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Pharisees

Pharisees (fâr´Ĭsēz), one of the two great Jewish religious and political parties of the second commonwealth. Their opponents were the Sadducees, and it appears that the Sadducees gave them their name, perushim, Hebrew for "separatists" or "deviants." The Pharisees began their activities during or after the Hasmonean revolt (c.166–142 BC). The Pharisees upheld an interpretation of Judaism that was in opposition to the priestly Temple cult. They stressed faith in the one God; the divine revelation of the law both written and oral handed down by Moses through Joshua, the elders, and the prophets to the Pharisees; and eternal life and resurrection for those who keep the law. Pharisees insisted on the strict observance of Jewish law, which they began to codify. While in agreement on the broad outlines of Jewish law, the Pharisees encouraged debate on its fine points, and according to one view, practiced the tradition of zuggot, or pairs of scholars with opposing views. They developed the synagogue as an alternative place of worship to the Temple, with a liturgy consisting of biblical and prophetic readings, and the repetition of the shma, the basic creed of Judaism. In addition, they supported the separation of the worldly and the spiritual spheres, ceding the former to the secular rulers. Though some supported the revolt against Rome in AD 70, most did not. One Pharisee was Yohanan ben Zakkai, who fled to Jamnia, where he was instrumental in developing post-Temple Judaism. By separating Judaism from dependence on the Temple cult, and by stressing the direct relation between the individual and God, the Pharisees laid the groundwork for normative rabbinic Judaism. Their influence on Christianity was substantial as well, despite the passages in the New Testament which label the Pharisees "hypocrites" or "offspring of the vipers." St. Paul was originally a Pharisee. After the fall of the Temple (AD 70), the Pharisees became the dominant party until c.135.

See L. Finkelstein, The Pharisees: The Sociological Background of Their Faith (3d ed., 2 vol., 1963); A. Finkel, The Pharisees and the Teacher of Nazareth (1964); L. Baeck, Pharisees (1947, repr. 1966); J. Neusner, From Politics to Piety (1973) and The Pharisees (1985).

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Pharisee

Pharisee a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity; they are mentioned only by Josephus and in the New Testament. Unlike the Sadducees, who tried to apply Mosaic law strictly, the Pharisees allowed some freedom of interpretation. Although in the Gospels they are represented as the chief opponents of Christ they seem to have been less hostile than the Sadducees to the nascent Church, with which they shared belief in the Resurrection.

In general use, especially with allusion to the story in Luke of the Pharisee who gave thanks that he was ‘not as other men’, a self-righteous person, a hypocrite.

Recorded in Old English in the form fariseus, the word comes via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek Pharisaios, from Aramaic prīšayyā ‘separated ones’.

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Pharisees

Pharisees (Heb., perushim, ‘separatists’ or ‘interpreters’). Members of a Jewish religious sect of the second Temple period. The Pharisees emerged c.160 BCE, after the Hasmonean revolt. They believed themselves to be the inheritors of the traditions of Ezra and were scrupulous in their obedience to the oral law as well as to the written Torah. In some sense, they were the predecessors of the rabbis. Despite the strong anti-Pharisaic bias of the New Testament, there is no doubt that the Pharisees set high moral standards for themselves and through their devotion sustained the people through the trauma of the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple and the loss of the sacrificial cult.

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Pharisee

Phar·i·see / ˈfarəsē/ • n. a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity. ∎  a self-righteous person; a hypocrite. DERIVATIVES: Phar·i·sa·ic / ˌfarəˈsāik/ adj. Phar·i·sa·i·cal / ˌfarəˈsāikəl/ adj. Phar·i·sa·ism / -sāˌizəm/ n.

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Pharisees

Pharisees Members of a conservative Jewish religious group, prominent in ancient Palestine from the 2nd century bc to the time of the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem (ad 70). For much of this period, they constituted a political party opposed to the pagan influences of their Greek and Roman conquerors, but by New Testament times they were largely non-political. They were the founders of orthodox Judaism and were often in conflict with the Sadducees.

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Pharisee

Pharisee OE. fariseus, early ME. farisew — late L. pharīsæus, -ēus — Gr. pharīsaîos — Aram. peīšaiyā, emphatic pl. of perīš = Heb. pārûš separated, separatist. The present form is from ME. f-, pharise(e) — OF. pharise — L.

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Pharisee

PhariseeChrissie, Cissy, kissy, missy, prissy, sissy •dixie, pixie, tricksy, Trixie •chintzy, De Quincey, wincey •efficiency, proficiency, sufficiency •Gypsy, tipsy •ditzy, glitzy, itsy-bitsy, Mitzi, ritzy, Uffizi •Eurydice •odyssey, theodicy •sub judice • prophecy • anglice •chaplaincy • policy • baronetcy •governessy • Pharisee • actressy •clerisy, heresy •secrecy • statice • captaincy •courtesy •dicey, icy, pricey, spicy, vice •stridency • sightsee •bossy, Flossie, flossy, glossy, mossy, posse •boxy, doxy, epoxy, foxy, moxie, poxy, proxy •bonxie •poncey, sonsy •dropsy, popsy •biopsy • heterodoxy • orthodoxy •autopsy

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