Who Were The Scribes And Pharisees In Judaism?

In this religious scholarship discourse, we are going to answer the frequently asked question: who were the scribes and Pharisees in the bible?

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.

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.