The Bible
Jesus Christ

How did Jesus' teaching differ from that of the scribes with regard to obeying the law?


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Obeying the law in these times meant following the customs of Judaism. There was a direct link between law in society and customs handed down through generations as written in the Old Testament. Basically the law was, if you were Jewish, follow what Judaism says. The church leaders (high priests, sanhedrin etc) used scribes as advisors. Scribes were businessmen with a wealth of knowledge in Jewish laws and customs. Because of the status of the people they advised, Scribes were considered powerful leaders at the time. The scribes used laws, through the likes of high priests and other dignitaries of the time, to keep control of the people. Controlling their movements, actions, what they eat, hygiene and cleanliness, money, everything had a law for it. If a law was broken, there were consequences. They had more of an 'eye for an eye' mentality when it came to the punishment. Jesus taught that God created laws for the benefit of people. He also taught about forgiveness of sins. Although there were things that Jesus did agree with in terms of Jewish law, He encouraged people to follow moral law. He introduced them to two commandments, to replace the ten from the Old Testament: Love God, Love your neighbour.