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Matthew 15:10-20

Context
True Defilement

15:10 Then he called the crowd to him and said, 1  “Listen and understand. 15:11 What defiles a person is not what goes into the mouth; it is what 2  comes out of the mouth that defiles a person.” 15:12 Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that when the Pharisees 3  heard this saying they were offended?” 15:13 And he replied, 4  “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. 15:14 Leave them! They are blind guides. 5  If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, 6  both will fall into a pit.” 15:15 But Peter 7  said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 15:16 Jesus 8  said, “Even after all this, are you still so foolish? 15:17 Don’t you understand that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach and then passes out into the sewer? 9  15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person. 15:19 For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 15:20 These are the things that defile a person; it is not eating with unwashed hands that defiles a person.” 10 

1 tn Grk “And calling the crowd, he said to them.” The participle προσκαλεσάμενος (proskalesamenos) has been translated as attendant circumstance. The emphasis here is upon Jesus’ speaking to the crowd.

2 tn Grk “but what.”

3 sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.

4 tn Grk “And answering, he said.”

5 tc ‡ Most mss, some of which are significant, read “They are blind guides of the blind” (א1 C L W Z Θ Ë1,13 33 Ï lat). The shorter reading is read by א*,2 B D 0237 Epiph. There is a distinct possibility of omission due to homoioarcton in א*; this manuscript has a word order variation which puts the word τυφλοί (tufloi, “blind”) right before the word τυφλῶν (tuflwn, “of the blind”). This does not explain the shorter reading, however, in the other witnesses, of which B and D are quite weighty. Internal considerations suggest that the shorter reading is original: “of the blind” was likely added by scribes to balance this phrase with Jesus’ following statement about the blind leading the blind, which clearly has two groups in view. A decision is difficult, but internal considerations here along with the strength of the witnesses argue that the shorter reading is more likely original. NA27 places τυφλῶν in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

6 tn Grk “If blind leads blind.”

7 tn Grk “And answering, Peter said to him.” This construction is somewhat redundant in English and has been simplified in the translation.

8 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

9 tn Or “into the latrine.”

10 tn Grk “but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”



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