I was reading Jeremiah 8:8, which accuses the scribes of falsely handling the scriptures, and had several questions about the role of the scribes. Were the scribes responsible for wrongly copying scripture? Or were they responsible for misteaching or only selectively teaching the scriptures? Please clear up the role of the scribes and how the "lying pen" of the scribes should be viewed. -- Jeffrey Krueger (Columbia South Carolina)

I have often read Jeremiah 8 and wondered the same sorts of things. You are right to consider several possible answers to the question before deciding you know what the passage means. This is the first time the scribes are mentioned in the Bible, and although they copied the Torah faithfully, they twisted the scriptures to their own destruction as Jeremiah laments. (See also 2 Peter 3:16.) Or in the case they actually were modifying the text for their own personal agenda, they are being rebuked. Later in Jeremiah, the Lord shows that even when an ungodly man has mutilated a text beyond all recognition, he is able to reconstruct it (chapter 36). Any time a leader misrepresents God, that is a very serious thing.

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