And I will say to my soul,

"Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years;

take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry."

Luke 12:19, King James Version

About the Authors

ANTHONY F. CHIFFOLO, long-time Editorial Director of Praeger Publishers, has a master's degree in the classics of Western Civilization from St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland. He is the author of 100 Names of Mary: Stories and Prayers, Advent and Christmas Wisdom with Padre Pio, Advent and Christmas with the Saints, Be Mindful of Us: Prayers to the Saints and the compiler/editor of Padre Pio: In My Own Words, Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words, Pope John XXIII: In My Own Words, and At Prayer with the Saints. He is the co-author, with Rayner W. Hesse, Jr., of We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets.

RAYNER W. HESSE, Jr. (The Rev. Dr.), is the author, with Anthony F. Chiffolo, of We Thank You, God, For These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets. A graduate of both Union Theological Seminary and The General Theological Seminary in New York, he most recently completed his doctoral work (D.Min.) in liturgy and philosophy of religion at New York Theological Seminary. An accomplished chef and biblical scholar, Fr. Hesse is an ordained Episcopal priest serving a parish in New Rochelle, New York. He is also an antique appraiser, and his new book, Jewelrymaking through History: An Encyclopedia, is now available from Greenwood Press.

See more works by the authors.

About the Site

When we first set out to write a cookbook with a biblical theme, we never dreamed what a challenge it would be to make sense of thousands of years of food preparation. The Bible is peppered with meal stories that often describe a menu and, in a few instances, instructions on how the food is to be eaten. Though many biblical narratives include some pretty minute details, the writers almost never provided recipes for the dishes they described. So we set ourselves this task: to recreate the meals mentioned in the Bible with the ingredients and materials and techniques that are available to today’s household cooks.

In Cooking with the Bible, we have presented eighteen meals found in the scriptures: thirteen from the Hebrew Scriptures and five from the New Testament. We have included the foods that would have been in common usage in the Middle East in biblical times, such as lentils, olives, onions, figs, dates, cheese, honey, fish, lamb, goat, bread, and wine. But we have also made use of many foods that have more recently become common in Middle Eastern fare: eggplant, tomatoes, and rice, to name just a few. In biblical times, most foods would have been parboiled in cauldrons or cooked in clay pots over an open fire, fried on hot stones or hard earth with coals set on top, or baked in makeshift ovens. But we have not provided construction plans for an open-pit barbecue! Rather, we have developed recipes that can be prepared in most any home kitchen.

More important than the exact reproduction of a dish or a meal is the spirit in which it is prepared and served. In biblical times, an invitation to dine, whether with family and friends or with complete strangers, was taken seriously. The Middle Eastern code of ethics held strongly to a belief that good hospitality was the command of The Divine, and the offer to partake of a meal was sacred. We still gather around meals with family, friends, and others to bond, socialize, entertain, or even conduct business. As you investigate the recipes and meals and information to be found in Cooking with the Bible, we encourage you to share your newfound understanding of Middle Eastern cooking and hospitality—not to mention the dishes you have prepared!—with many, many others. It is a mitzvah, or blessing, you can feel privileged to bestow.

Recipe Disclaimer

Greenwood Publishing Group and the Authors are not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this website. While we try to review each recipe carefully, you may not always achieve the results desired due to variations in ingredients, cooking temperatures, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. Please always use your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken or fish.