The Go-Between

John N. Collins

in Diakonia

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780195396027
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852383 | DOI:
The Go-Between

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In a familiar phrase, Luke speaks of “the ministry of the word”. The term “word”, which means so much to the Christian church, has made the phrase memorable, but was an emphasis on “word” Luke's main intention? Or, for him, could the main thing have been “diakonia”? This chapter assesses what the term “ministry” contributed to the phrase “ministry of the word” in Luke's mind. Would the term have come naturally to a Greek writing about a preaching ministry or would a Greek have needed to be a Christian to use it? To resolve these and other queries arising from similar usage elsewhere in early Christian sources, this chapter examines the connection of “diakonia” to Hermes' role as messenger of the gods, the conveying of messages from one place to another, and the performance of errands.

Keywords: Luke; diakonia; ministry of the word; ministry; gods; messenger; Hermes; messages; errands

Chapter.  10133 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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