Name"Pharisee" is from a Greek word (pharisaios) taken from the Heb/Aramaic "Perisha" meaning "Separated one." In the time of Jesus the Pharisees were one of the three chief Jewish sects, the others were the Sadducees and the Essenes. Of the three, the Pharisees were the most separated from the ways of the foreign influences that were invading Judaism, and from the ways of the common Jewish people in the land.
"There was probably no town or village inhabited by Jews which had not its
Pharisees, although they would, of course, gather in preference about Jerusalem
with its Temple, and what, perhaps would have been even dearer to the heart of a
genuine Pharisee--its four hundred and eighty synagogues, its Sanhedrims (great
and small), and its schools of study. There could be no difficulty in
recognising such an one. Walking behind him, the chances were, he would soon
halt to say his prescribed prayers. If the fixed time for them had come, he
would stop short in the middle of the road, perhaps say one section of them,
move on, again say another part, and so on, till, whatever else might be
doubted, there could be no question of the conspicuousness of his devotions in
market-place or corners of streets. There he would stand, as taught by the
traditional law, would draw his feet well together, compose his body and
clothes, and bend so low "that every vertebra in his back would stand out
separate," or, at least, till "the skin over his heart would fall into folds" (Ber.
28 b). The workman would drop his tools, the burden-bearer his load; if a man
had already one foot in the stirrup, he would withdraw it. The hour had come,
and nothing could be suffered to interrupt or disturb him. The very salutation
of a king, it was said, must remain unreturned; nay, the twisting of a serpent
around one's heel must remain unheeded." � Alfred Edersheim
Origin and History
How fearfully the prophecy of destruction that Jesus had foretold was fulfilled! In a few brief years the Roman legions of the Emperor Titus utterly destroyed the city and its glorious Temple. Over a million Jews perished in the siege in a few days, and a hundred thousand more were taken away in captivity.
Without its marvelous Temple, the Jewish religion was forced to take on a new character, and after the final Jewish rebellion (132 A.D.) all hope of rebuilding the Temple was lost, and the work of these rabbis took a different direction.
The Mishnah, compiled by the Patriarch Judah (200 A.D.), which is the final work of these rabbis, began a final work in the history of Jewish scholarship. It is a monument of Pharisaic scholarship and a testimony to the final triumph of Pharisaism, which now is compiled into the Talmud which has become synonymous with Judaism.
Jesus and the Pharisees
The Pharisees were the most numerous and influential of the religious sects
of Jesus� day. The were strict legalists. They stood for the rigid observance of
the letter and forms of the Law, and also for the Traditions. There were some
good men among them, no doubt, but for the most part they were known for their
covetousness, self-righteousness and hypocrisy.
Scribes were copyists of the Scriptures and because of their minute acquaintance with the Law they became recognized authorities. They were sometimes called "lawyers." Scribes and Pharisees were the religious leaders of the nation.
The incredible influence of the Pharisees among the masses cannot be mistaken. The were the most honored in Judaism at the time of Christ. When Christ won the favor of the people.
"But the great crowd of people went on hearing Him gladly."
The Words spoken by Jesus in Matt 23 constitute the most bitter denunciation that ever fell from His lips. The enemies of Jesus could not answer Him a word, nor did anyone ever again dare to ask Him anything. The Pharisees were unrepentant, hypocritical, and more determined than ever to seek His destruction. In His final public discourse in the Temple, it was fitting that He should warn His disciples against the hypocrisy of these corrupt and wicked men. Even while He denounced their spiritual blindness, ritualism, and wickedness, He wept over Jerusalem, and ended His discourse with a lamentation, addressed to the beloved but doomed city which had sinned away its day of opportunity.
The Story of the Bible
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Index of Topics
- Free Will
- Jesus and the Pharisees
- Jewish Antiquities
- Jewish War
- The After Life
- The Eighth Woe
- The Fifth Woe
- The Fourth Woe
- The Paradox of the Pharisees
- The Seventh Woe
- The Sixth Woe
The Story of the Bible
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Table of Contents
- Ancient Assyrian Social Structure
- Ancient Babylonia
- Ancient Canaan During the Time of Joshua
- Ancient History Timeline
- Ancient Oil Lamps
- Antonia Fortress
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- Assyria and Bible Prophecy
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- First Century Jerusalem
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- Herod Agrippa I
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- High Priest's in New Testament Times
- Jewish Literature in New Testament Times
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- Map of David's Kingdom
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- Matthew Henry Bible Commentary
- Messianic Prophecy
- Nero Caesar Emperor
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- Paul's First Missionary Journey
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- Pontius Pilate
- Questions About the Ancient World
- Tabernacle of Ancient Israel
- Tax Collectors in New Testament Times
- The Babylonian Captivity
- The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser
- The Books of the New Testament
- The Court of the Gentiles
- The Court of the Women in the Temple
- The Destruction of Israel
- The Fall of Judah with Map
- The History Of Rome
- The Incredible Bible
- The Jewish Calendar in Ancient Hebrew History
- The Life of Jesus in Chronological Order
- The Life of Jesus in Harmony
- The Names of God
- The New Testament
- The Old Testament
- The Passion of the Christ
- The Pharisees
- The Sacred Year of Israel in New Testament Times
- The Samaritans
- The Scribes
- How did the ancient Greeks and Romans practice medicine and treat illnesses?
- What were the major contributions of ancient Babylon to mathematics and astronomy?
- How did the ancient Persians create and administer their vast empire?
- What were the cultural and artistic achievements of ancient India, particularly during the Gupta Empire?
- How did ancient civilizations like the Incas and Aztecs build their remarkable cities and structures?
- What were the major trade routes and trading practices of the ancient world?
- What was the role of slavery in ancient societies like Rome and Greece?
- How did the ancient Mayans develop their sophisticated calendar system?
- What were the key events and significance of the Battle of Thermopylae in ancient Greece?
- What was life like for women in ancient Rome?
Bible Study Questions
- What does biblical archaeologist said about hieroglyphics?
- Where is the Negev where Abram went to in Genesis?
- What is the name of Ramallah in the Bible?
- How do we approach and study the historical and cultural context of biblical passages?
- What is the significance of the Psalms in personal and corporate worship?
- How do we discern and apply biblical principles to contemporary ethical issues?
- What is the biblical perspective on the nature of God's love and mercy?
- How do we interpret and understand apocalyptic literature in the Bible?
- What are the different covenants in the Bible and their significance?
- How do we grow in spiritual maturity and develop a deeper understanding of the Word?
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