.php lang="en"> Scribes were the Teachers of the Law (Free Bible)

The Scribes - Jewish Leaders in the New Testament



Hasmonaean Coin

The Scribes were the Teachers of the Law

The Scribes were called "teachers of the law" and this was their primary task. It was part of the ideal of Judaism that every Israelite should have a professional acquaintance with the law. The rabbis gathered a large number of disciples to sit and learn from them. Because the true oral law was never committed to writing, they believed that constant repetition was necessary so that it would be "fixed" in the minds of the pupils. Therefore in rabbinic circles the words, "to repeat" mean exactly the same as "to teach." Many questions were asked by the rabbis to the pupils and likewise the students were granted the privilege of asking questions to the rabbis.

The Scribes were also called rabbis and they demanded from their students absolute reverence, even more so than the pupils honor for his own father. It was taught that:

"respect to a teacher should exceed respect for a father, for both father and son owe respect to a teacher" (Kerithoth 6.9).

Their influence with the people was exceedingly great. That influence was mainly due to the fact that they appeared to be so learned, they were expounders of the law and they occupied a leading place in the worship of the synagogue (Matt 23:5). Thus all religious instruction of the day was in their hands. They taught in schools, in "houses of teaching", in chambers, in the outer courts (colonnades) of the temple in Jerusalem, in the synagogues, and even in the streets. In fact we can be certain that we have an accurate picture of one of their sittings, when we are told of the time when Jesus at a young age was found by his parents in the temple, "sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions." (Luke 2:46). In a situation like this the Scribes would sit on an elevated platform, and their students would sit around them in a semicircle being literally trained at their feet (see Acts 22:5).

The students had only two duties, to commit everything to memory and to teach only what had been delivered to him.