Beware of the Scribes! (Lk 20:46-20:46)

“Beware of the Scribes!

They like

To walk around

In long robes.

They love

To be greeted

With respect

In the market places.

They love

To have the best front seats

In the synagogues.

They love

The front places of honor

At banquets.”

 

Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων τῶν θελόντων περιπατεῖν ἐν στολαῖς καὶ φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις,

 

Luke had Jesus deliver a diatribe against the Scribes.  Jesus said to be aware of the Scribes (Προσέχετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων), because they like to walk around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων περιπατεῖν ἐν στολαῖς).  They love to be greeted with respect in the market places (φιλούντων ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They love to have the best front seats in the synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They love the front places of honor at banquets (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις).  There is something similar in Mark, chapter 12:38-39, and Matthew, chapter 23:6-7 who had a much longer diatribe against both the Scribes and the Pharisees.  Mark indicated that as Jesus taught (Καὶ ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ), he told them to be aware of the Scribes (ἔλεγεν Βλέπετε ἀπὸ τῶν γραμματέων).  These Scribes walked around in long robes (τῶν θελόντων ἐν στολαῖς περιπατεῖν).  They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved the front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (καὶ πρωτοκλισίας ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις).  Matthew indicated that Jesus said that both the Pharisees and the Scribes loved to have the chief places of honor at banquet feasts (φιλοῦσιν δὲ τὴν πρωτοκλισίαν ἐν τοῖς δείπνοις) and the best or front seats in the assembly synagogues (καὶ τὰς πρωτοκαθεδρίας ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς).  They loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved to have people call them rabbi (καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί), since this was an Aramaic term that generally meant great teacher or master.  While Luke and Mark only mentioned the Scribes, Matthew also named the Pharisees along with the Scribes as being these elite social butterflies.  Do you like the front row seats?

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No fathers or masters (Mt 23:9-23:10)

“Call no one

Your father on earth!

You have one Father!

The one in heaven!

Nor are you

To be called instructors!

You have one instructor!

The Messiah Christ!”

 

καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος.

μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί, ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς ὁ Χριστός.

 

This is unique to Matthew.  Jesus, via Matthew, seems to aim these remarks directly at his disciples, not the large crowds.  He seemed to warn his followers not to take on religious or scholastic leadership terms.  Thus, Christian leaders should be careful of when they are looking for some kind of religious respect.  He told them to call no one on earth their father (καὶ πατέρα μὴ καλέσητε ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  They only had one Father who was in heaven (εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ οὐράνιος).  The Aramaic term “Abba” was a respectful term for father.  They should not call themselves instructors, teachers, or guides (μηδὲ κληθῆτε καθηγηταί), since there was only one instructor, teacher, or guide (ὅτι καθηγητὴς ὑμῶν ἐστιν εἷς), the Messiah Christ (ὁ Χριστός).  Is Jesus talking about himself?  If that is so, then this represents one of few times that Jesus referred to himself as the Messiah Christ.

Rabbi (Mt 23:7-23:8)

“The Pharisees

And Scribes

Love to be greeted

With respect

In the marketplaces.

They loved

To have people

Call them rabbi.

But you are not

To be called rabbi.

You have one teacher.

You are all student brothers.”

 

καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί.

ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε Ῥαββεί· εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος, πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε.

 

There is unique to Matthew.  Rabbi is a derogatory term for Matthew, rather than a term of respect as it was and is among the Jewish people.  Jesus said that the Pharisees and Scribes loved to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces (καὶ τοὺς ἀσπασμοὺς ἐν ταῖς ἀγοραῖς).  They loved to have people call them rabbi (καὶ καλεῖσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἀνθρώπων Ῥαββεί), since this was an Aramaic term that generally meant great teacher or master.  Jesus was often called a teacher by Matthew, but not a rabbi.  Jesus warned them not to call anyone rabbi (ὑμεῖς δὲ μὴ κληθῆτε Ῥαββεί).  They only had one teacher (εἷς γάρ ἐστιν ὑμῶν ὁ διδάσκαλος), implying himself, Jesus, since all of them were brother students (πάντες δὲ ὑμεῖς ἀδελφοί ἐστε) learning from Jesus.  Matthew once again indicated his distaste for the Pharisees who called themselves rabbis.