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Why does Jesus make a distinction between a Teacher and an Instructor? He uses the word Rabbi for the former and Messiah for the latter.

Matthew 23:8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah

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Teacher translates the word διδάσκαλος. Logos Bible Software charts the sense as only teacher.

Instructor translates the word καθηγητής. Logos Bible Software charts the senses as only tutor. However, the BDB lexicon defines it as teacher.

The terms are synonyms. However, the way διδάσκαλος is used with Rabbi. It is probably translated Jesus' original word Rabbi. A major modern Hebrew translation, translates διδάσκαλος as Rabbi in this verse. Rabbi is also translated master. Thus, for the usage in this verse teacher is apparently a higher level than instructor.

Key to your second question is "and you are all brothers." Thus, Jesus' point isn't to get rid of titles, but to get rid of rank. He is saying Christians are all siblings on an equal level. In modern day terms you could think of the teacher as the the pastor and the instructor as a deacon or Bible study teacher. Many denominations if addressing someone with a title use brother or sister, and don't address them with a title for their position.

We understand the term Rabbi, but because the Greek terms translated Hebrew/Aramaic terms unknown to us, and the Greek terms were not used for positions in the church, we can only say these are terms giving someone prominence.

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  • I want to know if Jesus is saying the Disciples have only on Rabbi and One Instructor that is Jesus. Is this right? – Yeddu May 5 at 16:54
  • Could Jesus be saying that 1. The teacher is the one who tells what is the truth. 2. Instructor is the one who tells how to implement the truth. – Yeddu May 6 at 6:58
  • See edited answer. – Perry Webb May 6 at 8:40
  • I do understand the need for staying humble and that we are all brothers. The question still remains unanswered as to why two synonyms are needed to be called out in this verse if there is no unique and deeper message. Remember there is a reference to father and that is God – Yeddu May 6 at 9:15
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Matthew 23:

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.

I don't think Jesus is making a point of differences between teacher and instructor here. Jesus point is this:

11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

Don't worry about titles and labels. These are often hypocritical. Learn from the Messiah. Do as he does.

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  • Tony, I do just what Jesus taught. Honor God and Love my neighbors. I quit my job 3 years ago and started a couple of companies. All the money I make is used to serve the poor. It is not to boast but to assure you that I have dedicated my life to focus on doing what Jesus did & taught. I am just trying to figure out why the greek text about Jesus does not tie back to Tanakh.God Bless. – Yeddu May 5 at 17:02
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    Try Luke 24:27. – Tony Chan May 5 at 17:06
  • Tony, Please help me did not understand what you are asking to understand from this verse. Sorry, I may not be quick or will need more time and help Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. – Yeddu May 5 at 17:11
  • This is not the forum for this kind of activity. Join facebook.com/groups/129702255041932 and raise your concerns there. – Tony Chan May 5 at 17:15
  • I think what Tony is saying by citing Luke 24:27 is that "the greek text about Jesus does not tie back to Tanakh" is false. Indeed, the book of Matthew is full of references to the Old Testament, in alignment with Matthew's purpose of identifying Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. – The Chaz 2.0 May 5 at 17:55

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