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following circumstance. Though the word rabbi is. very common in the Syriac translation, the Greek Sidaoxame being generally so rendered; yet in the only place where that translator introduces the word rabboni, which is that quoted from John, he prefixes in Hebrew, that is, in the dialect of Palestine, which was then so called, adding the explanation given by the Evangelist, that is, teacher; which plainly shows that the word rabboni was not Syriac. This is the more remarkable, as in the other passage, where the historian interprets the word rabbi, in the same manner, adding 69 ο λεγεται ερμηνευομενον διδασκαλε, that. interpreter omits this explanatory clause as intended only for the Grecian reader, and of no use to those who understood Syriac. In the passage in Mark, where rabboni occurs, as the Evangelist had added no explanation, his interpreter has not thought it necessary to change their own word sabbi. This is an evidence that he also considered the difference in signification between the two words as inconsiderable. Another strong presumption of the same point is, that the Apostle John explains both by the same Greek word o.
It may be observed here by the way, that they likewise used to raise the import of a title by doubling it. Thus our Lord, speaking of the Pharisees, says, They love to be called of men rabbi, rabbi”. In
69 John, i. 38.
70 i. 39. xx. 16. 71 Matth. xxii. 7.
this manner he was himself addressed by Judas, at the time when that disciple chose to assume the appearance of more than ordinary regard "2. The title xvple seems to have been used in the same manner. Not every one who saith unto me Lord, Lord, xvpis, xvple, *. This is very agreeable to the genius of the Oriental tongues, which often, by the repetition of an adjective, express the superlative degree.
6. I TOOK notice once before that, in the common version of the Gospels, Sidaoxalos is generally rendered master. I cannot say that the word is mistranslated when so rendered, since it is the most common title with us, wherewith scholars address their teacher. But it is rather too indefinite, as this term does not distinguish the relation meant from almost any other relation, wherein superior and inferior are brought together. The word master serves equally for rendering κυριος, δεσποτης, επιςατης, καSnynons, as for didaoxanos. And, therefore, in many cases, especially where the context requires a contradistinction to any of those terms, the word master is not proper. It is indeed evident to me, that in the ordinary Hellenistic use, it corresponds nearly to the English word doctor. Both are honorary titles, ex. pressive of the qualifications of the persons to whom they are given. Both are literary titles that relate to no other sort of merit but learning; and both are solemnly conferred with certain ceremonies which we call graduation, by those who are accounted the proper judges. Our translators have, in one place, very properly rendered it doctor. Joseph and Mary, we are told ”, found Jesus in the temple sitting in the midst of the doctors, εν μεσω των διδασκαλων. To have said, in the midst of the masters, would have been a very vague expression of the sense. Nor have we reason to believe that it would have been proper here to translate the word teachers, as it did not imply that they were such by profession. In composition, our interpreters have commonly rendered it doctors 7. There were Pharisees and vooñedaoxanoi, doctors of the law sitting by. Again 7, There stood up one of the council, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, voudidaoxanos, a doctor of law. Besides, we are accustomed to hear the words Jewish rabbies, and Jewish doctors used synonymously. In Justin Martyr's dialogue with Trypho the Jew, the rabbies are always called διδασκαλοι. .
72 Mark, xiv. 45.
73 Matth. vii, 21.
§ 7. But it may be objected that this does not account for the application of the title to our Lord. As he did not derive his doctrine from any of those learned seminaries, frequented by such of the youth as were reckoned the flower of the nation, the name doctor could not, with propriety, be applied to him. In answer to this, let it be observed, first, that as in Judea at that time they spoke not Greek, but a dialect of Chaldee, not differing considerably from
* Luke, ii. 46.
75 Luke, v. 17.
what is called Syriac, it is evident that the actual compellation, whereby our Saviour was addressed, was rabbi. For this we have the express testimony of the Apostle John, in a passage lately quoted, who, though writing in a different tongue, thought proper to mention the title usually given him in the language of the country, adding, merely for the sake of those readers who knew nothing of the Oriental languages, that it is equivalent to the Greek Sidao. xados. Now, as the Chaldaic word does not literally signify teacher, which the Greek word does, their equivalence must arise solely from the ordinary application of them as titles of respect to men of learning; and in this view the English word doctor is adapted equally to the translation of both.
Secondly, though the title rabbi could regularly be conferred only by those who had the superintendency of their schools, we have ground to believe that with them, as with us, the people would be ready to give the compellation through courtesy, and on the presumption that it had been conferred, wherever they saw or supposed distinguished abilities in learning : and this is most probably the reason why we find it given also to John the Baptist 77.
Thirdly, in the Jewish state, a divine commission was conceived to confer all sorts of dignities and honours, in an eminent manner, and so superseded ordinary rules, and human destinations. On this account they considered a prophet, though not of the
77 John, iii. 26.
sacerdotal family, as an extraordinary priest, and entitled to offer sacrifice, in consideration of the evi. dences he gave of his mission. Thus the Prophets Samuel 78 and Elijah (neither of whom was a priest) offered sacrifice with acceptance, and upon altars too not warranted by the law. It is evident that some of those who gave the title of rabbi to our Saviour, were willing, either sincerely or pretendedly, thus to account for their doing so. Rabbi, said Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and a member of the Sanhedrim , we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles that thou dost, except God be with him. Here he, as it were, assigns the reason why he saluted him rabbi, although he knew that he had not been educated in human literature, and had not received from men any literary honours.
The same title was given him also by others of that sect insidiously, when, though they pretended friendship, their aim was to entangle him in his talk, that they might have a pretext for delivering him up to the Roman governor. In other cases they show sufficiently how little they were disposed to admit his right to any degree of respect arising from knowledge. They said ", How knoweth this man letters, having never learned ? A charge, the truth of which our Lord very readily admitted by replying, My doctrine is not mine, but his who sent me.
78 1 Sam. vii. 9.
79 1 Kings, xviii. 31, &c.