Other Vegan Views articles
Boundless Love: True Christianity by John, Vegan Views 79 (Spring 98)

It is a historical fact that in the aftermath of the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 the original manuscript of the New Testament underwent numerous alterations and adulterations. Certain scholars called 'Correctors' were appointed by the ecclesiastical authorities and commissioned to 'correct' Scripture in the interests of orthodoxy. Further alterations and spurious interpolations were made in the sixth century AD to counter the surge in popularity of the Christian Gnostic movement. Consequently many of the Church's teachings are very different and even in some cases exactly opposite to that which Jesus originally taught.

Friday, etc. for the same reason and purpose. Regarding the Epistles, no less an authority than the Roman Catholic Church's own official recorded history states that the Epistles were, quote, "greatly interpolated".

However, regardless of any later interpolation, there is a growing body of opinion which maintains that Paul was guilty of leading a schism against true Christianity. Certainly, many of the teachings of Paul - who had never even met Jesus - were directly contrary to that which Jesus had originally taught. Paul spoke in favour of meat-eating, the oppression of women, even slavery, etc. all things which were anathema to Jesus.

The three main religious sects in Holy Land in the first century AD were the Sadducees, the Pharisees and the Essenes. Jesus was an Essene, belonging to the Northern Essene brotherhood centred around Mount Carmel. Members of the Northern Essene sect were also known as Nazarenes - and yes Nazareth was a Nazarene Essene settlement, though it should be noted that the term predates the place name.

The Essenes were an extraordinary sect and a fitting community for the Messiah to have been born into. Pliny said of the Essenes that they were "a race by themselves, more remarkable than any other in all the world". Philo described them as living each day in "constant and unalterable holiness". Whereas the Roman historian Josephus described the Essenes as having "a reputation for cultivating a particularly saintly life"; adding "rightly do they deserve to be called an example for the life of other people". Anyone who has studied the subject will know that Essene teachings differ markedly from those of their Catholic counterparts, which explains why the Catholic Church went to such extraordinary lengths to obliterate every bit of documentary evidence linking Jesus to the Essenes.

Thankfully, the ignorant and the crafty failed in their attempt to destroy the Truth. In the last 120 years or so, a number of original gospels and manuscripts have come to light. The most notable being in the 1880s with the re-discovery of 'the Gospel of the Holy Twelve', the Essene New Testament, by the saintly Reverend Gideon Jasper Ouseley, who translated it from the original Aramaic into English. Rev. Ouseley was a great scholar and a deeply spiritual man. He observed a purely vegetarian diet. He neither smoked nor drank and spent several hours each day in prayer and meditation. For daring to reveal the Truth, he was severely persecuted and forced to leave the Church of England in which he was an ordained priest. The Gospel of the Holy Twelve contains the pure, original and unadulterated words of Christ. The following is my favourite verse, as it captures so beautifully the true spirit and nature of Jesus. 'And the birds gathered around him and welcomed him with their song and other living creatures came unto his feet and he fed them and they ate out of his hands' The Essenes believed in the sacredness and unity of all life and were strict vegetarians. It can be no surprise that the original teachings of Jesus should be so full of love and compassion for all God's creation. Here are a few of the most interesting verses:

'Boundless love. Order indeed is good and needful, but before all things is love, love ye one another and all the creatures of God, and by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.'

Animals, verily these are your fellow creatures of the great Household of God, yea they are our brethren and sisters, having the same breath of life in the Eternal. And whosoever careth for one of the least of these, and giveth it to eat and drink in its need, the same doeth it unto me'.

'For of the fruits of the trees and the seeds of the herbs alone do I partake. Now Joseph and Mary, his parents, went up to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover, and they observed the feast after the manner of their brethren (the Essenes), who abstained from bloodshed and the eating of flesh and from strong drink'.

John had his raiment of camels hair and a girdle of the same about his loins, and his meat was the fruit of the locust tree and wild honey'.

'The robber who breaketh into the house made by man is guilty, but they- who break into the house made by God, even the least of these are the greatest sinners. Wherefore I say unto all who desire to be my disciples, keep your hands from bloodshed and let no flesh meat enter your mouths.' Mercy killings (animals): 'But if they kill to put an end to suffering which cannot be healed, they are not guilty if they do it quickly and in love'.

Feeding of the 5,000: 'He saith unto them, "How many loaves have ye? Go and see". And when they knew, they said, "Six loaves and seven clusters of grapes." And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies of 50 upon the grass. And they sat down in ranks by hundreds and by fifties. And when he had taken the six loaves and seven clusters of grapes, he looked up to Heaven, and blessed and brake the bread, and the grapes also, and gave them to his disciples to set before them, and they divided them among them all.

The last supper: Iscariot said, "Where is the lamb that Moses commanded", for Judas had bought the lamb, but Jesus had forbidden that it should be killed, and Judas said again, "Master, is it not written that a lamb must be slain for the Passover within the gates?" and Jesus answered, "If I am lifted up on the cross, then indeed shall the lamb be slain."'

N.B. The earliest Christian writer, Hegesippus, says of James, brother of Jesus and the first ruler of the Christian Church in Jerusalem. that 'he drank no wine, nor strong drink, nor ate he any living thing, even his clothes were free from any taint of death, for he wore no woollen, but linen garments only.'

Clement of Alexandria, chief disciple of the apostle Peter (whom Clement also records as being vegetarian, or more precisely vegan), wrote: 'The Apostle Matthew partook of seeds and nuts and vegetables, abstaining from flesh'.

Literally oceans of innocent blood have been shed because these teachings were suppressed. I estimate that in excess of half a billion of our little brothers and sisters in the animal kingdom are butchered to satisfy the Christmas Day bloodlust of the world's Christians. These and other teachings the Church suppressed can be seen in the Gospel of the Holy Twelve, obtainable from your local bookshop, or by mail order from:

Society of Metaphysicians, Archer's Court, Stonestile Lane, Hastings, E. Sussex TN35 4PG. England.

Banton Press, Dippin Cottage, Kildonan, Isle of Arran KA27 8JB Scotland.

Essene Church of Christ, 45 N. Third Street, Creswell, Oregon 97426 U.S.A.


God commanded man to observe a purely vegetarian diet (Genesis 1:29). The later permission to eat flesh was issued solely as a concession to the barbarity of the day. Even then it was issued with a malediction, albeit a self-imposed one, "the blood of your lives shall I require". NB. How striking to note h how the lifespan of (vegetarian) Noah's meat-eating descendants plummeted.

During the Exodus many of the Israelites rejected the vegetarian 'manna from Heaven' and lusted for and ate flesh (quails) instead. Subsequently they all died of plague and were buried in what the Torah calls the 'graves of lust'.

In the Gospel of Peace we read:

And Jesus continued: 'God commanded your forefathers: shalt not kill", but their heart was hardened and they killed. Then Moses desired that at least they should not kill men, and he suffered them to kill beasts. And then the heart of your forefathers was hardened yet more, and they killed men and beasts likewise.

But I do say to you, kill neither men, nor beasts nor yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will also kill you. For life comes only from life, and from death comes always death. For everything which kills your foods kills your bodies also. And your bodies become what your foods are: even as your spirits likewise, become what your thoughts are.'

The prophecy of Isaiah states that in the New Kingdom the original Edenic state will he restored, there will be no more killing or bloodshed, all of God's creation - man and beast alike - will live together in peace and harmony and love.

Re: The Feeding of the 5,000 - 6 and 7 are the mystical numbers of man and God, matter and spirit etc. Whilst the bread and juice of the grapes symbolised the body and blood of Christ. The sublime spiritual symbolism here speaks for itself.

According to the theological scholar Josias Bunsen, even the original of Matthew (written many years later than the Gospel of the Holy Twelve) made no mention of fishes. The word used was OPSOM which simply means a dessert and in virtually every case it referred to fruit.

As Jesus was going with some of his disciples, he met a man who trained dogs to hunt other creatures. And he said 'Why doest though thus?' The man said, 'By this I live and what profit is ere to any in these creatures? These creatures are weak, but the dogs are strong'. Jesus said 'Thou lackest wisdom and love. Every creature which God has made hath its end and purpose and who can say what good is there in it, or what profit to thyself or mankind? And, for thy living, behold the fields yielding their increase, and the fruit bearing trees and the herbs; what needest thou more than these which honest work of thy hands will not give to thee? Woe to the strong who misuse their strength. Woe to the crafty who hurt the creatures of God. Woe to the hunters for they shall be hunted.

Those infamous verses in the Epistles purporting to show divine approval for meat eating are among the spurious interpolations the Church added in the sixth century AD to undermine and counter the rise in popularity of the Christian Gnostic movement (Vegetarianism was a cornerstone of the Christian Gnostic teaching).

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Cross-reference: Religion