The Torah's View of Honoring One's Parents
Reflected in the New Testament.
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk
This essay study is dedicated in the loving memory of Ms. Kathryne Lynn Wright, may she rest in peace.

In the case of the New Testament there are six references to honoring one's parents, two references {Matthew 15:1-10 and Mark 7:1-13} are inaccurate. The claims made by Jesus are unfounded. it is difficult to understand what rabbinic source Jesus was referring to. It is proper to establish one's Torah reflection with references. After searching hundreds of Talmudic references, I found absolutely nothing to substantiate the comments in Matthew and Mark.

I find it most disturbing and very distressing when publishers omit pertinent facts, change words and give only enough details to improperly inform their readers. This is a common practice of some Christian / Messianic publishers. With so much misinformation, it is difficult for readers searching for truth to wade through these kind of Everglades.

As a side note: In the New International Version of the Bible there is a discussion of the corban. The NIV says "transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning 'offering.'" To most Christians / Messianics this means "MONEY" not sacrifice. The corban is much more than an offering. A corban is an animal specifically raised for sacrifice. It is not like you can just go out to your flock and pick out a corban. In addition, most Jews were not shepherds. They depended upon observant Jews specially trained in raising animals for corbanim. The omission of important facts like this is wrong.

Returning to the discussion of Matthew 15:1-10 and Mark 7:1-13 accredited to Jesus, these are unfair characterizations of a vow. It's like saying this is the only vow you should be concerned about. Dear reader, one must understand that any vow made to G-d by any one of his creation is serious. Vows are not to be taken lightly. Any person who utters a vow to G-d has taken on a very serious commitment. That applies to any vow, any place and at any time. We cannot just make a vow to G-d then carelessly cast it aside.

Yet the problem here is with the claim that the elders, meaning members of the Bais Din, devised a deceptive plan to circumvent one's Torah obligation of caring for one's parents.

As already stated, Jesus' words are not substantiated. The fact is that throughout history the elders {Bais Din} both taught and enforced one's obligation to assist one's parents. In addition to this, the Torah law of caring for one's parents would have superseded what appears to be a reference by Jesus to a rabbinical law even though such a law did not exist.

The above spurious comment is followed by an absolute fabrication in Mark 7:15 that combined cast much doubt on the credibility of the New Testament.

"Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'' {Mark 7:15} Paul also reflects this anti Torah view in Romans.

The fact is this statement accredited to Jesus is untrue. It is a violation of G-d's word! The Torah states, "Nevertheless these shall you not eat of those that chew the cud, or of those that divide the hoof; the camel, because it chews the cud, but its hoof is not parted; it is unclean to you. And the coney, because it chews the cud, but its hoof is not parted; it is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud, but its hoof is not parted; it is unclean to you. And the swine, though its hoof is parted, and is cloven footed, yet it chews not the cud; it is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall you not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch; they are unclean to you. Lev. 11:4-8

In addition to this, there are other discussions within the New Testament that clearly show Jewish followers of Jesus {G-d forbid} did not agree with this statement.

Now having diverted briefly, let's return to the bottom line. Even though Jesus' claims were inaccurate regarding the Bais Din it is clear that his support of the Torah commandment to honor one's parents is unwavering in the New Testament to his followers...

In three other passages {Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27}, Jesus clearly supported the Torah understanding of honoring one's parents to his Jewish following.

In the final mention of honoring one's parents in the New Testament by Paul, in Ephesians 6:1-3 to a non Jewish following, he stated, "Children, obey your parents in the L-rd, for this is right. 'Honor your father and mother '-which is the first commandment with a promise - 'that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.'

This is the only New Testament paraphrase of the Torah quotes of:

"Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which Hashem your G-d gives you." {Exodus 20:12}

"Honor your father and your mother, as Hashem your G-d has commanded you; that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which Hashem your G-d gives you." {Deut. 5:16}

Paul refers to this TORAH LAW as "commandment with a promise." For your information, the word "commandment" means "law". Why would Paul introduce Torah law into the New Testament? why would Paul say, "{This} is the first commandment with a promise"?

The answer is simple. Paul taught the Torah law of honoring one's parents from his Jewish understanding of the Torah without variation. In other words, Paul taught non Jews {which is forbidden} that they are to observe this commandment with promise just as the Jews observe it.

This is very interesting because these are the same laws that Christian / Messianics claim the New Testament did away with.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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