This is a subsidiary post of Mechanics of Writing and Reading.

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In the ancient world, there was no printing press.  All copies of a document were hand-written copies.  Those who worked with writing were called scribes.

In Jesus’ day, He often criticized “the scribes and Pharisees.”  They were the folks who had the greatest access to the Scriptures.  And, as Jesus said, to whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:47-48).  However, not all Jesus’ references to scribes were negative.  Moreover, Ezra was an Old Testament scribe who distinguished himself quite admirably.  Therefore, we should consider “scribe” as describing a person occupied with writings as opposed to it being a strictly pejorative term.

(An asterisk at the beginning of the citation indicates that there is a reference to scribe without the explicit presence of “scribe.”)

Matthew 5:20

Matthew 13:52

Matthew 23:13

Matthew 23:23  –  “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites…


*Psalm 45:1  –  “…writer.”

Ezra 7:6

Ezra 7:10
Ezra 7:11  –  “…Ezra the priest, the scribe, learned in the words of the commandments of the LORD and His statutes to Israel:”

Ezra 7:21

Nehemiah  –  “…Ezra the priest and scribe…”

*Jeremiah 2:8  –  “…those who handle the law…”

*Habakkuk 2:2  –  “…inscribe it on tablets, that the one who reads it…”