Calling God Daddy!

Is there anyone else on this forum who agrees that calling God “Daddy” is humanizing God the Father, I came across this in a Pentecostal service in prison and I nearly walked out, I like to humble myself in worship not shout out with arms flapping about.:neutral_face:

Isn’t ‘abba’ a form of daddy?

“Abba, Father, all things are possible to you. Take this cup away from me, but not what I will but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)


“Abba” is basically “Dad” or “Daddy”. Edited to add, I have heard this taught from the pulpit at Catholic churches, but I see Wikipedia scholarship rejects this idea. I will put the Wikiquote here and leave it to the scholars to sort out, but in any event Jesus had a close and loving relationship with God the Father and if it did mean “Dad” it wouldn’t have been a horrible thing.

In Evangelical Christian teachings, Abba is sometimes translated as “daddy”, suggesting that it is a childlike, intimate term for one’s father.[2] This has been rejected by most scholars because abba, unlike “daddy”, is used by adult children as well as young children. In the time of Jesus, it was neither markedly a term of endearment[3][4][5] nor a formal word, but the word normally used by sons and daughters, throughout their lives, in the family context.[6] Indeed, the usage of abba in Galatians 3:22-4:7 suggests that abba “asserts not childlike relation to God, but the privileged status of the adult son (not daughter) and heir”. [5]

With respect to “humanizing” God, Jesus was a human man.

If you don’t like calling God “Daddy” then don’t. You can call him what you wish. You don’t have to insist that everybody calls Him what you want, though.

I’ve not been to any Catholic service ever where God the Father was called anything other than God, Lord, or Father, so you probably won’t run into “Daddy” being used at Mass.


Well, I think you should have walked out if you could have…but if you were in prison I guess you couldn’t! Not only is it humanizing The Lord it is disrespectful and deflating the Word of God.

As far as I know Abba means Father but I may be wrong,

You are correct, but it isn’t the same as “Daddy.”

I don’t really have a problem with it. Yeah, I probably wouldn’t say it myself, but I think it has its place. Sometimes, we need to be reminded of our vulnerability and God’s love, and calling Him “Daddy” captures both very well.

Daddy has become a somewhat corrupted word so I wouldn’t use it.

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I had a priest who had visited the Holy Land. He mentioned in a homily one day about how he saw a little boy running up to his dad, calling out “Abba!” So I don’t know if a formal word has become more informal in the last 2,000 years, but he explained that it really affected him in how close Jesus felt to God the Father-- “Abba” took on a close, loving, trusting kind of affectionate meaning in his head, rather than a remote, distant kind of meaning.


Sure. God is a our Father. Abba. Papa. Daddy. Use one which you are comfortable with.

God is not saying He is a Father just to make it sounds nice but He really is when we accept Jesus His Son. In Jesus, together we become heirs and thus can call God, Abba Father.

The humanizing or reverent is in our hearts, either we do or we don’t.

Jesus said, not everyone who call ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven but the one who do the will of the Father.

So, what’s important is in our hearts, which is expressed by the words from our lips.

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It denotes a loving, intimate relationship, not a childlike one, so I have no objection to it at all.

And, calling God “Father” is anthropomorphizing him. He’s not a human like us. If you don’t want to anthropomorphize him, I suppose your only choices are God and Creator.

In the Aramaic language of the time of Jesus, there was absolutely no other word [than Abba] available if Jesus wished to speak of or address God as father. Naturally such speaking of and addressing thereby would lose its special character, for it is then indeed the only possible form!

It is fair to say that abba in Jesus’ time belonged to a familiar or colloquial register of language, as distinct from more formal and ceremonious language. . . . But in any case it was not a childish expression comparable with ‘Daddy’: it was a more solemn, responsible, adult address to a Father. (Barr, Journal of Theological Studies, “Abba Isn’t Daddy”, pg. 46)

If the New Testament writers had been conscience of the nuance ‘Daddy’ they could easily have expressed themselves so; but in fact they were well aware that the nuance is not that of ‘Daddy’ but of ‘father’.” . . . [T]he semantics of abba itself [based on various evidences] all agree in supporting the nuance ‘father’ than the nuance ‘Daddy’.” (Ibid., p. 38)

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Abba is a word that signifies a close and familiar paternal relationship. Daddy may be a little too close for an adult (okay for a small child). Jesus could have simply been consistent with the usage of “father” but he did use the term “abba”. I think he had a purpose, don’t you?

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In every homily I’ve heard on the subject, ‘abba’ is a familiar form for ‘father’. Like @midori I’ve heard priests talking about young children still using the term to refer to their fathers while on pilgrimage.

While I wouldn’t join in with your Pentecostal friends calling God the Father ‘daddy’, I think the Sacred Scriptures speak to the intimate relationship we have with Him. Contemplating this thread, I’ve had Rembrandt’s painting ‘The Prodigal Son’ come to mind. This visually represents to me the relationship we have with God the Father.



How exactly?
I called my dad “Daddy” for years when I was growing up and I still think of him as “Daddy”. It’s not corrupted in the least.

If we’re being informal, I prefer to call him the Big G or sometimes the O.G.

The way its the word is used in social media and stuff is more sinister.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of small children all across the USA who aren’t on social media continue to refer to their fathers as “Daddy” and buy birthday cards saying “Daddy”. I really couldn’t care less what happens on social media. I’m sure “Daddy” is not the only normal word that some bunch of pervs uses in a dirty way somewhere. Doesn’t mean they own the word.

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I don’t want seculars to get the wrong idea. I also like to use more formal terms, but that’s just my own preference.

Yes, we can have our own preference in how we are calling God as a Father.

Basically it denotes a relationship, otherwise what else can it be?

God went down to us in ways we can understand because we cannot understand His being unless he made Himself to be understood. What kind of a God He is?

To some people, God likened Himself as a Father can be very profoundly intimate and upbuilding while for others it can be an obstacle to love and believe God as He is. The latter can be due to our own broken or absent relationship with our own father and vice versa.

God nevertheless wants that father/child relationship with us. Of course the right kind.

This always involves what a loving God He is and that He loves us even when we were not up to the mark. Yes, even when we do not deserve His love.

Jesus illustrated this when he told the story of the Prodigal Son. And so that is what our Father God is.

Our Pentecostal friends are not wrong to call God Daddy. There is no limit as to what a child’s term of endearment for God.

Jesus emphasized this when he likened us that we should be like children when we approach the Father - with trust and love.

God bless.

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If you met God(our time will come) would you be running up to Him arms flapping shouting “Daddy Daddy”? I would be on my knees in the presence of God!!!

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