my master, a title of dignity given by the Jews to their doctors of the law and their distinguished teachers. It is sometimes applied to Christ (Mt 23:7-8; Mr 9:5 (R.V.); Joh 1:38,49; 3:2; 6:25, etc.); also to John (Joh 3:26).
("great.") Simeon (identified by some with him who took the infant Jesus in his arms: Lu 2:25 ff) son of Hillel, shortly before Christ, was the first doctor of the law with the title Rabban (higher than Rabbi), Rabbi (higher than Rab). The disciples applied it to Christ (Mr 9:5; 11:21; 14:45; Joh 1:38,50; 3:2; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8; 13:13). Christ's prohibition of the title to the disciples (Mt 23:7-8) is against using it in the spirit of exercising dominion over the faith of others. The triune God is the only "Father," "Master" (katheegeetes, guide, Ro 2:19; contrast Joh 16:13), "Teacher" (didaskalos Vaticanus manuscript Mt 23:8) in the highest sense; on Him alone can implicit trust be placed. All are "brethren " before Him, none by office or precedence nearer to God than another. Rabboni (Joh 20:16) is simply "Master," the -i final in John's translated not meaning "my", as it often does.
The transliteration of a Heb. word meaning my master. In Mt 23:7 it is referred to as 'the usual form of address with which the learned were greeted' (Dalman, Words of Jesus, p. 331); in the following verse it is regarded as synonymous with 'teacher.' John the Baptist is once called 'Rabbi' by his disciples (Joh 3:28). Elsewhere in the Gospels it is our Lord who is thus addressed: by His disciples (Mt 26:25,49; Mr 9:5; 11:21; 14:45; Joh 1:38,49; 4:31; 9:2; 11:8), by others (Joh 3:2; 6:25). Rabboni is the transliteration of the Aramaic form of the word; it occurs twice, namely in Mr 10:51 and Joh 20:16.
J. G. Tasker.
A title of respect among the Jews, signifying 'master, teacher,' but is not known to have been used till the time of Herod the Great. It was applied to the Lord, though often translated 'master' in the A.V. Mr 9:5; 11:21; 14:45; Joh 1:38,49; 3:2,26; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8. Jesus forbade the disciples being called Rabbi, for one was their Master (?????????), even Christ. Mt 23:8. According to the Jews the gradations of honour rose from Rab to Rabbi, and thence to Rabban or Rabboni.
a title of respect signifying master, teacher, given by the Jews to their doctors and teachers, and often addressed to our Lord.
Another form of the title was Rabboni.
The titles were used with different degrees of honor; the lowest being rab, master then rabbi, my master; next rabban, our master; and greatest of all, Rabboni, my great master.
RABBI. See RAB.