Did Yeshua Really Sanction Eating Everything?

Is this what Yeshua is really saying in Mark 7:19? Think again…!

Mark 7:19, Thus He declared all foods clean. Many mainstream Christians believe that in this verse Yeshua is sanctioning the eating of all food not matter what. Thus he is categorically rejecting the biblical dietary prohibitions against eating…drumroll please…beloved pork. Is this what Yeshua is really saying here? Before jumping to conclusions, let’s take a step back, demonstrate a modicum of logic and ask ourselves some questions.

First, would a Torah-observant Jew like Yeshua really be advocating the eating of anything the Torah forbids such as pork and shellfish? Second, would Yeshua the Messiah, the one destined to be the sinless Lamb of Elohim Messiah be advocating sinning by going against the biblical dietary laws? Third, what is the biblical definition of food? Does the Creator of the universe even consider something to be food that he forbids people from eating? Fourth, if Yeshua had been advocating the eating of unclean meats, what would have been the reaction of his Torah-touting audience of Pharisees? With the answers to these questions dancing around in the reader’s mind, let’s now discuss this potentially enigmatic passage in depth and in its logical context to see what it’s really saying.

This phrase, “Thus He declared all foods clean is excluded from the KJV, but is included in the NAS, NIV and some other modern translations. Some Bible teachers see this phrase as Yeshua’s endorsement for eating unclean meats such as pork. Even if this phrase were in the original language, Yeshua would never have considered swine to be food—a very non-Jewish concept and out of context with a Torah-adherent society. Furthermore, the Jews in his audience would have strongly reacted against Yeshua saying such a thing. What’s more, earlier in this passage Yeshua upholds the Torah over men’s tradition (Mark 7:6–13), and so Yeshua wouldn’t be teaching anything against the Torah by saying we can eat swine!

Not only that, the context of this passage has nothing to do with eating meat. It has to do with eating bread (v. 2). No mention of meat is made here. Only bread, which in verse two is the Greek word artos meaning “food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.” This has nothing to do with meat. The issue was whether it was mandatory to wash one’s hands before eating bread, which was not a Torah law, but was an extra-biblical Jewish legal law. Period. This is what Yeshua was addressing.

The Hebrew Roots Version, which is a translation from the Aramaic, confirms the KJV rendering of this verse. However, some of the modern texts (e.g. the NIV and NAS) add the phrase to the end of this verse, “In saying this [Yeshua] declared all foods clean.” This variant phrase in the newer English translations is the source of the confusion in the minds of many who read this.

The KJV is translated from the Greek family of manuscripts called the Textus Receptus or Received Text, which until the end of the nineteenth century was accepted as the most authoritative and purest manuscripts by the Protestant church. On the other hand, the newer (e.g. the NAS and NIV) translations derive from another family of Greek manuscripts that were rejected by early Protestant scholars as being inferior to the Textus Receptus, but liberal scholars from England challenged these beliefs of earlier scholars and were instrumental in popularizing the variant and previously rejected family of Greek manuscripts (called the Western family of texts).

The debate has raged on for more than 100 years as to which family of manuscripts is the oldest and most reliable and in accordance with the actual autographs (which no longer exist). But since no one knows for sure, can we approach the issue of determining whether the added words in the newer English translations, “In saying this [Yeshua] declared all foods clean” are accurate or not per the original language? Was Yeshua saying here that the dietary laws delineated in the Torah are now nullified? If so, would this be consistent with the rest Yeshua’s teachings?

Briefly, what was Yeshua’s stand on the Torah? In Matthew 5:17–19 he said,

Think not that I am come to destroy the Torah-law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Yeshua here instructed his followers to not think that he had come to annul the Torah-law.

Then in Mark 7:9 Yeshua rebukes the religious folks of his day for nullifying the Word of Elohim by their man-made traditions. What did he mean by the phrase Word of Elohim? When he made this statement there was no “New Testament,” but only the Tanakh (or “Old Testament”). He was rebuking the Jews for changing YHVH’s Word of which the biblical dietary laws in the Torah were a part. So for him to rebuke the Jews for changing the Word of Elohim, and then a few verses later to be advocating the annulment of the dietary laws found in that Word would have made Yeshua not only a hypocrite, but a Torah-law breaker and thus a sinner (1 John 3:4). To suggest that Yeshua was a law-breaker is utter blasphemy(!) and nullifies the entire gospel message and the rest of the Testimony of Yeshua. Therefore, he could not have been advocating the violation of the Torah-law, and at the same time be the Word of Elohim made flesh and be YHVH’s sinless redemptive Lamb, as the newer translations imply by the addition of the phrase, “In saying this [Yeshua] declared all foods clean.” Therefore, we utterly reject this phrase as it appears in our modern Bibles as a corruption of the original text.

By looking at the context, we see that the issue in these passages in Matthew and Mark was not about eating kosher versus not eating kosher, but whether it was allowable to eat with unwashed hands or not. According to Jewish non-biblical oral tradition, it was imperative for one to go through an elaborate hand washing ceremony for mystical reasons before partaking of food. These commandments were rooted in traditions of men, not in the Torah-law of YHVH. Yeshua is taking the Jews to task for placing more emphasis on man-made traditions rather than on the pure and firm Word of Elohim. This seems to be a chronic problem in many religious circles even in our day. Sunday worship replaced the seventh day Sabbath. Christmas and Easter replaced the appointed feasts of YHVH such as Passover, Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles. And the list goes on.

Even beyond the issue of Jewish handwashing traditions, Yeshua was using this as a teaching opportunity to instruct the Jews on the issues of the heart. Whether one eats with unwashed hands or not is of less importance to Elohim than the unwashed condition of the carnal human heart. Religion has made a fine art of addressing surface issues or gilding the proverbial “garbage can,” while overlooking the contents therein. This is what Yeshua was really addressing in this passage.

 

5 thoughts on “Did Yeshua Really Sanction Eating Everything?

  1. What about Peter’s vision in Acts 11 where all foods were declared clean? It seems very clear from reading the New Testament that the rituals of the law have been abrogated by God himself. Just read the book of Hebrews.

    • Actually, Peter’s vision occurs in Acts 10.

      A superficial, out of context, reading of Acts 10 (as the mainstream church interprets it) may erroneously lead one to the conclusion that YHVH is sanctioning the eating of unclean meats, which the Scriptures elsewhere forbids and calls an abomination (i.e. Lev 11). But the Acts 10 passage clearly explains itself and teaches us that the creatures in the vision were metaphors for the Gentiles, who the Jews considered unclean, and not to literal unclean meats.

      For those who are honest truth seekers and are willing to let go of men’s cherished but unbiblical doctrines and traditions that have made of none effect the word of Elohim, I invite you to read my short commentary explaining Peter’s Acts 10 vision on this blog at https://hoshanarabbah.org/blog/2016/04/19/peters-vision-of-the-sheet/.

      The Epistle to the Hebrews in no way abrogates the laws of Elohim. It instead shows how Yeshua fulfilled the Levitical and sacrificial systems, and how the Israelites were the guilty party in that they violated the covenant Elohim made with them thus necessitating the making of a new covenant where the Torah-law is now written on their hearts thus enabling them to do the Torah by the supernatural indwelling aid of the Spirit of Elohim. I have discussed these truths at length previously on this blog and on my YouTube channel, again, for those who are honest truth seekers and want to actually learn instead of just argue.

      • Sorry for the Acts 10 typo. You are correct that the vision Peter saw was a metaphor for the Gentiles’ inclusion in the new covenant. However, Peter was still told to kill and eat. There is absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong with eating pork. The ceremonial uncleanness that came from it was simply and object lesson. Hebrews draws out *contrasts* with the Mosaic order, not types. Jesus does not fulfill the Levitical order; he supersedes it. He is a priest after the order of Melchizadek, not Levi. The Levitical priesthood has waxed old and vanished away and been replaced by something better. The whole book of Hebrews shows that everything to do with Jesus is better than the ritualism under the old law. The sacrifices under the law were useless to deal with sin and death.

        If you want to carry on keeping the rituals of the law then that is your prerogative. But don’t foist your religion on others and make them seem apostate because they don’t keep up with your personal interpretation of the law. You are in danger of returning to the old covenant and salvation by law instead of faith, which was the #1 false doctrine condemned in the New Testament.

        Jesus himself broke the law and was cursed by it because he hung on a tree. Thus that law was abolished. Galatians is clear. Even the Old Testament Scripture teach over and over, while the law was still in operation, that salvation comes outside the law. The law could not cure the people bitten by serpents, for example. Moses had to erect a brazen serpent. And yet even that was misunderstood in the days of Hezekiah where people started worshiping the ritual. The same is true for those who insist the childish (and I use that word because Paul uses the same term in Galatians) rituals of the law are still required.

        Paul said the law was not made for the righteous but for those who can’t control themselves (1 Tim. 1). If you can’t control yourself and need rules and rituals then so be it, but true religion is far deeper and more meaningful that avoiding eating pork.

        When the temple was destroyed in AD 70 that was a sign to all Jews that the old covenant had been done away with.

      • We will agree to disagree. This will be your last post on this blog.

        You are blaspheming Yeshua the Messiah who according to John 1:1 (and many other scriptures in both the OT and NT) is Elohim by saying that he broke the Torah-law, which by biblical definition is the teachings, instructions, precepts and commandants of YHVH Elohim—the Creator of the Universe. In reality, Yeshua broke men’s extra- and non-biblical traditions, but not the Torah-law Elohim. To say that Yeshua broke the Torah shows gross ignorance of the Scriptures on your part and is to call Elohim (Yeshua) a sinner. This is blasphemy and is a lie of the devil. You are walking on dangerous ground and potentially bringing yourself into a place of severe divine judgment. I personally know and publicly countered a well-known minister who said the same thing. Within the year, he dropped dead while in the pulpit.

        When the Bible says that Yeshua”broke” the law, you need to do your homework and look up the word “broke” in the Greek. It means “to loosen” and NOT “to violate.” Violation is sin. You are making Yeshua into a violator of the Torah (i.e. a sinner), and this is blasphemy. You are using your faulty understanding of the Scriptures and the original languages to then justify your breaking of the Torah-law. This is sin.

        It is shameful that the English translators of the Bible have used the wrong English words and have made Yeshua into a sinner by their faulty translations. Their misguided translation stems of anti-semitic theologies going back to the post-apostolic early church fathers, and it caters to the innate hatred for YHVH’s law that resides in the unregenerate nature of all humans as per Rom 8:7 and Jer 17:9. You have sadly bought into this lie because you haven’t done your homework and studied what the Bible really says in the original languages behind the English translations. This is to your shame because you have bought into doctrines of devils.

        This blog will neither countenance anti-Christ nor anti-Torah statements, much less satanically inspired blasphemy against Elohim/the Messiah. Evidently you failed to read the rules of my blog that are listed on the main page where such statements are not permitted. Not only do you hate the laws of Elohim, but you are show utter disrespect for your fellow man. Shame on you.

        Obviously both of our minds are made up on this issues about the validity of the Torah and the deity of Yeshua, and my blog is not a forum for pointless argumentation on these issues, which for me are non-negotiable. I have written and published numerous articles and dozens of videos extensively addressing the mainstream church’s (and your) anti-Torah arguments, so there is nothing more to say on this subject until you are willing to objectively study what I (and many other articulate, well-reasoned whole Biblical researchers and scholars) have said on the subject. Therefore, this discussion is closed and no further comments will be taken on it. If you care to continue the discussion, you are free to launch your own blog for that purpose, but you are no longer welcome on my blog.
        No person who has a Spirit-led relationship with Yeshua can make the statements you have made. I urge you to repent of your sin before it’s too late for you. I judge righteous judgment as per the commands of Yeshua in John 7:24 by judging the tree’s fruits and by discerning the spirits according to the Set-Apart Spirit’s gift of discernment.

  2. Absolutely on the mark. Keep shooting straight dear Natan! Honesty is always the best policy & loving and practising lies is a road to death because of the deception of pride making hearts hard to Elohim’s perfect Ways. Shalom to All. FJ

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