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Deaconess
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Deaconess
Deaconess A female deacon. A publicly recognized female worker in a church.
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 Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Deaconess
DEACONESS. The English translation of the Gr. diakonos, which is used of a helper or of a deacon as an official of the church. In Rom 16:1 Phoebe is mentioned as a diakonos in the church at Cenchrea. This would not necessarily imply that this was an official office. It could have been only an occasional
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Deaconess
DEACONESS. There are a number of indications in the NT that women as well as men were appointed as deacons. *Phoebe was diakonos of the church at Cencreae (Rom. 16:1) and Paul recommends her as his messenger. Although sometimes translated ‘servant’ (av), this is the word used for a deacon in 1 Tim. 3:8.
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Deaconess
DeaconessAn office in early Church ministry. The only clear use of Gk. diákonos with reference to a woman is Rom. 16:1, where Paul introduces “our sister Phoebe” as a diákonos “of the church at Cenchreae” (the same form is used for masculine and feminine). The term here can be translated as the generic
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Deaconess
Deaconess. †Standard translation of Gk. diákonos at Rom. 16:1 (KJV, NIV “servant”). In this passage Paul introduces Phoebe, the letter carrier, to the church at Rome as serving the church at Cenchreae near Corinth. Scholarly opinion remains divided concerning the nature of Phoebe’s work. Some
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
deaconess
deaconess. A woman officially charged with certain functions in the Church. The practice of a woman fulfilling the office of *deacon goes back to the Apostolic age. St *Paul’s mention of Phoebe ‘deaconess (οὖσαν διάκονον) of the Church that is at Cenchreae’ (Rom. 16:1), as well as 1 Tim. 3:11 are
Smith’s Bible Dictionary
Deaconess
Deaconess. The word δίακονος is found in Rom. 16:1 (Authorized Version “servant”) associated with a female name, and this has led to the conclusion that there existed in the apostolic age, as there undoubtedly did a little later, an order of women bearing that title, and exercising in relation to their
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
Deaconesses
DEACONESSES. Female helpers who had the care of the poor and the sick among the women of the church. This office was needed because of the rigid separation of the sexes in that day. Paul mentions Phoebe as a deaconess of the church of Cenchrea, and it seems probable that Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persis,
Easton’s Bible Dictionary
Deaconess
DeaconessRom. 16:1, 3, 12; Phil. 4:2, 3; 1 Tim. 3:11; 5:9, 10; Titus 2:3, 4). In these passages it is evident that females were then engaged in various Christian ministrations. Pliny makes mention of them also in his letter to Trajan (A.D. 110).
Key passages
Ro 16:1

Now I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is also a servant of the church in Cenchrea,

See also
Topics & Themes