Health, safety, salvation

The Latin noun salus, salutis means health, safety, or salvation. The word pops up occasionally in the Gallic Wars and a teacher at a small Catholic school can expect never-ending hilarity from translations that insist that “the soldiers escaped to salvation” or that “there was little salvation in the camp for lack of grain.”  The joke carries an important question about how one views salvation, though: is it more like health or like safety? If the word has both of these meanings as precursors and overtones, what should our sense of salvation be?


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