My grandmother baked her bread under an iron bell piled up with hot ashes. Shockingly unbiblical, but oh so tasty.
I'm sure it was tasty.
I'm a big fan of "traditionally" baked breads, be they from Mediterranean food cultures or from the East. But they all have one thing in common, and you said it yourself: they're shockingly unbiblical in their preparation. Should we be promoting products that may very well be nice, healthy, tasty, and familiar but are also against the word of God? In this case, it seems clear that tasty = sinful.
I wonder, would this include the bread used for the Eucharist?
A good question! When I was taught how to bake Eucharistic bread, I was taught to bake it over a fire or in an oven. From what I can tell, my EO friends do something similar. But no one ever told us that the fuel for the fire or the oven should be human dung. Tremendous emphasis was placed on the cleanliness of the oven, the baking utensils, etc., I was even told to have equipment exclusively designated for this purpose, including the oven if possible. But no human dung. It's as if "NO FECES" was so obvious a rule that they didn't feel a need to mention it!
And I think this is a tremendous oversight in a tradition that is otherwise super-concerned about making sure that things are done the best way possible, including developing liturgical vessels for the Eucharist that are no where to be found in the NT. You won't find the standard Orthodox liturgical items in the Bible, but you will definitely find feces as a part of baking.
But this brings us to the question of what Jesus did with bread. He talks about it a lot, he multiplies it miraculously, but we never really see him baking it. What would he have done? I think it's obvious: he would've used human feces. First of all, as I demonstrated in my original post, the Ezekelian allowance of cow's dung was by way of exception--he was a priest and didn't want to become ritually defiled. Plus, it's gross, and God is merciful.
But when Christ came, Scripture is clear that he fulfilled the Law and the Prophets:
“Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Mt. 5.17-20
It's evident that, while the Gospels don't show Jesus baking bread per se, Jesus did indeed fulfill that which Ezekiel only foreshadowed--he baked bread with human feces. This is not contradicted by the New Testament, either. Out of all the passages in the NT related to bread, I don't believe you'll find anything specifically saying that bread ought or could be baked over coals, wood, etc. Though I'm not well-read in the Apostolic Fathers, I'm fairly sure that you won't find it in there either. It seems that the allowance for non-fecal fuels for baking bread is a post-2nd century accretion to biblical Christianity.
It makes sense. After all, with the legalisation of Christianity under Constantine, and the delay in his own conversion and baptism, can anyone imagine a king eating bread baked over flaming feces? And do you think the bishops would've pushed the matter? After all, they were adding and subtracting things from Christianity already, and they were probably so overjoyed not to be persecuted anymore that they figured allowing pagan baking techniques wasn't so bad a trade-off (and, Arachne, I imagine the taste got better!
). But changes like this corrupted Christianity over time. How much longer can we keep ignoring and defying God's direct orders?
I agree with orthonorm about your brilliance.
Elephant dung is a superior fuel source. Nice to know it is blessed as well.
Nice try, elephant, but your flattery won't get you anywhere.
The Bible is clear: cow's dung was the exception, human dung the rule. It says nothing about elephant dung (though the elephant is my favourite animal!).
Only the dung of a female elephant is allowed. Be very careful not to collect any bull elephant dung. Human dung is clearly preferred, though.
Again, where is this in Scripture? It doesn't say anything about elephants, let alone the sex of the defecating elephant. You are right, though, about the preference for human dung.
Your return to this board has been inspiring. You are one brilliant and entertaining cat.
Thanks for your kind words, orthonorm (and everyone else!), I appreciate the "welcome back". But I didn't want to ignore this in light of some of the other comments. I may be an "entertaining cat", but for the record, cat dung is also not allowed as a fuel for baking bread. The Bible is clear about the requirement for human matter. My problem right now is that I can't generate enough of my own to bake a proper pizza, and asking around for "donations" has only been awkward. It's sad, people are so conditioned against the biblical precepts because some murderous emperor couldn't handle it.