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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #3008 - λειτουργέω

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  1. to serve the state at one's own cost
    1. to assume an office which must be administered at one's own expense
    2. to discharge a public office at one's own cost
    3. to render public service to the state
  2. to do a service, perform a work
    1. of priests and Levites who were busied with the sacred rites in the tabernacle or the temple
    2. of Christians serving Christ, whether by prayer, or by instructing others concerning the way of salvation, or in some other way
    3. of those who aid others with their resources, and relieve their poverty
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 3547 ‑ כָּהַן (kaw‑han');  5647 ‑ עָבַד (aw‑bad');  6633 ‑ צָבָא (tsaw‑baw');  8120 ‑ שְׁמַשׁ (shem‑ash');  8334 ‑ שָׁרַת (shaw‑rath');  
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Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions


earlier Att. λητουργέω IG 22.1147.6 (iv B.C.), etc. (λειτ - 22.665.11 (282 B.C.)): pf. λελειτούργηκα Lys. 18.7, Isa 6.60, Isoc. 15.145:

I at Athens, serve public offices at one's own cost, And. 1.132, al., D. 27.64: c. acc. cogn., λ. τὰ προσταττόμενα Isa 6.61; δύο λειτουργίας D. 50.9, cf. Lys. 3.47; λ. ὑπέρ τινος serve these offices for another, Isa 3.80, 6.64; τὰ λελειτουργημένα public services performed, D. 21.169.

II generally, perform public duties, serve the state, τῇ πόλει X. Mem. 2.7.6; ἐκ τῆς ἰδίας οὐσίας ὑμῖν λ. Isoc. 8.13; τὸ ταῖς οὐσίαις λειτουργοῦν, ὃ καλοῦμεν εὐπόρους Arist. Pol. 1291a34; τοῖς σώμασιν καὶ τοῖς χρήμασιν λ. Id. Ath. 29.5; λ. τοῖς σώμασιν D. 21.165; τὸ περὶ τὰς ἀρχὰς λ. Arist. Pol. 1291a35; λ. τῇ πόλει ταύτην τὴν λειτουργίαν ib. 37, cf. Plb. 6.33.6; λ. πρὸς τεκνοποιΐαν Arist. Pol. 1335b28; ἄρχειν καὶ λ. POxy. 1119.16 (iii A.D.).


1. generally, serve a master, c. dat., οἱ ἑνὶ λειτουργοῦντες τὰ τοιαῦτα δοῦλοι [εἰσι ] Arist. Pol. 1278a12, cf. PSI 4.361.15 (iii B.C.), Nic.Dam. 4 J.; λ. τρισὶν ἀνδράσιν, of a prostitute, AP 5.48 (Gallus).

2. perform religious service, minister, ἐπὶ τῶν ἱερῶν D.H. 2.22; τῷ Κυρίῳ Acts 13:2, etc. (Written λιτ - in REt.Anc. 32.5 (Athens, i B.C.), etc., cf. λειτούργιον, λειτουργός.)

Thayer's Expanded Definition

λειτουργέω, participle λειτουργῶν; 1 aorist infinitive λειτουργῆσαι; (from λειτουργός, which see);

1. in Attic, especially the orators, "to serve the state at one's own cost; to assume an office which must be administered at one's own expense; to discharge a public office at one's own cost; to render public service to the state" (cf. Melanchthon in Apology, Confessions, Augustine, p. 270f (Corpus Reformat. edition Bindseil (post Bretschn.) vol. xxvli., p. 623, and F. Francke, Conf. Luth., Part i., p. 271 note (Lipsius 1846)); Wolf, Demosthenes, Lept., p. 85ff; Böckh, Athen. Staatshaush. i., p. 480ff; Lübker, Reallex. des class. Alterth. (or Smith, Dict. of Greek and Rom. Antiq.) under the word λειτουργία).

2. universally, to do service, to perform a work; Vulg. ministro (A. V. to minister);

a. of the priests and Levites who were busied with the sacred rites in the tabernacle or the temple (so the Sept. often for שֵׁרֵת; as Numbers 18:2; Exodus 28:31, 39; Exodus 29:30; Joel 1:9, etc.; several times for עָבַד, Numbers 4:37, 39; Numbers 16:9; Numbers 18:6f; add, Sir. 4:14 (; Judith 4:14); 1 Macc. 10:42; (Philo, vit. Moys. 3:18; cf. ὑμῖν λειτουργουσι καί αὐτοί τήν λειτουργίαν τῶν προφητῶν καί διδασκάλων (of bishops and deacons), Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, chapter 15 [ET] (cf. Clement of Rome, 1 Cor. 44, 2 [ET] etc.))): Hebrews 10:11. b.λειτουργουν τῷ κυρίῳ, of Christians serving Christ, whether, by prayer, or by instructing others concerning the way of salvation, or in some other way: Acts 13:2; cf. DeWette at the passage c. of those who aid others with their resources, and relieve their poverty: τίνι ἐν τίνι, Romans 15:27, cf. Sir. 10:25.

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
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All rights rserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

λειτουργέω , -

(< λειτουργός ),

[in LXX chiefly for H8334 pi., also for H5647, H6633, etc.;]

1. in cl., at Athens, to supply public offices at one's own cost, render public service to the State, hence, generally,

2. to serve the State, do a service, serve (of service to the Gods, Diod., i, 21): of the official service of priests and Levites (Exodus 29:30, Numbers 16:9, Sirach 4:14, 1 Maccabees 10:42, al.; cf. Deiss., BS, 140 f.), Hebrews 10:11; of Christians: c. dat. pers. seq. ἐν , Romans 15:27 (cf. Sirach 10:25); τ . κυρίῳ , Acts 13:2.†

SYN.: λατρεύω G3000 (q.v.), prop., to serve for hire, LXX (as sometimes in cl.), always of service to the deity on the part of both priests and people (Exodus 4:3, Deuteronomy 10:12, and similarly in NT). λειτουργέω G3008 "is the fulfilment of an office: it has a definite representative character, and corresponds with a function to be discharged". It is therefore used of serving in an office or ministry: in LXX always of priests and Levites, in NT, with its cognates (Romans 13:6; Romans 15:27, are not really exceptions), of services rendered either to God or man by apostles, prophets, teachers, and other officers of the church (cf. Tr., Syn., § xxxv; ICC on Romans 1:9; Westc., He., 232 ff.).

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

The connotation of public services rendered to the State, which this verb has in classical writers, gives place in the Κοινή to personal services, more particularly. in connexion with religious functions, as e.g. with regard to the Twins in the Serapeum, P Par 26i. 2 (B.C. 163–2) Θαυὴς καὶ Ταοὺς δίδυμαι, αἱ λειτουργοῦσαι ἐν τῷ πρὸς Μέμφει μεγάλῳ Σαραπιείῳ κτλ., ib. 27.3 (B.C. 160), et saepe : cf. Acts 13:2, Hebrews 10:11, and see Deissmann BS p. 140 f., Anz Subsidia, p. 346. In P Oxy IV. 731.4 (A.D. 8–9) ἐφ᾽ ᾧ λιτουργήσω ὑμεῖν, ";on condition that I give you my services,"; the reference is to a contract with an artiste for the festivals of Isis and Hera. Somewhat similar is the hire of two dancing-girls for an approaching festival in P Grenf II. 67.6 (A.D. 237) (= Selections, p. 108) λ ]ει [τουρ ]γήσιν ἡμῖν, and of a company of musicians in P Oxy X. 1275.12 (iii/A.D.) λειτουργήσοντας τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς προκιμένης κώμης, ";to perform for the inhabitants of the aforesaid village."; For more miscellaneous uses of the verb cf. P Hib I. 78.11 (B.C. 244–3) of the release of two persons from some public service—διὰ τὸ μὴ ἐκπε ̣σ ̣[εῖ ]ν αὐτοῖς το ̣, νῦν λειτουργῆσαι, ";because it is not at present their turn to serve"; (Edd.), P Oxy VII. 1067.19 (iii/A.D.) εἰπὲ Πετεχῶντι. . . ὅτι εἰ μέλλεις ἐλθεῖν ἐλθέ, Διόσκορος γὰρ λειτουργεῖ ὑπὲρ σοῦ, ";say to Petechon, ‘Come if you are coming, for Dioscorus is labouring on your behalf’"; (Ed.), and ib. I. 86.11 (A.D. 338), a complaint that a certain Eustochius τῆς νυνὶ λιτουργούσης φυλῆς, ";of the tribe which is at present responsible for this duty,"; had failed to provide a sailor for a public boat. Exx. of the verb and subst. from Macedonian inscrr. are given by Ferguson Legal Terms, p. 62 f. : add also Teles (ed. Hense), p. 61.5 καὶ γὰρ ὑπουργιῶν, ἃς αὐτὸς ἐλειτούργεις ζῶντι τῷ τέκνῳ καὶ τῷ φίλῳ καὶ κακοπαθῶν καὶ δαπανῶν, Epict. Frag. Diss. 23 τῳ ὄντι θαυμαστόν ἐστι φιλεῖν πρᾶγμα, ᾦ τοσαῦτα λειτουργοῦμεν καθ᾽ ἑκάστην ἡμέραν, and Linde Epic. p. 53 where ἀλειτούργητος, immunis, is cited. On the form of the verb see Mayser Gr. p. 127, Robertson Gr. p. 193, and Moulton Gr. ii. p. 76 f., and on the whole subject of the liturgical system in Egypt see F. Oertel Die Liturgie, Leipzig, 1917. MGr λειτουργῶ, ";hold divine service,"; ";serve.";


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
ελειτούργει ελειτούργουν λειτουργείν λειτουργείτωσάν λειτουργήματα λειτουργησαι λειτουργήσαι λειτουργῆσαι λειτουργήσατε λειτουργησεί λειτουργήσει λειτουργήσετε λειτουργησίμων λειτουργήσουσιν λειτουργούν λειτουργούντας λειτουργούντες Λειτουργουντων Λειτουργούντων λειτούργουσα λειτουργούσι λειτουργούσιν λειτουργων λειτουργών λειτουργῶν leitourgesai leitourgêsai leitourgēsai leitourgē̂sai leitourgon leitourgôn leitourgōn leitourgō̂n Leitourgounton Leitourgountōn Leitourgoúnton Leitourgoúntōn
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