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Can a Woman be an Official Deacon

by aymon de albatrus

Phebe is referred once as a servant and there is not sufficient evidence to doubt that her service was primarily serving the female members of her church.  She would certainly have opened her home to itinerant believers, as Paul says of himself, but to give her a status of government in the church is to read in it more that what it says.  To make much of her presumably taking the letter is not proving anything but practicality,  for in those perilous times an old woman like Phebe would have had a better chance to get there that a man, but there is no absolute evidence that she actually did that.

Then here are the two "evidences"

The first reference is found in 1 Timothy 3:8-12

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (1 Timothy 3:8-12 AV)

The Revised Versioin follow strictly the translation of Wescott and Hort (reputed non believers) who translated the Alexandrine/Sinaticus/Vaticanus text which the basis of the NIV, not the KJV whiuch is based on the Textus Receptus.

The word in question (wives) is verse 11 is expressed in the Greek as GUNE that can be translated as Wife/Wives/Woman/Women depending on the context.

This is also common in some European languages.

If we now study the immediate context of the thought expressed on the Deacons (a an official position) and change verse 11 to  "Even so must their women be grave" or even "Even so must the women be grave" it is plainly obvious that the concept is not in tune with the immediate context, and here we have an insurmountable obstacle.

If we then pass on to the next verse, still part of the same concept "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife". it is plainly obvious that if in verse 11 women in general were referred to, and not the wives, we are lost.  For how can a woman satisfy: Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife"? Impossible, it cannot be?  That is, how can a woman be the husband of one wife???

The second and last reference is in Romans 6:1 where the woman Phebe is referred to as "deaconess".

The Greek word DIAKONOS Can be translated as: Deacon, Minister/s and Servant/s and appears 30 times in 28 verses.  Again we must take inti account its context.

The Diakonos appearances are translate as follows:

Deacons (As office deacons) appears 3 times: Philippians 1:1, 1Ti 3:8,12

Minister appears 14 times: Mat 20:26 Mar 10:43 Rom 13:4 (2 times) e Rom 15:8
Gal 2:17 Eph 3:7 Eph 6:21 Col 1:7 Col 1:23,25 Col 4:7 1Th 3:2 1Ti 4:6

Ministers appears 6 times: 1Co 3:5 2Co 3:6 2Co 6:4 2Co 11:15 (2 times) 2Co 11:23

Servant appears 4 times: Mat 23:11 Mar 9:35 Joh 12:26 Rom 16:1 (Phebe)

Servants appears 3 times: Mat 22:13 Joh 2:5,9

Clearly when in Romans 16:1 Phebe is mentioned as "deaconess", it is not intended "official deacon" but "servant" in the sense of a woman (as million of other) that has given herself to serve the church (other women) as a practical help but without the official tag of a Deacon as the above references clearly show.

The above is coherent with both the immediate context of 1Ti 3:8-12 and Rom 6:1 and the general tenor of the Bible, and especially with the first 3 chapters of Genesis. Whilst if we replace "wives" with "women" in 1Ti 3:11 and interpret it as modern churches do, we have insurmountable conflicts.

From the ancient writings we have received so far, no reference whatsoever to deaconess/es, is found till the years 300.   If after Constantine (the beginning of paganised christianity)  deaconesses were appointed proves nothing, but only heresy and  the corruption of the church.

If we accept the heretical appointment of deaconesses in the church, then by the same measure, we must accept also the modern appointments of women, lesbians, homosexuals and all sort of other perverse appointment to the position of elders and pastors.

Alas! Many churches do these despicable things, already.  OH Lord! Come quickly, Rev 22:20.

by aymon de albatrus