Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History

Schaff's Bible Dictionary

Definitions in Biblical History

A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z   

What is a Scribe?
     There are two Hebrew words which mean "a writer," but one is usually translated in the A.V. by Officer, which see. The other is correctly rendered "scribe." The art of writing may well, among the Hebrews, have been in early times a rare accomplishment, and therefore a class of men would arise who earned their living by carrying on correspondence or conducting accounts. But the first one of the class mentioned in the Bible is Sheva, the scribe of David, 2 Sam 20:25, and that it was an honorable post is proven by the mention of him by name. The duty of the king's scribe was to record the edicts, and on one occasion at least to act as a kind of treasurer. 2 Kgs 12:10. Scribes also officiated in the army. Jer 52:25. It is, however, the N.T. usage which is most familiar to us. Scribes and Pharisees are inseparably linked. But these "scribes" are wholly different. They were the copyists of the Law, and because such a minute acquaintance with it as their business implied led them to become authorities upon the details of Mosaism, it came to pass that they were popularly regarded as the teachers of the Law. This class of men originated, it would seem, during the Exile. Ezra was their leader and pattern. Ezr 7:6. They were held in great respect, but in many cases they were unworthy of it. As the distance from the close of the canon increased, these privileged and learned expounders of the Law took greater liberties with the text and made it void through their traditions. Mark 7:13. But the position some of the class occupied as members of the Sanhedrin, Matt 26:3, the associates of the priests in the most important matters. Matt 21:15, their numbers, and the popular awe of them, increase our estimate of the courage evinced by Jesus in attacking them, as he did repeatedly and in the most unmeasured terms. Matt 23:1-33. They were his determined and wily foes. Luke 5:30; Song 6:7; Num 10:25. That there were exceptions is manifest, for Jesus speaks of scribes being sent of God, Matt 23:34, and one of his parables relates to a scribe "instructed unto the kingdom of heaven." Matt 13:52. The scribes formed a regularly organized college, into which members were admitted by special examination. The scribes and lawyers were one class. See Lawyers. A Jewish Scribe.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'scribe' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

Copyright Information
© Schaff's Bible Dictionary

Schaff's Bible Dictionary Home
Bible History Online Home


Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE)
Online Bible (KJV)
Naves Topical Bible
Smith's Bible Dictionary
Easton's Bible Dictionary
Schaff's Bible Dictionary
Fausset's Bible Dictionary
Matthew Henry Bible Commentary
Hitchcock's Bible Dictionary