Sozoed from sozo? A closer look at the Greek definition and how Jude’s letter says to ‘sozo’…
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The inventors of sozo have named it this, claiming they know the Greek meaning. Whenever an individual says they know the “Greek” origin of a word, they (can) sound like they know just what they are talking about! Perhaps this makes them look more competent and that they have done their research. Many manipulative teachers carry out this tactic these days (claim to know the Greek language and origin of words) in order to trick their followers into thinking that they are intelligent and trustworthy.
The irony in all this is that the word sozo from the Greek origin (Strong’s Concordance number 4982) literally does mean to “save, heal, preserve or rescue; to deliver out of danger and into safety” – but this is referring to saving from danger, and that includes the false, deceptive, dangerous practices like sozo and their teachers. This is one of the dangers the Bible is warning about (see also 2 John 1:11, etc)!
Here is what Jude explains in his letter…
“And others save [sozo 4982] with fear, pulling them out of the fire…” (Jude 1:23)
What was the purpose of the letter Jude wrote? He was trying to warn and hopefully sozo the people from the false teachers’ tactics (vs. 4).
He urged people to “contend for the faith” (vs. 3) and warns of these “certain men” (vs. 4).
They were men who were greedy for profit (vs. 11). He even calls them “brute beasts” (irrational animals). They “flattered people to gain advantage” (vs. 16). I know that doesn’t sound very nice or “loving”, but he was looking out for the innocent people and their well being. That was loving.
Jude then tells his hearers to “save (sozo) with fear, pulling them out of the fire”.
“We must watch over one another; faithfully…” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Jude 1:23)
Why do you think Jude, the brother of James, saw so much danger with false teachers and their practices? Was he overreacting? Do you think it was brave of him to speak up despite it being “negative”? Do you see the irony in the name sozo? Do you think this was done on purpose to confuse people into thinking that they need sozo? Do you think certain institutions can be very tricky and deceptive?
It is ironic that the sozo teachers promise people liberty and freedom, when truly people need to be set free from this practice.
“While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” 2 Peter 2:19
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.” 2 Cor. 11:13-15
In His Love.