Peshitta Forum
Rab and Mar - the difference? - Printable Version

+- Peshitta Forum (
+-- Forum: New Testament (
+--- Forum: General (
+--- Thread: Rab and Mar - the difference? (/showthread.php?tid=1236)

Rab and Mar - the difference? - The Lector - 02-28-2005

What exactly is the difference in meaning between the Aramaic words RAB [resh-bet] and MAR [mem-resh]?

Both seem to indicate 'master', but as they are 2 separate words there must be some distinction....

Aren't there many saints in the Eastern Church who are addressed as 'Mar'? This would exclude the meaning of Mar being reserved for God only.

- Paul Younan - 02-28-2005

Shlama Akhi Lector,

In pre-Christian Babylonian days (when we were Jews), the Rabbis were called "Mar."

See the Babylonian Talmud entry here:

Some prominents "Mar"s of the Babylonian Talmud include:

"Mar Shmuel", "Mar Ukba", "Mar bar Rav Ashi", "Mar Kashiha", "Mar Zutra", etc.

When we became "Messianic", we still carried this Babylonian Jewish tradition of calling our religious leaders by the title of "Mar."

"Mar" is like the English title "Sir" or "Lord" as used especially in the British setting (i.e., "Lord Stephen Pound" who is a member of the British Parliament). It is a title of honor and distinction.

That's why we call our Patriarchs, Bishops, etc. by the title "Mar (name)".

- Dan Gan - 02-28-2005

"Rab" originated from the root word meaning to be great, strong or numerous.
"Mar" originated from the root word meaning to be strong.

- Dan Gan - 02-28-2005

Is Marqus actually Mar Qus? <!-- s:dontgetit: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/dontgetit.gif" alt=":dontgetit:" title="Dont Get It" /><!-- s:dontgetit: -->