8

In early times, salt was substantially more significant than it is today. (E.g., see the etymology for salarium at Wikipedia.) Salt has some association with holiness; it was part of the grain offerings (Leviticus 2:13 [NIV]): Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings, add ...


7

Salt fulfills a very specific purpose which other more valuable things do not. One significant thing salt is used for is as a preservative. In the age before refrigeration, this was very important. To apply this symbolically to followers of Christ, it would seem that they serve to preserve the purity of the world. As it was in the days of Noah, there is ...


7

A comprehensive overview of sorts is attempted on the Wikipedia page on Biblical Hermeneutics, but it is so comprehensive that it is incomprehensible (at least to me). I think an abridged overview of sorts can be constructed by looking at what hermeneutic principles were applied within the Church during its first few hundred years. Justin Martyr (100-165), ...


5

Catholics cannot believe in a "metaphorical Adam and Eve" for at least these reasons: The Fathers of the Church all taught that Adam and Eve were two, real people, the first parents of the entire human race (monogenism, contra polygenism, which says humanity has more than two first parents), and Catholics must interpret scripture according to the unanimous ...


3

[NOTE TO READERS: Consider the following answer a précis overview which focuses primarily on the distinctly Jewish understanding of the hermeneutical principles involved in reading and understanding the Tanach, at least until the end of the Mishnaic period, ca. 220 CE.] The writers of the Tanakh (aka the "Old Testament") and the people who figure ...


1

St. Thomas Aquinas's commentary on Matthew 5:13 gives four reasons for why the Apostles can be compared to salt: The first reason is on account of the production of salt, which comes from both the wind and the sun’s heat: for spiritual generation is from the water of Baptism and the power of the Holy Ghost; “Unless a man be born again of water and the ...


1

Biblical prophecies use symbols and analogies to convey truth. Very rare is the prophecy that is entirely literal. However, every symbol represents a concrete reality. One commentator on prophecies (Ellis Skolfield) studied the context and the rest of scripture to understand the range of meanings that a time related word can hold. There are places where a ...


1

This question is based on a confusion about the term "original sin." There are at least two concepts to which this term can refer, and they don't imply each other. From the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia: Original sin may be taken to mean: (1) the sin that Adam committed; (2) a consequence of this first sin, the hereditary stain with which we are born ...


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