Scribes

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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 ((Jdg 5:14); A.V., “pen of the writer;” R.V., “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 (2Sa 8:17; 2Sa 20:25; 1Ch 18:16; 1Ch 24:6; 1Ki 4:3; 2Ki 12:9-11; 2Ki 18:18-37). 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” (Jer 36:4, 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, 10-12; Neh 8:1, 4, 9, 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 (Mat 23), thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles “scribes” and “lawyers” (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable (Mat 22:35; Mark 12:28; Luke 20:39). 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; Acts 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; Compare Acts 23:9).

Easton’s Bible Dictionary: Scribes

 


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Jesus Followers

 

There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.

 

(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)