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Jesus said to them,
"If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves;

and if you pray, you will be condemned;

and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits.
When you go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what they will set before you, and heal the sick among them.
For what goes into your mouth will not defile you,
but that which issues from your mouth - it is that which will defile you."

Saying (14) answers the four

questions posed in Saying (6).
"Do you want us to fast?
How shall we pray?
Shall we give alms?
What diet shall we observe?"

The answer to the fourth question about diet also
appears in Mark, Matthew, and Luke.

Mark 7:15 "nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him; no, it is the things that come out of a person that defile him."

Matthew 15:11 "No one is defiled by what goes

into his mouth; only by what comes out of it."

Luke 10:8 "When you enter a town and you are made welcome, eat the food provided for you"

Note that Mark's version is the most generic and open to several interpretations. What "goes into a person" could mean ideas, food, or it could mean sexual intercourse. Likewise, "the things that come out of a person" could be words from the mouth or

they might be excrement or other contaminated bodily fluids.

Both Thomas and Matthew narrow the field to what goes into and comes out of the mouth. This seems to go along with Matthew 12:37
"For out of your own mouth you will be acquitted; out of your own mouth you will be condemned."

This saying, which places more importance on words than on diet, seems to point out the importance of

keeping tight reigns on your tongue.


Raw Food Advocates (brief rant on asceticism)