2004, Vol. 1, No. 2
Director of Spiritual Formation
Assistant Professor of Spiritual Formation
of God Theological Seminary
phrase “servant leadership” has become a
popular buzzword in contemporary ministry circles. Churches,
academic institutions and parachurch organizations take
pride in calling themselves “servant leaders.” This
trend raises the question, “Is this a biblical
concept?” Certainly, the term cannot be found in
Scripture. Has it been fabricated simply to tickle the
ears? Even if the concept could be determined to have
a sound biblical basis, is it properly understood and
practiced by today’s church? This paper will attempt
to examine the biblical understanding of servanthood
in light of Matthew 20:25-28.
Examination of Matthew 20:25-28
called them [His disciples] together and said, “You
know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and their high officials exercise authority over them.
Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great
among you must be your servant (diakonos), and
whoever wants to be first must be your slave (doulos)—just
as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve
(diakonesai), and to give his life as a ransom
for many” (NIV).
Highlights of the Context of the Passage
account provides the occasion to examine Jesus’s
specific teaching concerning the nature of greatness
and leadership in the kingdom. To appreciate the appropriateness
of this passage to a discussion on servant leadership,
one must consider the literary context of this account.
In the preceding paragraph, the Sons of Zebedee, James
and John, along with their mother, approach Jesus and
request the two most exalted positions of honor in Jesus’s
kingdom (20:20-23). Upon hearing this, the other ten
disciples are indignant (20:24), most likely that James
and John would attempt to gain for themselves the highest
places. It is further interesting to note that this entire
episode immediately follows Jesus’s discussion
involving the wages of day laborers (20:1-16). In the
Greco-Roman culture, these day laborers were the bottom
of the social pyramid.1 The entire setting, then, seems
to be one in which the disciples were keenly aware of
one’s status, out of which this discussion arose
regarding greatness in the Kingdom. In this context,
then, Jesus calls the disciples together to give them
further teaching on the subject of true greatness in
response reveals that the values of the two brothers
and, probably those of the other ten disciples, reflect
those of the world’s leaders, not those of the
Kingdom. Jesus uses the Gentile leaders as a negative
example because Jewish people knew well that neighboring
pagan rulers often exhibited an abuse of power. The Gentile
model of authority was based on arrogance and overbearing
dominance. “Ancient near Eastern kings had long
claimed to be gods and ruled tyrannically. Greek rulers
had adopted the same posture through much of the eastern
Mediterranean. The Roman emperor and his provincial agents
would have been viewed in much the same light: brutal
and tyrannical.”2 Leaders quested after power
and relished it. In a domineering way, they enjoyed
exercising authority over others.3
the disciples that seeking power was a Gentile (i.e.,
pagan) practice was tantamount to telling them they should
not be doing it. The standards of greatness found among
society’s leaders, striving for power and lording
authority over others, should not be that of the disciples
of Jesus. Greatness, honor, and prestige are reckoned
by a completely different standard. Leaders who would
be “great” or “first” in God’s
community must not strive for positions of honor but
become the community’s “servant” and “slave.” “Great” and “servant,” like “first” and “slave,” are
nearly polar opposites. Thus, the greatness of the Kingdom
is of a paradoxical nature and, certainly, Jesus’s
teaching went against every understanding of a first-century,
socio-cultural concept of leadership.
Examination of Key Words in the Passage
declares that a leader in His kingdom must be a “servant” (diakonos)
and “slave” (doulos). Just what exactly
do these terms mean? To fully grasp the implication of
Jesus’s instruction and soundly exegete the present
text, one must understand the words “servant” and “slave” in
their first-century context. The following section will
highlight the socio-cultural and scriptural contexts
of these terms.
foundational factors greatly influence how the term “doulos” is
to be understood in a New Testament sense. These
factors will be noted, followed by a more specific
description of slavery in a first-century4 social
context and a survey of the biblical uses of the
first factor that influences our understanding of “slave” is
the difference between the contemporary and first-century
notions of the term. “The contemporary conception
of slavery, as practiced in the New World from the seventeenth
to nineteenth centuries, has hindered achieving an appropriate,
historical understanding of social-economic life in the
Mediterranean world of the first century.”5 Doulos is
best translated “slave” instead of “servant” in
order to point to the legal subordination of the “slave” as
property of the owner, yet the meaning can be obscured
due to present connotations of the term “slave.” When
studying New Testament texts, one must define “slave” strictly
in terms of the profoundly different legal-social contexts
of the first century.6
second factor in properly understanding “slave” in
the New Testament is understanding the diverse practices
of slavery existing in the Greek, Jewish and Roman cultures.
The differences are relevant to New Testament texts and
require one to examine each text and determine which
of the legal- philosophical frameworks was presupposed.7 In the present text, the passage was likely written to
Greek-speaking Jews living outside Jerusalem in the mid-first
century. While they probably had an awareness of Jewish
tradition, living in a Greco-Roman society would certainly
have provided a broad frame of reference for the concept.
Thus, a brief highlight of the characteristics of all
three traditions will be presented.
ancient Greek tended to regard an enslaved person as
inferior by nature. Personal freedom was his prized possession. “Because douleuo involved
the abrogation of one’s own autonomy and the subordination
of one’s will to that of another, the Greek felt
only revulsion and contempt for the position of the slave.
While the doulos may be well treated and had an
equal status with free men, the life of the slave was
one of unrelieved compulsory labor and service for others.
Hence, douleuein, in the sense of dependence and
subordination in service is debasing and contemptible.”8
some aspects, the Jewish tradition gave higher regard
to slaves. Despite the practice of debt-slavery and the
use of slaves even in the Jerusalem Temple, the Jewish
tradition tended to regard any enslavement of Jews by
Jews as improper because every Jew had already become
exclusively a “slave of God” by means of
the liberation of his or her ancestors from Egyptian
bondage (Lev. 25:55). It was envisaged that the slave
would work alongside his master and participate in all
his religious observances, including the Sabbath rest.9 The prophecy of Joel 2:29 extends to the slaves, implying
their full participation in the outpouring of the Spirit.10 While Jewish slaves may have been treated fairly well,
slaves — especially Gentile slaves—were still
viewed as inferior to freemen.
the Roman tradition, slaves were regarded in legislation
as “things” and “property” on
the one hand and, on the other hand, often were treated
well as fully human beings and usually granted Roman
citizenship when set free.11 Generally, in the Greco-Roman
world, the slave did not count as a person, but as chattel
the master could deal with as he chose. Roman law imposed
certain restrictions that forbade the grossest kind of
mistreatment. Nevertheless, the legal rights of slaves
were minimal.12 By the middle of the first century, Stoic
philosophy was improving the condition of slaves because
of its view that all persons are subject to fate and
not responsible for their social status. “Seneca
(Ep. 47) professed to see no difference between the slave
and the free person except an accident of birth or political
misfortune. Anyone could become a slave if his country
was conquered by another. There is thus no inborn inferiority
in a slave.”13 Thus, under the influence of Stoicism—and
later of Christianity—the Romans gradually came
to acknowledge that even slaves were “persons” and
deserved to be treated humanely.14
person could become a slave in various ways. Before the
first century, the majority of slaves were prisoners
of war and people kidnapped by pirates. When slaves came
in from other cultures, they were denationalized and
made a part of Greco-Roman civilization.15 By the first
century, however, the children of women in slavery had
become the primary source of slaves. Their numbers were
supplemented by the sale of freeborn children to pay
debts, the raising of foundlings (exposure of a child)
or conviction in the law courts.16 Throughout this time,
an additional consistent source of slaves was the practice
of “self sale,” in which persons sold themselves
into slavery in order to pay off their debts or seek
a better means of providing for their needs.
examined the use of doulos in the socio-cultural
context of the New Testament, consideration is given
to the use of the term in the rest of Scripture. The doulos group
of words was usually used in the OT to translate the
root ‘bd and its derivatives. The memory
of Israel’s experiences in their Egyptian captivity
lingered on and was the main source of this root’s
essential meaning. “It is distinguished from its
synonym diakoneo by its emphasis on the service
being that of a slave, i.e., on an obligatory, repressive
or at least a dependent form of service under the complete
control of a superior.”17 The one who calls himself
a doulos acknowledges that another has absolute
power over him.
the highest official, the vizier, is a “servant” in
his relationship to the king. Hence the title “servant” came
to be used in Scripture as one of honor, borne by important
figures such as Moses, David or the prophets, who were
called “servants of God.”18 This courtly,
ceremonial language was adopted in worship to describe
the relation between God and man. In calling himself
the doulos of the kyrious (Ps. 122:2),
the Israelite was conscious of his complete dependence
upon God—declaring unconditional subjection to
him. The concept of the doulos, thus expanded,
in turn affected one’s relation to one’s
countrymen. He who honored Yahweh, the God who
had chosen a people for himself, knew that he had been
joined to his community to serve them.19
New Testament reveals even greater significance of the
term “slave.” Christ’s actions brought
a new dignity and responsibility to the title of doulos.
Philippians 2:7 declares that becoming a man, Christ
divested himself and took on the form of a servant (morphen
doulou labon).20 Clearly, during his time on earth,
Jesus exemplified a life of servanthood and selfless
sacrifice for others. he ultimate expression of this
service was to give his life for humankind. Fortunately,
the death of Jesus Christ has the ability to free humankind
from the relentless grip of a completely different sort
of slavery—doulos tes hamartias— “slave
of sin” (Rom. 6:17).
paradox is that, in this redemption, one is set free
to a new form of slavery—a change in masters. Believers “having
been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Rom.
6:18, 22). Again, the distinctive feature of doulos is
that it refers to the subordinate and responsible nature
of one’s service in exclusive relation to one’s
Lord. It emphasizes the obligatory character of the service
for God and to one’s neighbor that is the duty
of the community of those who have been set free by Jesus
Christ.21 Thus, the nature of Christ’s loving work
prevents one from separating service to God from service
to one’s neighbor. All who are called to freedom
from sin are set free to serve one another in love (Gal.
the preceding section, the word “doulos” (slave/servant)
was examined. Closely related to this term is the
concept of “diakonos” (servant).
Due to the similar background of these words, diakonos will
be mentioned briefly in order to highlight its uniqueness
from the term “doulos,” as it
is used in Scripture.
“While doulos stresses...the
Christian’s complete subjection to the Lord, diakonos is
concerned with one’s service to the church and
fellow-believers.”22 The Greek word-group diakoneo,
and its derivatives, make up the single most important
word group having to do with ministry. As the etymology
suggests, they are used mainly to express the varieties
of personal helps to others (i.e., serve, support, serve
as deacon, service, helper, assistant, servant).23
term diakoneo is not found in the Old Testament,
although it can be found in the literature of later Judaism,
in the writings of Philo and Josephus.24 However, various
forms of the word are found numerous times in the New
Testament. Its primary meaning is that of one who serves
at tables, or simply, a servant (Mt. 22:13; 20:26; Jn.
2:5, 9). It is rooted in voluntary, humble service for
others. Such lowly service, or the waiting on of tables,
was considered by many free men to be beneath their dignity
(Lk. 7:44 ff.). Despite one’s enthusiasm (or lack
thereof) for performing such service to others, the numerous
New Testament references provide a rich picture of the
diversity in which service (ministry) may be carried
faithful service presupposes humility in the one who
serves. Diakoneo is used of Jesus himself as an
expression of his humiliation and giving up of himself
for others through suffering and death (Mt. 20:28; Mk.
10:45; Lk. 18:26). So used, the concept extends beyond
the limits of its former sphere of meaning. Jesus’s
humility, characterized by selfless sacrifice for others,
becomes the norm for the life of the disciples. Derived
from divine love, diakoneo becomes a term that
denotes loving action for one’s neighbor and describes
the outworking of true koinonia.25
summary, it has been shown that the first-century understanding
of “servant” (diakonos) refers to
voluntary, humble service for others that may be demonstrated
in numerous ways. In an even stronger sense, the term “slave” refers
to obligatory subjection to the will of the master and
absolute obedience to his commands. The slave’s
work could cover a wide range of activities, and the
status of the slave was completely dependent upon that
of the master. There were some benefits afforded to the
slave, namely, the master’s provision for his or
her needs and the potential to accumulate rewards.
the present text, Jesus instructs the disciples that
true greatness in God’s kingdom requires one to
be both a servant and a slave. Clearly, it was radical
for Jesus to define greatness in terms of servanthood.
Jewish free persons, like their Gentile counterparts,
would have considered slaves socially inferior.26 Fortunately,
both the Jewish sense of being God’s slaves and
the common Greco-Roman practice of self-sale into slavery
provided conceptual models for them to regard themselves
as having become “slaves” of Christ.27 Thus,
they would have some concept of a willing subjection
to the will and command of another.
concluded by declaring his example for them to follow: “Just
as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many” (20:28).
Jesus probably is alluding here to the suffering servant
of Isaiah 53, who offered His life on behalf of the many.
It is also a standard Jewish “how much more” (qalvahomer)
argument: If their master served, how much more ought
they to do so.28 Christ’s disciples are called
to follow His example of humility, service and self-sacrifice.29
light of Matthew 20:25-28, what can be said of servant
leadership today? Four application principles will be
highlighted from the preceding discussion. First, truly “great” ministry
must be marked by selflessness. One should not seek after
position or power, for the greatness of the kingdom is
reached only through service and self-sacrifice. This
is contrary to the prevailing leadership philosophies,
which encourage “working one’s way to the
top” and “striving after positions of power.” When
God places servants in positions of responsibility and
command, they must be careful not to abuse that power.
Rather, they must maintain an attitude of humble submission.
No matter what tasks the master asks them to perform,
there is no place for pride, for they are only doing
what is requested of them as God’s servant. They
must carry out their tasks in humble, self-sacrificing
service to others.
those truly in a servant’s position recognize that
their status is not based upon who they are or what they
do, but to whom they belong. They have no status of their
own but simply assume the status of their master. They
will not seek to gain status based upon any work performed,
or accomplishment. Rather, all credit and glory goes
to the master—Jesus Christ. Not needing to strive
for human recognition truly is the mark of a humble leader.
servants owe their masters exclusive and absolute obedience.
Whatever the master calls upon them to do they must be
willing to obey his command. A servant is conscious of
the fact that he has forfeited all rights to independence
and is in complete subjection to the will of the master.
In a society that promotes “personal rights,” willingness
to set aside one’s rights is a difficult but necessary
servants do not strive by their own efforts to provide
for their needs and amass great earthly possessions.
Rather, the servant relies on the provision of the master.
The master will always see that the servant has what
is needed to carry out his will. Servants recognize that
everything they have belongs to the master. In a day
of materialism, masked as striving after “financial
security,” a servant willingly foregoes the quest
for worldly treasures.
summary, it is clear that the request of James and John
reflects the distorted perspective of their society’s
leadership values, wherein the greatest good appears
to be that which serves the self by seeking honor, position,
glory and prestige. However, the kingdom brought by Jesus
defines greatness in leadership in an entirely opposite
way—in terms of servanthood. This way is foreign
to the world and to human nature, yet it is the way of
Jesus and it is thus to be the way of his disciples.
Christ’s disciples are to be marked by the humility
and servanthood that characterized Jesus.30
the New Testament may never have linked the words “servant” and “leader” together,
Jesus certainly did teach and model the concept. His
message was clear: The essence of true leadership is
servanthood—selfless commitment to serving God,
no matter what the cost, evidenced by a life of sacrificially
was the epitome of servant-leadership. Disregarding all
social conventions of his day, his life attested that
true greatness in God’s kingdom could not be measured
by natural human standards or by the standards of any
one society. He declared that greatness in ministry would
not be attained through striving after position and power
from society’s perspective. In contrast, leadership
that is considered great in God’s eyes, will be
achieved only in humble service to others.
this does not describe much of what passes under the
contemporary title of “servant” leadership
today. May believers hear the words of Jesus and be challenged: “I
have set you an example that you should do as I have
done for you” (Jn. 13:15). Indeed, may the words
of Philippians 2:7 become the prayer of Christ’s
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others. The message of Jesus
can be summed up well. “Your attitude should be
the same as that of Christ Jesus...who made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant...he humbled himself
and became obedient to death” (Phil. 2:7).
Servant Leadership Model: Nehemiah
example of Nehemiah is clear: He was actively involved
in projects from start to finish (Neh. 1-7). On behalf
of his people exiled in Babylon, he took it upon himself
to appeal to King Cyrus (Neh. 2:5). Nehemiah returned
to Jerusalem to rebuild the city walls and temple. Beginning
with prayer, he surveyed the state of affairs, developed
a plan and went straight to work. One of the distinctive
features of Nehemiah’s leadership was the way he
involved others. Nehemiah motivated people and then mobilized
them to carry out his plan. Everyone, from the high priest
to the goldsmiths and merchants, to the common citizens
got involved (Neh. 3:1-31).
the entire process, Nehemiah was a participatory leader.
He led his followers from a position alongside them,
rather than being out in front or trying to push them
from behind. Nehemiah 2:17 illustrates his participation: “Come,
let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no
longer be in disgrace.” What were the results of
Nehemiah’s leadership? The record is clear: “So
the wall was completed in just 52 days” (Neh. 6:15).
It was an enormous task, and they had little resources.
Nevertheless, under the leadership of Nehemiah, they
accomplished the “impossible.”
Servant Leadership Model: Barnabas
third ministry model is the complementary leadership
style of Barnabas. His original name was Joseph, but
the disciples it to Barnabas, which means “son
of encouragement” (Ac. 4:36). Barnabas spent much
of his ministry supporting others. Because he worked
with the Apostle Paul, who is a very dominant figure,
Barnabas often is overlooked in leadership studies. However,
from the example of Barnabas, we can learn an important
lesson in servant leadership: the ability of a leader
to serve alongside and support other leaders.
his relationship with Paul. Barnabas recognized the sincerity
of Paul’s conversion and was instrumental in launching
him into ministry. When the Jerusalem Christians were
skeptical, Barnabas believed in Paul, and appealed to
them to accept him (Ac. 9:27). Barnabas discipled Paul
in leadership (Acts 11-12), and his support paid off—Paul
became a great leader. Soon the roles were reversed,
and one of Barnabas’s primary ministry tasks was
to support Paul’s leadership. He spent much of
his ministry supporting Paul. They worked together well,
traveling on missionary journeys. In Antioch, they led
the church for a year. They had great results, teaching “great
numbers of people” (Ac. 11:26).
the same way, Barnabas recognized the leadership potential
in Mark and discipled him. He encouraged Paul to take
Mark with them on their first missionary journey. (Ac.
13:13f). Even though things did not work out, Barnabas
still believed in and encouraged Mark in ministry. He
gave Mark a second chance (Acts 15:38f). Again, Barnabas’s
encouragement paid off, and Mark too became a great leader
(Col 4:10; Philem. 24; 2 Tim 4:11).
many leaders are called to fill supporting roles alongside
leaders in more prominent ministry positions. We can
see from the example of Barnabas,how important this
can be. Every Paul needs a Barnabas. Undoubtedly, Barnabas
is a supreme example of servant leadership.
Bartchy, S.S. “Servant; Slave,” International
Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Edited by Geoffrey
W. Bromiley. Vol. 4. 2d ed. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing
__________. “Slavery.” The Anchor Bible
Dictionary. Edited by David N. Freeman. Vol. 6.
New York: Doubleday, 1992.
Beasley-Murray, George R. Word Biblical Commentary.
Edited by David A. Hubbard and
Glenn W. Barker. Vol. 36. Dallas: Word Books, Publisher,
Bell, Albert A. A Guide to the New Testament World.
Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1994.
Carson, D.A. The Expositor's Bible Commentary.
Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein. Vol. 8. Grand
Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981.
Faivre, Alexandre. The Emergence of the Laity in
the Early Church. Translated by David Smith.
New York: Paulist Press, 1990.
Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity.
2d ed. Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans
Publishing Company, 1993.
Garlan, Yvon. Slavery in Ancient Greece. Rev. ed. Translated
by Janet Lloyd. London: Cornell
University Press, 1988.
Hagner, Donald A. Word Biblical Commentary. Edited
by David A. Hubbard and Glenn W.
Barker. Vol. 33B. Dallas: Word Books, Publisher, 1995.
Hess, Klaus. “Diakoneo/Serve.” Dictionary
of New Testament Theology. Edited by Colin
Brown. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing
Holdridge, H. Paul. “Occupations and Professions;
Servant; Slave.” The New International Dictionary
of the Bible. Edited by J.D. Douglas and Merrill
C. Tenney. Grand Rapids:
Regency Reference Library, 1987.
Judge, E. A. “Slave, Slavery.” The Illustrated
Bible Dictionary. Edited by J. D. Douglas. Vol.
3. Leicester, England: InterVarsity Press, 1980.
Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary:
New Testament. Downer’s Grove,
IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993.
Lohse, Eduard. The New Testament Environments.
Translated by John E. Steely. Nashville,
TN: Abingdon Press, 1976.
MacMullen, Ramsay. Roman Social Relations: 50 B.C.
to A.D. 284. New Haven: Yale University
Matthews, Victor H. Manners and Customs in the Bible.
Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson
Matthews, Victor H, and Don C. Benjamin. Social World
of Ancient Israel:1250-587 BCE. Peabody,
Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1993.
Robbins, Vernon K. Jesus the Teacher: A Socio-Rhetorical
Interpretation of Mark. Philadelphia:
Fortress Press, 1984.
Tenney, Merrill C. The Expositor's Bible Commentary.
Edited by Frank E. Gaebelein. Vol.
9. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981.
Thurston, Bonnie. Spiritual Life in the Early Church:
The Witness of Acts and Ephesians. Minneapolis:
Augsburg Fortress Press, 1993.
Tidball, Derek. The Social Context of the New Testament:
A Sociological Analysis. Grand Rapids:
Academie Books, 1984.
Tuente, R. “Doulos/Slave.” Dictionary
of New Testament Theology. Edited by Colin Brown.
Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986.
Vogt, Joseph. Ancient Slavery and the Ideal of Man.
Translated by Thomas Wiedemann. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press, 1975.
Volz, Carl A. Pastoral Life and Practice in the Early
Church. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress
Weidemman, Thomas. Greek and Roman Slavery. Baltimore:
The John Hopkins University
White, L. Michael, and O. Larry Yarbrough, eds. The
Social World of the First Christians: Essays
in Honor of Wayne A. Meeks. Minneapolis: Augsburg
Fortress Press, 1995.
MacMullen, Roman Social Relations: 50 B.C.
to A.D. 284 (New Haven: Yale University Press,
S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary:
New Testament (Downer’s Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity
Press, 1993), 163.
A. Hagner, Word Biblical Commentary,
eds. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 33B (Dallas:
Word Books, 1995), 581.
Throughout the remainder of this paper, when the term “first
century” is used, it can
be assumed that the reference is to first century A.D.
Bartchy, “Slavery,” The Anchor
Bible Dictionary, ed. David N. Freeman, vol. 6
(New York: Doubleday, 1992), 66.
Bartchy highlights the central features that distinguish
first-century slavery from that later practiced in the
New World as follows: racial factors played no role;
education was greatly encouraged (some slaves were better
educated than their owners) and education enhanced a
value; many slaves carried out sensitive and highly responsible
social functions; slaves could own property (including
other slaves); their religious and cultural traditions
were the same as those of the freeborn; no laws prohibited
public assembly of slaves; and, perhaps above all, the
majority of urban and domestic slaves could legitimately
anticipate being emancipated by the age 30.
Bartchy, “Servant; Slave,” International
Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley,
vol. 4., 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing
Company, 1988), 420.
Tuente, “Doulos/Slave,” Dictionary
of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown, vol.
3 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House,
Gen. 17:1-13, 27; Ex. 12:44; 20:10; 23:12; Lev. 22:11;
Deut. 5:14; 12:12, 18; 16:11, 14.
11. Bartchy, “Servant;
Lohse, The New Testament Environments,
trans. John E. Steely (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press,
A. Bell, A Guide to the New Testament World (Scottdale,
PA: Herald Press, 1994), 195.
Ferguson, Backgrounds of Early Christianity,
2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
16. Bartchy, “Slavery,” 67.
Hess, “Diakoneo/Serve,” Dictionary
of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown, vol.
3 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House,
Jos. 14:7, 24:29; Judg. 2:18; 2 Ki. 17:23; Ps. 89:3,
105:42; Isa. 48:20; Dan. 3:5.
27. Bartchy, “Servant;
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