2. Jesus our Rabbi, Teacher, Prophet, and Word


Audio (29:26)

Carl Heinrich Bloch (Danish painter, 1834-1890), detail from 'Sermon on the Mount'
Carl Heinrich Bloch (Danish painter, 1834-1890), detail from 'Sermon on the Mount'

As people begin to encounter Jesus and his ministry, they try to put him in the various categories they have to describe people like him who are workers with words -- teacher, prophet. Of course, Jesus is more than any of these titles and categories. But he very much fits each of them -- and in a greater way than anyone could imagine at the time. In this lesson we'll consider Jesus titles and descriptors as they relate to his ministry of the Word of God.

Jesus the Rabbi

Jesus often attracts crowds through his miracles, and then teaches the multitudes who gather. He is widely seen as a teacher and even given the respected title of "rabbi," even by some of Jerusalem's elite, such as Nicodemus -- a member of the ruling Jerusalem Sanhedrin and considered a "teacher of Israel" in his own right (John 3:10).

"He came to Jesus at night and said, 'Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.'" (John 3:2)

"Rabbi," "teacher," and "master" are used synonymously in the New Testament.

"Rabbi" isn't really a word for the Jewish clergy of Jesus' time. Rhabbi (literally in Hebrew "my great one")[22] is used as a form of address: "lord, master." In Jesus' day it was particularly used as an honorary title for outstanding teachers of the law.[23] Jesus castigates the scribes and Pharisees for desiring to be called by such an exalted title: "They love ... being called rabbi by others" (Matthew 23:5-7). This title was extended to John the Baptist (John 3:26), but is mainly used in the New Testament to refer to Jesus. Twice Jesus is called "Rabboni," an alternate form of Rabbi, which means, "my lord, my master" (Mark 10:51; John 20:16).[24]

If "rabbi" is a form of address, "teacher" is more of a descriptor or functional title. "Teacher" (didaskalos), from the verb didaskō, "to teach," is used many times as a form of address in the Gospels. When didaskalos is used in addressing Jesus, it probably corresponds to the title "rabbi" (John 1:38b).[25] Once Jesus refers to himself as the kathēgētēs of his disciples, "teacher, guide" (Matthew 23:10; "teacher," NIV; "instructor," NRSV, ESV; "master," KJV).[26]

The term "master" is commonly used by the KJV to translate didaskalos.[27] This is more a British usage than American English. In the British educational system, scholars are sometimes referred to as "master" (for example, "headmaster" or "master of arts"). Only rarely do modern translations use "master" with a teaching context (Matthew 23:8, NIV). Rather, they reserve the term "master" (kyrios, "lord, owner") for a master-servant relationship, which we'll consider in Lesson 5. Several times in Luke's Gospel, Jesus is called "master," epistatēs, an administrative technical term used for various officials (Luke 5:5; 8:24, 45; 9:33, 49; 17;13).[28]

All these words were used synonymously in the Gospels to reflect the kind of teaching conducted by a rabbi with his students or disciples.

A Rabbi and His Disciples

In Jesus' day there were no seminaries, institutions where students could prepare to be teachers themselves. Rather, a leading rabbi would gather around him disciples or students, who would literally follow him wherever he went, listening to him, follow his teaching, imitate him, and help him with his work. We see this pattern reflected in the Gospels. For example, Jesus said,

"A disciple is not above his teacher.... It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher...." (Matthew 10:24-25, ESV)

The word "disciple" (mathētēs) means literally, "learner, pupil." In the Gospels it usually refers to "one who is rather constantly associated with someone who has a pedagogical reputation or a particular set of views, disciple, adherent."[29] It is not by accident that Jesus carefully chose twelve men to train to be apostles or "sent ones." Many people followed him, but these twelve were appointed "that they might be with him" (Mark 3:14). Jesus and his band of twelve, of course, were joined by other close associates, some of whom provided for his mission financially (Luke 8:1-3). But when Jesus moved, he travelled with an entourage that included these twelve.

I recently read the autobiography of a famous old country music star. The singer talks about believing in Jesus, loving the old hymns, and being raised by a godly grandmother. The last chapter finds him meditating in the quiet of the old Methodist Church in his hometown. The big disconnect, however, is that the singer never acknowledges trying to conform his behavior to Jesus' teaching. While he admits the damage done by his hard drinking and womanizing, he never express repentance or sees his behavior in the category of sin. By his own claim, this singer is a believer. But I wonder if a person could find evidence that would qualify him as a disciple?

And that's the question for each of us. Are you a disciple of Jesus? Am I? What are the marks of a disciple in the twenty-first century? I suppose disciples today would serve Jesus by participating in his mission, constantly seeking to spend time with him, attempting to resist temptation, asking forgiveness when they sin, and listening carefully to Jesus' teaching so they might internalize it.

I think of the familiar scene of Jesus in Mary and Martha's home in Bethany.

"[Martha] had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said."

When Martha criticizes her sister for not helping with the preparations for the meal, Jesus gives Martha a mild rebuke.

"Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:39, 42).

So often we are busy rather than devoted; engaged in good works rather than basking in Jesus' presence. He is our Rabbi, our Teacher, our Master, our Guide, and as such, he deserves our full and constant attention.

Jesus calls us to obey him as disciples. In the Upper Room, Jesus exhorts the Twelve as Teacher/Rabbi and Lord (kyrios), the one who has a right to command (which we'll consider further in Lesson 5):

"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." (John 13:13-15)

Q1. What is your relationship to Jesus as your Rabbi? How often do you come to him to teach you? How do you receive his teaching? How teachable do you think you are?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1601-q1-jesus-your-rabbi/

Jesus the Prophet

Another term that people used to describe Jesus was "prophet."

"When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, 'Who is this?'
The crowds answered, 'This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.'"(Matthew 21:10-11)

Prophētēs refers to "a person inspired to proclaim or reveal divine will or purpose, prophet."[30] True prophets even had the power to rebuke kings, as Nathan did to King David (1 Samuel 12:1-15).

The nation of Israel had a long history of prophets (beginning with Moses) who serve as leaders, as spokesmen for God, and occasionally predictors of the future. Some of the more famous are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. There are also twelve "minor prophets" in the Old Testament canon, which meant that their writings were relatively short, not that they were of lesser importance.

Jesus had been preceded by his cousin John the Baptist, who was widely seen by the people (if not the Jerusalem leaders) as a true prophet of God (Matthew 21:26; Luke 7:28). After John had been imprisoned and beheaded, people see Jesus as following in John's tradition (which he surely does). Exactly which prophet Jesus represented isn't as clear:

 "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." (Matthew 16:14)

The Prophets Elijah and Elisha are famous for their miracles. People probably see Jesus as a prophet because he speaks authoritatively from God, performs miracles, and calls people to repentance and to righteousness.

"They were all filled with awe and praised God. 'A great prophet has appeared among us,' they said. 'God has come to help his people.'" (Luke 7:16)

"He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people." (Luke 24:19)

Jesus is widely perceived throughout Israel to be a prophet (John 4:19; 9:17).

But not just any prophet. Many see Jesus as the prophet whom Moses had foretold hundreds of years before.

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him.... I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him." (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18)

Many people wonder if Jesus is indeed just this prophet:

"After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, 'Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.'" (John 6:14; cf. 1:21)

"On hearing his words, some of the people said, 'Surely this man is the Prophet.'" (John 7:40)

Sometimes people distinguish between prophets as "foretellers" and "forthtellers." Old Testament prophets were "forthtellers," that is, proclaiming God's Word and calling to account the corruption of Israel's kings, priests, and people. It is fair to say that Jesus was such a truth-teller to his generation. He is a greater prophet than Jonah -- "one greater than Jonah" -- who brought Nineveh to repentance (Matthew 12:41; Luke 11:32). But he was also a "foreteller," one who told his disciples what the future held. For example, he proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God, told in advance of his own death and resurrection, and gave a rather detailed account of the Last Days. It would be fair to say that Jesus was God's Prophet par excellence. But there is a reason for this.

Jesus Is the Word, the Logos

So far we've examined Jesus' use of words such as rabbi, teacher, and prophet. This shouldn't surprise us, because at the very outset of his Gospel, the Apostle John reveals him as the Word, the Logos of God.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:1-2, 14)

"Word" is the extremely common Greek noun logos, "word," a communication by which the mind finds utterance. It can have a wide range of meanings, depending on the context, such as "statement, assertion, message, declaration." Another use is as "computation, reckoning." But the use in John 1:1 is unique. Here logos is "the independent personified expression of God."[31] You see hints of this in other Johannine books as well (1 John 1:1; Revelation 19:3).

Jehovah Witnesses, who deny the concept of the Trinity,[32] have mistranslated John 1:1 to conform to their doctrine that Jesus is not Jehovah or God himself, but a created being -- divine, yes, but lesser than Jehovah.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." (John 1:1, New World Translation, 1950)

The Jehovah's Witness translators added the indefinite article "a" to indicate that Jesus was a divine being, one among other divine beings. The problem with their translation is that there is no indefinite article in the Greek text or suggested by Greek grammar -- they've added it![33]

It is quite clear, however, that the Apostle John sees Jesus as fully divine -- on the same level of divinity as the Father!

Logos

John's usage of logos most likely draws on a Jewish background, in particular, as the prophetic word of God that came to prophets in the Old Testament -- the Word that accomplishes God's work (Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 55:11).[34] Up to this time, the Word was abstract. Now, in Jesus, it is concrete.

Jesus is the exact expression of God's word and will, thus he is God's Word personified. In Jesus, God expresses himself with complete clarity:

[He] "speaks the words of God...." (John 3:34)

"My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me." (John 7:16)

 "The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father...." (John 14:10)

"These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:24)

"I have given them your word and the world has hated them...." (John 17:14)

John 1:1 is saying that Jesus in the flesh is the very Expression of God Himself, and that this Jesus IS God himself -- a very bold statement indeed, with which to begin John's Gospel.

Two similar titles are found in John's writings.

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched -- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." (1 John 1:1)

 "He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God." (Revelation 19:13)

When Jesus speaks, they are not just his words. They are the Father's words. Jesus is God in the flesh, the Word. This explains his communication as Teacher, Rabbi, Master, and Prophet.

Q2. (John 1:1-3, 14) In what sense is Jesus the Word of God? Why do you think he is called this? Why does John call him the Word of Life (1 John 1:1)? What does this say to us about the importance of hearing, meditating on, and internalizing Jesus' words?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1602-q2-jesus-the-word/

Jesus Is the Faithful and True Witness

Because Jesus is a faithful teacher, Jesus is also the Faithful Witness to the Father and the Father's words. John introduces him as:

"Jesus Christ the faithful witness...." (Revelation 1:5a)

Then John attests that what he has written is not his own, but the words of Jesus.

"These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness...." (Revelation 3:14b)

"Amen" is a transliteration of the Hebrew word ʾāmēn, "verily, truly, amen." The Hebrew word expresses a certain affirmation in response to what has been said. It is used after the pronouncement of solemn curses and after prayers and hymns of praise. It comes from the root ʾāman, "to confirm, support, uphold; to be established, be faithful; to be certain."[35] Thus in our text amēn indicates a strong affirmation of what is stated. Thus Christ is the ultimate affirmation, the Amen.[36]

"Faithful" is a very similar concept. The word is pistos, "pertaining to being worthy of belief or trust, trustworthy, faithful, dependable, inspiring trust/faith."[37] Jesus is the Faithful One because he always keeps his word and can be trusted.

"True" also points to trustworthiness. Alēthinos means "pertaining to being in accord with what is true, true, trustworthy" as well as "pertaining to being real, genuine, authentic."[38]

Finally, "witness" martys, basically means, "one who testifies in legal matters, witness." Then, in a transferred sense, "one who affirms or attests, testifier, witness." Finally, the word refers to someone, like our "martyr," who testifies at the cost of his life.[39] Certainly, Jesus' witness to the Father cost him his life. In bearing the Father's words, Jesus is faithful, that is dependable and trustworthy to communicate the Father's words accurately. After all, he is the Word (John 1:1). He is also true, the genuine article, the Son of God himself. And he is the ultimate witness.

In Isaiah's messianic prophecy we see Messiah as a Witness to the Peoples.

"I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness[40] to the peoples,
a leader and commander of the peoples." (Isaiah 55:3-4)

The final instance of the title in Revelation is where the Warrior Christ appears astride a battle steed to defeat evil in a final battle.

"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war." (Revelation 19:11)

Q3. (Revelation 3:14) Why is Jesus called the "true and faithful witness"? What did he witness to? How was he faithful in his witness? As a disciple, to what degree are you a "true and faithful witness" to the Word that your Rabbi has taught and has done in your life? What would it look like if you improved as a witness?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1603-q3-faithful-witness/

Jesus is the Truth

Jesus is the Word of God, the very Expression of God himself. He is also the Truth. Jesus gave to his disciples a saying that includes three titles.

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

(We'll look at Jesus the Truth here, Jesus the Way in Lesson 8, and Jesus the Life in Lesson 9.)

Especially in John's Gospel, alētheia, "truth," carries the idea of "authenticity, divine reality, revelation."[41] When the so-called "reality" of this dark world system is confronted with the intense Light of truth and revelation, God's reality, there is dissonance. And it is God's reality that prevails and gives freedom. Jesus, who is "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14, 18), is the embodiment of what is true in this world and the next. His words are true, and therefore must be believed and obeyed. Jesus says,

"If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)

When we embrace distortions and outright lies about the meaning of life, we lose freedom. Only when we conform our lives to Jesus' true reality, can we be truly free. When Jesus says, "I am ... the truth," it is a powerful, exclusive statement.

In our day, we have largely displaced Jesus' teachings with political correctness, the wisdom of our commercialized world, street smarts, and lessons from the "school of hard knocks." But Jesus is the Truth; his Word is Truth; he speaks to us the words of the Father. His truth, his reality, gives us freedom from slavery to the Lie.

Jesus Is the Wisdom of God

This is probably a good place to include another title related to Truth -- Wisdom.

"To those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:24)

Some see Christianity as weak, but Paul sees Christ as the power (dynamis) of God. Certainly this was demonstrated by his miracles, as well as by his resurrection from the dead. In the context of this passage, Paul is contrasting the wisdom of the Greek philosophers and the world's way of life with the message of the cross. In Paul's world -- as ours -- the cross was and is seen as foolishness. What is this? -- Jesus dying for our sins as a sacrifice before God? Paul reminds us:

"The foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (1 Corinthians 1:25)

Do we want true wisdom? Wisdom that will stand the test of time and eternity? Then we must find it in Jesus and his way, in contrast to man's so-called wisdom that is "earthly, unspiritual, demonic" (James 3:15).

"But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." (James 3:17)

Jesus and Lady Wisdom of Proverbs 8

In John 1, the Word, the Logos creates the world:

"He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things were made;
without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:2-3)

Some see hints of this in the personified Lady Wisdom of Proverbs 8, though no solid connection can be established between the two.

"The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning,
before the world began....

I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep....
Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence." (Proverbs 8:22-23, 27-28, 30)

Though Jesus is not the same person as Lady Wisdom of Proverbs 8, Jesus does connect with the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, as well as its prophetic tradition. To a "wicked and adulterous generation" people who will not heed his words, Jesus compares his teaching to the Queen of Sheba's reverence for the wisdom of Solomon.

"The Queen of the South ... came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon's wisdom, and now one greater than Solomon is here." (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31)

(We can probably see "One Greater than Solomon" as a descriptor.)

Q4. (John 4:16; 1 Corinthians 1:24) How does Jesus' truth contrast with your culture's dearly held "truths"? How does Jesus' wisdom differ from the worldly wisdom that your culture teaches you? What would help you hold on to Jesus' truth and wisdom more effectively?
http://www.joyfulheart.com/forums/topic/1604-q4-jesus-wisdom-and-truth/

Wonderful Counselor

We've seen Jesus in the roles of Teacher, Prophet, Word, and Witness. Here is another title related to the spoken word.

In one of Isaiah's messianic prophecies, Jesus is called "Wonderful Counselor" (Isaiah 9:6). "Counselor" is ʿaṣ, "advise, counsel, purpose, devise, plan." In Isaiah 11:2 it says that the "Spirit of counsel" will rest upon the Messiah. Thus, "the child who is to come, on whose shoulders the government of the world shall rest, is one whose plans, purposes, designs and decrees for his people are marvelous."[42] Do you lack wisdom? Jesus, through his Holy Spirit, is the Counselor, the one who will guide you -- if you let him. John implies that Jesus is the disciples' Counselor, because he refers to the Holy Spirit as "another counselor" (John 14:16).

Names and Titles of Jesus: A Discipleship Study, by Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
Also in paperback, PDF, and Kindle

"Counselor" is used in John's Gospel as a title of the Holy Spirit four times (John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7). The word, sometimes translated "Comforter" (KJV), "Advocate" (NRSV), and "Helper" (ESV), is paraklētos, generally, "one who is called to someone's aid" from para-, "alongside or motion to the side of" + kaleō, "to call." ... one who appears in another's behalf, mediator, intercessor, helper."[43] As we'll see in Lesson 3, Jesus is also our Advocate (paraklētos) with the Father (1 John 2:1, ESV), and the Consolation (paraklēsis) of Israel (Luke 2:25), based on similar Greek words.

Prayer

Father, thank you for Jesus' faithfulness to You and to your Words. He was and is your Word, though they killed him for it. Help us to hold to your Word, to your Wisdom, and to your Truth with the same tenacity as Jesus our Lord. In his holy name, we pray. Amen.

Names and Titles of Jesus

  • Rabbi (John 3:2)
  • Rabonni (Mark 10:51; John 20:16)
  • Teacher (often)
  • Instructor (Matthew 23:10)
  • Master (epistatēs, Luke 5:5; 8:24, 45; 9:33, 49; 17;13)
  • Master (KJV, often, in the sense of honored teacher)
  • Prophet (Matthew 21:11; Luke 7:16; 24:19; John 6:14; 7:40; cf. John 4:19; 9:17)
  • One Greater than Jonah (Matthew 12:41; Luke 11:32)
  • Word, Logos (John 1:1-2, 14)
  • Word of Life (1 John 1:1)
  • Word of God (Revelation 19:13)
  • Faithful Witness (Revelation 1:5a)
  • Amen (Revelation 3:14b)
  • Faithful and True Witness (Revelation 3:14b)
  • Witness to the Peoples (Isaiah 55:4)
  • Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11)
  • Truth (John 14:6)
  • Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24)
  • Power of God (1 Corinthians 1:24)
  • One Greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:42; Luke 11:31)
  • Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
  • Counselor (John 14:16, by implication)

Songs and Hymns

Songs for this lesson include key titles that center around Jesus' oral ministry, such as: Rabbi, Teacher, Master, Prophet, Word, and Wonderful Counselor.

  • "Be Thou My Vision" ("and Thou my true Word"), words attributed to Dallan Forgaill, translated from Gallic to English by Mary E. Byrne (1905), versed by Eleanor H. Hull (1912); music: Slane, Irish folk origin.
  • "Blessed Be the Name" ("Redeemer, Savior, friend of man ... Counselor ... Prince of Peace"), words: William H. Clark, music: Ralph E. Hudson (1888)
  • "Breathe" ("Your very Word spoken to me"), by Marie Barnett (© 1995, Mercy/Vineyard Publishing)
  • "Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (Wisdom from on high"), words: 12th century; music: 15th century
  • "He Leadeth Me, O Blessed Thought," by Joseph Henry Gilmore and William Batchelder Bradbury
  • "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus" ("no turning back")
  • "I Will Follow," by Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, and Reuben Morgan (© 2010 SHOUT! Music Publishing)
  • "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" by Carrie E. Rounsefell, Charles Edward Prior, and Mary Brown.
  • "Jesus, Name Above All Names" ("Beautiful Savior, Glorious Lord, Emmanuel, God with Us, Blessed Redeemer, Living Word" by Naida Hearn (1974, 1978 Scripture In Song)
  • "O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee," words: Washington Gladden (1789), Music: Maryton, H. Percy Smith (1874)
  • "O Word of God Incarnate," words: William W. Howe (1867), music: Felix Mendelssohn (1847)
  • "The Word," by Michael Card (© 1988 Birdwing Music)
  • "Thy Word Is a Lamp unto My Feet," by Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith (© 1984, Word Music)
  • "Trust and Obey," words: John H. Sammis (1887), music: Daniel B. Towner
  • "What Child Is This" ("The silent Word is pleading"), words: William Chatterton Dix (1865), music: Greensleeves (16th century English melody)
  • "Wonderful Counselor," by Brandon Seibert, James Mark Gulley, Stephen Gulley, Thomas Wilson (© 2013 Clear Day Praise)
  • "Wonderful Counselor," by John Michael Talbot (© 1980 Universal Music - Brentwood Benson Publishing)
  • "Wonderful Words of Life," words and music: Philip P. Bliss (1874)
  • "Your Name," by Paul Baloche and Glenn Packiam (© 2006 Integrity Worship Music )

Exercises

From Appendix 6. Exercises to Help You Internalize the Names of Jesus, select some activities that will help you internalize the truths of this lesson's names, titles, descriptors, and metaphors. This week, how can you creatively pray, meditate, write, worship, consider, draw or paint, compose, picture, and live out these truths in your community?

Actively participating in these ways will help you grow to be like Christ.

Endnotes

[22] Hebrew rābab means "to be(come) many, much." A rab was a "captain, chief" (Rābab, TWOT #2099). "The term ra denotes one who holds a respected position, e.g., an official. It is used by an inferior to a superior.... The use for teachers goes back to the second century BC. Students follow their teachers with respectful obedience. When qualified to teach, they themselves are given the title, which the people as a whole also uses. It occurs on many inscriptions from Palestine, Syria, Cyprus, and Italy." (E. Lohse, rhabbi, rhabbouni, TDNT 961-65).

[23] Rhabbi, BDAG 90.

[24] Rhabboni, BDAG 90.

[25] Didaskalos, BDAG 24.

[26] Kathēgētēs (BDAG 49; Thayer 31) is from kathēgeomai, "to go before, lead").

[27] For example, Matthew 8:19; 9:11; 12:38; 19:16; 17:24; 19:16; 22:16, 24, 36; 23:8; 26:18; etc.

[28] Epistatēs, BDAG 38.

[29] Mathētēs, BDAG 60, 2b.

[30] Prophētēs, BDAG 890, 1c; G. Friedrich, TDNT 6:828--861.

[31] Logos, BDAG 601, 3.

[32] For more on the doctrine of the Trinity, see my article, "Four Reasons Why I Believe in the Trinity," http://www.joyfulheart.com/scholar/trinity.htm

[33] The Greek grammar here gets very technical. For more information, consult a critical commentary. See, for example, Bruce M. Metzger, "On the Translation of John 1:1," Expository Times, LXIII (1951-52), 125 f., But suffice it to say, the Jehovah's Witness translation breaks the well-established rules of Greek grammar, because, when properly translated, John 1:1 indicates something that their doctrine denies -- that Jesus is God at the same level as the Father.

[34] In Platonic and neo-Platonic philosophy logos is the all-pervading Reason that gives form to and governs the universe. The term was also used in Hellenistic circles, in particular by Philo, a first-century Jewish philosopher. Philo uses logos as the word by which God created the world and as a mediator between the ideal and real worlds. There is much written on this subject summarized in general articles: Paul A. Rainbow, "Logos Christianity," DLNT, pp. 665-667; D.H. Johnson, "Logos," DJG, pp. 481-484; Raymond E. Brown, "Appendix II: The 'Word,'" The Gospel According to John (Doubleday, 1966), vol. 1, pp. 519-524; George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Eerdmans, 1974), pp. 237-242.

[35] Jack B. Scott, ʾāman, TWOT #116c.

[36] Amēn, BDAG 53.

[37] Pistos, BDAG 820, 1.

[38] Alēthinos, BDAG 43, 1 and 3.

[39] Martys, BDAG 620.

[40] "Witness" is ʿēd, derived from the root ʿûd meaning return or "repeat, do again." The semantic development apparently is that a witness is one, who by reiteration, emphatically affirms his testimony (Carl Schultz, ʿûd, TWOT #1576b).

[41] Rudolf Bultmann, alētheia, TDNT 1:245.

[42] Paul R. Gilchrist, ʿaṣ, TWOT #887.

[43] Paraklētos, BDAG 76.


Copyright © 1985-2017, Ralph F. Wilson. <pastor@joyfulheart.com> All rights reserved. A single copy of this article is free. Do not put this on a website. See legal, copyright, and reprint information.

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