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Mark 7:6-23

Context
7:6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart 1  is far from me.

7:7 They worship me in vain,

teaching as doctrine the commandments of men. 2 

7:8 Having no regard 3  for the command of God, you hold fast to human tradition.” 4  7:9 He also said to them, “You neatly reject the commandment of God in order to set up 5  your tradition. 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ 6  and, ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death. 7  7:11 But you say that if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you would have received from me is corban 8  (that is, a gift for God), 7:12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother. 7:13 Thus you nullify 9  the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.”

7:14 Then 10  he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand. 7:15 There is nothing outside of a person that can defile him by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles him.”

7:16 [[EMPTY]] 11 

7:17 Now 12  when Jesus 13  had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 7:18 He said to them, “Are you so foolish? Don’t you understand that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him? 7:19 For it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and then goes out into the sewer.” 14  (This means all foods are clean.) 15  7:20 He said, “What comes out of a person defiles him. 7:21 For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 7:22 adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. 7:23 All these evils come from within and defile a person.”

1 tn The term “heart” is a collective singular in the Greek text.

2 sn A quotation from Isa 29:13.

3 tn Grk “Having left the command.”

4 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.

5 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.

6 sn A quotation from Exod 20:12; Deut 5:16.

7 sn A quotation from Exod 21:17; Lev 20:9.

8 sn Corban is a Hebrew loanword (transliterated in the Greek text and in most modern English translations) referring to something that has been set aside as a gift to be given to God at some later date, but which is still in the possession of the owner (L&N 53.22). According to contemporary Jewish tradition the person who made this claim was absolved from responsibility to support or assist his parents, a clear violation of the Mosaic law to honor one’s parents (v. 10).

9 tn Grk “nullifying.” This participle shows the results of the Pharisees’ command.

10 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

11 tc Most later mss add 7:16 “Let anyone with ears to hear, listen.” This verse is included in A D W Θ Ë1,13 33 Ï latt sy, but is lacking in important Alexandrian mss and a few others (א B L Δ* 0274 28 2427). It appears to be a scribal gloss (see 4:9 and 4:23), perhaps introduced as a reiteration of the thought in 7:14, and is almost certainly not an original part of the Greek text of Mark. The present translation follows NA27 in omitting the verse number, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.

12 tn Grk “And.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

13 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 tn Or “into the latrine.”

15 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.



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