Abstract and Keywords
Food is a comprehensive cultural code. In ancient Israel and early Judaism, food production and preparation structured lives; what one did in the process was determined by gender and class status and sometimes even marked by ethnic and religious identity. Food also serves to structure narrative, shape characterization, and add layers of symbolic signification to story. In the Bible, the drama of the first few chapters revolves around proper versus improper eating, and the final book portrays God as a lamb sacrificed for the Passover meal. Between picking and tasting the forbidden fruit, and slaughtering and eating God, a whole host of food-related plots, characters, and images proliferate, many of which revolve around the most important of foodstuffs: bread. This chapter explores the centrality of bread in the story of Adam and Eve, the book of Ruth, and the gospels of Jesus.
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