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Mark 7:1

ESV Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem,
NIV The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus
NASB The Pharisees and some of the scribes *gathered to Him after they came from Jerusalem,
CSB The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him.
NLT One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.
KJV Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

What does Mark 7:1 mean?

The scribes are professional scholars and lawyers who specialize in the Mosaic Law. They claim, in addition to the written Law—the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy—that God gave Moses a series of oral laws which give more detail to what is written. Jesus first met with the scribes of Jerusalem in Mark 3:22–30 when they accused Him of performing miracles by the power of Satan. Some of the scribes are also Pharisees, but not all.

The Pharisees are a sect of ultra-conservative Jews who also value the oral law. The scribes and Pharisees believe that following the oral law will prevent anyone from coming close to breaking the written law. Their desire to follow the law is admirable, as the last time Israel neglected God's commandment the Babylonians destroyed the temple and the wall around Jerusalem, and took the people into exile for seventy years. But their fear of God's wrath leads to an unhealthy mix of pride, legalism, and hypocrisy. Too often practicing the oral law results in contradictions to the intent of the written law. In their attempt to remain as clean as possible, the scribes and Pharisees come to value their traditions over what God actually gave Moses.

Jesus has already addressed the Pharisees' teaching that good Jews should not associate with sinners (Mark 2:15–17), harvest a meal on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23–28), or heal on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1–6). In the future, He will challenge their beliefs on God's view of marriage (Mark 10:2–9) and their responsibilities to the pagan government (Mark 12:13–17).
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