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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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‘Doctor’ (Luke 2:46; Luke 5:17, Acts 5:34) = ‘teacher.’ The ‘doctor’ was a scribe. Till 40 years old he was talmîd (‘scholar’). Probably after examination he became talmîd ḥâkhâm (‘sage scholar’). On receiving a call from a particular community, he was solemnly ordained to office with laying on of hands, and became rabbi (‘master’). Such was the process after a.d. 70. In the NT rabbi has not so specialized an application. The Law, especially the oral tradition, was the great subject of study; it was learned by indefatigable memorizing. Discussions were held at which listeners might put questions (cf. Luke 2:46).

Literature.-E. Schürer, History of the Jewish People (Eng. tr. of GJV).] ii. i. § 25 (II.); W. Bousset, Religion des Judentums im neutest. Zeitalter, 1903 ii. 5, p. 147; article ‘Doctor’ in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , Dict. of Christ and the Gospels , and Catholic Encyclopedia .

W. D. Niven.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Doctor'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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