Mark 7:10

Note: After a review of the posts here, this verse missed being published in its sequence and is added at this late date to make it available in the “Mark 7” Category to the right. Pardon the intrusion into your regular reading


For while Moses said ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Let anyone who abuses their father or mother suffer death,’


strong words
set formational values
in no uncertain terms
except life circumstance

honor is beautiful
in the abstract
but a beholding eye
is relevant

failure in basics
fails self and partner
in every direction
through generations

substituting parents
does not assuage
a commandment’s hard edge
keeping order


In an honor/shame culture (and it runs through every culture to varying degrees and about different categories) the positive action is equivalent to what might otherwise be called love.

We might note here that there are objections to be made to the written Torah supported by Jesus and the oral Torah of the Pharisees and Scribes. Like honor in differing cultures, these two have their similarities and differences. Here the similarity is condemnation of the other.

Whether coming from the authority of written or oral sources, care needs taking about what we pull out to constrain those more attuned to the other authority.

Molina/Rohrbaugh223 provide a list of maps that can use either the written or spoken word to justify any boundary setting.

(1) time, which specified rules for the sabbath, when to say the Shema, and when circumcision should be performed; (2) places, spelling out what could be done in the various precincts of the Temple or where the scapegoat was to be sent on the Day of Atonement; (3) persons, designating whom one could marry, touch, or eat with; who could divorce; who could enter the various spaces in the Temple and Temple courtyards; and who could hold certain offices or perform certain actions; (4) things, clarifying what was considered clean or unclean, could be offered in sacrifice, or could be allowed contact with the body; (5) meals, determining what could be eaten; how it was to be grown, prepared, or slaughtered; in what vessels it could be served; when and where it could be eaten; and with whom it could be shared; and (6) “others,” that is, whoever and whatever could pollute by contact.

Larger or smaller deaths are the result of going off map. Written and oral cultural GPS units cry out, “Recalculate!, return to course.”

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