basil, 320-379) 

Pagan observers of the time also describe early Christians as vegetarians. Plinius, governor of Bithynia (where the apostle Peter preached), described early Christianity in a letter to the Roman emperor Trajan as "...a contagious superstition of the abstaining flesh..." 

Seneca (5 BC - 65 AC), a Stoic philosopher and teacher of Emperor Nero, describes Christians as "...a foreign cult or superstition (under the suspicion of the emperor) that avoids food from meat..." 

Historian Josephus Flavius (lived in 37 - 100) says about Christians: "...They gather before dawn and do not talk in the slightest about worldly things, but recite certain prayers... and sit together, each on one plate with one kind of harmless foods..." 

Dean Wilderforce wrote: "Some people are not aware that the manuscripts of the New Testament have been substantially altered since the Council of Nice (325 AC)."  In his book "Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek Testament", Professor Nestlé states that the ecclesiastical authorities appointed certain scholars who called themselves "corectores" and commissioned them to change the text of the scriptures according to what was considered orthodox. The reason was the attempt to convert Emperor Constantine, who at the time vehemently opposed the scriptures, to Christianity, and thus make Christianity an accepted religion in the Roman Empire. Reverend G.J.R. Ousley, in the preface to his translation of the "Gospel of the Holy Twelve", notes: "The task of these 'corectores' was to carefully remove from the Gospels certain commands of our Lord which they did not intend to follow - namely those which condemned the eating of meat and strong drinks..." 

Additional Notes

Great analysis of God's original intentions can be found here.

Seventh-day adventist Church does recognise the vegetarian diet up until today.

In fact, vegetarianism can be traced to the original teachings of all the world's religions. Over time, however, many of the orders began to be misinterpreted, deliberately altered, or simply dropped by shameless individuals with questionable motives.

God bless you all