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DiakoniaRe-Interpreting the Ancient Sources$
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John N Collins

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195396027

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396027.001.0001

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Emissaries in the Church

Emissaries in the Church

(p.217) 11. Emissaries in the Church

John N. Collins

Oxford University Press

We have been looking at the cognate words for “diakonia” as designations for missions and for roles within missions beyond the confines of early Christian communities. The same words also signify commissions within communities. This chapter begins with three instances in Paul relating to both Christ and the imperial power as under mandate from the other world. The first two phrases express either two separate objectives—“for the equipment of the saints, for the work of ministry”—which effectively and naturally accommodate “ministry” as the work of the teachers, or only one objective—“to equip the saints for the work of ministry”. The third phrase “for building up the body of Christ” expresses the overall purpose of the gifts and is achieved through doctrinal solidarity.

Keywords:   Christ, diakonia, Paul, missions, imperial power, saints, ministry, gifts, solidarity

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