Separatists (Heb. persahin, from parash, "to separate"). They were probably the successors of the Assideans (i.e., the "pious"), a party that originated in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes in revolt against his heathenizing policy. The first mention of them is in a description by Josephus of the three sects or schools into which the Jews were divided (B.C. 145). The other two sects were the Essenes and the Sadducees. In the time of our Lord they were the popular party (John 7:48). They were extremely accurate and minute in all matters appertaining to the law of Moses (Matt. 9:14; 23:15; Luke 11:39; 18:12). Paul, when brought before the council of Jerusalem, professed himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6-8; 26:4, 5).
   There was much that was sound in their creed, yet their system of religion was a form and nothing more. Theirs was a very lax morality (Matt. 5:20; 15:4, 8; 23:3, 14, 23, 25; John 8:7). On the first notice of them in the New Testament (Matt. 3:7), they are ranked by our Lord with the Sadducees as a "generation of vipers." They were noted for their self-righteousness and their pride (Matt. 9:11; Luke 7:39; 18:11, 12). They were frequently rebuked by our Lord (Matt. 12:39; 16:1-4).
   From the very beginning of his ministry the Pharisees showed themselves bitter and persistent enemies of our Lord. They could not bear his doctrines, and they sought by every means to destroy his influence among the people.

Easton's Bible Dictionary. . 1897.

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  • PHARISEES — (Heb. פְּרוּשִׁים, Perushim), a Jewish religious and political party or sect during the Second Temple period which emerged as a distinct group shortly after the Hasmonean revolt, about 165–160 B.C.E. They were probably successors of the Hasideans …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Pharisees — • A politico religious sect or faction among the adherents of later Judaism, that came into existence as a class about the third century B.C. . . . Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Pharisees     Pharisees …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pharisees — The word Pharisees (lat. pharisæ|us , i ) comes from the Hebrew פרושים perushim from פרוש parush , meaning separated [Ernest Klein Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language ] . The Pharisees were, depending on the time, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Pharisees — From a Hebrew root meaning ‘separated’; so, according to Origen and other Fathers, Pharisees were ‘those who separate themselves’. It is held, but disputed, that they were the Hasideans of 1 Macc. 2:42; 7:12 f. (see Hasidim). They are mentioned… …   Dictionary of the Bible

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  • Pharisees — noun A Jewish political party and school of thought that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 –70 ) …   Wiktionary

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