New Testament Scribes
The "Scribes in the New Testament are also referred to as
"lawyers" who were the legal jurists of their day. They were also
referred to as the "teachers of the law" or "rabbis "because they
not only studied the minutia of the law but also explained their interpretation
to pupils and to all by whom they were consulted.
For the most part they were Pharisees and sometimes associated with the Chief Priests. There is no evidence that any of the scribes were Sadducees. Though they were not a class in Judaism in and of themselves they were often spoken of alone, as if they were a distinct class of the community, Matt. 17:10; Mark 1:28, 35, 38; 2:6; 3:22.
Throughout the whole life of Christ they were among his most watchful and determined opponents.
During the time of Jesus Christ there were Jewish teachers who explained the Torah, the law of God, by translating it (The Targums arise from this group), and giving commentary in the form of Haggadah (parables and various sayings) and would carefully show how the instructions of the law, for example, laws relating to the Sabbath and food, were to be lived out in everyday life (Halachah).At this time, in addition to the written law, volumes of explanations were given, believed to have been handed down orally by men of God. These oral commandments carried with them great authority. It is exactly these oral traditions which is referred to in the New Testament. (Mark 7:9; Matthew 15; Galatians 1:14).
Most of the time the Scribes earned their living by copying and interpreting the law. They were not in absolute agreement as to their explanations of Scripture, which were usually given in the Beth-hamidrash (House of study).In the New Testament the Scribes are mentioned as the "teachers" of the law, the rabbis and the official leaders of the people, along with the Pharisees, and the Gospels referred to them as "doctors of the Law". According to the New Testament they sat in the Sanhedrin (Matt 16:21).
Jesus came into conflict with the Scribes often because He and His disciples did not observe their traditions. Mark 7 describes an example of Jesus and His followers not observing traditional rules in relation to the Sabbath and cleanness. In Matt. 23, where Jesus pronounces his woes upon the Scribes and Pharisees, He repeated His prophetic curse upon them, "Woe to you" eight times because of their arrogance, hypocrisy, self-seeking ambition and scrupulous observances.