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WHO ARE THE DEACONS?

Some questions:
1. Are deacons to hold an office of permanent leadership in the local Church like     the elders?
2. Since the word "deacon" is actually a transliteration of the Greek word     diaconos and not an English word that we use regularly in our conversations,     can we use a translation of the Greek to describe the position of Deacon?      ("Baptism" is another Greek word that is a transliteration of a Greek word.      The Greek word baptismos can be translated "dip" or "immerse.")  "Deacon"     can be translated "servant."
3. Should there be a board of Deacons?  If there is a board of deacons, would     their authority be equal to the authority of the elders or would their board be     under the authority of the elders?
4. Can women be deacons?

Some considerations:
1. In Acts 6:1-5, the seven who were chosen to supervise serving the widows do     not appear to have remained in this position permanently.  Stephen became     an out-spoken spokesman for Jesus Christ and died as a martry (Acts 7).      Phillip became an evangelist in Samaria.  He obviously did not remain in     Jerusalem supervising serving the widows if he was an evangelist in Samaria     (Acts 8:4-40).
2. The Apostles chose qualified men to supervise the serving of widows, so that     they could give their "attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." (Acts     6:4)
3. The Greek word diaconos is translated "servant" in Mark 10:43: "Not so with     you.  Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must first be your     servant."  In I Timothy 3, the King James translation does not translate the     Greek word diaconos into the English word "servant" as it would normally be     translated; but, they take the Greek word diaconos and transliterate into     "deacon."  Other translations have done the same.  The King James Version,     however translates the very same word in Romans 16:1 as "servant": "I     commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is     at Cencrea."
4. Here are some considerations that favor the position that there can be     women deacons: (1) In the NIV it says "the wives"; but the Greek words are     "the women."  (2) The deacons' qualifications and the women's qualifications     are introduced with the same two Greek words: translated "likewise" in 3:8     and "in the same way" in 3:11.  (3) These women must have the very same     qualifications as deacons (or male deacons) except that Paul also adds that     they are not to be malicious talkers.  (4) There are no qualifications listed for     the wives of elders.  Do the wives of deacons need to be qualified and not     the wives of elders?  (5) Phoebe, in Romans 16:1 is called a servant or     deacon of the church in Cenchrea.  (6) There is no possessive pronoun in front     of women – no their women or their wives.  It simply says "the women."  (7)     From historical accounts we know that there were women deacons in the early     church.  "About AD 111 Pliny, Governor of Bythynia, reports that he has     questioned under torture two maidservants who were called     deaconesses…concerning Christian rites."  "From THE NEW BIBLE     DICTIONARY"

5. Arguments that there can be woman deacons: (1) In the NIV in 3:11 it

says "their wives," but the Greek word used is simply "women."  The renowned Greek scholar A. T. Robertson has this to say about this word: "Apparently 'women as deacons' (Rom. 16:1 about Phoebe) and not women in general or just 'wives of deacons."  The Greek scholars William Hendrickson, D. Edmund Hiebert, and Homer Kent also translate the the single Greek word as "women."  Other Greek scholars who translate these words as "the women" are Wuest, Ellicot, and Alford.  (2) The qualifications for deacons in 3:8 and for women in 3:11 both begin with the same Greek word.  It is translated as "likewise" in 3:8 and "In the same way" in 3:11.  Kenneth Wuest says in his WORD STUDIES IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT that these words are a "translation of hausautos, which is used in introducing a second or third in a series.  The series here is of Church officials."  It appears that Paul, in 3:11, is now beginning to describe the unique qualifications for women who are to hold the position of deacon in the Church.  (3) These women must have the very same qualifications as deacons except that Paul also adds that they are not to be malicious talkers.  (4) There are no qualifications listed for elder's wives.  Do the wives of deacons need to be qualified and not the elder's wives?  (5) Phoebe in Romans 16:1 is called a servant (diaconos) of the church.  (6) There is no possessive pronoun in front of women (no "their" women or "their" wives).  It simply says "the women." (7) From  historical accounts we know that there were women deacons in the early church.  "About AD 111 Pliny, Governor of Bythynia, reports that he has questioned under torture two maidservants who were called deaconesses… concerning Christian rites."  "From THE NEW BIBLE DICTIONARY"

6. Arguments that only men can be deacons:  (1) The Greek scholar M. R.

Vincent says about the translation "their wives": "Probably correct, although some find a reference to an official class of women --- deaconesses  (so Ellicot, Hotzman, Alford).  But the injunction is thrown incidently into the admonition concerning Deacons, which is resumed at ver. 12; and if an official class were intended we should expect something more specific gunaikas without the article."  (2) It would be important for the wives of deacons to also be qualified so that they would not hamper the male deacon's ministry.