Matthew 15:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"

New Living Translation
"Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat."

English Standard Version
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”

Berean Study Bible
"Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat."

Berean Literal Bible
"Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they shall eat bread."

New American Standard Bible
"Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."

King James Bible
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat!"

International Standard Version
"Why do your disciples disregard the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands when they eat."

NET Bible
"Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat."

New Heart English Bible
"Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the Elders? They do not wash their hands whenever they eat bread.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Why do your disciples break the traditions of our ancestors? They do not wash their hands before they eat."

New American Standard 1977
“Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.

King James 2000 Bible
Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

American King James Version
Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

American Standard Version
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Why do thy disciples trangress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Darby Bible Translation
Why do thy disciples transgress what has been delivered by the ancients? for they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.

English Revised Version
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Webster's Bible Translation
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Weymouth New Testament
"Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the Elders by not washing their hands before meals?"

World English Bible
"Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat bread."

Young's Literal Translation
'Wherefore do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they do not wash their hands when they may eat bread.'
Study Bible
Tradition and Worship
1Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?…
Cross References
Matthew 15:3
Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?

Mark 7:2
and they saw some of His disciples eating with hands that were defiled--that is, unwashed.

Mark 7:5
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned Jesus: "Why do Your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders? Instead, they eat with defiled hands."

Luke 11:38
But the Pharisee was astonished to see that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

Galatians 1:14
I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
Treasury of Scripture

Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

transgress.

Mark 7:2,5 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that …

Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven …

Colossians 2:8,20-23 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, …

1 Peter 1:18 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible …

tradition. Tradition, in Latin traditio, from trado, I deliver, hand down, exactly agreeing with the original [paradosis,] from [paradidomi,] I deliver, transmit. Among the Jews it signifies what is called oral law, which they say has been successively handed down from Moses, through every generation, to Judah the Holy, who compiled and digested it into the Mishneh, to explain which the two Gemaras, or Talmuds, called the Jerusalem and Babylonish, were composed. Of the estimation in which these were held by the Jews, the following may serve as an example: 'The words of the Scribes are lovely beyond the words of the law, for the words of the law are weighty and light, but the words of the Scribes are all weighty.'

(2) They wash not their hands when they eat bread.--St. Mark (Mark 7:3-4), writing for Gentiles, explains the nature of the tradition more fully. What the Pharisees insisted on was not cleanliness as such, but the avoidance of ceremonial pollution. They shrank not from dirt, but from defilement. If they had been in the market, they might have come in contact with the heathen or the publican. If they ate or drank out of a metal or earthenware cup, the last lip that touched it might have been that of a heathen, and therefore that too needed purification. The pride which led them to stand aloof from the rest of mankind showed itself in this, as in all their other traditions. Indifference to their rules in peasants and fishermen, as such--as belonging to the crowd whom they scorned as the brute "people of the earth"--they could afford to tolerate. What shocked them was to see the disciples of One who claimed to be a Prophet or a Rabbi indulging in that indifference. According to their traditions, the act of which they complained stood on the same level as sexual impurity, and exposed those who were guilty of it to the excommunication of the Sanhedrin, or great Council.

Verse 2. - Thy disciples. They had watched our Lord and his followers partaking of some meal, and doubtless Christ had acted in the same manner as his disciples. Open houses and food partaken of in public allowed this close observation without any infringement of Eastern courtesy. They come to Christ with the insidious question, because they consider him answerable for his disciples' doings (comp. Matthew 9:14; Matthew 12:2). They imply that his teaching has led to thee transgression on which they animadvert. Doubtless the apostles, from Christ's instruction and example, were learning to free themselves from the endless rules and restrictions which were no help to religion, and to attend more to the great realities of vital piety and holiness. The omission of the outward acts, rabbinically enjoined, was readily marked and censured. The tradition. This formed a vast collection of additions, explanations, etc., of the original Law, partly, as was affirmed, delivered orally by Moses, and handed down from generation to generation; and partly accumulated by successive expounders. St. Paul refers to this when he speaks of himself before his conversion as being "exceedingly jealous for the tradition or my fathers" (Galatians 1:14). From it, in the course of time. was formed the Talmud, with its text (Mishna) and its commentary (Gemara). It was not put into writing till after our Lord's time (hence called ἄγραφος διδασκαλία), but was taught authoritatively by accredited teachers who, while retaining the letter of the Law abrogated its spirit, nullifying the broad line of God's commandments by enforcing minute observances and puerile restrictions which were a burden and impediment to purity and devotion, rather than an aid and encouragement. The elders (τῶν πρεσβυτέρων); the ancients. The older expositors and rabbis, whose commentaries had been orally handed down.. Such traditions were regarded with more respect than the letter of Scripture, and the latter had to give way when it seemed to be antagonistic to the former. Wash not their hands when they eat bread. To eat bread means to take food of any kind. The fear of legal defilement led to a multitude of rabbinical rules of the most vexatious and troublesome nature, the infringement of any of which endangered a man's ceremonial purity (see Mark 7:3, 4). These frivolous regulations had been built upon the plain Mosaical enactments of Leviticus 11, etc. St. Matthew, writing for those who were well acquainted with these glosses, enters into no details; St. Mark is more explicit. It is to be remarked that the Pharisees were extending and enforcing these traditions just when the Law was to be superseded by something more spiritual and doing so in spite of the interdiction "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you" (Deuteronomy 4:2). Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?.... Having observed, for some little time, the conduct of Christ and his disciples, they thought proper to take no notice of him as yet, but of them; and of them, not as transgressing any command of God, but of men; not being able to charge them with any breach of the law of God: and could they have done this with any show of truth, yet they might choose rather to accuse them of breaking the rules of the elders; by whom they mean, not the elders of the present sanhedrim, but Hillell and Shammai; the two heads of their famous schools, and other ancient doctors; from whom were delivered by one to another, certain rules and laws of their own devising, which had no foundation in the word of God; and of these the Scribes and Pharisees were more tenacious, than of the Scriptures; and indeed they preferred them before them: most extravagant are their praises and commendations of these unwritten traditions; thus they say (d),

"Know then, that "the words of the Scribes" are more lovely than the words of the law: for, says R. Tarphon, if a man does not read, he only transgresses an affirmative; but if he transgresses the words of the school of Hillell, he is guilty of death, because he hath broke down a hedge, and a serpent shall bite him. It is a tradition of R. Ishmael, the words of the law have in them both prohibition and permission; some of them are light, and some heavy, but "the words of the Scribes" are all of them heavy--Mynqz , "weightier are the words of the elders", than the words of the prophets.''

And elsewhere (e), this advice is given;

"My son, attend to "the words of the Scribes", more than to the words of the law; for in the words of the law, are affirmatives and negatives; but the words of the Scribes , "everyone that transgresses the words of the Scribes", is guilty of death.''

This is what they charge the disciples with here, and could they have had their wills, would have put them to death for it: the particular tradition, they accuse them with the breach of, follows,

for they wash not their hands when they eat bread; common bread, an ordinary meal; for, for eating of holy things, more than bare washing was required, even an immersion of them in water; but the hands were to be washed before eating common food, whether they were known to be defiled or not: "bread" is particularly mentioned, as including all sorts of food, and as distinct from fruit; for, for eating of common fruit, there was no need of washing of hands; he that washed his hands for eating fruit, was reckoned an ostentatious man (f), who were the first authors of this tradition, it is not certain; it is said (g), that

"Hillell and Shammai decreed , "concerning the purification of the hands"; R. Jose ben R. Bon, in the name of R. Levi, says, so was the tradition before, but they forgot it; and these two stood up, and agreed with the minds of the former ones.''

"However, it is a certain point, that the washing of the hands, and the dipping of them, are , "from the words of the Scribes" (h).''

The breach of this rule was reckoned equal to the most flagitious crimes (i): R. Jose says,

"whoever eats bread without washing of hands, is as if he lay with a whore: and, says R. Eleazer, whoever despiseth washing of hands, shall be rooted out of the world.''

And elsewhere it is said by them (k), that

"he that blesseth (food) with defiled hands, is guilty of death.''

And again (l),

"whoever does not wash his hands as is fitting, although he is punished above, he shall be punished below.''

continued...2. Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.15:1-9 Additions to God's laws reflect upon his wisdom, as if he had left out something which was needed, and which man could supply; in one way or other they always lead men to disobey God. How thankful ought we to be for the written word of God! Never let us think that the religion of the Bible can be improved by any human addition, either in doctrine or practice. Our blessed Lord spoke of their traditions as inventions of their own, and pointed out one instance in which this was very clear, that of their transgressing the fifth commandment. When a parent's wants called for assistance, they pleaded, that they had devoted to the temple all they could spare, even though they did not part with it, and therefore their parents must expect nothing from them. This was making the command of God of no effect. The doom of hypocrites is put in a little compass; In vain do they worship me. It will neither please God, nor profit themselves; they trust in vanity, and vanity will be their recompence.
Jump to Previous
Ancients Bread Break Delivered Disciples Disobey Eat Elders Fathers Food Hands Meals Teaching Tradition Transgress Unwashed Wash Washing Wherefore
Jump to Next
Ancients Bread Break Delivered Disciples Disobey Eat Elders Fathers Food Hands Meals Teaching Tradition Transgress Unwashed Wash Washing Wherefore
Links
Matthew 15:2 NIV
Matthew 15:2 NLT
Matthew 15:2 ESV
Matthew 15:2 NASB
Matthew 15:2 KJV

Matthew 15:2 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 15:2 Chinese Bible
Matthew 15:2 French Bible
Matthew 15:2 German Bible

Alphabetical: before bread break disciples do don't eat elders For hands not of the their They tradition wash when Why your

NT Gospels: Matthew 15:2 Why do your disciples disobey the tradition (Matt. Mat Mt) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
Matthew 15:1
Top of Page
Top of Page