Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Rabbi
(1,616 words)

The Hebrew and Aramaic רבי/rabbi (lit. “my master”) appears in the ancient sources as a polite phrase addressing a Jewish sage or teacher. In addition, it came to be used as the standard title of a Torah scholar accredited in the rabbinic movement, or in other words a “rabbi.” The import of the New Testament is twofold: it is the oldest extra-rabbinical document to use the term, and it is also the focus of the Christian trend to denigrate “rabbinism.”

Outside rabbinic literature, the main anci…

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Tomson, Peter J., “Rabbi”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 17 September 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7993_EECO_SIM_00002923>
First published online: 2019



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