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Matthew 15 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Teaching of the Ancestors

15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked him, “Why is it that your disciples disobey the teaching handed down by our ancestors? They don't wash their hands in the proper way before they eat!”

Jesus answered, “And why do you disobey God's command and follow your own teaching? For God said, ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and ‘If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death.’ But you teach that if people have something they could use to help their father or mother, but say, ‘This belongs to God,’ they do not need to honor their father.[a] In this way you disregard God's command, in order to follow your own teaching. You hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you!

‘These people, says God, honor me with their words,
    but their heart is really far away from me.
It is no use for them to worship me,
    because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!’”

The Things That Make a Person Unclean

10 Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand! 11 It is not what goes into your mouth that makes you ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes you unclean.”

12 Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that the Pharisees had their feelings hurt by what you said?”

13 “Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up,” answered Jesus. 14 “Don't worry about them! They are blind leaders of the blind; and when one blind man leads another, both fall into a ditch.”

15 Peter spoke up, “Explain this saying to us.”

16 Jesus said to them, “You are still no more intelligent than the others. 17 Don't you understand? Anything that goes into your mouth goes into your stomach and then on out of your body. 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that make you ritually unclean. 19 For from your heart come the evil ideas which lead you to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others. 20 These are the things that make you unclean. But to eat without washing your hands as they say you should—this doesn't make you unclean.”

A Woman's Faith

21 Jesus left that place and went off to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.”

23 But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him, “Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!”

24 Then Jesus replied, “I have been sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.”

25 At this the woman came and fell at his feet. “Help me, sir!” she said.

26 Jesus answered, “It isn't right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.”

27 “That's true, sir,” she answered, “but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their masters' table.”

28 So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed.

Jesus Heals Many People

29 Jesus left there and went along by Lake Galilee. He climbed a hill and sat down. 30 Large crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb, and many other sick people, whom they placed at Jesus' feet; and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus Feeds Four Thousand

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with me for three days and now have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away without feeding them, for they might faint on their way home.”

33 The disciples asked him, “Where will we find enough food in this desert to feed this crowd?”

34 “How much bread do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven loaves,” they answered, “and a few small fish.”

35 So Jesus ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks to God, broke them, and gave them to the disciples; and the disciples gave them to the people. 37 They all ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up seven baskets full of pieces left over. 38 The number of men who ate was four thousand, not counting the women and children.

39 Then Jesus sent the people away, got into a boat, and went to the territory of Magadan.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 15:6 their father; some manuscripts have their father or mother.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Matthew 15 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 15

The Tradition of the Elders.[a] Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?[b] They do not wash [their] hands when they eat a meal.” He said to them in reply, “And why do you break the commandment of God[c] for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’ [d]But you say, ‘Whoever says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is dedicated to God,” need not honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God for the sake of your tradition. Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said:

‘This people honors me with their lips,[e]
    but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines human precepts.’”

10 He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand. 11 It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” 12 Then his disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13 He said in reply,[f] “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides (of the blind). If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.” 15 Then Peter[g] said to him in reply, “Explain [this] parable to us.” 16 He said to them, “Are even you still without understanding? 17 Do you not realize that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled into the latrine? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile. 19 [h]For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

The Canaanite Woman’s Faith.[i] 21 Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” 23 But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” 24 [j]He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children[k] and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” 28 Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith![l] Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.

The Healing of Many People. 29 Moving on from there Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. 30 Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. 31 The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.

The Feeding of the Four Thousand.[m] 32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, “My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way.” 33 The disciples said to him, “Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?” 34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” “Seven,” they replied, “and a few fish.” 35 He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks,[n] broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over—seven baskets full. 38 Those who ate were four thousand men, not counting women and children. 39 And when he had dismissed the crowds, he got into the boat and came to the district of Magadan.

Footnotes:

  1. 15:1–20 This dispute begins with the question of the Pharisees and scribes why Jesus’ disciples are breaking the tradition of the elders about washing one’s hands before eating (Mt 15:2). Jesus’ counterquestion accuses his opponents of breaking the commandment of God for the sake of their tradition (Mt 15:3) and illustrates this by their interpretation of the commandment of the Decalogue concerning parents (Mt 15:4–6). Denouncing them as hypocrites, he applies to them a derogatory prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 15:7–8). Then with a wider audience (the crowd, Mt 15:10) he goes beyond the violation of tradition with which the dispute has started. The parable (Mt 15:11) is an attack on the Mosaic law concerning clean and unclean foods, similar to those antitheses that abrogate the law (Mt 5:31–32, 33–34, 38–39). After a warning to his disciples not to follow the moral guidance of the Pharisees (Mt 15:13–14), he explains the parable (Mt 15:15) to them, saying that defilement comes not from what enters the mouth (Mt 15:17) but from the evil thoughts and deeds that rise from within, from the heart (Mt 15:18–20). The last verse returns to the starting point of the dispute (eating with unwashed hands). Because of Matthew’s omission of Mk 7:19b, some scholars think that Matthew has weakened the Marcan repudiation of the Mosaic food laws. But that half verse is ambiguous in the Greek, which may be the reason for its omission here.
  2. 15:2 The tradition of the elders: see note on Mk 7:5. The purpose of the handwashing was to remove defilement caused by contact with what was ritually unclean.
  3. 15:3–4 For the commandment see Ex 20:12 (Dt 5:16); 21:17. The honoring of one’s parents had to do with supporting them in their needs.
  4. 15:5 See note on Mk 7:11.
  5. 15:8 The text of Is 29:13 is quoted approximately according to the Septuagint.
  6. 15:13–14 Jesus leads his disciples away from the teaching authority of the Pharisees.
  7. 15:15 Matthew specifies Peter as the questioner, unlike Mk 7:17. Given his tendency to present the disciples as more understanding than in his Marcan source, it is noteworthy that here he retains the Marcan rebuke, although in a slightly milder form. This may be due to his wish to correct the Jewish Christians within his church who still held to the food laws and thus separated themselves from Gentile Christians who did not observe them.
  8. 15:19 The Marcan list of thirteen things that defile (Mk 7:21–22) is here reduced to seven that partially cover the content of the Decalogue.
  9. 15:21–28 See note on Mt 8:5–13.
  10. 15:24 See note on Mt 10:5–6.
  11. 15:26 The children: the people of Israel. Dogs: see note on Mt 7:6.
  12. 15:28 As in the case of the cure of the centurion’s servant (Mt 8:10), Matthew ascribes Jesus’ granting the request to the woman’s great faith, a point not made equally explicit in the Marcan parallel (Mk 7:24–30).
  13. 15:32–39 Most probably this story is a doublet of that of the feeding of the five thousand (Mt 14:13–21). It differs from it notably only in that Jesus takes the initiative, not the disciples (Mt 15:32), and in the numbers: the crowd has been with Jesus three days (Mt 15:32), seven loaves are multiplied (Mt 15:36), seven baskets of fragments remain after the feeding (Mt 15:37), and four thousand men are fed (Mt 15:38).
  14. 15:36 Gave thanks: see Mt 14:19, “said the blessing.” There is no difference in meaning. The thanksgiving was a blessing of God for his benefits.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Matthew 15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

15 Then some P’rushim and Torah-teachers from Yerushalayim came to Yeshua and asked him, “Why is it that your talmidim break the Tradition of the Elders? They don’t do n’tilat-yadayim before they eat!” He answered, “Indeed, why do you break the command of God by your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’[b] But you say, ‘If anyone says to his father or mother, “I have promised to give to God what I might have used to help you,” then he is rid of his duty to honor his father or mother.’ Thus by your tradition you make null and void the word of God! You hypocrites! Yesha‘yahu was right when he prophesied about you,

‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far away from me.
Their worship of me is useless,
because they teach man-made rules as if they were doctrines.’”[c]

10 Then he called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand this! 11 What makes a person unclean is not what goes into his mouth; rather, what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean!”

12 The talmidim came to him and said, “Do you know that the P’rushim were offended by what you said?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Let them be. They are blind guides. When a blind man guides another blind man, both will fall in a pit.”

15 Kefa said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 So he said, “Don’t you understand even now? 17 Don’t you see that anything that enters the mouth goes into the stomach and passes out into the latrine? 18 But what comes out of your mouth is actually coming from your heart, and that is what makes a person unclean. 19 For out of the heart come forth wicked thoughts, murder, adultery and other kinds of sexual immorality, theft, lies, slanders. . . . 20 These are what really make a person unclean, but eating without doing n’tilat-yadayim does not make a person unclean.”

21 Yeshua left that place and went off to the region of Tzor and Tzidon. 22 A woman from Kena‘an who was living there came to him, pleading, “Sir, have pity on me. Son of David! My daughter is cruelly held under the power of demons!” 23 But Yeshua did not say a word to her. Then his talmidim came to him and urged him, “Send her away, because she is following us and keeps pestering us with her crying.” 24 He said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Isra’el.” 25 But she came, fell at his feet and said, “Sir, help me!” 26 He answered, “It is not right to take the children’s food and toss it to their pet dogs.” 27 She said, “That is true, sir, but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Yeshua answered her, “Lady, you are a person of great trust. Let your desire be granted.” And her daughter was healed at that very moment.

29 Yeshua left there and went along the shore of Lake Kinneret. He climbed a hill and sat down; 30 and large crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others. They laid them at his feet, and he healed them. 31 The people were amazed as they saw mute people speaking, crippled people cured, lame people walking and blind people seeing; and they said a b’rakhah to the God of Isra’el.

32 Yeshua called his talmidim to him and said, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with me three days, and now they have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, because they might collapse on the way home.” 33 The talmidim said to him, “Where will we find enough loaves of bread in this remote place to satisfy so big a crowd?” 34 Yeshua asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few fish.” 35 After telling the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, made a b’rakhah, broke the loaves and gave them to the talmidim, who gave them to the people. 37 Everyone ate his fill, and they took seven large baskets full of the leftover pieces. 38 Those eating numbered four thousand men, plus women and children. 39 After sending the crowd away, he got in the boat and went off to the region of Magadan.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 15:4 Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16
  2. Matthew 15:4 Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9
  3. Matthew 15:9 Isaiah 29:13
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Matthew 15 The Message (MSG)

What Pollutes Your Life

15 1-2 After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?”

3-9 But Jesus put it right back on them. “Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands? God clearly says, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ But you weasel around that by saying, ‘Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I’ve given to God.’ That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God’s command by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah’s prophecy of you hit the bull’s-eye:

These people make a big show of saying the right thing,
    but their heart isn’t in it.
They act like they’re worshiping me,
    but they don’t mean it.
They just use me as a cover
    for teaching whatever suits their fancy.”

10-11 He then called the crowd together and said, “Listen, and take this to heart. It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up.”

12 Later his disciples came and told him, “Did you know how upset the Pharisees were when they heard what you said?”

13-14 Jesus shrugged it off. “Every tree that wasn’t planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.”

15 Peter said, “I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.”

16-20 Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.”

Healing the People

21-22 From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit.”

23 Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, “Now she’s bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She’s driving us crazy.”

24 Jesus refused, telling them, “I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. “Master, help me.”

26 He said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.”

27 She was quick: “You’re right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master’s table.”

28 Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well.

29-31 After Jesus returned, he walked along Lake Galilee and then climbed a mountain and took his place, ready to receive visitors. They came, tons of them, bringing along the paraplegic, the blind, the maimed, the mute—all sorts of people in need—and more or less threw them down at Jesus’ feet to see what he would do with them. He healed them. When the people saw the mutes speaking, the maimed healthy, the paraplegics walking around, the blind looking around, they were astonished and let everyone know that God was blazingly alive among them.

32 But Jesus wasn’t finished with them. He called his disciples and said, “I hurt for these people. For three days now they’ve been with me, and now they have nothing to eat. I can’t send them away without a meal—they’d probably collapse on the road.”

33 His disciples said, “But where in this deserted place are you going to dig up enough food for a meal?”

34-39 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”

“Seven loaves,” they said, “plus a few fish.” At that, Jesus directed the people to sit down. He took the seven loaves and the fish. After giving thanks, he divided it up and gave it to the people. Everyone ate. They had all they wanted. It took seven large baskets to collect the leftovers. Over four thousand people ate their fill at that meal. After Jesus sent them away, he climbed in the boat and crossed over to the Magadan hills.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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