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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 8325 purity, nature of
8325 purity, nature of

8325 purity, nature of

The OT recognises a close link between outer cleanliness and inner purity. In the NT, special emphasis is placed on inner purity resulting from spiritual renewal.

Physical cleansing from impurity by washing or refining

Ge 18:4; Job 9:30; Ps 12:6

Ritual impurity must be avoided or cleansed

Lev 10:10-11 See also Isa 35:8; Isa 52:1,11; Mk 7:2,4

Sexual sources of ritual impurity

Childbirth Lev 12:2 See also Lev 12:5; Lk 2:22

Sexual intercourse Ex 19:15; Lev 15:18; 1Sa 21:4

Seminal emission Lev 15:16-17; Dt 23:10-11; 1Sa 20:26

Menstruation Lev 15:19-20; 2Sa 11:2-4; Eze 18:6

Abnormal discharge Lev 15:1-2,25-27; Mt 9:20 pp Mk 5:25 pp Lk 8:43

Other sources of ritual impurity

Dead bodies Nu 19:11-16

Unclean creatures Ge 7:2 See also Lev 11:24,46-47; Dt 14:3; Hos 9:3

Skin diseases Lev 13:45 See also Mt 8:2-4 pp Mk 1:40-44 pp Lk 5:12-14

Mildew Lev 14:36

Contact with a sin offering Lev 16:26

Cleansing from ritual impurity

Lev 14:8 See also Lev 16:26; Nu 19:17-21,9,17-21; Nu 31:22-23 Fire is also a purifying agent.

Contact with God demanded purity

Ex 19:10 See also Ex 19:14-15; Ex 30:18-21; Heb 10:22

Ritual purity is not required under the new covenant

Mt 15:11 pp Mk 7:15 What concerns God is moral impurity, associated with actions, not ritual impurity, associated with food, etc. See also Ac 10:12-15; Ac 21:26 Paul took part in Jewish purification rites in accordance with his Jewish heritage; Ro 14:14; Gal 2:11-12 Peter temporarily relapsed into the habit of treating Gentiles as unclean; Gal 2:14-15; 1Ti 4:4

See also

1065God, holiness of
6606access to God
7340clean and unclean
7424ritual law
7426ritual washing

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