Skip to main content

Rebellious elder

Rebellious elder (Heb., zaqen mamre). A stubborn, qualified teacher in Judaism who insists on his own opinion, even though the majority opinion is against him. Such a person, according to Deuteronomy 17. 8–13, must be taken through the whole range of available courts, culminating in whatever is the highest authority, ‘the judge who shall be in those days’. If the teacher persists in his own opinion, he must be executed, because, as the rabbis later put it, he is creating two Torahs (toroth) in Israel, which destroys the raison dʾêtre of Israel. Since Jesus was investigated for a threat to the Temple authority (cf. also Stephen, Acts 6. 13), and since he was eventually taken before the highest judge of the time, it is likely that Jesus was being investigated to see whether he came within the category of zaqen mamre, which would unquestionably have been an offence deserving the death penalty.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rebellious elder." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . 19 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Rebellious elder." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . (March 19, 2019).

"Rebellious elder." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved March 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.