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npetreley
04-10-2006, 02:56 PM
Is this just a purely hypothetical statement that has no parallel in reality, or is there a real analogy here? Is there a way salt can lose its saltiness? How does that relate to it being thrown out and trampled on?

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet."

Bill Brown
04-10-2006, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by npetreley:
Is this just a purely hypothetical statement that has no parallel in reality, or is there a real analogy here? Is there a way salt can lose its saltiness? How does that relate to it being thrown out and trampled on?

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." Matthew 5:13-16 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Salt is a peservative. Without it food would spoil and be unedible. Jesus was introducing a "what if" for the sake of comparison. True disciples could not lose their "saltiness", but if they could they would have no worth. The true saltiness and power of preservation comes from the gospel. We read further down that Jesus calls His disciples the "light of the world." Were the disciples really the light or was it the message they carried? Of course it was the message. They were told to let their light shine befor men, "that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." In the end it is all about glorifying God, isn't it?

J.D.
04-10-2006, 05:22 PM
I don't know if salt can lose its saltiness. It could be hyperbole. Campare to the mustard seed parable. Mustard plants do not become trees, it's the use of hyperbole to illustrate a point.

Rubato 1
04-10-2006, 05:30 PM
Bad translation: salt losses its "savour"-its taste.
Ask a chemist-salt can become so contaminiated that is no longer tastes as salt is known to taste (We're talking sodium chloride, here). Chemically, it is still salt, but its power to enhance the taste is gone. Ever see salt used to melt snow? This is another good example of how salt is good for nothing but trampling.

[ April 10, 2006, 04:40 PM: Message edited by: Rubato 1 ]

Hope of Glory
04-10-2006, 05:33 PM
Matthew 5:13 [salt] Perhaps allusion is here made to a bituminous and fragrant species of salt, found at the Lake Asphaltites; great quantities of which were thrown by the priests over the sacrifices to counteract the smell of the burning flesh, and to hasten its consumption. This substance, however, was easily damaged by exposure to the atmosphere; and the portion of it thus rendered unfit for the purpose to which it was ordinarily applied, was stewed upon the pavement of the temple, to prevent slipping in wet weather. Maundrell, in his travels states that he tasted some that had entirely lost its savor. – Trollipe

Instead of thinking of it in the "table salt" type of reference, think of it in a sacrificial reference, for which they used great quantities of it in that time and place.

Rubato 1
04-10-2006, 05:37 PM
Originally posted by J.D.:
I don't know if salt can lose its saltiness. It could be hyperbole. Campare to the mustard seed parable. Mustard plants do not become trees, it's the use of hyperbole to illustrate a point. Be careful of accusing God of meaning something HE DID NOT EXPLICITLY SAY. What is the difference between a tree and a bush (to quote the mustard seed example)? Some 18th century scientist's opinion? This is like saying that the Bible contradicts when it says "Jonah and the whale" and "Jonah and the fish." Our opinion of what something is might not line up with God's. Besides, in some parts of the world, and in some conditions, mustard "plants" can grow to be quite big. See Institute for Creation Research

GraceAlone
04-10-2006, 07:59 PM
The reference to lake salt is correct. NaCl is NaCL but the salt derived from evaporation of the Sea of Salt water was quite contaminated with by-products. When exposed to moisture in the air the NaCL broke up releasing chlorine into the air leaving only relatively tasteless sodium and by-products. Thus "salt" did indeed lose its savor thus becoming fit for nothing.

Petrel
04-10-2006, 08:29 PM
Originally posted by GraceAlone:
When exposed to moisture in the air the NaCL broke up releasing chlorine into the air leaving only relatively tasteless sodium and by-products.As a chemist, let me say I don't think so!

Eating sodium metal would be a very memorable event.

I don't know what the explanation is for this passage. I read long ago that the sea salt was a mixture of salts and that by exposure to water the more soluble ones would leach out, leaving less soluble ones behind. However, I don't know what these other salts might be, whether the solubilities are really different enough, and how these other salts compare in salty taste. Given that most of the salt in sea salts are very soluble alkali metal salts, I find it hard to think that the NaCl could be washed out without leaving pretty much nothing behind.

Ransom
04-10-2006, 08:40 PM
Eating sodium metal would be a very memorable event.

ROFL! To say the least.

To answer the original question about whether Jesus was speaking hypothetically: He did, after all, say "if." smile.gif

rbell
04-10-2006, 08:41 PM
Wasn't Jesus making the point that "salt without saltiness is white dirt?" Saltiness is the essence of what salt is...without it, it is nothing.

Methinks we over-analyze...

And petrel, let me echo your sentiments regarding eating sodium... :D Reminds me of the idiot in our inorganic lab that poured a flask of water onto elemental sodium...he went from agnostic to Christian in about 10 seconds...

James_Newman
04-11-2006, 01:11 AM
The Salt Institute (you didn't know there was a Salt Institute, did you ;) ) has this article.

http://www.saltinstitute.org/pubstat/malott.html

I don't think Jesus' analogy of salt losing its savor is founded on an actual occurance of salt becoming unsalty, but rather was illustrating the uselessness of such a substance. Salt with no savor would indeed be useless for anything. Can a Christian, salt of the earth, lose his savor? Undoubtedly.

Mark 9:50
50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

You can't lose what you never had.

Hope of Glory
04-11-2006, 05:02 AM
The phrase "lost his savor" is the word "insipid" (which means to lose savor). "Savor" can refer to taste, smell, or quality. These salts were used to to help the sacrifices burn and to make them smell good. When exposed to air, they threw it on steps for traction. Why is it difficult to understand that this is in reference to sacrifice and not food?

GraceAlone
04-11-2006, 06:10 PM
Let me plead temporary insanity on the sodium/chlorine statement. The reference to the salt institute is certainly a good one and says what I attempted to convey MUCH better. Thanks for the come-uppance guys!

Petrel
04-11-2006, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by GraceAlone:
Let me plead temporary insanity on the sodium/chlorine statement. Certainly, because I want to retain that option for when I need it. ;)

genesis12
04-11-2006, 11:03 PM
To answer the original question about whether Jesus was speaking hypothetically: He did, after all, say "if." Yes! Amen! At last!

StraightAndNarrow
04-11-2006, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by Bill Brown:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by npetreley:
Is this just a purely hypothetical statement that has no parallel in reality, or is there a real analogy here? Is there a way salt can lose its saltiness? How does that relate to it being thrown out and trampled on?

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." Matthew 5:13-16 13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again? It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Salt is a peservative. Without it food would spoil and be unedible. Jesus was introducing a "what if" for the sake of comparison. True disciples could not lose their "saltiness", but if they could they would have no worth. The true saltiness and power of preservation comes from the gospel. We read further down that Jesus calls His disciples the "light of the world." Were the disciples really the light or was it the message they carried? Of course it was the message. They were told to let their light shine befor men, "that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." In the end it is all about glorifying God, isn't it? </font>[/QUOTE]Here is what the Bible says:

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?

You claim:

True disciples could not lose their "saltiness", but if they could they would have no worth.

Your conclusion isn't supported by the Word.

LadyEagle
04-12-2006, 08:45 PM
I found this on the Internet:

The salt that people used two thousand years ago was not the chemical compound of sodium and chloride (NaCl) that we use today. Instead it was gathered from veins or layers found in the earth and mixed with impurities. If the salt was exposed to natural elements such as rain, sun and air for an extensive period of time, it lost its flavor. The flavorless salt was good for nothing else but to be thrown on the streets where it destroyed all fertility. So instead of being a preserving agent, the salt became a destructive agent.
So it wasn't hyperbole, after all. Besides, Jesus would not waste His time with hyperbole. He chose His Words very carefully, because He is the Word.

bapmom
04-12-2006, 09:05 PM
and of course true disciples can lose their saltiness. Salt is still salt, it's chemical composition doesn't change into a different chemical, it just has lost it's flavor.

In the same way, a Christian can do things that make his witness ineffective. He can also get involved and/or hampered by things that mean he cannot be used to his full potential. It's not always sins, can be things that take up so much of his time and money that he isn't able to do what God really wants him to do. Or it could be things that really are sins.

Ransom
04-12-2006, 09:39 PM
LadyEagle said:

I found this on the Internet:

The salt that people used two thousand years ago was not the chemical compound of sodium and chloride (NaCl) that we use today. . . .Let this be a lesson about finding information on the Internet. smile.gif

Of course all common salt is sodium chloride. What this person is probably trying to say is that it was not as pure as modern salt. Of course, the part that isn't salty isn't NaCl, either.

But really, Jesus' point is far simpler to grasp. Salt is good, he says. But if salt loses its saltiness - i.e. the very quality that makes it good - then it is no good.

It's not a science lesson about whether salt can cease to be salty (it can't). The Sermon on the Mount doesn't need a chemist to explain it. Jesus' words don't require a history lesson on the uses of salt in second-temple Jewish society. He is warning his hearers to be useful for God instead of useless. It's that simple.

rbell
04-12-2006, 09:49 PM
Echoes Ransom...

Not NaCl? Not salt.

LadyEagle
04-12-2006, 11:12 PM
Okay, fine. But Jesus wasn't speaking to chemists. He was speaking to farmers and housewives. tongue.gif