“EAT LIKE Jesus: Returning to Kosher Christianity” by Andrew L. Hoy (RT Publications, 2013), is not what I expected. I’m not sure quite what I expected, but I liked the title, so when offered the opportunity to write a review, I willingly agreed. From the title, I expected that this was going to be more of dietary guideline, perhaps the latest fad: “the Jerusalem Diet’. Hoy offers much more, (for which I am grateful). The author found some issues in the first printing which he has corrected (and provided a link so that I could see the revisions – revisions by the way, which do not seem to impact the essence of the authors intent.)
According to a 2011 Pew Forum report there are about 2 billion Christians worldwide. That means two billion people claim to follow Jesus. Unfortunately most people, including me, tend to pick and choose which things that Jesus did that they might like to do also. Hoy has done a meticulous study, of some of the ancient texts (in the original languages) and shows how various translations may agree or not with the original written material.
Although much of the book centers on dietary laws, on a different level, the book also shows how many of our contemporary answers to WWJD type questions effectively ignore what Jesus would actually do.
Using dietary laws as his area of concern, Hoy addresses the issues of how the different ‘dispensations’ have impacted translations of Scripture, until what we are left with is often, if his interpretations are correct, (and often they do seem to be) a watered down version, easy to live with rendition of God's original intent.
Great questions are raised and thought-provoking answers are provided as Hoy discusses Peter’s vision, some of the dietary commands, how people interpret the actions and words of Daniel and Paul, and when humans actually started eating meat.
This book is not an ‘easy read’, nor does the subject matter necessarily lend itself to the popular press. I appreciate the scholarship that went into the book, but would have preferred something a more engaging writing style.
I do agree with the author’s comments that many of the Kosher dietary laws did probably have something to do with health considerations. Am I willing to give up bacon? Probably not!