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By Curtis Pugh

In our King James New Testaments the word master appears 69 times. Of those 69 times, 58 times the word translated is “didaskalos” (did-as’-kal-os) related to our English word didactic which of course has to do with teaching. It is one of those words the King James writers told us about in their introduction to the reader: a Greek word translated more than one way. They translated this word 40 times as “Master” (capitalized of Jesus), 10 times as “teacher,” 7 times as “master” (not capitalized), and as “doctor” once.

The word “rhabbi” is translated 9 times as “Master” 5 times (capitalized), Rabbi (hrab-bee') (capitalized), and 3 times as “rabbi” (hrab-bee'). This word, a title, is used by the Jews as an honorable form of respect toward their teachers. Still another is “kurios” (koo' ree-os) which is translated 667 times as “Lord” (capitalized), 54 times as “lord,” 11 times as “master,” 6 times as “Sir,” and miscellaneously 4 times for a total of 748 times. This word means “he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding: master.” (The English word “church” is related to “kurios” and means “the Lord's” while the Greek word translated by the King James translators as “church” is ekklesia (or ecclesia) (ekek-klay-see’-ah) which has a completely different meaning: i.e. that of a congregation or assembly.)

So then we may accurately conclude that the word “master” used in our New Testaments of the Lord Jesus primarily refers to Him being our teacher. It is a mistake to think that the majority of usages of “master” have to do with ownership and obedience – forced or otherwise. What is the importance of this? Christ, being presented in this way has to do with His being a teacher – The Teacher – and His sheep then necessarily put in the place of His students, disciples or learners. In John 13:13 the Lord Jesus is quoted as saying: “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” The word “Master” is a translation of “didaskalos” (did-as’-kal-os) which means teacher and the word “Lord” is “kurios” (koo’-ree-os) which has to do with ownership: the right to be obeyed. Christ is both to His sheep, but again we say the majority of “master” usages is that of “teacher.”

Are you learning anything from Christ? Are you “sitting at His feet?” The Jews give transitory honor to their rabbis, deferring to them, hanging upon their every word, studying their sayings and writings, even to the point of being separate from others in their devotion to those they regard as their teachers. In every good sense, should not the followers of the Lamb honor Christ, defer to Him in obedience – and should we not hang upon His ever word, study them and the Scriptures which are all centered upon Him – even to the point as being identified by others as those that are devoted to Him? Is He your Teacher?

Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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