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Dictionaries :: Deacon

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Below are articles from the following dictionary:
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g1249 Greek: diakonos


whence Eng. "deacon", primarily denotes a "servant," whether as doing servile work, or as an attendant rendering free service, without particular reference to its character. The word is probably connected with the verb dioko, "to hasten after, pursue" (perhaps originally said of a runner). "It occurs in the NT of domestic servants, Jhn 2:5, 9; the civil ruler, Rom 13:4; Christ, Rom 15:8; Gal 2:17; the followers of Christ in relation to their Lord, Jhn 12:26; Eph 6:21; Col 1:7; 4:7; the followers of Christ in relation to one another, Mat 20:26; 23:11; Mar 9:35; 10:43; the servants of Christ in the work of preaching and teaching, 1Cr 3:5; 2Cr 3:6; 6:4; 11:23; Eph 3:7; Col 1:23, 25; 1Th 3:2; 1Ti 4:6; those who serve in the churches, Rom 16:1 (used of a woman here only in NT); Phl 1:1; 1Ti 3:8, 12; false apostles, servants of Satan, 2Cr 11:15. Once diakonos is used where, apparently, angels are intended, Mat 22:13; in v. 3, where men are intended, doulos is used." *
[* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 91.]

Diakonos is, generally speaking, to be distinguished from doulos, "a bondservant, slave;" diakonos views a servant in relationship to his work; doulos views him in relationship to his master. See, e.g., Mat 22:2-14; those who bring in the guests (vv. 3, 4, 6, 8, 10) are douloi; those who carry out the king's sentence (v. 13) are diakonoi.

Note: As to synonymous terms, leitourgos denotes "one who performs public duties;" misthios and misthotos, "a hired servant;" oiketes, "a household servant;" huperetes, "a subordinate official waiting on his superior" (originally an under-rower in a war-galley); therapon, "one whose service is that of freedom and dignity."

The so-called "Seven Deacons" in Acts 6 are not there mentioned by that name, though the kind of service in which they were engaged was of the character of that committed to such.


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