Previous Next

Table of Contents


Minister. This term is used in the DAV to describe various officials of a religious and civil character. Its meaning, as distinguished from servant, is a voluntary attendant on another. In the Old Testament it is applied (1) to an attendance upon a person of high rank, Ex. 24:13; Josh. 1:1; 2 Kings 4:43; (2) to the attachıs of a royal court, 1 Kings 10:5; 2 Chron. 22:8; comp. Ps. 104:4; (3) to the priests and Levites. Ezra 8:17; Neh. 10:36; Isa. 61:6; Ezek. 44:11; Joel 1:9, 13. One term in the New Testament betokens a subordinate public administrator, Rom. 13:6; 15:16; Heb. 8:2, one who performs certain gratuitous public services. A second term contains the idea of actual and personal attendance upon a superior, as in Luke 4:20. The minister’s duty was to open and close the building, to produce and replace the books employed in the service, and generally to wait on the officiating priest or teacher. A third term, diakonos (from which comes our word deacon), is the one usually employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel: its application is twofold—in a general sense to indicate ministers of any order, whether superior or inferior, and in a special sense to indicate an order of inferior ministers. [Deacon.]