One who attends or waits on another, Mt 20:28; so Elisha was the minister of Elijah, 1Ki 19:21; 2Ki 3:11. These persons did not feel themselves degraded by their stations, and in due time they succeeded to the office of their masters. In like manner, John Mark was minister to Paul and Barnabas, Ac 13:5. Angels are ministers of God and of his people, Ps 103:21; Heb 1:14. The term is applied to one who performs any function, or administers any office or agency: as to magistrates, Ro 15:16; 1Co 4:1; 5:5; and to teachers of error, 2Co 11:15. Christ came to minister, not to be ministered unto; and is called in another sense a minister "of the circumcision," Ro 15:8, and of the heavenly sanctuary, Heb 8:2.
one who serves, as distinguished from the master. (1.) Heb meshereth, applied to an attendant on one of superior rank, as to Joshua, the servant of Moses (Ex 33:11), and to the servant of Elisha (2Ki 4:43). This name is also given to attendants at court (2Ch 22:8), and to the priests and Levites (Jer 33:21; Eze 44:11).
(4.) Greek hyperetes (literally, "under-rower"), a personal attendant on a superior, thus of the person who waited on the officiating priest in the synagogue (Lu 4:20). It is applied also to John Mark, the attendant on Paul and Barnabas (Ac 13:5).
(5.) Greek diaconos, usually a subordinate officer or assistant employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel, as to Paul and Apollos (1Co 3:5), Tychicus (Eph 6:21), Epaphras (Col 1:7), Timothy (1Th 3:2), and also to Christ (Ro 15:8).
Minister mesharet. As Joshua was to Moses (Ex 24:13; Jos 1:1), and Elisha's "servitor" (2Ki 4:43). The king's subordinate attendants, as "servants" are higher officials (1Ki 10:5). The angelic attendants of the heavenly King (Ps 104:4). The priests and Levites, "ministers of our God" (Isa 61:6). In New Testament leitourgos is a "public administrator", civil as the magistrate (Ro 13:4,6), or sacerdotal as the Aaronic priests were (Heb 10:11) and as Christ was (Heb 8:2), and as Paul figuratively was, presenting as a sacrifice before God the Gentiles converted by his ministry of the gospel (Ro 15:16) and their faith (Php 2:17), and as Christians minister their alms (Ro 15:27; 2Co 9:12).
Liturgy at Athens meant public service rendered gratuitously to the state; hence the sense of public Divine service (not restricted to sacrifice, Lu 1:23): Ac 13:2. Hufretes is a greater man's "personal attendant" (literally, the rower under the steersman) or subordinate in waiting, as Mark was to Saul and Barnabas (Ac 13:5); also (Lu 1:2; Ac 26:16) interchanged with diakonos (1Co 4:1; 3:5), both applied to Paul. diakonos is also applied especially to deacons as distinguished from presbyter bishops (Php 1:1; 1Ti 3:8-13).
The word 'minister' comes from the Lat. minister = 'servant,' and generally it may be said that wherever it is found in the Bible, whether in OT or in NT, its original meaning is its primary one, service being the idea it is specially meant to convey.
1. In OT it is used (corresponding to the same Heb. word in each case) of Joshua as the personal attendant of Moses (Ex 24:13; Jos 1:1), of the servants in the court of Solomon (1Ki 10:5), of angels and the elemental forces of nature as the messengers and agents of the Divine will (Ps 103:21; 104:4; cf. Heb 1:7,14), but, above all, of the priests and Levites as the servants of Jehovah in Tabernacle and Temple (Ex 28:35; 1Ki 8:11; Ezr 8:17, and constantly). The secular uses of the Heb. word, standing side by side with the sacred, show that it was not in itself a priestly term. Ministry was not necessarily a priestly thing, though priesthood was one form of ministry.
2. In NT several Gr. words are tr 'minister,' three of which call for notice. (1) hyp
The word commonly occurring in the O.T. is sharath, 'to minister, serve.' Joshua was Moses' minister. All God's hosts are called 'ministers of his, that do his pleasure,' and He maketh 'his ministers a flaming fire.' The priests were the ministers of Jehovah. Jos 1:1; Ps 103:21; 104:4; Joe 2:17. In the N.T. three words are used.
1. ????????. See DEACON.
This term is used in the Authorized Version to describe various officials of a religious and civil character. Its meaning, as distinguished from servant, is a voluntary attendant on another. In the Old Testament it is applied (1) to an attendance upon a person of high rank,
(2) to the attaches of a royal court,
comp. Psal 104:4 (3) to the priests and Levites.
One term in the New Testament betokens a subordinate public administrator,
one who performs certain gratuitous public services. A second term contains the idea of actual and personal attendance upon a superior, as in
The minister's duty was to open and close the building, to produce and replace the books employed in the service, and generally to wait on the officiating priest or teacher. A third term, diakonos (from which comes our word deacon), is the one usually employed in relation to the ministry of the gospel: its application is twofold, --in a general sense to indicate ministers of any order, whether superior or inferior, and in a special sense to indicate an order of inferiors ministers. [DEACON]
MINISTER, one who attends or waits on another; so we find Elisha was the minister of Elijah, and did him services of various kinds, 2Ki 3:11. So Joshua was the servant of Moses, Ex 24:13; 33:11. And these persons did not by any means feel themselves degraded by their stations, but in due time they succeeded to the offices of their masters. In like manner John Mark was minister to Paul and Barnabas, Ac 13:5. Christ is called a minister of the true, that is, the heavenly, sanctuary. The minister of the synagogue was appointed to keep the book of the law, to observe that those who read it, read it correctly, &c, Lu 4:20. The rabbins say he was the same as the angel of the church or overseer. Lightfoot says, Baal Aruch expounds the chazan, or minister of the congregation, by sheliach hatzibbor, or angel of the congregation; and from this common platform and constitution of the synagogue, we may observe the Apostle's expression of some elders ruling and labouring in word and doctrine, others in the general affairs of the synagogue. Ministers were servants, yet servants not menial, but honourable; those who explain the word, and conduct the service of God; those who dispense the laws and promote the welfare of the community; the holy angels who in obedience to the divine commands protect, preserve, succour, and benefit the godly, are all ministers, beneficial ministers, to those who are under their charge, Heb 8:2; Ex 30:10; Le 16:15; 1Co 4:1; Ro 13:6; Ps 104:4.