- a member of a Jewish sect that flourished during the 1st century b.c. and 1st century a.d. and that differed from the Sadducees chiefly in its strict observance of religious ceremonies and practices, adherence to oral laws and traditions, and belief in an afterlife and the coming of a Messiah.
- (lowercase) a sanctimonious, self-righteous, or hypocritical person.
Origin of Pharisee
Examples from the Web for pharisees
This latter group shortly came to be known as the Pharisees.Don't Let the Maccabees Win
December 4, 2013
Pharisees and scribes are reduced stock villains with caricatured Jewish features.Jesus: Not a Meek Hippy
December 24, 2012
The Hasmonean monarchs who got themselves disliked by the Pharisees must therefore be villains.
That family soon fell afoul of the leading religious authorities of their day, the people known to history as the Pharisees.
The Pharisees had need to keep alliance with the temporal powers.Understanding the Scriptures
Look at our charities—are we Pharisees or are we hypocrites?The Christian
When the sceptical Sadducees and the Pharisees, sought a sign it was to try him, can he do it?
But were not the Scribes and Pharisees in many things ignorant and unsound?
The Pharisees join with the Saducees in opposition to the Church.A Key to the Knowledge of Church History (Ancient)
John Henry Blunt
- Judaism a member of an ancient Jewish sect that was opposed to the Sadducees, teaching strict observance of Jewish tradition as interpreted rabbinically and believing in life after death and in the coming of the Messiah
- (often not capital) a self-righteous or hypocritical person
Word Origin and History for pharisees
from Old English Fariseos, Old French pharise (13c.), and directly from Late Latin Pharisæus, from Greek Pharisaios, from Aramaic perishayya, emphatic plural of perish "separated, separatist," corresponding to Hebrew parush, from parash "he separated." Ancient Jewish sect (2c. B.C.E.-1c. C.E.) distinguished by strict observance but regarded as pretentious and self-righteous, at least by Jesus (Matt. xxiii:27). Meaning "self-righteous person, formalist, hypocrite" is attested from 1580s.
A group of teachers among the Jews (see also Jews) at the time of Jesus; he frequently rebukes them in the Gospels for their hypocrisy. Jesus says they are like “the blind leading the blind,” or like “whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.”