Mark 7:19

because it does not pass into his heart, but into his stomach, and is afterward got rid of?” – in saying this Jesus pronounced all food clean.

our explanations limit
our understanding

we hear stomach
and hear food rules

now we can avoid
all other emptinesses

exception being
physical hunger

gorging comes naturally
gluttony and lust equated

but no extension
of conscience over context

listen soon and late
food supports sewers

injustice supports institutions
violence supports power

non-critical conclusions supports naïveté
hoped for privilege supports empire

literalism supports reactiveness
creeds support order

our understandings limit
our explanations

This is a tricky verse to translate into different cultures. In some, body functions cannot be mentioned directly without being vulgar. In some, a euphemism is experienced as prudery.

It is also difficult to translate because of Mark’s use of καθαρίζω (katharizō, “make clean” or “declare clean”).

Is it the causative process from ingestion to ________ (your favorite word/phrase for defecation [laughingly close to deification]) or an authoritative statement that challenges a code of purification by water?

The CEB above chooses to add “by saying this” to the original text to slant it toward Jesus declaring all food comes blessed, whether the recipient has washed in a prescribed manner or not.

The Five Gospels, and others lean the other way, “(This is how everything we eat is purified)”. This is closer to the KJV, “… and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?” We can almost hear the disciples collectively say, “What?”

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