I would like to know the purpose of the question mark at the end of this verse mark 7:19 No question is being presented. A inquiry is being answered. If anyone could clear this up for me I would appreciate it greatly.


1 Answer 1


Mark 7:18b -19 (ESV, NA28):

Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,
οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἔξωθεν εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς τὸν ἄνθρωπον οὐ δύναται αὐτὸν κοινῶσαι,

since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?”
ὅτι οὐκ εἰσπορεύεται αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν καρδίαν ἀλλ’ εἰς τὴν κοιλίαν, καὶ εἰς τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα ἐκπορεύεται;

(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
— καθαρίζων πάντα τὰ βρώματα.

There is a question, but it’s a rhetorical one.

The question in question begins in verse 18 with οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι ("Do you not see that..."). The structure of the question beginning with οὐ indicates that an affirmative answer is expected.1 This is a common rhetorical technique in Koine Greek that we reproduce somewhat clumsily in English with the "Do (am/is/are) not...?" construction. "Do you not know/see/understand...?" is a frequent application of this construction that conveys a gentle rebuke upon the ignorance reflected in the inquiry.

The sense of the expression is adequately conveyed in most translations as in the ESV quoted above, ending with a question mark.2

1. Mounce, William D. Basics of Biblical Greek. Zondervan, 2009; p. 295.
2. The ; in Greek is equivalent to the English ?.

  • he & declares does not exist. katarizon [cleansing] panta [all] ta bromata [foods]. He does not but the guts cleanses itself from food! It's not a question but a statement that 99% of Christian can't see what he says nor what it means. May 26, 2022 at 15:05

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