House and Table

John N. Collins

in Diakonia

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780195396027
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852383 | DOI:
House and Table

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Stephanus raises the question whether our cognate words for “diakonia” are ever technical terms for officebearers and their functions in diplomacy between states. This book's earlier survey of the words within the area of message might appear to have left a door open for such a further specialized application of the words, which could then, as Stephanus himself points out, be seen as being reflected in Paul's phrase about “the ministers of God” in the role of bearing the message of the gospel. Stephanus instances only Thucydides 1.133 and Pollux 8.137, 138 as diplomatic language and provides readings like “embassy”, “envoy”, “to act as an ambassador”. His interpretation arises from the idea that a legate carries out the commands of a prince or civic authority with the result that this service on behalf of such a public authority is in reality a public office.

Keywords: Stephanus; diplomacy; service; Thucydides; Pollux; embassy; envoy; ambassador; public office; diakonia

Chapter.  10004 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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