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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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House and Table

House and Table

(p.150) 7 House and Table

John N. Collins

Oxford University Press

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

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