New Living Translation

Mark 7:1–8

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Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity

One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands,* as required by their ancient traditions. Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands* in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.* )

So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”

Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me.

Their worship is a farce,

for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’*

For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”

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7:3 Greek have washed with the fist.


7:4a Some manuscripts read sprinkle themselves.


7:4b Some manuscripts add and dining couches.


7:7 Isa 29:13 (Greek version).