What Does “Corban” Mean?

by Andrew Forrest

In today’s passage, Jesus accuses the Pharisees of hypocritically declaring certain segments of their property to be “corban.” What does that mean?

Property or financial resources declared corban were meant to be used as Temple offerings. Here’s the catch, though: some people would declare the lion’s share of their resources corban but not actually donate them until later, perhaps upon their death. So, one way of avoiding the financial responsibility of caring for aging parents was to declare your resources corban and then say to your parents, “Sorry, folks: I just can’t afford it–I’ve given everything away to God.”

Today’s Scripture

Mark 7:1-13


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