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2 definitions found

From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

 Pharisees
    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.

From: Hitchcock's Bible Names Dictionary (late 1800's)

 Pharisees, set apart