"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
"Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
"Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again?
"Salt is excellent. But if the salt goes flat, it's useless, good for nothing.
For salt is good, but if the taste goes from it, of what use is it?
"Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?
"Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Grk “Now salt…”; here οὖν has not been translated.
sn Salt was used as seasoning or fertilizer (BDAG 41 s.v. ἅλας a), or as a preservative. If salt ceased to be useful, it was thrown away. With this illustration Jesus warned about a disciple who ceased to follow him.
2 sn The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change. It is thus often assumed that Jesus was referring to chemically impure salt, perhaps a natural salt which, when exposed to the elements, had all the genuine salt leached out, leaving only the sediment or impurities behind. Others have suggested the background of the saying is the use of salt blocks by Arab bakers to line the floor of their ovens: Under the intense heat these blocks would eventually crystallize and undergo a change in chemical composition, finally being thrown out as unserviceable. A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to R. Joshua ben Chananja (ca.