Mark 7:19: should read "cleansing all food" rather than "Thus he declared all foods clean"
Debate Rounds (3)
"There is no substantive difference between Codex Bezae and the majority of the manuscripts. Codex Bezae has: _4;^5;_2;^5;`1;_3;_0;^9;_3; `0;^5;_7;`4;^5; `4;^5; ^6;`1;`9;_6;^5;`4;^5; (katharizei panta ta bromata) Whereas most manuscripts have: _4;^5;_2;^5;`1;^3;_0;`9;_7; `0;^0;_7;`4;^5; `4;P48; ^6;`1;a4;_6;^5;`4;^5; (katharizon panta ta bromata)
The difference is between "he declares all foods clean" and "declaring all foods clean." It's the difference syntactically between a main
clause and a subordinate participial clause, but still means practically the same thing."
shnarkle: My response to this would be to first point out that the Greek word "katharizon" and "katharizei" don't include the meaning "declaring" or "he declares".
2511 [e]kathariz!3;n_4;^5;_2;^5;`1;^3;_0;`9;_7; purifyingV-PPA-NMS
If one looks for the meaning of "clean, purifying, cleansing etc." there are some references of a Levitical pronouncement of cleanliness, but the context of this passage doesn't lend itself to that interpretation. Instead we see a comparison between the process of defilement and the digestive process. In the parallel passage in Matthew Jesus immediately points out that the Pharisees have made the commandments null and void through their traditions. For Jesus to then suggest that the law is now done away with by his pronouncement makes no sense whatsoever. Furthermore, the dietary laws aren't in view in this passage in the first place. When I point this out i am met with comments like this: "This is your problem, being concerned with the letter of the law to the point where you can't accept the Bible's own interpretation and application of the law."
Again, this comment collapses in on itself if one is to use the "declaring" version of this passage as it is the pronouncement of a Levitical priest, and Levitical pronouncements are explicitly concerned with the letter of the law.
Here's a list of translations I found online. They seem to be evenly divided in their interpretation of this verse. Notice that the majority of those that take the "declaring" interpretation have this phrase in parenthesis. Could this be because they are using the 5th century Codex Bezae? The oldest versions of the Codex Bezae and Sinaiticus have these words in the margins and later they migrate into the text. I don't see these words, "Thus he declared" in the older manuscripts. If so, where are these words in the earlier manuscripts? In the older manuscripts, the process of digestion is what is cleansing or purging the food, not some declaration. The only declaration likely to accompany this type of purging would be if one were to break wind. Notice, if you would; what I've included from online doesn't have these words, "Thus", or "he declared" I would really appreciate it if someone could find out where people are coming up with this meaning.
1607 [e]ekporeuetaiO52;_4;`0;_9;`1;^9;a3;^9;`4;^5;_3;,goes out.V-PIM/P-3S
King James Bible
Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
International Standard Version
Because it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then into the sewer, thereby expelling all foods."
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
"Because it does not enter his heart, but his belly, and is discharged by excretion, which purifies all foods."
Jubilee Bible 2000
Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and the man goes out to the privy and purges all foods.
King James 2000 Bible
Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the drain, purging all foods?
American King James Version
Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats?
Because it entereth not into his heart, but goeth into the belly, and goeth out into the privy, purging all meats?
Darby Bible Translation
because it does not enter into his heart but into his belly, and goes out into the draught, purging all meats?
Webster's Bible Translation
Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all kinds of food.
World English Bible
because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, thus purifying all foods?"
Young's Literal Translation
because it doth not enter into his heart, but into the belly, and into the drain it doth go out, purifying all the meats.'
Weymouth New Testament
because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and passes away ejected from him?" By these words Jesus pronounced all kinds of food clean.
English Revised Version
because it goeth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught? This he said, making all meats clean.
American Standard Version
because it goeth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught? This he said , making all meats clean.
GOD'S WORD" Translation
It doesn't go into his thoughts but into his stomach and then into a toilet." (By saying this, Jesus declared all foods acceptable.)
For it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and then goes out into the sewer." (This means all foods are clean.)
Holman Christian Standard Bible
For it doesn't go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated." (As a result, He made all foods clean.)
For it doesn't go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
New Living Translation
Food doesn't go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer." (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God's eyes.)
English Standard Version
since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
New American Standard Bible
because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.)
What follows is yet another example of what I would call modern day Pharisaic evangelism from Timothy Keller. The Pharisees of 20 centuries ago are rolling over in their graves and slapping themselves silly wondering why they didn't think of this.
"[I]n Matt. 5:18: 'I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.' This categorical statement doesn't seem to fit in with Mark 7;19 at all! But maybe we should look closer. Immediately before his statement about the Law in Matthew 5:18 Jesus tells us his relationship to it: 'I come not to abolish the Law and the Prophets...but to fulfill.' This means that Jesus did not 'declare all foods clean' by abolishing the clean laws, but by fulfilling them." --Timothy Keller; "The Gospel of Mark", pg. 80
Keller is taking a principle that was applied to the sacrificial system and applying it to the clean laws. The sacrificial system pointed to the sacrifice of Christ. Christ's perfect sacrifice is the only sacrifice that could remove sin; the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of the law for sin. The clean laws include Idolatry, profanity, and sexual purity. Jesus kept all the clean laws including those dealing with sexuality. Can we then conclude that Jesus declared all sexual activity clean? If a rapist conceives lust and violence in his heart, and rapes a woman. His heart is defiled, but the woman isn't defiled. Jesus would just as easily pointed out that her reproductive system cleans itself; her menstrual cycle cleans her. To then conclude that all sexual activity is now clean seems ridiculous. Is this not a non sequitur? And if it is a non sequitur, why is it not a non sequitur with regards to the dietary laws as well?
Once again I have to ask why do people insist on using only the 5th century version (Codex Bezae) of this passage? Could it be because it fits their doctrine perfectly? Could it be that it fits the doctrine of the 5th century redactor who inserted it into the text? If we look at the earliest manuscripts, it really doesn't fit their dogmatic assertions. The processes Jesus describes are that of what comes from within a person's heart, and what proceeds through the digestive tract and is "purged, purified, clean" by being expelled into the sewer. There is nothing in four centuries of manuscripts that state, "Thus he declared...". The digestive tract is not declaring anything.
"Then came together unto Him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they heard of his disciple whom had not performed the ceremonial cleansing after laying with his wife, they found fault. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why walk not Thy disciple according to the tradition of the elders, but refrain from washing after laying with his wife?". He answered and said to them, "Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This People honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Hobeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' For laying aside the commandments of God, ye hold the tradition of men" And He said unto them, "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, 'Honour thy father and thy mother;' and, 'Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:'. But ye say,'It is Corban, (that is to say, a gift), by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; ' he shall be free.'; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered; and many such like things do ye." And when He had called all of the people unto him, He said unto them, "Hearken unto Me every one of you and understand; There is nothing from without, that entering into can defile: but the things which come out, those are they that defile. Because it entereth not into one's heart, but is expelled during the time of separation,(Thus he declared all sexual activity clean)
For from within out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile, but to neglect washing does not defile." Mark chapter 7 NIPV (New Improved Pharisaic Version)
For those who think that one hasn't actually defiled themselves unless they commit the sinful act itself, Jesus points out that those who hate their neighbor/enemy are guilty of murder, and those who covet or lust after someone else's wife are guilty of adultery. He describes the Pharisees as tombs that are painted white on the outside showing that they haven't committed the sinful act, but are dead men's bones on the inside indicating that their sinful desires have left them spiritually dead.
So how does one escape defilement? How does one get clean? This whole planet is turning into a gigantic cesspool of filth and pollution. I buy a HazMat suit before I test drive a brand new car. Before I get home I burn my clothes before going inside, then I jump into a tub of 200 proof alcohol and light it on fire to disinfect myself. Then I'm clean....on the outside.
If I want to get clean on the inside I have to drink a quart of that 200 proof alcohol and then swallow a lit M100. As it makes its way through my digestive tract, in the end, as it announces its departure it simultaneously cleans and disinfects my entire bathroom. Thus making my entire home clean. Everything is therefore clean. Everything that is, except my heart. Only God can make that clean, and if I defile my heart there is nothing I can do to make it clean. My filthy rotten disgusting defiled heart can only do one thing--sin. That's what defiled, depraved hearts do. They don't make anything clean. Only one's digestive tract can make anything clean. One with a box of Colon Blow and a lit M100 incinerating and disinfecting everything that offends.
We deduce from the examples you provided that the "food" that doesn't go into the heart is a metaphor.
Some might argue that what is written could also be written, "Thus he declared all food IS clean", or "everything IS food", but again the problem here is that in the Greek the articles modifying these words would be reversed as this is the tell tale sign of the figure Metaphor. There is no violation of the laws of elementary grammar in this passage so we aren't dealing with a Metaphor.
If by "metaphor", you mean figurative, then which figure? The immediate context has some figurative speech(Epanadiplosis, Irony,etc.), but nothing that changes the meaning of the specific parenthetical passage in question. The parenthetical statement with the added words, "thus he declared"doesn't fit the immediate context, nor that of scripture as a whole.
The problem is one of interpreters redefining what is food and what isn't. There is no such thing as "unclean food" in scripture. There are unclean animals which aren't food. If someone decides to eat it that doesn't make it food in God's eye's. However food can become defiled or "common", but only what God has already defined as food in the first place. In other words, one cannot defile swine. Under the Mosaic law an Israelite could take a goat, sheep, cow etc. and if it wasn't property prepared according the the kosher laws, give it to a gentile. If the animal was torn by wild beasts, or not properly drained of blood it was defiled or made common(not to be confused or conflated with "unclean"). Under the new covenant guidelines we see that this was no longer acceptable for gentiles who had become part of the fold. (Acts 15:20)
To say, "Thus he declared all foods clean" makes no sense to the context of this passage nor to the context of scripture as a whole for there is no such thing as "unclean food" in scripture; only common food which is food that is not fit for consumption by a holy people.
It would have been more accurate for this redactor to insert, "Thus he declared all things to be food" which is effectively what he is saying due to the fact that swine, shellfish, catfish, vultures,etc. aren't food.
"There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man."
The 'meat' is a metaphor for what we encounter.
A frankfurter is to meat as the canon is to fact; Whatever you say is 'meat' to me.
If whatever you encounter ends up going into your belly and then into the sewer, it could be quite a few things, but a Metaphor isn't one of them. You don't eat metaphors or digest them and flush them into sewers.
As I stated before, there is no metaphor in this passage of scripture. No one is able to produce one, but even so the only other way I can prove this would be by way of defining the figure and showing an example from scripture. Some of the best, and most controversial examples would be "This is my body" (touto esti to soma mou). This is no more literal than to say "The good seed are the children of the kingdom." or The field is the world". He is speaking figuratively.
He is using the figure Metaphor; or Representation. Which is a declaration that one thing is (or represents) another; or, Comparison by Representation. From the Greek-metaphora, a transference, or carrying over or across. From (meta), beyond or over, and (Pherein), to carry. The Metaphor declares that one thing IS the other.
The Metaphor is not so true to fact as the Simile, but is much truer to feeling. The two nouns themselves must both be mentioned, and are always to be taken in their absolutely literal sense, or else no one can tell what they mean. The figure lies wholly in the verb, and not in either of the two nouns: and it is a remarkable fact that, when a pronoun is used instead of one of the nouns (as it is here), and the two nouns are of different genders, the pronoun is always made to agree in gender with that noun to which the meaning is carried across, and not with the noun from which it is carried, and to which it properly belongs. This at once shows us that a figure is being employed; when a pronoun, which ought, according to the laws of language, to agree in gender with its own noun, is changed, and made to agree with the noun which, by Metaphor, represents it.
In our example, the pronoun, "this" (touto), is neuter, and is thus made to agree with "body" (swma), which is neuter, and not with bread (aptos, artos), which is masculine. This is always the case in Metaphors. Here are a few other examples to illustrate.
In Zech. 5:8, "This is wickedness." Here, "this" (fem.) does not agree with "ephah" (to which it refers), which is neuter, but with "wickedness, " which is feminine.
In Zech. 5:3, "This is the curse." "This" (fem.) agrees with "curse", which is feminine, and not with "flying roll", which is neuter, (to which it refers).
In Matt.13:38, "The good seed are the children of the kingdom." Here, "these" (masc.) agrees with "children of the kingdom" (masc.), and not with seed, which is neuter.
What this is showing is that in a Metaphor, the two nouns (or pronoun and noun) are always literal, and that the figure lies only in the verb.
"This is (i.e., represents) my body," is an undoubted Metaphor. "He took the cup...saying...this is my blood." Here we have a pair of metaphors. In the former one, "this" refers to "bread", and it is claimed that "is" means changed into the "body" of Christ. In the latter, "this" refers to "the cup", but it is not claimed that the cup is changed into "blood". At least, I've never heard that claim. The difference of treatment which the same figure meets with in these two verses is proof that the former is wrong.
In 1Cor. 11:25 we read "this cup is the new covenant." How does this "cup" become transubstantiated into a "covenant"?
Since the passage in question does not exhibit any of the defining characteristics of the figure Metaphor, we are not dealing with a Metaphor.
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