A class which had developed by the time of Christ and which had great influence upon the Judaism of that period was the Scribes. The Scribes were professional teachers and scholars who concerned themselves with the Scriptures and particularly with the Jewish law, both in its written form and in its oral tradition. They might also be priests but most of them were laymen. They were by no means an hereditary caste, as were the priests, but any one through personal competence might enter their ranks.
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