Gamma Kappa

ἀσωτία, ἄσωτος

alpha-privative (α-) prefix which negates + σωτία (not found in extant literature, but probably a derivative of σῴζω, “I save, deliver”)

The original sense is ‘uncurable’, and in view of the formation above, literally, ‘un-savable’, i.e. so far gone that one is beyond the hope of rescue. This could pertain to being hopelessly ill in body, but came to refer more commonly to the soul - the ἄσωτος person being “one who by his manner of life, especially by dissipation, destroys himself.”

The Prodigal of Luke 15 “squandered his being, living ἀσώτως (adverb: ‘dissipatedly’). The other instances are with the noun ἀσωτία.

  • Paul says that drunkeness is ἀσωτία, which is self-destruction
  • Peter describes ἀσωτία as your past manner of life before salvation: “a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries”, which was also self-destruction

Examples: Luke 15.13, Ephesians 5.18, 1 Peter 4.4, Proverbs 28.7

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