“And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.”
King James Version (KJV)
7:4 Washing of cups and pots and brazen vessels and couches - The Greek word (baptisms) means indifferently either washing or sprinkling. The cups, pots, and vessels were washed; the couches sprinkled.
Mr 7:4 [When they come] from the market, except they wash, they eat not. In the Greek, not the word "nipto", rendered "wash" elsewhere in the passage, but "baptizo", "baptize". Abbott renders it "plunge" and says: ``Apparently, in the ritual of the Pharisees, washing by pouring on water sufficed for those who remained at home, but "immersion" of the hands in water was required of those who had gone abroad.'' Many other things. They not only insisted on washing the hands, because of the tradition, but also, many other things. Geikie says: ``The law of Moses required purifications in certain cases (Le 12:1-5), but the rabbis had preserved the spirit of Leviticus in this as in other things, for they taught that food and drink could not be taken with a good conscience when there was the possibility of ceremonial defilement. If every perceivable precaution had not been taken, the person or the vessel used might have contracted impurity, which would thus be conveyed to the food, and through the food to the body, and by it to the soul. Hence it had been long a custom, and latterly a strict law, that before every meal not only the hands, but even the dishes, couches, and tables, should be scrupulously washed.''