In this version of Strong’s Concordance, the original meaning of the word is listed first, followed by what translators actually used. Reading the origin of the word gives a better feeling to the context in which it was applied.
diakonos: a servant, minister
Original Word: διάκονος, οῦ, ὁ, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine; Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (dee-ak’-on-os)
Short Definition: a waiter, servant, administrator
Definition: a waiter, servant; then of any one who performs any service, an administrator
1249 diákonos (from 1223 /diá, “thoroughly” and konis, “dust”) – properly, “thoroughly raise up dust by moving in a hurry, and so to minister” (WP, 1, 162); ministry (sacred service).
1249 /diákonos (“ministry”) in the NT usually refers to the Lord inspiring His servants to carry out His plan for His people – i.e. as His “minister” (like a deacon serving Him in a local church).
[A. T. Robertson, “1249 (diákonos) properly means ‘to kick up dust,’ as one running an errand.” 1249 (diákonos) is the root of the English terms, “diaconate, deacon.”
This root (diakon-) is “probably connected with the verb diōkō, ‘to hasten after, pursue‘ (perhaps originally said of a runner)” (Vine, Unger, White, NT, 147).
Definition: a servant, minister
NASB Word Usage: deacons (3), minister (7), servant (10), servants (9)
deacon, minister, servant.
Probably from an obsolete diako (to run on errands; compare dioko); an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specially, a Christian teacher and pastor (technically, a deacon or deaconess) — deacon, minister, servant.
So, servant = attendant = food waiter = minister = deacon.
episkopos: a superintendent, an overseer
Original Word: ἐπίσκοπος, ου, ὁ
Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
Phonetic Spelling: (ep-is’-kop-os)
Short Definition: overseer, supervisor, ruler
Definition: (used as an official title in civil life), overseer, supervisor, ruler, especially used with reference to the supervising function exercised by an elder or presbyter of a church or congregation.
1985 epískopos (a masculine noun, derived from 1909 /epí, “on/fitting contact,” which intensifies 4649 /skopós, “look intently,” like at an end-marker concluding a race) – properly, an overseer; a man called by God to literally “keep an eye on” His flock (the Church, the body of Christ), i.e. to provide personalized (first hand) care and protection (note the epi, “on“).
“Though in some contexts 1985 (epískopos) has been regarded traditionally as a position of authority, in reality the focus is upon the responsibility for caring for others” (L & N, 1, 35.40).
Word Origin: epi and skopos
Definition: a superintendent, an overseer
NASB Word Usage: guardian (1), overseer (2), overseers (2).
From epi and skopos (in the sense of episkopeo); a superintendent, i.e. Christian officer in genitive case charge of a (or the) church (literally or figuratively) — bishop, overseer.
Therefore, elder = bishop = pastor (shepherd) = presbyter = overseer = guardian.
This article has the same conclusion I found: Elders, Bishops, and Pastors
The question is why did the translators create all of these different words for only two positions? Was it to create more positions of clergy living off the masses? If I find anything new on this topic, I will post a new entry with a link to this one.
Jesus did not want a hierarchy for we are to be equal in Christ for we are His Body while He alone is the Head (Matthew 20:25-28, Matthew 23:8-11, Mark 9:35, Mark 10:42-45, Luke 22:25-27).
The structure of the early ecclesia was a bottom-up one (Matthew 18:15-17, Romans 12:3-5, 1 Timothy 5:19, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, 2 Corinthians 13:1), with serving leaders raising up others to be serving leaders (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 7:7, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 2 Corinthians 8:18, 1 Peter 4:10) and mature (perfect) in Christ (Matthew 5:48, Matthew 19:21, Hebrews 6:1-2, Ephesians 4:13, Colossians 1:28, Colossians 4:12, 1 Corinthians 2:6, 1 Corinthians 7:17, Philippians 3:12-15, James 1:4). Anything else is the pollution of man, period.