International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
rab'-i, rab'-i (rabbi; rhabbi, or rhabbei): A term used by the Jews of their religious teachers as a title of respect, from rabh, "great," so "my great one" (compare Latin magister), once of masters of slaves, but later of teachers (Matthew 23:7); therefore translated by didaskalos, "teacher" (Matthew 23:8 John 1:38; compare John 1:49). In the King James Version frequently rendered "Master" (Matthew 26:25, 49 Mark 9:5; Mark 11:21; Mark 14:45 John 4:31; John 9:2; John 11:8). John the Baptist (John 3:26), as well as Christ, is addressed with the title (John 1:49; John 6:25), both by disciples and others. Jesus forbade its use among His followers (Matthew 23:8). Later (Galilean) form of same, RABBONI (which see).