Deaconess
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Topical Bible Verses
Romans 16:1
I commend to you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
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Romans 16:1-2
I commend to you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
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Galatians 3:28
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
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1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
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1 Timothy 3:11
Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
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Acts 18:26
And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him to them, and expounded to him the way of God more perfectly.
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1 Timothy 3:2
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
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1 Corinthians 14:34
Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted to them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also said the law.
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1 Timothy 3:12
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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1 Timothy 3:8
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
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Smith's Bible Dictionary
Deaconess

The word diakonos is found in (Romans 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 own sex functions which were analogous to those of the deacons. On this hypothesis it has been inferred that the women mentioned in (Romans 16:6,12) belonged to such an order. The rules given as to the conduct of women in (1 Timothy 3:11; Titus 2:3) have in like manner been referred to them, and they have been identified even with the "widows" of (1 Timothy 5:3-10)

ATS Bible Dictionary
Deaconess

Such women were called deaconesses as served the church in those offices in which the deacons could not with propriety engage; such as keeping the doors of that part of the church where the women sat, privately instructing those of their own sex, and visiting others imprisoned for the faith. In Romans 16:1, Phebe is said to be a "servant" of the church at Cenchrea; but in the original Greek she is called deaconess.

Easton's Bible Dictionary
Romans 16:1, 3, 12; Philippians 4:2, 3; 1 Timothy 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).
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
1. (n.) A female deacon

2. (n.) One of an order of women whose duties resembled those of deacons.

3. (n.) A woman set apart for church work by a bishop.

4. (n.) A woman chosen as a helper in church work, as among the Congregationalists.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
DEACON; DEACONESS

de'-k'-n, de'-k'-n-es: The term diakonos, and its cognates occur many times in the New Testament, as do its synonyms huperetes, and doulos, with their respective cognates. It may be said in general that the terms denote the service or ministration of the bondservant (doulos), underling (huperetes) or helper (diakonos), in all shades and gradations of meaning both literal and metaphorical. It would serve no useful purpose to list and discuss all the passages in detail. Christianity has from the beginning stood for filial service to God and His kingdom and for brotherly helpfulness to man, and hence, terms expressive of these functions abound in the New Testament. It behooves us to inquire whether and where they occur in a technical sense sufficiently defined to denote the institution of a special ecclesiastical office, from which the historical diaconate may confidently be said to be derived.

Many have sought the origin of the diaconate in the institution of the Seven at Jerusalem (Acts 6), and this view was countenanced by many of the church Fathers.

The Seven were appointed to "serve tables" (diakonein trapezais), in order to permit the Twelve to "continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry (diakonia) of the word." They are not called deacons (diakonoi), and the qualifications required are not the same as those prescribed by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:8-12; furthermore, Stephen appears in Acts preeminently as a preacher, and Philip as an evangelist. Paul clearly recognizes women as deaconesses, but will not permit a woman to teach (1 Timothy 2:12). The obvious conclusion is that the Seven may be called the first deacons only in the sense that they were the earliest recorded helpers of the Twelve as directors of the church, and that they served in the capacity, among others, of specially appointed ministrants to the poor.

Paul says, "I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant (the Revised Version, margin "or, deaconess") of the church that is at Cenchrea" (Romans 16:1). This is by many taken as referring to an officially appointed deaconess; but the fact that there is in the earlier group of Paul's epistles no clear evidence of the institution of the diaconate, makes against this interpretation. Phoebe was clearly an honored helper in the church closely associated with that at Corinth, where likewise evidence of special ecclesiastical organization is wanting.

In Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy send greetings "to all the saints. at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." Here then we find mention of "deacons" in a way to suggest a formal diaconate; but the want of definition as to their qualifications and duties renders it impossible to affirm with certainty the existence of the office.

In 1 Timothy 3:8-12, after prescribing the qualifications and the method of appointment of a bishop or overseer, Paul continues: "Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless. Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well." Deacons and deaconesses are here provided for, and the character of their qualifications makes it clear that they were to be appointed as dispensers of alms, who should come into close personal relations with the poor.

We conclude, therefore, that the Seven and Phoebe did not exercise the diaconate in a technical sense, which appears first certainly in 1 Timothy 3, although it is not improbably recognized in Philippians 1:1, and was foreshadowed in the various agencies for the dispensing of alms and the care of the poor of the church instituted in various churches at an earlier date.

See also BISHOP; CHURCH; CHURCH GOVERNMENT.

William Arthur Heidel

Greek
5402. Phoibe -- Phoebe, a deaconess
... Phoebe, a deaconess. Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: Phoibe Phonetic
Spelling: (foy'-bay) Short Definition: Phoebe Definition: Phoebe, a ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/5402.htm - 6k

1249. diakonos -- a servant, minister
... genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specially, a Christian
teacher and pastor (technically, a deacon or deaconess) -- deacon, minister ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/1249.htm - 8k

Library

To the Deaconess Casiana.
... Letters of the Blessed Theodoret, XVII. To the Deaconess Casiana. Had I
only considered the greatness of your sorrow, I should have ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/xvii to the deaconess casiana.htm

Ci. To the Deaconess Celarina.
... Letters of the Blessed Theodoret, CI. To the Deaconess Celarina. The flames
of the war against us have been lit up again. After ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/ci to the deaconess celarina.htm

Excursus on the Deaconess of the Early Church.
... Excursus on the Deaconess of the Early Church. ... The one great characteristic of
the deaconess was that she was vowed to perpetual chastity. ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/excursus on the deaconess of.htm

A Woman Shall not Receive the Laying on of Hands as a Deaconess ...
... A woman shall not receive the laying on of hands as a deaconess under forty´┐Ż ... No person
shall be ordained deaconess except she be forty years of age. ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/canon xv a woman shall.htm

Of Artemius the Duke. Of Publia the Deaconess and Her Divine ...
... Book III. Chapter XIV."Of Artemius the Duke. Of Publia the Deaconess and her
divine boldness. Artemius [640] commanded the troops in Egypt. ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/chapter xiv of artemius the duke.htm

On Deacons and Deaconesses, the Rest of the Clergy, and on Baptism ...
... necessities of their ministration. Ordain also a deaconess who is faithful and
holy, for the ministrations towards women. For sometimes he ...
/.../constitutions of the holy apostles/sec ii on deacons and deaconesses.htm

Ordination and Duties of the Clergy.
... Amen. Concerning the Deaconess"The Constitution of Bartholomew. XIX. ... The
Form of Prayer for the Ordination of a Deaconess. XX. ...
/.../various/constitutions of the holy apostles/sec iii ordination and duties of.htm

The Second Canonical Epistle of the Same.
... A widow put into the catalogue of widows, that is, a deaconess being sixty years
old, and marrying, is not to be admitted to communion of the Good Thing, till ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/the second canonical epistle of.htm

Ep. cxcvii. A Letter of Condolence on the Death of his Sister ...
... Consort might have a general application to those who shared in the same work, and
consequently the Benedictine Editors regard Theosebia as a Deaconess of the ...
/.../cyril/select letters of saint gregory nazianzen/ep cxcvii a letter of.htm

Since to Cleave to God by Retiring from the Noise and Turmoil of ...
... is written in the divine Apostle that a widow is to be elected in the church at
sixty years old: but the sacred canons have decreed that a deaconess shall be ...
/.../schaff/the seven ecumenical councils/canon xl since to cleave.htm

Thesaurus
Deaconess (1 Occurrence)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. DEACON; DEACONESS. de ... William Arthur Heidel.
Multi-Version Concordance Deaconess (1 Occurrence). Romans ...
/d/deaconess.htm - 12k

Deacon (4 Occurrences)
... 3. (vt) To read aloud each line of (a psalm or hymn) before singing it, -- usually
with off. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. DEACON; DEACONESS. ...
/d/deacon.htm - 14k

Consist (7 Occurrences)
... He commends to the Romans the deaconess Phoebe, attached to "the church at Cenchrea"
(16:1), presumably a place near that from which he was writing; and ...
/c/consist.htm - 80k

Romans (8 Occurrences)
... He commends to the Romans the deaconess Phoebe, attached to "the church at Cenchrea"
(16:1), presumably a place near that from which he was writing; and ...
/r/romans.htm - 44k

Deaconesses (1 Occurrence)

/d/deaconesses.htm - 6k

Phoebe (1 Occurrence)
... The church was a family. (2) The Greek word translated "servant" is diakonos.
"Servant" is vague, and "deaconess" is too technical. ...
/p/phoebe.htm - 9k

Phebe (1 Occurrence)
... Easton's Bible Dictionary A "deaconess of the church at Cenchrea," the port of Corinth.
She was probably the bearer of Paul's epistle to the Romans. ...
/p/phebe.htm - 7k

Cenchreae (2 Occurrences)
... A local church must have been established there by Paul, since Phoebe, the deaconess
of Cenchrea, was entrusted with the Epistle to the Romans, and was ...
/c/cenchreae.htm - 7k

Church (110 Occurrences)
... Next there are the deacon and the deaconess (Philippians 1:1 1 Timothy 3:8-13),
whose work appears to have lain largely in house to house visitation and a ...
/c/church.htm - 89k

Bible Concordance
Deaconess (1 Occurrence)

Romans 16:1 I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the assembly that is at Cenchreae,
(See RSV)

Subtopics

Deaconess

Deaconess: (Rv , Margin)

Related Terms

Deacon (4 Occurrences)

Consist (7 Occurrences)

Romans (8 Occurrences)

Deaconesses (1 Occurrence)

Phoebe (1 Occurrence)

Phebe (1 Occurrence)

Cenchreae (2 Occurrences)

Church (110 Occurrences)

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