I’ve always wondered what does "the key of knowledge" in the following passage refer to? Thanks.
Luke 11:52 "Woe to you Torah experts! For you have taken away the key of knowledge! Not only did you yourselves not go in, you also have stopped those who were trying to enter!” (CJB)
The "Torah experts" Yeshua addressed were the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the time. To enhance their high standing in the community, they would make a great mystery of the meaning of Torah. Though Torah is meant for all, their power and standing depended upon giving the impression that it was difficult. Hence they took the Torah into their own special keeping and interpreted it for the people as they pleased thus "taking away the key of knowledge" from the people.
Yeshua also pointed out in the same verse that the Pharisees, while pretending to be experts in the Torah, were not only failing to practice it themselves but were actually committing a second sin by keeping others from it.
So the "key of knowledge" is the Torah itself, which the Torah teachers were keeping to themselves. They failed the people. Jeremiah 3:15 "I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding." They did not feed the people knowledge.