In the earlier Hebrew writings, was one skilled in writing and accounts, Exodus 5:6 Judges 5:14 Jeremiah 52:25; the person who communicated to the people the commands of the king, like the modern Secretary of State, 2 Samuel 8:17 20:25. In the later times of the Old Testament, especially after the captivity, and in the New Testament, a scribe is a person skilled in the Jewish law, a teacher or interpreter of the law. So Ezra was "a ready scribe in the laws of Moses," Ezra 7:6 1 Chronicles 27:32. The scribes of the New Testament were a class of men educated for the purpose of preserving and expounding the sacred books. They had the charge of transcribing them, of interpreting the more difficult passages, and of deciding in cases which grew out of the ceremonial law, Matthew 2:4, and were especially skilled in those glosses and traditions by which the Jews made void the law, Matthew 15:1-6. Jewish writers speak of them as the schoolmasters of the nation; and one mode in which they exercised their office was by meeting the people from time to time, in every town, for the purpose of holding familiar discussions, and raising questions of the law for debate.
Their influence was of course great; many of them were members of the Sanhedrin, and we often find them mentioned in connection with the elders and chief priests, Matthew 5:20 7:29 12:38 20:18 21:15. Like the Pharisees, they were bitterly opposed to Christ, and joined with the priests and counselors in persecuting him and his followers, having little knowledge of Him concerning whom Moses and the prophets did write. The same persons who are termed scribes, are in parallel passages sometimes called lawyers and doctors of the law, Matthew 22:35 Mark 12:28. Hence "scribe" is also used for a person distinguished for learning and wisdom, 1 Corinthians 1.20.