The scribes of the Pharisees (oi grammatei twn Parisaiwn). This is the correct text. Cf. "their scribes" in Luke 5:30 . Matthew gave a great reception (dochn, Luke 5:29 ) in his house ( Mark 2:15 ). These publicans and sinners not simply accepted Levi's invitation, but they imitated his example "and were following Jesus" (kai hkolouqoun autwi). It was a motly crew from the standpoint of these young theologues, scribes of the Pharisees, who were on hand, being invited to pick flaws if they could. It was probably in the long hall of the house where the scribes stood and ridiculed Jesus and the disciples, unless they stood outside, feeling too pious to go into the house of a publican. It was an offence for a Jew to eat with Gentiles as even many of the early Jewish Christians felt ( Acts 11:3 ) and publicans and sinners were regarded like Gentiles ( 1 Corinthians 5:11 ).