What are the men in Acts Chapter 6
Are they Deacons?
 


Acts 6:
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews,
because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. (ministration diakonia διακονίᾳ)
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve
tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this
business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry (ministration) (diakonia) (διακονίᾳ) of the word.

ministration diakonia διακονίᾳ

ministry διακονίᾳ diakonia

διακονίᾳ (diakonia) Has 10 Occurrences in the New Testament

Acts 6:1 N-DFS GRK: ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ τῇ καθημερινῇ
NAS: in the daily serving [of food]. (Only in the New American Standard Bible does it translate (of food).
KJV: in the daily ministration.
INT: in the ministry daily
Acts 6:4 N-DFS

GRK: καὶ τῇ διακονίᾳ τοῦ λόγου
NAS: to prayer and to the ministry of the word. (Now you see the same word, not changed, but translated of the word.
KJV: and to the ministry of the word.
INT: and the ministry of the word
Romans 12:7 N-DFS

GRK: ἐν τῇ διακονίᾳ εἴτε ὁ
NAS: service, in his serving; or
KJV: [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or
INT: in the service or he that
Romans 15:31 N-NFS

GRK: καὶ ἡ διακονία μου ἡ
NAS: in Judea, and [that] my service for Jerusalem
KJV: that my service which [I have] for
INT: and the service of me which [is]
2 Corinthians 3:7 N-NFS

GRK: δὲ ἡ διακονία τοῦ θανάτου
NAS: But if the ministry of death,
KJV: if the ministration of death,
INT: moreover the ministry of death
2 Corinthians 3:8 N-NFS

GRK: μᾶλλον ἡ διακονία τοῦ πνεύματος
NAS: how will the ministry of the Spirit
KJV: not the ministration of the spirit
INT: rather the ministry of the Spirit
2 Corinthians 3:9 N-NFS

GRK: γὰρ τῇ διακονία τῆς κατακρίσεως
NAS: For if the ministry of condemnation
KJV: if the ministration of condemnation
INT: indeed the ministry of condemnation [be]
2 Corinthians 3:9 N-NFS

GRK: περισσεύει ἡ διακονία τῆς δικαιοσύνης
NAS: more does the ministry of righteousness
KJV: more doth the ministration of righteousness
INT: abounds the ministry of righteousness
2 Corinthians 6:3 N-NFS

GRK: μωμηθῇ ἡ διακονία
NAS: so that the ministry will not be discredited,
KJV: any thing, that the ministry be not blamed
INT: be blemished the ministry
2 Corinthians 9:12 N-NFS

GRK: ὅτι ἡ διακονία τῆς λειτουργίας
NAS: For the ministry of this service
KJV: For the administration of this service
INT: Because the ministry of the service



My Commentary:


How can we then make since of this word ever being translated "food", when in this first verse of Acts Chapter 6, and in all the other places it is
translated to the ministering of the Word, or Preaching the Word. (Except of course, for the New American Standard Bible, published in 1960
where it was finally translate to, "food".

Another thing; in the 21st chapter of Acts, it seems to plainly say; Philip the evangelist, (preacher of the Word),
which was one of the seven; (evangelists)seems to me it should have said, "one of the seven evangelists"

Also; seeing as how the word evangelist is only mentioned in the New Testament 3 times, and each time referring to preaching,
why could not the scripture mentioned in Acts 6:1 (neglected in the daily ministration) be referring to the daily preaching of
the Word, seeing as how the Apostles were daily ministering the things which the Holy Ghost was revealing to them, and the widows
and those not able to be there each day, being neglected? After all, were there not many disciples of Christ, fully believing in Him
as the Messiah of God, sent to bring salvation to the world?
And, Luke 24:49 had Jesus not told them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until they were endued with power from on high? Surely there
were some that were just not able to be with them all the time, and the need had come, for the spreading of the gospel, as much as they
had received it, to be taken from Jerusalem, Acts 1:8 in all Judaea, in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. Which they then did,
and the Word of God increased; Chapter 6 verse 7, and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; (probable by the preaching
in and around Jerusalem and Judaea, by those 5 that are not mentioned later on in the bible; (Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas,
and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch)) then by Stephen, whom they caught and set up false witnesses against, and then killed, and then by Philip,
(called an Evangelist in chapter 21), who went down to Samaria and preached Christ, baptizing the whole city seems like, who came to Christ, not
forgetting that the Samaritans were already descendants of Israel, (John 4:12 our father Jacob, which gave us the well), and then Philip went down
to Gaza and preached to the Ethiopian, riding in the chariot, reading Isaiah 56, and baptized him, Peter then being sent by God to the Gentiles;
Acts 10 went on to begin the ministry to the Gentiles, then of course came Paul, who really began the Apostleship to the Gentile nation.

On this same subject, we need to look at the Scripture in Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability,
determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea; 30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
(Notice that there is no mention of it being given to Deacons, but Elders), then looking at Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church,
and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, (no mention again of any Deacons).

References:

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea,
and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Luk 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Act 21:8 And the next day we that were of Pauls company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist,
which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

2Ti 4:5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;


What then is a Deacon?

I would like if God permit, to address the question of,
(1.) the seven men in Acts 6,
(2.) the office of a deacon, and
(3.) the work of the deacon.

In reference to the 6th chapter of Acts. 1st we must realize the Church is in its infancy, and the apostles are in and around Jerusalem,
gathering every day and preaching and delivering and receiving the word as the Holy Ghost inspired them. (The Daily Ministration)
But let us not forget that there were many disciples in Judea and Galilee and the coasts about Jordan.
Not once yet have we heard about there being a going out of the ministry. Now as the spirit was revealing the Word, and the order of the new way,
to those that were in this daily gathering together. Those that were able, gathered with them and heard the word daily. But many were not able.
Especially the sick, disabled, and the poor and elderly. This it seems to me, caused this murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews about their
widows being neglected in the (daily ministration.) Now, and more and more recently, we see it commonly referred to as this being the part of the dispersing
of natural substances as we follow on and find the apostle Peter speaking of serving tables. But in studying the word, (ministration),
we find this word to have more than one meaning. Looking back to the original Greek word, we find the Greek word spelled one way and translated into ministration,
having been used to manifest the (ministry of the word),and then spelled slightly different, but still translated ministration, meaning
(dispersing of natural substances). Then again spelled slightly different, translated, (relief). Now it appears, that the word translated into
ministration and then again the word spelled slightly different in Acts 11:29 translated relief, it appears to me that the word in Acts 6:1 has a spiritual
meaning in the sense of the ministry or preaching. This we find they were doing. Never do we find these men that were chosen, taking care of anyones natural or
carnal needs. Hence, many priests were converted, Acts 6:7, Steven preaching, Acts 6:8-15, and also chapter 8. Then they were scattered abroad.
Philip, being one of these seven, went down to Samaria and preached, only those things which he had received of the apostles, because when the Holy Ghost
did not fall on them, he again had to send up to Jerusalem, to find out the next step, as also he then received of Peter and John.
This all points to me as being the 1st commission. Men, chosen to go out and preach the gospel as they had received it. Especially to those unable to gather with
the apostles at their regular gatherings. Put this together with the word spoken in Acts 21:8 and you have only to understand the words of our beloved Apostle Paul
as he journeyed and spent time with Philip, one of the seven evangelists. (One of the 7.) You see, in the Greek language,
(They threw the cow, over the fence, some hay). We, on the other hand, -Throw some hay, over the fence, to the cow-.
Only by knowing this, can you see that Acts 21:8, should have said, Philip, which was one of the seven Evangelists and not, Philip, the Evangelist,
which was one of the seven. Here is another example.

2: Mark 2:2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. Should read, (both Jesus and his disciples, were called) to the marriage.
Sad but true is the confusion caused by our beloved King James, as he sought so diligently to distinguish the Holy Bible, as being a book filled with all the
soft and lowly touch of not only our Lords words, but also the other writers. But needless to say, all the thous and thees and many other dainty old Anglo Saxon
English style words were not even heard much less spoken by our Lord himself. And from this I find, come the words “bishop”, “deacon”, and even “gentile”, etc.
Surely the Spirit of God would not hide from us the knowledge of these words and let us become confused into thinking that all these many years only a few select
churches have understood these things and so have conformed to the correct understanding. No, I disbelieve that all these years we have been without deacons in
so many of our assemblies. The same as I would not believe we have been without, prophets or midwives or any of the other offices of the church.
What? But maybe in a few days, someone might decide that all these years we have also been without pastors and teachers, seeing it to be written by our beloved
Apostle Paul. Have we over the years had bishops in the churches? (see Acts 20:28 same Greek word used in 1 Tim. 3:1-4, translated overseers.)

Yes, we have had pastors, and we have had deacons. If not, we are far behind, seeing we are some 2000 years behind the times, not to speak of nearly all the churches
of the world today. Are we behind them in knowledge? God forbid, least we suddenly decide that they also have the right idea in many other things such as, doctors,
tithing, baptizing, and many other things. Do they all have the true divine spirit? I don’t think so.

The word, (bishop), does it not mean ordained elder? Hence the Greek word, translated (overseer). Does this not tell us something?
Did not Paul address the bishops and deacons when they were addressed? Would someone so important in the church as the ordained elders,
(overseers) be addressed along with the church janitor, or bookkeeper? Shall we speak concerning the ministry being taught, to ordained elders,
and the men who we have set aside to take care of the financial/business things of the church? I would not think so. But would we not rather write to the
ordained elders of the church and the accepted ministry at the church of (wherever)? Have we not always had those who were anointed of God and the brethren,
called among us to oversee and direct us by the Spirit? Have we not always had those laboring also in their capacity helping with their labor, waiting yet for the day
when they also might be exalted of God to have this honor bestowed upon them? Surely we would not ordain a man that had not already shown by his efforts his readiness for
the capacity of the office, hence we can examine this man by the words written in 1 Tim. 3:1-7. What are these men before they have been ordained unto this work? Surely,
surely we are not going to misalign the order of the church, and cause a gap in the step up rule by tying a good quality man to a financial/business needs, such as taking care
of the physical matters of the church, knowing full well these things are necessary, but let this man also be able to move up the ladder as the need arises and be ordained as a bishop.

If the care of the needy and dispersing of daily necessities be the job of the deacon only, why do we find the relief that Apostle Paul took from the brethren to the poor
saints in Judea, spoken of in Acts 11:29-30. Why was this given to the hands of the elders? Where were these 7 so called deacons, and why was it not delivered to them to disperse?
Have we not always had Deacons (accepted ministers, helping the ordained elders, and striving to also qualify for that future work), in the churches? Certainly we have.
In all the churches? Not always, but do we have ordained elders in all the churches? No, we do not. But, as it becomes possible we should, and it is from this stock of
Deacons that we look for this workman.

The work of a deacon.

Refer again if we might, to the 1st chapter of Philippians. De we not find, Paul addressing the church there with the ordained elders, and their ministerial helpers,
those growing up and learning the steps of their fathers?
Again, in the book of 1st Tim. 3:1-15; Notice I say through verse 15, seeing he was coming unto them, the ordained elders and accepted ministry,
shortly wanting them to know how to conduct themselves in the church. And again in Chapter 5, we find the Apostle exhorting Timothy, as he was growing in his ministry,
being younger but not necessarily calling him a novice. And also in verse 19 against an elder, receive not an accusation, but with witnesses. Now was Timothy an elder?
Yes he might have been. Ordained? No, I do not believe so. But do we not ordain elders, for overseers? Yes. So we find that Apostle Paul seemingly was exhorting Timothy
how he might continuously conduct himself that the day might come for him to be exalted to this capacity himself.
Now lets turn to the writings of Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:1-10. Do we not again find the Apostle Peter addressing the elders of the church? Ordained? It doesn-t say so.
Neither is there any indication anywhere else that Peter was ever ordained as a Bishop. Were the ordained elders included in this lesson? Of course, but down in the text,
we find him saying, Likewise ye younger, (ones), submit yourselves to the elder, (older ones).
(I added my translation of what I feel was being said.)

What were these younger elders? Why, in the next verse did he say, humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He might exalt you in due time?
Were they not instructed to watch, learn, follow in the footsteps of these older and possible ordained elders that when the time arises for the need of more of the anointed of God,
they might automatically be accepted into that capacity, blameless?
Here we see the labor of the deacon, or younger elders, or accepted and seasoned ministers, growing into the capacity of the ordained overseer.
Can he take care of the natural things of the Church? Absolutely. Can he disperse to the needy? Why not? Can he organize the needful things of the church? Yes, of course…
But please, not now or ever for that matter, let us place restrictions or burdens on men that God did not intend for them to carry.
And certainly lets not seal these men into a capacity that God did not intend them to be sealed into, and thereby causing a break in the line of progress,
as we ultimately strive towards that day when we all reach the home that God intended for us to share together. Let us not ordain men to anything, that we do not
find written in the Word to ordain, else we add to the Words that are written in the book.

Hope you can see by these words, what I have sought out and found, concerning the offices in the church.

Remember, I am just a man.

Sincerely,


Bro. Bill Porter