Servant - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ A-1,Noun,G1401, doulos ]
an adjective, signifying in bondage," Romans 6:19 (neuter plural, agreeing with mele, "members"), is used as a noun, and as the most common and general word for "servant," frequently indicating subjection without the idea of bondage; it is used
(a) of natural conditions, e.g., Matthew 8:9; 1 Corinthians 7:21-22 (1st part); Ephesians 6:5; Colossians 4:1; 1 Timothy 6:1; frequently in the four Gospels;
(b) metaphorically of spiritual, moral and ethical conditions: "servants"

(1) of God, e.g., Acts 16:17; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 2:16; Revelation 7:3; Revelation 15:3; the perfect example being Christ Himself, Philippians 2:7;

(2) of Christ, e.g., Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 7:22 (2nd part); Galatians 1:10; Ephesians 6:6; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 4:12; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1;

(3) of sin, John 8:34 (RV, "bondservants"); Romans 6:17, Romans 6:20;

(4) of corruption, 2 Peter 2:19 (RV, "bondservants"); cp. the verb douloo (See B). See BONDMAN.

[ A-2,Noun,G1249, diakonos ]
for which See DEACON and Note there on synonymous words, is translated "servant" or "servants" in Matthew 22:13 (RV marg., "ministers"); Matthew 23:11 (RV marg., ditto); Mark 9:35, AV (RV, "minister"); John 2:5, John 2:9; John 12:26; Romans 16:1.

[ A-3,Noun,G3816, pais ]
for which See CHILD, No. 4, also denotes "an attendant;" it is translated "servant"
(a) of natural conditions, in Matthew 8:6, Matthew 8:8, Matthew 8:13; Matthew 14:2; Luke 7:7 ("menservants" in Luke 12:45); Luke 15:26;
(b) of spiritual relation to God,

(1) of Israel, Luke 1:54;

(2) of David, Luke 1:69; Acts 4:25;

(3) of Christ, so declared by God the Father, Matthew 12:18; spoken of in prayer, Acts 4:27, Acts 4:30, RV (AV, "child"); the argument advanced by Dalman for the rendering "Child" in these passages, is not sufficiently valid as against the RV, "Servant" in Acts 4, and the AV and RV in Matt. 12 (cp., e.g., the use of pais in the Sept. of Genesis 41:38; Jeremiah 36:24). The Matt. 12 passage by direct quotation, and the Acts 4 passages by implication, refer to the ideal "Servant of Jehovah" (Sept., pais Kuriou), of Isaiah 42:1 and following passages, thus identifying the Servant with the Lord Jesus; for the same identification, cp. Acts 8:35.

[ A-4,Noun,G3610, oiketes ]
"a house servant" (oikeo, "to dwell," oikos, "a house"), is translated "servant" in Luke 16:13 (RV marg., "household servant"); so Romans 14:4; 1 Peter 2:18; in Acts 10:7, AV and RV, "household servants."

[ A-5,Noun,G5257, huperetes ]
for which See MINISTER, No. 3, and OFFICER, is translated "servants" in the AV of Matthew 26:58; Mark 14:65 (RV, "officers"); in John 18:36, AV and RV (RV, marg., "officers").

[ A-6,Noun,G2324, therapon ]
akin to therapeuo, "to serve, to heal, an attendant, servant," is a term of dignity and freedom, used of Moses in Hebrews 3:5.

[ A-7,Noun,G4889, sundoulos ]
"a fellow servant," is used
(a) of natural conditions, Matthew 18:28-Matthew 18:29, Matthew 18:31, Matthew 18:33; Matthew 24:49;
(b) of "servants" of the same Divine Lord, Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:7; Revelation 6:11; of angels, Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:9.

Note: For misthios and misthotos, See HIRED SERVANT.

[ B-1,Verb,G1402, douloo ]
"to enslave, to bring into bondage" (akin to A, No. 1), e.g., 1 Corinthians 9:19, RV, "I brought (myself) under bondage (to all)," AV, "I made myself servant," denotes in the Passive Voice, "to be brought into bondage, to become a slave or servant," rendered "ye became servants (of righteousness)" in Romans 6:18; "being ... become servants (to God)," Romans 6:22. See BONDAGE, B, No. 2.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words