Commissions under God, Church, and Spirit

John N. Collins

in Diakonia

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780195396027
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199852383 | DOI:
Commissions under God, Church, and Spirit

Show Summary Details


Christian literature has so far furnished no indication that Christians created a terminology for “diakonia” based on the cognates under study. One phrase in the prescript to Paul's letter to the Philippians is translated in many ways, from “the bishops and deacons” to “church leaders and helpers”. Whether or not Paul introduced the title in the prescript of the Philippians as an honorific designation or takes up from the Philippians a title for officers of the “overseers” within their Hellenistic community, there is no doubt that in I Tim. 3 we meet such officers who with some certainty we can call “deacons”. To delineate the role of the deacon in Ignatius accurately it is necessary, as in the Pastoral epistles, to distinguish usage in respect of deacons from occasional other usage denoting the bishop's godly commission as head of the church or signifying that certain individuals, whether deacons or other members of the community, are godly representatives of one church to another on a godly mission.

Keywords: Paul; Philippians; Ignatius; diakonia; bishops; deacons; church leaders; overseers

Chapter.  4374 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.