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Common Bible Verses That May Confuse Us About The Proper Diet 3

At the end of Mark 7:19 most Bible translations say, “Thus He declared all foods clean.” So it’s pretty clear that Jesus changed the old food regulations in Leviticus 11, and it’s ok to eat pork, shellfish, or whatever we want, right?

From a first glance, it will appear that indeed, Jesus declared all foods clean. That seems obvious enough after all, Mark 7:19 states the matter very succinctly: “Thus He declared all foods clean.”

So, anyone trying to make Christians reconsider the Hebrew Scriptures’ laws of clean and unclean meats would seem to be sadly misinformed. If Jesus declared all foods clean, who are we to say that pork or even camel meat is unclean?

Well, this author is NOT misinformed.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, there are some issues with our traditional reading of Mark Chapter Seven.

They are as follows:

-POINT # 1.

(a). How can Jesus legitimately declare all foods clean when His heavenly Father has said that we are to distinguish between clean and unclean meats?

(See: Leviticus 11:47 and Leviticus 10:10).

In addition, why would Jesus change the laws if God says the following: “Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them.” Ezekiel 22:26

(b). Reading the points in (a) above, do you think Jesus would willingly depose the laws of the Father?

Wouldn’t that be a contradiction?

I mean the Man Himself DID say: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I HAVE NOT COME TO ABOLISH THEM BUT TO FULFILL THEM. For truly I tell you, 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. 19 therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5: 17-19

-POINT # 2.

If He did declare that all foods are clean, He would disqualify Himself as Messiah because His teaching would be contrary to the written Word of God. The Bible says that a legitimate King of Israel is not to depart from the Law of God either to the right or to the left. Changing the laws of Leviticus 11 would certainly be a big left turn. His opponents among the Pharisees would have all the evidence that they needed to impugn Him without any further inquiry. “This man is not from God; He teaches against the laws of God.”

-POINT # 3.

Finally, the Greek manuscripts of the book of Mark do not actually contain the words, “Thus He declared all foods clean.” Check your trusty old King James Version of Mark 7:19. It reads quite differently.

a. Mark 7:19 (NIV) For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”)

b. Mark 7:19 (KJV) Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

The King James or New King James Versions of the Bible do not include the phrase “By saying this, Jesus meant that all foods were fit to eat…” in Mark 7:19. So, at least, in regards to what this article is about-Health Laws in the Bible, these versions may be the safest.

The most important clue for understanding any passage in the Bible is to check the context. In this case, it’s given in Mark 7:1-5 where Jesus is asked, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the Tradition of the Elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?” (v.5).

Now, please make a note of three things-

1. The question isn’t about the LAW, but about a TRADITION.

2. Second, it’s NOT a question about what may be eaten. It’s about whether one may eat at all without a ritual hand washing.

3. Third, you do notice they (the Pharisees and Jesus) were talking about BREAD (unleavened, biblical bread that we all agree would have had no yeast, chemicals etc) and NOT meat! In case you missed it: …but eat their BREAD with unwashed hands?” (v.5).

With these issues being pointed out, it should now be clear why Jesus responded by saying, “Neglecting the Commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men,” (v.8) and, “You have a fine way of setting aside the Commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (v.9).

After reading Jesus make this comment here, consider the following:

1. Could verses Mark 7:18-19 have Jesus setting aside a commandment of God when up until that point He had been criticizing the Pharisees for that very thing (v. 8,9,13)?

2. Could verses Mark 7:18-19 have Jesus talking about a commandment at all, when up until that point His subject had been a “Tradition of the Elders” (v. 3,4,5,8,9,13)?

3. Could verses Mark 7:18-19 suddenly be about food when up until that point the subject had been ritual hand washing (v. 2,3,4,5)?

Obviously not. (This is made even clearer by comparing the same discussion as reported by Matthew (15:1-20). Jesus concludes by saying, “but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”)

So, it should be clear to all that the subject of Mark 7:1-19 wasn’t clean OR unclean meats. Therefore it cannot be about abolishing the Laws in Leviticus 11 either.

Also, keep in mind that Jesus himself DID NOT make such a contradictory statement, (thus he declared all meats clean) because, again, I have to stress that he, the disciples and the Pharisees were talking about foods that all practicing Jews at the time ate (and should eat)-clean and safe foods as outlined by God in Genesis 1:29 and Leviticus 11 to cite a few portions of the Bible.

In addition, the parallel to that chapter in Matthew 15: verse 20 makes NO mention of Jesus declaring ALL foods clean in any of the verses I have looked up on the internet.

Dear readers, if we refer back to the book of Leviticus God commands: “You are to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the edible creature and the creature which is not to be eaten” (Leviticus 11:47).

So, by declaring otherwise clean food to be unclean (simply because it had been touched by unwashed hands), the Pharisees were transgressing the commandment to correctly “make a distinction between the unclean and the clean.” They were declaring what was fit for consumption to be unfit. They were declaring what was permissible to be forbidden, all on the basis of a tradition. In essence, the commandments of God that delineate between clean and unclean were being disregarded in favor of a tradition.

That being said, Jesus simply was trying to show His disciples that it is not ritual purity (clean and unclean) that He is concerned about; it is the uncleanness of the heart. Thus nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him “unclean” where “unclean” means having an unclean heart.

Eating unclean bread does not make a man’s heart unclean. Instead, Jesus points out that unclean bread “entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats” (Mark 7:19 KJV). That is to say, it passes through the digestive system and goes out the end opposite from whence it came in. This is the plain meaning of the passage.

The issue here is some translators took the clause “purging all meats” as a narrator’s qualifying or explanatory statement and translate “purging” as “Thus He declared all foods clean.”

However, what should be noted is that the words “Thus He declared,” are not in the Greek text. They are supplied by the translator to make the new construction of the sentence fit. The Greek text literally says, “Purging all foods.” Jesus was not setting aside the Law; He was talking about going to the toilet.

It should be obvious that Jesus is simply stating here that any dirt or other impurities not removed through detailed hand-washing will be purged out by the human digestive system in a manner that has no effect on the heart and mind of a person. In other words, since spiritual purification involves the heart, ceremonial washings are ineffective and unnecessary in preventing spiritual defilement.

Still, the common belief is that as a result of Mark 7:19, we can now eat ham roasted in snail sauce.

However, even if the phrase should be translated as a qualifying statement, we must ask ourselves, “What is the context of Jesus’ comments?” Were the disciples actually eating unclean food?

ANSWER: They were not.

When criticized by the Pharisees, they were eating unleavened (unprocessed) bread. What does eating such kind of bread have to do with God’s laws of clean and unclean meat? How can bread that was probably made from stone ground grains and no chemicals (as in the Time of Bible) be unclean?

Jesus did not declare all foods clean; He did not contradict the Scriptures; and He is the legitimate King of Israel who did not depart from God’s Law, neither to the right nor to the left. (See Matthew 5:17-20)

So, if you look at the verses closely that address the issue in Mark 7 and Matthew 15 that have to do with the issue of clean or unclean meats, it should be quite obvious that the reference was in discussing CLEAN foods ONLY not clean vs. unclean meats. Also, in regards to using the term ‘meat’, in the Original Bible-The King James Bible, “food” was often referred to as ‘meat’.

Take a look at Gen 1:29 of the King James Version:  29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for MEAT.

Do you notice the last word? So suffice it to say when Jesus said purging all meats in the Original King James Version of Mark 7:18, there is a high probability that he was referring to food and not necessarily animal flesh.

Now, just in case you mention this verse:  Matthew 15:11 which says, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out.”

Folks, the parallel passage to Mark 7 is in Matthew 15.

After Jesus was done explaining that inner defilement of the mind is far worse than defilement of the body, he concluded: BUT EATING WITH UNWASHED HANDS DOES NOT DEFILE THEM.” No where here does he say we can eat unclean meats…of course you can read this yourself and see.

(Now, please don’t see this as a license to simply eat without washing your hands/fruit. Hey, by now we’ve all heard of E-coli and Food Poisoning so let’s not compare our modern times with back when people grew their own produce or killed their own animals!)

It should be noted that the Pharisees watched every word and movement Jesus made.

When one reads the bible, it is apparent that they falsely accused him of breaking the Sabbath, and claimed that he blasphemed when he said JEHOVAH God was his Father as is depicted in John 5:18.

However, not ONCE did any Jew accuse the Messiah of eating, or supporting the eating of, unclean meats!

Let’s move On to Part 4 of this Series.

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One Response to “Common Bible Verses That May Confuse Us About The Proper Diet 3”

  1. Duane says:

    alain@familiarly.ille” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó….

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