Mark 7:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 7:22, NIV: adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

Mark 7:22, ESV: coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.

Mark 7:22, KJV: Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

Mark 7:22, NASB: deeds of greed, wickedness, deceit, indecent behavior,envy, slander,pride, and foolishness.

Mark 7:22, NLT: adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.

Mark 7:22, CSB: adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.

What does Mark 7:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

With the exile in Babylon, the Israelites turned away from idolatry and toward the Law; there's no mention of Baal worship in the New Testament. The scribes and Pharisees develop ceremonies to ensure the people maintain the purity appropriate for God's chosen people. But while God wants His people to return their hearts to Him (Joel 2:12–13), the religious leaders who insist on extra-scriptural tradition miss the purpose of the Law (Deuteronomy 6:4–6). The Law is to be in their hearts to direct their hands, not on their hands for show (Mark 12:38–40). In their attempt to eradicate idolatry, they make an idol out of keeping the Law.

Jesus continues His explanation of what makes someone unclean. It isn't avoiding contaminated food; it's a heart that delights in sin. "Coveting" is from the Greek root word pleonexia and means to want more. "Wickedness" is from porneria and means depravity or intentional malice. "Deceit" is dolos: craft, deceit, or guile; it can also refer to unjust business practices, scams, or injustice in general. "Sensuality" is from the word aselgeia, which means sexual shamelessness.

"Envy," from the Greek root word ophthalmos poneros, translates literally to "an evil eye," which is a Semitic term for stinginess (Deuteronomy 15:9). It means to sin with one's eyes or to see something with a wicked intent. "Slander" is the terms blasphemia, or speech that dishonors someone's good name. In the Old Testament, it always refers to blasphemy against God. "Pride" is translated from huperephania, referring to an unrealistic, inflated view of oneself with a corresponding contemptuous view of others. "Foolishness" is taken from the Greek aphrosune: a reckless disregard for God's morals. In the Old Testament, foolishness was very often associated with wickedness (Proverbs 14:17).

Several of these sins characterize the scribes' and Pharisees' attitude toward Jesus. They covet His influence and respond with malice. Their accusations are filled with deceit and guile as they manipulate Pilate into condemning Jesus to death (John 18:30, 38–40; 19:12). Early on, the local Pharisees cast an evil eye on Jesus as they seek for a way to destroy Him (Mark 3:6). In the first interaction the scribes from Jerusalem have with Jesus, they slander Him by claiming His power comes from Satan (Mark 3:22). Jesus roundly condemns the scribes' and Pharisees' pride, accusing them of attempting to do good merely to win the admiration of others (Matthew 23:5–7). All their acts show a deep foolishness toward God's standards.

It is these behaviors, not accidentally eating an unclean piece of food, that make the people unclean.