Mark 7:18-19 18And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) [ESV]
The parenthetical phrase “(Thus he declared all foods clean)” is not in any of the original manuscripts; this has been added to God’s Scriptures by men. It’s not in any of the Greek or Aramaic texts whatsoever, and it’s not in any translation printed before the 20th century. This parenthetical phrase, or a variation of it, has only been added to ‘contemporary’ bibles [ASV, BBE, CET, CSB, ESV, GNT, GWT, HCSB, NASB, NET, NIV, NLT, RSV, WNT] in the last 100 years or so.
We are being lied to! Whether it is deliberate or in ignorance, it’s still deception.
The Greek text for Mark 7:19 in the ‘Textus Receptus’ is as follows:
Mark 7:19 οτι ουκ εισπορευεται αυτου εις την καρδιαν αλλ εις την κοιλιαν και εις τον αφεδρωνα εκπορευεται καθαριζον παντα τα βρωματα
- οτιG3754 CONJ ουκG3756 PRT-N εισπορευεταιG1531 V-PNI-3S αυτουG846 P-GSM ειςG1519 PREP τηνG3588 T-ASF καρδιανG2588 N-ASF αλλG235 CONJ ειςG1519 PREP τηνG3588 T-ASF κοιλιανG2836 N-ASF καιG2532 CONJ ειςG1519 PREP τονG3588 T-ASM αφεδρωναG856 N-ASM εκπορευεταιG1607 V-PNI-3S καθαριζονG2511 V-PAP-NSN πανταG3956 A-APN ταG3588 T-APN βρωματαG1033 N-APN
- becauseG3754 CONJ notG3756 PRT-N enterG1531 V-PNI-3S hisG846 P-GSM intoG1519 PREP theG3588 T-ASF heartG2588 N-ASF butG235 CONJ intoG1519 PREP theG3588 T-ASF abdomenG2836 N-ASF andG2532 CONJ intoG1519 PREP theG3588 T-ASM privyG856 N-ASM dischargedG1607 V-PNI-3S purgingG2511 V-PAP-NSN allG3956 A-APN theG3588 T-APN foodG1033 N-APN
The Greek text from ‘Codex Sinaiticus’ says the same thing as the ‘Textus Receptus’ except for one word. εκβαλλετε is used instead of εκπορευεται: http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net
Mark 7:19 οτι ουκ ειϲπορευετε αυτου ειϲ την καρδιαν αλλ ειϲ την κοιλιαν και ειϲ τον αφεδρωνα εκβαλλετε καθαριζων παντα τα βρωματα
Strong’s G1544, is εκβαλλετε/ekballo, which Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states as: to cast out; to drive out; to send out. This is used instead of Strong’s G1607, εκπορευεται/ekporeuomai which Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states as: to go forth, go out, depart. As you can see, these are very similar terms.
Again, the words “thus he declared” are not in the original Greek! They are nowhere to be found in any manuscript! They have been added by men! It’s not a footnote, or a side bar commentary, or even noted as an opinion; it is added right into the ‘verse’ itself as if it were inspired Scripture! ‘Men’ added to the Word of God in order to promote man-made doctrine. It is rebellion and willful-disobedience of God’s command to ‘not add to or take away’ from His Word.
The English words “all” and “foods” are in the Greek text. βρωματα/G1033, brōmata, which is translated as “foods”, and is from bibróskó/G977, which means “to eat”. This is in reference to the “bread” that the Pharisees were complaining was being eaten without first washing the hands, by their ritualistic “man-made tradition” in Mark 7:2 & 5.
By the way, in five of the translations I listed above, the Greek word ἄρτους/G740, or artous (which means ‘bread’), is deleted from the Word of God, on purpose, twice! The topic of discussion is bread eaten with unwashed hands. It’s not meat, and whether or not pig, rat, camel or any other unclean animal is now ‘declared clean’; those words are NOT in the original text. By deleting words and adding words, the translators are purposefully trying to steer the reader away from the true context and message of the Word of God, in order to promote their own man-made doctrine.
The parallel verses in Matthew verify the actual context of what is truly being said in Mark 7:19.
What does the text say?
Matthew 5:17 “Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast-out into the draught (i.e. latrine)?” (KJV)
Matthew 5:17 “Do ye not understand that all that is going into the mouth doth pass into the belly, and into the drain (i.e. privy) is cast-forth?” (YLT)
To claim that this verse ‘declares’ that anything you can shove into your mouth, that goes through the human digestive system, and then gets discharged into the toilet/sewer is now ritually, ceremonially or Lawfully “clean” to eat has no scriptural foundation, and is pure eisegesis.
Back to Mark 7:19; καθαριζον/G2511, that is katharizō, can be translated as ‘to cleanse’. However, what is completely ignored by mainstream theology, is the true definition of this word. In Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the very first definition of G2511, katharizō is: to make clean, to cleanse – a. from physical stains and dirt: e. g. food, Mark 7:19; this is in direct correlation with “the washing of hands from physical dirt before eating” in verses 2-4. It has absolutely nothing to do with the God-ordained definitions of what are “clean” or “unclean” animals; it has EVERYTHING to do with the CONTEXT of the discourse: washing hands before eating & elevating this man-made tradition above God’s Commandments!
Again, the parallel account in Matthew blatantly exposes the translators’ contextual error.
What does the text say?
“But to eat with unwashed hands does not ‘defile’ anyone.” | Matthew 15:20
Context, Context, Context!
There are 3 critical points that are never discussed by mainstream theology regarding this notion that Jesus “(declared all foods clean)” in Mark 7:19 ~
- First, are we to honestly believe that Jesus railed and condemned the Pharisees and scribes in Mark 7:7-13 because they were voiding and overriding the Commandments of God, then he himself voids and overrides the Commandments of God just 3 sentences later??? That would be absolute hypocrisy!
- Secondly, ‘if’ Jesus is saying what the translators have ‘(declared)’ in Mark 7:19, then the New Testament Scriptures are in contradiction, and we have to throw it all out. Acts 10 and Acts 15 declare the exact opposite of the parenthetical statement ‘(that all foods are now clean)’. In ‘Acts 10’, Peter, who I assume knew what Jesus ‘(declared)’ in ‘Mark 7’, claimed that he had never eaten anything defiled or unclean years after Jesus supposedly said this. Peter even tells God straight to His face three times, ‘NO, I will not eat anything defiled or unclean’! Peter is stating that His doctrinal position is that there’s still “unclean” food to avoid years after the ‘Mark 7’ event!!! Then, in Acts 15, James the head of the Christian Church, claims new believers in Christ “must not” eat blood or strangled meat! This food command is directly from the Law of Moses and obviously still valid.
- Lastly, as a prophet of Israel, Jesus could not have changed or voided the Commandments of God ~
Deuteronomy 12:32-13:4 32“Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. 1“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD your God
If Jesus had added to or taken away from the Commandments of the LORD, he would have violated these verses and been declared a sinner. He would have disqualified himself as Messiah because he would have been teaching rebellion against the LORD God. Please read ‘Examining the Scriptures’ or watch it on YouTube at ‘Examining the Scriptures’.
Let’s take another quick look at “All Food” ~
In 30 A.D. Israel, the definition of “all food”, was what the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had ordained as “all food”. Every Israelite (including Jesus and the Pharisee’s of ‘Mark 7’) knew what this definition was; besides ‘all’ of the “plants yielding seeds’, it was ‘all’ of the “clean” animals listed in ‘Leviticus 11’.
Here in America, if I set a plate in front of you that had a chicken leg and a dog leg on it, and then asked you to eat ‘the food’ on the plate, what would you pick? You would pick the chicken leg, yes? That’s because it is the only thing on the plate that is considered ‘food’ in our culture. The same was true for Jesus, his disciples, the Pharisee’s and every other Judean that was in Israel. If someone had set bread, a pork chop and shrimp down on a table in front of them, and said which one is ‘food’, they ‘ALL’ would have picked the bread, and only the bread.
Here is the disconnect: we have been taught for centuries that anything you can shove into your mouth is ‘food’, and that in times past, some of it was considered ‘clean-food’ and some of it was considered ‘unclean-food’. That premise is 100% Scripturally wrong! God NEVER said, ‘pork, crab, camel, dog, vulture, etc. were ‘unclean-food’; He said, they were “unclean animals” and “NOT food” | Leviticus 11.
The dogma that Jesus taught against or changed the Law of Moses, removing or adding to the list of ‘clean animals’ is pure fiction, and dare I say, blasphemy. Didn’t Jesus come to fulfill the Law? How could He fulfill the Law by changing it???
Jesus did not change anything in the Law of Moses. The main context of ‘Mark 7’ and ‘Matthew 15’ is Jesus railing the leaders of the day because they are putting their Man-Made-laws in higher authority than the Laws of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jesus is telling them (and us) that we must obey Gods Doctrines, and not override them with the doctrines of men. He does this over and over and over again throughout the four gospels. Except for when he is telling parables about the Kingdom, Jesus spends the majority of his time telling everyone to stop elevating man-made instructions/laws/traditions, and turn–back to following Gods Instructions/Laws. The first word the Messiah spoke in his public ministry was “Repent”, ‘Matthew 4:17’.
As the prophesied Messiah of Israel, it is impossible that he sinned. If he added-to or taken-away from the established Law of God given through Moses, then he sinned and was not the Messiah, but a heretic. Therefore, since we all know that he did not sin, then we also know he did not add-to or take-away from the Law of Moses, including the list of what is considered food and what is not considered food.
Final Thought: Jesus reveals the true interpretation of both parallel accounts in Mark 7 and Matthew 15, as he explains it to his disciples in Matthew 15:15-20 ~
15But Peter said to him, “Explain the ‘parable‘ to us.” 16And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20These are what defile a person. But ‘to eat with unwashed hands‘ does not defile anyone.” | Matthew 15:15-20
Take note, verse 15 right here states this is a “parable”, not a Decree, Statute or Command from the LORD! In Matthew 15 and Mark 7, Jesus is speaking in a parable, and he just “(declared)” to everyone, everywhere the UNDERSTANDING of it. He is not adding to or taking away for the Law of God. Jesus is explaining to his followers, in allegory, ‘an established truth’ that they should have already known.
- For further study, especially Paul’s teachings, as well as the original Greek, please see the blog posts at the bottom of this page. Be a Berean, and test all doctrines to the “Scriptures”. Please ‘share’ this study. Thank you for your time!