Washing Of Hands

Wash­ing of Hands Prac­tised by All The Jews”?

In Mark 7:2 – 4, we read the fol­low­ing passage :

Mark 7:2 – 4

2 And when they saw some of his dis­ci­ples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

3 For the Phar­isees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, hold­ing the tra­di­tion of the elders.

4 And when they come from the mar­ket, except they wash, they eat not. And many oth­er things there be, which they have received to hold, as the wash­ing of cups, and pots, brasen ves­sels, and of tables. 

There is a prob­lem with this pas­sage, how­ev­er : the rit­u­al wash­ing of hands was oblig­a­tory only on the priests ! 

This is attest­ed to by Nine­ham when he says that :

…the evi­dence of the Tal­mud is that in the time of Jesus rit­u­al wash­ing of hands before meals was oblig­a­tory only on the priests.Den­nis E. Nine­ham, Saint Mark (Pen­guin, 1963), p. 193

So clear­ly we have Mark con­fused with the “…Jew­ish prac­tise of his own time with the Pales­tin­ian prac­tise of forty years ago.“Ran­del Helms, Who Wrote The Gospels ? (Mil­le­ni­um Press), p. 10

It is hence because of this his­tor­i­cal error by Mark which is why many schol­ars of the New Tes­ta­ment con­clud­ed that Mark was prob­a­bly not Jew­ish. This is echoed by McDon­ald and Porter, who says

Essen­tial­ly, the argu­ments against John Mark, a Jew­ish res­i­dent of Jerusalem and lat­er the com­pan­ion of Paul and also of Peter, writ­ing this Gospel are that he does not appear to be familiar…with Jew­ish cus­toms, over­gen­er­al­izes about the Jews (7:3 – 4), from whom he seems to dis­tance him­self…Lee Mar­tin Mc Don­ald and Stan­ley E. Porter, Ear­ly Chris­tian­i­ty and its Sacred Lit­er­a­ture (Nov 2000, Hen­drick­son Pub­lish­ers, Inc.), p. 286

Bart Ehrman, the renowned New Tes­ta­ment schol­ar and tex­tu­al crit­ic, fur­ther elab­o­rates on the mat­ter by stat­ing that

…in 7:3 – 4, where Mark has to explain the Phar­i­sa­ic cus­tom of wash­ing hands before eat­ing for cer­e­mo­ni­al cleans­ing. Pre­sum­ably, if his audi­ence were Jew­ish, they would have known this cus­tom, and Mark would not have to explain it. What is even more intrigu­ing is that fact that Mark appears to mis­un­der­stand the prac­tise : he claims that it was fol­lowed by all the Jews.” We know from ancient Jew­ish writ­ings that this is sim­ply not true. For this rea­son, many schol­ars have con­clud­ed that Mark him­self was not Jew­ish.Bart D. Ehrman, The New Tes­ta­ment. A His­tor­i­cal Intro­duc­tion to the Ear­ly Chris­t­ian Writ­ings (2nd edi­tion, Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2000), p. 74

So the ques­tion remains, if the author was a native of Pales­tine and a Jew, then how was he igno­rant of the Jew­ish cus­toms and made such a fun­da­men­tal error regard­ing a prac­tice that was only lim­it­ed to Jew­ish priests ?

And only God knows best ! Washing of Hands Practised by "All The Jews"? 1Endmark




2 responses to “Wash­ing of Hands Prac­tised by All The Jews”?”

    1. Bismika Allahuma Team Avatar

      Quot­ing that liar Shamu as a source is not going to con­vince us to change our stance.

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