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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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ABBA is the ‘emphatic’ form of the Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] word for ‘father.’ It is found in the Gr. and Eng. text of Mark 14:36 , Romans 8:15 , and Galatians 4:6 (in each case Abbâ, ho patçr , ‘Abba, Father’). Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] has no article, and the ‘emphatic’ affix â is usually the equivalent of the Heb. article. Both can represent the vocative case (for Hebrew see Davidson’s Syntax , § 21 f.); and abba occurs in the Pesb. of Luke 22:42; Luke 23:34 for pater . The ‘articular nominative’ is found in NT sixty times for the vocative; and so we have ho patçr for ô pater (Moulton, Gram. of NT Greek , p. 70). Jesus often addressed God as ‘Father’ or ‘my Father.’ In both cases He would probably use ‘Abba’; for ’abbâ may be used for ’âbî (Targ. on Genesis 19:34 ). In Mark 14:36 , ho patçr is perhaps a gloss added by the Evangelist, as in Mark 5:41; Mark 7:11; Mark 7:34 he adds an explanation of the Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] : but in Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6 the Gentile Christians had learned for importunity to use the Aram. [Note: Aramaic.] word Abba; as the Jews in prayer borrowed Kyrie mou (‘my Lord’) from the Greek, and used it along with Heb. words for ‘my master,’ ‘my father’ (Schöttgen, Hor. Heb . 252).

J. T. Marshall.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Abba'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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