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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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The Go-Between

The Go-Between

(p.77) 4. The Go-Between

John N. Collins

Oxford University Press

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

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