Matthew 23:8-9

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

And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

Sorry, God has no grandchildren, only SONS!!! John 1:12,
Even Jesus is not our Father, but the Firstborn amongst many BRETHREN!!! Rom. 8:29,
John 20:17-Jesus saith ... go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father.

‎"... my Father and your Father". Be sure to have God as your Father and relate to Him as such. Do not make that relationship through another human being. If you do not have intimate relationship with God as Father, check your sonship

Jesus is a brother to ALL the SAINTS. If you are a father to any saint then you are saying Jesus is your son. Lord help us!!!

The Jews said, "we have Abraham as our father". Later on, Jesus said "call no man your father". Lets not practice Judaism but Christianity !!!

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I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. [1 Cor. 4:14-16]


Paul called himself a "father through the gospel." In Christ Jesus we can have fathers through the gospel.

Jesus said call no man your father (spiritual) on earth but one is your father who is in heaven. Yes, Paul called himself father, but nobody else did call or address him (Paul) father. Isn't that significant?

Calling oneself a father to others will "humble" them; but others calling one a father exalts. In kingdom realities, he who seeks (or is) to be great must be the least (abased) and not exalted.

And in thinking aloud - if Paul does what is not acceptable by the standards of Jesus must we follow suit?

Paul at one time in order to please men, kind of observed the (nazirite) vow Acts 21:21-27 - must we follow suit?

I don't think so.

Do you really believe that Paul could introduce error into the first epistle to the Corinthians, and the Holy Spirit would still allow it to enter our canon? No, Paul was not doing "what is not acceptable by the standards of Jesus" when he described himself as a father of the Corinthian believers.


When Jesus remarked that we should not call others "Rabbi," "Father," or "Teacher" [Mat. 23:8-10], he was specifically criticizing the use of titles.

I don't think every act by the saints recorded in our canon are for our emulation. I believe they are all for lessons. Some indeed show how perfect man can be and some also show how fallible we are as humans no matter our sainthood. I will not even go into the OT to mention errors committed by Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Samson, etc. I believe the Holy Spirit recorded these errors not as direct instructions for us but for us to learn from.

In the New Testament, Peter committed an error for Paul to withstand him.

I don't believe there is any thing recorded for our direct instruction that is an error. But I believe in our canon there are errors on the part of man recorded.


Back to our issue, Jesus specifically criticized the use of titles is what you said. Of all the positions set up in the NT church, there is none as father. This father thing came from the roman catholics papacy - which kind of teaches that the there is a mediator between man and God aside Jesus - hence their use of "priest".

When Jesus referred to God as his father, the Jews got angry because in their mindset that was tantamount to making himself equal to God. (John 5). To the catholics, the pope (papa, father) is in the place of God for the others.

Let us not encourage this in the Body of Christ.

The church being silent about things like this is degenerating into more serious things.

Have we noticed Judaism (which Paul seriously withstood) creeping into the church? I see otherwise respected "big shots" in the Body of Christ using and encouraging the use of Jewish "relics" like the prayer shawl (which must necessarily have Jewish inscriptions). I wander when the name of Jesus became deficient in prayer?

Our being indifferent or on the margin lines will cause us if we do not became "either hot or cold"

We must always make a distinction between narrative portions of scripture and didactic portions. Paul (or any other bible character) can have made mistakes recorded in the narrative portions, because the bible is truthful and candid about what these people actually did (even when they did not do what they should have). For example, I have a conviction that Paul's excursion into philosophical debate in Athens was a mistake [Acts 17] (and I think he admits as much by his complete change of approach in Corinth [Acts 18]). However, if we hold that Paul spoke erroneously in didactic passages--like his epistles--then we are doubting the superintendency of the Holy Spirit over his writing. I think this disparages scripture generally.


I agree that there is no ecclesiastical office in the church called "father." Indeed, there isn't even such an office in the Roman Catholic Church. As you know, it is the office of the priesthood that assumes the title "Father," in direct abrogation of Matthew 23:9! However, Paul isn't referring to an office, a position, or a title in 1 Corinthians 4. He is speaking of behaving in a fatherly fashion with the believers in Corinth. And fatherly behavior isn't being criticized by Jesus in Matthew 23; calling someone "Father," and being called "Father" by  someone, is being criticized. In the same fashion, Jesus criticized people calling one another "Teacher" ("Master" in the KJV translation) in 23:10. Now, certainly no one believes that Jesus was claiming that we shouldn't have teachers (there is no contradiction here with the observation that God "gave... pastors and teachers" [Eph. 4:11] to the body of Christ).


Look again at the overall tenor of the passage. The theme is the vanity and attention-seeking of the scribes and the Pharisees:


 Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’ [Mat. 23:5-7, NLT].


These prefacing verses inform how we should read verses 8-10. Christ wanted us to avoid emulating the scribes and Pharisees in the pursuit of honorifics and appellations.


Fair point. Let me try a fuller explanation.


The sections of scripture that relate the details of historical events are what we call narrative; the sections that directly give a teaching or command are what we call didactic. These are writing styles (along with poetic, proverbial, confessional, prophetic, etc.). We often associate a particular bible genre with an individual style of writing (e.g., we expect the Historical Books to be narrative in style). However, on closer examination, we can see the bible writers often employ multiple styles of writing in a single book. So that in the historical book of Judges (which I have been studying in depth lately) there's a lot of narrative, but there are also poetic (chapter 4) and proverbial (chapter 9) passages.


We have to read scripture carefully enough to recognize a passage's writing style, and approach it accordingly. For example, we should not read proverbial writing like it is didactic. A proverb is a pithy saying that is generally true (sometimes referred to as a truism). Bible teacher Michael Lawrence made the point recently that if you read Proverbs 12:21 didactically--"There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief"--you might always take suffering as a sign of divine judgment. But because Job's friends drew such conclusions about him, they were ultimately rebuked by the Lord [Job 42:7]. Proverbs 12:21 is only generally true.

Brother Watson, if you have any recommendations for these resources aimed at the general reader, I'll love to have them. I think learning to properly interpret the bible is extremely important for the church. I'd love to learn how to teach these techniques effectively. I want to "place the cookies on the lower shelf where the kiddies can get them" (to borrow from J. Vernon McGee). delivered my new paperback How to Think Theologically, and I will be delving into it as soon as I finish David Jasper's A Short Introduction to Hermeneutics. Then I think I'll try to track down The Hermeneutical Spiral. Thanks for these recommendations.

Yes, I do believe that the autographs (the original writings in Hebrew and Greek) of the bible were inerrant (accurate and free of error); I'm much less convinced that later copies and translations are similarly so.


Nevertheless, I do think that the autographs and the good translations of the bible are infallible (wholly useful and true regarding matters of faith).

It is celebrating its 500th anniversary this year, but I think the King James still holds up as a solid translation. The biggest problem with our using the KJV today is that modern audiences sometimes don't appreciate how much the English language has changed since 1611. On rare occasions, too, I actually take issue with choices made by the King James  translators.


I am falling in love with the New American Standard Bible. It is extremely faithful to the Hebrew and Greek source texts that bible scholars generally believe are best. But I will take a look at the New Living Translation, the English Standard Version, or even Young's Literal Translation, to get at a difficult passage.


I can see the value of paraphrase bibles too. Like a good commentary, a paraphrase can help us uncover the flavor of a difficult passage. The Message bible has been under attack lately, but from what I've seen it is a pretty good paraphrase. And a decade ago, as a children's Sunday School teacher, I used to read from my Good News bible to help the students understand what our KJV passage was saying. I notice that in conservative circles, paraphrase is catching on, too. I know a lot of KJV-only folks in my grand ole Church of God in Christ who have warmed up considerably to the Amplified Bible. Each of us to our own paraphrase, I suppose.

I never heard Jesus being called "Son of Man Jesus". If my English is correct, a name title is word that is added to precede a person's name.

Interestingly Christians don't seem to be able distinguish between name titles and job titles. Job titles are not meant to be precede names. I haven't heard an MD (Managing Director) using it as a name title.

Christian positions or job titles have all been made name titles. We talk of the five-fold ministry (actually I believe in four but that may not be relevant here) and four are titles but no one is using the Teacher as a name title though there are several of them. Why?

Its interesting a lots of thoughts have been shared here whilst I was away. Thanks to all who have shared their thoughts.


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