Bible ConcordancePharisees (86 Occurrences)
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 9:11 When the Pharisees saw it, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 9:14 Then John's disciples came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples don't fast?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees said, "By the prince of the demons, he casts out demons." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 12:2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, "Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 12:14 But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 15:1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 15:12 Then the disciples came, and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended, when they heard this saying?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 16:6 Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 16:11 How is it that you don't perceive that I didn't speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 16:12 Then they understood that he didn't tell them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 19:3 Pharisees came to him, testing him, and saying, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 21:45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and took counsel how they might entrap him in his talk. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 22:34 But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, gathered themselves together. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 22:41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:2 saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sat on Moses' seat. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and as a pretense you make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:14 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don't enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter. (WEB KJV WEY BBE DBY WBS)
Matthew 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:25 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and unrighteousness. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 23:29 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Matthew 27:41 Likewise the chief priests also mocking, with the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders, said, (WEB)
Matthew 27:62 Now on the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together to Pilate, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 2:16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?" (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 2:18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, and they came and asked him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 2:24 The Pharisees said to him, "Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 3:6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 7:1 Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 7:3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, don't eat unless they wash their hands and forearms, holding to the tradition of the elders. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Mark 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why don't your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 8:11 The Pharisees came out and began to question him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, and testing him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 8:15 He warned them, saying, "Take heed: beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 10:2 Pharisees came to him testing him, and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Mark 12:13 They sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to him, that they might trap him with words. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 5:17 It happened on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every village of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. The power of the Lord was with him to heal them. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 5:21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 5:30 Their scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, "Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 5:33 They said to him, "Why do John's disciples often fast and pray, likewise also the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 6:2 But some of the Pharisees said to them, "Why do you do that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 6:7 The scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 7:30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the counsel of God, not being baptized by him themselves. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 7:36 One of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered into the Pharisee's house, and sat at the table. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 11:39 The Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 11:43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 11:44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don't know it." (WEB KJV WBS YLT)
Luke 11:53 As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him; (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 12:1 Meanwhile, when a multitude of many thousands had gathered together, so much so that they trampled on each other, he began to tell his disciples first of all, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 13:31 On that same day, some Pharisees came, saying to him, "Get out of here, and go away, for Herod wants to kill you." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 14:1 It happened, when he went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees on a Sabbath to eat bread, that they were watching him. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV)
Luke 14:3 Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 15:2 The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, "This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them." The Good News According to John (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 16:14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 17:20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come, he answered them, "The Kingdom of God doesn't come with observation; (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Luke 19:39 Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 1:24 The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 4:1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 7:32 The Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring these things concerning him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 7:45 The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, "Why didn't you bring him?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 7:47 The Pharisees therefore answered them, "You aren't also led astray, are you? (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 7:48 Have any of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees? (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 8:3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman taken in adultery. Having set her in the midst, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 8:13 The Pharisees therefore said to him, "You testify about yourself. Your testimony is not valid." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 9:13 They brought him who had been blind to the Pharisees. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 9:15 Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. He said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and I see." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 9:16 Some therefore of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, because he doesn't keep the Sabbath." Others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?" There was division among them. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 9:40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 11:47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, "What are we doing? For this man does many signs. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 11:57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 12:42 Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn't confess it, so that they wouldn't be put out of the synagogue, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
John 18:3 Judas then, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, "Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. Concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 23:7 When he had said this, an argument arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess all of these. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 23:9 A great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and contended, saying, "We find no evil in this man. But if a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let's not fight against God!" (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT RSV NIV)
ThesaurusPharisees (86 Occurrences)...
From the very beginning of his ministry the Pharisees
showed themselves bitter and
persistent enemies of our Lord. ...
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia. PHARISEES
. .../p/pharisees.htm - 66k
Sad'ducees (13 Occurrences)
... Sad'ducees (13 Occurrences). Matthew 3:7 And having seen many of the Pharisees and
Sadducees coming about his baptism, he said to them, 'Brood of vipers! ...
/s/sad'ducees.htm - 9k
Woe (102 Occurrences)
... Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ... Matthew
23:14 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ...
/w/woe.htm - 37k
Wo (92 Occurrences)
... Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ... Matthew
23:14 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ...
/w/wo.htm - 33k
Sect (10 Occurrences)
... meaning properly "a choice," then "a chosen manner of life," and then "a religious
party," as the "sect" of the Sadducees (Acts 5:17), of the Pharisees (15:5 ...
/s/sect.htm - 13k
Hypocrites (22 Occurrences)
... Matthew 23:13 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ... Matthew
23:14 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! ...
/h/hypocrites.htm - 13k
Pharisee (14 Occurrences)
... Mark 2:16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the
sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why is it that he eats ...
/p/pharisee.htm - 11k
Teachers (87 Occurrences)
... Matthew 5:20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes
and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven ...
/t/teachers.htm - 31k
False (303 Occurrences)
... (Root in BBE). Matthew 23:13 But a curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false
ones! ... Matthew 23:15 A curse is on you, scribes and Pharisees, false ones! ...
/f/false%20.htm - 34k
Wherefore (448 Occurrences)
... (KJV ASV). Matthew 9:11 and the Pharisees having seen, said to his disciples,
'Wherefore with the tax-gatherers and sinners doth your teacher eat?' (YLT). ...
/w/wherefore.htm - 34k
Greek4892. sunedrion -- a sitting together, hence a council, spec. the ... ...
a of leading Jews (Mk 13:9, Mt 10:17), or the (Aramaic form of ), , composed of
71 members comprising members of: high-priestly families, Pharisees
learned in ... /greek/4892.htm - 8k
2207. zelotes -- zealous
... 1, 25.77). [This term is also used of the extreme faction of the Pharisees
called " of the Law" (Lk 6:15; Ac 1:13).]. Word Origin ...
/greek/2207.htm - 7k
5330. Pharisaios -- a Pharisee, member of a Jewish religious sect
... parash Definition a Pharisee, member of a Jewish religious sect NASB Word Usage
Pharisaic (1), Pharisee (10), Pharisee's (2), Pharisees (86). Pharisee. ...
/greek/5330.htm - 7k
Hitchcock's Bible NamesPharisees
Smith's Bible DictionaryPharisees
a religious party or school among the Jews at the time of Christ, so called from perishin , the Aramaic form of the Hebrew word perushim , "separated." The chief sects among the Jews were the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Essenes, who may be described respectively as the Formalists, the Freethinkers and the Puritans. A knowledge of the opinions and practices of the Pharisees at the time of Christ is of great importance for entering deeply into the genius of the Christian religion. A cursory perusal of the Gospels is sufficient to show that Christ's teaching was in some respects thoroughly antagonistic to theirs. He denounced them in the bitterest language; see (Matthew 15:7,8; 23:5,13,14,15,23; Mark 7:6; Luke 11:42-44) and compare (Mark 7:1-5; 11:29; 12:19,20; Luke 6:28,37-42) To understand the Pharisees is by contrast an aid toward understanding the spirit of uncorrupted Christianity.
- The fundamental principle all of the of the Pharisees, common to them with all orthodox modern Jews, is that by the side of the written law regarded as a summary of the principles and general laws of the Hebrew people there was on oral law to complete and to explain the written law, given to Moses on Mount Sinai and transmitted by him by word of mouth. The first portion of the Talmud, called the Mishna or "second law," contains this oral law. It is a digest of the Jewish traditions and a compendium of the whole ritual law, and it came at length to be esteemed far above the sacred text.
- While it was the aim of Jesus to call men to the law of God itself as the supreme guide of life, the Pharisees, upon the Pretence of maintaining it intact, multiplied minute precepts and distinctions to such an extent that the whole life of the Israelite was hemmed in and burdened on every side by instructions so numerous and trifling that the law was almost if not wholly lost sight of. These "traditions" as they were called, had long been gradually accumulating. Of the trifling character of these regulations innumerable instances are to be found in the Mishna. Such were their washings before they could eat bread, and the special minuteness with which the forms of this washing were prescribed; their bathing when they returned from the market; their washing of cups, pots, brazen vessels, etc.; their fastings twice in the week, (Luke 18:12) were their tithing; (Matthew 23:23) and such, finally, were those minute and vexatious extensions of the law of the Sabbath, which must have converted God's gracious ordinance of the Sabbath's rest into a burden and a pain. (Matthew 12:1-13; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 18:10-17)
- It was a leading aim of the Redeemer to teach men that true piety consisted not in forms, but in substance, not in outward observances, but in an inward spirit. The whole system of Pharisaic piety led to exactly opposite conclusions. The lowliness of piety was, according to the teaching of Jesus, an inseparable concomitant of its reality; but the Pharisees sought mainly to attract the attention and to excite the admiration of men. (Matthew 6:2,6,16; 23:5,6; Luke 14:7) Indeed the whole spirit of their religion was summed up not in confession of sin and in humility, but in a proud self righteousness at variance with any true conception of man's relation to either God or his fellow creatures.
- With all their pretences to piety they were in reality avaricious, sensual and dissolute. (Matthew 23:25; John 13:7) They looked with contempt upon every nation but their own. (Luke 10:29) Finally, instead of endeavoring to fulfill the great end of the dispensation whose truths they professed to teach, and thus bringing men to the Hope of Israel, they devoted their energies to making converts to their own narrow views, who with all the zeal of proselytes were more exclusive and more bitterly opposed to the truth than they were themselves. (Matthew 22:15)
- The Pharisees at an early day secured the popular favor and thereby acquired considerable political influence. This influence was greatly increased by the extension of the Pharisees over the whole land and the majority which they obtained in the Sanhedrin. Their number reached more than six thousand under the Herods. Many of them must have suffered death for political agitation. In the time of Christ they were divided doctrinally into several schools, among which those of Hillel and Shammai were most noted. --McClintock and Strong .
- One of the fundamental doctrines of the Pharisees was a belief in a future state . They appear to have believed in a resurrection of the dead, very much in the same sense: as the early Christians. They also believed in "a divine Providence acting side by side with the free will of man." --Schaff.
- It is proper to add that it would be a great mistake to suppose that the Pharisees were wealthy and luxurious much more that they had degenerated into the vices which were imputed to some of the Roman popes and cardinals during the two hundred years preceding the Reformation. Josephus compared the Pharisees to the sect of the Stoics. He says that they lived frugally, in no respect giving in to luxury. We are not to suppose that there were not many individuals among them who were upright and pure, for there were such men as Nicodemus, Gamaliel, Joseph of Arimathea and Paul.
ATS Bible DictionaryPharisees
A numerous and dominant sect of the Jews, agreeing on some main points of doctrine and practice, but divided into different parties or schools on minor points; as for instance, the schools or followers of Hillel and Shammai, who were celebrated rabbins or teachers. The name is commonly derived from the Hebrew purash, to separate, as though they were distinguished form the rest of the nation by their superior wisdom and sanctity. They first appeared as a sect after the return of the Jews from captivity. In respect to their tenets, although they esteemed the written books of the old Testament as the sources of the Jewish religion, yet they also attributed great and equal authority to traditional precepts relating principally to external rites: as ablutions, fasting, long prayers, the distribution of alms, the avoiding of all intercourse with Gentiles and publicans, etc. See Matthew 6:5 9:11 23:5 Mark 7:4 Luke 18:12. In superstitious and self-righteous formalism they strongly resembled the Romish church.
They were rigid interpreters of the letter of the Mosaic law, but not infrequently violated the spirit of it by their traditional and philosophical interpretations. See Matthew 5:31,43 12:2:19:3:23:23. Their professed sanctity and close adherence to all the external forms of piety gave them great favor and influence with the common people, and especially among the female part of the community. They believed with the Stoics, that all things and events were controlled by fate yet not so absolutely as entirely to destroy the liberty of the human will. They considered the soul as immortal, and held the doctrine of a future resurrection of the body, Acts 23:8. It is also supposed by some that they admitted the doctrine of metempsychosis or the transmigration of souls; but no allusion is made to this in the New Testament, nor does Josephus assert it. In numerous cases Christ denounced the Pharisees for their pride and covetousness, their ostentation in prayers, alms, tithes, and facts, Matthew 6:2,5 Luke 18:9, and their hypocrisy in employing the garb of religion to cover the profligacy of their dispositions and conduct; as Matthew 23:1-39 Luke 16:14 John 7:48,49 8:9. By his faithful reproofs he early incurred their hatred, Matthew 12:14; they eagerly sought to destroy him, and his blood was upon them and their children. On the other hand, there appear to have been among them individuals of probity, and even of genuine piety; as in the case of Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus, the aged Simeon, etc., Matthew 27:57 Luke 2:25 John 3:1. Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee of the strictest sect, Acts 26:5 Galatians 1:14. The essential features of their character are still common in Christian lands, and are no less odious to Christ than of old.
International Standard Bible EncyclopediaPHARISEES
far'-i-sez (perushim; Pharisaioi):
1. Name and General Character
2. Authorities-Josephus-New Testament-Talmud
I. HISTORY OF THE SECT
1. Associated at First with Hasmoneans, but Later Abandon Them
2. Change of Name
3. Later Fortunes of the Sect
4. In New Testament Times
5. In Post-apostolic Times
II. DOCTRINES OF THE PHARISEES
1. Josephus's Statements Colored by Greek Ideas
2. Conditional Reincarnation
3. New Testament Presentation of Pharisaic Doctrines-Angels and Spirits-Resurrection
4. Traditions Added to the Law
5. Traditional Interpretations of the Law by Pharisees (Sabbath, etc.)
6. Close Students of the Text of Scripture
(1) Messianic Hopes
III. ORGANIZATION OF THE PHARISAIC PARTY
The Chabherim-Pharisaic Brotherhoods
IV. CHARACTER OF THE PHARISEES
1. Pharisees and People of the Land
2. Arrogance toward Other Jews
3. Regulations for the Chabher
4. The New Testament Account
(1) Their Scrupulosity
(2) Their Hypocrisy
5. Talmudic Classification of the Pharisees
V. OUR LORD'S RELATION TO THE PHARISEES
1. Pharisaic Attempts to Gain Christ Over
2. Reasons for Pharisaic Hatred of Christ
3. our Lord's Denunciation of the Pharisees
1. Name and General Character:
A prominent sect of the Jews. The earliest notice of them in Josephus occurs in connection with Jonathan, the high priest. Immediately after the account of the embassy to the Lacedaemonians, there is subjoined (Josephus, Ant, XIII, v, 9) an account of the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, therefore implying that then and in this connection they had been prominent, although no notice of any of these parties is to be found that confirms that view. Later (XIII, x, 5), the Pharisees are represented as envious of the success of John Hyrcanus; Eleazar, one of them, insults him at his own table. From the fact that earlier in the history the Assideans occupy a similar place to that occupied later by the Pharisees, it may be deduced that the two parties are in a measure one. See HASIDAEANS; ASMONEANS. It would seem that not only the Pharisees, but also the Essenes, were derived from the Assideans or chacidhim.
2. Authorities-Josephus-New Testament-Talmud:
In considering the characteristics and doctrines of the Pharisees we are in some difficulty from the nature of our authorities. The writers of the New Testament assume generally that the character and tenets of the Pharisees are well known to their readers, and only lay stress on the points in which they were in antagonism to our Lord and His followers. The evidence of Josephus, a contemporary and himself a Pharisee, is lessened in value by the fact that he modified his accounts of his people to suit the taste of his Roman masters. The Pharisees, with him, are a philosophic sect, and not an active political party. Their Messianic hopes are not so much as mentioned. Although the Talmud was written, both Mishna and Gemara, by the descendants of the Pharisees, the fact that the Gemara, from which most of our information is derived, is so late renders the evidence deduced from Talmudic statements of little value. Even the Mishna, which came into being only a century after the fall of the Jewish state, shows traces of exaggeration and modification of facts. Still, taking these deficiencies into consideration, we may make a fairly consistent picture of the sect. The name means "separatists," from parash, "to separate"-those who carefully kept themselves from any legal contamination, distinguishing themselves by their care in such matters from the common people, the `am ha'arets, who had fewer scruples. Like the Puritans in England during the 17th century, and the Presbyterians in Scotland during the same period, the Pharisees, although primarily a religious party, became ere long energetically political. They were a closely organized society, all the members of which called each other chabherim, "neighbors"; this added to the power they had through their influence with the people.
I. History of the Sect.
The Assideans (chacidhim) were at first the most active supporters of Judas Maccabeus in his struggle for religious freedom. A portion of them rather than fight retired to the desert to escape the tyranny of Epiphanes (1 Maccabees 2:27). The followers of these in later days became the Essenes. When Judas Maccabeus cleansed the temple and rededicated it with many sacrifices, it is not expressly said, either in the Books of Maccabees or by Josephus, that he acted as high priest, but the probability is that he did so. This would be a shock to the Assidean purists, as Judas, though a priest, was not a Zadokite; but his actions would be tolerated at that time on account of the imminent necessity for the work of reconsecration and the eminent services of Judas himself and his family.
1. Associated at First with Hasmoneans, but Later Abandon Them:
When Bacchides appeared against Jerusalem with Alcimus in his camp, this feeling against Judas took shape in receiving the treacherous Alcimus into Jerusalem and acknowledging him as high priest, a line of action which soon showed that it was fraught with disaster, as Alcimus murdered many of the people. They had to betake themselves anew to Judas, but this desertion was the beginning of a separating gulf which deepened when he made a treaty with the idolatrous Romans. As is not infrequently the case with religious zealots, their valor was associated with a mystic fanaticism. The very idea of alliance with heathen powers was hateful to them, so when Judas began to treat with Rome they deserted him, and he sustained the crushing defeat of Eleasa. Believing themselves the saints of God and therefore His peculiar treasure, they regarded any association with the heathen as faithlessness to Yahweh. Their attitude was much that of the Fifth Monarchy men in the time of Cromwell, still more that of the Cameronians in Scotland at the Revolution of 1688 who, because William of Orange was not a "covenanted" king, would have none of him. As the later Hasmoneans became more involved in worldly politics, they became more and more alienated from the strict Assideans, yet the successors of Judas Maccabeus retained their connection with the party in a lukewarm fashion, while the Sadducean sect was gaining in influence.
About this time the change of name seems to have been effected. They began to be called Pharisees, perushim, instead of chacidhim-"separatists" instead of saints. A parallel instance is to be found in the religious history of England.
2. Change of Name:
The Puritans of the 17th century became in the 19th "Non-conformists." The earliest instance of the Pharisees' intervening in history is that referred to in Josephus (Ant., XIII, x, 5), where Eleazar, a Pharisee, demanded that John Hyrcanus should lay down the high-priesthood because his mother had been a captive, thus insinuating that he-Hyrcanus-was no true son of Aaron, but the bastard of some nameless heathen to whom his mother had surrendered herself. This unforgivable insult to himself and to the memory of his mother led Hyrcanus to break with the Pharisaic party definitely. He seems to have left them severely alone.
3. Later Fortunes of the Sect:
The sons of Hyrcanus, especially Alexander Janneus, expressed their hostility in a more active way. Alexander crucified as many as 800 of the Pharisaic party, a proceeding that seems to intimate overt acts of hostility on their part which prompted this action. His whole policy was the aggrandizement of the Jewish state, but his ambition was greater than his military abilities. His repeated failures and defeats confirmed the Pharisees in their opposition to him on religious grounds. He scandalized them by calling himself king, although not of the Davidic line, and further still by adopting the heathen name "Alexander," and having it stamped in Greek characters on his coins. Although a high priest was forbidden to marry a widow, he married the widow of his brother. Still further, he incurred their opposition by abandoning the Pharisaic tradition as to the way in which the libation water was poured out. They retaliated by rousing his people against him and conspiring with the Syrian king. On his deathbed he advised his wife, Alexandra Salome, who succeeded him on the throne, to make peace with the Pharisees. This she did by throwing herself entirely into their hands. On her death a struggle for the possession of the throne and the high-priesthood began between her two sons, John Hyrcanus II and Aristobulus II. The latter, the more able and energetic, had the support of the Sadducees; the former, the elder of the two brothers, had that of the Pharisees. In the first phase of the conflict, Hyrcanus was defeated and compelled to make a disadvantageous peace with his brother, but, urged by Antipater, the Idumean, he called in Aretas, who inclined the balance at once to the side of Hyrcanus. The Romans were appealed to and they also, moved partly by the astuteness of Antipater, favored Hyrcanus. All this resulted ultimately in the supremacy of the Herodians, who through their subservience to Rome became inimical to the Pharisees and rivals of the Sadducees.
4. In New Testament Times:
When the New Testament records open, the Pharisees, who have supreme influence among the people, are also strong, though not predominant, in the Sanhedrin. The Herodians and Sadducees, the one by their alliance with the Roman authorities, and the other by their inherited skill in political intrigue, held the reins of government. If we might believe the Talmudic representation, the Pharisees were in the immense majority in the Sanhedrin; the nasi', or president, and the 'abh-beth-din, or vice-president, both were Pharisees. This, however, is to be put to the credit of Talmudic imagination, the relation of which to facts is of the most distant kind.
Recently Buchler (Das grosse Synedrion in Jerusalem) has attempted to harmonize these Talmudic fables with the aspect of things appearing in the New Testament and Josephus. He assumes that there were two Sanhedrins, one civil, having to do with matters of government, in which the Sadducees were overwhelmingly predominant, and the other scholastic, in which the Pharisees were equally predominant-the one the Senate of the nation, like the Senate of the United States, the other the Senate of a university, let us say, of Jerusalem. Although followed by Rabbi Lauterbach in the Jewish Encyclopedia, this attempt cannot be regarded as successful. There is no evidence for this dual Sanhedrin either in the New Testament or Josephus, on the one hand, or in the Talmud on the other.
Outside the Sanhedrin the Pharisees are ubiquitous, in Jerusalem, in Galilee, in Peraea and in the Decapolis, always coming in contact with Jesus. The attempts made by certain recent Jewish writers to exonerate them from the guilt of the condemnation of our Lord has no foundation; it is contradicted by the New Testament records, and the attitude of the Talmud to Jesus.
The Pharisees appear in the Book of Acts to be in a latent way favorers of the apostles as against the high-priestly party. The personal influence of Gamaliel, which seems commanding, was exercised in their favor. The anti-Christian zeal of Saul the Tarsian, though a Pharisee, may have been to some extent the result of the personal feelings which led him to perpetuate the relations of the earlier period when the two sects were united in common antagonism to the teaching of Christ. He, a Pharisee, offered himself to be employed by the Sadducean high priest (Acts 9:1, 2) to carry on the work of persecution in Damascus. In this action Saul appears to have been in opposition to a large section of the Pharisaic party. The bitter disputes which he and the other younger Pharisees had carried on with Stephen had possibly influenced him.
5. In Post-apostolic Times:
When Paul, the Christian apostle, was brought before the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem, the Pharisaic party were numerous in the Council, if they did not even form the majority, and they readily became his defenders against the Sadducees.
From Josephus we learn that with the outbreak of the war with the Romans the Pharisees were thrust into the background by the more fanatical Zealots, Simon ben Gioras and John of Gischala (BJ, V, i). The truth behind the Talmudic statements that Gamaliel removed the Sanhedrin to Jabneh and that Johanan ben Zakkai successfully entreated Vespasian to spare the scholars of that city is that the Pharisees in considerable numbers made peace with the Romans. In the Mishna we have the evidence of their later labors when the Sanhedrin was removed from Jabneh, ultimately to Tiberias in Galilee. There under the guidance of Jehuda ha-Qadhosh ("the Holy") the Mishna was reduced to writing. It may thus be said that Judaism became Pharisaism, and the history of the Jews became that of the Pharisees. In this later period the opposition to Christianity sprang up anew and became embittered, as may be seen in the Talmudic fables concerning Jesus.
II. Doctrines of the Pharisees.
1. Josephus' Statements Colored by Greek Ideas:
The account given of the doctrines of the Pharisees by Josephus is clearly influenced by his desire to parallel the Jewish sects with the Greek philosophical schools. He directs especial attention to the Pharisaic opinion as to fate and free will, since on this point the Stoic and Epicurean sects differed very emphatically. He regards the Pharisaic position as mid-way between that of the Sadducees, who denied fate altogether and made human freedom absolute, and that of the Essenes that "all things are left in the hand of God." He says "The Pharisees ascribe all things to fate and God, yet allow that to do what is right or the contrary is principally in man's own power, although fate cooperates in every action." It is to be noted that Josephus, in giving this statement of views, identifies "fate" with "God," a process that is more plausible in connection with the Latin fatum, "something decreed," than in relation to the impersonal moira, or heimarmene, of the Greeks. As Josephus wrote in Greek and used only the second of these terms, he had no philological inducement to make the identification; the reason must have been the matter of fact. In other words, he shows that the Pharisees believed in a personal God whose will was providence.
2. Conditional Reincarnation:
In connection with this was their doctrine of a future life of rewards and punishments. The phrase which Josephus uses is a peculiar one: "They think that every soul is immortal; only the souls of good men will pass into another body, but the souls of the evil shall suffer everlasting punishment" (aidia timoria kolazesthai). From this it has been deduced that the Pharisees held the transmigration of souls. In our opinion this is a mistake. We believe that really it is an attempt of Josephus to state the doctrine of the resurrection of the body in a way that would not shock Hellenic ideas. The Greek contempt for the body made the idea of the resurrection abhorrent, and in this, as in most philosophical matters, the Romans followed the Greeks. It would seem that Josephus regarded the Pharisees as maintaining that this resurrection applied only to the righteous. Still even this restriction, though certainly the natural interpretation, is not absolutely necessary. This is confirmed by the corresponding section in the Antiquities (XVIII, i, 3): "They also believe.... that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life, and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again." Josephus also declares the Pharisees to be very attentive students of the law of God: "they interpret the law with careful exactitude."
3. New Testament Presentation of Pharisaic Doctrines-Angels and Spirits-Resurrection:
Nothing in the Gospels or the Acts at all militates against any part of this representation, but there is much to fill it out. They believed in angels and spirits (Acts 23:8). From the connection it is probable that the present activity of such beings was the question in the mind of the writer. In that same sentence belief in the resurrection is ascribed to the Pharisees.
4. Traditions Added to the Law:
Another point is that to the bare letter of the Law they added traditions. While the existence of these traditions is referred to in Gospels, too little is said to enable us to grasp their nature and extent (Matthew 15:2; 16:5 Mark 7:1-23). The evangelists only recorded these traditional glosses when they conflicted with the teaching of Christ and were therefore denounced by Him. We find them exemplified in the Mishna. The Pharisaic theory of tradition was that these additions to the written law and interpretations of it had been given by Moses to the elders and by them had been transmitted orally down through the ages. The classical passage in the Mishna is to be found in Pirqe' Abhoth: "Moses received the (oral) Law from Sinai and delivered it to Joshua and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets and the prophets to the men of the great synagogue." Additions to these traditions were made by prophets by direct inspiration, or by interpretation of the words of the written Law. All this mass, as related above, was reduced to writing by Jehuda ha-Qadhosh in Tiberias, probably about the end of the 2nd century A.D. Jehuda was born, it is said, 135 A.D., and died somewhere about 220 A.D.
The related doctrines of the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body, and the final judgment with its consequent eternal rewards and punishments formed a portion and a valuable portion of this tradition.
5. Traditional Interpretations of the Law by Pharisees (Sabbath, etc.):
Less valuable, at times burdensome and hurtful, were the minute refinements they introduced into the Law. Sometimes the ingenuity of the Pharisaic doctors was directed to lighten the burden of the precept as in regard to the Sabbath. Thus a person was permitted to go much farther than a Sabbath day's journey if at some time previous he had deposited, within the legal Sabbath day's journey of the place he wished to reach, bread and water; this point was now to be regarded as the limit of his house, and consequently from this all distances were to be ceremonially reckoned (Jewish Encyclopedia, under the word "Erub"): The great defect of Pharisaism was that it made sin so purely external. An act was right or wrong according as some external condition was present or absent; thus there was a difference in bestowing alms on the Sabbath whether the beggar put his hand within the door of the donor or the donor stretched his hand beyond his own threshold, as may be seen in the first Mishna in the Tractate Shabbath. A man did not break the Sabbath rest of his ass, though he rode on it, and hence did not break the Sabbath law, but if he carried a switch with which to expedite the pace of the beast he was guilty, because he had laid a burden upon it.
6. Close Students of the Text of Scripture:
Along with these traditions and traditional interpretations, the Pharisees were close students of the sacred text. On the turn of a sentence they suspended many decisions. So much so, that it is said of them later the Text of that they suspended mountains from hairs. This is especially the case with regard to the Sabbath law with its burdensome minutiae. At the same time there was care as to the actual wording of the text of the Law; this has a bearing on textual criticism, even to the present day. A specimen of Pharisaic exegesis which Paul turns against their followers as an argumentum ad hominem may be seen in Galatians 3:16: "He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ."
(1) Messianic Hopes.
It is also to be said for them, that they maintained the Messianic hopes of the nation when their rivals were ready to sacrifice everything to the Romans, in order to gain greater political influence for themselves. Their imagination ran riot in the pictures they drew of these future times, but still they aided the faith of the people who were thus in a position to listen to the claims of Christ. They were led by Rabbi Aqiba in the reign of Hadrian to accept Bar-Cochba about a century after they had rejected Jesus. They were fanatical in their obedience to the Law as they understood it, and died under untold tortures rather than transgress.
They elevated almsgiving into an equivalent for righteousness. This gave poverty a very different place from what it had in Greece or among the Romans. Learning was honored, although its possessors might be very poor. The story of the early life of Hillel brings this out. He is represented as being so poor as to be unable sometimes to pay the small daily fee which admitted pupils to the rabbinic school, and when this happened, in his eagerness for the Law, he is reported to have listened on the roof to the words of the teachers. This is probably not historically true, but it exhibits the Pharisaic ideal.
III. Organization of the Pharisaic Party.
We have no distinct account of this organization, either in the Gospels, in Josephus, or in the Talmud. But the close relationship which the members of the sect sustained to each other, their habit of united action as exhibited in the narratives of the New Testament and of Josephus are thus most naturally explained. The Talmudic account of the chabherim affords confirmation of this. These were persons who primarily associated for the study of the Law and for the better observance of its precepts. No one was admitted to these chabhuroth without taking an oath of fidelity to the society and a promise of strict observance of Levitical precepts.
The Chabherim-Pharisaic Brotherhoods:
One of the elements of their promise has to be noted. The chabher promised not to pay ma`asroth, "tithe," or terumah, "heave offering," to a priest who was not a chabher. They were only permitted to take this oath when their associates in the brotherhood certified to their character. Even then the candidate had to pass through a period of probation of 30 days, according to the "house of Hillel," of a year, according to the "house of Shammai." This latter element, being quite more Talmudico, may be regarded as doubtful. Association with any not belonging to the Pharisaic society was put under numerous restrictions. It is at least not improbable that when the lawyer in Luke 10:29 demanded "Who is my neighbor?" he was minded to restrict the instances of the command in Leviticus 19:18 to those who were, like himself, Pharisees. A society which thus had brotherhoods all over Palestine and was separated from the rest of the community would naturally wield formidable power when their claims were supported by the esteem of the people at large. It is to be observed that to be a chabher was a purely personal thing, not heritable like priesthood, and women as well as men might be members. In this the Pharisees were like the Christians. In another matter also there was a resemblance between them and the followers of Jesus; they, unlike the Sadducees, were eager to make proselytes. "Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte" (Matthew 23:15). Many members of Roman society, especially women, were proselytes, as, for instance, Poppea Sabina.
IV. Character of the Pharisees.
1. Pharisees and People of the Land:
Because the ideal of the Pharisees was high, and because they reverenced learning and character above wealth and civil rank they had a tendency to despise those who did not agree with them. We see traces of this in the Gospels; thus John 7:49: "This multitude that knoweth not the law are accursed." The distinction between the Pharisees, the Puritans and the `am ha-'arets, "the people of the land," began with the distinction that had to be kept between the Jews and the Gentiles who had entered the land as colonists or intruders. These would, during the Babylonian captivity, almost certainly speak Western Aramaic, and would certainly be heathen and indulge in heathen practices. They were "the people of the land" whom the returning exiles found in possession of Judea.
2. Arrogance toward Other Jews:
Mingled with them were the few Jews that had neither been killed nor deported by the Babylonians, nor carried down into Egypt by Johanan, the son of Kareah. As they had conformed in a large measure to the habits of their heathen neighbors and intermarried with them, the stricter Jews, as Ezra and Nehemiah, regarded them as under the same condemnation as the heathen, and shrank from association with them. During the time of our Lord's life on earth the name was practically restricted to the ignorant Jews whose conformity to the law was on a broader scale than that of the Pharisees. Some have, however, dated the invention of the name later in the days of the Maccabean struggle, when the ceremonial precepts of the Law could with difficulty be observed. Those who were less careful of these were regarded as `am ha-'arets.
3. Regulations for the Chabher:
The distinction as exhibited in the Talmud shows an arrogance on the part of the Pharisaic chabher that must have been galling to those who, though Jews as much as the Pharisees, were not Puritans like them. A chabher, that is a Pharisee, might not eat at the table of a man whose wife was of the `am ha-'arets, even though her husband might be a Pharisee. If he would be a full chabher, a Pharisee must not sell to any of the `am ha-'arets anything that might readily be made unclean. If a woman of the `am ha-'arets was left alone in a room, all that she could touch without moving from her place was unclean. We must, however, bear in mind that the evidence for this is Talmudic, and therefore of but limited historical value.
4. The New Testament Account;
(1) Their Scrupulosity.
We find traces of this scrupulosity in the Gospels. The special way in which the ceremonial sanctity of the Pharisees exhibited itself was in tithing, hence the reference to their tithing "mint and anise and cummin" (Matthew 23:23). In the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, one of the things that the Pharisee plumes himself on is that he gives tithes of all he possesses (Luke 18:12). He is an example of the Pharisaic arrogance of those "who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and set all others at nought." Their claiming the first seats in feasts and synagogues (Matthew 23:6) was an evidence of the same spirit.
(2) Their Hypocrisy.
Closely akin to this is the hypocrisy of which the Pharisees were accused by our Lord. When we call them "hypocrites," we must go back to the primary meaning of the word. They were essentially "actors," poseurs. Good men, whose character and spiritual force have impressed themselves on their generation, have often peculiarities of manner and tone which are easily imitated. The very respect in which they are held by their disciples leads those who respect them to adopt unconsciously their mannerisms of voice and deportment. A later generation unconsciously imitates, "acts the part." In a time when religion is persecuted, as in the days of Antiochus Epiphanes, or despised as it was in the Hellenizing times which preceded and succeeded, it would be the duty of religious men not to hide their convictions. The tendency to carry on this public manifestation of religious acts after it had ceased to be protest would be necessarily great. The fact that they gained credit by praying at street corners when the hour of prayer came, and would have lost credit with the people had they not done so, was not recognized by them as lessening the moral worth of the action. Those who, having lived in the period of persecution and contempt, survived in that when religion was held in respect would maintain their earlier practice without any arriere-pensee. The succeeding generation, in continuing the practice, consciously "acted." They were poseurs. Their hypocrisy was none the less real that it was reached by unconscious stages. Hypocrisy was a new sin, a sin only possible in a spiritual religion, a religion in which morality and worship were closely related. Heathenism, which lay in sacrifices and ceremonies by which the gods could be bribed, or cajoled into favors, had a purely casual connection with morality; its worship was entirely a thing of externals, of acting, "posing." Consequently, a man did not by the most careful attention to the ceremonies of religion produce any presumption in favor of his trustworthiness. There was thus no sinister motive to prompt to religion. The prophets had denounced the insincerity of worship, but even they did not denounce hypocrisy, i.e. religion used as a cloak to hide treachery or dishonesty. Religion had become more spiritual, the connection between morality and worship more intimate by reason of the persecution of the Seleucids.
5. Talmudic Classification of the Pharisees:
The Talmud to some extent confirms the representation of the Gospels. There were said to be seven classes of Pharisees:
(1) the "shoulder" Pharisee, who wears his good deeds on his shoulders and obeys the precept of the Law, not from principle, but from expediency;
(2) the "wait-a-little" Pharisee, who begs for time in order to perform a meritorious action;
(3) the "bleeding" Pharisee, who in his eagerness to avoid looking on a woman shuts his eyes and so bruises himself to bleeding by stumbling against a wall; (4) the "painted" Pharisee, who advertises his holiness lest any one should touch him so that he should be defiled;
(5) the "reckoning" Pharisee, who is always saying "What duty must I do to balance any unpalatable duty which I have neglected?";
(6) the "fearing" Pharisee, whose relation to God is one merely of trembling awe;
(7) the Pharisee from "love." In all but the last there was an element of "acting," of hypocrisy. It is to be noted that the Talmud denounces ostentation; but unconsciously that root of the error lies in the externality of their righteousness; it commands an avoidance of ostentation which involves equal "posing."
V. Our Lord's Relationship to the Pharisees.
1. Pharisaic Attempts to Gain Christ Over:
The attitude of the Pharisees to Jesus, to begin with, was, as had been their attitude to John, critical. They sent representatives to watch His doings and His sayings and report. They seem to have regarded it as possible that He might unite Himself with them, although, as we think, His affinities rather lay with the Essenes. Gradually their criticism became opposition. This opposition grew in intensity as He disregarded their interpretations of the Sabbatic law, ridiculed their refinements of the law of tithes and the distinctions they introduced into the validity of oaths, and denounced their insincere posing. At first there seems to have been an effort to cajole Him into compliance with their plans.
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Easton's Bible Dictionary
Separatists (Hebrews 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 (Matthew 9:14
; Luke 11:39
). Paul, when brought before the council of Jerusalem, professed himself a Pharisee (Acts 23:6
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 (Matthew 5:20; 15:4, 8; 23:3, 14, 23, 25; John 8:7). On the first notice of them in the New Testament (Matthew 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 (Matthew 9:11; Luke 7:39; 18:11, 12). They were frequently rebuked by our Lord (Matthew 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.
Irony: The Pharisees and the Herodians to Jesus
Pharisees: A Sect of the Jews
Pharisees: Association With Publicans and Sinners
Pharisees: Become Disciples of Jesus
Pharisees: Come to Jesus With Questions
Pharisees: Concerning the Resurrection
Pharisees: Doctrines of
Pharisees: Hypocrisy of, Reproved by Jesus
Pharisees: Hypocrisy of, Reproved by John
Pharisees: Paul, a Pharisee
Pharisees: Reject: Christ
Pharisees: Reject: John
Pharisees: They Minister to Jesus
Pharisees: Traditions of, in Regard to Fasting
Pharisees: Traditions of, in Regard to The Duties of Children to Parents
Pharisees: Traditions of, in Regard to The Sabbath
Pharisees: Traditions of, in Regard to The Washing of Hands
The Pharisees by Descent, Especially Esteemed
The Pharisees: A Sect of the Jews
The Pharisees: As a Body, Rejected John's Baptism
The Pharisees: Believed in the Resurrection
The Pharisees: Character of Active in Proselytising
The Pharisees: Character of Ambitious of Precedence
The Pharisees: Character of Avaricious
The Pharisees: Character of Cruel in Persecuting
The Pharisees: Character of Fond of Distinguished Titles
The Pharisees: Character of Fond of Public Salutations
The Pharisees: Character of Oppressive
The Pharisees: Character of Outwardly Moral
The Pharisees: Character of Particular in Paying all Dues
The Pharisees: Character of Rigid in Fasting
The Pharisees: Character of Self-Righteous
The Pharisees: Character of Zealous of the Law
The Pharisees: Character of Zealous of Tradition
The Pharisees: Christ: Asked for Signs By
The Pharisees: Christ: Called Fools and Blind Guides
The Pharisees: Christ: Called, and Evil and Adulterous Generation
The Pharisees: Christ: Called, Serpents and Generation of Vipers
The Pharisees: Christ: Compared, to Graves That Appear Not
The Pharisees: Christ: Compared, to Whited Sepulchres
The Pharisees: Christ: Condemned By, for Associating With Sinners
The Pharisees: Christ: Declared the Doctrines of, to be Hypocrisy
The Pharisees: Christ: Declared the Imaginary Righteousness of, to be Insufficient
The Pharisees: Christ: Denounced Woes Against
The Pharisees: Christ: Left Judea for a Time on Account of
The Pharisees: Christ: Offended, by his Doctrine
The Pharisees: Christ: Often Invited By
The Pharisees: Christ: Tempted By, With Questions About the Law
The Pharisees: Christ: Watched By, for Evil
The Pharisees: had Disciples
The Pharisees: Imputed Christ's Miracles to Satan's Power
The Pharisees: Made Broad Their Phylacteries
The Pharisees: Many Priest and Levites Were of
The Pharisees: Many Rulers, Lawyers, and Scribes Were of
The Pharisees: Often Sought to Destroy Christ
The Pharisees: Sent officers to Apprehend Christ
The Pharisees: some Came to John for Baptism
The Pharisees: The Strictest Observers of the Mosaic Ritual
The Pharisees: Their Opinions, a Standard for Others
Sad'ducees (13 Occurrences)
Woe (102 Occurrences)
Wo (92 Occurrences)
Sect (10 Occurrences)
Hypocrites (22 Occurrences)
Pharisee (14 Occurrences)
Teachers (87 Occurrences)
False (303 Occurrences)
Wherefore (448 Occurrences)
Yeast (48 Occurrences)
Trying (68 Occurrences)
Beware (51 Occurrences)
Lawful (38 Occurrences)
Eating (151 Occurrences)
Heed (223 Occurrences)
Questions (76 Occurrences)
Council (51 Occurrences)
Officers (171 Occurrences)
John's (27 Occurrences)
Warned (63 Occurrences)
Asking (111 Occurrences)
Tempting (12 Occurrences)
Test (105 Occurrences)
Testing (46 Occurrences)
Mint (2 Occurrences)
Murmured (21 Occurrences)
Murmuring (14 Occurrences)
Counsel (192 Occurrences)
Herodians (3 Occurrences)
Leaven (24 Occurrences)
Perceived (57 Occurrences)
Curse (211 Occurrences)
Party (47 Occurrences)
Sinners (132 Occurrences)
Gathered (384 Occurrences)
Led (260 Occurrences)
Sadducees (14 Occurrences)
Rulers (310 Occurrences)
Respect (204 Occurrences)
Tradition (13 Occurrences)
Yours (226 Occurrences)
Keeping (282 Occurrences)
Notorious (16 Occurrences)
Unlawful (9 Occurrences)
Often (74 Occurrences)
Group (32 Occurrences)
Greater (219 Occurrences)
Guards (42 Occurrences)
Inside (185 Occurrences)
Tested (80 Occurrences)
Tax-farmers (14 Occurrences)
Eat (690 Occurrences)
Entangle (7 Occurrences)
Elders (203 Occurrences)
Entering (124 Occurrences)
Entrap (5 Occurrences)
Eateth (81 Occurrences)
Discussion (29 Occurrences)
Miraculous (54 Occurrences)
Publicans (16 Occurrences)
Belonged (105 Occurrences)
Collectors (16 Occurrences)
Anise (1 Occurrence)
Alas (62 Occurrences)
Ones (687 Occurrences)
Seeking (182 Occurrences)
Disciple (38 Occurrences)
Shut (237 Occurrences)
Meeting (323 Occurrences)
Yourselves (530 Occurrences)
Seeing (442 Occurrences)
Seize (91 Occurrences)
Ought (130 Occurrences)
Signs (127 Occurrences)
Except (236 Occurrences)
Question (153 Occurrences)