Question:

Is thereany scriptural evidence ofdeaconesses?


Answer:

The word "deacon" is a derivative transliteration of the Greek word diakonos. The word is means a servant and it can be translated as servant, minister, deacon, or waiter. Typically translators try to use "minister" when diakonos is being applied to a preacher. "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?" (I Corinthians 3:5). When it is applied to an office in the church, it is translated as deacon. "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons" (Philippians 1:1). When it is clear that we are talking just about servants in general, then servant is used. "When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom" (John 2:9).

There is one case where the word servant is applied to a woman. "I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea" (Romans 16:1). There have been a few translations that used the word "deaconess" to translate it because she was connected to the church. However, since qualifications for the office of deacon rules out women ("Let deacons be the husbands of one wife," I Timothy 3:12), the word "deaconess" would be misleading in English even while being technically correct. "Servant" makes a better translation in English even if the language doesn't distinguish between male and female servants.

Oh, thank you very much for that response. I see it more clearly than I had before!