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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
RABBI (from Heb. רַב, which means as adj. ‘great’ or ‘much,’ as subst. ‘chief or ‘master.’ The final syllable is the pronominal suffix, signifying ‘my,’ the force of which, however, is not expressed in the use of the word).—A title of honour and respect addressed to religious teachers; and in this sense frequently applied in the Gospels to Jesus, and also once (John 3:26) to John the Baptist. It appears to have come into use in the time of Hillel, who was born c. [Note: circa, about.] b.c. 112. That St. John regarded it as a comparatively modern word, and not universally known in his time, seems evident from the fact that he deemed it necessary to explain its meaning (see John 1:38, where it is expressly stated to be equivalent to διδάσκαλος, rendered ‘master’ in Authorized Version , and ‘teacher’ in (Revised Version margin) ). ῥαββί (ῥαββεί, WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] ) is frequently translation ‘master’ in Authorized Version , but Revised Version NT 1881, OT 1885 transliterates ‘rabbi’ throughout. See Master.
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Rabbi'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdn/r/rabbi.html. 1906-1918.