Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Did Jesus Declare All Foods Clean?

From three different Bible verses, God has instructed mankind not to add to His prophecy or to His commandments. Please see the previous post. Yet, in the Gospel of Mark, there is an egregious example of how translation teams and commentators have ignored these warnings.

Mark 7:1-23 relates an account of a confrontation that Yeshua had with some scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem. The problem stemmed from the fact that some of the disciples ate bread with unwashed hands. The passage is rather long and complicated, but in verse 19, the New International Version states this:

Mark 7:19 (NIV) 
19 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.")

Similarly, the New American Standard Bible says:

Mark 7:19 (NASB)
19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" (Thus He declared all foods clean.)

The phrase in parentheses looks and sounds an awful lot like a conclusion and even many Bible commentators have used this verse in exactly that same manner. However, the parentheses are an indication that the phrase is not in the Greek. The Greek simply ends with the phrase "purging all the food." 

So what is up with this extra phrase? Obviously, it is an interpretation of what Mark 7:19 supposedly means. So rather than allowing the verse to be translated as it was written, someone, somewhere along the line, decided that Yeshua meant more than what He stated, that the verse by itself wasn't plain enough. The problem with this is two-fold. In the first place, the Bible was violated by having an interpretation forced on it. It also became a kind of conclusion, which makes no sense when the passage is analyzed. The second problem is that the conclusion has resulted in affirming a lie. God has warned Biblical writers, translators, teachers, and pastors not to add to or subtract from His commandments. This extra phrase subtracts from the commandments of God. Therefore, the extra phrase is incorrect. This wrong conclusion has allowed sincere believers to accept that the food laws are no longer applicable, that the law can be changed, and that other passages, particularly in Paul's writings that on the surface appear to negate the law, prove that the law has been abrogated.

Some common sense demonstrates that this line of thought is impossible!

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

For an understanding of the word "fulfill," please see:

Yeshua had to obey the Torah perfectly in order for Him to be qualified to be man's substitutionary sacrifice. According to Matthew 5, He also could not speak against the Torah. Therefore, it is impossible that Yeshua could have concluded that "all foods were now clean." He couldn't have even hinted at it or said that all foods would be clean after His death. 

Praise God, as Yeshua was obedient to God's commandments and became the Savior, how can we even think that our disobedience is now acceptable!

Next: Mark 7:19 explained.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Adding and Subtracting

Generally, the terms "adding" and "subtracting" refer to mathematics, but can be used in other contexts as well. These terms can even be found in the Bible as commands from God.

Revelation 22:19 (KJV)
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

This verse includes a warning that no one should add or subtract from the book of prophecy called Revelation, or there would be some serious consequences to the person doing the adding or subtracting.

Jeremiah 26:2 (KJV)
2 Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:

In the book of Jeremiah, God counsels His prophet to speak all the words that God had given him to speak. He was not to subtract a single word.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 (KJV)
14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

This verse speaks about God's work and how nothing can be added to or subtracted from it.

Deuteronomy 12:32 (KJV)
32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

Deuteronomy 4:2 (KJV)
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy, in these two different places, charges that no one is to add to or subtract from the commands that God has issued His people.

So, what can be concluded from these verses? God's work, whether His plan of salvation by grace through faith, His record of prophecy specifically in Revelation, or His commandments, is complete. There is nothing necessary to add or subtract!

Then why has Christianity found it necessary to add to or subtract from God's work? Some believe that good works must be added for salvation. Wrong! Some believe that we have prophets today speaking further prophecy of God. Wrong! Some believe that the Torah is no longer applicable. Wrong!

More on this next time!