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Mark 7:7-9

Context

7:7 They worship me in vain,

teaching as doctrine the commandments of men. 1 

7:8 Having no regard 2  for the command of God, you hold fast to human tradition.” 3  7:9 He also said to them, “You neatly reject the commandment of God in order to set up 4  your tradition.

1 sn A quotation from Isa 29:13.

2 tn Grk “Having left the command.”

3 tc The majority of mss, mostly Byzantine ([A] Ë13 33 Ï), have at the end of v. 8 material that seems to have come from v. 4 and v. 13: “the washing of pots and cups, and you do many other similar things.” A slight variation on the wording occurs at the very beginning of v. 8 in mostly Western witnesses (D Θ 0131vid 28 565 it). Such floating texts are usually signs of scribal emendations. The fact that the earliest and most reliable mss, as well as other important witnesses (Ì45 א B L W Δ 0274 Ë1 2427 co), lacked this material also strongly suggests that the longer reading is secondary.

4 tc The translation here follows the reading στήσητε (sthshte, “set up”) found in D W Θ Ë1 28 565 2542 it sys,p Cyp. The majority of mss here read τηρήσητε (thrhsete; א A L Ë13 33 Ï co) or τηρῆτε (thrhte; B 2427), both translated “keep.” It is hard to know which reading is best: On the one hand, τηρήσητε/τηρῆτε has much stronger external support, but στήσητε is a more difficult reading. What makes “keep” suspect is that it appears in two different forms, suggesting independent alterations of a difficult reading. Further, scribes may have been influenced by the preceding “commandment of God” to change the text toward “keep” (TCGNT 81), a common enough expression (cf. Matt 19:17; John 14:15; 1 Tim 6:1; 1 John 5:3; Rev 14:12). Thus, the more difficult reading is “set up.” Also, the more natural opposite of “reject” (ἀθεῖτε [aqeite], literally “you set aside”) is “set up.” However, the Western reading may have been influenced by Exod 6:4 or Heb 10:9, but this likelihood seems remote. Thus, “set up” is more likely to be the original wording of Mark here.



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