Hi everyone, I came across a verse in Mark that ‘screams’ purgatory, and I came to see if it is so.
(I am fairly new to writing verses by number, I hope the number is right lol.)
“Everyone will be purified by fire as a sacrifice is purified by salt.”
In context it is where he is talking about if your foot or eye cause you to sin/ lose faith. I am so sure it’s talking about purgatory because he is talking about sin, then hell, then about how everyone will be purified.
Seems like you’re quoting from the Good News Translation and they are way off according to the Greek interlinear NT. Literally, verse 49 should read, “Every for to fire shall be being salted and every sacrifice to salt.”
The New American Bible only says verse 49, “Everyone will be salted with fire.”
I think Jesus is referring to the victims in Hell where, “where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”
I think the reference to salt is as a preservative to the victims body to represent the body as being somehow preserved for eternal torments.
I am not familiar with the Good News Translation, but it was pretty far off in how it read Mark 9.49. You may want to check for reviews online.
When studying the Bible, it’s always a good idea to reference different translations, especially the original Greek manuscripts. For this, simply look up the Greek Interlinear New Testament online. It is in English, but reads exactly according to the Greek words and sentence structure. In my opinion, this is the best way the sense of the original text.
Douay version reads" For everyone shall be salted with fire,and every victim will be salted"
with reference to Lev. 2:13 which speaks of the offering to God being salted. and do not let the salt of your convenant with God be lacking in your ceral offering…
Jesus however continues in saying salt is good, and tells them to have salt in themselves and be at peace.
First of all, I do not agree with the New American Bible (and other modern bibles). The original Greek text contains a reference to the “victim” or “sacrifice,” which these newer bibles deleted from their translation. Who gave these translators the authority to delete existing words in Sacred Scripture? I agree more with the Douay translation (by St. Jerome), which said: “For every one shall be salted with fire: and every victim shall be salted with salt” (Mark 9:48)
Secondly, I don’t see a reference to purgatory in this text. The fire that is being talked about here is the eternal fire of hell - the fire that “is not extinguished” (Mark 9:47). Earlier Christ said that if your eye causes you to sin, then pluck it out, for it is better for you to go to heaven with one eye than for you to be cast in hell with your two eyes.
Thirdly, the salt in the text refers to good works. Just as salt gives flavor to food, so good works is what brings virtue (moral “flavor”) to the sacrificial good doers (represented in the biblical text as “victim” or “sacrifice”). This is why Christ said, “Have salt in you, and have peace among you” (Mark 9:49), for He wants us to be virtuous and morally “flavorful” rather than morally stale.
Finally, the literal translation of the original Greek text in Mark 9:38 is this: “Every (one) to fire shall be salted, and every victim to salt shall be salted.” This text is speaking of two kinds of people: those in hell, or the evil doers (who will be salted with the inextinguishable fires of hell), and the victims or good doers (who will be salted with virtue or good works). Therefore, the correct interpretation of the verse is this: **Every one in hell (the evil doers) will be salted with fire (eternal pain and suffering), and every sacrifice (the good doers) will be salted (glorified) with virtue. **The salt in the context has nothing to do with the preservation of the body for eternal torment.
In verse 50, Jesus moves on to this life to illustrate salt as good works to preserve men in this life. However, I believe verse 49 belongs with the context of verse 48 to preserve men in their suffering.
I am not sure if Christ was speaking of salt as a preservative. More likely, I think that He was speaking of it merely as a form of seasoning - one that brings out the flavor in food. I say this on account of what He said on V. 49 (Douay): “Salt is good: but if the salt becomes unsavoury, wherewith will you season it?”
Anyway, if we speak of being salted in the sense of being preserved, then the following is also true: Good people are kept or preserved in virtue by the performance of good works, while the wicked are kept or preserved in hell by their eternal torments. While this interpretation is tenable, it does not harmonize quite perfectly with V. 49.
Pseudo-Jerome: The oblation of the Lord is the race of man, which is here salted by means of wisdom, whilst the corruption of blood, the nurse of rottenness, and the mother of worms, is being consumed, which there also shall be tried by the purgatorial fire. [ed. note: On the subject of the purgatorial fire, see Fluery’s Hist., xix, 31, p. 102, note i, and Chrysostom, de Statuis, vi, 10, p. 130, note c, Oxford trans.]
Remember, though, that the Catholic Church has not defined very many Scriptures.
and any meaning which you discern which is in line with Catholic
Teaching is probably correct. This definitely fits the description of Purgatory and therefore is not wrong.
You are absolutely right. Scripture can admit several interpretations. Indeed, if I only read verse 49, I could read purgatory also. However, if I read verse 49 in the context of the preceding verses 43-48, and seeing that Scripture is talking of the fire that is not extinguished, then I have trouble thinking of it as the fire of purgatory. Anyway, I agree with you, that for our spiritual profit we can read as many meanings in Holy Scripture as we can find, provided that it is consonant with the teachings of the Church. So, God bless!
I think that St. Thomas would have been more accurate if he said that the fire of purgatory is similar to, rather than exactly the same as, the fire that burns in hell. The fire of purgatory serves two purposes: first, it provides temporary punishment to the elect for their small offenses; second, it cleanses and purifies their souls of all earthly attachments, so that they yearn more eagerly for God. The fire of hell, on the other hand, serves only to provide eternal punishment both for the demons who rebelled against God and the damned souls who, by their own choice, have separated themselves from Him.
To the extent that the purgatorial fire and the hell fire provide punishment, then they are the same. But in so far as the purgatorial fire cleanses the soul while the hell fire merely torments it, they are different. This is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned”(CCC # 1031 - boldface is my own addition for emphasis.)
The punishment provided by the fire of purgatory is similar to the punishment provided by hell fire in the sense that they both consist in not being able to see God face to face. Being deprived of the beatific vision causes in the soul the so-called “pain of loss.” However, even as a punishment the two fires are different, because hell fire is eternal while the purgatorial fire is only temporary.
For this reason, the souls in purgatory do not suffer the same way as the the souls in hell, although both are deprived of the vision of God. The souls in purgatory suffer because they are yearning for God. Their yet unsatisfied love for God is, for them, a consuming fire (to borrow the phrase from Dr. Hahn). They can’t wait to see Him, and His absence (even if temporary) is to them a source of great pain. However, their hearts are not angry but hopeful, knowing that they will eventually see Him whom their hearts desire.
On the other hand, the damned souls (in hell) are angry at God, desperate and bitter, because they know that they have lost a great Good with no hope of recovery. They are jealous, too, and full of hatred, not only for God but also for all His friends. Unlike the souls in purgatory, the damned souls are hopeless, and their sufferings do not cleanse them, but only serve to make their hearts immutably fixed in evil.
So, DeMaria, is purgatorial fire the same as hell fire? I think not.