Mark 9:50 Salt [is] good: but if the salt have lost his saltiness...

KJV Verse: 

Mark 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Beautiful this salt, when, however, this salt unsalted might become, in what it are you going to season? Have in yourselves salt and have peace in each other,

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Like other verses at the end of this chapter, words have been added to this verse since the original Greek, perhaps to explain it. One word is reversed in meaning, with other words changed to keep the sense of the original. The verse has a couple of unique words. While parts of this verse looks like Mat 5:13 in English translation, the underlying Greek is different more like Luke 14:34.  Lots of humorous double meanings, like the other versions of this verse, but surprisingly, all the three versions of this verse (here, Matthew 5:13 Mark 9:50) all express similar ideas in different words. All use uncommon words, but only some of them, like "salt", are shared.  This is a good argument for Jesus used different material at different times. 
 

KJV Analysis: 

untranslated -- The word translated as "the" [The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

Salt -- The Greek word for "salt" means salt, but the metaphorical meaning of salt is "wit" (and "sales", which doesn't seem relevant).  We use the term "old salt" in English to means someone who is experienced, originally as sea, but also generally. The Greek term has the same sense. The word has an article so "the salt". 

is  -- This word does not exist in the Greek. It is implied, however, by the case of the words here.

good: The word translated as "good" means "good", "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality."  See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."  The word translated as "well" means, as an adverb, "well", "rightly",  "happily",  "thoroughly", "altogether", and "deservedly".  

but -- The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 

if -- The Greek word meaning "if might" indicates more of an expectation of something happening than "if" alone. This is often how we use the word "when".The Greek for "the salt" it the same word as above. The word has an article so "the salt". 

the -- The word translated as "the" [The untranslated word is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

salt -- The Greek word for "salt" means salt, but the metaphorical meaning of salt is "wit" (and "sales", which doesn't seem relevant).  We use the term "old salt" in English to means someone who is experienced, originally as sea, but also generally. The Greek term has the same sense. The word has an article so "the salt". 

have -- This seems to incorrectly indicate a past perfect tense of the following verb, but the tense is something that happens at some point in time, past, present, or future.

lost  -- The word translated as "lost" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.  This was changed to the more negative "lose" because the following adjective has its meaning reversed.

his -- These is no pronoun "his" here. It was added in translation.

saltness,  -- "Saltiness" is an adjective that Jesus only uses here. It means "unsalted", "without salt," and "not salted."

wherewith -- The Greek word translated as "wherewith" in the singular means "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." When referring to a person it is a general reference as we would use the phrase "so and so".  It is also used in questions to mean "what," "why," and "who."

will -- This is from the future tense of the following verb.

ye -- This is from the plural, second-person form of the verb.

season -- "Seasoned" is another uncommon verb means "arrange", "prepare", "make ready", "dress savoury (meat)", "season", "administer (property)," and "bequeath."

it? -- The word translated as "it" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English.

Have  -- The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

salt -- The Greek word for "salt" means salt, but the metaphorical meaning of salt is "wit" (and "sales", which doesn't seem relevant).  We use the term "old salt" in English to means someone who is experienced, originally as sea, but also generally. The Greek term has the same sense. The word has an article so "the salt". 

in -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

yourselves, -- "Yourselves" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on. It is plural, and masculine.

and -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." 

have peace "Have peace" is eirēneuō,  which means to "bring to peace", "reconcile", "keep peace", "live peaceably". 

one -- This is from the adjective that follows the prepositon below that means "one another."

with -- The word translated as "with" also means "within", "with," or "among."

another. "One another" is an adjective that means "one another", "to one another", "mutually," and "reciprocally."

Greek Vocabulary: 

Καλὸν (adj sg neut nom) "Good" is kalos, which means "beautiful", "good", "of fine quality", "noble," and "honorable." It is most often translated as "good" juxtaposed with "evil" in the New Testament, but the two ideas are closer to "wonderful" and "worthless", "noble" and "base." -- The word translated as "good means "good", "beautiful", "noble," or "of good quality."  See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."  The word translated as "well" means, as an adverb, "well", "rightly",  "happily",  "thoroughly", "altogether", and "deservedly".  

τὸ  (article sg neut nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the")."-

ἅλας: [uncommon](noun sg neut nom) "The salt" is from halas, which means "salt", "salt-rock", "brine," and is a metaphor for "sales" and "wit."

ἐὰν (conj) "If" is ean, which is a conditional particle (derived from ei (if)and an (might)) which makes reference to a time and experience in the future that introduces but does not determine an event. 

δὲ (conj/adv) "But" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). --

τὸ (article sg neut nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the")."

ἅλας: [uncommon](noun sg neut nom) "The salt" is from halas, which means "salt", "salt-rock", "brine," and is a metaphor for "sales" and "wit."

ἄναλον [unique](adj sg neut acc) "Saltiness" is from analos, which means "unsalted", "without salt," and "not salted."

γένηται, (verb 3rd sg aor subj mid) "Has lost" is from gignomai (ginomai), which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be."

ἐν (prep) "Where" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τίνι (pron sg dat ) "Wherewith" is tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

αὐτὸ (adj sg neut acc) "It" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

ἀρτύσετε; [uncommon](verb 2nd pl fut ind act) "Shall be seasoned" is from artyo, which means "arrange", "prepare", "make ready", "dress savoury (meat)", "season", "administer (property)," and "bequeath."

 ἔχετε (verb 2nd pl pres ind act or verb 2nd pl pres imperat act) "Have" is from echô (echo), which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ἑαυτοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "Yourselves" is heautou, is a reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself", "itself" "themselves," and "ourselves." It is an alternative to autos. -- "Himself" is a special reflexive pronoun that means "himself", "herself," and so on.

ἅλα, [uncommon](noun sg masc acc) "Salt" is from halas, which means "salt", "salt-rock", "brine," and is a metaphor for "sales" and "wit."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

εἰρηνεύετε [unique](verb 2nd pl pres ind act or verb 2nd pl pres imperat act)  "Have peace" is eirēneuō,  which means to "bring to peace", "reconcile", "keep peace", "live peaceably". 

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with". -- The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

ἀλλήλοις. (adj pl masc dat) "One with another" is from allelon, which means "one another", "to one another", "mutually," and "reciprocally."

Related Verses: 

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

What remains is the sense of salt as a preservative and something of value as explained in that earlier post. Translated around that symbolic meaning, this verse becomes: Preservatives are wonderful, but if the preservative loses its ability to preserve, what can fix it? Preserve the preservative within yourselves and live peacefully with each other.

Putting this idea into the context of the chapter, which explores the interaction of the temporal and the spiritual world, this becomes: The world's preservatives are wonderful, but in this world, no preservative keeps forever, and how can you fix that? Preserve the spirit within yourselves and live peacefully with each other.

This verse highlights the reversal that takes place between the temporal and spiritual world.  In this temporary world, not even a preservative can be preserved. This is in stark contrast with the eternal ( see Mar 9:48) where the most temporary of life forms (worms) and natural conditions (fire) go on forever.

Sep 27 2019