Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

Salt for the earthen oven revisited

John J. Pilch
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a826 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.826 | © 2011 John J. Pilch | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 April 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

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John J. Pilch, Department of Theology, Georgetown University, United States Department of New Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa, United States

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The symbolic interpretation of the salt sayings in the New Testament (Mt 5:13; Mk 9:42–50; Lk 12:49–53; 14:34–35) is best based on the long-standing cultural practice of using salt as a catalytic agent to burn dung, the common fuel for the typical earthen oven used by peasants even to this day. Seasoning and preservation are culturally inappropriate.


Salt; earth; dung; earthen-oven; catalyst; agonstic culture


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