Definition of Pharisee in English:

Pharisee

Line breaks: Phari|see
Pronunciation: /ˈfarɪsiː
 
/

noun

1A 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.
More example sentences
  • He asked the Jewish leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, to repent from their evil ways.
  • He had to make allies with the Pharisees, the Jewish high priests of the temple, because he needed some help in governing.
  • As to the framework of his history, Jesus and Judaism are inseparably entwined; he appears closer to the Pharisees than to other Jewish groups in the first century.
1.1A self-righteous or hypocritical person.
More example sentences
  • Though the hypocrites and Pharisees that run the Republican party will have a hard time understanding this, Jesus would have understood it immediately.
  • The hypocrites and Pharisees of the Republican Party are exactly the sorts of people Jesus warned us against.
  • The Pharisees and hypocrites in the British press should repent their calumnies.

The Pharisees 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

Origin

Old English fariseus, via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek Pharisaios, from Aramaic prīšayyā 'separated ones' (related to Hebrew pārūš 'separated').

Derivatives

Pharisaic

Pronunciation: /ˌfarɪˈseɪɪk/
adjective
More example sentences
  • Jesus' strong rejection of Pharisaic teaching on purity is underlined by the evangelist in an aside to the reader: ‘Thus he declared all foods clean’.
  • The Pharisaic - rabbinic shape of Judaism sought to distinguish its position materially from that of the Essenes and the latter's ‘Holy Scriptures.’
  • The Pharisaic notion of righteousness would not include those poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, or others listed in Jesus' sermon as examples of those who are blessed by God.
Synonyms
Scottish unco guid
informal preachy, goody-goody

Pharisaical

Pronunciation: /farɪˈseɪɪk(ə)l/
adjective
More example sentences
  • What's with these super-righteous, Pharisaical, judgemental Christians? They said I was blaspheming, and committing idolatry.
  • Most rabbinic literature has mischaracterized first century Judaism as being almost totally pharisaical, rather than admitting that the religious situation was one of great flux, in which six or seven different groups were struggling for ascendancy within the Israeli Jewish community.

Pharisaism

Pronunciation: /ˈfarɪseɪˌɪz(ə)m/
noun
More example sentences
  • But there is much in Jesus’ teaching that is plainly counter-Pharisaic, including the antitheses of the Sermon on the Mount, which set Jesus well outside the frontiers of Pharisaism.
  • In Geiger's account, Pharisaism is transformed from a debased and rarified empty ritualism to a commitment to innovation and to the democratization of priestly functions.
  • Since Pharisaism is a continual problem for Christians, the preacher would do well to identify with the crowd, not with John.

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