“The Bodhisattva loves all living beings as if each were his only child. Abstain from killing and from taking what is not given. Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life, even so cultivate a boundless heart towards all beings. Let your thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world.”Buddha

“The Nazoreans . . . would not offer sacrifice or eat meat. They considered it unlawful to eat meat or make sacrifices with it. They claim that these Books are fictions, and that none of these customs were instituted by the fathers. This was the difference between the Nasaraeans and the others. . .”(Epipahius. Panarion 1:18)

“The early Christian fathers followed a Non-Flesh diet. The writings of the early Church, say that Flesh eating was not officially allowed by the Early Church, until the 4th Century, when the Emperor Constantine decided that Christianity would follow Flesh eating and became the official Creed of the Holy Roman Empire, and Vegetarian Christians had to practice in secret or risk being put to death for Heresy. It is said that Constantine poured molten lead down the throats of Vegetarians, if they were caught.” (Stevenrosen’s: FoodForTheSpirit 1987)

“The unnatural eating of the Flesh of Animals is as polluting as the Heathen Worship of Devils, with its Sacrifices and its impure Feasts, man becomes a fellow eater with Devils”. (Clementine Homiles)

What Can 792 Teeth
Tell Archaeologists About Ancient Israelites?

An ancient tomb recently uncovered at Khirbet Nisya, eight miles north of Jerusalem, was found with hardly a bone intact. Yet, through careful excavation, this burial cave tells an amazing tale about the people buried there. The entrance to the tomb is shown here. The tomb dates to the time of the Book of Judges in the Bible.

As might be expected from a damp cave, bodies buried 3,200 years ago had long since returned to dust. But precise excavation recovered evidence of each individual – their teeth, 792 in total! Carefully dentist Austin Robbins organized the teeth into individuals and determined 51 individuals were buried in the cave.

Apparently unknown and untouched by man for 3,200 years, the tomb was rediscovered by archaeologists from the Associates for Biblical Research in 1985. A natural limestone cave, it was utilized as a family tomb for approximately 200 years. Based on items found in the tomb, it is dated to the early 12th century B.C., the time of the Book of Judges.

These individuals were placed on the floor of the cave without being covered by earth or in a coffin. They were laid to rest with a variety of funerary objects including household pottery, jewelry and weapons.

Later, when another body was brought for burial, remains of the last body were pushed to the side of the cave. The tomb became a cemetery and the basis of the Biblical phrase “they were gathered to their fathers.”

But these teeth had even more to say. They suggested life was hard in those days. Nearly one quarter of the population did not reach age 10. Almost half died before they were 40, and only four reached age 60.

Striking similarities in wear configurations implied a very stable uniform diet throughout the period the cave was used. No major changes in eating habits occurred during the lifetime of these people. The “flat plane” wear was typical of grain eaters; and the high degree of wear indicated a relatively coarse diet, probably wheat and barley. These people really had to chew their food!

This dental-wear pattern also suggested only occasional use of meat in their diet. Yet, archaeological remains from ancient village houses in the region suggest they regularly kept flocks of sheep and goats. These animals were far more valuable to their owners alive, than as a meal. Their value included milk, yogurt, cheese, wool, hair and manure; as well as their ability to reproduce.

Few teeth showed evidence of decay. Minimal decay confined to root surfaces in individuals over 50, suggested good general health for adults.

Dental analysis even shed light on the stature of these people. Jaw bones fragments suggest the average height of males was about 5 feet 6 inches.

The inhabitants of this cave were probably Israelite villagers. While our investigation of their tomb suggested they seldom ate meat, the Bible indicates it was central to their sacrificial system. Thus, they gave what was special, not commonplace, to God. Furthermore, offerer and family were often allowed to partake of the sacrifice, themselves. Such a special treat explains why their religious festivals were joyous affairs.

Robbins, Austin. 1995. “Tomb and Teeth: A Dentist’s View of Ancient Israelites,” Bible and Spade 8/4.

Author: Gary Byers of Associates for Biblical Research
Copyright © 1995, Associates for Biblical Research, All Rights Reserved – except as noted on attached “Usage and Copyright” page that grants ChristianAnswers.Net users generous rights for putting this page to work in their homes, personal witnessing, churches and schools

36. “It is worth while to take note of the whole reason for their superstitious abstinence, which is given as follows:–Since, we are told, the member of God has been mixed with the substance of evil, to repress it and to keep it from excessive ferocity,–for that is what you say,–the world is made up of both natures, of good and evil, mixed together. But this part of God is daily being set free in all parts of the world, and restored to its own domain. But in its passage upwards as vapor from earth to heaven, it enters plants, because their roots are fixed in the earth, and so gives fertility and strength to all herbs and shrubs. From these animals get their food, and, where there is sexual intercourse, fetter in the flesh the member of God, and, turning it from its proper course, they come in the way and entangle it in errors and troubles. So then, if food consisting of vegetables and fruits comes to the saints, that is, to the Manichaeans by means of their chastity, and prayers, and psalms, whatever in it is excellent and divine is purified, and so is entirely perfected, in order to restoration, free from all hindrance, to its own domain. Hence you forbid people to give bread or vegetables, or even water, which would cost nobody anything, to a beggar, if he is not a Manichaean, lest he should defile the member of God by his sins, and obstruct its return.

37. Flesh, you say, is made up of pollution itself. For, according to you, some portion of that divine part escapes in the eating of vegetables and fruits: it escapes while they undergo the infliction of rubbing, grinding, or cooking, as also of biting or chewing. It escapes, too, in all motions of animals, in the carriage of burdens, in exercise, in toil, or in any sort of action. It escapes, too, in our rest, when digestion is going on in the body by means of internal heat. And as the divine nature escapes in all these ways, some very unclean dregs remain, from which, in sexual intercourse, flesh is formed. These dregs, however, fly off, in the motions above mentioned, along with what is good in the soul; for though it is mostly, it is not entirely good. So, when the soul has left the flesh, the dregs are utterly filthy, and the soul of those who eat flesh is defiled.”

Augustin’s Anti-Manichaean Diatribe.