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Summary of salt

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  • Gentile, David
    For those that might be interested, but don t want to read through all that material on the webpage. Here is a summary or an outline of what I think a rigorous
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 16, 2006
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      For those that might be interested, but don't want to read through all
      that material on the webpage. Here is a summary or an outline of what I
      think a rigorous argument might look like here.

      My reading of Mark's salt sayings is

      You don't want to be thrown into the purgatory of Gehenna.

      Everyone/all sacrifices are salted (purified, made acceptable to God) by

      But if salt (of the old covenant) has lost its saltiness (acceptability
      to God) how can (it/things) be made salty (acceptable to God)?

      Have salt (of the new covenant, love and forgiveness) in you, and be at
      peace with one another.

      Here is an outline of the arguments for that reading, as I see it now.

      First we have direct evidence for the "metaphor of the sacrifice" i.e.
      we are the sacrifice; salt makes us acceptable, yeast unacceptable.

      1) Leviticus tells us about salt and yeast for sacrifices.

      2) The connection between Gehenna and salt is sacrifices, we should
      read sacrificial salt

      3) Paul gives us two different quotes indicating that we should
      become metaphorical sacrifices, acceptable to God, and sweet-smelling.
      Paul also shows he knows a metaphor about salt.

      4) Ancient witnesses made the connection to salt for sacrifices

      5) Mark shows us yeast in people as a negative elsewhere, this sets
      up a contrast with good salt in people

      6) Mark tells us we should follow Christ just as Paul tells us to
      follow Christ and then makes explicit that we should be metaphorical

      Mark has a pattern of old covenant / new covenant relations that have
      been obscured by later gospels. My reading of salt gives us one more
      such reference obscured by later gospels. Not only does my reading
      extend the pattern in Mark, but there is more confirmation in the fact
      that Matthew and Luke treated it like the other old/new contrasts.

      1) Calming sea / walking on water

      2) Feeding 5000/ feeding 4000

      Mark voiding of the Sabbath, eliminated by Matthew and Luke is
      consistent with the pattern and my reading of salt.

      The pattern of hiding Mark's voiding of the old covenant is made even
      clearer by Matthew's placement of not a jot, not an iota, right after
      altering Mark's salt saying.

      Mark has other old/new contrasts that do not directly indicate the end
      of the old covenant, and are not obscured by later gospels, but show
      that old/new is a wider theme in Mark. My reading of salt continues that

      1) Wineskins

      2) Parable of tenants

      3) Parallels between Mark1 and Mark5 casting out demons then curing

      Mark has a theme of forgiveness for forgiveness that follows a pattern
      of being obscured by later authors. My reading of salt continues that
      pattern. Mark 9 reads as a unified whole if we assume Mark has a plan of
      salvation involving faith in God, and forgiveness of others.

      1) measure parable

      2) little children parable

      3) Mark 11's forgiveness for forgiveness that shows signs of late

      Follow Christ can be read as "imitate my forgiveness to follow in the
      resurrection". My reading of salt is consistent.

      Matthew continues this pattern of eliminating Mark's forgiveness by
      introducing his own method of forgiveness, the sacrament, where Mark has
      said "do this in remembrance of me" It is consistant with this that
      Matthew takes apart the salt complex.

      Salt can be "love and forgiveness". My reading of salt continues that

      1) 3 quotes from Paul to support it to various degrees

      2) Matthew's position of salt relative to his love and forgiveness

      3) Mark indicating that salt allows us to live in peace.

      4) The tradition of a covenant of salt being peaceful relations.

      5) The Pharisees who have yeast can be seen as non-forgiving

      Mark places emphasis on both love (Mark 12) and forgiveness (Mark 11) as
      important to God. My reading of salt is consistent with that.

      My reading of salt suggests that Mark believes in a purgatory. This can
      be supported

      1) Mark has brought together the fires of Gehenna, the fire and
      worm or Isaiah, and salt which can be a purifier

      2) We know from the deuterocanonical text that Jewish thought had
      developed an idea of something like a purgatory.

      3) Mark 12:40 is consistent with a purgatory.

      4) Early Christians read it as a purgatory or worse.

      5) The variation of ancient witnesses demonstrates that they saw a
      connection between people in the fire and sacrifices in the fire here.

      Mark seems to warn us to be on the look out for obscure messages, and if
      Mark is cluing us in on obscure messages, this makes sense of the dense

      Love God, love your neighbor, have faith in God for forgiveness, forgive
      others, has a symmetry, which is supported by my reading of salt.

      My reading of Salt makes Mark look much more like a very carefully
      planned work, and lees like a collection of semi-random bits.

      Dave Gentile

      Riverside, IL

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