Diakonia Studies Critical Issues in Ministry

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-07-17
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Diakonia Studies closes the account on John N. Collins's 40 years of involvement in groundbreaking linguistic research and argumentation concerning the nature and functioning of Christian ministry.

Dispute has swirled around the Greek term diakonia for 50 years. Once seen as enshrining the New Testament value of loving Christian service-what Jerome Murphy-O'Connor called "one of the dogmas of New Testament scholarship"-the word was exposed by Dieter Georgi in 1964 as arguably meaning something quite different. In 1974 John N. Collins published his first paper on the issue, pointing to inadequacies in Georgi's brief account. Then in 1990 Collins published his exhaustive semantic survey, Diakonia: Re-interpreting the Ancient Sources. His re-interpretation was variously hailed as "devastating," "provocative," "unfashionable," and "a scholarly avalanche whose conclusions are inescapable." Since then, the book has stood at the center of "the Collins-Debate." Meanwhile Collins's findings have been incorporated in the authoritative Danker Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.
Diakonia Studies examines, in a non-technical way (i.e., without appeal to particulars of Greek), the reasons why theologians need not only to review cherished readings of leading New Testament passages but also to reassess what some passages might really be saying about the nature and delivery of ministry. These third-millennium issues are the matter of the final papers in the volume, reminding churches of the ministry they have received and of their filed-away commitments to an ecumenically-charged ministry. Among the topics considered are ordained and lay ministries, the tension between office and charism, and prospects for deacons when a diakonia of loving service no longer defines their call.

Author Biography

John N. Collins is Lector Emeritus, Yarra Theological Union, Melbourne, Australia.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Studies in diakonia

Diakonia from the nineteenth century to today
1. From diakonia to diaconia today: historical aspects of interpretation
2. Re-interpreting diakonia in Germany: Anni Hentschel's Diakonia im Neuen Testament
3. The problem with values carried by diakonia / diakonie in recent church documents

Diakonia in the early church
4. How ancient Greeks thought of diakonia
5. Diakonia in the teaching of Jesus
6. The mediatorial role of Paul as minister / diakonos
7. Ministry as office
8. Ministry among gifts
9. Paul, delegate to Jerusalem
10. The diakonia of the Seven

Towards ministry for the twenty-first century
11. Theology of ministry in the ywentieth century: ongoing problems or new orientations?
12. Ordained and other ministries: making a difference
13. Fitting lay ministries into a theology of ministry
Part 1: A critique of an American consensus
Part 2: Making a fit
14. Ties that bind: deacons today in the grip of yesteryear

Selected Publications
Sources of Studies
Indices of Names, Biblical and Early Christian sources

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