Recently, in response to a friend’s blurb promoting Disciples on Facebook, someone asked whether the author of the book (namely, me) was promoting vegetarian “propaganda.”
I have heard this same basic objection before, expressed in other ways. Readers feel that describing Jesus or early Christianity as vegetarian is strange. A reviewer of my previous book The Lost Religion of Jesus politely said, “There is, for my taste, an overemphasis on vegetarianism as one of the differences between the Jewish Christian groups and the Gentile Christian church.” Another reviewer, less politely, described The Lost Religion of Jesus as “an apologetic book for vegetarianism with a religious ‘seal of approval’ applied”; still another said that it was “a poorly supported argument for becoming a vegetarian.” Continue reading ““Vegetarian Propaganda””
People are seriously debating whether there ever was a historical Jesus. Some assert that Jesus himself never existed, that “Jesus is a legend, like King Arthur or Robin Hood or Paul Bunyan.” The best representative of this position is likely Dr. Robert M. Price (The Christ-Myth Theory and its Problems). Bart Ehrman wrote a book on the other side (Did Jesus Exist?). Bloggers have now weighed in both pro and con, for example Dr. R. Joseph Hoffman and the site Vridar.org. On top of that, many people among the “New Atheists” are getting involved, with even Richard Dawkins cautiously weighing in on the subject: “The evidence [Jesus] existed is surprisingly shaky.” Continue reading “Was there a historical Jesus?”
The following is a review of Disciples by Drew Hensley, posted on Amazon’s web site.
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The author let me see an early manuscript of this book. This work goes well beyond The Lost Religion of Jesus in making the case that Jesus was an ethical vegetarian who sought to bring down the sacrificial system of which the Temple was the epicenter. This new book is filled with graphs and charts and laid out in a way that is remarkably easy to follow and enables the reader to hold the lines of evidence together mentally. Continue reading “Review of “Disciples” by Drew Hensley”
The following is excerpted from a review of Disciples by Steve Bastasch at Rennyo01’s blog.
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A GREAT NEW BOOK
Keith Akers takes us back to the origins of Christianity in a new way. Disciples delineates in an unprecedented manner the history of the Ebionites – “the Poor” – Jesus’ first Jewish disciples.
The Ebionites represent a religious movement that had its origins in ancient Judaism, a movement that was opposed to animal sacrifice and the temple, and which supported vegetarianism, simple living, compassion, and the cultivation of spiritual wisdom (“knowledge”). This is not some oddball New Age notion. It’s expressed in the Hebrew Bible and by some of the Prophets. Continue reading “Review of “Disciples” by Steve Bastasch”
Dr. Robert Goodland died on December 28, 2013. He is best known as the lead author (with co-author Jeff Anhang) of “Livestock and Climate Change” (WorldWatch, November / December 2009), which made the case that livestock agriculture is responsible for over half of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. He worked at the World Bank for over two decades and was sometimes referred to as “the conscience of the World Bank.” Continue reading “Robert Goodland (1939 – 2013)”