The Glossary of Terms



Young People's Bible Dictionary

by Barbara Smith (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965)

Abba. An Aramaic word meaning "father," used by children in addressing a parent. Mark 14:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6.

Harper’s Bible Dictionary

edited by Paul J. Achtemier (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)

Abba, the definite form of the Aramaic word for ‘father’ (lit. ‘the father’), properly translated as ‘my father’ or ‘our father.’ Used by Jesus (and early Christians) to address God (Mark 14:36; cf. Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6), the word suggests familial intimacy. Many scholars find indications of such use in ancient Judaism, but others argue that it originated with Jesus.

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