The New Student's Reference Work/Scribe

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Scribe, a name used among the Jews originally to indicate a military officer, whose business was recruiting soldiers and levying taxes. Later the name was given to those who copied the books of the law, and, as those who copied the law became its best expounders, the word had in the time of Christ come to mean an expounder of the law or a learned man. Scribes were found all over Palestine, and were reverenced by the people as public teachers and lawyers. Some were members of the Sanhedrin or court, and some had public class-rooms, where their disciples sat at their feet. Those who did not fill these higher places were engaged in copying the books of the law and of the prophets and in writing contracts, letters of divorce etc. See Schürer's History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ.