● The Gospel writer Mark records that Jesus Christ used the term “Abba” when praying to Jehovah God in Gethsemane shortly before his death, saying: “Abba, Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.” (Mark 14:36) Here is the fervent appeal of a son to a beloved Father, followed quickly by an assurance that, in any event, he would remain obedient. The word abba in Aramaic means “father” and corresponds to the Hebrew ab (father) but is the emphatic form of Ab. It was the intimate name used by children for their fathers and combines some of the intimacy of the English word “papa” while retaining the dignity of the word “father,” being both informal and yet respectful. It was therefore a more endearing form of address than a title and was among the first words a child learned to speak. Two other occurrences of the use of the word are in the apostle Paul’s letters, at Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6. In both places the word is used in connection with Christians called to be spirit-begotten sons of God and indicates the intimacy of their relationship with their Father. While they are “slaves to God,” yet they are also sons in the house of a loving Father, and they are made positively aware of this status by holy spirit through their Lord Jesus.—Rom. 6:22; 8:15; Gal. 4:6.