John the Baptist was not Kosher?

Insects and worms are not Kosher I am told.

Not familliar with the Kosher dietary rules and regs, my first thought was John the Baptist. The figure that strikes up mental images of the type that could easily endure reality television shows.
My second thought, was I thought he was Jewish.
This led me to wonder if there were multiple mini reformations going on prior to his birth, or after his following started.
But, I digress.

The narrative makes mention of him eating locusts. But, also honey.
I am guessing honey is or can be Kosher, but not sure there.

Could this also be a way of saying someone is sugar coating something that is bad?
Locust, bad.
Honey, good.
Cover a bad thing up with honey and no one will notice they are swallowing the bad?

Not sure if the bible is intending a literal or some other type of reading of this passage.

Or both, or some of both.

Help me out here if you can.

My understanding (but IANJ) is that insects were kosher Biblically; but were ruled to be nonkosher by the rabbinate around 1700 (AD). So for John, they would have been OK.


Was it that he had no choice (ie he’d die of starvation otherwise)? If so, he could eat non-Kosher.

I’ve heard the same from a rabbi.

It would depend, of course, on whether it was a Kosher locust or a non-Kosher locust, I remember Valke reminding me of that a couple of years ago here when I went “Ugh” on the whole business of insect eating (never mind Kosher locusts).

Could you find a reference for that? Not eating insects is in the Torah and talked about at some length in the Talmud. Might it be some Beth Din somewhere that suggested that we didn’t have to get too obsessive about ‘koshering’ potential mini-insects out of lettuce?

There is no ‘rabbinate’ that acts as a ‘Magisterium’ to lay down the law for everybody, by the way.

Nowhere in the Bible does it state that, ‘thou shalt not eat locusts’.

Because it speaks of kinds of things rather than giving each of them names.

Locusts is a mistranslation. Actually it is an accurate translation of “akrides” but it is not the only translation. “akrides” also means “young shoots” and this is what the Greeks understand the text to be saying. I remember the monks on Mt Athos having a good chuckle over this one :slight_smile:


Rules on edible locusts can be found in the 11th chapter of Leviticus; you can read that for yourself. These are not green shoots; the same word is used in the 10th chapter of Exodus for the swarming insects that plagued Egypt.


I would think when you are paving the way for Jesus and living in the desert you can eat whatever you want / find. His mission was most profound and eating was secondary. Who knows how much divine intervention played in the whole scenario.

Interesting. thanks

Forgot to mention that John was most likely a Nazarite, and as such, he would not have eaten or drunk anything unclean. See Luke 1:15. This verse does not specifically call him a Nazarite, but the total abstention from wine and strong drink was one of the requirements.


The words are spelled the same. That does not make them the same words.


Honey is kosher. It’s “the land of milk and honey”, after all.

Even though honey is apparently produced by insects, it is not a direct secretion of the insect, but comes from plant material. Milk, being a direct secretion of the kosher cow, is itself kosher.

Thank you for pointing that out. Sorry I have just got back online to read replies.
I vaugely recalled a jewish friend of mine as a child who told me that her aunt ate pork, just to survive and did not do so willingly, but feared letting herself starve would be a graver offense to God. She was adopted by christians at the age of 12. They wanted to “help her” by making her eat only pork for dinner. She would not have starved, but have never had a dinner in her life.

I am sorry to bring up a topic that may cause the response of “Ugh” over the thoughts I have.
Can you or Valke explain this to me in a way I can understand it better?

I am aware of that; it is why they have so far been unable to reunite the Sanhedrin, etc, in modern times.


This. At least I have been told the same thing, that there are kosher locusts.
And I totally agree with you on the “ugh” factor. The idea of eating insects makes me kinda queasy.
Actually, I feel the same way about eating an egg that I have not personally inspected for possible blood spots…I just can’t get past the:eek: idea. If I didn’t check it out, its not going in my mouth. Yeah, I know…not a usual trait for a Methodist, is it???:shrug:

I am not sure that is the reason why.

Can you explain how you have come to the conclusion that it must be why? How can you rule all other possibilities out so quickly? Can you demonstrate the way you analzyed the data to come to this conclusion?

I look for blood spots. But then again, I am a pro life agnostic.

And, I am volunteering at a Methodist church for a project I have passion of.

Good to see you again Zooey!

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