Diakonia : The Sources and Their Interpretation

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This is a detailed study of the Greek word, diakonia, from which the word deacon is derived. Diakonia and its cognates appear frequently throughout the New Testament, but its precise meaning has long been disputed. Today, it is usually translated as service or ministry. As Collins shows, this understanding of diakonia has been important to the development of a modern consensus about the nature of Christian ministry. Based on the understanding that diakonia means service and the diakonos (deacon) is a servant, nearly all Christian bodies today agree that the "servant" church should be humbly devoted to helping the world, after the model of Jesus. Collins conducts a study of diakonia in Christian and non-Christian sources from about 200 BCE to 200 CE. He finds that in all such sources the word is used to mean messenger or emissary, and has no implications of humility or of helping the needy. This discovery undermines much of the theological discussion of ministry that has taken place over the past fifty years.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 383 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 31.75mm | 687g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195060679
  • 9780195060676

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