Deacons and Diakonia in Early Christianity

The First Two Centuries

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Bart J. Koet, Edwina Murphy, Esko Ryökäs
  • Tübingen, Germany: 
    Mohr Siebeck & Company
    , January
     327 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


In German-speaking countries, the role of the diaconate has been strongly influenced by nineteenth-century ideas of diakonia as service towards the poor. As important as the social initiatives stemming from this perspective have been, in order to correctly understand deacons and diakonia in the early church, we must go back to the sources. For this volume, focused on the first two centuries of Christianity, scholars from a range of backgrounds consider the use of diakonos and related words in the New Testament and extra-biblical sources, both Christian and otherwise. These texts reveal what deacons actually did, helping us to understand the past and giving guidance for the present, particularly in ecumenical discussions concerning the ministry.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Bart J. Koet is Professor of New Testament Studies and Early Christian Literature, and Dean of Research at the Tilburg School of Catholic Theology.

Edwina Murphy is Lecturer in Church History at Morling College (Australian College of Theology and University of Divinity) in Sydney, Australia.

Esko Ryökäs is Adjunct Professor in Systematic Theology at University of Eastern Finland in Joensuu, and docent in Practical Theology at Åbo Akademi University.


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