Cheese and Christianity


We were startled when Christopher Jones cited ancient documents comparing Christ with cheese.  By an extraordinary coincidence, the Virgin Mary has now appeared in cheese, and more precisely in a cheese sandwich in South Florida.  Photographs did indeed show the picture of a woman in the cheese.  The sandwich sold for  $28,000, presumably to a believer who could afford that amount.  It is now known if the seller thanked the Virgin and devoted the money to good works or whether she laughed all the way to the bank. In any case, both the seller and the buyer were obviously Catholic and possible Cuban. Clearly cheese has more prestige in the Catholic tradition than in the Anglo-American one. Curiously I can find no reference to cheese in the Bible, although there reportedly is one. Cheese is an ancient food, but I do not know what enzyme was used; the most common nowadays being rennet.  It is a basic food among nomadic Arabs, which I suppose is the same as Bedouins.  Can Ed Jajko or Miles Seeley tell us something about cheese in the Arab tradition? Was it made from camel's milk? De Gaulle's remarked that it is difficult to govern a country which has 59 varieties of cheese, but that very fact may be a source of pride for the French.  What about the standing of cheese in countries like Russia, India and China? Since the American Indians had neither cattle nor sheep,  presumably they did not have cheese. Can Alberto Gutierrez, who lives in Florida, tell us more about the cheese sandwich?

I said: Curiously I can find no reference to cheese in the Bible, although there reportedly is one. The index of my Bible must be deficient, to judge by this reply from Jim Bowman: I will answer your question about references to cheese in the Bible:
 
1 Samuel 17:18 "Bring also these ten cuts of cheese to the commander of their thousand, and look into the welfare of your brothers, and bring back news of them.

2 Samuel  17:29 honey, curds, sheep, and cheese of the herd, for David and for the people who were with him, to eat; for they said, "The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness."

Job  10:10 'Did You not pour me out like milk And curdle me like cheese;
 
Still, nobody has answered my challenge to where the quote from New Testament Scripture comes from that Jesus equates himself to a "mountain of cheese."
 
As to the Virgin Mary in Cheese....since there is no known photograph of Mary, how do they know that it is Mary? 

Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on:   http://wais.stanford.edu Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.

Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: November 25, 2004