How was news disseminated in a large city like Jerusalem? No doubt everyone was as eager for the news of the day as we are.
How did the Scribes circulate their news?

In the Synagogue?


Most likely word of mouth, first and foremost. Gossip mill, town criers, that sort of stuff. In Ancient Rome, you had public criers (praecones) who made public announcements of various sorts ( depicts such a heraldRome).

There was also the Acta Diurna, a daily gazette of official notices that were hung on public places in Rome. (It was the ancient Roman newspaper.)


I don’t imagine that scribes were a priori the source of public information. A scribe was simply someone who could write, and got paid to do so, i.e. in the formation of legal
records or correspondence. But most people were illiterate.

I’d imagine that announcers in the streets and squares were the primary venues of information, as referenced in the Gospels.



The Scribes were witnesses to the work of Jesus. But they distributed false and unbelieving accounts to the people of Jerusalem by word of mouth and written word.
They and the Pharisees were the enemies of Truth.

Apologies for answering my own question, but thanks to your responses I’ve come to an understanding.



I don’t think you should over-generalize. ‘The Pharisees’ (funny how it’s mostly always “the Pharisees” - as if they’re a single chorus) are portrayed as Jesus’ antagonists for a good deal of His ministry, but at the same time, they’re also one of the closest groups to Jesus. In fact, in Luke-Acts Luke seems to portray the Pharisees in a more positive light than in the other gospels: Jesus there eats with Pharisees as He does with sinners, the Pharisees warn Jesus against Antipas, Gamaliel (under whom Paul studied) defends Peter and John.



The Pharisees are, in fact, closer to our faith than any other group in the NT. They believed, after all, in angels and in human afterlife, something other did not.



My vantage point on this question is like somebody describing a baseball game from the last row of the bleachers.

The scribes probably possessed some authority about teaching, since they were most familiar with the actual text of the Hebrew scriptures.

I’m not so sure the opinion of the scribes was so terribly important as that of the Sanhedrin. As in the case of trying Jesus, this was the group that made decisions. The Pharisees eventually morphed into the Rabbis [teachers], ( the first mention of which is in the New Testament), whose schools rolled out ideas and decisions (about the meaning of scripture) over centuries of time by means of the graduates they produced.

Probably the greatest period of change occurred when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD. It was the rabbis who changed the focus of Judaism from Temple worship and liturgy to an emphasis on the Torah. I can’t list them all, but there were rabbis like Hillel and Akiva (Akiba) who made a lot of benchmark decisions about Judaism. For example, it was probably Akiva who taught that prayer replaced the animal sacrifices required in the Torah and the interesting idea that reading the Torah was the equivalent of performing the commands in the Torah.

That latter idea was probably rolling around even at the time of Christ or shortly thereafter. It may well be at least a partial explanation of the verse in scripture that teaches us to be doers of the Word, not just hearers.


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