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A Monocultural Usage: διακον - words in Classical, Hellenistic, and Patristic Sources

In: Vigiliae Christianae
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Abstract

A scholarly consensus about the interpretation of the διακον - words has been in place for 70 years. The consensus maintains that early Christian writers adopted διακον - words because of their lowly connotations and imbued them with new meanings specific to Christian living and community arrangements. The new meanings had developed on the model of Jesus who came to serve others in self-giving love. A 1990 study of pre-Christian and early Christian Greek claimed to invalidate the consensus, a claim now supported in specialist publications. This paper extends sampling of usage into patristic usage. Implications for exegesis and ecclesiology are immediate.

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