DIAKONON in Romans 16:1

Manolis Nikolaou aei_didaskomenos at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 27 18:42:29 EST 2002

> In Romans 16:1, is DIAKONON accusative feminine singular common?  
> I have seen it translated "deacon" and "deaconess" and think "deacon" 
> is the correct translation.  Could DIAKONON be masculine?
> Thanks.
> Cindy Smith		I have further observed under the sun that
> cms at dragon.com		The race is not won by the swift,
> cms at 5sc.net		Nor the battle by the valiant;
> cms at romancatholic.org	Nor is bread won by the wise,
> 			Nor wealth by the intelligent,
> Me transmitte sursum,	Nor favor by the learned.
> 	Caledoni!		-- JPS Ecclesiastes 9:11

DIAKONOS is obviously a feminine here, but it could be either a masculine
or a feminine noun. There are certain cases in Greek where a noun's genre
can only be defined either by the context or the article before it: hO, hH
SYZYGOS (=husband), hO, hH PAIS (= child).

Notice, however, that in later (and modern) Greek hH DIAKONOS has turned
into hH DIAKONISSA (same meaning). Another interesting information might
be that the verb DIAKONW (or DIAKONEUW) has gradually acquired the meaning
"I beg", while DIAKONIARHS nowadays means the beggar!

Manolis Nikolaou

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