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Was Master Y'shua a Rabbi?

By Ben Ruach ha Kodesh (John of AllFaith) 8.5.2008

First, let's consider the meaning of the term rabbi in the Bible:

    Rhabbi (hrab-bee');
    Word Origin: Greek, Noun Masculine
    of Hebrew origin (07227) with pronominal suffix

    my great one, my honourable sir
    Rabbi, a title used by the Jews to address their teachers (and also honour them when not addressing them)

    KJV Word Count (Rhabbi #4461) Master (Christ) 9
    Rabbi (Christ) 5
    rabbi 3

The meaning of the word hasn't so much changed since then as it has been so often misused that the inaccurate meaning has been accepted as the real meaning. At what point does an inaccurate or altered meaning become the "real" meaning is the question I guess. Does "gay" still mean happy and carefree? By context its easy to tell how the word is being used, but "gay" does not mean homosexual. Rabbi, as a term, has a long established meaning.

As Strong's Concordance here says, "Rabbi, a title used by the Jews to address their teachers." Who are the Jew's teachers? They are those who place the Oral Torah above the Written Torah, as the quote I sent you before says.

Who are the Rabbis?

Rabbanites - A Jewish sect founded in the second century BCE that believes a second Torah was given orally on Mt. Sinai and that the Rabbis are the only legitimate interpreters of God's Law. Also called the Pharisees (Heb. Perushim, meaning those who cut themselves off). Source:

Not all Jews are Rabbanite but all Rabbis are. Qoheleth Y'shua (Y'shua the Preacher) rejected the Oral Torah and hence is not a Rabbi.

We the disciples wrong? No, but they were misinformed on a great many points.

The word 'rabbi' is used 7 time in the New Testament and only in Matthew and John.

  • MT 23:7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, RABBI, RABBI. [Not a reference to Y'shua]
  • MT 23:8 But be not ye called RABBI: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. [meaning do not seek to be honored as the Rabbis are honored for their great learning]
  • JOH 1:38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, RABBI, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? [They had just met Y'shua and were honor according to their understanding. A Jewish teacher, a rabbi]
  • JOH 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, RABBI, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. [This one is directed toward him as a term of respect but again very early in his ministry]
  • JOH 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, RABBI, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. [This is a leader of Rabbinical Judaism who is trying to reconcile his thoughts]
  • JOH 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, RABBI, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. [Again, this is very early on before the disciples would have learned Y'shua's views on the Oral Torah.
  • JOH 6:25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, RABBI, when camest thou hither? [these people didn't know him at all, only that he was some holy man]

None of these verses come from a person who, at the time spoken, understood the Master's teachings. But perhaps more importantly, in a first century Jewish setting as in our own today one could assume that an expert Jewish teacher was a Rabbi but not all expert Jewish teachers were or are. I sometimes gets e-mails from people who refer to me as "Father" because they visit one of my websites and assume I'm a Catholic priest.

Y'shua simply was not a Rabbinical Jew and therefore he was not a Rabbi.

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