Friday, November 15, 2013

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? (Mark 7)

Most of the content and issues of Mark 7 are a repeat of Matthew 15, reply to which I hereby link to. Factoid of interest to very few people: the first draft of Mark 7 was one of my main contributions to the lolcat Bible. (Actually, even though it's been revised, it's pretty close to what I wrote way back when, go figure.)

Anyway, that being said, there is very little here that hasn't already been covered there, with perhaps the exception of "What should we eat?" I've probably addressed this before, but since I don't know where and I've got nothing better going on, why not here? First of all, not all of the verses listed on that page are necessarily saying what the SAB is implying they say. In the category of "You should not eat animals." The Genesis verse is the only one that may be saying that, as some have inferred that before the time of Noah, people were vegetarians; but I think the main thing that the verse is saying is that there is a lot of good plants out there to be eaten, and that may be all it means. The verse from Proverbs I think has the key word of "riotous" and is not arguing against meat eating, but against gluttony. The Daniel verse is a special one; Daniel was going to be eating food off the table of a pagan king, and his main concern may have been that the food had been offered up in a sacrifice to pagan gods, thus he suggested an alternate diet to keep himself undefiled. The Romans verse in context is not saying not to eat meat so much as it's saying that it would be polite in the company of vegetarians to eat meat. (It's a little more complicated and particular than that, but I'm going to simplify it that way because it's good advice in general.)

Now of course the "Only certain kinds of animals may be eaten" category is concerning itself with kosher laws, which only apply to Jews, but then there is some question as to whether kosher laws apply to Jews that convert to Christianity, and some of those questions are going to be raised in the "You may eat any kind of animal." verses. The Genesis verse was from before the kosher laws were set. The Mark verse here may indeed be saying to forget about Kosher laws, because they are not as important as other moral laws. I'd have to check the context of the Luke verse, but if Jesus is sending them among Jews, it shouldn't be an issue anyway. Now all of the remaining verses (except the 1Timothy one) are definitely saying to Christians that they may eat whatever they wish with no regard for type of meat. The 1Timothy verse is a warning against people who may wish to imply that it's spiritual to only eat certain things.

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