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Jesus said;- You follow your tradition instead of the commands of God

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posted on May, 14 2021 @ 05:04 PM
“You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition” (Mark ch7 v9).

I’m not convinced by the conventional way of defining these two options, which is why I want to look at the argument more closely.

“What you would have gained from me is Corban- that is, given to God” (v11).

This is what a man was being allowed to say to his parents. Gospel commentators wanting to know more about the meaning of this word normally follow the “tradition” clue by searching the works of the rabbis. But there is useful information to be found in the Old Testament itself, because the practice of “giving to God” is deeply embedded in the laws.

We need to look over Leviticus ch27, which lays down the rules about making special vows for the purpose. A man may dedicate another person to God, which means in practice that the person will then be “redeemed” for a price of anything up to fifty shekels. He may dedicate an animal, or he may dedicate his house, and in either case the offering may be redeemed for a price- that is, the market price (as determined by the priest at the time of offering), plus twenty percent.

The most relevant part of the chapter, to my mind, is the section on the dedication of land (vv16-24). A man may dedicate one of his fields to the Lord, and the priest will value it at the time, BUT the transfer of the land will not take place until the year of Jubilee. It is a deferred gift. We know this, because he may redeem the field before the final transfer, at the usual “market price plus twenty percent”, with the result that the field “remains” with him. In fact he still has the power, even after the dedication, to sell the field to another man. In that case, the right of redemption disappears, and the field will pass to God (that is, to the priest) when the Jubilee arrives.

Were the Jubilee cycles operating in the time of Jesus? As far as I can tell, nobody knows. They’re not operating now, because they stopped when the Jews went into exile, but which exile? The question is important, because it has a bearing on this topic. If a dedication vow is a gift deferred until the next year of Jubilee, and if the next year of Jubilee is never going to arrive, then the dedication vow is nothing more than a legal fiction. But if the dedication is genuine, the property is going to the priesthood in the long term, and that claim is being given priority.

“Then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother” (v12).

How does this follow on from the “Corban” declaration? Strictly speaking the wording means that he wants to provide for his parents and the authorities won’t let him, but I don’t quite see why that should be a problem; if he doesn’t tell the authorities that he’s making provision, they wouldn’t be able to interfere. So perhaps this is just a clumsy way of saying “You permit him to do nothing”.

Either way, my theory about the connection is that his obligation to provide for his parents is being calculated as a proportion of his capital. If part of a man’s property has been dedicated to God, then it no longer counts as part of his capital, and can be left out of the calculation. If, as I suspect, the dedication is a legal fiction (being a gift deferred to an indefinite future), then this procedure would be dishonest..

“Thus making the word of God void through your tradition” (v13)

But where exactly does the word of God say that a man should be helping to support his parents? In v10, Jesus quoted the basic commandment “Honour your father and your mother”. He also quotes the condemnation of the man who speaks evil of father or mother, and striking them carries the same penalty. The only other application of the commandment that I can find in the code is the law which allows parents to complain of a “stubborn and rebellious son”. They are to say to the elders “This our son will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard” (Deuteronomy ch21 vv18-21). So it seems to me that his fault is understood as a failure to respect their authority as teachers of God’s law. In other words, “Honour your father and your mother” really means “Honour them as my representatives, and obey the laws taught by their words”. That would explain why the commandment has such a high place on the list, and why the keeping of that commandment would extend their stay in the land.

Why would the code fail to mention a duty of giving financial support? Probably because nobody at the time could foresee the necessity. In a pastoral and agricultural society, sons would not possess much more than they had received from their parents. Where there was poverty, it would be a family poverty. Family support would come in such ways as the right and duty of a “nearest kinsman” to redeem land sold (or people self-sold) for debt. Only in an urban, trading society could sons gain independent wealth and live independently.

Therefore the sense of obligation to support parents would have to be developed out of the spirit of the command “Honour your father and your mother”. It is not specified in the commandment, but it follows on as one of the implications of the commandment.

Conventional wisdom tends to say that Jesus respected the law as delivered by Moses and questioned only the further interpretations added through the centuries. In other words;
“Your tradition” means the explanations given by the scribes and the Pharisees.
“The word of God” means the written law found in scripture.

But his attitude in the various gospel stories, when examined closely, seems to be almost exactly the other way round. In this case, for example, the written law includes Leviticus ch27, which affirms the principle that giving to God (via giving to the priesthood) is an absolute priority, and that principle is the ultimate source of the Corban custom. So the tradition being criticised includes the written law. While at the same time the financial support of parents, which Jesus commends, is not found in the written law. Not specifically.

So the true distinction would be closer to;
“Your tradition” means the letter of the law.
“The word of God” means the spirit of the law.

Taking “the letter” as a guide feels like the safer thing to do, which is why even Christians get addicted to it.
But we get a closer understanding of God’s intent if we take the Spirit as our guide instead.

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 05:18 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Interesting- thanks for the thread! Gives one lots to think about.

It seems like the most obvious answer is that Jesus was telling the leaders that they had let themselves get bogged down in their own rules and traditions, and in doing so, had forsaken the commandments themselves and certainly forsaken the spirit of the commandments.

That seems like what Jesus is saying, to me, and that is consistent with Jesus’s character and words and actions throughout the rest of the gospels.

Are you saying that may not be the case? (Forgive my dumbness)

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 05:23 PM
a reply to: KansasGirl
Yes, my impression from the gospels is that Jesus was always tending to prefer the spirit of the law to the letter of the law. You will remember how he disliked stoning for adultery (which is definitely in the letter of the law) and also hated the toleration of divorce for male convenience, which is at least impied in the law and quoted as such by the Pharisees.

I think we need to make a distinction between God's law and the law of Moses. They overlap, but they're not quite the same thing.

edit on 14-5-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 05:32 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Thank you for the clarification.

Don’t know if this relates to this thread or not, so if it’s off-topic, I apologize. What did it mean that Jesus fulfilled the law? He said he didn’t come to abolish it but to fulfill it. Does that mean that he fulfilled the law by following it perfectly? And therefore that is why death couldn’t hold him (Satan could not claim him after death), because he had never “sinned?”

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 06:00 PM
a reply to: KansasGirl
It does relate to the theme which is emerging out of the current run of threads. I was thinking of doing a thread on the following verse, but i haven't writtten it yet.

My provisinal answer; I think I agree with the suggestion that he was following the law perfectly.
I also think a distinction between two kinds of law is involved. When the Pharisees kept hearing him criticise individual commands of Moses, they probably accused him of wanting to abolish the law of Moses, and he may be responding to that charge. I believe part of the meaning of his answer is "Nothing I say in criticism of Moses does anything to abolish the true law. The true law, not the law of Moses, is the one I have come to fulfil."

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 07:58 PM
The letter of the law, and the spirit of the law are obviously not always the same thing in the complication of making a written law...the letter, which even today can be at a disadvantage for some who, should really have entitlement of the protection by that law, because of the way that law is written, that happens all the time.

In fact, I know that some well intended written laws..written for good reason, fell short of fore-filling their purpose by using the letter of the law exclusively.

Of course, money/cost could also be a factor, just to add to the difficulty.

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 08:18 PM
Just thoughts

Gal 3:19 What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise hath been made; and it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator.

2Co 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Gal 5:1 - It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Psalm 40:8, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."
Romans 2:14-15 NLT

Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. [15] They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and
thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.

Hebrews 10:16–17

16“This is the covenant that I will make with them

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws on their hearts,

and write them on their minds,”

17 then he adds,

“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 09:28 PM
a reply to: KansasGirl

Yes Jesus did fulfil the law, by showing Gods love, how to live humbly, compassionately and then dying, Jesus accomplished everything the law required
Always Gods plan
In one of the minor prophet books, it was said Gods Kingdom couldn’t be brought forward till the law was lived perfectly, Jesus lived perfectly and was then executed
Gods kingdom arrived after Jesus ascended to heaven

I will find that prophecy and edit it in

Jesus ended all Mosaic laws for Christians, just love people and you fulfil Jesus law
I think that “just loving people” might be harder than the old laws

posted on May, 14 2021 @ 10:02 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I think if we look at God through Jesus...
we can see that the Pharisees were more interested in upholding the law beyond its scope, than its purpose
Yes, they had a valid (but wrong) reason, to bring about the messiah but
God was always love, the laws were made for those who were in open rebellion, Gods laws were made to protect people not punish people.

Gods commands were always love, the Pharisees had completely ignored that, they made them a purpose of control

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 01:07 AM
a reply to: Raggedyman
One of my intentions for the near future is "My yoke is easy" combined in a thread with "You lay burdens upon men".

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 01:10 AM
a reply to: SeaWorthy
Yes, indeed. That's the teaching of Jesus spreading theough the rest of the New Testament.

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 06:04 AM

a reply to: DISRAELI“You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition”

I wont go any further than to point out the addition to the verse in the version you are using. Which makes it a Commentary or Opinion more than a translation.

"And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition."Mk 7:9KJV

Notice that unlike the KJB, the translators of this translation did not italicize the words they added to make it read the way it does. "Have A Fine Way" is not in any known text. So therefore the only conclusion is that the translators were dishonest in their translation and inserted opinions and additional words without any merit. Thereby making themselves god in God stead.
edit on 5/15/2021 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 06:17 AM
a reply to: ChesterJohn
The change doesn't actually affect the point that Jesus is making, so I would rather focus upon that.

The bit that matters is in the title; "You follow your tradition ..."

edit on 15-5-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 07:08 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

It does affect the integrity of God's words vs Mans words.

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 07:33 AM
"You have a fine way of doing..."
I think this may be a Britishism, which is one reason why Americans might have trouble with it. Obviously the meaning is ironic, not genuine approval.
When I was working in London, my manager would sometimes say to me "You're good at doing that!", and her actual meaning was "You make a habit of doing this thing which I'm complaining about." This translation is the same usage.

It translates the Greek word KALOS, an adverb formed from the adjective meaning "good", so the lexicon suggests "well, rightly, suitably, with propriety, becomingly" as translations.
The AV's "full well" has exactly the same ironic meaning. Jesus, like my manager, is actually saying "You do it a lot".

edit on 15-5-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 08:08 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

No they are not.

Things that are different are not equal.

edit on 5/15/2021 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 02:24 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

the words "You have a fine way of doing" is giving a wrong impression of the heart and mind of Jesus. It is not Jesus personality to talk that way.

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 02:31 PM
a reply to: ChesterJohn
According to the Greek text, he said KALOS, which means "good". Or rather "well", because this is the adverb (the second vowel is Omega).
The AV translates as "Full well", which is Jacobean English for "very good".
That is what the text says about the way he talks.

edit on 15-5-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 02:32 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

You rely on man to translate I believe God preserved it correct in the KJV

But clearly Jesus does not speak so proudly as a secular humanist would.

posted on May, 15 2021 @ 02:37 PM
a reply to: ChesterJohn
I quoted the AV. The AV says "full well", which means "very good".
"Full" has the effect of "very" and you know what "well" means. How can you argue with what your own preferred translation says? Are you reading it?

edit on 15-5-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

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