Jennifer L. Horn
Vegetarian Society of Richmond newsletter
The Lost Religion of Jesus by author Keith Akers
Lantern Books, A Division of Booklight, Inc.; New York; 2000.
A "MUST-READ"!! Vegetarians, animal-lovers,
theologians and all thoughtful people will find this bookís well-documented
and well-reasoned contention exciting, and very believable: that Jesusí was a
vegetarian for ethical reasons, and that, in accordance with his lifestyle and
teaching of pacifism, simple living, and vegetarianism, Jesus vehemently opposed
the animal sacrifices which were mandatory and routine in the Temple in
Jerusalem. It was this opposition to animal sacrifice, culminating in his angry
outburst in the Temple during Passover week, that precipitated in his
crucifixion one week later.
Traditional Sunday School teaching leaves one with the impression that Jesusí
angry outburst and expulsion of animals and money changers from the Temple was
simply because Jesus wanted to rid the Temple of the hypocrisy of dishonest
money-changing existing in a holy place. But there was more to the incident than
that! Many people would have been unhappy with dishonest moneychangers in a
temple area. That was not sufficient reason to so enrage Temple authorities that
they sought Jesusí death, and also, later, the death of Jesusí followers .
What so threatened the priests was that the animal sacrifice business was a
means of supporting the priests economically. They derived much of their support
from the meat on the altar: people were required to tithe 10% of their animal
herds for animal sacrifice "for religious reasons" and many sacrifices
resulted in some or all of the meat going to the priests. Jesus taught that the
animal sacrifice business was a fraud.........God never required animal
sacrifice! Jesusí words were "I came to abolish sacrifices, and unless
you cease sacrificing, my anger will not cease from you!" It was this act,
and itís interpretation as a threat to public order, that led immediately to
Evidence for these assertions is related in Akersí book, as are
explanations of the historical context of Jesusí life and culture, and of how
this crucial message of Jesusí was eventually lost to the Church. A "MUST-READ"
for everyone !!
- reviewer: Jennifer L. Horn (3/16/01)
(Vegetarian Society of Richmond)