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CHAPTER SEVEN:
TRADITION AND DEFILED HEARTS, PUPPIES,
AND A DEAF MAN

[“Doing What Is Right”]

Key word: Tradition

Mark 7:1-8 – Vain Worship and Human Doctrines

|| Matthew 15:1-9[1]

MK7:1 Now the Pharisees approached Jesus along with certain Bible Copyists from Jerusalem. MK7:2 When they observed some of his disciples eating bread with defiled hands[2] – that is, without [ceremonially] washing them[3] – [[they found fault]].[4] MK7:3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat without [ceremonially] washing their hands, holding to traditions of ancient elders. MK7:4 When they return from the market they do not eat without [ceremonially] washing their hands. And there are many other things[5] that they have received by tradition – the [ceremonial] washing of cups, pots, copper bowls and tables. MK7:5 So the Pharisees and Bible Copyists asked Jesus: “Why do your disciples not conduct themselves according to the traditions of the elders, but eat bread with defiled hands?” MK7:6 Jesus answered them and said: “Excellently has Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites, exactly as it has been written: ‘This people [of Israel] honors me with their lips, but their heart is distant from me. MK7:7 Their worship of Me is completely worthless,[6] because they teach as doctrine human commands.’[7] [Isaiah 29:13] MK7:8 You set aside the commandment of the God and [instead] hold fast to human traditions.”

*

[1] Matthew 15:1-9: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Defiled hands: It does not mean “dirty” hands but those that have not been ceremonially washed.

[3] Washing them: Such a ceremonial ‘baptism’ was a rabbinical addition to the Law of Moses.[Luke 11:38] The Babylonian Talmud [Sotah 4b] placed such a violation equally with prostitution.

[4] Not in some manuscripts.

[5] Many other things: Beginning with about 200 Mosaic regulations, they swelled to 600, and then later 100,000.

[6] Their worship of Me is completely worthless: Or, in vain, empty show. The worship of God’s people is not automatically accepted as though there was nothing they could do wrong. Compare notes on James 1:27-29.

[7] They teach as doctrine human commands: Or, precepts. Those who worship God by means of human doctrines do so in vain. [1 Timothy 4:1-3]

 

+

Preceding

Mark 6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Review Questions on Chapter Six

Matthew 15 An argument with the Scribes – Teachers and traditions

Comments on: "Mark 7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 7:1-8 – Vain Worship and Human Doctrines" (5)

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