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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Serve

1: διακονέω

(Strong's #1247 — Verb — diakoneo — dee-ak-on-eh'-o )

"to minister" (akin to diakonos, No. 2, above), "to render any kind of service," is translated "to serve," e.g., in Luke 10:40; 12:37; 17:8; 22:26,27 (twice); see MINISTER , B, No. 1.

2: δουλεύω

(Strong's #1398 — Verb — douleuo — dool-yoo'-o )

"to serve as a doulos" (No. 1, above), is used (a) of serving God (and the impossibility of serving mammon also), Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13; Romans 7:6; in the gospel, Philippians 2:22; (b) Christ, Acts 20:19; Romans 12:11; 14:18; 16:18; Ephesians 6:7; Colossians 3:24; (c) the law of God, Romans 7:25; (d) one another, Galatians 5:13 , RV, "be servants to" (AV, "serve"); (e) a father, Luke 15:29 (with a suggestion of acting as a slave); (f) earthly masters, Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13; 1 Timothy 6:2 , RV, "serve;" (g) the younger by the elder, Romans 9:12; (h) of being in bondage to a nation, Acts 7:7; Galatians 4:25 , to the Romans, actually, though also spiritually to Judaizers; (i) to idols, Galatians 4:8 , RV, "were in bondage" (AV, "did service"); (j) to "the weak and beggarly rudiments," Galatians 4:9 (RV), "to be in bondage" (aorist tense in the best texts, suggesting "to enter into bondage"), i.e., to the religion of the Gentiles ("rudiments" being used in ver. 3 of the religion of the Jews); (k) sin, Romans 6:6 , RV, "be in bondage" (AV, "serve"); (1) "divers lusts and pleasures," Titus 3:3; (m) negatively, to any man -- a proud and thoughtless denial by the Jews, John 8:33 .

3: λατρεύω

(Strong's #3000 — Verb — latreuo — lat-ryoo'-o )

primarily "to work for hire" (akin to latris, "a hired servant"), signifies (1) to worship, (2) to "serve;" in the latter sense it is used of service (a) to God, Matthew 4:10; Luke 1:74 ("without fear"); 4:8; Acts 7:7; 24:14 , RV, "serve" (AV, "worship"); Acts 26:7; 27:23; Romans 1:9 ("with my spirit"); 2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 9:14; 12:28 , AV, "we may serve," RV, "we may offer service;" Revelation 7:15; (b) to God and Christ ("the Lamb"), Revelation 22:3; (c) in the tabernacle, Hebrews 8:5 , RV; 13:10; (d) to "the host of heaven," Acts 7:42 , RV, "to serve" (AV, "to worship"); (e) to "the creature," instead of the Creator, Romans 1:25 , of idolatry: see WORSHIP.

Note: In Luke 2:37 the RV has "worshiping," for AV, "served;" in Hebrews 9:9 , "the worshiper," for AV, "that did the service."

4: ὑπηρετέω

(Strong's #5256 — Verb — hupereteo — hoop-ay-ret-eh'-o )

for which see MINISTER. B, No. 3, is translated "to serve" in Acts 13:36; there is a contrast intimated between the service of David, lasting for only a generation, and the eternal character of Christ's ministry as the One who not having seen corruption was raised from the dead.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Serve'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ved/s/serve.html. 1940.

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