About Shemayah Phillips and Ebionite.org

The Lost Religion of Jesus, by Keith Akers - coverFrom time to time I get questions about a negative review of my book, The Lost Religion of Jesus, posted on Amazon.com by Shemayah Phillips, as well as about his web site, Ebionite.org. [UPDATE 2021: the web site “Ebionite.org” has ceased existence and has now been taken over by someone else not interested in the Ebionites; it was last functioning during 2016.]  Phillips says that my book is terrible, suggests that the Ebionites were not vegetarian, and that I’m advocating gnostic views!

Phillips’ review is cast as a response to the vegetarian issue: “Firstly, it is an apologetic book for vegetarianism with a religious ‘seal of approval’ applied . . .  the author’s previous loyalty to vegetarianism and non-violence . . . makes him jump at questionable sources identified as ‘Jewish-Christian’ which he lumps all together as ‘ebionite.'”

What is going on here? Have I got the Ebionites completely wrong? Were the Ebionites really vegetarian? (And, worse yet, am I really “gnostic”? Are my parents reading this?) Continue reading “About Shemayah Phillips and Ebionite.org”

McDonald’s Lawsuit — What’s the Story?

French-fries-image4-FFN NOTE: The following lengthy article was first published in the March/April 2004 issue of VegNews. When it was written, the McDonald’s lawsuit decision that the article describes was still being appealed. In 2005, after the appeals process concluded, I made some minor revisions and additions to this online version. I also appended a timeline of events and the list of groups slated to receive money allocated to “vegetarian groups,” both of which were included as sidebars within the original article. Finally, I have appended a short article, “McDonald’s Lawsuit is Over,” published in a subsequent issue of VegNews. Continue reading “McDonald’s Lawsuit — What’s the Story?”

“The Origin, Fate, and Aim of Vegetarianism” by Carl Skriver

Carl Anders Skriver (1903 – 1983)

[Update July 6, 2021: This is Carl Skriver’s lecture at the 1982 World Vegetarian Congress in Ulm, Germany; he died in 1983. Translation is by Michael Skriver, his son. Skriver is the author of “The Forgotten Beginnings of Creation and Christianity.” A reader kindly pointed out that this article, which I had originally put on my web site in 2005, had inadvertently been dropped, and I am now adding it back in.]

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends:

I had the honor to speak to you last time in Ronneby, Sweden, in 1973; and in 1965 in Swanwick in England. I’m very glad to meet you now again in Germany. In my long life, dear vegetarian friends have died, while others have been born or converted to vegetarianism. I still miss many faces from the “old guard”: Mr. Rudd, Mr. Mankar, Dr. Robinson, Dr. Røgler, and others. I greet both the old and the new friends and all fellow vegetarian workers. Continue reading ““The Origin, Fate, and Aim of Vegetarianism” by Carl Skriver”

Selected biblical passages on vegetarianism

(UPDATE May 1, 2018: This article was first published on this web site when it went “live” in 2001 (as a static page). Before that it had circulated, in various versions, in print form at talks I gave during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. When I converted the web site to WordPress in 2012, though, it somehow got lost, and I am now inserting into my blog backdated to its original date. This list is essentially what I had in 2004, with a few extra comments.)

All biblical quotations are from the King James Version or the American Standard Version of 1901 (public domain), unless specified otherwise. I have cited passages both pro and con; the Bible does not take a consistent stand. My explanations are in <angle brackets>; for lengthy passages I have only added an explanation of the passage. Continue reading “Selected biblical passages on vegetarianism”

The Lost Religion of Jesus

The Lost Religion of Jesus, by Keith Akers - coverThe Lost Religion of Jesus: Simple Living and Nonviolence in Early Christianity. By Keith Akers. Lantern Books, 2000. 260 pages, with indices and bibliography. $20.

This book can be ordered from Lantern Books, or from book services such as Abe Books or Amazon.

Jesus’ preaching was first and foremost about simple living and nonviolence; he never intended to create a new religion separate from Judaism. Moreover, Jesus’ radical Jewish ethics, not a new theology, distinguished the followers of Jesus from other Jews. It was the earliest followers of Jesus, the Jewish Christians, who understood Jesus better than any of the gentile Christian groups. Continue reading “The Lost Religion of Jesus”

Truth-Force and Vegetarianism

Gandhi portrait(UPDATE October 25, 2015: This article was first published in January 1998. Since “CompassionateSpirit.com” was started in September 2001, the article has been on the website as a static page, and is now being converted to a blog entry.)

“Spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.” — Mahatma Gandhi

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the violent death of the apostle of nonviolence: on January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in India. Many throughout the world admire Gandhi and want to work for peace. Few of these admirers, however, have really understand Gandhi’s own words about what peace requires: a commitment to nonviolence which includes both animals and humans. Continue reading “Truth-Force and Vegetarianism”