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DiakoniaRe-Interpreting the Ancient Sources$
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John N Collins

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195396027

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396027.001.0001

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The Latter-Day Servant Church

The Latter-Day Servant Church

Chapter:
(p.5) 1. The Latter-Day Servant Church
Source:
Diakonia
Author(s):

John N. Collins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396027.003.0001

Interest in the Greek word “diakonia” is largely attributable to an earlier emphasis on linguistic research in the study of the Bible. Since the 1930s, the great mass of lexical information suddenly within arm's reach of any student of early Christian literature tended to encourage the delineation of themes and theological conceptualizations among a variety of the ancient authors. Theology has been enriched in the process but at certain points also it has certainly been distorted. Those who first spoke of “diakonia” were not the linguists or theologians of our day but Lutheran churchmen of 19th-century Germany. Lack of canonical recognition did not prevent the spread of houses of deacons and deaconesses. Various opinions about the role of the early deacon and the language by which he was designated are born of the little linguistic work on the matter that has been done independently of Wilhelm Brandt and W. H. Beyer, and it must be seen as working against the tendency, set in motion by them in the 1930s, towards a diaconate of service.

Keywords:   Germany, diakonia, deacons, diaconate, service, Bible, theology, Wilhelm Brandt, W. H. Beyer

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