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Matthew 15:1-20 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.”

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 15:1-20 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Tradition of the Elders

15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said,[a] ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’[b] then that person need not honor the father.[c] So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word[d] of God. You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:

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

Things That Defile

10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” 12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.[e] And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 15:4 Other ancient authorities read commanded, saying
  2. Matthew 15:5 Or is an offering
  3. Matthew 15:5 Other ancient authorities add or the mother
  4. Matthew 15:6 Other ancient authorities read law; others, commandment
  5. Matthew 15:14 Other ancient authorities lack of the blind
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Matthew 15:1-20 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.”

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 15:1-20 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.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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