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Morrish Bible Dictionary

Abba

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The Greek form is ἀββᾶ father: it is the same as Ab in Hebrew, but was pronounced Abba in the time of our Saviour. It occurs three times in the New Testament, and is always followed by 'father,' and translated Abba Father; that is, the 'abba' is transcribed and not translated: if it were translated it would be 'Father Father.' In the Greek it stands thus: ἀββᾶ ὁ πατήρ the 'Abba' being Aramaic, and the 'Father' Greek. In the, Old Testament Ab was not restricted in its use to children. Elisha used it toward Elijah; servants applied it to their masters, etc.: see 2 Kings 2:12 ; 2 Kings 5:13 ; 2 Kings 6:21 , etc. Jehovah asked, "Hath the rain a father?" Job 38:28 . In the N.T. it appears to be used in a stricter sense of relationship: "Ye have received the Spirit of adoption [or sonship] , whereby we cry, Abba Father," Romans 8:15 ; and "because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father." Galatians 4:6 . The only other instance is when the Lord thus addresses His Father, Mark 14:36 ; and the Spirit in the hearts of believers puts the very words He used into their lips. It has been suggested that in the two words the Jew and the Gentile each say 'Father' in his own language — the Aramaic being then spoken by the Jews, and Greek the language of the Gentiles in Palestine and many other places. God had been revealed in the Old Testament as Jehovah, the Almighty, etc., but it was reserved for New Testament times for Him to be made known to believers in the relationship of Father: cf. John 20:17 .


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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Abba'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/mbd/a/abba.html. 1897.

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