What it Means to be Saved

A look at the important religious word saved from a historical literary perspective.

Saved in the English contemporary language has many nuances and evokes powerful emotions. In Evangelical circles, this word is the basis for religious conversion. It is a required action to get into heaven while others see it as an archaic and outdated term that religious people fervently force on contemporary society. Many more have taken religion right out of the definition and use it for referring to the saving of data.

There are many accounts of the word saved throughout the New Testament. In this case, I have restricted the word saved as it relates to when Jesus often said, “Your faith has made you well.” The word saved doesn’t seem apparent here, but it exists in the original Greek. The Greek here, σέσωκέν sesōken can mean saved or made well. This difference between selecting made well and saved by the translator shows that the meaning has a much wider semantic range than supposed and begs a re-evaluation. What did the Greek verb, σῴζω sōzō, historically mean to the ancient writers and how can we apply it today?

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Evangelicals on the Problem of Being Saved

What does it mean to be saved? It depends on who you ask.

In general, the modern definition of saved according to many contemporary Evangelical Churches is a defined spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. How this relationship begins and the nuances that publicly confirm such a declaration varies slightly between denominations. The rudiments consist of an acknowledgment of one’s shame, the inability to correct one’s behavior, the need for divine intervention, and the promise of a changed life.

Evangelicals believe the only route for a divine intervention is through the mediation of Jesus Christ who substitutes Himself as both the sufferer and the redeemer on each person’s behalf. This portrait of Jesus, according to Evangelical doctrine, is the only way to forge a relationship with God. However, There is a problem here. What ritual does one have to do that both confirms yourself and works within the guidelines of the Church as being saved? This is where diversity starts to creep in.

Typically in Evangelical circles, a verbal confession is required to enact such an arrangement and a prerequisite to gain entrance into heaven. This declaration is volitionally done and expressed both privately and publicly.

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Thoughts on the Bible

How the Bible should be revered but not worshiped.

As a young child and at the point of first questioning matters of life, death, God, and everything in-between, I discovered the Bible.

It was first thought that this book possessed a magical quality, so I slept with the Book underneath my head, and expected spiritual wonders to happen. Waking up the next morning, my head hurt, and my ear was sore from rubbing against it. This approach was immediately abandoned.

As a young adult, the Bible expanded my mind about the world around me. It gave a framework of how to live. The joy of connecting with a greater power, the freedom of conscience, and knowing what true love is, are by-products that I am always thankful for.

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Aquinas on Imagination Part 2

A detailed look into translating imaginarius, imaginatio, and imaginativus Aquinas’ Latin into an equivalent English expression

A portion of this was previously discussed in Thomas Aquinas on the Prophet and Imaginary Visions, but new instances have arisen since then that have required further investigation.

The word imagination in the English language has very much evolved since the time of Aquinas and translating it simply as imaginary is not a good word choice.

There is much more to these words than previously thought.

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Death, Religion and the Modern Man

A look at death from contemporary, religious, philosophical, and personal perspectives.

Death is the one question that modern science still has yet to answer in the most preliminary way. Religion answers questions about death, but this is largely ignored. Philosophy touches on the subject, but this falls short.

In modern western society, our thoughts on the subject are so thoroughly deficient, that we are not only unprepared, we emotionally flee.

It also produces many outcomes in the modern mind which are mainly on the subconscious level.

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Thomas Aquinas on the Prophet and Imaginary Visions

How to understand Aquinas’ use of imaginarius and imaginarias visiones in the office of prophecy.

The English translation of the Latin Imaginarius is typically imaginary, and imaginarius visiones as imaginary visions. However, this is not satisfactory. The use of the English word imaginary may mislead the reader. To many it means a personal fantasy, a child-like hallucination, an imaginary friend, or something that is totally cognatively disassociated. This is not what Aquinas intended.

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More on the Historical Rejection of Patristics

The controversy of magic and miracles in the Reformation, how both sides used Patristics for their own conveniences, and the rise of the word ceased in the Christian religious vocabulary.

The fifteenth to nineteenth centuries were focused on the Church tradition of miracles. The Church, which controlled the civil, and religious laws, established its authority and decision making through the works of miracles. It could not easily be questioned. As was previously written, this mysticism influenced every sphere of life; from politics, to health, taxes, and the natural sciences. It did not allow for dialogue, external accountability, or encourage scientific exploration.

The Medieval and Reformation supernaturalists had a greater propensity towards mysticism and overstated the ancient writers to propel their positions. It makes the modern reader think the Patristic writers were more deeply into the supernatural, magic, and miracles than they really were.

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The Historical Rejection of Patristics and its Legacy

How the overemphasis on Christian mysticism from the sixteenth century onwards, and the reaction to it, removed Patristic literature from the public conscience.

Contemporary study of ecclesiastical literature has delegated most records to the realm of myths and legends; it is not reliable for any historical pursuit. Therefore, any serious study of the subject has been popularly abandoned.

How did this happen?

The story begins with the emergence of the Renaissance era, especially so in Italy. The Renaissance is a fundamental movement that started in fourteenth-century Europe and spread throughout the western world. Indeed, it is the framework we live by today. The revitalization sparked a renewed interest in classical learning, languages1, science, and literature.

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The Last Name of Christ

A look at the historic family name of Jesus, Panthera, and the modern debate that surrounds it.

The modern exploration of the historical Jesus has had its moments. The results are mixed: the tortured image in the movie The Passion of Christ, the sexually angst Messiah in the controversial Last Temptation of Christ, the married Jesus portrayed in the ABC television special, Jesus, Mary and Davinci, and the illegitimate son of a foreign soldier in the film Jesus of Montreal.

The last name of Jesus is an important factor in many of these conclusions. These results place the name into the realm of uncertainty that requires clarification.

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The Genealogy of Christ and Other Problems

Two Manuscripts attributed to Epiphanius on the family of Christ compared.

The fourth century Church father, Epiphanius, Bishop of Salamis, wrote an account on the family of Christ that has important information. It contains backgrounds of His mother, Father, family last name, siblings, intermarriage and more. Although it is brief, containing only a few paragraphs, it is an important source of history. However, it is controversial, especially in light of the fact that the text that Epiphanius is quoted from, Adversus Hæreses, which has many later editorial insertions. Another text, Quæstiones first written around the seventh century, contains portions of Epiphanius account, and follows closer to the original edition.

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