Saturday, 9 January 2016

Law Versus Tradition

Matthew Chapter 15

 #biblestudy #greeknewtestament #pharisees #tencommandments #gospel
 Verses 1 - 9

The Pharisees and Scribes and Scholars had accused Jesus' disciples of transgressing Jewish traditions and culture of that time period by not washing their hands before eating.

First of all I have to point out this hand washing was often merely a token ritual of just pouring a handful of water over one's hands rather than fully washing one's hands and drying with them with a towel.

The appearance of ritual "cleanliness" had become a performance rather than an actual purification or hygienic gesture.

Jesus rebukes them by asking why they also transgress against one particular commandment by placing tradition over Gods' law.

It seems there was a recent or ongoing scandal involving people not supporting their parents by claiming property or money or other obligations to their parents had been transferred to the Temple.
Note in verse 5 the use of the verb opheloo to owe a debt.

These people were privileging "tradition" paradosis over an actual commandment entolee.

Note also the verb akuroo translated as cancel or to make void as in a contract but also a+kuros kuros lord master authority  they are working against the authority of god

remember also that the people of israel believed that the laws were a binding contract with god

the pharisees supporting these "traditions" were overruling the original contract of the ten commandments and Mosaic law and replacing them with a human tradition.

Which is more important?

Traditional Values?

Biblical Law?

Human Interpretations of Both?

While Jesus is also focusing on issues of ritual cleaniness and purity we should remember here what he said about the Ten Commandments and Mosaic law and Prophetic teachings as a whole.

Matthew 22:40
On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets

Here are his two commandments that summarize the body of Judaic law tradition and teaching

Love your lord god with the whole of your heart and soul and mind

Love those around you as you love yourself.


However don't use as some have in the past Jesus' rebuke as an excuse for extremes of asceticism or austerity. Hygiene is good! Dirt is not holy either.
Many of those rules about hygiene in Mosiac law were often sensible forms of protection against bacteria and viruses for a primitive society.


Oh and if you know of any politicians trying to cut any preventative medicine programs and claiming they are supporingt corporations and wealthy individuals "rights" to be "free" of obligations to support others perhap you might want speak out against that?

Next post back to the basics and the next instalement of the greek abc!