Matthew 13:52

(Josué Aparicio) #1

I’m working my way through the gospel of Matthew and when I came to verse 52 it stood out to me and made me think: was Jesus speaking these things as they were being written down? It makes a reference to scribes being trained for the kingdom of heaven and I just want to know if there is any validity to this?

Mark is probably the earliest copy of the gospels but there is no mention of such a subtle little detail as I’ve seen here in Matthew. There is debate if Matthew is the older gospel but it seems that it may have used Mark as reference. Just the thought is exciting to think about.

Anyone know the answer to this?

(SeanO) #2

@josueaparicio If I understand your question correctly, I think that it is helpful to know that the term translated ‘scribe’ basically means ‘expert in the law’. The Zondervan Bible Background Commentary notes that this term 'was once most closely associated with reading, writing, and making copies of the Scriptures. But by New Testament times it came to signify an expert in interpreting the Law and was used interchangeably with “lawyer” or “expert of the law”". The NET Bible notes that Matthew may be referring to himself in the sense that he, as a teacher, is passing on God’s truth which was taught to him by Christ. However, I do not think that this specific verse suggests that there were copyists when Jesus was speaking.

Matthew, Mark and Luke are often called the ‘Synoptic Gospels’ because they appear to rely on similar sources. You might find some of the resources linked at the bottom of the thread interesting.

Or “every scribe.” See the note on the phrase “experts in the law” in 2:4. It is possible that the term translated “expert in the law” (traditionally, “scribe”) here is a self-description used by the author, Matthew, to represent his role in conveying the traditions about Jesus to his intended audience. See David E. Orton, The Understanding Scribe [JSNTSup].

Or “and scribes of the people.” The traditional rendering of γραμματεύς ( grammateus ) as “scribe” does not communicate much to the modern English reader, for whom the term might mean “professional copyist,” if it means anything at all. The people referred to here were recognized experts in the law of Moses and in traditional laws and regulations. Thus “expert in the law” comes closer to the meaning for the modern reader.