Bible-Equip is a collection of sites designed to help Christians in their walk and service with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Enjoy and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment to let us know your thoughts.

The primary editor/blogger/author is Chuck Gianotti, Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary, former elder (Crossroads Bible Fellowship, Rochester, NY), team member of Biblical Eldership Resources, author (books, articles and pamphlets), itinerate preacher, husband of the love of his life–Mary, father of two grown children–Jason (and his wife Jen) and Shannon, grandfather of two little girls and a boy, canoeing aficionado, outdoor enthusiast, woodworker (at least he tinkers in his workshop) and news junkie.

4 Responses to About

  1. Bryan Johnson says:

    Hey Chuck! I hope all is well with you and your family. Looking forward to your Daily E-Meds. Nice picture!
    have a great week! Bryan.

  2. Roy Ingram says:

    We have just begun a Bible study group using Mr. Strauch’s book & study guide material on Eldership – it is a mixed group with women & men – all of whom come from a charismatic church with teachings in general that follow the typical teachings of that group’s beliefs & wanting to know truth – I’m busy following up & researching various subjects that come up during our meeting/study times ( you can only imagine some of what is said that is communicated as being from the Bible) – I’m interested to know more about Rom 16:1 where Phoebe is referred to as a “diakonon or diakonos” (deacons) and your thoughts/beliefs/translations regarding an “acknowledged/valid/biblically accurate” church office for women – thanks!

    • Chuck Gianotti says:

      Roy, sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. Here is an excerpt taken from Elders’ ShopNotes, Volume 7 Number 6:

      A single verse about women (NASB) or wives (KJV, NIV) is included in 1 Timothy 3:11, as part of Paul’s teaching about leadership in the church. The original word gunaikos can be translated either way as wife or woman. Normally, the context makes clear which meaning is in view, but here the meaning is debated. Some suggest it refers to women who were to be counted among the deacons or a separate group of deaconesses. Proponents for these ideas find support by referring to Romans 16:1 where Phoebe is called diakonos (“servant”). This is not convincing because we could argue just as easily that Phoebe was simply a “servant” who happened to be well known for her service.

      On the other hand, when Paul refers to the gunaikos in 1 Timothy 3:11, he uses the same word in the next verse in relationship to the deacons’ marrital status, namely the “husband of only one wife.” Clearly, wives are in view, and not women deacons.

      Yet, in most local churches, you will find women’s ministries of various kinds, which need to be conducted decently and in order. And these require godly women to lead and influence other women. We would suggest that when women serve in any such leadership role, that qualifications be encouraged similar to those of elders and deacons, and that they function under the leadership and authority of the elders and deacon–though the distinction must be made that they are not the same as deacons.

      The operative principle is found in 2 Tim 2:11, where Paul says, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man …”

      Roy, in my book, “Cosmic Drama: Men and Women in the Church,” I wrote the following:

      Some say that Paul implies the existence of women deacons: “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant [Greek: diakonov] of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me” (Romans 16:1-2).

      The Greek work diakonos is the feminine form of the same word used in Philippians 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:8 and 12 for the office of deacons in the church. However, the word is more generally used for “a servant” in Scripture. Hermeneutically speaking, the meaning of word is ultimately determined by its use in context. While clearly in Philippians 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:8 and 12 it refers to an official role or office, in Romans 16 the meaning is less clear. Commentators disagree on which meaning the writer of Romans intends. Certainly, Phoebe was a servant par excellence, as the passage describes.

      When Paul clearly addresses the “office” of deacon , he says, “A deacon must be the husband of but one wife …” Paul clearly communicates the maleness of the role. Some assert that he addresses deaconesses in 1 Timothy 3:11, “In the same way, their (Greek: gunaikos) wives are to be women worthy of respect.” The word gunaikos can mean either woman or wife. However, Paul does not use the term diakonos in this regard and a more natural reading is that it means “wives.” In fact, the qualifications for the deacons versus their gunaikos are different. This passage does not support the idea of women being deacons (in the official sense) or even a separate office of deaconess.

      With little else in Scripture to support the idea of an “office” of deaconess, Romans 16:1 is most likely referring to Phoebe simply as a prime example of servanthood in general. Indeed, serving is not something that requires an office in order to be effective. Having said that, there is nothing militating against using the word “servant” or “deaconess” to describe the ministry of committed women, so long as there is no confusion with the role of deacon outlined in 1 Timothy 3 and it does not involve leadership over men.

      If you would like a copy of the book “Cosmic Drama” let me know. The cost is $15 plus shipping or I can send a PDF file.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *