Bringing the Text to Life
“Beware of the scribes.”
Jesus is being serious — serious as a pulmonary embolism — when he issues this warning in today’s passage from Mark (12:38). In fact, he says the word “beware” only twice in this gospel, and both times he is about as solemn, somber, stern and severe as we ever see him. But this grave warning leads to an important question, one that many of us are no doubt a little too sheepish to ask: “Just who are the scribes?”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a job listing for “scribe” on Monster.com.
A quick click on Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, reveals that a scribe is a member of an ancient profession, made up of people who could read and write. It also says that “Scribe” is the stage name of a New Zealand rapper, but it’s safe to assume that Jesus is not talking about him.
There wasn’t any hip-hop in the Holy Land.
According to Wikipedia, scribes originally acted as...