Meta. In olden times a slave or menial servant was not allowed to call his master (the lord or head of the house) Abba. Only the children of the family could do this, or some one in close relationship or association, because it was an indication of the tenderest affection. When Abba is used in the Bible the word Father follows it and therefore gives emphasis to the term. It is only as we come to know our sonship, our true relation to God, that we enter into the consciousness of love and tender affiliation with Spirit that is signified by the word Abba.