Q. In Ephesians 4:11 – the “teachers” that Paul spoke of, are those the same as rabbi? Thanks and have a blessed day!
A. In the literal sense the words rabbi and teacher are not equivalent although in practice both do the same job.
The Hebrew word for rabbi literally means great one, or master. Jews call their religious leaders this as a sign of respect today, and in the Lord’s time addressed their teachers that way. Jesus cautioned the teachers against allowing that, saying that they had only one master, and that’s the Lord, and all of them were brothers. (Matt. 23:8)
The Greek word Paul used in Ephes. 4:11 literally means teacher and lacks the connotations of honor and greatness attached to the word rabbi.