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Deacon
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
One who serves in an official capacity in the church as a deacon (compare Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:8–13; possibly Rom 16:1). The office of deacon may parallel the role of the assistant (חַזָּן‎, chazzan) of the synagogue (Burtchaell, From Synagogue to Church, 317–21; compare m. Sukkah 4:4; Sotah 7:7).There are two primary classes of church leadership offices in the New Testament: that of the overseer and elder, and that of the deacon (Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:1–13). Deacons do not hold teaching or ruling authority in the church but exercise responsibility for the physical needs of the congregation. The complementary service of overseers and deacons is analogous to that of the apostles and the Seven in Acts 6:1–6.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Deacon
Deacon (διάκονος, diakonos, “servant”). One who serves in an official capacity in the church as a deacon (compare Phil 1:1; 1 Tim 3:8–13; possibly Rom 16:1). The office of deacon may parallel the role of the assistant (חַזָּן‎, chazzan) of the synagogue (Burtchaell, From Synagogue to Church, 317–21; compare
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Deacon, Deaconess
Deacon, Deaconess. Terms designating an officer in a local church, derived from a Greek word meaning “servant” or “minister.” The term “diaconate” is used for the office itself or for the collective body of deacons and deaconesses. As with many other biblical words used today in a technical sense, the
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Deacon; Deaconess
Deacon; Deaconess [Gk. diákonos, hypērétēs, doúlos, and their cognates]. In general the words denote the service of slaves, underlings, and helpers. They are used to emphasize that all Christians are ministers and all Christian life is a ministry. In addition, however, the word “deacon” has acquired
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Deacon, Deaconess
DEACON, DEACONESS* Terms designating an officer in a local church, derived from a Greek word meaning “servant” or “minister.” The term “diaconate” is used for the office itself or for the collective body of deacons and deaconesses. As with many other biblical words used today in a technical sense, the
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Deacon
deacon (Gk. diakonos, “servant” or “table waiter”), an office in the church that could apparently be filled by either men or women, though the qualifications for office and specific function of deacons may have varied from place to place. In the nrsv, the only deacon mentioned by name is Phoebe of Cenchreae,
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Deacon
DEACON. The verb form (diakonein) means “to serve”; particularly, “to wait at table” (cf. Arndt, p. 183). It connotes a very personal service, closely related to a service of love. To the Greek, service was scarcely dignified; rather, one’s goal should be self-development instead of self-abasement. While
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Deacon
DEACON. rsv renders ‘deacon’ only at Phil. 1:1 and 4 times in 1 Tim. 3; but the Gk. word thus represented, diakonos (generally in av ‘minister’ or ‘servant’), occurs some 30 times in NT, and the cognates diakoneō (to ‘minister’) and diakonia (‘ministry’) occur between them a further 70 times. In the
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Deacon
DeaconAn office in early Church ministry. It is not clear when Gk. diákonos as used in early Christian circles passed from the generic meaning “servant” or “minister” to the specific meaning “deacon.” The literal former meaning is obvious in the Gospels (Matt. 20:26; 22:13; 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:43;
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Deacon
Deacon (Gk. diákonos). A New Testament term signifying a servant (e.g., Matt. 23:11) and, by extension, an office bearer—one subservient to God (2 Cor. 6:4) and to the congregation. It is commonly, though not universally, assumed that the office of deacon was instituted shortly after the outpouring
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Deacon
DEACON (Greek diakonos, “servant” or “minister”) An ordained assistant to priests responsible for such ministerial duties as preaching, baptizing, witnessing marriages, distributing Communion, and presiding at funerals (but not saying the funeral Mass). In the modern Church there are two forms of the
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
deacon
deacon (Gk. διάκονος, ‘servant’, ‘minister’; cf. διακονέω, ‘I serve’), the rank in the Christian ministry next below the presbyter (priest) and bishop. The institution of the diaconate is traditionally seen in the ordination of the ‘seven men of honest report’ (including Stephen and *Philip), by the
Seven Deacons
Seven Deacons. The title traditionally given to the ‘seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom’ who, as related in Acts 6:1–6, were appointed to ‘serve tables’, i.e. to administer the temporal concerns of the Church. Their names were *Stephen, *Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Deacon
Deacon. The office described by this title appears in the New Testament as the correlative of bishop. [Bishop.] The two are mentioned together in Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:2, 8. Its original meaning implied a helper, an assistant. The bishops were the “elders,” the deacons the young active men, of the church.
Key passages
1 Ti 3:8–13

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not insincere, not devoted to much wine, not fond of dishonest gain, holding the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience, and these also must be tested first; then let them serve if they are above reproach. The wives likewise …

See also
Topics & Themes
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