Extra-Bbilical PerspectivesEssene Part 2
Extra-Biblical Perspectives

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The writings herein reflect the views of the authors based upon their research into extra-Biblical writings and commentaries.  Some of the comments counter what is written in the Bible, but they do reflect some early Christian and Jewish-Christian thinking and debates over various Christian theology of that time.

Essene Part 2
By Michael Shaw

Jesus Came to Stop Animal Sacrifice:

According to the Ebionites/Essenes, Jesus came to restore the TRUE MOSAIC LAW to it's original purity.  Most importantly, the Ebionites claimed that God did not command animal sacrifices and therefore, Jesus had come to do away with these terrible acts. According to "Titus Flavius Clemens", considered to be one of the most learned of the early church fathers, sacrifices were invented by men so that they could justify their desire to eat meat.  Even "Moses Maimonides", (1135-1204), a Jewish Philosopher and Theologian stated, "Animal sacrifices were a concession to barbarism."

God Condemns Animal Sacrifice:

According to the Bible, GOD Himself gave humans no command to sacrifice animals. God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah speaks out against the Levitical commands for animal sacrifice and reveals how this was not commanded by Him (God)...."My people, some sacrifices you burn completely on the altar, and some you are permitted to eat.   But what I, the Lord, say is that you might as well eat them all.  I gave your ancestors no commands about burnt offerings or any other kinds of sacrifices...but I did command them to obey me..." (Jeremiah 7:21,22 TEV) (Again, keep in mind that if you look this passage up in the NIV, you will find that they have added the word JUST, which does not appear in the original Hebrew, and this changes God's original meaning into its opposite.)

God Does Not Delight In Animal Sacrifice:

The prophet Hosea says:..."They love sacrifice, they sacrifice flesh and eat it, but the Lord has no delight in them." (Hosea 8:13 RSV) Also, the prophet Isaiah on a number of occasions condemns the Levitical practice of animal sacrifice: "He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations...they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isaiah 66:3&4 KJV)

Also from Isaiah we read:..."To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood...put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil..." (Isaiah 1:11-16 KJV)

Continuing with the words of God through His prophet Isaiah we read:... "And in that day the Lord God of hosts called you to weeping and mourning, to the shaving off of all your hair [in humiliation] and to the girding with sackcloth.  But instead, see the pleasure and mirth, slaying oxen and killing sheep, eating flesh and drinking wine [with the idea] Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!....And the Lord of hosts revealed Himself in my ears, [as He said] Surely this unatoned sin shall not be purged from you until [you are punished --and the punishment will be] death, says the Lord God of hosts. (Isaiah 22:12-14 TAB) It is obvious that God does not want, need, nor does He desire us to sacrifice animals to Him.

"Be not among wine bibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh:" (Proverbs 23:20,21 KJV) "My child, eat honey; it is good. And just as honey from the comb is sweet on your tongue, you may be sure that wisdom is good for the soul." (Proverbs 24:13&14 TEV) (NOTE: There may be reason to believe that children under 12 years should not eat honey especially if it has not been pasteurized.)

God, Himself, tells us what he has given for us to eat:..."I have provided all kinds of grain and all kinds of fruit for you to eat." (Genesis 1:29 TEV) From all the above passages we can plainly see that God does not approve of animal sacrifice and He wants us to be vegetarians.

(end of part 2)

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