Deliver, rescue, avoid the spending or waste of
See also Messiah, salvation

SAVE in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]
SAVIOR in scriptures [BibleGateway Search]

select Cross Reference Bible links:
Genesis 45:5 - And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

select Cross Reference Bible links:
Deuteronomy 32:15 - He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior.
Psalm 38:22 - Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.

SAVIOR - One who saves [Holman Bible Dictionary]
One who saves, used with various shades of meaning, ranging from deliverer to healer and benefactor.

In the Old Testament God Himself and no other is savior (Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 45:21; Hosea 13:4), though individuals such as Moses and the judges may serve as agents of God's deliverance.

God reveals His role as savior primarily through the Exodus from Egypt and provision for Israel during the wilderness years (Hosea 13:4-6).

In the New Testament, savior continues as a title of God; indeed, God is the savior in a full third of the New Testament cases (Luke 1:47; 1 Timothy 1:1; 1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4; Jude 1:25).

The New Testament, however, reveals God as savior primarily in the Christ event. Savior also appears as a title of Christ. The title appears only twice in the Gospels. There Christ is a savior for the outcasts of Israel (Luke 2:11) and the savior of the world (John 4:42; also 1 John 4:14). In Acts Jesus is twice described as the savior of Israel (Acts 5:31; Acts 13:23). Here Jesus' saving role involves giving “repentance and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31; compare Matthew 1:21).

Paul anticipated Christ's coming again as savior (Philippians 3:20). Ephesians 5:23 presents Christ as savior of the church. Over one half of the references to Christ as savior occur in the Pastorals and 2 Peter. The increased usage of savior as a Christological title in the later New Testament writings and especially in the postapostolic church perhaps results from the needs of apologetics and evangelism.

In a pagan world offering numerous “saviors” such as the pagan gods Zeus and Asclepius, the Roman emperor, and various philosophers, the church witnessed to Christ as the savior who could rescue humanity from the penalty and power of sin.

See Salvation.



(1) While that "God is the deliverer of his people" is the concept on which, virtually, the whole Old Testament is based (see SALVATION ), yet the Hebrews seem never to have felt the need of a title for God that would sum up this aspect of His relation to man. Nearest to our word "Saviour" is a participial form (moshia`) from the verb yasha` (Qal not used; "save" in Hiphil), but even this participle is not frequently applied to God (some 13 times of which 7 are in Isaiah 43 through Isaiah 63).

(2) In the New Testament, however, the case is different, and Soter, is used in as technical a way as is our "Saviour." But the distribution of the 24 occurrences of the word is significant, for two-thirds of them are found in the later books of the New Testament -- 10 in the Pastorals, 5 in 2 Peter, and one each in John, 1 John, and Jude -- while the other instances are Luke 1:47; 2:11; Acts 5:31; 13:23; Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20. And there are no occurrences in Matthew, Mark, or the earlier Pauline Epistles.

The data are clear enough. As might be expected, the fact that the Old Testament used no technical word for Saviour meant that neither did the earliest Christianity use any such word. Doubtless for our Lord "Messiah" was felt to convey the meaning. But in Greek-speaking Christianity, "Christ," the translation of Messiah, soon became treated as a proper name, and a new word was needed.

(3) Soter expressed the exact meaning and had already been set apart in the language of the day as a religious term, having become one of the most popular divine titles in use. Indeed, it was felt to be a most inappropriate word to apply to a human being. Cicero, for instance, arraigns Verres for using it: "Soter .... How much does this imply? So much that it cannot be expressed in one word in Latin" (Verr. ii.2, 63, 154). So the adoption of Soter by Christianity was most natural, the word seemed ready-made.

(4) That the New Testament writers derived the word from its contemporary use is shown, besides, by its occurrence in combination with such terms as "manifestation" (epiphaneia, 2 Timothy 1:10; Titus 2:13), "love toward man" (philanthropia, Titus 3:4), "captain" (archegos, Acts 5:31; compare Hebrews 2:10), etc. These terms are found in the Greek sources many times in exactly the same combinations with Sorer.

(5) In the New Testament Soter is uniformly reserved for Christ, except in Luke 1:47; Jude 1:25, and the Pastorals. In 1 Tim (1:1; 2:3; 4:10) it is applied only to the Father, in 2 Tim (1:10, only) it is applied to Christ, while in Titus there seems to be a deliberate alternation: of the Father in 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; of Christ in 1:4; 2:13; 3:6.


P. Wendland, "Soter" Zeitschrift fur neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, V, 335-353, 1904; J. Weiss, "Heiland," in RGG, II, 1910; H. Lietzmann, Der Weltheiland, 1909. Much detailed information is available in various parts of Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, 1910.

Burton Scott Easton

SAVE meaning, "except" [ISBE]

In the sense "except," the word came into English through the French (sauf) and is fairly common (38 times, in addition to "saving," the King James Version Ecclesiastes 5:11; Amos 9:8; Matthew 5:32; Luke 4:27; Revelation 2:17). It represents no particular Hebrew or Greek terms but is employed wherever it seems useful. It is still in good (slightly archaic) use, and the Revised Version (British and American) has few modifications (Deuteronomy 15:4 the King James Version; Psalms 18:3, Psalms 1b, etc.), but the English Revised Version has dropped "saving" in Luke 4:27 and Revelation 2:17 and the American Standard Revised Version also in Ecclesiastes 5:11; Amos 9:8, retaining it only in Matthew 5:32.

SAVE [Thompson Chain Reference]
Saved, The

    * Description of
          o Description of the Saved
                + Luke 13:29
                + Luke 20:35
                + Luke 20:36
                + Luke 21:36
                + Acts 2:47
                + Revelation 3:4
                + Revelation 7:13-17
                + Revelation 22:14
                + SEE Redeemed, The
    * Number Referred to as Many
          o Nehemiah 9:6
          o Daniel 7:10
          o Hebrews 12:22
          o Revelation 5:11
          o Revelation 7:9
          o Revelation 14:1
          o Revelation 19:6
          o SEE Redeemed, The
          o SEE Many Saved
    * Number Spoken of as Few
          o (the number saved spoken of a few)
          o Matthew 7:14
          o Matthew 22:14
          o Luke 13:24
          o 1 Peter 3:20
          o Revelation 3:4 

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