Many interpreters regard the Gospels as primary evidence that Jesus had a major break with the Jewish religion. This makes sense in some ways because later the followers of Jesus broke with Judaism completely so that today they are two separate religions. Ironically, it is the Gospels that present Jesus as thoroughly Jewish.
The episode I’d like to consider is found in Mark 7:
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of…
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