What does Mark 7:19 mean? - "and goeth into the draught, purging all meats?"
What is "the draught"? (Matthew 15:17; Mark 7:19) and What is "a draught house"? (2 Kings 10:27)
Mark 7:18-19 “And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, AND GOETH INTO THE DRAUGHT, PURGING ALL MEATS?”
Lance L. writes: Hi, can someone verify for me Mark 7:19 with KJV translation? I checked the Textus Receptus (TR) Greek text, Tischendorf, WH, Byzantine, SBLGNT, Orthodox, UBS4 and NA28. The following is last part of Mark 7:19.
καθαρίζον πάντα τὰ βρώματα
The Lord Jesus is supposed to have declared all food are clean.
One of the differences between Christianity and Judaism is restriction on food. See Acts 10:14-15 and ROMANS 14:14. I have also checked with NASB, HCSB, NET, ESV 2007, ESV 2011, NIV 1984, NIV 2011, including RSV and NRSV. All these translations have included the above Greek text. Did KJV translators miss that out? And why? Wouldn't this affect doctrine and/or Christian living? Please enlighten me. Thank you. [End of question]
Hi Lance. No, the King James Bible is not wrong and they did not miss anything. Many modern versions have simply mistranslated the verse and come up with the wrong meaning.
One of the first things we need to clear up is the meaning of the unfamiliar word “draught” (pronounced and sometimes spelled as “draft”) and “a draught house”, as found in 2 Kings 10:27.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary - Draught (British spelling of the word Draft) - A sink or drain; A PRIVY. Shakespeare, Matthew 15:17. 1623, William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens: Rid me these Villaines from your companies; / Hang them, or stab them, drowne them in A DRAUGHT, / Confound them by some course, and come to me, / I’ll give you Gold enough.
Dictionary.Com - a draught house in the Bible (2 Kings 10:27). Jehu ordered the temple of Baal to be destroyed, and the place to be converted to the vile use of receiving offal or ordure. (Comp. Matt. 15:17.)
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - Draught house - n. A house for the reception of filth or waste matter.
International Standard Bible Dictionarydraft (ἀφεδρών , aphedrō̇n; Matthew 15:17; Mark 7:19: "Closet," "sink" or "PRIVY" literally, "place for sitting apart" (compare 2 Kings 10:27, "draught-house," and Mishna "water-house"). According to the Mishna, Jehu turned the temple of Baal in Samaria into PUBLIC LATRINES, "waterhouses." Mark adds here (Mark 7:19) that by this saying Jesus cleansed all articles of food, i.e., declared them to be clean.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary- Draught - A cesspool or receptacle for filth, 2 Kings 10:27; Matthew 15:17; Also, all the fishes taken at one drawing of a net, Luke 5:9.
Hasting’s Dictionary of the Bible - DRAUGHT (Matthew 15:17; Mark 7:19) and DRAUGHT HOUSE (Amer. RV [Note: Revised Version.] ‘draught-house, 2 Kings 10:27)’ BOTH SIGNIFY A PRIVY or closet, which in the Mishna is ‘water-house.’ Jehu, according to the last-cited passage, turned the temple of Baal in Samaria into PUBLIC LATRINES.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words - 2: ἀφεδρών (Strong’s # 856 — Noun Masculine — aphedron — af-ed-rone' )“A LATRINE, a sink, drain," is found in Matthew 15:17; Mark 7:19.
The King James Bible is in a very real way its own dictionary. In 2 Kings 10:27 we read: “And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it A DRAUGHT HOUSE unto this day.”
In other words, they turned the house of this false god Baal into a public bathroom!
Not only does the KJB use the word “draught house” here in 2 Kings 10:27 but so too do the Great Bible 1540, the Bishops' Bible 1568, Webster’s 1833, The Longman Version 1841, Brenton Translation 1851, the Revised Version 1885, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Sharpe Bible 1883, Darby 1890, Young's 1898, ASV 1901, The Modern Reader's Bible 1907, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the 1917 JPS (Jewish Publication Society), The Word of Yah 1993, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - "A DRAUGHT HOUSE", BRG Bible 2012.
Coverdale Bible 1535 says "they made it A PRIVY HOUSE"
The Geneva Bible 1587, as well as The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 have - "they made A JAKES of it unto this day." A "jakes" is a latrine.
The Boothroyd Bible 1853 - "and made it into DUNGHOUSES"
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902 says: "they appointed it for A SEWER HOUSE unto this day"
The KJV 21st Century Version 1994 - "made it into AN OUTHOUSE unto this day."
Amplified Bible 1987, Judaica Press Tanach 2004 - "and made it into A PRIVY unto this day."
The Message 2002 - "and made it A PUBLIC TOILET"
Context Group Version 2007 - "and made it AN OUTSIDE TOILET unto this day."
NASB 1995, Complete Jewish Bible 1998, NET 2006, The Ancient Roots Translinear Bible 2009, Holman Standard 2009, Online Interlinear 2010 (Larry Pierce), ESV 2011, NIV 2011, World English Bible 2012, The Voice 2012, Lexham English Bible 2012, ISV 2014 have - "they made it A LATRINE unto this day.
Green's Literal 2005, The Holy Scriptures VW Edition 2010, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust) - "and made it AN OUTHOUSE unto this day."
Common English Bible 2011 - "turning it into A PUBLIC RESTROOM"
The NKJV is wrong in 2 Kings 10:27 when it says: "made it A REFUSE DUMP to this day."
It was not a Garbage Dump but a TOILET!
In Mark 7:19 the text underlying the King James Bible and the other Reformation bibles is this - οτι ουκ εισπορευεται αυτου εις την καρδιαν αλλ εις την κοιλιαν και εις τον αφεδρωνα εκπορευεται καθαριζον παντα τα βρωματα
The UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican text is almost the same, with only one minor textual change.
The KJB and the Reformation Bibles as well as the Majority of all Greek mss. including K, M, U, V, Y, Theta, Pi, Xi, the Diatessaron, the Old Latin a, air, b, c, d, f, ff2, l, n, q and the Textus Receptus have the verb “purging or cleansing” as καθαριζον, which is the nominative singular neuter.
While the UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican Critical text has “purging or cleansing” as καθαριζων, which is a masculine singular present participle, and comes primarily from Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. D has καθαρίζει which, like the KJB/TR, would refer to the draught or toilet that cleanses.
Let’s look at the four different translations and then explain why the KJB is right.
The King James Bible text says in Mark 7:18-19 -
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and GOETH OUT INTO THE DRAUGHT, PURGING ALL MEATS?”
The ESV says in Mark 7:18-19 -
“And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, AND IS EXPELLED?”[a] (THUS HE DECLARED ALL FOODS CLEAN.)”
ESV footnote - a.Mark 7:19 Greek goes out into the latrine
The NASB is like the ESV and has: - “because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and [a] is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.)
Footnote “Literally - goes into the latrine”
NIV - 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, AND THEN OUT OF THE BODY.” (IN SAYING THIS, JESUS DECLARED ALL FOODS CLEAN.)
The meaning found in the KJB and the one in these new versions is very different. It should be noted that neither the ESV, NASB nor the NIV literally translates even their own chosen Greek text. The KJB is far more literal in following its Greek text and has the correct meaning.
The ESV paraphrases the literal “goeth into the draught” (or latrine) as “and is expelled” and adds the words “thus” and “he” and changes a present tense verb into a past tense. The NASB did the same things.
The NIV is even worse. It changes the literal “goeth into the draught” as “AND THEN OUT OF THE BODY.” which omits the verb “goeth” and paraphrases everything else. There are no words for “then” or “out of the body”. And there certainly are no words in any text for “in saying this” or “Jesus” or “declared”. Aside from that, it is a pretty good translation;-)
The simple meaning of the true Bible is this. The food (meat) goes into the belly, and then it goes into the toilet (the draught), and in this way the wastes are purged from the body. The Lord Jesus is NOT telling us in this verse that “all foods are clean” that were previously prohibited by Jewish law. Many new versions just made this up.
The King James Bible makes no reference to “Jesus declares that all foods that were prohibited under Jewish law are now clean” but simply says that the food (meat) does NOT enter into the heart of man and defile him. It is what comes OUT of the heart that defiles him as verses 20 and 21 tell us.
Food merely goes into the belly where it nourishes the body, and what is not used for nutrition goes into the toilet and in this way all the waste is eliminated and purged from the body. Food does not affect or defile the heart of men.
Daniel Mace’s N.T. of 1729 paraphrases the verse as: “because that does not enter into his heart, but into the belly, whence it is discharged, the purest part of the food being left for nutrition.”
The Living Oracles of 1835 paraphrases the verse as: “because it enters not into his heart, but into his stomach, whence all impurities in the victuals pass into the sink.
Murdock’s 1852 translation of the Syriac Peshitta says: “For it doth not enter into his heart, but into his belly, and is thrown into the digestive process, which carries off all that is eaten.”
The Work of God’s Children Illustrated Bible 2011 has: - “and goes out into the outhouse, thus purging out anything that is eaten?”
Mark 7:19 "Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, AND GOETH OUT INTO THE DRAUGHT, PURGING ALL MEATS."
"goeth out into the draught" is what all Greek texts say (και εις τον αφεδρωνα εκπορευεται), and the slightly "archaic” word ‘DRAUGHT’ (pronounced draft), is found in the Revised Version 1881, the ASV 1901 - “and goeth out into the DRAUGHT”, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 - “and goeth out into the DRAUGHT”, the Beza N.T. 1599, The Bill Bible 1671, Whiston’s N.T. 1745, Worsley Version 1770, The Clarke N.T. 1795, The Revised Translation 1815, Webster’s 1833 translation, The New Covenant N.T. 1836, The Hammond N.T. 1845, The Hussey N.T. 1845, The Morgan N.T. 1848, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Two-fold N.T. 1864, Ainslie N.T. 1869, The Revised English Bible 1877, The Sharpe Bible 1883, The Dillard N.T. 1885, Darby 1890 - “goes out into the DRAUGHT”, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible 1902, The Clarke N.T. 1913, The Word of Yah 1993 - “and goeth out into the draught, purging all that is eaten?”, The Tomson New Testament 2002 - “and goeth out into the DRAUGHT which is the purging of all meats?", The Evidence Bible 2003, Bond Slave Version 2009, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011 - "goes into THE DRAUGHT", and the BRG Bible 2012.
The Geneva Bible says what the KJB has - “Because it entreth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught which is the purging of all meates?”
Other versions like Young's, Douay, and Third Millennium Bible say "goeth into the drain."
The Hebrew Names Version says "goes into the latrine".
The Emphatic Diaglott 1865 says: “and into the privy goes out”.
The NKJV has paraphrased this expression and added the word "thus" which is not found in any text. In this way it slants itself toward the meaning found in the NIV, ESV, NASB. The NKJV reads: "and IS ELIMINATED, THUS purifying all foods."
The Pickering New Testament 2005 has: “because it doesn’t go into his heart, but into his stomach, which then expels the impure aspects of the food?”4
Footnote - "A literal rendering would be, ‘then into the latrine, thus making all foods clean’. I take it that Jesus was referring to the process in the stomach having a ‘purifying’ effect, since the sewer does just the opposite."
These versions (ESV, NIV, NASB, NKJV, Jehovah Witness NWT) have added words not found in any text, paraphrased what IS there, and have totally changed the meaning of what the Lord said. To say that foods are cleansed from the body by the natural processes of digestion and defecation, OR that Jesus declared all foods ceremonially clean, are NOT the same thing.
Both readings cannot be what God inspired, and not even the UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican critical text reads the way these modern versions have translated it.
The Jehovah Witness NWT reads like many of these modern versions in Mark 7:19, saying: "since it passes, not into his heart, but into his intestines, and it passes out into the sewer? THUS HE DECLARED ALL FOODS CLEAN."
Many foreign language bibles follow the same reading and have the same meaning as that found in the King James Bible.
Luther’s German Bible of 1545 says: “Denn es geht nicht in sein Herz, sondern in den Bauch, und geht aus durch den natürlichen Gang, der alle Speise ausfegt.” which translates as “Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draft, purging all meats.”
The Spanish Cipriano de Valera 1602 and the Reina Valera Gómez 2010 have - “Porque no entra en su corazón, sino en el vientre, y sale a la letrina, limpiando todas las viandas.” = “Because it does not enter his heart, but into the belly, and goes out in the toilet, purging all the foods.”
The Italian Diodati of 1649 also reads like the KJB - “Poichè non gli entra nel cuore, anzi nel ventre, e poi se ne va nella latrina, purgando tutte le vivande.”
As does the Modern Greek Bible - “διοτι δεν εισερχεται εις την καρδιαν αυτου, αλλ' εις την κοιλιαν, και εξερχεται εις τον αφεδρωνα, καθαριζον παντα τα φαγητα.”
John Gill comments on this verse saying: "but into the belly; - it is taken in at the mouth, goes down the throat, and is received into the stomach, and from thence it passes through the bowels: and goeth into the draught;- "the private house", as the Jews call it, without going into the heart at all: purging all meats; - that which it leaves behind, is pure and nourishing; and whatever is gross and impure, is carried with it into the draught, so that nothing remains in the man that is defiling."
Barne’s Notes on the Whole Bible says: "The draught - The sink, the vault. “Purging all meats.” The word “purging,” here, means to purify, to cleanse. What is thrown out of the body is the innutritious part of the food taken into the stomach, and leaving only that which is proper for the support of life; and it cannot, therefore, defile the soul.”
Adam Clarke Commentary - Purging all meats? - For what is separated from the different aliments taken into the stomach, and thrown out of the body, is the innutritious parts of all the meats that are eaten; and thus they are purged, nothing being left behind but what is proper for the support of the body.”
Here is a case where the King James Bible uses a slightly “archaic” or unfamiliar word - "THE DRAUGHT" - but it is the one that has the right meaning, while the paraphrased “How we talk today” modern versions have the wrong text and come up with the wrong meaning.
The King James Bible is God’s infallible Book. Don’t settle for a poor substitute.
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