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Matthew 23:8

    Matthew 23:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    But be not you called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all you are brothers.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But you may not be named Teacher: for one is your teacher, and you are all brothers.

    Webster's Revision

    But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren.

    World English Bible

    But don't you be called 'Rabbi,' for one is your teacher, the Christ, and all of you are brothers.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren.

    Definitions for Matthew 23:8

    Rabbi - Teacher; master.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 23:8

    But be not ye called Rabbi - As our Lord probably spoke in Hebrew, the latter word rabbi, in this verse, must have been in the plural; but as the contracted form of the plural sounds almost exactly like the singular, the Greek writer would naturally express them both in the same letters.

    None of the prophets had ever received this title, nor any of the Jewish doctors before the time of Hillel and Shammai, which was about the time of our Lord; and, as disputes on several subjects had run high between these two schools, the people were of course divided; some acknowledging Hillel as rabbi, - infallible teacher, and others giving this title to Shammai. The Pharisees, who always sought the honor that comes from men, assumed the title, and got their followers to address them by it. See on Matthew 19:3 (note).

    One is your Master - Instead of καθηγητης, guide or leader, (the common reading here, and which occurs in Matthew 23:10), the famous Vatican MS., upwards of fifty others, and most of the ancient versions, read διδασκαλος, master. The most eminent critics approve of this reading and, independently of the very respectable authority by which it is supported, it is evident that this reading is more consistent with the context than the other, - Be not ye called Masters, for one is your Master.

    Even Christ - Griesbach has left this out of the text, because it is wanting in many of the most excellent MSS., versions, and fathers. Mill and Bengel approve of the omission. It might have been brought into this verse from Matthew 23:10. Our Lord probably alludes to Isaiah 54:13, All thy children shall be taught of the Lord.

    Ye are brethren - No one among you is higher than another, or can possibly have from me any jurisdiction over the rest. Ye are, in this respect, perfectly equal.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 23:8

    Be not ye ... - Jesus forbade his disciples to seek such titles of distinction. The reason which he gave was that he was himself their Master and Teacher, They were on a level; they were to be equal in authority; they were brethren; and they should neither covet nor receive a title which implied either an elevation of one above another, or which appeared to infringe on the absolute right of the Saviour to be their only Teacher and Master. The direction here is an express command to his disciples not to receive such a title of distinction. They were not to covet it; they were not to seek it; they were not to do anything that implied a wish or a willingness that it should be appended to their names. Everything which would tend to make a distinction among them or destroy their parity - everything which would lead the world to suppose that there were ranks and grades among them as ministers, they were to avoid. It is to be observed that the command is that they were not to receive the title - "Be not ye called Rabbi." The Saviour did not forbid them giving the title to others when it was customary or not regarded as improper (compare Acts 26:25), but they were not to receive it. It was to be unknown among them. This title corresponds with the title "Doctor of Divinity" as applied to ministers of the gospel; and, so far as I can see, the spirit of the Saviour's command is violated by the reception of such a title, as really as it would have been by their being called "Rabbi." It makes a distinction among ministers. It tends to engender pride and a sense of superiority in those who obtain it, and envy and a sense of inferiority in those who do not; and the whole spirit and tendency of it is contrary to the "simplicity that is in Christ."

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 23:8

    23:8-10 The Jewish rabbis were also called father and master, by their several disciples, whom they required, To believe implicitly what they affirmed, without asking any farther reason; To obey implicitly what they enjoined, without seeking farther authority. Our Lord, therefore, by forbidding us either to give or receive the title of rabbi, master, or father, forbids us either to receive any such reverence, or to pay any such to any but God.