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Meaning and etymology of the name Barabbas

Barabbas Barabbas

Barabbas is the name of the notorious criminal who Pilate released from the prison in Jerusalem in stead of Jesus (Matthew 27:16).

The name Barabbas is Greek transliteration of a Chaldean or Aramaic name. It consists of two elements:

The first part is the Chaldean or Aramaic word bar (bar), which is a cognate of the Hebrew word ben (ben), basically meaning son, much like the son-part in the English name Johnson, or the Mac-part in the name MacDonald. In compounds the word bar may also denote a smaller version of something, or someone sharing a characteristic with someone, or someone who's acquired a certain skill or characteristic.

See the Hebrew name Ben.

The second part of the name Barabbas comes from the Semitic word ab (ab), basically meaning father. But ab also occurs to indicate an elder (2 Kings 2:12) or the lord of a village (Isaiah 22:21), or an ancestor (Genesis 10:21), and often it simply indicates a position of authority; a prophet (2 Kings 6:21) or a counselor (Genesis 45:8).

The name Barabbas means Son Of The Father. Also see the name Abba.



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