Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words 
from a root signifying "a nourisher, protector, upholder" (Lat., pater, Eng., "father," are akin), is used (a) of the nearest ancestor, e.g., Matthew 2:22; (b) of a more remote ancestor, the progenitor of the people, a "forefather," e.g., Matthew 3:9; 23:30; 1—Corinthians 10:1; the patriarchs, 2—Peter 3:4; (c) one advanced in the knowledge of Christ, 1—John 2:13; (d) metaphorically, of the originator of a family or company of persons animated by the same spirit as himself, as of Abraham, Romans 4:11,12,16,17,18 , or of Satan, John 8:38,41,44; (e) of one who, as a preacher of the Gospel and a teacher, stands in a "father's" place, caring for his spiritual children, 1—Corinthians 4:15 (not the same as a mere title of honor, which the Lord prohibited, Matthew 23:9 ); (f) of the members of the Sanhedrin, as of those who exercised religious authority over others, Acts 7:2; 22:1; (g) of God in relation to those who have been born anew ( John 1:12,13 ), and so are believers, Ephesians 2:18; 4:6 (cp. 2—Corinthians 6:18 ), and imitators of their "Father," Matthew 5:45,48; 6:1,4,6,8,9 , etc. Christ never associated Himself with them by using the personal pronoun "our;" He always used the singular, "My Father," His relationship being unoriginated and essential, whereas theirs is by grace and regeneration, e.g., Matthew 11:27; 25:34; John 20:17; Revelation 2:27; 3:5,21; so the Apostles spoke of God as the "Father" of the Lord Jesus Christ, e.g., Romans 15:6; 2—Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3; Hebrews 1:5; 1—Peter 1:3; Revelation 1:6; (h) of God, as the "Father" of lights, i.e., the Source or Giver of whatsoever provides illumination, physical and spiritual, James 1:17; of mercies, 2—Corinthians 1:3; of glory, Ephesians 1:17; (i) of God, as Creator, Hebrews 12:9 (cp. Zechariah 12:1 ).
Matthew 11:27 John 17:25 John 8:42,44 John 1:12 Galatians 3:26
signifies "of one's fathers," or "received from one's fathers" (akin to A), Acts 22:3; 24:14; 28:17 . In the Sept. Proverbs 27:10 .
"from one's fathers, or ancestors," is said of that which is handed down from one's "forefathers," Galatians 1:14 .
"without father" (a, negative, and pater), signifies, in Hebrews 7:3 , with no recorded genealogy.
"handed down from one's fathers" (pater, and paradidomi, "to hand down"), is used in 1—Peter 1:18 .
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary 
A basic element in fatherhood is that it is related to origins, to bringing things into existence ( Genesis 17:5). Consequently, the Bible speaks about God as the Father of creation, for he is the source of all things ( Numbers 16:22; Isaiah 64:8; Malachi 2:10; Luke 3:38; Hebrews 12:9; James 1:17; see God ). This is possibly one aspect of God’s fatherhood that Paul refers to when he points out that all fatherhood comes ultimately from God. Earthly fathers exist only because there is a heavenly Father ( Ephesians 3:14-15). (For the responsibilities of fathers in human society see Family .)
People in Bible times used the word ‘father’ as a respectful way of referring to their ancestors ( Psalms 22:4; Hebrews 1:1; see Ancestors ). They even used it to refer to their spiritual leaders, especially those who brought them to know God ( 2 Kings 6:21; 2 Kings 13:14; 1 Corinthians 4:14-15; 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Peter 5:13; cf. Matthew 23:7-12). But the Bible’s most important use of ‘father’ is in relation to God.
Father of his people
When the Bible speaks of God’s fatherhood of his people, there is again a variety of meanings. In Old Testament times God was the Father of the nation Israel. He made Israel his people by covenant, and cared for them as a father cares for his children ( Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 1:31; Deuteronomy 8:5; Hosea 11:1; Malachi 1:6; John 8:41). In particular he was Father to the king of his chosen people, and more particularly still, of the Messiah, whom Israel’s king foreshadowed ( 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalms 2:7; cf. Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; see Messiah ). In addition to all this, God was Father in a special sense to the true believers within the nation ( Psalms 103:13; Isaiah 63:16; Malachi 3:17; John 8:42).
The New Testament shows that God is Father to all who believe in him – not just Israelites, but believers of all nations ( Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2-3). All people, regardless of nationality, are dead in sin, but those who repent of their sin and believe in Jesus are ‘born again’. They receive new life from God and so become God’s children ( John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:1; see Regeneration ). To use another picture, God adopts them into his family and gives them the status and privileges of full-grown sons ( Galatians 4:4-6; see Adoption ). Believers therefore can speak to God confidently as their Father ( Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:9-13; Romans 8:15-16; see Abba ; Prayer ). Yet they must also reverence him, for he is their judge ( Matthew 6:14-15; 1 Peter 1:17).
God, on his part, cares for his children’s needs and makes them heirs of his inheritance ( Matthew 6:32; Luke 12:32; Romans 8:17), though he also chastises them when they do wrong ( 2 Samuel 7:14-15; Hebrews 12:7-11; see Chastisement ). God’s children are to develop lives whose character is like that of their Father ( Matthew 5:48).
Father of Jesus Christ
The highest sense in which God is Father is as the Father of Jesus Christ ( John 1:18; John 5:36; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3). But his fatherhood of Jesus is different from his fatherhood of believers (cf. John 20:17).
God did not make Jesus his Son as he makes believers his sons. Jesus always has been the Son of God. There is no suggestion that God the Father existed first and God the Son came into existence later. The Father and the Son, both being God, have existed eternally, but they have existed eternally in this relationship of Father and Son. Though distinct persons, they are inseparably united ( John 10:30; John 14:10; see SON OF God; Trinity )
As the Son, Jesus alone has true knowledge of the Father. Therefore, only through the Son is the Father revealed to the world, and only through the Son can the world come to know the Father ( Matthew 11:27; John 1:18; John 5:18; John 10:15; John 14:6-7).
Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words 
'Âb ( אָב , Strong'S #1), “father; grandfather; forefather; ancestor.” Cognates of this word occur in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Phoenician, and other Semitic languages. Biblical Hebrew attests it about 1,120 times and in all periods.
Basically, 'âb relates to the familial relationship represented by the word “father.” This is the word’s significance in its first biblical appearance: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife …” (Gen. 2:24). In poetical passages, the word is sometimes paralleled to 'âb , “mother”: “I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister” (Job 17:14). The word is also used in conjunction with “mother” to represent one’s parents (Lev. 19:3). But unlike the word ’em , 'âb —is never used of animals.
'Âb also means “grandfather” and/or “greatgrandfather,” as in Gen. 28:13: “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy [grand]father, and the God of Isaac.…” Such progenitors on one’s mother’s side were called “thy mother’s father” (Gen. 28:2). This noun may be used of any one of the entire line of men from whom a given individual is descended: “But he [Elijah] himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:4). In such use, the word may refer to the first man, a “forefather,” a clan (Jer. 35:6), a tribe (Josh. 19:47), a group with a special calling (1 Chron. 24:19), a dynasty (1 Kings 15:3), or a nation (Josh. 24:3). Thus, “father” does not necessarily mean the man who directly sired a given individual.
This noun sometimes describes the adoptive relationship, especially when it is used of the “founder of a class or station,” such as a trade: “And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father —of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle” (Gen. 4:20).
'Âb can be a title of respect, usually applied to an older person, as when David said to Saul: “Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand …” (1 Sam. 24:11). The word is also applied to teachers: “And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof …” (2 Kings 2:12). In 2 Kings 6:21, the word is applied to the prophet Elisha and in Judg. 17:10, to a priest; this word is also a title of respect when used of “one’s husband”: “Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?” (Jer. 3:4). In Gen. 45:8, the noun is used of an “advisor”: “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father [advisor] to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.” In each case, the one described as “father” occupied a position or status and received the honor due to a “father.”
In conjunction with bayit (“house”), the word 'âb may mean “family”: “In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers …” (Exod. 12:3). Sometimes the plural of the word used by itself can represent “family”: “… These are the heads of the fathers [households] of the Levites according to their families” (Exod. 6:25).
God is described as the “father” of Israel (Deut. 32:6). He is the One who begot and protected them, the One they should revere and obey. Mal. 2:10 tells us that God is the “father” of all people. He is especially the “protector” or “father” of the fatherless: “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation” (Ps. 68:5). As the “father” of a king, God especially aligns Himself to that man and his kingdom: “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men” (2 Sam. 7:14). Not every king was a son of God—only those whom He adopted. In a special sense, the perfect King was God’s adopted Son: “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” (Ps. 2:7). The extent, power, and duration of His kingdom are guaranteed by the Father’s sovereignty (cf. Ps. 2:8-9). On the other hand, one of the Messiah’s enthronement names is “Eternal Father”: “… And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6).
Fausset's Bible Dictionary 
Chaldaic 'Abba . Christ's endearing filial mode of addressing God; so believers ( Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15); from 'Aabah , "to show kindness." God's fatherhood is the ground and pattern for human fatherhood. Abraham was "father of nations," both by natural descent from him and by spiritual fellowship in his faith ( Genesis 18:18-19; Romans 4:17). The godly father's blessing brought great good, his curse great evil ( Genesis 9:25-27); the undutifulness of Ham entailing a curse on his race, the dutifulness of Shem and Japhet a blessing on their races ( Genesis 27:27-40; Genesis 48:15-20; Genesis 48:49). The fifth commandment, "honor thy father and mother," is the first with special promise ( Ephesians 6:2).
Love descends rather than ascends; hence this commandment is more needed than one concerning parents' duties to children, but this is added ( Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21). Dishonoring parents is one of the worst sins ( Exodus 21:15-17; 1 Timothy 1:9; Malachi 1:6; Isaiah 45:10). Still the parent was not to inflict death, but to bring the refractory child before the city elders in the gate or place of justice ( Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Any ancestor is called "father" or "mother" ( Isaiah 51:2; Jeremiah 35:16-18, the sons of Jonadab son of Rechab, a striking instance of the blessing on obedience to parents; Daniel 5:2; 2 Chronicles 15:16 margin). "Father" is used also for protector, patron ( Job 29:16; Psalms 68:5; Deuteronomy 32:6). "Fathers" mean elders ( Acts 7:2; Acts 22:1). The pupils of a spiritual master are called "sons" ( 2 Kings 2:3; 2 Kings 4:1).
"Father" expresses one worshipped or reverenced ( Jeremiah 2:27; 2 Kings 2:12; 2 Kings 5:13; 2 Kings 6:21). The inventor of any art is called "father" of it or of its practicers ( Genesis 4:20-21; John 8:44; Job 38:28; Job 17:14). So the source ( 2 Corinthians 1:3) or instrument of spiritual blessings, as "mercy," regeneration. 1 Corinthians 4:15; "though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." The father's great duty was to teach God's laws continually to his children; "speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up ... that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children ... as the days of heaven upon the earth" ( Deuteronomy 11:18-21).
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary 
This word, beside its common acceptation, is taken in Scripture for grandfather, great-grandfather, or the founder of a family, how remote soever. So the Jews in our Saviour's time called Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their fathers. Jesus Christ is called the Son of David, though David was many generations distant from him. By father is likewise understood the institutor of a certain profession. Jabal "was father of such as dwell in tents, and such as have cattle." Jubal "was father of all such as handle the harp and organ," or flute, &c, Genesis 4:20-21 . Huram is called father of the king of Tyre, 2 Chronicles 2:13; and, 2 Chronicles 4:16 , even of Solomon, because he was the principal workman, and chief director of their undertakings. The principal prophets were considered as fathers of the younger, who were their disciples, and are called sons of the prophets, 2 Kings 2:12 . Father is a term of respect given by inferiors to superiors. "My father," said Naaman's attendants to him, "if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing," 2 Kings 5:13; and so the king of Israel addresses the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings 6:21 . Rechab, the founder of the Rechabites, is called their father, Jeremiah 35:6 . A man is said to be a father to the poor and orphans, when he supplies their necessities, and sympathizes with their miseries, as a father would do toward them: "I was a father to the poor," says Job 29:16 . God declares himself to be the "Father of the fatherless, and Judge of the widow," Psalms 68:5 . God is frequently called our heavenly Father, and simply our Father; eminently the Father, Preserver, and Protector of all, especially of those who invoke him, and serve him: "Is he not thy Father that bought thee?" says Moses, Deuteronomy 32:6 . Since the coming of Jesus Christ, we have a new right to call God our Father, by reason of the adoption which our Saviour has merited for us, by clothing himself in our humanity, and purchasing us by his death: "Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God," Romans 8:15 . Job entitles God "the Father of rain," Job 38:28; he produces it, and causes it to fall. The devil is called the father of the wicked and the father of lies, John 8:44 . He deceived Eve and Adam; he introduced sin and falsehood; he inspires his followers with his spirit and sentiments. The father of Sichem, the father of Tekoah, the father of Bethlehem, &c, signify the chief persons who inhabited these cities; he who built or rebuilt them. Adam is the first father, the father of the living; Abraham is the father of the faithful, the father of the circumcision; called also the "father of many nations," because many people sprung from him; as the Jews, Ishmaelites, Arabs, &c. God is called "the Father of spirits," Hebrews 12:9 . He not only creates them, but he justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies them, and thus confers upon them eternal happiness.
Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary 
This name in Scripture hath many applications. Not only the father of a family and head of an house or tribe, but also it is frequently put for the inventor of any art or science. Thus Jubal is said to have been the father of such as dwell in tents; and "Tubal the father of all such as handle the harp or organ." ( Genesis 4:20) And in a yet more interesting sense, the word of God calls them father, who stand distinguished in the church in a way of pre-eminency, such as Abraham, the father of the faithful, so called for the greatness of his faith. And so on the contrary, the wicked and ungodly are called evil. Hence Christ told the enemies of his gospel, "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." ( John 8:44)
But while we carefully attend to these distinctions, respecting the application of the name of father in Scripture it should be always kept in remembrance that the name Father is in a peculiar and blessed sense had in special reference to God, as "the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." ( Ephesians 3:14-15)
Hence, in relation to him under this sweet appellation and character, the Lord Jesus himself said to Mary after he arose from the dead, "I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God." ( John 20:17) Christ also is the everlasting Father of his church and people. ( Isaiah 9:6) I refer the reader to what was said under the article Abba, for the farther view of the blessedness of this relationship. Nothing can be more sweet or consolatory. (Let the reader consult also those Scriptures, Matthew 23:9; Isaiah 63:16; Malachi 2:10)
Smith's Bible Dictionary 
Father. The position and authority of the father as the head of the family are expressly assumed and sanctioned in Scripture, as a likeness of that of the Almighty over his creatures. It lies, of course, at the root of that so-called patriarchal government, Genesis 3:16; 1 Corinthians 11:3, which was introductory to the more definite systems which followed, and which in part, but not wholly, superseded it. The father's blessing was regarded as conferring special benefit, but his malediction, special injury, on those on whom it fell, Genesis 9:25; Genesis 9:27; Genesis 27:27-40; Genesis 48:15; Genesis 48:20; Genesis 49:1, and so, also, the sin of a parent was held to affect, in certain cases, the welfare of his descendants. 2 Kings 5:27.
The command to honor parents is noticed by St. Paul as the only one of the Decalogue which bore a distinct promise, Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2, and disrespect towards them was condemned by the law as one of the worst crimes. Exodus 21:15; Exodus 21:17; 1 Timothy 1:9. It is to this well-recognized theory of parental authority and supremacy that the very various uses of the term "father" in Scripture are due. "Fathers" is used in the sense of seniors, Acts 7:2; Acts 22:1, and of parents in general, or ancestors. Daniel 5:2; Jeremiah 27:7; Matthew 23:30; Matthew 23:32.
Webster's Dictionary 
(1): ( n.) One of the chief esslesiastical authorities of the first centuries after Christ; - often spoken of collectively as the Fathers; as, the Latin, Greek, or apostolic Fathers.
(2): ( v. t.) To take as one's own child; to adopt; hence, to assume as one's own work; to acknowledge one's self author of or responsible for (a statement, policy, etc.).
(3): ( n.) The Supreme Being and Creator; God; in theology, the first person in the Trinity.
(4): ( n.) One who performs the offices of a parent by maintenance, affetionate care, counsel, or protection.
(5): ( n.) A male ancestor more remote than a parent; a progenitor; especially, a first ancestor; a founder of a race or family; - in the plural, fathers, ancestors.
(6): ( n.) One who has begotten a child, whether son or daughter; a generator; a male parent.
(7): ( n.) One who, or that which, gives origin; an originator; a producer, author, or contriver; the first to practice any art, profession, or occupation; a distinguished example or teacher.
(8): ( v. t.) To make one's self the father of; to beget.
(9): ( n.) A dignitary of the church, a superior of a convent, a confessor (called also father confessor), or a priest; also, the eldest member of a profession, or of a legislative assembly, etc.
(10): ( v. t.) To provide with a father.
(11): ( n.) A senator of ancient Rome.
(12): ( n.) A respectful mode of address to an old man.
Morrish Bible Dictionary 
Except as creator and preserver of all, God is not revealed as Father in the O.T. "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us?" Malachi 2:10 . The Lord Jesus is also prophesied of as 'the everlasting Father' or 'Father of the everlasting age.' Isaiah 9:6 . It was reserved for the N.T. times that God should be made known as Father; and this was done only by the Lord Jesus while upon earth, who constantly spoke to His disciples of God as their Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16,45,48; Matthew 6:1,8,14,15 , etc. He could, as the Son, while on earth thus make Him known to them. After the resurrection the Lord was able to send this message to His disciples, whom He now calls His 'brethren:' "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." John 20:17 . The will of the Father and the work of His Son, the source of eternal life to them, had brought the disciples in this respect into the same heavenly position as the risen Christ Himself before the Father. The term 'father' is used symbolically when there is a moral likeness between a leader and his followers. John 8:38-44 .
In the O.T. the word ab is at times used as 'founder:' thus in 1 Chronicles 4:4 one is mentioned as the 'father' of Bethlehem.
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary 
Is often synonymous with ancestor, founder, or originator, as Genesis 4:20-21 John 8:56 Romans 4:16 . Joseph was a father to Pharoah, Genesis 45:8 , as his counselor and provider. God is the Deuteronomy 32:6 Isaiah 63:16 64:8 Luke 3:38 . But as we have forfeited the rights of children by our sins, it is only through Christ that we can call God by that endearing name, "our Father," John 20:17 Romans 8:15-17 .
In patriarchal times, a father was master and judge in his own household, and exercised and authority almost unlimited over his family. Filial disobedience or disrespect was a high offence. Under the law, certain acts of children were capital crimes, Exodus 21:15,17 Leviticus 20:9; and the father was required to bring his son to the public tribunal, Deuteronomy 21:18-21 . See Mother .
Easton's Bible Dictionary 
Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Father'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/f/father.html. 1897.
King James Dictionary 
F'ATHER, n. L. pater. The primary sense is obvious.
1. He who begets a child in L. genitor or generator.
The father of a fool hath no joy. Proverbs 17 .
2. The first ancestor the progenitor of a race or family. Adam was the father of the human race. Abraham was the father of the Israelites. 3. The appellation of an old man, and a term of respect.
The king of Israel said to Elisha, my father shall I smite them? 2 Kings 6 .
The servants of Naaman call him father. Elderly men are called fathers as the fathers of a town or city. In the church, men venerable for age, learning and piety are called fathers, or reverend fathers.
4. The grandfather or more remote ancestor. Nebuchadnezzar is called the father of Belshazzar, though he was his grandfather. Daniel 5 .
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology 
Holman Bible Dictionary 
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible 
Father . See Family, Genealogy, 1 .
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament 
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature 
( אָב , Ab, a primitive word, but followilng the analogy of אָבָה , To Show Kindness, Gesenius, Thesaurus, pages 6-8; Chaldee, אִב , Πατήρ ). Compare SON.
1. This word, besides its obvious and primary sense, bears in Scripture a number of other applications, most of which have, through the use of the Bible, become more or less common in all Christian countries (see Gesenius's Hebrews and Robinson's Greek Lex.).
(1.) Father is applied to any ancestor near or remote, or to ancestors ("fathers") in general. The progenitor, or founder, or Patriarch of a tribe or nation was also pre-eminently its father, as Abraham of the Jews. 'examples of this abound. See, for instance, Deuteronomy 1:11; 1 Kings 8:11; Matthew 3:9; Matthew 23:30; Mark 11:10; Luke 1:32; Luke 1:73; Luke 6:23; Luke 6:26; John 7:22, etc. So of the founder or rebuilder of a city ( 1 Chronicles 2:50-52, etc.).
(2.) Father is also applied as a title of respect to any head, chief, ruler, or elder, and especially to kings, prophets, and priests ( Judges 17:10; Judges 18:19; 1 Samuel 10:12; 2 Kings 2:12; 2 Kings 5:13; 2 Kings 6:21; 2 Kings 13:14; Proverbs 4:1; Matthew 23:9; Acts 7:2; Acts 22:1; 1 Corinthians 4:15, etc.). Also of protector or guardian ( Job 29:16; Psalms 68:5; Deuteronomy 32:6). Hence of seniors, especially of Church fathers. See below.
(3.) The author, source, or beginner of anything is also called the father of the same, or of those who follow him. Thus Jabal is called "the father of those who dwell in tents, and have cattle;" and Jubal "the father of all — such as handle the harp and the organ" ( Genesis 4:21-22; comp. Job 38:28; John 8:44; Romans 4:12). In the Talmud the term father is used to indicate the chief; e.g. the principal of certain works are termed "fathers." Objects whose contact causes pollution are called "fathers" of defilement (Mishna, Shabb. 7:2, volume 2, page 29; Pesach, 1:6, volume 2, page 137, Surenh.). This use of the word is exceedingly common in the East to this day, especially as applied in the formation of proper names, in which also the most curious Hebrew examples of this usage occur. (See Ab) — .
(4.) As an extension of all the foregoing senses, the term father is very often applied to God himself ( Genesis 44:19-20; Exodus 4:22; Deuteronomy 32:6; 2 Samuel 7:14; Psalms 89:27-28; Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8). Indeed, the analogy of language would point to this, seeing that in the Old Testaments and in all the Syro-Arabian dialects, the originator of anything is constantly called its father. Without doubt, however, God is in a more especial manner, even as by covenant, the Father of the Jews ( Jeremiah 31:9; Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 64:8; John 8:41; John 5:45; 2 Corinthians 6:18); and also of Christians, or, rather, of all pious and believing persons, emho are called "sons of God" ( John 1:12; Romans 8:16, etc.). Thus Jesus, in speaking to his disciples, calls God their Father ( Matthew 6:4; Matthew 6:8; Matthew 6:15; Matthew 6:18; Matthew 10:20; Matthew 10:29; Matthew 13:43, etc.). The apostles also, for themselves and other Christians, call him "Father" ( Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:4; and many other places). (See Abba).
2. The position and authority of the father as the head of the family is expressly assunsed and sanctioted in Scripture, as a likeness of that of the Almighty over his creatures, an authority — as Philo remarks — intermediate between human and divine (Philo, Περὶγονέων Τηεῆς , § 1). It lies, of course, at the root of that so-called patriarchal government ( Genesis 3:16 : 1 Corinthians 11:3), which was introductory to the more definite systems that followed, and that in part, but not wholly, superseded it. When, therefore, the name of "father of nations" ( אִבְרָהָם ) was given to Abram, he was thereby held up not only as the ancestor, but as the example of those who should come after him ( Genesis 18:18-19; Romans 4:17). The father's blessing was regarded as conferring special benefit,but his malediction special injury, on those upon whom it fell ( Genesis 9:25; Genesis 9:27; Genesis 27:27-40; Genesis 48:15; Genesis 48:20; Genesis 49); and so also the sin of a parent was held to affect, in certain cases, the welfare of his descendants ( 2 Kings 5:27), though the law forbade the punishment of the son for his father's transgression ( Deuteronomy 24:16; 2 Kings 14:6; Ezekiel 18:20). The command to honor parents is noticed by the apostle Paul as the only one of the Decalogue which bore a distinct promise ( Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:2), and direspect towards them was condemned by the law as one of the worst of crimes ( Exodus 21:15; Exodus 21:17; 1 Timothy 1:9; comp. Virgil, Aen. 6:609; Aristoph. Ran. 274-773). Instances of legal enactment in support of parental authority are found inr Exodus 22:17; Numbers 30:3; Numbers 30:5; Numbers 12:14; Deuteronomy 21:18; Deuteronomy 21:21; Leviticus 20:9; Leviticus 21:9; Leviticus 22:12; and the spirit of the law in this direction may be seen in Proverbs 13:1; Proverbs 15:5; Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 19:13; Proverbs 20:20; Proverbs 28:24; Proverbs 30:17; Isaiah 45:10; Malachi 1:6. The father, however, had not the power of death over his child under the Mosaic law ( Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Philomen 1.c.).
From the patriarchal spirit also the principle of respect to age and authority in general appears to be derived. Thus Jacob is described as blessing Pharaoh ( Genesis 47:7; Genesis 47:10; comp. Leviticus 19:32; Proverbs 16:31; Philomen 1.c. § 6).
The authority of a father was thus very great in patriarchal times; and although the law of Moses required the parent to bring his cause of complaint to the public tribunals. ( Deuteronomy 21:18-21), all the more real powers of parental character were not only left unimpaired, but were made in a great degree the basis of the judicial polity which that law established. The children, and even the grandchildren, continued under the roof of the father and grandfather; they labored on his account, and were the most submissive of his servants. The property of the soil, the power of judgment, the civil rights, belonged to him only, and his sons were merely his instruments and assistants. If a family be compared to a body, then the father was the head, and the sons the members, moving at his will and in his service. There were exceptions, doubtless, but this was the rule, and, with some modifications, it is still the rule throughout the East.
Filial duty and obedience were, indeed, in the eyes of the Jewish legrislator, of such high importance that great care was taken that the paternal authority should not be weakened by the withdrawal of a power so liable to fatal and barbarous abuse as that of capital punishment. Any outrage against a parent-a blow, a curse, or incorrigible profligcacy — was made a capital crime ( Exodus 21:13; Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9). If the offense Was public, it was taken up by the witnesses as a crime against Jehovah, and the culprit was brought before the magistrates, whether the parent consented or not; and if the offense was hidden within the paternal walls, it devolved on the parents to denounce him and to require his punishment.
It is a beautiful circumstance in the law of Moses that this filial respect is exacted for the mother as well as for the father. The threats and promises of the legislator distinguish not the one from the other; and the fifth commandment associates the father and mother in a precisely equal claim to honor from their children (see Cellerier, Esprit de la Legislation Mosaique, 2:69, 122-129). (See Woman).
Among Mohaimmedans parental authority has great weight during the time of pupilage. The son is not allowed to eat, scarcely to sit, in his father's presence. Disobedience to parents is reckoned one of the most heinous of crimes' (Burckhardt, Notes on Bed. 1:355; Lane, Mod. Eg. 1:84; Atkinson, Travels in Siberia, page 559).
Father (God The ) was usually represented in early Christian art by a hand, which was usually extended through a cloud. The principal subjects in which God the Father is represented by a hand are the scenes from the creation: Moses receiving the law, Moses at the burning bush, the sacrifice of Abraham, and the baptism of Christ. The hand is often given as holding out wreaths or crowns to saints and inartyrs at their death, or their ascension to Paradise. As early as the fifth century, God the Father is represented as an old man. This symbol predominated during the later Middle Ages, and is the one now universally adopted by Christian artists. The figures of God in the creation by M. Angelo and Raphael, in the Sistine chapel and in the Vatican, are among the grandest conceptions in all art. God the Father is also represented as an. old man,in the representations of the Trinity (q.v.). — Martigny, Dictionnaire des Antiquites Chrdtiennes, 1865.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia 
fa´thẽr (Anglo-Saxon, Foeder ; German, Vater ; Hebrew אב , 'ābh , etymology uncertain, found in many cognate languages; Greek πατήρ , patḗr , from root pâ , "nourisher," "protector," "upholder"):
1. Immediate Male Ancestor
Immediate male ancestor. The father in the Hebrew family, as in the Roman, had supreme rights over his children, could dispose of his daughter in marriage (Gen 29), arrange his son's marriage (Gen 24), sell his children ( Exodus 21:7 ), but not his daughter to a stranger ( Nehemiah 5:5 ), had power of life and death, as in the case of Isaac (Gen 22), Jephthah's daughter ( Judges 11:34 ), the sacrificing of his children to Molech ( Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:3-5 ), etc. Respect, reverence and affection for fathers (and equally for mothers) is most tenderly, explicitly and sternly prescribed from the earliest times ( Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:3; Deuteronomy 5:16; Micah 7:6; Ezekiel 22:7 , etc.). A symmetrical and beautiful picture of the duties and character of the ideal human father may be built up from the Old Testament, with added and enlarged touches from the New Testament. He loves ( Genesis 37:4 ); commands ( Genesis 50:16; Proverbs 6:20 ); instructs ( Proverbs 1:8 , etc.); guides, encourages, warns ( Jeremiah 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:11 ); trains ( Hosea 11:3 ); rebukes ( Genesis 34:30 ); restrains (Eli, by contrast, 1 Samuel 3:13 ); punishes ( Deuteronomy 21:18 ); chastens ( Proverbs 3:12; Deuteronomy 8:5 ); nourishes ( Isaiah 1:2 ); delights in his son ( Proverbs 3:12 ), and in his son's wisdom ( Proverbs 10:1 ); is deeply pained by his folly ( Proverbs 17:25 ); he is considerate of his children's needs and requests ( Matthew 7:10 ); considerate of their burdens, or sins ( Malachi 3:17 , "As a man spareth his own son"); tenderly familiar ( Luke 11:7 , "with me in bed"); considerately self-restrained ( Ephesians 6:4 , "Provoke not your children to wrath"); having in view the highest ends (ibid., "Nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord"); pitiful ( Psalm 103:13 , "as a father pitieth his children"); the last human friend (but one) to desert the child ( Psalm 27:10 : "When (a thing to the psalmist incredible) my father and my mother forsake me, then Yahweh will take me up").
2. Ancestors, Immediate or Remote
( a ) Ancestor, immediate or remote: Genesis 28:13 , "Abraham thy father" (grandfather); 1 Kings 22:50 , "Jehoshaphat ... David his father"; Jeremiah 35:6 , "Jonadab, the son of Rechab, our father"; Daniel 5:11 , "Nebuchadnezzar thy father" (personal or official ancestor); Genesis 15:15 , "Go to thy fathers in peace" (and so (in the plural) in over 500 passages). The expressions "slept with his fathers," "go down to his fathers," "buried with his fathers," "gathered to his fathers," are self-explanatory euphemisms. ( b ) The founders of the (Hebrew) race, specifically the patriarchs:' Romans 9:5 , "whose are the fathers," considered here also as in a sense the religious ancestors of all believers. ( c ) Progenitors of clans, i.e. (Revised Version (British and American)) "fathers' houses": Exodus 6:14; 1 Chronicles 27:1 , etc. ( d ) Gods as progenitors of men: Jeremiah 2:27 , "Who say to a stock, thou art my father."
3. Figurative and Derived Uses
( a ) A spiritual ancestor, one who has infused his own spirit into others, whether good, as Abraham, the father of the faithful, Romans 4:11; or bad, as John 8:44 , "Ye are of your father the devil." ( b ) Indicating closest resemblance, kinship, affinity: Job 17:14 , "If I have said to corruption, Thou art my father." ( c ) A source: Ephesians 1:17 , "Father of glory"; Job 38:28 , "Hath the rain a father?" ( d ) Creator: James 1:17 , "the Father of lights." ( e ) The inventor or originator of an art or mode of life: Genesis 4:20 , "father of such as dwell in tents" (a hint here of hereditary occupations? Probably not). ( f ) One who exhibits the fatherly characteristics: Psalm 68:5 , "a father of the fatherless." ( g ) One who occupies a position of counsel, care, or control (frequently applied by sultans to their prime ministers): Genesis 45:8 , "a father to Pharaoh"; Judges 17:10 , "Be unto me a father and a priest." ( h ) A revered or honored superior: 2 Kings 5:13 , "My father, if the prophet had bid thee"; but especially applied to prophets: 2 Kings 2:12 , "My father, my father!" also to elderly and venerable men: 1 John 2:13 , "I write unto you, fathers"; hence also, with perhaps an outlook on (2) ( a ), deceased early Christians: 2 Peter 3:4 , "from the day that the fathers fell asleep." An ecclesiastical title, condemned (in principle) by our Lord: Matthew 23:9 , "Call no man your father on the earth"; but applied, under the power of the Spirit, to members of the Sanhedrin (probably) by Stephen: Acts 7:2; and by Paul: Acts 22:1 , but the latter, perhaps also the former, may simply refer to the elderly among his hearers. Christ's condemnation is clearly of the praise-seeking or obsequious spirit, rather than of a particular custom.
"Father," used by Mary of Joseph, in relation to Jesus, equals "putative father," a necessary reserve at a time when the virgin birth could not yet be proclaimed ( Luke 2:49 ). But note Jesus' answer: "my Father's house."
Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature 
This word, besides its obvious and primary sense, bears, in Scripture, a number of other applications, most of which have, through the use of the Bible, become more or less common in all Christian countries.
1. The term Father is very often applied to God Himself (;;;;; ). In some of these passages He is set before us as the Father of all men, in the general sense of creator and preserver of all men, but more especially of believers, whether Jews or Christians.
Without doubt, however, God is in a more especial and intimate manner, even as by covenant, the Father of the Jews (;;;;; ); and also of Christians, or rather of all pious and believing persons, who are called 'sons of God' (; , etc.). Thus Jesus, in speaking to his disciples, calls God their Father (;;;;;; , etc.). The Apostles, also, for themselves and other Christians, call him 'Father' (;;;; and many other places).
2. Father is applied to any ancestor near or remote, or to ancestors ('fathers') in general. The progenitor, or founder, or patriarch of a tribe or nation, was also pre-eminently its father, as Abraham of the Jews. Examples of this abound. See, for instance,;;;;;;;;; , etc.
3. Father is also applied as a title of respect to any head, chief, ruler, or elder, and especially to kings, prophets, and priests (;;;;;;;;;;; , etc.)
4. The author, source, or beginner of anything is also called the Father of the same, or of those who follow him. Thus Jabal is called 'the father of those who dwell in tents, and have cattle;' and Jubal, 'the father of all such as handle the harp and the organ' (; comp.;; ).
The authority of a father was very great in patriarchal times; and although the power of life and death was virtually taken from the parent by the law of Moses, which required him to bring his cause of complaint to the public tribunals , all the more real powers of the paternal character were not only left unimpaired, but were made in a great degree the basis of the judicial polity which that law established. The children and even the grandchildren continued under the roof of the father and grandfather; they labored on his account, and were the most submissive of his servants. The property of the soil, the power of judgment, the civil rights, belonged to him only, and his sons were merely his instruments and assistants.
Filial duty and obedience were, indeed, in the eyes of the Jewish legislator, of such high importance, that great care was taken that the paternal authority should not be weakened by the withdrawal of a power so liable to fatal and barbarous abuse as that of capital punishment. Any outrage against a parent—a blow, a curse, or incorrigible profligacy—was made a capital crime (;; ). If the offence was public, it was taken up by the witnesses as a crime against Jehovah, and the culprit was brought before the magistrates whether the parent consented or not; and if the offence was hidden within the paternal walls, it devolved on the parents to denounce him and to require his punishment.
It is a beautiful circumstance in the law of Moses that this filial respect is exacted for the mother as well as for the father. The threats and promises of the legislator distinguish not the one from the other; and the fifth commandment associates the father and mother in a precisely equal claim to honor from their children. The development of this interesting feature of the Mosaical law belongs, however, to another head [WOMAN].
- Father from Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words
- Father from Bridgeway Bible Dictionary
- Father from Vine's Expository Dictionary of OT Words
- Father from Fausset's Bible Dictionary
- Father from Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary
- Father from Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary
- Father from Smith's Bible Dictionary
- Father from Webster's Dictionary
- Father from Morrish Bible Dictionary
- Father from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary
- Father from Easton's Bible Dictionary
- Father from King James Dictionary
- Father from Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology
- Father from Holman Bible Dictionary
- Father from Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
- Father from Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament
- Father from Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
- Father from International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
- Father from Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature