In this religious scholarship discourse, we are going to look at who were the scribes and Pharisees in the bible.
According to history, both Scribes and Pharisees were Jewish religious sects who are no longer in existence. And the reason could be viewed on the grounds that they were so conflicted and controversial in their religious beliefs.
And what makes it worse is that both sects were considered to be the custodians of the Jewish law whose role in Judaism was to study and interpret the law to the worshippers.
The scribes and Pharisees in Judaism.
The Scribes and Pharisees were the Jewish leaders from the time of the Maccabees onward.
The Scribes were lawyers who favored old ways and were opposed to change. They were generally from a priestly background.
In religion, the Scribes are chiefly known for denying the doctrine of the resurrection and existence of Angels and spirits.
They also believed that the soul perished with the body and that there was no afterlife.
It was the Scribes who supported the efforts of the later Maccabees to introduce Greek ideas into Jewish life.
On the other hand, the Pharisees were opposed to the Scribes.
They were not from a priestly class but were laymen.
They were also lawyers, but they believed the law should be open to new interpretations.
The Pharisees were ardent nationalists, and for that reason, they opposed foreign influences, be it Greek or Romans.
They believed strongly in the resurrection and an afterlife with rewards and punishments.
But the problem was that they were mainly concerned with the outward observance of the law, in which spiritual attitudes played very little or no role.
It was especially this aspect of their religiosity that brought them into conflict with Jesus.
The relationship between the Scribes and Pharisees.
Both Scribes and Pharisees were custodians of the Jewish law who were well-educated and knowledgeable in the Jewish scriptures and the law.
As custodians of the Jewish law, both Scribes and Pharisees were entrusted with the duty of preaching or explaining the law to the worshippers as well as passing judgment on those who broke the law.
However, both Jewish groups were seen as hypocrites by Jesus Christ which was why he pointed out their errors in Mathew 23 which shows that the Scribes and Pharisees were not practicing what they taught and judged the other worshippers for.
The difference between Scribes and Pharisees.
The difference between Scribes and Pharisees was the Scribes were the writers and interpreters of the law who did not believe in angels, spirits, and the resurrection of the dead while the Pharisees influenced the law and believed in the existence of angels and spirits as well as the resurrection of the dead.
The difference above clearly shows that the Scribes were not practicing what they wrote and interpreted to others because the belief in angels, spirits, and resurrection of the dead was a part of the Jewish law.
What Jesus said about the Scribes and Pharisees.
The Scribes’ doctrines were wrong, but that of the Pharisees was right, but their lives contradicted their teachings.
And because of that Jesus said in Mathew 22: 2-3.
“The Scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice”.
After the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70, the Sadducees lost influence and gradually disappeared. But the Pharisees carried on for a time but vanished completely with the destruction of the Jewish state.