Jesus says in แมทธิว 23:9, “Call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.”
Some have misused this verse to denounce the Catholic practice of calling priests “Father.” Jesus’ words here are not meant to be taken literally, แม้. They are an hyperbole designed to emphasize our heavenly Father’s sovereignty: that He is the true source of life and wisdom (เห็นพอล จดหมายถึงเอเฟซัส 3:14-15).
We know the Apostles did not take Jesus’ words in แมทธิว 23:9 literally, สำหรับ they called themselves Father!
Saint Paul, ตัวอย่างเช่น, wrote in his จดหมายฉบับแรกกับโครินธ์, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, คุณไม่ได้มีบิดาหลายคน. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (4:15).
Paul considered himself the “father” of the Corinthians because he had spiritually begotten them through the Gospel. This is the same sense in which the title is used by Catholic priests today. We call priests “พ่อ,” not because they somehow take the place of God the Father, but because they are meant to serve as witnesses, living reminders, of His love, guidance and authority in our lives.
ความจริงคือ, the interpretation of แมทธิว 23:9 goes against the overwhelming evidence of Scripture.
ผู้พิพากษา 18:19, เช่น, กล่าว, “Come with us, and be to us a father and a priest.” In First Thessalonians 2:11, Paul writes, “You know how, like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you.” (See also Matt. 1:2 FF; 15:4-5; ลุค 14:26; การกระทำ 7:2; 21:40-22:1; รอม. 4:11 FF; 1 สี. 4:14-16; เอเฟซัส. 6:2; ฟิล. 2:22; 1 ทิม. 1:2; ติตัส 1:4; Philem. 1:10; มี. 12:9; พวกเขา. 2:21; 1 Pet. 5:13; 1 จอห์น 2:1, et al,).
The practice of calling priests Father continued in the early centuries of the Church. ในเรื่องเกี่ยวกับ 107 ค.ศ., ตัวอย่างเช่น, นักบุญอิก, the Bishop of Antioch implored the faithful to “respect the bishop as a type of the Father” (Letter to the Trallians 3:1).
ใน 177, the leaders of the Church of Lyons wrote to Pope Saint Eleutherus, คำพูด, “We pray, Father Eleutherus, that you may rejoice in God in all things and always” (Letter of the Holy Martyrs of Lyons; Eusebius Pamphilus, ประวัติความเป็นมาของคริสตจักร 5:4:2).
บังเอิญ, the title “Pope” (กรีก, Papa), which means Father, was for a time commonly used for all bishops, but eventually came to refer exclusively to the Bishop of Rome.
Given the biblical and historical evidence, Catholics might rightly ask why others do not call their spiritual leaders “Father.”