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The English word minister originated from the same word in Latin meaning a servant, or one who acts under the authority of a master. In the modern world, minister has wide political (e.g. cabinet minister, finance minister, foreign minister, minister of defense etc. of a government administration) and religious usage, where God is the Master, the minister is the servant, and the church (the original meaning of which was called out ones, that is, the people - not a building or corporate entity) are those being served.

Sheep In Bible History, minister was also used governmentally (e.g. Moses or Joshua) and religiously (e.g. Aaron or Paul). It could mean the person (a minister), or the service (to minister).

To Serve

"These are the names of the sons of Aaron: Nadab the first-born, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar; these are the names of the sons of Aaron, the anointed priests, whom he ordained to minister in the priest's office." (Numbers 3:2-3 RSV) (see Levites)

"I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with Me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to Me." (Psalm 101:6 RSV)

"There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, who, when He was in Galilee, followed Him, and ministered to Him; and also many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem" (Mark 15:40-41 RSV)

"I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need" (Philippians 2:25 RSV)

A Servant

"After the death of Moses the servant of The Lord, The Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, "Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, to the people of Israel." (Joshua 1:1-2 RSV)

"And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship." (Acts 8:27 RSV)

"because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God." (Romans 15:15-17 RSV)

"If you put these instructions before the brethren, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the good doctrine which you have followed." (1 Timothy 4:6 RSV)

Fact Finder: Was Jesus Christ a minister ("servant") of God?
Mark 10:45, Hebrews 8:1-2

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