The Bible says "Call no Man Father". Why are priests called "Father"?

In Matthew 23:9, Jesus says:
"Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven."

In this passage Jesus is telling his followers that they should not seek worldly honors.

Jesus, also, accuses the Jewish establishment, who opposed him, of vanity for using the titles of rabbi (master), abba (father) and moreh (teacher), because they are unworthy of these titles.

The early Church understood this, and even St. Paul refers to himself as a father to the Corinthians.

A priest is called a "father" because he provides for the spiritual welfare of his people as a father provides for his family.

If we apply this passage to mean that priest should not be called father then we should, also, not call our own fathers "father", as well.

This passage is a perfect example of a phrase taken out of context.

One must view the Bible as a whole and not as distinct and unrelated phrases, for all of the Bible is connected into the supreme Revelation of God.

- Deacon George Kozak (6/01)

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