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Tootboy
Aug 31st 2010, 07:47 PM
Okay, so I have been studying what the Bible says about hellfire, and I've been rather confused by the phrase, "salted with fire" that is found in Mark 9:49. I always understood the phrase to denote a positive purifying experience for believers, but the context seems clear that the fire we are salted with is the same fire of hell mentioned in vv.47 and 48.

Take a look to see what I mean:


"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."


I'm stumped! Thanks for any suggestions you folks might have.

Tootboy
Aug 31st 2010, 11:16 PM
hmmmm...wrong forum?

BroRog
Sep 1st 2010, 03:58 AM
Okay, so I have been studying what the Bible says about hellfire, and I've been rather confused by the phrase, "salted with fire" that is found in Mark 9:49. I always understood the phrase to denote a positive purifying experience for believers, but the context seems clear that the fire we are salted with is the same fire of hell mentioned in vv.47 and 48.

Take a look to see what I mean:


"And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt."


I'm stumped! Thanks for any suggestions you folks might have.
I believe the last sentence actually goes with the next sentence, not the previous sentence. Salt seemed to be used on food for two reasons 1) to add flavor and 2) to preserve food. Another way to preserve meat is by smoking it over a fire. It's possible that Jesus was using the term "salted" as metonomy for "preserved" as through the process of smoking or dehydration. It could be that Jesus was talking about the persecution and false testimony his disciples would face for the sake of righteousness.

JohnDB
Sep 1st 2010, 09:42 AM
Look in an encyclopedia (biblical would be best) and look up "Covenant of Salt"

There you will understand what that was about...and then understand that when Jesus said that we are the Salt of the Earth that He quite literally meant that we were responsible for the zeal of the whole world....and that if we didn't have any...

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 02:10 PM
I believe the last sentence actually goes with the next sentence, not the previous sentence. Salt seemed to be used on food for two reasons 1) to add flavor and 2) to preserve food. Another way to preserve meat is by smoking it over a fire. It's possible that Jesus was using the term "salted" as metonomy for "preserved" as through the process of smoking or dehydration. It could be that Jesus was talking about the persecution and false testimony his disciples would face for the sake of righteousness.

Thanks for the response, BroRog. You raise some interesting points, and I agree that v.49 ties into v.50. However, it seems a highly unlikely and unnatural reading to suppose that v.49 isn't connected to the preceding verses. Indeed, the Greek word translated as 'for' in v.49 implies such a connection.

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 02:11 PM
Look in an encyclopedia (biblical would be best) and look up "Covenant of Salt"

There you will understand what that was about...and then understand that when Jesus said that we are the Salt of the Earth that He quite literally meant that we were responsible for the zeal of the whole world....and that if we didn't have any...

Thanks, John, but what is the connection between salt and fire in the context of Mark 9:49?

Firefighter
Sep 1st 2010, 02:18 PM
Salt is also used in the purification of fine metals such as gold and silver... ;)

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 02:27 PM
Is that so, Urban? Interesting. What role does salt play in metallurgy? And do you have a reference? Thanks!

Firefighter
Sep 1st 2010, 02:41 PM
http://neon.mems.cmu.edu/cramb/Processing/history.html

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the link, Urban. However, unless I misread, this article states that salt wasn't used in metaluurgy until the first millenium.

Firefighter
Sep 1st 2010, 02:49 PM
Which millennium did Jesus live in?

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 03:02 PM
Urban, even if salt were used in metallurgy as early as Jesus' day, it would not have yet been a well-known enough practice to the common person listening to Jesus' sermons. Would it?

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 03:16 PM
Urban, don't get me wrong. I'm very attracted to the idea that Mark 9:49 is an allusion to the use of salt in metal-refining, but I'm not convinced. One reason I'm not buying it jsut yet is because the scribal gloss ("and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt") suggests that the phrase "Salted with fire" points to the Jewish sacrifices.

BroRog
Sep 1st 2010, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the response, BroRog. You raise some interesting points, and I agree that v.49 ties into v.50. However, it seems a highly unlikely and unnatural reading to suppose that v.49 isn't connected to the preceding verses. Indeed, the Greek word translated as 'for' in v.49 implies such a connection.

I understand your logic and it makes sense. After looking at the Greek word "gar" these many years, I am becoming convinced that the word has other uses that to express purpose, which is the basis for my own conclusion.

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 03:24 PM
I understand your logic and it makes sense. After looking at the Greek word "gar" these many years, I am becoming convinced that the word has other uses that to express purpose, which is the basis for my own conclusion.

Can you go into more detail about the other function of GAR that you have in mind, and how this word is used in Mark 9:49? Thanks!

BroRog
Sep 1st 2010, 04:03 PM
Can you go into more detail about the other function of GAR that you have in mind, and how this word is used in Mark 9:49? Thanks!

Okay. Looking at how the term "gar" is often used, I would say that the term "gar" is sometimes used the same way English speakers use the term "given", in which a person making an argument states a certain fact as a supposition. For example, I could say something like,

Given that the sky is clear, it doesn't look like it will rain today.

I think in the Greek langauge, the Greeks might say something like

For the sky is clear, and it won't rain today.

The "for" in this sentence points ahead and acts as a supposition in support of the following conclusion, not backward to anything that came before, necessarily. Understand, though, that I'm not suggesting that the Greek word "gar:for" must always look forward. It might or it might look back. I'm not saying that it needs to act this way. I'm just saying that it is also possible for it to point forward. I think in Mark 9:49 it looks forward. I could be wrong though. It's a judgment call.

Tootboy
Sep 1st 2010, 04:28 PM
Okay. Looking at how the term "gar" is often used, I would say that the term "gar" is sometimes used the same way English speakers use the term "given", in which a person making an argument states a certain fact as a supposition. For example, I could say something like,

Given that the sky is clear, it doesn't look like it will rain today.

I think in the Greek langauge, the Greeks might say something like

For the sky is clear, and it won't rain today.

The "for" in this sentence points ahead and acts as a supposition in support of the following conclusion, not backward to anything that came before, necessarily. Understand, though, that I'm not suggesting that the Greek word "gar:for" must always look forward. It might or it might look back. I'm not saying that it needs to act this way. I'm just saying that it is also possible for it to point forward. I think in Mark 9:49 it looks forward. I could be wrong though. It's a judgment call.

Even if GAR is looking forward in Mark 9:49, there still is an implicit connection with the fire talk that came before. I just don't see any way around it. Seems clear that Jesus is summing up his sermon about self-discipline and hellfire.

BroRog
Sep 1st 2010, 07:48 PM
Even if GAR is looking forward in Mark 9:49, there still is an implicit connection with the fire talk that came before. I just don't see any way around it. Seems clear that Jesus is summing up his sermon about self-discipline and hellfire.Really? What does it meant to be salted with hellfire?

Tootboy
Sep 2nd 2010, 06:22 PM
I don't know, BroRog! That's what I'm trying to figure out.

But let's take this slow. Don't you find it highly unlikely that Jesus suddenly starts talking about a different fire in v.49 than he had been discussing in the verses preceeding it?

BroRog
Sep 2nd 2010, 08:16 PM
I don't know, BroRog! That's what I'm trying to figure out.

But let's take this slow. Don't you find it highly unlikely that Jesus suddenly starts talking about a different fire in v.49 than he had been discussing in the verses preceeding it?

If all I had was Mark's gospel, I would say yes. But having read similar statements in the other gospels in different contexts, I think it's possible that Jesus didn't actually say verse 49 after verse 48. Mark might be quoting from two different occations when Jesus spoke.

Tootboy
Sep 2nd 2010, 09:10 PM
If all I had was Mark's gospel, I would say yes. But having read similar statements in the other gospels in different contexts, I think it's possible that Jesus didn't actually say verse 49 after verse 48. Mark might be quoting from two different occations when Jesus spoke.

That's possible! But still, Mark would have seen some connection between the idea of being salted with fire and the idea of hellfire. This takes us back to the question I asked you before: How exactly does GAR relate v.48 to 49? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks for your feedback.

Firefighter
Sep 2nd 2010, 09:27 PM
That's possible! But still, Mark would have seen some connection between the idea of being salted with fire and the idea of hellfire. This takes us back to the question I asked you before: How exactly does GAR relate v.48 to 49? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks for your feedback.

Actually it would have been Peter that seen the connection. :D


You may now resume your discussion.

BroRog
Sep 2nd 2010, 11:59 PM
That's possible! But still, Mark would have seen some connection between the idea of being salted with fire and the idea of hellfire. This takes us back to the question I asked you before: How exactly does GAR relate v.48 to 49? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks for your feedback.As I say, I don't think 'gar' refers to the previous verse, but points forward. So I don't think 'gar' attempts to associate v. 48 with 49. The reason I think 'gar' looks forward is because the only thing the first passage as in common with the second passage is the word "fire". Other than that each passage is making a different point.

In the first passage Jesus is asking the hearer/reader to evaluate the relative value of things, comparing being maimed/saved, with being whole/damned. In the next passage Jesus points out that being a disciple requires that the disciple remain distinctive, even at the risk of being seen, which might lead to persecution. Being salted by fire seems to go with the idea of persecution, not the idea of being damned.

That's how I see it.

Tootboy
Sep 4th 2010, 03:13 AM
Actually it would have been Peter that seen the connection. :D


You may now resume your discussion.

Not sure I follow. Explain please?

Tootboy
Sep 4th 2010, 03:15 AM
As I say, I don't think 'gar' refers to the previous verse, but points forward. So I don't think 'gar' attempts to associate v. 48 with 49. The reason I think 'gar' looks forward is because the only thing the first passage as in common with the second passage is the word "fire". Other than that each passage is making a different point.

In the first passage Jesus is asking the hearer/reader to evaluate the relative value of things, comparing being maimed/saved, with being whole/damned. In the next passage Jesus points out that being a disciple requires that the disciple remain distinctive, even at the risk of being seen, which might lead to persecution. Being salted by fire seems to go with the idea of persecution, not the idea of being damned.

That's how I see it.

I can certainly see where you're coming from in identifying "salted with fire" with persecution. But are you suggesting that there is no connection whatsover between the fire of v.48 and v.49?

BroRog
Sep 4th 2010, 03:53 PM
I can certainly see where you're coming from in identifying "salted with fire" with persecution. But are you suggesting that there is no connection whatsover between the fire of v.48 and v.49?

In terms of what Jesus meant, no. However, a gospel writer will want to make his own points and he does this by placing certain sayings of Jesus is juxtaposition with other sayings. Perhaps Mark is offering us a choice between hellfire and persecution. This isn't much of a choice except hellfire is permanent, and persecution is temporary, relatively speaking. We may suffer persecution because we are Christians but it's a lot better than going to hell.