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Catholic Dictionary




In the Old Testament the title rab referred to any eminent holder of an office. Rabbi literally means "my master." In the New Testament it is the honorable name by which the Disciples addressed Jesus as their Master (Matthew 23:7; John 1:38). Soon after the apostolic age it became the recognized title of Jewish religious teachers, and all modern Jewish clergy are called rabbis. (Etym. Aramaic rab, master + first person pronomian suffix: my master.)