BAR 40:01, Jan/Feb 2014
The Bible in the News: Take It with a Grain of Salt
Recently, we (more precisely, my wife) purchased some Ezekiel bread, which we (more precisely, I) have enjoyed eating. The same company now makes products based on Genesis 1:29 (“I give you every seed-bearing plant … for food”). Although my initial impulse—to use these items as the basis for a column—has not panned out, the process has made me hungry for nourishment, both physical and spiritual. Although I use salt only sparingly, it is a necessary component of many foods. As such it appears frequently in the Bible, where it is also the name of what we today call the Dead Sea (the Salt Sea), a component in certain sacrificial offerings and a sign of a vibrant land gone bad.
Of all Biblical uses, I was sure that Lot’s wife (a pillar of salt) and Jesus’ “you are the salt of the earth” (part of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount) would garner the widest coverage in the modern popular press.