If you haven’t picked up a copy of the book, “What Would Jesus Really Eat? The Biblical Case for Eating Meat,” I recommend you do so.
The book was edited by Palm Beach Atlantic University’s public relations professor, Wes Jamison, PhD, who is also an ordained Southern Baptist minister and Paul Copan, PhD, Christian theologian, analytic philosopher, apologist, and author. Jamison and Copan are also co-authors of the book, along with five other authors, including Walter C. Kaiser Jr., PhD, president emeritus and distinguished professor of Old Testament and ethics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
The book brings attention to the fact that animal rights activists are trying to convince people that it is against Christian principles to eat meat.
I’ve had the privilege of hearing Jamison, Copan and Kaiser speak at previous editions of the Animal Agriculture Alliance Stakeholders Summit, and in Jamison’s case, I’ve heard him twice.
I first met Jamison at a social event in advance of the 2016 summit. We struck up a conversation, and knowing he would be speaking about the topic, I asked him how it could be viewed as contrary to Christianity to eat meat, when in Genesis it says that man is to have dominion over the rest of the animal kingdom. He perked up and gave me background and opinions of the topic without giving away the entire content of the session he, Copan and Kaiser were to conduct the following day.
Jamison returned to the summit in 2019, again addressing the topic, as well as promoting the soon-to-be-released book. Book pre-orders were being taken at the event.
However, initially, I didn’t see the need to order a copy of the book. I knew that the Bible had numerous passages about eating meat, and that Jesus himself ate and fed other people meat, so it seemed to be, in a sense, preaching to the choir. Plus, I thought since I’d heard two sessions on the topic, what would I really learn?
But I did obtain a copy, and I’m glad I did. Yes, I learned a few more in-depth examples that prove the point that eating meat is consistent with Christian beliefs. But something else happened.
Because I hadn’t had an overabundance of spare time since getting a copy of the book, it took a few weeks to open it.
Since I’m always looking for something to read while in an airplane, I took it with me on a flight last week.
Another person on the plane noticed the book, and asked (and answered) something to the effect of: “What would Jesus eat? He was Jewish. It would have to be kosher.”
Her comment caught me a little off-guard, but we started a discussion. I told her what the gist of the book was, to which she said, “Well, Jesus ate meat, so it’s O.K.”
It was then that I realized what a great tool this book was to get out the message to other people. Had the person I spoke to been someone who was a Christian prone to believing the anti-meat messages, it would have been a good way to explain that, yes, it is O.K.
I still haven’t finished the book, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I decided then and there I would take that book with me to other places where I would be around other people and have nothing else to do but wait and read. Who knows what the next conversation will bring?
And at some point after I do finish the book, I will give it to someone on the fence about eating meat.
How to obtain a copy
Copies of the book can be purchased from the Alliance for $15.00 plus shipping and handling. Bulk order discounts are available for quantities from 25-99 ($13.00 per copy plus shipping and handling) and 100+ ($10 per copy plus shipping and handling). If you have questions about placing your order, contact the Alliance at email@example.com or +1.703.562.5160.