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Re: [Synoptic-L] Salt in Mark

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  • Tim Lewis
    So far we have several related ideas concerning possible early meanings and applications for the not losing your saltiness/have salt saying. 1) Dave asked
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 9, 2006
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      So far we have several related ideas concerning possible early meanings and applications for the not "losing your saltiness/have salt" saying.

      1) Dave asked whether it was contrasted with "yeast" of the Pharisees and whether the Pharisees were in mind as those who had lost saltiness,
      2) I agreed that Paul's church advice in Rom 12 seemed to fit as a warning NOT to be like those outside who conform to "this age" thereby endangering favour with God,
      3) I then suggested it meant maintaining unity by a lack of internal animosity or quibbling,
      4) Bob suggested that it could be being corrupted by outside acculturation (to Hellenistic/Roman world),
      5) Dave suggested based on Mk 11:22-25 forgiving others made one acceptable to God which might be what the Pharisees did not like about Jesus.

      Possessing saltiness would seem to imply "having something good to offer" so the warning is against losing your value (as a group). If there is nothing special about your group, you've lost saltiness, you've been compromised. But what was that speciality exactly...no internal quibbling? forgiveness? resistance to Hellenistic culture? Perhaps the saying could already be applied all round generally? I wonder who has done research on its application?
      Tim Lewis
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Gentile, David
      To: Tim Lewis ; Synoptic@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Friday, February 10, 2006 2:59 AM
      Subject: RE: [Synoptic-L] Salt in Mark


      Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to sign up for the X-talk list, since
      that seems to be the direction this is going.



      But I did want to add one more thing along this chain of thought. Salt
      does seem to be "what makes one acceptable to God" and also seems to be
      "living at peace with one another" which involves *forgiving* each
      other. I'd note here that Matthew 5 goes into a large section of
      forgiving others shortly after the salt sayings. Can we then say that
      forgiving each other is what makes one acceptable to God?



      Mark might also be argued to be saying that forgiving others is what
      makes one acceptable to God here.



      Mark 11:22-25 (NIV) "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the
      truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the
      sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says
      will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you
      ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be
      yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone,
      forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."



      If you pull out the text of Matthew from Mark it says



      Mark 11:22-25 (NIV) "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. And when you
      stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that
      your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."



      In Mark the Pharisees then question the authority of Jesus. And if the
      setting had not changed here, I think we would assume the Pharisees are
      questioning Jesus' teachings on forgiveness.



      Could "Forgiveness for forgiveness" be the message of Mark before
      Matthian influence?



      Dave Gentile

      Riverside, IL

      ________________________________

      From: Tim Lewis [mailto:tim_lewis@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 11:48 PM
      To: Synoptic@yahoogroups.com; Gentile, David
      Subject: Re: [Synoptic-L] Salt in Mark



      In regards to Dave's salt suggestion I forget to mention that losing
      saltiness would be more applicable as a reference to Pharisees if it
      could be shown that Pharisees were not good examples of a united group
      or an effective group (if as it appears to me that "having salt" amongst
      believers meant a lack of animosity).



      For example if the Pharisees were known more for debating about the
      intricacies of the law (what constituted anger, adultery, grounds for
      divorcing a woman, oath-making, retaliation and determining enemies who
      were exempted from receiving love) then this is exactly what we find in
      Mt 5, immediately after the salt saying and Jesus' comment that he is
      not opposed to the law as such but that he requires BASILEIA entrants to
      have a greater righteousness than that of the Scribes and Pharisees. If
      then squabbling over definitions constituted the group, they could
      easily be thought to have lost their saltiness. If they also were known
      more for what they did NOT do, then their ineffectiveness could be
      called a loss of saltiness.



      Indeed the next episode following the salt saying in Mk has Jesus
      questioned by Pharisees interested in testing him on the divorce issue!
      Coincidence?

      Tim Lewis.



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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