Throw the bad salt away (Lk 14:35-14:35)

“This salt is fit

Neither

For the soil,

Nor for the manure pile.

Throw it away!

Let anyone

With ears

To hear,

Listen!”

 

οὔτε εἰς γῆν οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν εὔθετόν ἐστιν· ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό. ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν ἀκουέτω

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this salt was fit (εὔθετόν ἐστιν) neither for the soil (οὔτε εἰς γῆν), nor for the manure pile (οὔτε εἰς κοπρίαν).  It should be thrown away (ἔξω βάλλουσιν αὐτό).  Let anyone with ears to hear (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκούειν), listen (ἀκουέτω)!  This saying of Jesus can be found somewhat similar in Matthew, chapter 5:13, and Mark, chapter 9:50.  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that tasteless salt was now useless, impotent, and not good for anything (εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι).  The end result of this insipid salt was that it should either be thrown away (εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω) or have people trample it down (καταπατεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων).  Mark indicated that Jesus then turned to his followers.  He told them that they should have salt within themselves (ἔχετε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἅλα), not exactly the salt of the earth, but close enough.  They should be at peace with one another (καὶ εἰρηνεύετε ἐν ἀλλήλοις).  There was no indication here about throwing salt away because it had become useless, as in Matthew and Luke.  Salt would bring about brotherly peace or love.  Only Luke had the admonition to listen to what Jesus was saying.  How much salt do you use?

Be merciful! (Lk 6:36-6:36)

“Be merciful!

Even as your Father

Is merciful.”

 

Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες, καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν

 

The result of the kindness of God was that the followers of Jesus should also be merciful (Γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες), even as their Father is merciful (καθὼς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν).  Matthew, chapter 5:48, had Jesus say that they should be perfect, like their heavenly Father by loving and greeting everyone.  Only Matthew had this emphasis on perfection, completeness, or maturity, while Luke had Jesus emphasize mercy.  Would you rather be merciful or perfect?

The withered fig tree (Mk 11:20-11:20)

“In the morning,

As they passed by,

They saw

The fig tree

Withered away

To its roots.”

 

Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν.

 

This incident about the withered fig tree continued here, where it was a complete whole in Matthew, chapter 21:18-20.  Here in Mark, it was the next day after the curse when they were passing by it in the morning (Καὶ παραπορευόμενοι πρωῒ).  Then they saw the withered or dried up fig tree, even its roots (εἶδον τὴν συκῆν ἐξηραμμένην ἐκ ῥιζῶν).  Rather than immediately the same day, as in Matthew, the result was the same.  The fig tree was dead.

Do what they say, not what they do (Mt 23:2-23:3)

“The Scribes

And the Pharisees

Sit on Moses’ seat.

Therefore,

Do whatever

They teach you.

But they do not practice

What they teach.”

 

λέγων Ἐπὶ τῆς Μωϋσέως καθέδρας ἐκάθισαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι.

πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν ποιήσατε καὶ τηρεῖτε, κατὰ δὲ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν μὴ ποιεῖτε· λέγουσιν γὰρ καὶ οὐ ποιοῦσιν.

 

There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:38, who only talked about the Scribes and not the Pharisees.  In Luke, chapter 20:45, Jesus was only speaking to his disciples.  Jesus said that the Scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses’ seat (λέγων Ἐπὶ τῆς Μωϋσέως καθέδρας ἐκάθισαν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι).  In other words, they knew the Torah, the Law of Moses, so that they spoke with authority.  Notice the importance of the seat or “καθέδρας” that later had such an important role in the Roman Catholic interpretation of the Pope or Bishop of Rome on his seat, speaking “ex cathedra” in an official capacity.  Thus, the Pharisees and Scribes were on this seat of Moses, so that they had the proper authority to teach.  The result was that the people should do all the things that the Scribes and Pharisees taught them (πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν εἴπωσιν ὑμῖν ποιήσατε καὶ τηρεῖτε).  However, they were not practicing or doing what they were teaching (λέγουσιν γὰρ καὶ οὐ ποιοῦσιν), so that you were not to follow or do their actions (τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν μὴ ποιεῖτε).  Jesus accepted their teachings but not their actions.

Theological Process

Theology is an interaction.  First Arius gave a theological interpretation on the role of Christ and God.  Second the leaders of the Church considered it carefully and came up with their decision.  Then Arius did not accept the decision.  He then was removed and excommunicated or cut off from the communion of the Church.  This problem led to discussion and consensus.  The lived faith in the worship service experience led to a consensus about the most appropriate expression.  The final result was the Nicene Creed, the oldest and most important creed.  Most dogmas came out of disputes.  Over the last two thousand years there have been many more disputes within Christianity.

Jesus Seminar failure

The Jesus Seminar was a group of about 150 critical Biblical scholars founded in 1985 by Robert Funk (1926-2005).  Although never formally disbanded, the seminar effectively ceased functioning in 2006.  Their goal was to reconstruct the historical Jesus and find out what exactly Jesus said.  The result was that they portrayed Jesus as an itinerant Hellenistic Jewish sage, a faith-healer, who preached a gospel of liberation from injustice.  However, they believed that Jesus did not hold an apocalyptic worldview, as indicated in the canonical writings.  The methods and conclusions of the Jesus Seminar came under very harsh criticism by some biblical scholars, historians, and clergy.  However, this Jesus Seminar produced a significant number of publications for over 20 years, especially articles about the Gospel of Thomas.

Measuring all four sides of the square wall (Ezek 42:16-42:20)

“He measured the east side

With the measuring reed.

It was five hundred cubits

By the measuring reed.

Then he turned.

He measured the north side.

It was five hundred cubits

By the measuring reed.

Then he turned.

He measured the south side.

It was five hundred cubits

By the measuring reed.

Then he turned to the west side.

He measured it.

It was five hundred cubits

By the measuring reed.

He measured it

On the four sides.

It had a wall around it.

It was

Five hundred cubits long,

Five hundred cubits wide.

This made a separation

Between the holy

With the common.”

The bronze man then measured the outer Temple wall. Guess what? It was a square of 500 cubits or about 800 feet square all around, a fairly large enclosed square area. He measured first the east side, then the north, south, and west side with his measuring stick or reed. Each time the result was the same. Thus, there was a separation between the interior holy place and the common area outside the wall.