Bill Mounce

For an Informed Love of God


πατήρ means “father.”

“Our πατήρ in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Matt 6:9).

Mounce's Expository Dictionary (abridged): 

Noun: πατήρ (patēr), GK G4252 (S G3962), 413x. πατήρ refers to a male parent (e.g., Mk. 9:24), one’s ancestors (e.g., Mt. 3:9; Jn. 4:12; Acts 7:4, 11, 12, 14) or as a term of respect for an older man (Acts 7:2). It is also used to refer to God, who is the Father of all believers (Mt. 5:16) and of Jesus (Mt. 7:21; Mk. 11:10; Lk. 1:32). Jesus’ words in Mt. 12:50 are significant: “For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.” In creating a new “family” of believers, Jesus recognizes that his followers will be mothers, brothers, and sisters to each other, but he reserves the role of “father” for God alone (cf. Mt. 23:9). In Mk. 14:36, Jesus refers to God as “Abba” (a corresponding Aramaic word) and πατήρ (cf. Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:6). Though stressing the validity of the fifth commandment to honor one’s father and mother (Mt. 15:4; 19:19), Jesus also recognizes that his claims on those who follow him will sometimes cause fractures even in father-son relationships (Mt. 10:35–37).