Original Research

Do Mark 7:1–23 and Matthew 15:1–20 condone the unusual practices of New Prophetic Pentecostal Churches?

Vuyisile Qiki, Llewellyn Howes
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 42, No 1 | a2254 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v42i1.2254 | © 2021 Vuyisile Qiki, Llewellyn Howes | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 April 2021 | Published: 30 July 2021

About the author(s)

Vuyisile Qiki, Department of Religion Studies, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Llewellyn Howes, Department of Languages, Cultural Studies and Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


The leaders of certain New Prophetic Pentecostal Churches (NPPCs) perform rituals that are very unusual when compared with traditional church rituals and practices. These practices include eating grass, rats or snakes, drinking petrol and spraying Doom on people so that they would be healed and be closer to God. The trend to perform these unusual rituals has spread throughout South Africa. Leaders from NPPCs often quote Mark 7:14–19 and Matthew 15:10–11, 16–18 to justify their actions. In this study, these parallel texts will be considered in their literary and socio-cultural contexts to determine whether or not they can be taken to condone the activities of these church leaders.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The study will find that Mark 7:14–19 and Matthew 15:10–11, 16–18 either condone or do not condone the unusual activities of NPPCs and their leaders. Either way, the findings will be relevant for New Testament studies, practical theology, religion studies and systematic theology.


Matthew; Mark; Pentecostal; church; unusual; practices; charismatic; bizarre; snake; petrol


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