ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
father in the Bible
Hebrew: אב —transliteration: 'ab
Greek: πατήρ or πατρὸς —transliteration: patér (pater)
This name is applied in these ways in the Bible.
God, the Father
He is the first Person of the TRINITY (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:4)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” —Ephesians 1:3 NASB
Christ taught His disciples a prayer that says,
“…Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.” —Matthew 6:9 NASB
God, the Father of Israel
“…Israel is My son, My firstborn.” —Exo. 4:22 NASB
“I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him…” —2 Samuel 7:14 NASB
God is the Father of the Israelites by His covenant (Deuteronomy 32:6; Psalm 89:27-28; Jeremiah 31:9; Isaiah 63:16; Isa. 64:8; John 8:41, etc.)
Who is your spiritual father—God or Satan?
Although God is everyone’s Creator (having created Adam from dust and made Eve from Adam—our original parents), He is not EVERYONE’S spiritual Father, as some of the world presume. Jesus Christ and the New Testament writers made it clear that He is only the spiritual Father of those who are born into His family. The spiritual father of others is Satan. As humans and Israelites, the Pharisees claimed God was their Father, however, Christ corrected them,
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” —John 8:44 NASB
God, the spiritual Father of true believers
Born-again believers (the elect to eternal life) are called God’s sons or children and are saved from eternal death.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” —John 1:12-13
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” —Romans 8:16-17a KJV
Therefore, being God’s children and heirs, believers rightly call Him “Father.”
“Father” when applied to humans generally means the male person who biologically created one through conception (sperm uniting with egg).
A man who adopts a child is also called the father, as in the case of Joseph, the adoptive and legal father of Jesus Christ.
Ancestors called fathers
The title of father is sometimes applied to any notable male ancestor of a person.
“Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, as did David his father.” —1 Kings 15:11 KJV
“…We have Abraham for our father… [said the Pharisees and Sadducees]” —Matthew 3:9 NASB
“…‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets’.” —Matthew 23:30 NASB
See: Patriarchs and Tribes
Father is sometimes used as a title of respect to a chief, ruler, or elder, etc.
Micah then said to him, “Dwell with me and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten pieces of silver a year, a suit of clothes, and your maintenance.” —Judges 17:10 NASB
“Elisha saw it and cried out [to Elijah], ‘My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!’ And he saw Elijah no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.” —2 Kings 2:12 NASB
The “father” of something a man founded or invented
The author or beginner of anything is also so called its father—for example, Jabal and Jubal.
“Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.” —Genesis 4:20-21 NASB
Article Version: April 2, 2019