But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’
I really don’t want to offend anyone but I am going to make this statement. I want to get this out there so that I can help someone and prevent them from falling into this trap.
Scripture says plainly that they shut up the kingdom of heaven. Who are they you might ask? Let’s look at the following scripture in context:-
“Then Yahusha addressed the crowds and his talmidim: “The Torah-teachers and the P’rushim,” he said, “sit in the seat of Moshe. So whatever they tell you, take care to do it. But don’t do what they do, because they talk but don’t act! They tie heavy loads onto people’s shoulders but won’t lift a finger to help carry them. Everything they do is done to be seen by others; for they make their t’fillin broad and their tzitziyot long, they love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and they love being greeted deferentially in the marketplaces and being called ‘Rabbi.’ “But you are not to let yourselves be called ‘Rabbi’; because you have one Rabbi, and you are all each other’s brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘Father.’ because you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to let yourselves be called ‘leaders’, because you have one Leader, and he is the Messiah! The greatest among you must be your servant, for whoever promotes himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be promoted. “But woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! For you are shutting the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces, neither entering yourselves nor allowing those who wish to enter to do so. Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You go about over land and sea to make one proselyte; and when you succeed, you make him twice as fit for Gei-Hinnom as you are! “Woe to you, you blind guides! You say, ‘If someone swears by the Temple, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the gold in the Temple, he is bound.’ You blind fools! Which is more important? the gold? or the Temple which makes the gold holy? And you say, ‘If someone swears by the altar, he is not bound by his oath; but if he swears by the offering on the altar, he is bound.’ Blind men! Which is more important? the sacrifice? or the altar which makes the sacrifice holy? So someone who swears by the altar swears by it and everything on it. And someone who swears by the Temple swears by it and the One who lives in it. And someone who swears by heaven swears by YaHuWaH’s throne and the One who sits on it.” Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:1-13, 15-22
We have so many people that are coming into the truth of Torah and with them come the hordes of wolves to take them down the path of Judaism.
The modern lawless ‘church’ interprets all of scripture through the eyes of Sha’ul/Paul and we cannot make that same mistake by interpreting all of scripture by using the Talmud, traditions and Judaism.
It is the simplicity of obeying the simple instructions of Torah without religious glasses on that draws us to want to obey YaHuWaH’s instructions.
Many believers have found their identity in Yahusha haMashiach but unfortunately some have found teachers that adhere to rabbinic principles as well as Torah.
Yahusha’s words were very clear and simple. He made it easy to understand.
He said, “Are My Commandments too hard that you cannot understand them?”
We do not need someone to come and tell us how everything is supposed to be done. How we are to understand scripture. It is simple.
“Come to me, all of you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Mattithyahu/Matthew 11:28-30
Yahusha haMashiach very simply stated:-
“But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi,’ for One is your Teacher, the Messiah, and you are all brothers.” Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:8
Many prominent Torah-teachers teach and explain their way around this. They ignore the clear and simple warning of Yahusha haMashiach.
The basic form of the Rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism’s written and oral laws. The first sage for whom the Mishna uses the title of Rabbi was Yohanan Ben Zakkai, active in the early to mid first century CE. (Morh Siebeck, pp 64)
RABBI is a religious title that does not appear in the Hebrew scriptures at all.
The Hebrew word “master” רב rav [ˈʀäv], (irregular plural רבנים rabanim [ʀäbäˈnim]), which literally means “great one”, is the original Hebrew form of the title. The form of the title in English and many other languages derives from the possessive form in Hebrew of rav: רַבִּי rabbi [ˈʀäbbi], meaning “My Master”, which is the way a student would address a master of Torah. The word ‘Rav’ in turn derives from the Semitic root ר-ב-ב (R-B-B), which in biblical Aramaic means “great” in many senses, including “revered”, but appears primarily as a prefix in construct forms. Although the usage rabbim “many” (as 1 Kings 18:25, הָרַבִּים) “the majority, the multitude” occurs for the assembly of the community in the Dead Sea scrolls there is no evidence to support an association with the later title “Rabbi.” The root is cognate to Arabic ربّ rabb, meaning “lord” (generally used when talking about God, but also about temporal lords). As a sign of great respect, some great rabbis are simply called “The Rav”.
Rabbi is not an occupation found in the Hebrew Bible, and ancient generations did not employ related titles such as Rabban, Ribbi, or Rab to describe either the Babylonian sages or the sages in Israel. The titles “Rabban” and “Rabbi” are first mentioned in the Mishnah (c. 200 CE). The term was first used for Rabban Gamaliel the elder, Rabban Simeon his son, and Rabban Johanan ben Zakkai, all of whom were patriarchs or presidents of the Sanhedrin in the first century. The title “Rabbi” occurs (in Greek transliteration ῥαββί rhabbi) in the books of Matthew, Mark, and John in the New Testament, where it is used in reference to “Scribes and Pharisees” as well as to Yahusha.
Definition of rabban
plural rabbanim \rəˈbänə̇m, ˌräbəˈnēm: teacher, master —used as a Jewish title of honor for the presidents of the Sanhedrin
In Judaism, a Rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רַבִּי rabi, meaning “My Master”, which is the way a student would address a master of Torah. The word “master” רב rav literally means “great one”. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism’s written and oral laws. In more recent centuries, the duties of the rabbi became increasingly influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title “pulpit rabbis”, and in 19th century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, and representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance.
If you truly fear YaHuWaH you would not allow anyone to call you Rabbi or call anyone a Rabbi.
I believe there are some who are called by this term and call themselves Rabbi who need to make Teshuva and repent.
A lot of people will use the next verse to discredit and minimize Yahusha’s words:-
“And do not call anyone on earth your father, for One is your Father, He who is in the heavens.” Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:9
Question – Shall I not call my earthly dad ‘Father’?
Answer – In context, the above scripture is not talking about your earthly father. Yahusha was dealing with the religious leaders in the Sanhedrin who ruled the people with their Talmudic law and burdensome traditions.
The Greek version of Ab/Av is:-
Apparently a primary word; a “father” (literally or figuratively, near or more remote): – father, parent.
Thayer Definition of Ab/Av is:-
1) one advanced in years, a senior
2) the authors of a family or society of persons animated by the same spirit as himself
3) one who has infused his own spirit into others, who actuates and governs their minds
4) a title of honour
5) teachers, as those to whom pupils trace back the knowledge and training they have received
6) the members of the Sanhedrin, whose prerogative it was by virtue of the wisdom and experience in which they excelled, to take charge of the interests of others
The Hebrew version of Ab/Av is:-
The av beit din (Hebrew: אָב בֵּית דִּין ʾabh bêth dîn, “chief of the court” or “chief justice“, also spelled av beis din or abh beth din and abbreviated ABD (אב״ד), was the second-highest-ranking member of the Sanhedrin during the Second Temple period, and served as an assistant to the Nasi (Prince). The Av Beit Din was known as the “Master of the Court“.
Ab or Av (Ab related to Akkadian abu), sometimes Aba or Abba, means ‘father’ in most Semitic languages.
They were judges of the law and they held a place of honor in Rabbinical Judaism and they were called ‘father’. Men of authority in Rabbinical Judaism.
THIS IS WHAT YAHUSHA WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN HE SAID NOT TO CALL ANYONE ‘FATHER’. IT WAS THE ONES WHO WERE HAVING OTHERS CALL THEM ‘FATHER’ WHO WERE MEN OF AUTHORITY, AUTHORITY IN TRADITIONS AND JUDAISM.
We also see this today in modern times being used for the chief Rabbis and Priests in the Roman Catholic Church. So, context is everything and people that use Mattithyahu/Matthew 23:9 as a scapegoat should know this. If they are being called Rabbi they should know what their second in command to the prince of the Sanhedrin is called.
There is more going on than just a deceived person when a proclaimed Rabbi defends being called a Rabbi. I urge everyone to look into this and not be deceived.