(See also “Pastor”)
Y O U N G P E O P L E ' S D I C T I O N A R Y O F S C R I P T U R A L • & • R E L I G I O U S T E R M S
Teacher (or a form of this word) is found well over 100 times the KJV translation.
In its most basic meaning teacher refers to a person who imparts knowledge and/or
skills to others.
Other words are also used in the KJV that refer to a teacher or to teaching, etc. Our
Lord Jesus was the preeminent and perfect Teacher. He is often called “Rabbi” or
“Master” (while many other times He is called “Lord”). “Rabbi” and “Master” were
commonly used names, usually meaning the same as teacher.
Each title however, has a special reason for being used in a particular passage in
God’s Word. Generally, teacher as found in the Bible is used regarding the teaching
or explaining the things of God. “Rabbi” is specially a word used by Jews when
referring to one who taught others the Law of God and all things relating to the
Jewish religious system. “Master” is not only used in referring to Jewish teachers,
but also refers to those who taught the principles of Christianity.
In Colossians 4:1 master is used, but not as one who teachers. There master is one
who has power and authority over others. “Masters, give unto your servants that
which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven”.
We learn in Ephesians 4:11 that the gift of teaching, given to His church by our
risen Lord Jesus from heaven, is connected with the gift of pastor (a spiritual shep-
herd). Though one of these two gifts may be specially prominent in a believer, both
are needed. These two gifts are a wonderful balance to each other—a truly gifted
teacher, must be able to guide, shepherd and comfort those he teachers. A truly
gifted pastor cannot guide, protect and comfort other believers unless he is able to
teach them. Eph. 4:11 tells us that “...He [the risen Christ] gave some, apostles; and
some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”.
We might say that the Lord Jesus sent gifts from heaven to His church—one was an
apostle, another were prophets, another gift was an evangelist, while the last gift
mentioned in this verse is the gift of pastors and teachers. These two are quite
plainly connected with each other. It seems very apparent that the Lord’s will is
that these two gifts would always work together for the support, strengthening, and
building up (edifying) of His church.