Why do Protestants reject Jesus' command, "Do not be called teachers"?

Matt 23:9-10: Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.

If you call a person your teacher, or you allow yourself to be called teacher, you are violating the literal words of Matt 23:10. How do you justify this flagrant disavowal of the plain words of the Bible?

We Catholics understand what Jesus is driving at in this discourse. But I'm wondering if our Protestant friends understand our Lord's teaching.


Catholics have been asked hundreds of times here in R&S why we call our priests "father." I will be happy to answer that question when the Protestants can tell me why they call themselves "teacher," as in Sunday School teacher. Both questions require a correct interpretation of Jesus' teaching.

Update 2:

Heh heh. Thanks, Adam.

Update 3:

To Jeffery: I quoted the New King James Version, but the NIT also uses teacher. "Master" is probably an archaic translation.

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    I ask that whenever a Fundmentalist Protestant condemns me for calling my priests "Father"

    but I point out that they are very selective in their literal readings of the Bible and that they are guided by their church traditions("traditions of men") and their"popes in every protestant pulpit" who claim the authority to interpret the Bible for them

    None of them really goes by "Bible Alone"

    Jesus called humans father(Prodigal Son Story and Lazarus and the Rich Man Story for example) in Luke 14:26"unless you hate father ...."

    They call physicians "doctor'(Latin for teacher")

    and Jewish rabbis "rabbi"(Hebrew for My teacher")

    St Paul frequently calls humans father in the Epistles and Acts

    1 John 2 calls presbyters(elders or Christian priests) fathers

    Jesus is teaching that God is the final authority and ultimate source of life and good

  • 1 decade ago

    I do not think that Protestants want to go against Christ's words by using the word 'teacher'. You find many who call these as Pastor.

    It all signifies respect to those who teach or take care of the flock of Christs's people. We, Catholics do not call our priests as Fathers to compare with our One Holy Father. This is a respect and that they are the fathers who look after us in our faith. They are the fathers of the the worldly family of God.

  • 1 decade ago

    This literal 'father attack' is passe. . What you get is another cut n paste of the WT publications, technically, just allowing the JW to preach and earn FSR credit. It's becoming nauseating.

    Biblical terms Father and teachers are all over the cannonized bible or run-away bibles. If I call my biological father, Peter I will be in dungeon with the dragons. Or maybe everyone just model with the dysfunctional family Simpson where bart calls his father, homer, which is morally wrong. The world's moral degeneration is caused by the twisting around of these false teachers. To me, if I made a mistake, admit it and amend my ways and go on with the Jesus way of life. Not this twisting around to support a fundamentally flawed teachings.

  • 4 years ago

    The Catholic church IS a leader at fighting for human civil rights world-wide, providing untold dollars in charitable works, and funding hospitals, homes for the aged, and caring for and educating children. If you believe in the bible you have to believe in the Pope and the Catholic Church and tradition Tradition was used to canonize the bible by the church Christ gave authority to the Church under the Holy spirit to canonized the bible what criteria was used tradition oral teaching passed on truth and its beliefs under the guidance of the Holy spirit. The Catholic Church canonized the bible Christ gave the authority. So how can any books be put into the bible that go against Catholic beliefs then if you believe the catholic church is false and not Christian the bible has no meaning and had no authority to put the bible together then throw out your bible. Who gave Luther any authority to remove or add words to the bible. So if you believe in the bible You believe In the Church and the Pope and all its teachings which are the same now as then. Other wise you are not a Christian Early Christian writings prove the first Christians were thoroughly Catholic in belief and practice and looked to the successors of the apostles as their leaders. What these first Christians believed is still believed by the Catholic Church. No other Church can make that claim. The papacy is the oldest Intuition in the world .- How could it survived without the grace of God & the guidance of the Holy Spirit.........The Holy Spirit did not convert to Islam in 610AD or Lutheranism in 1517AD or Calvinism in 1540s AD ...There's no comparisons. ..................The truth is , they Catholics give us the first Bible..the rest of religions intrepid it differently & formed counterfeit religion's groups...which inturn give us supermarket christens;.......pick & choose laws to suit themselves [ cool & new age stuff ] but has nothing to do with the scriptures.... The Catholic Church has no practices or doctrines that are in conflict with Scriptures....... Early in the second century of the Church St. Ignatius of Antioch coined the name for the Church as Catholic and that same Church remains today as the Church created and built by Jesus the apostles and their successors. It never fell into apostasy for doing so would make Jesus a liar as He said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church and also that His Church would endure for all times. The only reason that I can think of is that the Catholic Church is created by Christ and all others are protesting what He created. I guess they think that as men they can create a better and more enduring church than did Christ. The tens of thousands of exponentially increasing schisms and denominations prove that they can not.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Rabbi is Teacher and In Torah .. OT Greek Penteneuch too

    No.. The Protestants do not reject Jesus' Teachings


    What is a rabbi?


    A rabbi is a Jewish spiritual leader. The word "rabbi" means "my teacher" or "my master" in Hebrew. A rabbi has pastoral duties, such as leading a congregation in prayer; preaching duties, such as delivering a weekly sermon; interpretive duties; interpreting the Torah; and administrative duties. A rabbi will often be available to a member of his or her congregation for spiritual guidance. In order to convert to Judaism, rabbis must approve the conversion in a Beit Din (rabbinical court). Some rabbis are ordained but do things outside of congregations, such as leading Jewish organizations, writing books, or community activist work. Traditionally, rabbis were always men, but as of the 20th century, more and more women have become rabbis in the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements.


    Matthew .. 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

    "Call no man your father upon the earth."

    (2 Kg.2:12)

    Neither be ye called masters."

    Jesus was called Rabbi.. A TEACHER IN THE BIBLE


    23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ Matthew 23.10 in Greek Septuagint

    Thus you quote New Scriptures Scriptures are not New.. Scriptures are the Inspired Word of God.. and should not be mistranslated or added to.. as per Bible




    Jesus was a rabbi. and Peter.. Called Jesus a Rabbi.. In BIble Thus teacher is fine. ( according to the Bible

    International Standard Version (©2008)

    Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it's good that we're here! Let's set up three shelters-one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."

    bible.cc/mark/9-5.htm - 17k


    Matthew 26:49 Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, "Hail ...Douay-Rheims Bible And forthwith coming to Jesus, he said: Hail, Rabbi. ... and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. ...



    Mathew 23:5-12



    SEPTUAGINT . The Septuagint Bible OnlineEnglish Translation of the Greek Septuagint Bible. ... E. C. Marsh P.O. Box 342. Saint Ansgar, IA 50472. Septuagint Bible Online ...

    www.ecmarsh.com/lxx/ - 34k

    The Protestants follow the teachings of the Bible

    IC XC NIKA..

    Greek Orthodox ( Katholikos) Gr. Universal Christian

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Never thought of the teacher part but then again way back in my Non Catholic life i always felt a little hypocritical using call no man Father against Catholics. I see i our Brain washed resident Jehovah Witness Chris S was first to share his ignorance tho.

  • 1 decade ago

    When it comes to misinterpreting the bible at the expense of Catholics, some sects will ignore the Lord's use of hyperbole and stick to a strict literal interpretation when it suits them. Hence the "call no man father" mantra. They ignore the fact that the Greek for "teacher" is "doctor". Since Jesus commanded to call no man "doctor", and if they were to apply any degree of consistency to their erroneous interpretation, they are violating their own inventions every time they call their own doctor "doctor".

    These sects have no consistency in their interpretation, and must admit that they have no authority in any matter of faith.

    These "Christians" who rage against the Catholic Church with clenched fists do so out of prejudice and ignorance. All of these sects are less than 20 years old, or they come from denominations that change their doctrines every 20 years. At the same time, Catholicism is not anti-Protestant. We don't have 10 billion web sites misrepresenting and persecuting them the way they do us. In fact, there aren't any.

    Matt. 23:9 - Jesus says, "call no man father." But Protestants use this verse in an attempt to prove that it is wrong for Catholics to call priests "father." This is an example of "eisegesis" (imposing one's views upon a passage) as opposed to "exegesis" (drawing out the meaning of the passage from its context). In this verse, Jesus was discouraging His followers from elevating the scribes and Pharisees to the titles of “fathers” and “rabbis” because they were hypocrites. Jesus warns us not to elevate anyone to the level of our heavenly Father.

    Matt. 23:8 – in this teaching, Jesus also says not to call anyone teacher or rabbi as well. But don’t Protestants call their teachers “teacher?” What about this commandment of Jesus? When Protestants say “call no man father,” they must also argue that we cannot call any man teacher either.

    Judges 17:10; 18:19 - priesthood and fatherhood have always been identified together. Fatherhood literally means "communicating one's nature," and just as biological fathers communicate their nature to their children, so do spiritual fathers communicate the nature of God to us, their children, through (hopefully) teaching and example.

    Eph. 3:14-15 - every family in heaven and on earth is named from the "Father." We are fathers in the Father.

    Acts 7:2; 22:1,1 John 2:13 - elders of the Church are called "fathers." Therefore, we should ask the question, "Why don't Protestants call their pastors "father?"

    1 Cor. 4:15 - Paul writes, "I became your father in Christ Jesus."

    Phil. 2:22 - Paul calls Timothy's service to him as a son serves a "father."

    Philemon 10 - Paul says he has become the "father" of Onesimus.

    Heb. 12:7,9 - emphasizes our earthly "fathers." But these are not just biological but also spiritual (the priests of the Church).

    1 John 2:1,13,14 - John calls the elders of the Church "fathers."

  • I'm having difficulty in grasping your point. In that the verse actually leans more against the Catholic doctrine than the Protestant's whether Jesus was referring to the Pharisees or not.

  • What tralation are you referencing? I checked a Protestest bible (KJV) and a Catholic bible (St.Joseph's edition) and neither uses 'teacher' in that text (they both use master).

  • 1 decade ago

    You call your priest "father" don't you?

    Matt 23:9: Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

    P.S. Something tells me at some point during school you called someone teacher.

    Source(s): Deist
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