Scribes Of The Bible

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Who were the scribes mentioned in the Bible? Where there scribes in both the Old Testament and the New Testament?

The King’s Scribes

When we think of the scribes, we often associate them with the self-righteous Pharisees but the scribes of the Old Testament had little to do with those in the New Testament. Even though we know that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament (called the Pentateuch), there is strong evidence that the Scribes did much of the work in recording the Old Testament. Scribes held one of the most important and sacred of duties. They were given the responsibility of recording the very words of God through the men who were inspired by the Spirit of God to write what God intended for them to write. The scribes mentioned in the Old Testament were not exactly the same men who recorded in writing the Old Testament books as they were more like secretaries of state and it was their business to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king (2nd Sam 8:17; 1st Chron 18:16; 1st Kings 4:3).

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Who were the scribes mentioned in the Bible? Where there scribes in both the Old Testament and the New Testament?

The King’s Scribes

When we think of the scribes, we often associate them with the self-righteous Pharisees but the scribes of the Old Testament had little to do with those in the New Testament. Even though we know that Moses wrote the first five books of the Old Testament (called the Pentateuch), there is strong evidence that the Scribes did much of the work in recording the Old Testament. Scribes held one of the most important and sacred of duties. They were given the responsibility of recording the very words of God through the men who were inspired by the Spirit of God to write what God intended for them to write. The scribes mentioned in the Old Testament were not exactly the same men who recorded in writing the Old Testament books as they were more like secretaries of state and it was their business to prepare and issue decrees in the name of the king (2nd Sam 8:17; 1st Chron 18:16; 1st Kings 4:3).

God’s Scribes

Jeremiah could be considered a scribe because God told him “Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that every one may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin” (Jer 36:2) but sometimes the authors of the Old Testament had help as in the case of Jeremiah where it was written, “Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And many similar words were added to them” (Jer 36:32).

But-woe-to-you-scribes

The New Testament Scribes

When we think of the scribes in the Bible, we don’t typically think of the one’s who actually wrote the books of the Old and the New Testament. The scribes mentioned in the New Testament did write down and copy the Old Testament Scriptures, but their position is not the focus of this article and not what they actually did because they played a greater role in Judea than just recording the Words of God. It’s very interesting that Jesus often rebuked the self-righteous Pharisees, the teachers of the law, and the scribes by saying “Have you not read?” (Matt 19:4) which meant that they should’ve known much of what Jesus spoke and taught about because it was in the very scriptures that they had copied and studied. They all spoke of Him as He once said “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39-4). What a tragedy…they taught and read the Scriptures yet they refused to see Jesus as the perfect fulfillment of the long prophesied Messiah even though it was plain as day because even the “scribes [knew] that first Elijah must come” (Matt 17:10).

Manmade Religion

The scribes were essentially lawyers as they interpreted and ruled on legal matters brought before them and they sat on the Sanhedrin, which was like a Jewish Supreme Court, but they had added hundreds of their own traditions that were never part of the law of God, none of which was ever recorded in scriptures. That’s why the “Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat” (Matt 15:1-2). Notice that they didn’t say “your disciples break the law” but they “break the tradition of the elders.” Tradition has nothing to do with the laws of God. They are manmade rules made by the self-righteous who look down on others as inferior because they don’t keep their own traditions. Based upon that reasoning then the Jews tradition was to stone and murder the prophets. So much for the value of traditions! Jesus rebukes them sharply by saying “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition” (Matt 15:3)? They were breaking God’s commandment to honor their parents (Matt 15:4-6) and keeping their own self-righteous traditions and Jesus was angry at this, and for good reason which is why He quoted Isaiah the prophet who wrote “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt 15:8-9). They set the standards so high as to seem impossible to be reached, and thus to be saved which is why Jesus angrily said “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in” (Matt 23:13).

Bible Verses about Scribes

Jeremiah 32:12
Verse Concepts
and I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the sight of Hanamel my uncle’s son and in the sight of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, before all the Jews who were sitting in the court of the guard.

Jeremiah 36:26
Verse Concepts
And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king’s son, Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.

2 Kings 18:18
Verse Concepts
When they called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them.

Isaiah 36:3
Verse Concepts
Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him.

2 Kings 19:2
Verse Concepts
Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

1 Chronicles 27:32
Verse Concepts
Also Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a man of understanding, and a scribe; and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni tutored the king’s sons.

2 Kings 25:19
Verse Concepts
From the city he took one official who was overseer of the men of war, and five of the king’s advisers who were found in the city; and the scribe of the captain of the army who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city.

Jeremiah 52:25
Verse Concepts
He also took from the city one official who was overseer of the men of war, and seven of the king’s advisers who were found in the city, and the scribe of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the midst of the city.

2 Kings 22:8
Verse Concepts
Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan who read it.

2 Chronicles 34:18
Moreover, Shaphan the scribe told the king saying, “Hilkiah the priest gave me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.

Jeremiah 36:4-32
Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote on a scroll at the dictation of Jeremiah all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him. Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am restricted; I cannot go into the house of the Lord. So you go and read from the scroll which you have written at my dictation the words of the Lord to the people in the Lord’s house on a fast day. And also you shall read them to all the people of Judah who come from their cities.read more.


Ezra 7:6
Verse Concepts
This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.

Nehemiah 8:1-4
And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel. Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. He read from it before the square which was in front of the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of men and women, those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the book of the law.read more.
1 Chronicles 2:55
Verse Concepts
The families of scribes who lived at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. Those are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.

Nehemiah 8:9
Verse Concepts
Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law.

Nehemiah 12:26
Verse Concepts
These served in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua, the son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra the priest and scribe.

Matthew 16:21
Verse Concepts
From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.

Mark 8:31
Verse Concepts
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Luke 9:22
Verse Concepts
saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”

Matthew 26:3
Verse Concepts
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas;

Mark 14:1
Verse Concepts
Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him;

Luke 22:2
Verse Concepts
The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.

Matthew 21:15
Verse Concepts
But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant

Luke 19:47
Verse Concepts
And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him,

Mark 11:18
Verse Concepts
The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.

Matthew 23:27-28
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Matthew 23:1-7

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Scribes

Conclusion

We still have scribes around today in the church; they teach that their own traditions are equal to and in some cases, superior to the written Word of God. They might not say that but they get trapped into thinking that “since we’ve always done it this way, we need to have others do it this way too.” That is what Jesus spoke about. When we make the laws of God null and break the commandment of God for the sake tradition, then we are putting our own standards above that which God requires and that makes for a Pharisee or a scribe of the heart and God resisted those “who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt” (Luke 18:9).

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