The Rabbis were the teachers of the Law. Rabbis taught by question, answer and discussion. A Rabbi is an interpreter of Scripture. This lends authority to his office, an authority which has to prove itself from the given letter of Scripture and the not less authoritative exegesis of the Fathers. Their authority is thus always a derived authority. Jesus' teaching on the other hand, never consists merely in the interpretation of a given sacred text, not even when words from Scripture are quoted. The reality of God and the authority of his will are always directly present, and are fulfilled in him.

Paul was a Rabbi but also a tentmaker. According to Jewish practice, every Rabbi must have a trade. He must take no money for preaching and teaching and must make his living by his own work and his own efforts. So we find Rabbis following every respectable trade. It meant that they never became detached scholars, and that they always knew what the life of the working-man was like.
[355, 319, 334]

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