Mark 7:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 7:8, NIV: You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.'

Mark 7:8, ESV: You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

Mark 7:8, KJV: For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

Mark 7:8, NASB: Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.'

Mark 7:8, NLT: For you ignore God's law and substitute your own tradition.'

Mark 7:8, CSB: Abandoning the command of God, you hold on to human tradition."

What does Mark 7:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Despite hundreds of years of warnings, the Jews refused to obey the Mosaic Law in clear issues like not worshiping false gods (Jeremiah 9:13–14) and observing the Sabbath (Jeremiah 17:27). Even after the seventy-year captivity in Babylon, those who returned to Jerusalem had to learn the difficult lesson of not taking pagan wives (Ezra 10). But they did work harder, up to and including developing additional rules known as the oral law.

While the Pharisees and scribes revere this oral law as instructions of the elders passed down from Moses, Jesus regards it as manmade traditions. Ostensibly, the oral law is a supplement to the Mosaic Law, a gate-keeper that prevents anyone from breaking the laws God gave directly. In reality, it is an unnecessary burden that denies the perfection of God's Word (Psalm 19:7) while inciting pride in its followers. In addition, strict adherence to the manmade rules invariably leads to disobedience to God.

"Leave" is from the Greek root word aphiemi and means to abandon all claims to. "Hold" is from the Greek root word krateo and infers a mastery or control marked with power and strength. The words describe the beginning stages of the religious leaders' change of heart toward God's law.

The Pharisees and scribes claim that following the traditions makes it easier to obey the Law. Today's church still has a tendency to follow suit. It's fine to have a tradition, such as a Christmas pageant or a summer church picnic. It's fine for a church to have a particular culture, such as favoring a music style or formal clothing. It's not okay for tradition or culture to supersede the purpose of the church, which is to be a place where believers can serve and love each other.