What Did Jesus Eat? What We Know!

By Charalampos •  Updated: 01/22/23 •  8 min read

Many people wonder about the earthly life of Christ, for example, what he ate during his life. The Bible mentions many times the different food that people in Judea, the apostles, and Christ ate.

In this article, we will try to find out all the food that Christ could have eaten.

Jesus Ate Bread

Jesus Ate Bread

The bread was the most common food in Judea in the first century. It was eaten during every meal. Barley was most often used to make bread since it was cheaper than wheat, and sorghum was also sometimes used.

Barley loaves are even mentioned in the Gospel of John 6:9,13: “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish – but what are they for so many?” “So they collected them and filled 12 baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten.”

Yeast was also added to the bread, but during Jewish holidays people prepared unleavened bread without yeast in accordance with Jewish laws. Christ used such bread because he celebrated all Jewish holidays. Olive oil was also sometimes added to bread.

Following the dietary laws of the Jewish Scriptures meant that Jesus would eat unleavened bread cooked without yeast during the Jewish holidays. In addition, daily bread was prepared by yeast using coarse flour; wheat, barley, and sorghum. 

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The Last Supper

The Last Supper

At the last Supper before the crucifixion, Jesus ate bread and wine. On that day, the Jews celebrated Pesach, and on that day they always ate unleavened bread, which is what Christ did.

Jews could also have dates, olives, pomegranates, nuts, and figs on the table, as well as various herbs, such as celery, lettuce, and chicory.

«While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.» (Mark 14:22-24)

From this passage from the New Testament, we can be sure that there was bread and wine at the Last Supper. 

However, the Gospels say that there were also some dishes on the table. Since the meal was dedicated to the Pesach, there was also a lamb on the table according to Jewish tradition.

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Wine

Jews mostly drank only wine and water. The production of red and white wine was highly developed in Jewish cities, it was often diluted with water, as it’s written in the Old Testament. Therefore, it can be assumed that Christ periodically drank such wine. 

At the same time, such wine was often alcoholic, in most cases, in the New Testament a word is used indicating alcoholic wine, and not grape juice.

Almonds And Pistachios

Almonds And Pistachios that Jesus ate

Almonds are mentioned several times in the Old Testament, which shows that it was a common food for the Hebrew diet. Genesis 43:11 mentions not only almonds but also pistachios.

We can assume that even many years after the events described in the Old Testament, Christ ate almonds and pistachios, since in the first century AD it was a popular food in Judea.

Walnuts

The walnut is mentioned in the Song of Songs 6:11 “I went down to the grove of walnut trees and out to the valley to see the new spring growth, to see whether the grapevines had budded or the pomegranates were in bloom.”

The walnut grew in Judea and of course, was a common food for the population, both before and after the birth of Christ.

Spices

Christ once told a parable in which he mentioned mustard: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.

Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

This parable makes us understand that mustard was a widely used spice since all of Christ’s parables were directed to the common people and should have been understandable.

Christ mentions spices in another moment when he denounces the Pharisees: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill, and cumin.

But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.”

This quote from the Bible also opens for us a list of spices, namely mint, dill, and cumin. It becomes clear that these spices were highly valued in society and most likely Christ also used them for food.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are mentioned three times in the Old Testament: Jeremiah 10:5, Numbers 11:5, and Isaiah 1:8. There is no mention of cucumbers in the New Testament, but it was a very common vegetable in Judea, so Christ and his apostles probably also ate it.

Jesus Ate Fish

The Gospel of Luke 24:42-43 describes the event of the last meal of Jesus after his resurrection. Jesus ate broiled fish and honeycomb to prove that he truly had risen. Christ also divided the bread for his disciples: “They gave him a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb.”

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.” (Luke 24:30) This once again confirms that people ate bread during every meal and Christ shared bread with the apostles.

Some of Christ’s apostles were fishermen, and the events of the New Testament often took place near the Dead Sea, so it’s very likely that Christ ate fish on a regular basis.

Other Foods

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas

Beans, lentils, and chickpeas have always been grown in Israel. A very popular dish in Jewish cuisine is hummus, which is made from chickpeas.

They are also used to make soup and mashed potatoes. 

Olives were an important element of cuisine in those days. The olive tree and olive oil are mentioned more than 150 times in the Bible.

The fig tree is mentioned from the very beginning of the Bible, in the Book of Genesis. It was the fig tree that Christ approached in search of fruit shortly before the crucifixion.

Pomegranate was grown and eaten throughout Judea, and although it isn’t mentioned in the Bible, most likely Christ also ate it.

It can be assumed that Christ ate meat, such as beef, lamb, or chicken. At the same time, Christ most likely didn’t eat pork, since he observed Jewish laws that considered this meat non-kosher.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Did Jesus Eat? - FAQs

What Did Jesus Eat After His Resurrection?

In Luke 24:42-43, the bible tells us that after Jesus was resurrected he ate broiled fish with his disciples as proof of his resurrection.

It is thought that this broiled fish was a type of freshwater fish called Tilapia which was popular at the time in Israel and Galilee.

What Kind of Fish Did Jesus Eat?

Jesus probably ate Tilapia Galilea, a species of tilapia native to the Sea of Galilee in Israel. This fish species was abundant during the time of Jesus and its importance is even recounted in the New Testament.

Tilapia Galilea thrive in brackish water conditions, which are consistent with both lake ecology and fishing practices; this makes them perfectly suited to the environment they existed in.

Did Jesus Eat Eggs?

There is no record of Jesus consuming eggs during his time on earth. There are a few scriptures in the Bible that refer to Jesus eating, however, none of them specifically name eggs as an item within his diet.

It is possible that he may have eaten eggs in some form given the historicity of egg consumption in many ancient cultures but we cannot definitively say one way or another.

It could be argued from a culinary perspective that due to their nutritional value alone, it is likely that he would have consumed eggs in some capacity at least at certain points throughout his life.

Final Thoughts

Having considered all the possible food that Jesus could eat, we can conclude that his diet didn’t differ from the food of other people and his food was often ordinary.

This helps us to understand that Christ was close to the people, wasn’t different from them, and was always ready to feed the starving people and share his food with them, even after his resurrection, when with the help of ordinary food he showed the apostles that he had truly risen.

Charalampos

Charalampos is an Orthodox Christian who wants to help others learn about Christianity. His main goal is to help people understand the Bible and how to apply its teachings in their everyday lives. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, and hiking.

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