Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: dē-dä’-skä-los
  • Strongs Concordance: #G1320
    • a teacher
    • in the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man
      • one who is fitted to teach, or thinks himself so
      • the teachers of the Jewish religion
      • of those who by their great power as teachers draw crowds around them i.e. John the Baptist, Jesus
      • by preeminence used of Jesus by himself, as one who showed men the way of salvation
      • of the apostles, and of Paul
      • of those who in the religious assemblies of the Christians, undertook the work of teaching, with the special assistance of the Holy Spirit
      • of false teachers among Christians
  • Appears 59 times in 58 verses in the New Testament
  • Common translations
    • “Teacher” (41x)
    • “teacher” (10x)
    • “teachers” (8x)

Where and how didaskalos is used in the New Testament

  1. Matthew 8:19 NASB – “19 Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.””

  2. Matthew 9:11 NASB – “11 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?””

  3. Matthew 10:24-25 NASB – “24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

  4. Matthew 12:38 NASB – “38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.””

  5. Matthew 17:24 NASB – “24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?””

  6. Matthew 19:16 NASB – “16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?””

  7. Matthew 22:16, 24, 36 NASB – “16 And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. … 24 asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.’ … 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?””

  8. Matthew 23:8 NASB – “8 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.”

  9. Matthew 26:18 NASB – “18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is near; I am to keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”‘””

  10. Mark 4:38 NASB – “38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?””

  11. Mark 5:35 NASB – “35 While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?””

  12. Mark 9:17, 38 NASB – “17 And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; … 38 John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.””

  13. Mark 10:17, 20, 35 NASB – “17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” … 20 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.” … 35 James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask of You.””

  14. Mark 12:14, 19, 32 NASB – “14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? … 19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN’S BROTHER DIES and leaves behind a wife AND LEAVES NO CHILD, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. … 32 The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;”

  15. Mark 13:1 NASB – “1 As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!””

  16. Mark 14:14 NASB – “14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘”

  17. Luke 2:46 NASB – “46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”

  18. Luke 3:12 NASB – “12 And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?””

  19. Luke 6:40 NASB – “40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”Luke 7:40 NASB – “40 And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.””

  20. Luke 8:49 NASB – “49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.””

  21. Luke 9:38 NASB – “38 And a man from the crowd shouted, saying, “Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy,”

  22. Luke 10:25 NASB – “25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?””

  23. Luke 11:45 NASB – “45 One of the lawyers said to Him in reply, “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.””

  24. Luke 12:13 NASB – “13 Someone in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.””

  25. Luke 18:18 NASB – “18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?””

  26. Luke 19:39 NASB – “39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.””

  27. Luke 20:21, 28, 39 NASB – “21 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach correctly, and You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. … 28 and they questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that IF A MAN’S BROTHER DIES, having a wife, AND HE IS CHILDLESS, HIS BROTHER SHOULD MARRY THE WIFE AND RAISE UP CHILDREN TO HIS BROTHER. … 39 Some of the scribes answered and said, “Teacher, You have spoken well.””

  28. Luke 21:7 NASB – “7 They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen? And what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?””

  29. Luke 22:11 NASB – “11 “And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘”

  30. John 1:38 NASB – “38 And Jesus turned and saw them following, and said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?””

  31. John 3:2, 10 NASB – “2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” … 10 Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?”

  32. John 8:4 NASB – “4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.”

  33. John 11:28 NASB – “28 When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.””

  34. John 13:13-14 NASB – “13 “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

  35. John 20:16 NASB – “16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).”

  36. Acts 13:1 NASB – “1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there, prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”

  37. Romans 2:20 NASB – “20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,”1

  38. Corinthians 12:28-29 NASB – “28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29 All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they?”

  39. Ephesians 4:11 NASB – “11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,”

  40. 1 Timothy 2:7 NASB – “7 For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

  41. 2 Timothy 1:11 NASB – “11 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.”

  42. 2 Timothy 4:3 NASB – “3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,”

  43. Hebrews 5:12 NASB – “12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”

  44. James 3:1 NASB – “1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.”

My observations and perspective

I find it interesting to note that the KJV translates didaskalos as “Master” more often than “teacher”. I think this warrants some consideration and examination. When considering both words together, it occurs to me that perhaps this word more than just a teacher in the instructor sense, but a teacher that is honored for being learned and/or wise about things. What comes to my mind is the Japanese idea of sensei (Think “Mr Miyagi”) – someone who has achieved a great level of mastery over the subjects they teach.

Without a doubt, most often this word is used to describe Jesus Christ himself.

There is mention that indeed there are those in the local church that bear the role of didaskalos (teacher). That is a good thing! Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider about them:

  1. The scriptures teach that not many should become didaskalos because it’s a role with a lot of accountability
  2. The scriptures do not equate “teacher” (didaskalos) with “pastor” (poimēn)
  3. The scriptures do not show those with the role of “teacher” taking ruling authority over the other saints.
  4. Jesus implies that only one should be our teacher in Matthew 23:8. What does that mean or imply?
  5. Jesus said of himself (John 13:13-14), that if we, being the Lord and Teacher (Master) of the disciples, washed their feet, then we should do likewise. This paints a humble and serving picture of Teachers.
  6. As mentioned elsewhere, the role of teacher is one that is appointed for the teacher to occupy.
  7. The writer of Hebrews felt that by the time of that writing, the readers should have been capable of being such by then, but were not.

Good teachers are a blessing to the local church. These do not assert or Lord themselves over others, not use their teaching role and gifts for the purpose of exercising dominion and control over the body.


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