Bible Encyclopedias

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature


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One who acts as the less or inferior agent, in obedience or subservience to another, or who serves, officiates, etc., as distinguished from the master or superior. In the Old Testament the term is applied to Joshua as the minister of Moses (), and to Elisha as the minister to Elijah (). Persons thus designated sometimes succeeded to the office of their principal, as did Joshua and Elisha. The word is applied to the angels,; comp.;; and also to the Jews in their capacity as a sacred nation, 'Men shall call you the ministers of our God' (); and to the priests (;;; ). In the New Testament the term is applied to Christian teachers,;; and to Christ,; to the collectors of the Roman tribute, in consequence of the divine authority of political government, 'they are God's ministers.' The word diakonos, 'minister,' is applied to Christian teachers,;;;;; to false teachers,; to Christ,;;; to heathen magistrates,; in all which passages it has the sense of a minister, assistant, or servant in general, as in; but it means a particular sort of minister, 'a deacon,' in;; . Another word similarly rendered is applied to Christian ministers,;; . The word denotes, in , the attendant in a synagogue who handed the volume to the reader, and returned it to its place. In it is applied to 'John whose surname was Mark,' in his capacity as an attendant or assistant on Barnabas and Saul. It primarily signifies an under-rower on board a galley, of the class who used the longest oars, and consequently performed the severest duty, as distinguished from the rower upon the upper bench of the three, and from the sailors or the marines: hence in general a hand, agent, minister, attendant, etc.





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Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Minister'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature".

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