From: Ellis & Theora Mickey
To: lionel attwell
>The Lord 'Yeshua Himself, God Almighty has said.....Call no man Rabbi
>for One is your Master. To call a person Rabbi has the same
>condemnation as referring to the Pope as 'Holy Father"..........it is
>blasphemous!!! You cannot serve God and man.......you must choose!!!
>For the Word of God and the Testimony of 'Yeshua.
From: Lionel Attwell
To: "Hebraic Heritage Newsgroup" <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Rabbi: Call no person a Rabbi
Shalom my dear brother Ellis and sister Theora,
Thank you for your mini-epistle. Unfortunately it was not perfumed with the
incense of love which immediately rendered it invalid. As Rabbi Shaul stated
in 1 Cor.13. "Though I possess all knowledge but have not love , I am
I do not accept your accusation that I have committed your serious charge
and the sin or blasphemy by regarding Ed Chumney as my Rabbi. The
Hebrew word rabbi has always been a title of respect applied by the
Jews to their teachers and spiritual instructors
Yeshua was referring to the Hebrew word "Rabboni" which means "my lord,
my master" but more importantly He was addressing the hypocritical Pharisees
and you have taken His teaching completely out of context.
You forget that although Yeshua is the King of Kings and our High Priest we
too are kings and priests (Rev 1:6 ) and to address one another as a king
or priest is not blasphemous. Rabbi Paul makes many references to us
born-again believers beings kings.
So beloved king Ellis, let us love one another and if we are directed to use
scriptures to admonish or reprove one another, let it be in love.
My love and prayers embrace you both, Lionel.
P.S. To Ed: Could you give us some enlightened teaching on the office of
From: Dick Perkins (JCM)
Subject: Re: Call no person Rabbi
Greetings, Why do you call him Rabbi when Yeshua said to call no man
In his love,
P.S. JCM stands for Jewish Christian Ministries.
One of the first principles of examining the scriptures is to
interpret the scriptures IN CONTEXT. Many Christians know different
Bible verses and sometimes these Bible verses that they quote are
quoted out of context. With this in mind, let us examine your
YESHUA Himself was called RABBI (John 1:38, 3:2).
In John 1:38, it is written:
"Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What
seek ye? They said unto him, RABBI, (which is to say, being
interpreted Master) where dwellest thou?
In John 3:2 it is written:
"The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, RABBI, we know
thou art a TEACHER come from God: for no man can do these miracles
that thou doest, except God be with him"
The word RABBI in Hebrew means, "a TEACHER".
So, we need to understand that YESHUA is called RABBI. Rabbi's are
responsible for TEACHING God's people His ways. Yeshua is THE RABBI of
rabbi's. He is THE TEACHER sent from God.
Therefore, point #1 is that Yeshua is called RABBI or TEACHER in
Next, let's look at the verses which speaks of your question. In
Matthew 23:7-8 it is written:
"And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, rabbi, rabbi.
But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your MASTER (or TEACHER ...
John 1:38, 3:2) even Christ (or Messiah/Mashiach) and all ye are
Now, if you read ONLY THESE TWO VERSES and QUOTE them and
REMEMBER THEM to quote them, it would seem that the Bible is saying to
"call no man RABBI". But, there is a problem in doing this. You need
to read the CONTEXT of the scripture passages. So, let's read the text
IN CONTEXT and see what Yeshua/Jesus is saying.
Let us examine (Matthew 23:1-12) as it is written:
"Then spake Jesus to the multitude and to his disciples, saying, the
scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat: All therefore whatsoever
they bid you observe, that observe and do: but do not ye after their
works: for they say and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and
grevious to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders: but they
themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their
works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their
phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the
uppermost rooms at feasts adn the chief seats in the synogogues, and
greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi, but
but be not ye called, Rabbi: for one is your MASTER (TEACHER) 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. Neither be ye
called masters: for one is your Master even Christ. But he that is
greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosover shall exalt
himself shall be abased and he that shall humble himself shall be
So, what is the CONTEXT of this text? The text begins with
the discussion that the scribes sit in Moses seat. Then, Yeshua/Jesus
points out HYPOCRISY among those that "sit in Moses seat". He finishes
stating various hypocrisies with the statement, "And whosoever shall
EXALT HIMSELF shall be ABASED: and he that shall HUMBLE HIMSELF shall
be EXALTED" (Matthew 23:12)
So, what is the CONTEXT of this text? IT is the ATTITUDE of
those who "sat in Moses seat" was to be SEEN and PRAISED of men. They
WANTED to be called RABBI and have the RESPECT and HONOR of the
position to EXALT PRAISE upon THEMSELVES and so that they could be
SEEN of MEN. But, Yeshua/Jesus contrasts this ATTITUDE of the HEARTS
of those that "sit in Moses seat" with these words, 'And whosoever
shall EXALT HIMSELF shall be ABASED; and that that shall HUMBLE
HIMSELF shall be EXALTED'. (Matthew 23:12)
So, was the SUBJECT or TOPIC that Yeshua/Jesus was speaking
about was those who are called RABBI'S? NO! The subject was THOSE
THAT SIT IN MOSES SEAT (the religious leaders) wanted to be SEEN and
PRAISED of MEN. Yeshua/Jesus POINT was to declare that those who are
REALLY EXALTED in God's eyes are those who are HUMBLE before God and
Things are no different today in our CHURCHES. People want to
be on the DEACON BOARD or be the CHOIR DIRECTOR or have a CHRISTIAN
MINISTRY or be a PASTOR with a 10,000 member congregation because they
want to be seen as being special in the EYES OF MEN. To this,
Yeshua/Jesus teaches on the spiritual principle that if your MOTIVE
for doing these things is to be SEEN and PRAISED of MEN then you will
be brought low before God. However, if you seek to be HUMBLE before
God and man then you will be EXALTED by God. In I Peter 5:6-7 it is
"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that HE many
EXALT YOU in due time: Casting all of your care upon HIM: for he
careth for you"
In Matthew 5:5, Yeshua/Jesus taught:
"Blessed are the MEEK (humble) for they shall inherit the earth"
In Psalm 37:11 it is written:
"But the meek shall inherit the earth: and shall delight themselves in
the abundance of peace"
In Numbers (Devarim) 12:3 it is written:
"Now the man Moses was VERY MEEK, above all the men which were upon
the face of the earth"
When we read the scriptures, we need to remember to first examine
the text IN CONTEXT and also to think HEBRAICALLY as we read the text.
One means of HEBRAIC THOUGHT in interpreting scripture is the
principle of RAMEZ. RAMEZ is tying one scripture in thought to other
scriptures which speak of the same thing and the MESSAGE is UNDERSTOOD
in it's CONTEXT by doing this.
The SUBJECT of the words of Yeshua/Jesus in Matthew 23:1-12
begins with these words:
" ... the scribes and the Pharisees sit in MOSES SEAT ..."
What was the SEAT OF MOSES? The seat of Moses was the GOD GIVEN
authority to make judgments and interpretations of the TORAH/Word of
God according to PRINCIPLES in the Word of God. God established this
AUTHORITY to do so in Deuteronomy (Devarim) 17:8-11 as it is written:
"If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment between blood
and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being
matters of controversy within thy gates: then shall thou arise and get
thee up into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose:
(Jerusalem) and thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites (later
the RABBI'S began to serve in this function) and unto the judge that
shall be in those days and inquire and they shall show thee the
sentence of judgment: and thou shall do according to the sentence,
which they of that place which the Lord shall choose shall show thee:
and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee;
According to the sentence of the TORAH which they shall TEACH thee,
and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shall
do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall show
thee, to the right hand nor to the left"
In Exodus 18:13-16 it is written:
"And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the
people (Deut 17:8-11 ... this is the SEAT OF MOSES ... Matthew
23:1-3) and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the
evening. And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the
people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why
SITTEST thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from
morning to even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the
people come unto me to inquire of God (TO LEARN of God and HIS WAYS
and to ASK SPIRITUAL QUESTIONS and Moses would give them the ANSWER or
TEACH them .i.e. be a RABBI unto them) when they have a MATTER they
come unto me: and I JUDGE between one and another and I do make them
know the statutes of God and his TORAH (Deut 17:8-11)"
THIS is the "SEAT OF MOSES". It is the position of AUTHORITY to
TEACH God's people HIS WAYS and the WAYS of His Kingdom or the TORAH.
Therefore by examing the text using RAMEZ (tying one scripture to
another scripture) when Yeshua/Jesus began to talk about the scribes
being in the "SEAT OF MOSES" it referred to the GOD GIVEN position of
AUTHORITY that God gave to the religious leaders to TEACH the TORAH to
God's people (Deuteronomy 17:8-11) and Moses himself LITERALLY doing
this in Exodus (Shemot) 18:13-16.
Secondly, HEBRAICALLY our minds should also examine and reflect
on the CHARACTER of Moses before God and in giving judgments unto the
people regarding the matters that they brought to him to rule
according to the TORAH. So, in doing this, the minds of the people
would go back to Numbers (Bamidbar) 12:3 which states that Moses was
the MEEKEST person on the earth.
Therefore the ASSOCIATION to Moses and Moses seat was the
#1) A position of AUTHORITY to make judgments regarding matters of
controversy concerning how to OBEY the TORAH of God
#2) Have an ATTITUDE of MEEKNESS (humility) in doing this
THIS is the TOPIC and POINTS OF DISCUSSION of the text when
Yeshua/Jesus speaking. So, what points do Yeshua/Jesus make regarding
#1) Yeshua/Jesus ACKNOWLEDGES the GOD GIVEN place of
AUTHORITY of the "Seat of Moses" (Matthew 23:1-3)
"All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe that observe
and do (Deut 17:8-11 = Matthew 23:3) BUT do NOT after their
WORKS: for they SAY (having the place of authority) but DO NOT
(that is they are performing their God given duty in
The rest of the text lists this hypocrisy.
a) They put heaven burdens (rules regarding the Torah) to be
borne (observed) and lay them on men's shoulders (rules and
decrees to keep them) BUT they themselves WILL NOT move
them with one of their fingers (they don't obey them
themselves which is HYPOCRISY) (Matthew 23:4)
b) But all their WORKS they do to be SEEN of MEN: they make
BROAD (to be seen of MEN which is HYPOCRISY) their
phylacteries (phylacteries are worn to KEEP the
commandments recited in the SHEMA ... Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
and ENLARGE (to be seen of MEN which is HYPOCRISY) the
borders of their garments (this speaks concerning the
commandments to wear tzi-tzit on the borders of your
garments ... Numbers 15:37-40) (Matthew 23:5)
c) And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief
seats in the synogogues (once again these are
priviledges given unto rabbi's and religious leaders)
d) And GREETINGS (all their works they do to be seen of men)
in the markets, and to be called of MEN, Rabbi, Rabbi
(once again Yeshua/Jesus is expressing the ATTITUDE of
the HEART of the religiuos leaders that they wanted to
be CALLED and SEEN among MEN as "special people" and
have their praises for being seen in this way). (Matthew
e) But be not ye called RABBI (meaning MASTER or TEACHER
... John 1:38 and John 3:2) for one is your
MASTER/TEACHER even Christ (the Messiah) and all ye are
BRETHREN (Matthew 23:8)
In other words, treat ALL those in the family of God
with the SAME RESPECT.
f) But he that is the GREATEST AMONG YOU (not those who
are desiring to be seen and praised of MEN) shall be
your servant. (Matthew 23:12)
#2) The PROPER ATTITUDE among those who "sit in Moses' seat"
should be MEEK and HUMBLE and use this position to SERVE THE
PEOPLE just like Moses. (Matthew 23:12)
So, Dick to answer your question was Yeshua/Jesus saying that
we should NOT call any Rabbi, RABBI ??? By looking
at the CONTEXT of the text, this obviously was not the question, the
issue or the point of discussion. So, is there anything wrong with
calling a person a "Rabbi"? Obviously NO!
So, MISHPACHAH (family) do you see the DANGERS of interpreting
a text out of context like what has been done to Matthew 23:7-8? This
text has been used in the past as a means of ANTI-SEMITISM against
Jewish people and Jewish rabbi's.
Secondly, have you ever heard the saying, "A little knowledge
can be dangerous?". Such can be the case when it comes to the Bible.
Many people know and quote certain verses in the Bible but the sad
thing is how so many times these scriptures being quoted are being
quoted OUT OF CONTEXT.
Therefore, what is the solution to the problem? The answer is
found in II Timothy 3:15:
"STUDY to show thyself approved of God, a workman that needeth not to
be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth"
Finally, as I have given an example with this text, when we
read the text, we must do so with a HEBRAIC mindset. We must use RAMEZ
and examine scripture with scripture and understand things like "what
is the SEAT OF MOSES?" and that Moses was MEEK (Numbers 12:3) when he
sat in the "seat of Moses" (Ex 18:13-16).
When we do this, we will show ourselves "approved unto God" and
QUALIFIED to teach others the richness of God's Word to others if we
also do so with a spirit and ATTITUDE of MEEKNESS while doing so.
To educate, train and equip for study both the Jew and
Non-Jew in the Rich Hebraic Heritage of our Faith.
Please visit the Hebraic Roots Global Network
Web Site located at:
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int'l