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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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Scribe. There are two Hebrew words which mean "a writer," but one is usually translated in the A. V. by "officer," the other is rendered "scribe." The art of writing among the Hebrews may not have been in early times generally learned, and therefore a class of men would arise who earned their living by carrying on correspondence or conducting accounts. Sheva was the scribe of David. 2 Samuel 20:25. The king's scribe recorded the edicts, and sometimes acted as treasurer. 2 Kings 12:10. Scribes also officiated in the army. Jeremiah 52:25. Scribes in the New Testament were the copyists of the law, and were popularly regarded as the teachers or expounders of the law. Ezra was their leader and pattern. Ezra 7:6. But these learned expounders of the law took greater liberties with the text and made it void through their traditions. Mark 7:13. Some were members of the Sanhedrin. Matthew 26:3 (A. V. but omitted in R. V.); 21:15. Jesus reproved them repeatedly and in the most unmeasured terms. Matthew 23:1-33. They were his determined and wily foes. Luke 5:30; Luke 6:7; Luke 11:53. That there were exceptions is manifest, for Jesus speaks of scribes being sent of God, Matthew 23:34, and one of his parables relates to a scribe "instructed unto the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 13:52. The scribes and lawyers were one class.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Scribe'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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