My spirit rejoices in God my Savior. (NIV)
1. Some Trinitarians believe that Christ must be God because they are both called “Savior.” There are many references to God the Father being called “Savior.” For example, God, the Father, is called “Savior” in Isaiah 43:11; 1 Timothy 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jude 25. That makes perfect sense because He is the author of the plan of salvation and also empowered the plan of salvation to be accomplished. For instance, God caused the virgin birth to occur (Matt. 1:20), and poured out the holy spirit into Jesus (Luke 4:1), to enable him to live a sinless life (1 Pet. 2:22). Without God’s empowering, salvation would have been impossible. Therefore, God can rightly be called the Savior.
Likewise, Jesus Christ is called “Savior” because he is the agent who carried out God’s plan, and without whom it could not have come to pass.
2. The term “savior” is used of many people in the Bible. This is hard to see in the English versions because, when it is used of men, the translators almost always translated it as “deliverer.” This in and of itself shows that modern translators have a Trinitarian bias that was not in the original languages. The only reason to translate the same word as “Savior” when it applies to God or Christ, but as “deliverer” when it applies to men, is to make the term seem unique to God and Jesus when in fact it is not. This is a good example of how the actual meaning of Scripture can be obscured if the translators are not careful when they translate the text. God’s gracious provision of “saviors” is not recognized when the same word is translated “Savior” for God and Christ but “deliverer” for others. Also lost is the testimony in Scripture that God works through people to bring His power to bear. Of course, the fact that there are other “saviors” does not take away from Jesus Christ, who is the only one who could and did save us from our sins and eternal death.
If all the great men and women who were “saviors” were openly portrayed as such in the English versions, the grace and mercy God demonstrates in saving His people by “saviors” He has raised up would be openly displayed. Furthermore, we believe no reader would confuse the true God with the people He was working through. A good example that shows God raising up “saviors” to rescue Israel through history occurs in Nehemiah in a prayer of confession and thanksgiving to God. The Israelites prayed, “But when they [Israel] were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers [saviors], who rescued them from the hand of their enemies” (Neh. 9:27). Some other examples of men designated as “savior” are in 2 Kings 13:5; Isaiah 19:20; Obadiah 21. It is incorrect to say that because Christ and God are both called “Savior,” they are one and the same, just as it would be incorrect to say that the “saviors” God raised up throughout history were the same individual as Jesus Christ.
Norton, pp. 304 and 305
Snedeker, pp. 378-380
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