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Diakonia StudiesCritical Issues in Ministry$
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John N. Collins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367573

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367573.001.0001

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From διακονία to Diakonia Today: Historical Aspects of Interpretation

From διακονία to Diakonia Today: Historical Aspects of Interpretation

Chapter:
(p.3) 1 From διακονία to Diakonia Today: Historical Aspects of Interpretation
Source:
Diakonia Studies
Author(s):

John N. Collins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199367573.003.0001

Since Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526, churches have experienced the impact of translation upon the diaconate. The diaconate of charity recognized by sixteenth-century Reformers failed to flourish until the emergence in the 1840s of a renewed emphasis upon diakonia as loving service. Although this did not accord with specialist linguistic comment, diaconal pastoral practice inspired the development of a specifically Christian lexicography of diakonia, culminating in twentieth-century churchwide social services designated by the German neologism Diakonie. This semantic shift also effected a broadening of the concept of ministry itself as churchwide and deriving from baptismal charisms. The 1990 semantic study Diakonia (Collins) claimed the new servant model rested upon a misunderstanding of diakonia. Recognized as a correction in 2000, and supported by further semantic studies, the Collins re-interpretation encourages new thinking about diaconate and ministry.

Keywords:   diakonia, Diakonie, ministry, deacon, diaconate, servant model, semantic

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