Vegetarian Apostles

A friend of mine in Croatia has been doing some research on Vegetarianism and Early Christianity. I thought you might like to read these excerpts from a book that is pending publication:

12 Apostles:

‘No less than seven of Jesus’ twelve disciples refused meat food (the rest we do not know). This naturally reflects the teachings of Jesus, as: “…a servant is not greater than his master…” (John 14.16).

The seven are:

1. Peter: …”whose food was bread, olives and herbs…” (Clem.Hom.XII,6)

2. James: Church Father Eusebius, quoting Hegesippus (about 160 AD) that “…James, the brother of the Lord was holy from birth. He drank no wine or ate the flesh of animals…” (Eusebius, Church History II,Ch XXIII,5-7)

(Note: James being a Vegetarian “from his mother’s womb on” says a lot about Mary’s diet. Which again would lead to a conclusion as to Jesus’ life-style.)

3. Thomas: The apocryphal Acts of Thomas (Ch. 20), which actually were widely in use among early Christian sects, depict these disciples of Jesus as ascetics: “He continually fasts and prays, and abstaining from eating of flesh and drinking wine, he eats only bread, with salt and drink and water, and wears the same garment in fine weather and winter, and accepts nothing from anyone, and gives whatever he has to others.”

4. Matthew: “It is far better to be happy than to have a demon dwelling with us. And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds and nuts, fruits and vegetables without flesh. And John, who carried temperance to the extreme, ate locusts and wild honey….” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor,II.I,16: On Eating) (Note here the strong hint of Clemens towards the Vegetarianism of John the Baptist)

5. Matthias: (who filled the place of Judas (Acts 1:21-26). His food as told by Church Father Clement of Alexandria was the same as Matthew’s. (Clement/ Stromata III,4,26)

6. Andrew and 7. Jude: Andrew (Peter’s brother in both flesh and faith) and Jude of Bethsaida, originally two of John the Baptist’s followers, must have followed the Baptist’s austere diet. (See above under Matthew)
Posted by Kurma on 28/9/07; 5:59:57 AM

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