T Nation

Weight-Training, Jesus Style?

I continue to be absorbed by the possible ramifications of maintaining a diet based on the standards set down in the bible. If the message could be decoded and manifested into something meaningful, it would certainly be something I would strive to follow. I’ve dabbled in vegetarianism because of this, and though the suggestion that Jesus was a vegetarian is shakey at best, a passage from Daniel keeps me wondering.

In chapter one of Daniel, Daniel requests that he and his friends be served a vegetable diet. Its not clear whether this is an entirely vegetable diet, or whether it was supplementary(although the context “provide us vegetables to eat and water to drink” seems to suggest vegetables solely).

The Old Testament in general seems to me to be saying that fruits and vegetables were the prefered choices and that other food sources were added in as a compromise of sorts to man’s inherent sinfulness.

On the other hand, in the New Testament, there is some suggestion(albeit marginal) that Jesus used fish at least(if not other meats) to feed the people at times.

I know not everyone is a believer here, which is why this goes into the “off topic” section, even though I could just as easily see it in “building a better body” or “supplements and nutrition”. I do know that there are some faithful out there(ZEB, and Coach Davies come to mind) who may have opinions on this, which is what I’m hoping for, especially in regards to Daniel.

I’ll take a stab at this. I know of someone who is 7th Day Adventist and he does not eat any animal products at all, so I guess he is a vegan. He bases this off of something in the Bible, but I’ve never seen anything in the Bible that would mandate a vegetarian based diet. I can understand how people could make this choice based on faith (perhaps as a statement against violence to other creatures of God), but I really do not think there is any firm requirements in the Bible to refrain from eating animal products.

On the issue of the New Testament, Jesus used fish to feed the people who came to hear his sermons with his miracle of the loaves and fish (story is in more than one of the Gospels).

I’m interested in your thoughts on meat only be allowed in the Old Testament as a form of compromise to man’s inherent sinfulness. I’ve never had that interpretation, so I would be curious to hear more on from where you draw that conclusion.

Kuz

  • Return with honor.

Nirvana comes to mind…its okay to eat fish cause they dont have any feelings…something in the way…

Peter’s dream of the sheet pretty much negates anything that happened in the old testament wrt food being clean/unclean or good or bad.

The passage you refer to in Daniel was less a statement of diet, than it was a statement of letting God meet your needs, and depending on him.

I think if you were to build a diet around biblical principles, It would be a strict levitical diet. It worked for the Jews.

But I’ll repeat my original statement - Peter’s dream of the sheet negates all leviticval law wrt foods.

That’s just my opinion.

I think rainjack has nailed it. All through Daniel, the boys show their allegience to God first - above their captors. In their zeal to honor God’s laws about which foods are “clean” to eat, they asked for only vegitables. I don’t think the issue was that they thought they would be bigger by eating veggies, but that they thought they would be sinning by eating the kings filthy food. God honored their obedience with strength above the others.

In view of Peter’s vision (as Rainjack said), what we learn from Daniel’s story is NOT to be vegitarians, but rather to honor God in our decisions.

A few points:

  1. Here’s a true Biblical diet – Matthew 6:25-26, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”

  2. Peter and Paul had many bitter arguements about what was clean and unclean and whether early christians should be circumcised. Peter taught that they should be. Paul was getting no play among gentiles with the whole keeping kosher/getting part of your pecker lopped off. Doesn’t it strike you as strange that Peter didn’t write about his own dream. But that a good friend of the man he had bitter arguements with wrote about it for him? Also, Paul claimed to have repeatedly been taken up into heaven and shown wonderous things by Jesus. Interesting that Peter was basically given the same type of vision himself.

  3. Even taking that Peter did have a vision and it was not a cohort of Paul’s putting words in his mouth, how is it that a “dream” negates a covenant that God allegedly made with the Jews that God himself called “an everlasting covenant?” Also, Jesus himself said “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

Till heaven and earth pass away! Have they passed away? If not, then the law has not been “fulfilled.” Therefore, a Biblical diet requires you to keep kosher, like Jesus did. And not to be concerned about what you eat (as long as it’s “clean.”)

Moon Knight:

Thanks for thinking of me in those terms. I wish I was more knowledgable about Biblical scripture. I am however very familiar with one passage that may help you out, depending on your current outlook.

Matthew 15:10 “Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.”

This passage along with various passages in Genisis leads me to believe that we can eat whatever he created for us to eat. That would be, birds, game, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts etc. At least that’s what I have always tried to do, I cheat on occasion. (It also means that we better watch what we say. Yikes! I have problems in that area too…)

That is not to say that you cannot eat a man made combination of the above, such as a packaged protein powder, bars, peanut butter etc. as long as the ingredients are from the sources above.

There’s a natural food co-op in a small town nearby, unlike the co-ops in the cities which are usually run by hippies, it is run by the Nazarene Church. I love to ask people why they do what they do, so I asked the main owner why he chose this vocation. He explained that eating natural, whole, unadulterated, from the earth foods is prescribed in the teachings of the bible. I assume he is only referring to New Testament since this man also passes out anti Zionist, antisemitic tracks at the store.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Peter’s dream of the sheet pretty much negates anything that happened in the old testament wrt food being clean/unclean or good or bad.

[/quote]

Colossians 2:16 and 2:20-23 back this up, basically saying that food laws were based on human rules and did nothing to prevent humans sinning etc.

In regards to Daniel and the vegetarian issue, don’t forget that the Jews were required to eat meet for things such as the passover meal (lamb), and God told Adam that all things in the Garden of Eden were for him to eat and drink, with the exception of a certain fruit tree of course!

I agree with Rainjack, the Daniel story was about showing solidarity with his God and not bowing down to the Babylonian king.

[quote]Bodhisattva wrote:
I assume he is only referring to New Testament since this man also passes out anti Zionist, antisemitic tracks at the store. [/quote]

Classic. Steal their religion, bastardize it and condemn them with it.

Bring on the pogroms!

Everyone, thanks for weighing in, there have been some good points made.

I’d like to say, for my part, that I don’t neccesarily believe that whatever diet might be gleaned from the bible would neccesarily make me the biggest or the strongest, but I would wager it could potentially be the healthiest, and perhaps the one God would prefer us follow.

I agree that repeatedly it is stressed that we’re not going to become unclean by food, however, I don’t think that completely eliminates the possability that optimal health, or, service to God could not be achieved by further refinement. Also, I tend to lean towards the side of wariness when it comes to many of the later books of the New Testament(which includes Peter) and thus find myself questioning who really wrote some of them and why.

Kuz, the idea of it being a concession(thats a better term then compromise, I couldn’t think of it before) is based on the series of events that result in the mention of food early in Genesis.

In Genesis 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat” In the bible, especially the Old Testament, it is very long-winded and detailed, yet here, when fruits/vegetables, and grains are specificly noted, meat is conspiciously left out. As for the garden of eden, the line in regards to Adam’s food is Genesis 2:16 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat”. When later animals are introduced, there is no mention of whether they are to be eaten or not.

Later, only after man has proven how sinful he can be(the fall, Cain and Abel, various sins leading up to Noah) and God has washed the planet clean, do we find animals as food mentioned, in Genesis 9:3 “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things” I think the way that line is laid out confirms that previously, animals were not on the approved list. Now, the idea of a concession is just my interpretation here, as, it seems that God realized that man is sinful and that he wouldn’t be satisfied eating no meat. Another option I considered is that the concession was made because of the mingling of the sons of God with the daughters of men(meat eaters?) which occured just before Noah.

[quote]Moon Knight wrote:
I think the way that line is laid out confirms… Now, the idea of a concession is just my interpretation… Another option I considered…[/quote]

In all seriousness, why don’t you consult a rabbi, instead of guessing at the meaning.

The Jews are the people that wrote the book. They are the ones that God allegedly chose to lay out his dietary laws to. If you want to know what a biblical diet is, why don’t you consult someone who knows the bible better than you, instead of “thinking,” “interpreting” and “considering.” They have centuries worth of commentary from the greatest religious minds of their time on the very passages you quote. Are you going to ignore it?

I’m not jewish, nor do I believe in any of the kosher laws. Nor do I believe the bible is the divine revalation of God. But apparently you do. Jesus himself also believed this and kept kosher. As did his disciples. THAT was the basis of the conflict with Paul.

A rabbi would agree with you that it’s VERY important to eat according to biblical principals. Plus, they can tell you how to do it. In detail.

And since Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law, then it is NOT abolished, no matter how Paul tried to justify his teachings.

Therefore, if you want to be a Christian and follow Christ’s teachings, you need to consult a rabbi on how to keep kosher. Otherwise, you are not following the law which is clearly laid out in the bible. You are merely quoting passages out of context and making a mockery of the whole thing.

[quote]Moon Knight wrote:
Everyone, thanks for weighing in, there have been some good points made.

I’d like to say, for my part, that I don’t neccesarily believe that whatever diet might be gleaned from the bible would neccesarily make me the biggest or the strongest, but I would wager it could potentially be the healthiest, and perhaps the one God would prefer us follow.
[/quote]

Saying that it could be potentially the healthiest is a big stretch in my book. From my understanding, the Kosher food ideals have been around for thousands of years, and I would like to think that nutrition and food preparation has evolved since then.

As for the one God would prefer? There is only one who could answer that, and I certainly don’t want to ask him/her just yet.

In all honesty, I think you are concentrating too much on the smallest detail. I’m pretty sure that living a good life, faith, belief and actions come so far ahead of the meal I had for dinner.

[quote]futuredave wrote:
And since Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law, then it is NOT abolished, no matter how Paul tried to justify his teachings.
[/quote]

Please give a reference for where you find Jesus saying this.

[quote]Massif wrote:
Saying that it could be potentially the healthiest is a big stretch in my book. [/quote]

Exactly. Read Berardi instead of following some ancient tribal diet.

Massif, thats why I wonder if there might be something more to it then the obvious Kosher laws set forth in Leviticus. Those seem to me like the absolute limits, but, perhaps not the optimal situation.

Think of it(potentially) like the difference between the RDA and the optimal dietary guidelines.

I’m not saying its a sure thing, but its something I enjoy exploring, and I’m glad to have the opinions of fellow brothers in Christ here.

I’m surprised no one has mentioned the 2003 edition of “The Strength of Samson: How To Attain It” By Mike Brown.

I have not yet read it, for entertainment purposes or to follow it. But it looks like a good read, and it’s cheap.

Here’s the table of contents Table of Contents:

Foreword 17 Basic Principles

Chapter 1 What were Samson’s Actual Strength Levels?
Chapter 2 “Eat Not Any Unclean Thing” Judges 13:4

Chapter 3 The Nazarite Diet

Chapter 4 Overdosing

Chapter 5 Losing Weight

Chapter 6 Fasting

Chapter 7 Water

Chapter 8 Herbs

Chapter 9 Samson’s Dianabol

Chapter 10 The Routes to Muscular Growth

Chapter 11 Alcohol

Chapter 12 Giving Your Strength to Women

Chapter 13 An Easy Way to Bulk Up

Chapter 14 The Sauna Bath

Chapter 15 Zone Therapy I

Chapter 16 Zone Therapy II

Chapter 17 The Breathing Squat (For Beginners)

Chapter 18 Training for Incredible Health

Chapter 19 Cables (Chest Expanders)

Chapter 20 More on Cables

Chapter 21 The Feet and the Muscles

Chapter 22 Forced Reps

Chapter 23 Gaining Weight

Chapter 24 Partial Movements and Power Rack Training

Chapter 25 Grip, Wrist, and Forearm Development

Chapter 26 The Two Primary Causes of Failure

Chapter 27 Things Your Trainers Never Told You

Chapter 28 Bust Development for Women

Chapter 29 Proper Bench Press Technique

Chapter 30 Beyond the Ultimate Steroid

Chapter 31 The Sky’s the Limit

Thanks a lot for the tip Chubs. That book sounds rather interesting, and pretty decently priced.

I checked out the guy’s website, and, while some of his ideas are a little unusual, there is nothing that screams “Absolutely absurd”, and, in fact, some of his ideas would mirror nutritional ones found here.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
futuredave wrote:
And since Jesus said he did not come to abolish the law, then it is NOT abolished, no matter how Paul tried to justify his teachings.

Please give a reference for where you find Jesus saying this.[/quote]

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

In Matthew 5:19 above, Jesus is clearly speaking of teachers who follow him. “…Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.”

This is EXACTLY what Paul did, years after Jesus’s death when he couldn’t get gentiles to convert. And don’t tell me Jesus “fulfilled” the law so it is abolished. Jesus clearly said that “until heaven and earth pass” there would be no de-jotting or anti-tittling allowed.

[quote]Moon Knight wrote:
Massif, thats why I wonder if there might be something more to it then the obvious Kosher laws set forth in Leviticus. Those seem to me like the absolute limits, but, perhaps not the optimal situation.

Think of it(potentially) like the difference between the RDA and the optimal dietary guidelines.[/quote]

So… all God could manage to come up with were minimum daily requirements? He couldn’t even lay out the “optimal situation?” What a lame God you’re following there.

Just curious if you are following all those minimum requirements or are you just picking and chosing what suits you?