What does Mark 7:12 mean?
ESV: then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,
NIV: then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.
NASB: you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother;
CSB: "you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.
NLT: In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents.
KJV: And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Verse Commentary:
The relationship between the Pharisees and the people is an interesting one. The Pharisees have no legal authority. They have no direct ties to the priests or the temple. They are lay-leaders who study the Mosaic and oral laws thoroughly and try to live by what they read. In doing so, they come to value the law more than the law-Giver. They see people through the lens of the law: do they follow it or not? This is in contrast to seeing people through a lens of God's love and grace. The Pharisees' discipline deserves a measure of respect (Matthew 5:20), but their self-assumed prophetic power over the people is unhealthy and unbiblical.

Even so, it is very effective. Gamaliel was a Pharisee on the council, a teacher of the law, not a priest, when he suggested that the Christian movement would die out if it was not of God (Acts 5:33–42). We're not sure if Paul was an "official" Pharisee, or if he was just studying to be one (Philippians 3:5), but he had the authority to capture, imprison, and vote for the deaths of Christians, even those outside of Israel (Acts 26:10–11).

When Jesus says that the scribes and Pharisees do not "permit" the Jews to break a vow for the sake of his parents, He expresses the influence the teachers hold over the people. That hold is despite some serious contradictions. 1. The Mishnah has sections that prioritize the commandment over the rash vow, but apparently some of the scribes and Pharisees didn't agree. 2. Scripture, itself. Leviticus 5:4–6 says that if someone realizes he is guilty of a sinful rash vow, he can make atonement. It is better to acknowledge one's sin and deal with it than to continue on at the expense of others.
Verse Context:
Mark 7:1–13 argues that the traditions of Jewish elders are twisted interpretations of the Mosaic Law that hide the purpose of that law. Washing is a particular requirement of priests and has nothing to do with ensuring the ceremonial cleanness of a meal. And keeping a rash oath does not relieve a child from the commandment to care for his parents. In their attempt to add to the ceremonial law, the elders subtract from the moral law. They find that anyone who attempts to find salvation through works will end up stumbling on Christ (Romans 9:30–33). This story is also found in Matthew 15:1–9.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus counters another traditional error from the scribes and Pharisees, explaining that food in and of itself does not make a person unclean. Rather, it is the intent of the heart that matters to God. He specifically condemns traditions which effectively undo the original intent of God's commands. Jesus heals the daughter of a persistent Gentile woman, and a man suffering from deafness and a speech impediment.
Chapter Context:
After showing His authority over demons, death, and physics, Jesus asserts His superiority over manmade traditions. For generations, Jewish religious leaders have added to the Law in an attempt to keep the nation holy. Such traditions, however, serve to make the leaders look good but unnecessarily burden the people. Jesus argues in word and action that any law that dismisses love is either misinterpreted or manmade.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 4/16/2024 1:05:24 AM
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