The Scribes Teach the Law of Moses

The scribes had two major functions in Jewish society: they taught the people to read the Bible (and at that time they were the only Jewish people who taught reading and writing at all) and they sat in judgment about disputes governed by Jewish laws. (Other civil matters were taken to Roman courts of law.)

Because the scribes were the Biblical scholars of their time, the Pharisees, Sadducees and Zealots each had scribes who were attached to their groups. All the groups were very interested in what the scribes had to say about the law, and the scribes were always welcome to teach and to render judgments.

Scribes were always included in the Sanhedrin, or council of elders.

The title they used for themselves was "rabbi," which means teacher, and which Jewish teachers still use today. Since the destruction of the Temple, there are no Jewish priests anymore, but Jewish rabbis still teach the law and still make decisions that affect the Jewish community in terms of the laws of Moses.

Because the other scribes respectfully called Jesus "rabbi," and because people came to him with questions about Jewish law, Jesus may have been a scribe.

The spiritual descendants of the scribes are people who love to teach the Word of God.

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