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Who Were The Scribes In The Bible? A Christian Study



plural noun: scribes
a person who copies out documents, especially one employed to do this before printing was invented.

an ancient Jewish record-keeper or, later, a professional theologian and jurist.

Scribes anciently held various important offices in the public affairs of the nation. The Hebrew word so rendered (sopher) is first used to designate the holder of some military office (Judg. 5:14 ; A.V., "pen of the writer;" RSV, "the marshal's staff;" marg., "the staff of the scribe").
The scribes acted as secretaries of state, whose business it was to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king ( 2 Samuel 8:17 ; 20:25 ; 1 Chronicles 18:16 ; 24:6 ; 1 Kings 4:3 ; 2 Kings 12:9-11 ; 18:18-37 , etc.). They discharged various other important public duties as men of high authority and influence in the affairs of state.
There was also a subordinate class of scribes, most of whom were Levites.
They were engaged in various ways as writers. Such, for example, was Baruch, who "wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord" ( Jeremiah 36:4 Jeremiah 36:32 ).
In later times, after the Captivity, when the nation lost its independence, the scribes turned their attention to the law, gaining for themselves distinction by their intimate acquaintance with its contents. On them devolved the duty of multiplying copies of the law and of teaching it to others ( Ezra 7:6 Ezra 7:10-12 ; Nehemiah 8:1 Nehemiah 8:4 Nehemiah 8:9 Nehemiah 8:13 ).
It is evident that in New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions ( Matthew 23 ), thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles "scribes" and "lawyers" (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable ( Matthew 22:35 ; Mark 12:28 ; Luke 20:39 , etc.).
They were in the time of our Lord the public teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles ( Acts 4:5 ; 6:12 ).
Some of the scribes, however, were men of a different spirit, and showed themselves friendly to the gospel and its preachers. Thus Gamaliel advised the Sanhedrin, when the apostles were before them charged with "teaching in this name," to "refrain from these men and let them alone" ( Acts 5:34-39 ; comp 23:9 ).
Source: http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/scribes/

Who were the scribes that often argued with Jesus?

Answer: Scribes in ancient Israel were learned men whose business was to study the Law, transcribe it, and write commentaries on it. They were also hired on occasions when the need for a written document arose or when an interpretation of a legal point was needed. Ezra, “a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses,” was a scribe (Ezra 7:6).

The scribes took their job of preserving Scripture very seriously; they would copy and recopy the Bible meticulously, even counting letters and spaces to ensure each copy was correct. We can thank the Jewish scribes for preserving the Old Testament portion of our Bibles.

Jews became increasingly known as “the people of the Book” because of their faithful study of Scripture, particularly the Law and how it should be followed. In the New Testament era, scribes were often associated with the sect of the Pharisees, although not all Pharisees were scribes (see Matthew 5:20; 12:38).
They were teachers of the people (Mark 1:22) and interpreters of the Law. They were widely respected by the community because of their knowledge, dedication, and outward appearance of Law-keeping.
The scribes went beyond interpretation of Scripture, however, and added many man-made traditions to what God had said. They became professionals at spelling out the letter of the Law while ignoring the spirit behind it.
Things became so bad that the regulations and traditions the scribes added to the Law were considered more important than the Law itself. This led to many confrontations between Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes.
At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shocked His audience by declaring that the righteousness of the scribes was not enough to get anyone to heaven (Matthew 5:20). A large portion of Jesus’ sermon then dealt with what the people had been taught (by the scribes) and what God actually wanted (Matthew 5:21–48).
Toward the end of Jesus’ ministry, He thoroughly condemned the scribes for their hypocrisy (Matthew 23). They knew the Law, and they taught it to others, but they did not obey it.

The scribes’ original aim was in earnest—to know and preserve the Law and encourage others to keep it. But things turned horribly wrong when man-made traditions overshadowed God’s Word and a pretense of holiness replaced a life of true godliness.
The scribes, whose stated goal was to preserve the Word, actually nullified it by the traditions they handed down (Mark 7:13).

How did things get so far off course? Probably because the Jews, after surviving centuries of persecution and enslavement, clung in pride to the keeping of the Law and how it marked them as God’s chosen people. The Jews of Jesus’ day certainly had an attitude of superiority (John 7:49), which Jesus opposed (Matthew 9:12).
The bigger problem was that the scribes were hypocrites at heart. They were more interested in appearing good to men than they were in pleasing God. Eventually, it was these same scribes who played a part in having Jesus arrested and crucified (Matthew 26:57; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:1–2).
The lesson every Christian can learn from the hypocrisy of the scribes is that God wants more than outward acts of righteousness. He wants an inward change of heart that is constantly yielding in love and obedience to Christ.
Source: https://gotquestions.org/scribes-Jesus.html

Siege of Jerusalem (597 BC)
In 605 BC, Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon defeated Pharaoh Necho at the Battle of Carchemish, and subsequently invaded Judah. To avoid the destruction of Jerusalem, King Jehoiakim of Judah, in his third year, changed allegiances from Egypt to Babylon.
He paid tribute from the treasury in Jerusalem, some temple artifacts and some of the royal family and nobility as hostages. In 601 BC, during the fourth year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar unsuccessfully attempted to invade Egypt and was repulsed with heavy losses.
The failure led to numerous rebellions among the states of the Levant which owed allegiance to Babylon, including Judah, where King Jehoiakim stopped paying tribute to Nebuchadnezzar and took a pro-Egyptian position.
Nebuchadnezzar soon dealt with these rebellions. According to the Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle, he laid siege to Jerusalem, which eventually fell on 2 Adar (March 16) 597 BC. The Chronicle states:
In the seventh year [of Nebuchadnezzar, 598 BC] in the month Chislev [November/December] the king of Babylon assembled his army, and after he had invaded the land of Hatti (Syria/Palestine) he laid siege to the city of Judah.
On the second day of the month of Adar [16 March] he conquered the city and took the king [Jeconiah] prisoner.
He installed in his place a king [Zedekiah] of his own choice, and after he had received rich tribute, he sent forth to Babylon.

Chronological note

The Babylonian Chronicles, which were published by Donald Wiseman in 1956, establish that Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem the first time on 2 Adar (16 March) 597 BC. Before Wiseman's publication, E. R. Thiele had determined from the biblical texts that Nebuchadnezzar's initial capture of Jerusalem occurred in the spring of 597 BC, but other scholars, including William F. Albright, more frequently dated the event to 598 BC.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_(597_BC)

Cyrus the Great

Cyrus II of Persia (c. 600 or 576 – 530 BC), commonly known as Cyrus the Great; and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire.
Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Southwest Asia and much of Central Asia and the Caucasus.
From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen.
Under his successors, the empire eventually stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Paeonia and Thrace-Macedonia) and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east.
His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World.
The reign of Cyrus the Great lasted between 29 and 31 years. Cyrus built his empire by conquering first the Median Empire, then the Lydian Empire and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
Either before or after Babylon, he led an expedition into central Asia, which resulted in major campaigns that were described as having brought "into subjection every nation without exception".
Cyrus did not venture into Egypt, as he himself died in battle, fighting the Massagetae along the Syr Darya in December 530 BC. He was succeeded by his son, Cambyses II, who managed to add to the empire by conquering Egypt, Nubia, and Cyrenaica during his short rule.
Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. This became a very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects.
In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus.
What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration(actually two edicts) described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewishreligion, where, because of his policies in Babylonia, he is referred to by the Jewish Bible as Messiah (lit. "His anointed one") (Isaiah 45:1), and is the only non-Jew to be called so: "So said the Lord to His anointed one, to Cyrus".Isaiah 45:1-7
Cyrus the Great is also well recognized for his achievements in human rights, politics, and military strategy, as well as his influence on both Eastern and Western civilizations.
Having originated from Persis, roughly corresponding to the modern Iranian province of Fars, Cyrus has played a crucial role in defining the national identity of modern Iran.
Cyrus and, indeed, the Achaemenid influence in the ancient world also extended as far as Athens, where many Athenians adopted aspects of the Achaemenid Persian culture as their own, in a reciprocal cultural exchange.
In the 1970s, the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi identified his famous proclamation inscribed onto Cyrus Cylinder as the oldest known declaration of human rights, and the Cylinder has since been popularized as such.
This view has been criticized by some historians[24] as a misunderstanding of the Cylinder's generic nature as a traditional statement that new monarchs make at the beginning of their reign.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great

The Babylonian Captivity with Map
Timeline of Events
Source: http://www.bible-history.com/map_babylonian_captivity/map_of_the_deportation_of_judah_timeline_of_events.html

When Were the Four Gospels in the New Testament Written?

Did Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually author the gospel accounts?

Who wrote the Gospels?

The earliest handwritten copy of a Gospel

How does the evidence for the Gospels compare?

How big are the differences in the hand-written copies of the Gospels?

Eyewitness testimony in the Bible's accounts of Jesus

The main witnesses in the Bible's accounts of Jesus

03. Constantine and the Early Church

5. The Reliability of the New Testament (External Evidence)

Paul Maier Presentation | March 26, 2015

Darwinism's Downfall: Evolution Debunked

Many scientists convert from evolution to creationism, convinced by the evidence.

Gary Habermas: The Resurrection Evidence that Changed Current Scholarship


Gospel of Thomas Movie, Gentle


Making sense of the Book of Genesis with Dr. Michael Heiser (FULL) - Creative Commons 3.0 Licensed

Dr Philip Lee Genesis Genealogy from Adam to Noah

Dr Philip Lee Genesis Genealogy from Noah to Abraham

Genesis 5: The Descendants of Adam (Streetlights Audio Bible)

The 5 books of Moses plus 61 more history books of the Bible:

The Book of Genesis - NIV Audio Holy Bible - High Quality and Best Speed - Book 1

The Book of Exodus - NIV Audio Holy Bible - High Quality and Best Speed - Book 2

The Book of Leviticus - NIV Audio Holy Bible - High Quality and Best Speed - Book 3

The Book of Numbers - NIV Audio Holy Bible - High Quality and Best Speed - Book 4

The Book of Deuteronomy - NIV Audio Holy Bible - High Quality and Best Speed - Book 5

The Book of Joshua - NIV Audio Holy Bible - High Quality and Best Speed - Book 6

The Holy Bible - Book 07 - Judges - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 08 - Ruth - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 09 - 1 Samuel - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 10 - 2 Samuel - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 11 - 1 Kings - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 12 - 2 Kings - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 13 - 1 Chronicles - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 14 - 2 Chronicles - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 15 - Ezra - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 16 - Nehemiah - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 17 - Esther - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 18 - Job - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 20 - Proverbs - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 21 - Ecclesiastes - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 22 - Song of Songs - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 23 - Isaiah - KJV Dramatized Audio

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The Holy Bible - Book 26 - Ezekiel - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 27 - Daniel - KJV Dramatized Audio

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The Holy Bible - Book 47 - 2 Corinthians - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 48 - Galatians - KJV Dramatized Audio

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The Holy Bible - Book 51 - Colossians - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 52 - 1 Thessalonians - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 53 - 2 Thessalonians - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 54 - 1 Timothy - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 55 - 2 Timothy - KJV Dramatized Audio

The Holy Bible - Book 56 - Titus - KJV Dramatized Audio

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The Holy Bible - Book 66 - Revelation - KJV Dramatized Audio

Scientific Proof Jesus is Son of God

DNA Analysis Reveals Jesus' Father Not Human

Has the Staff of Moses been discovered? (TV Documentary)

WHEN Adam and Eve went forth from Paradise, Adam, as if knowing that he was never to return to his place, cut off a branch from the tree of good and evil--which is the fig-tree--and took it with him and went forth; and it served him as a staff all the days of his life. After the death of Adam, his son Seth took it, for there were no weapons as yet at that time.
This rod was passed on from hand to hand unto Noah, and from Noah to Shem; and it was handed down from Shem to Abraham as a blessed thing from the Paradise of God. With this rod Abraham broke the images and graven idols which his father made, and therefore God said to him, 'Get thee out of thy father's house,' etc.
It was in his hand in every country as far as Egypt, and from Egypt to Palestine. Afterwards Isaac took it, and (it was handed down) from Isaac to Jacob; with it he fed the flocks of Laban the Aramean in Paddan Aram. After Jacob Judah his fourth son took it; and this is the rod which Judah gave to Tamar his daughter-in-law, with his signet ring and his napkin, as the hire for what he had done.
From him (it came) to Pharez. At that time there were wars everywhere, and an angel took the rod, and laid it in the Cave of Treasures in the mount of Moab, until Midian was built. There was in Midian a man, upright and righteous before God, whose name was Yathrô (Jethro). When he was feeding his flock on the mountain, he found the cave and took the rod by divine agency; and with it he fed his sheep until his old age.
When he gave his daughter to Moses, he said to him, 'Go in, my son, take the rod, and go forth to thy flock.' When Moses had set his foot upon the threshold of the door, an angel moved the rod, and it came out of its own free will towards Moses. And Moses took the rod, and it was with him until God spake with him on mount Sinai.
When God said to him, 'Cast the rod upon the ground,' he did so, and it became a great serpent; and the Lord said, 'Take it,' and he did so, and it became a rod as at first. This is the rod which God gave him for a p. 51 help and a deliverance; that it might be a wonder, and that with it he might deliver Israel from the oppression of the Egyptians. By the will of the living God this rod became a serpent in Egypt.
By it God spake to Moses; and it swallowed up the rod of Pôsdî the sorceress of the Egyptians. With it Moses smote the sea of Sôph in its length and breadth, and the depths congealed in the heart of the sea. It was in Moses' hands in the wilderness of Ashîmôn, and with it he smote the stony rock, and the waters flowed forth.
Then God gave serpents power over the children of Israel to destroy them, because they had angered Him at the waters of strife. And Moses prayed before the Lord, and God said to him, 'Make thee a brazen serpent, and lift it up with the rod, and let the children of Israel look upon it and be healed.'
Moses did as the Lord had commanded him, and he placed the brazen serpent in the sight of all the children of Israel in the wilderness; and they looked upon it and were healed. After all the children of Israel were dead, save Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Yôphannâ (Jephunneh), they went into the promised land, and took the rod with them, on account of the wars with the Philistines and Amalekites.
And Phineas hid the rod in the desert, in the dust at the gate of Jerusalem, where it remained until our Lord Christ was born. And He, by the will of His divinity, shewed the rod to Joseph the husband of Mary, and it was in his hand when he fled to Egypt with our Lord and Mary, until he returned to Nazareth. From Joseph his son Jacob, who was surnamed the brother of our Lord, took it; and from Jacob Judas Iscariot, who was a thief, stole it.
When the Jews crucified our Lord, they lacked wood for the arms of our Lord; and Judas in his wickedness gave them the rod, which became a judgment and a fall unto them, but an uprising unto many. 1There were born to Moses two sons; the one called Gershom, which is interpreted 'sojourner;' and the other Eliezer, which is interpreted 'God hath helped me.' Fifty-two years after the birth of Moses, Joshua the son of Nun was born in Egypt2.
When Moses was eighty years old, God spake with him upon mount Sinai. And the cry of p. 52 the children of Israel went up to God by reason of the severity of the oppression of the Egyptians; and God heard their groaning, and remembered His covenants with the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to whom He promised that in their seed should all nations be blessed. One day when Moses was feeding the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, he and the sheep went from the wilderness to mount Horeb, the mount of God;
and the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, but the bush was not burnt. Moses said, 'I will turn aside and see this wonderful thing, how it is that the fire blazes in the bush, but the bush is not burnt.' God saw that he turned aside to look, and He called to him from within the bush, and said, 'Moses, Moses.' Moses said, 'Here am I, Lord.' God said to him, 'Approach not hither, for the place upon which thou standest is holy.'
And God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob;' and Moses covered his face, for he was afraid to look at Him. Some say that when God spake with Moses, Moses stammered through fear. And the Lord said to him, 'I have seen the oppression of My people in Egypt, and have heard the voice of their cry, and I am come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to carry them up from that land to the land flowing with milk and honey; come, I will send thee to Egypt.'
Moses said, 'Who am I, Lord, that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring out those of the house of Israel from Egypt?' God said to him, 'I will be with thee.' Moses said to the Lord, 'If they shall say unto me, What is the Lord's name? what shall I say unto them?' God said, 'אֶהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶהְיֶה, {Hebrew: AeHřYeH AaSheR AeHřYeH} that is, the Being who is the God of your fathers hath sent me to you.
This is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations.' God said to Moses, 'Go, tell Pharaoh everything I say to thee.' Moses said to the Lord, 'My tongue is heavy and stammers; how will Pharaoh accept my word?' God said to Moses, 'Behold, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and thy brother Aaron a phophet before thee; speak thou with Aaron, and Aaron shall speak with Pharaoh, and he shall send away the children of Israel that they may serve Me.
And I will harden the heart of Pharaoh, and I will work My wonders in the land of Egypt, and will bring up My people the children of Israel from thence, and the Egyptians shall know that I p. 53 am God.' And Moses and Aaron did everything that God had commanded them. Moses was eighty-three years old when God sent him to Egypt. And God said to him, 'If Pharaoh shall seek a sign from thee, cast thy rod upon the ground, and it shall become a serpent.' Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and threw down Moses' rod, and it became a serpent.
The sorcerers of Egypt did the same1, but Moses' rod swallowed up those of the sorcerers; and the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not send away the people. And God wrought ten signs by the hands of Moses: first, turning the waters into blood; second, bringing up frogs upon them; third, domination of the gnats; fourth, noisome creatures of all kinds; fifth, the pestilence among the cattle; sixth, the plague of boils; seventh, the coming of hail-stones; eighth, the creation of locusts; ninth, the descent of darkness; tenth, the death of the firstborn.
When God wished to slay the first-born of Egypt, He said to Moses, 'This day shall be to you the first of months, that is to say, Nisan and the new year. On the tenth of this month, let every man take a lamb for his house, and a lamb for the house of his father; and if they be too few in number (for a whole lamb), let him and his neighbour who is near him share it. Let the lamb be kept until the fourteenth day of this month, and let all the children of Israel slay it at sunset, and let them sprinkle its blood upon the thresholds of their houses with the sign of the cross.
This blood shall be to you a sign of deliverance, and I will see (it) and rejoice in you, and Death the destroyer shall no more have dominion over you;' and Moses and Aaron told the children of Israel all these things. And the Lord commanded them not to go out from their houses until morning; 'for the Lord will pass over the Egyptians to smite their firstborn, and will see the blood upon the thresholds, and will not allow the destroyer to enter their houses.' When it was midnight, the Lord slew the firstborn of the Egyptians, from the firstborn of Pharaoh sitting upon his throne down to the last.
And Pharaoh sent to Moses and Aaron, saying, 'Depart from among my people, and go, serve the p. 54 Lord, as ye have said; and take your goods and chattels with you.' The Egyptians also urged the children of Israel to go forth from among them, through fear of death; and the children of Israel asked chains of gold and silver and costly clothing of the Egyptians, and spoiled them; and the Lord gave them favour in the sight of the Egyptians. The children of Israel set out from Raamses to Succoth, six hundred thousand men; and when they entered Egypt in the days of Joseph, they were seventy-five souls in number.
They remained in bodily and spiritual subjection four hundred and thirty years; from the day that God said to Abraham, 'Thy seed shall be a sojourner in the land of Egypt,' from that hour they were oppressed in their minds. When the people had gone out of Egypt on the condition that they should return, and did not return, Pharaoh pursued after them to bring them back to his slavery. And they said to Moses, 'Why hast thou brought us out from Egypt? It was better for us to serve the Egyptians as slaves, and not to die here.'
Moses said, 'Fear not, but see the deliverance which God will work for you to-day.' And the Lord said to Moses, 'Lift up thy rod and smite the sea, that the children of Israel may pass over as upon dry land.' And Moses smote the sea, and it was divided on this side and on that; and the children of Israel passed through the depth of the sea as upon dry land. When Pharaoh and his hosts came in after them, Moses brought his rod back over the sea, and the waters returned to their place; and all the Egyptians were drowned.
And Moses bade the children of Israel to sing praises with the song 'Then sang Moses and the children of Israel' (Exod. xv. 1).
Source: http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/bb/bb30.htm


1 ¶ Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.
2 The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
4 He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
6 The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
8 Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.

God Of Wonders The Documentary (2009) Full Length

If you want to learn more there is the Audio-Bible