Greetings and blessings in the name of the Lord to all readers. Sometime ago, I began writing about the role of the bishop in the church, based on the content of Paul’s letter to Timothy and the emergence of the role in the books of the New Testament. Today, I would like to explore the role of the deacon (do they deke?). Here is what Paul said about the prequisites and character of the DEACON in his letter to Timothy (1 Tim 3: 8-13). Please note that the instruction on the deacon followed immediately after the teaching given about the bishop:

1 Tim 3: 8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

1Ti 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

1Ti 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

1Ti 3:12  Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus

Let us first examine the meaning of the term “deacon”.

1. The word deacon and/or deacons is found three times in the bible (Phil 1: 1; 1 Tim 3: 8, 12).

2. The Greek word is “diakonos” (Strong’s 1249). It is a masculine and feminine noun, meaning that both women and men could fill the office.

3. The Greek word for “deacon” is translated to mean one who executes the commands of another, especially of a master. The deacon is therefore a servant, attendant, minister. The word also refers to

a) the servant of a king

b) one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use

c) a waiter, one who serves food and drink

4. Interestingly, the word “diakonos” is also used in reference to “minister” in Mt 20: 26; Mk 10: 43; Rom 13: 4; Rom 15: 8; Gal 2: 17; Eph 3: 7; Eph 6: 21; Col 1: 7, 23, 25; Col 4: 7; 1 Thes 3: 2; 1 Tim 4: 6.

5. Diakonos is also used for the word “servant” in Mt 23: 11; Mk 9: 35; Jn 12: 26; Rom 16: 1, 27.

COMMENTS/ANALYSIS

Based on the meanings and usage of the word “diakonos”, we can safely conclude that the deacon is a servant and minister of the Lord and works in this capacity in the church. It seems that the word was used first in reference to the elders who were selected to minister in the food pantry of the early church. Based on Paul’s explanation in 1 Tim 3 about the role, they also have a role in laboring in the word (1 Tim 3: 9,13).

In the upcoming posts, we will examine the other references in which diakonos was used and talk about the prerequisites and job description of the deacon.

All references were taken from Strong’s in blueletterbible.com. Blessings and have a great day.

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