Did John the Baptist Eat Locusts? Go Vegan! By Chapman Chen, HKBNews
Jesus, his cousin John the Baptist, his Jewish disciples, his own brother and spiritual successor James the Just, and most of the Aramaic-speaking Jerusalem Community were all vegetarian or vegan, according to early Christian history and the various collections of writings or scriptures from that period that have survived (cf. excerpts from James Bean of Spiritual Awakening Radio, USA). Yet, according to Matthew 3:4 KJV, the food of John the Baptist was "locusts and honey". In reality, what John the Baptist ate was not locusts, but locust beans! The confusion probably originated from the fact that the Greek word for cakes or bread made from the flour of the carob bean, aka locust bean, is ‘egkrides’ and the Greek word for locust the insect is ‘akrides’. Indeed "Christianity is a religion based on mistranslation", to quote Hong Kong translation scholar and vegan activist Dr. Simon Chau.
John the Baptist Ate Locust (Carob) Bean Cakes
Amongst the eight quotes of the Gospel of the Ebionites in the work of Epiphanius, none is more intriguing than the one in which he portrays John the Baptist:
"And so John was baptizing, and Pharisees came out to him and were baptized, as was all of Jerusalem. John wore a garment of camel hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was wild honey that tasted like manna, like a cake cooked in olive oil." (Epiphanius, Panarion, 30, 13, 4-5)
"And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." (Matthew 3:4)
Now, the word for pancake made from the flour of the locust bean (also called carob bean) is EGKRIDES. The word for locusts in Greek is AKRIDES. They sound and look very similar to each other. All the author of Matthew had to do was alter the EG of the first word to an A and he shifted John from consuming pancakes to consuming locusts (cf. Bart Ehrman 2013, "Locusts or Pancakes?").
In a word, based on the Hebrew-Ebionite Gospels, John the Baptist in actuality ate locust (carob) beans and carob bean flour:
“Probably the most interesting of the changes from the familiar New Testament accounts of Jesus comes in the Gospel of the Ebionites description of John the Baptist, who, evidently, like his successor Jesus, maintained a strictly vegetarian cuisine.” (Bart D. Ehrman 2005, Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew, pp. 102, 103)
What is Carob?
According to The Oxford Book of Health Foods [A Comprehensive Guide to Natural Remdies] by J.G. Vaughan and P.A. Judd (2003), Carob is also called "St John's bread, locust bean Ceratonia siliqua". It is " native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, with a possible origin in Persia. It is cultivated in a number of Mediterranean countries (e.g. Greece, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Israel)." The plant description provided by Vaugan and Judd (2003) is as follows:
"It is a dome-shaped evergreen tree growing to 1 5 m ( 50 ft) in height, with pinnate compound leaves consisting of 6-10 oval leaflets of leathery texture. The very small flowers are greenish or reddish and may be male, female, or have both types of sex organs. Its fruit is a fleshy, dark brown, oblong, flattened pod of up to 2 5 cm (10 in) long and 2 . 5 cm ( 1 in) wide, containing 10-12 black hard seeds within a soft, brownish pulp. The pod is the plant part of economic importance."
2 Traditions within Christianity
There are two conventions within Christianity: meat-eating and vegetarian. Each possesses their own gospels or scriptures: the original Jesus Movement or Hebrew Christians (now and then named Aramaic Christians, Ebionites or Nasoraeans) with their scriptures versus gospels linked with Paul and what grew into the Catholic Church (cf. James Bean 2018, "Evidence That Jesus and The Original Aramaic Christians Were Vegetarians")
The Gospels of the Hebrews and Ebionites portray a vegetarian culture: a vegan Jesus and vegetarian Apostles, a John the Baptist who consumed carob (locust beans) —and a non-acceptance of ritual animal sacrifice.
On the other hand, when Jewish Christianity was suppressed by the Roman Empire, Paul's meat-eating gentile Christian camp seized the opportunity to take over power in the church, denounced veggie vegan Jewish Christianity as heresy, and almost uprooted it. Jesus might not have foreseen that his disciples would become heretics in his own church (cf. Keith Akers 2018).
John the Baptist and Jesus were Vegetarian Ebionites
According to Keith Akers' (2018) Disciples, Jesus and his Jewish disciples, such as John and Peter, belong to Jewish Christianity (the Essenes, the Nazoreans and the Ebionites), advocating vegetarianism, and opposing animal sacrifice. Jesus cleansed the Holy Temple and offended Jewish leaders, leading to his death, exactly because he could not tolerate hawkers selling livestock for sacrifice.
The Jewish Christians called themselves “Ebionites.” “Ebionite” is a word derived from Hebrew meaning “the poor.” They traced their oath of paucity back to the earliest Christian community portrayed in the New Testament Acts of the Apostles (4:32-35), and were a pious community that divided up all of their properties in common.
Epiphanius quotes their gospel, the Ebionite or Hebrew Gospel, as ascribing these words to Jesus: “I have come to abolish the sacrifices, and if you cease not from sacrificing, my wrath will not cease from you.” (Panarion 30.16.5) -- correspondingly, in Matthew 12:7 KJV, Jesus says, " I will have mercy, and not sacrifice" -- and as ascribing to Jesus rejection of the Passover meat (Panarion 30.22.4), and these are analogous to numerous passages found in the Recognitions and Homilies (e.g., Recognitions 1.36, 1.54 and Homilies 3.45, 7.4, 7.8).
John the Baptist was also one of the vegan Aramaic Christians or Ebionites who believed in repentance and in leading an acetic way of life. The carob bean was regarded as the diet of the proletarian class who by and large suffered privation and abuse from the priestly class. Thus one can come to the conclusion that John the Baptist consumed (locust plant) seed from the carob tree (cf. James Bean 2018).
Vegetarian gospels like the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, Hebrew Loggia of Matthew, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Gospel of the Nazarenes, the Gospel of the Ebionites, and other Ebionite literature including the Clementine Homilies and the Recognitions of Clement, a kind of Ebionite Book of Acts, are not ‘channeled’ or recently composed writings, but scriptures that have long been known to scholars and were used by other branches of Christianity from the Middle East in antiquity (cf. James Bean 2018).
A Vegetarian Saying of Jesus in the Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the Gospel of Luke: “Be on guard, so that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all who dwell upon the surface of the earth.” (Jesus, Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe — Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the New Testament Gospels)
Meat-eating is Devil-Worship
One of the earliest Ebionite Christian documents is the Clementine Homilies, a work based on the teachings of Saint Peter. Homily XII states:
“The unnatural eating of flesh meats is as polluting as the heathen worship of devils, with its sacrifices and its impure feasts, through participation in it a man becomes a fellow eater with devils.” (Saint Peter, Clementine Homilies)
So follow Jesus Christ and John the Baptist and go vegan!