In the previous post, we saw that the distinction between clean and unclean animals was put in place by God for the purpose of separating Israel, God’s chosen people then, from the Gentiles, and this played out in the types of animals used for sacrifices.
We also saw that animal sacrifices have come to an end with Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and that there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile. We saw the God showed this truth to Peter using as an example … what? … clean and unclean animals!
So, what did Jesus say?
Mark 7:18-19 (KJV) – And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
The KJV was written several centuries back, using English we don’t always find to be clear today. Other translations phrase it like this:
RSV: And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
NIV: “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
ASV: And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Perceive ye not, that whatsoever from without goeth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it goeth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught? This he said, making all meats clean.
ESV: And 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, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
Most translations into modern English make it very clear. But some claim they are all wrong. Some will argue that the purging refers to evacuation from the intestines. Does that hold up under scrutiny?
The word “purging” is the Greek word καθαρίζω (katharizō).
It means to make clean. Nowhere in the Bible is it used to refer to the removal of food from one’s intestines. The object of the verb is what is made clean, every time. When the verb is performed by someone on something, that thing is made clean.
The three other times it is used in Mark are found in Mark 1:40-42:
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
This is what the word καθαρίζω means in Mark:
1 – Jesus made him clean (Mark 1:40)
2 – Jesus made him clean (Mark 1:41)
3 – He was made clean by Jesus (Mark 1:42)
4 – All food was made clean by Jesus (Mark 7:19)
Do we believe the way Mark used the word katharizō in his writing, or do we make up our own dictionary and our own grammar to suit our own desires?
If we look at the various translations, we can compare the four clauses in Mark 7:19 –
Because it entereth not into his heart
but into the belly
and goeth out into the draught
purging all meats
For it doesn’t go into their heart
but into their stomach
and then out of the body.
(In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
because it goeth not into his heart
but into his belly
and goeth out into the draught
This he said, making all meats clean.
since it enters not his heart
but his stomach
and is expelled
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
The Clear Word Bible (aka What Adventists want the Bible to say):
It doesn’t affect his relationship with God
because it passes into his stomach
passes through his intestines
then out of his body
Do you see the parallels? And the mismatch?
First – not into the heart
Second – into the stomach
Third – out of the body
Fourth – he cleansed (purged, made clean) all meat
Do you see what Adventists need to do in order to avoid that truth? In order for their doctrine to not be destroyed by this verse, they must translate the last clause as referring to removal from the intestines. But that is what the third clause says, so they need to alter the third clause as well, to something it doesn’t say – passing through the intestines.
And how did Jesus start off? He started off by saying:
“whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him” (Mark 7:18)
Adventists (and others) believe that pork can defile one. They quote 1 Cor 3:17 to me:
1 Cor 3:17 (KJV) – If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
But Jesus said that what goes into someone doesn’t defile them.
Jesus also said the following in Mark 7:18:
“Are ye so without understanding also?”
It would seem that those who change the Word of God to prevent the Bible from showing that Jesus cleansed all food are really and truly without understanding.
I’ll close with some advice from Paul:
Romans 14:14 (KJV) – I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Romans 14:2 (KJV) – For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Col 2:16 (KJV) – Let no man therefore judge you in meat …
Col 2:20-21 (KJV) – Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not)
1 Tim 4:1-4 (KJV) – Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving
Now take this quiz – Bible Quiz: Are unclean meats still unclean for Christians?