Bible Health Guide
By Philip St. Vincent Brennan
Wise Bible Guidelines
The Bible tells us how to live in many different ways. In the Ten Commandments, for example, we get our instructions flat out—there's no beating around the bush. Thou shalt and thou shalt not—like it or not, here are the rules.
Follow them faithfully, and your life will be orderly, fulfilling, and complete. Flout them and you'll suffer the consequences, which you'll bring on yourselves.
Follow the Biblical Examples
The Bible also provides examples of the kind of life we should live. It does so by telling us how the people of biblical times lived, by showing us what they ate, and even how they prepared and served their meals.
The Bible gives us the guidelines Jesus set out for us by word in the Sermon on the Mount and other exhortations. It also tells us what kind of example he set by the way he lived, treated others, and how he died. Modern medical science has rediscovered the wisdom contained in the Bible. Today's scientists and doctors recognize the incredible health benefits of a life lived in accord with biblical teachings and examples. If certain foods provided health benefits in biblical times, today's medical science can explain why.
Modern Science Confirms Bible Truths
"Modern science is shedding light on the truth about nutrition as it appears in the Bible," says professor Ulma Register of California's Loma Linda University. In biblical times, the people ate healthy foods without knowing why they were healthy. They didn't know that some of the foods were rich in vitamins and minerals, or that others contained disease-fighting nutrients. They didn't even know there were such things as vitamins.
Their Only Means of Transport
Today we know that physical exercise is vital to good health. Many of us take daily walks because we know that frequent walking boosts our immune system, burns off excess calories, and strengthens our hearts. The people in biblical times walked to get where they were going, and in the process reaped all the benefits that walking provides without ever knowing that their good health was partly a by-product of their means of transportation.
Biblical scholars say that, while the Bible mentions certain physical disorders, there isn't a word in Holy Scripture about such modern health plagues as heart disease, hypertension, or cancer. And nutrition experts credit the diet of the Israelites for their apparent immunity from the host of degenerative diseases that afflict modern mankind.
Bible Health Foods
"Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of the earth...." (Genesis 1:29)
Instead of drowning their dishes in fat and calorie-rich sauces and gravies, they added zest to their food with nutrition-rich herbs and spices. They drank red wine with their meals—a preventive measure for heart disease that modern doctors recommend.
Holy Land Rich In Plants
Agriculture experts have identified some 2,600 plants growing in the Holy Land. The Bible mentions 110 of them. And every one of them would meet with the approval from the most health-conscious modern nutrition experts.
Garlic and onions—plants hailed today as miracle healers capable of stimulating the immune system, slashing heart attack risk by preventing potentially fatal blood clots, and as effective antibiotics—were staples in the Israeli diet. The Bible also mentions such foods as grapes, pomegranates, and figs along with bread, beans, cumin, fruits, and fish. Bible food is high in fiber and low in cholesterol and fat.
Lamb Was Important
Lamb was not only a favored dish, it also played a part in some of the most sacred rites such as the Passover meal. In Exodus 12:8–10, the people were told to eat the lamb's "roasted flesh with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. It shall not be eaten raw or boiled, but roasted whole, with its head and shanks and inner organs. None of it must be kept beyond the next morning: whatever is left over in the morning shall be burned up."
Beef was also valued, as we learn from the parable of the prodigal son when the father celebrates the return of his wayward son by ordering that the fatted cow be butchered so that its meat could be served at the festive meal.
A Meat Warning
But the Bible warned about overeating when it came to meat: "Excess of meats bringeth sickness." (Ecclesiastics a/k/a Sirach – 37:30)
Today, many nutritionists recommended avoiding pork and pork products, but the Bible was way ahead of them:
"The swine ... is unclean to you. Of their flesh you shall not eat." (Leviticus 11:7 - 8)
Bible Health Guide Table of Contents