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Salt, Dust, Light, and Water in the Bible

Study of Salt, Dust, Water, & Light in Bible

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The Study of Salt, Dust, Water, and Light in the Bible

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Studying Salt, Dust, Water, and Light in the Bible
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Studying Salt, Dust, Water, & Light in Scripture

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Studying Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

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Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

Salt, Dust, Water & Light in Scripture

What is salt, dust, and stone in the Bible
In Scripture, DNA is both dust and salt
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Definition for Mouth in Scripture

Mouth (The Father has One; The Incarnate Son also Has One)

What Does the Word Mouth Mean in Scripture?  

Using the analogy of a master boat designer/builder will help explain the meaning of the mouth in Scripture. Our hypothetical boat builder/designer possesses the knowledge to design and build the best boat in the world. His knowledge consists of thoughts within his mind that fully encapsulate the boat's design. Unless and until those thoughts are sent out via some form of expression, the design remains in his head—solely in his thoughts.
The designer expresses (sends out) his thoughts when, for example, he: 1) goes out and builds the boat; 2) verbally tells someone how to build this boat; 3) draws diagrams of how to build the boat; and/or 4) writes a “How-To” book for building a perfectly designed boat. Expressions are not limited to spoken words. Any expression sending out a thought can be classified as a word, verbal or otherwise. It is important to note that when the designer's thoughts are sent out, that does not mean the thoughts no longer exist in the mind of the designer. This fact helps us understand how the Son can be sent while continuing to be in the Father's intellect. With that in mind, let us proceed with our definition of the meaning of mouth in Scripture.

The Mouth of God

God does not have a physical mouth. So, when we read in Scripture of the mouth of God (e.g., 1 Kgs 8:15), are we to interpret it as a symbol that helps us understand who or what is doing the communicating? This is what is known as phenomenological language.
John Lennox writes:
Suppose, for instance, that God had intended to explain the origin of the universe and life to us in detailed scientific language.  . . .  If the biblical explanation were at the level, say, of twenty-second-century science, it would likely be unintelligible to everyone.  . . .  Rather than scientific language, the Bible often uses what is called phenomenological language—the language of appearance. It describes what anyone can see.[1]
Let’s apply our understanding of being sent as it applies to the Trinity. In Scripture, only the Word of God (Jn 3:17; 5:23) and the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26) are ever described as being sent.[2] The Father is never described as such. The Father is always the one who sends. The Father is not expressed but expresses, i.e., sends out. In Scripture, that which sends out is identified as the mouth. The Father sends the Son—the Word of God. When the Word of God is sent, so is the Breath, i.e., the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 20:21-23; Is 55:10-11). When a human wishes to express something, the words cannot be sent out without the accompanying breath. Scripture tells us, “Man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Deut 8:3).
The Son of God is not the mouth of the Trinity. Only the Father is the scriptural mouth. So why did the Son hypostatically unite himself to humanity? It was to take on a human mouth through which to send out the overflow—the grace of the Holy Spirit—of his Divine Heart into physical creation. According to Francois-Xavier Durrwell, “[The Holy Spirit] is the breath of God in that twofold movement of breathing in and breathing out.”[3]

The Breath from the Mouth Dwells in the Heart

The heart of God is on fire with Love/Charity, i.e., the Holy Spirit. He dwells in our spiritual hearts. The Trinity is that which is Truth, Truth known, Truth Loved, and Truth on fire to be shared. The Heart of God—the Holy Spiritis the undivided unity of all Three Persons of the Trinity.
Francois-Xavier Durrwell writes, “It is there, in our hearts, in the intimate depths of the believer, that the Spirit chooses his dwelling. In God himself, the Holy Spirit of God reaches the ‘depths’ (cf. 1 Cor 2:10). He is, as it were, the heart of God.”[4][5][6] St. Robert Bellarmine, Theologian and Doctor of the Church, is known as the father of apologists. In his three-volume work titled Disputationes de Controversiis Christianae Fidei adversus hujus temporis Haereticos, Bellarmine tells us the Holy Spirit is the heart of God—is the Spirit of God.[7] St. Hildegard says, “In the heart of the radiant Father [SML] … burns the Holy Spirit.”[8]
Jesus tells us, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt. 12:34). Mouth in Scripture refers to that which expresses (sends out) the overflow of the heart. The mouth not only sends out (exhales), but it also inhales (in the form of Actual grace) whatever is to reach the heart. Matthew writes, “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and so passes on” (Mt. 15:17)? Does Mt. 15:17-19 contradict the previous sentence? When talking about Actual Grace, the answer is No!
In verse Mt 15:2, the Pharisees accuse the disciples of defiling themselves because they have not performed the prescribed ritual of washing their hands before eating. The Pharisees are talking about food, which is defiled because it was touched by unclean hands, subsequently going through the literalistic biological mouth. So this is the context in which Jesus responds, i.e., whether or not organic food entering the biological mouth and eventually coming out the other end of the body defiles us. This is evident by the wording he uses. In v. 17, he says, “Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach and goes out into the sewer. In v. 19-20, Jesus tells the Apostles that adultery, fornication, theft, etc., coming out of the mouth is what defile us. In other words, that which comes out of the spiritual heart is what defiles us.
Every thought that is sent is sent somewhere. Every expression has a destination to which it is directed. What was the Father’s intended destination for His expression of the Word in the force of His Breath? The answer is—creation. St. Thomas Aquinas writes, “Now the craftsman [the Father] works through the word conceived in his mind, and through the love of his will regarding some object. Hence also God the Father made the creature through His Word, which is His Son; and through His Love [which is associated with the heart/spirit], which is the Holy [Spirit].”[9]
All expressions in the Love of the Holy Spirit are fruitful because God is eternally fruitful. The Father fruitfully expressed the Word through the power of His Breath, and that expression produced the fruit of creation. Hence, we read in Scripture, “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth [God the Father]; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper [be fruitful] in the thing for which I sent it” (Is. 55:11). We can conclude that the fruit, which is produced by the expression of the Word by the force of the Father’s Breath, will return to that same mouth of God (the Father) who expressed it, where it will be breathed in and become one with God—thus entering into the Trinitarian dialogue (cf. 2 Pt. 1:4).[10][11]
According to theologian Francois-Xavier Durrwell, [The Holy Spirit] is the breath of God in that twofold movement of breathing in and breathing out.”[12] The concept of inhaling and exhaling the Breath through the mouth can also be understood in the light of the Eucharistic discourse (Jn. 6:48-70). Jesus tells the crowd that his flesh is real food and his blood is real drink. He breathes the Breath through his human scriptural mouth (his body and blood in the Eucharist), and we inhale the Breath when we receive Him in the Eucharist through our mouth/body. While the entire body is the scriptural mouth for man, certain body parts play a more or less prominent part in expressing the overflow of the spiritual heart of the spiritual soul.
Basically, this is what St. Paul is saying when he writes, “For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Rom 12:4-5). The scriptural mouth of man has many biological members. Some more prominent than others. The cranial brain has a very important role. It is the part of the scriptural human mouth through which the intellect, one of the higher powers of the spiritual soul, contributes to that which is sent out into physical creation. Whenever I hear some scientist say that they have found the location in the body where religiosity is located in the brain, I think to myself: think again. What you have really found is the member of the scriptural human mouth through which spiritual faith is expressed into physical creation.
The most intriguing member of the scriptural human mouth is the biological heart. In many occasions, a Eucharistic miracle occurs in which the veil of the consecrated host, which hides the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated host, is removed by God, revealing the true flesh and blood of Jesus. In fact, the flesh and blood are able to be scientifically tested. In every case I am aware of, the tissue is revealed to be tissue from the myocardium—the heart. The results are beyond comprehension, but true nonetheless. Ezekiel writes, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ez 36:26). This passage clearly refers to the biological heart as that part of the scriptural human heart that expresses the overflow of the human spirit within which dwells the Holy Spirit.

The Mouth of Man

As JP II wrote, “The body speaks not merely with the whole external expression of masculinity and femininity, but also with the internal structures of the organism, of the somatic [the entire body and its aggregate parts] and psychosomatic [relating to the mind/mental] reaction.”[13] When God speaks or sends forth His Word, He does it with His mouth (cf. Is. 55:11). When man speaks a sense-able and meta-sense-able word (both components are continuously contributing to the total expression), it is his entire mouth/body, through which the word/expression is sent out.
Let’s look at a passage that will show us that God is frequently not referring to the literalistic biological mouth when using the word in Scripture. While a person's entire scriptural mouth (the body)contributes to an expression, verbal expression through the literalistic biological mouth may or may not occur. God addressed himself to the Israelites concerning the commandments and the decrees of the Law. He said, “For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off ... the word is very near you; it is in your mouth [your body] and in your heart [your spirit] so that you can do it” (Deut 30:11, 14). We do with our entire body—not just the biological mouth. JP II writes, “In the text of the prophets the body speaks a ‘language.’ ”[14] From where does speech exit the body? The mouth.
According to St. Hildegard, virtues work through the body and soul together;[15] “a virtue is a divine quality that … fully incarnates itself [SML].”[16] What does this mean? It means that as the heart is purified, so, too, is the body. We discussed this earlier. The higher powers of the soul (where the Holy Spirit dwells) are not fenced off from the lower powers (which control the body). Why is this necessary? In its role as the mouth of the overflow of the spiritual heart, the body must accurately express (both sense-ably and meta-sense-ably) virtuous acts that will bear good fruit. West tells us that the body gives expression to the experiences of the heart;[17] the spirit expresses itself in the language of the body.[18]
Updated: 01/26/2024


[1] John Lennox, Seven Days That Divide the World: The Beginning According to Genesis and Science (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 26.
[2] It could potentially lead to theological error to believe that the Holy Spirit is ‘sent’ in the same manner as the Son is sent. Only the Son is expressed. The Holy Spirit proceeds. Having issued that proviso, the current context is sufficient to understand the meaning of the ‘mouth’ of God.
[3] Francois-Xavier Durrwell, Holy Spirit of God, trans. Sister Benedict Davies, Revised Edition (Cincinnati: Servant Books, 2006), 179-180.
[4] Durrwell, Holy Spirit of God, 36-37.
[5] cf. Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias, (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), 35.
[6] cf. Edward Leen, The Holy Spirit, (New York, NY: Sheed & Ward, 1939; Sceptor Publishers, 1998, 2008), 32-33.
[7] Richard Payne and Stephen Payne, “Saint Robert Bellarmine-Part II,” Saints Alive (Arcadia Films, aired November 16, 2011). Saints Alive is a TV program that airs on EWTN. In this series, an actor portraying a saint is interviewed, and his or her response is taken directly from the saint's writings.
[8] Hildegard, Scivias, 363.
[9] Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I, q. 45, a. 6.
[10] cf. Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997), n. 460.
[11] Michael Gaitley, The ‘One Thing’ Is Three: How the Most Holy Trinity Explains Everything, (Stockbridge: Marian Press, 2013), Kindle Edition, Locations 538-553.
[12] Francois-Xavier Durrwell, Holy Spirit of God, trans. Sister Benedict Davies, Revised Edition (Cincinnati: Servant Books, 2006), 179-180.
[13] John Paul II, “Responsible Parenthood Linked to Moral Maturity,” in the general audience given Sept. 5, 1984, Audiences of Pope John Paul II (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014), n. 1.
[14] Pope John Paul II, in general audience given January 12, 1983, “The Language of the Body in the Structure of Marriage,” Audiences of Pope John Paul II (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014), n. 7.
[15] Hildegard, Scivias, 345.
[16] Hildegard, Scivias, 37.
[17] Christopher West, Theology of the Body Explained (Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2003), 94.
[18] West, Theology of the Body, 382.
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