• Hebrew: rab, lord, teacher


In the Old Testament, the epithet rab denoted any eminent title of office, even the general of an army (Jeremiah 39). In the New Testament rabbi is the honorable title by which disciples addressed their Master. Thus Christ was usually addressed by His disciples and by the people. The epithet well expresses the character of the Redeemer; and therefore He calls Himself rab (Matthew 23). Nicodemus is also given this title by Christ (John 3). The Jewisk Scribes and Pharisees eagerly sought the honor of this appellation. Jesus admonishes His disciples against this vainglory (Matthew 23). In the Mishnan period the Jewish scholars were generally distinguished by the title rabbi. All the modern Jewish clergy are called rabbi.

MLA Citation

  • “rabbi”. New Catholic Dictionary. Saints.SQPN.com. 13 June 2010. Web. 26 December 2014. <http://saints.sqpn.com/rabbi/>