Mark 7:13

In this way you nullify the words of God by your traditions, which you hand down; and you do many similar things.” 

a sneak attack on good
set up to compete
with additional good
handicaps each version
until confusion is revealed
only an Alexandrian blade
changes an assumed dispensation

around we go from knot to knot
until political nihilism
brings Camus’ challenge
to any newborn artist
claim a freedom risk
heal wounds repair cut knots
all else is suicide

We come to the conclusion of Jesus’ defense of those learning and following his Way by going on the offensive against the Pharisees and Scribes. LaVerdiere194 puts it this way:

The rhetorical force of Jesus’ denunciation springs largely from a triple escalation of the indictment. The escalation is seen both in the choice of the words, especially the verbs, and in the sentence structure:

7:8 “You disregard God’s commandment
but cling to human tradition;

7:9 “You have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition . . .;

7:13 “You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition.”

Jesus’ denunciation takes one final step: “And you do many such things”

(7:13b). With this etcetera or kai ta loipa, the rest is left open to the imagination.

The “doing away with” or “nullifying” comes from ἀκυρόω (akyroō, making a contract void). Mann314 notes, “In classical Greek it is frequently used of canceling wills.”

To change the usual reading of the “Will of G*D” to “the will” of G*D moves us toward covenants that build community. To disregard–set aside–nullify the direct intention of G*D is as serious as if you were cut out of your parents will. The function of Corban, here, is to turn everything on its head. Parents no longer will their children blessings in terms of property/financial gain; children now will their parents resources to themselves, essentially declaring that their parents are dead to them.

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