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. Chapter 7.

Growing tension

The Tradition of the Elders (Capernaum) - [ Mk.7.1-23 → ] - Mt.15.1-20

1 A GROUP OF PHARISEES, with some doctors of the law who had come from Jerusalem, met him 2 and noticed that some of his disciples were eating their food with 'defiled' hands—in other words, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees and the Jews in general never eat without washing the hands, [Some witnesses insert: with the fist; others insert: frequently; or: thoroughly.] in obedience to an old-established tradition; 4 and on coming from the market-place they never eat without first washing. And there are many other points on which they have a traditional rule to maintain, for example, washing of cups and jugs and copper bowls.) 5 Accordingly, these Pharisees and the lawyers asked him, 'Why do your disciples not conform to the ancient tradition, but eat their food with defiled hands?' 6 [ Is.29.13. ] He answered, 'Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in these words: "This people pays me lip-service, but their heart is far from me: 7 their worship of me is in vain, for they teach as doctrines the commandments of men." 8 You neglect the commandment of God, in order to maintain the tradition of men.'

9 He also said to them, 'How well you set aside the commandment of God in order to maintain [Some witnesses read: establish.] your tradition! 10 [ Ex.20.12, Dt.5.16. ] Moses said, "Honour your father and your mother", and, "The man who curses his father or mother must suffer death." 11 But you hold that if a man says to his father or mother, "Anything of mine which might have been used for your benefit is Corban"' (meaning, set apart for God), 12 'he is no longer permitted to do anything for his father or mother. 13 Thus by your own tradition, handed down among you, you make God's word null and void. And many other things that you do are just like that.'

14 On another occasion he called the people and said to them, 'Listen to me, all of you, and understand this: 15 nothing that goes into a man from outside can defile him; no, it is the things that come out of him that defile a man.' 16 [Some manuscripts here add: 'If you have ears to hear, then hear.']

17 When he had left the people and gone indoors, his is disciples questioned him about the parable. 18 He said to them, 'Are you as dull as the rest? Do you not see that nothing that goes from outside into a man can 19 defile him, because it does not enter into his heart but into his stomach, and so passes out into the drain?' 20 Thus he declared all foods clean. He went on, 'It is what comes out of a man that defiles him. 21 For from inside, out of a man's heart, come evil thoughts, acts of fornication, of theft, murder, 22 adultery, ruthless greed, and malice; fraud, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly; 23 these evil things all come from inside, and they defile the man.'

The Syrophoenician Woman's Faith - [ Mk.7.24-30 → ] - Mt.15.21-28

24 Then he left that place and went away into the territory of Tyre. He found a house to stay in, and he would have liked to remain unrecognized, but this was impossible. 25 Almost at once a woman whose young daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit heard of him, came in, and fell at his feet. 26 (She was a Gentile, a Phoenician of Syria by nationality.) She begged him to drive the spirit out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, 'Let the children be satisfied first; it is not fair to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.' 28 'Sir,' she answered, 'even the dogs under the table eat the children's scraps.' 29 He said to her, 'For saying that, you may go home content; the unclean spirit has gone out of your daughter.' 30 And when she returned home, she found the child lying in bed; the spirit had left her.

A Deaf and Dumb Man Healed

31 On his return journey from Tyrian territory he went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee through the territory of the Ten Towns. [Greek: Decapolis.] 32 They brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, with the request that he would lay his hand on him. 33 He took the man aside, away from the crowd, put his fingers into his ears, spat, and touched his tongue. 34 Then, looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, 'Ephphatha', which means 'Be opened.' 35 With that his ears were opened, and at the same time the impediment was removed and he spoke plainly. 36 Jesus forbade them to tell anyone; but the more he forbade them, the more they published it. 37 Their astonishment knew no bounds: 'All that he does, he does well,' they said; 'he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.'

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