American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A member of an ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law in both its oral and written form.
- n. A hypocritically self-righteous person.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of an ancient Jewish school, sect, or party which was specially exact in its interpretation and observance of the law, both canonical and traditional. In doctrine the Pharisees held to the resurrection of the body, the existence of angels and spirits, the providence and decrees of Cod, the canonicity and authority of Scripture, and the authority of ecclesiastical tradition; politically they were intensely Jewish, though not constituting a distinct political party; morally they were scrupulous in the observance of the ritual and regulations of the law, both written and oral. The Pharisees antagonized John Hyrcanus I. (135-105 b. c.), and as religious reformers bitterly opposed the corruptions which had entered Judaism from the pagan religions. They were called
Separatistsby their opponents. In support, of the authority of the law, and to provide for the many questions which it did not directly answer, they adopted the theory of an oral tradition given by God to Moses.
- n. Any scrupulous or ostentatious observer of the outward forms of religion without regard to its inward spirit: a formalist; hence, a scrupulous observer of external forms of any kind; in general, a hypocrite.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. One of a sect or party among the Jews, noted for a strict and formal observance of rites and ceremonies and of the traditions of the elders, and whose pretensions to superior sanctity led them to separate themselves from the other Jews.
- n. a self-righteous or sanctimonious person
- n. a member of an ancient Jewish sect noted for strict obedience to Jewish traditions
- Middle English pharise, from Old English fariseus and from Old French pharise, both from Late Latin pharīsaeus, from Greek pharīsaios, from Aramaic pərišayyā, pl. of pəriš, separate, from pəraš, to separate; see prš in Semitic roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Have you ever talk to your priest about it only to get called a pharisee for being such a stickler to liturgical norms?”
“#1.31 - Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:54 PM EDT keith O is the biggest "pharisee" in the media, a self righteous mask who judges people judging, a typical critic not quite unique as "false TV stages" portray him.”
“Calling Nicodemus an "ανθρωπος εκ των φαρισαιων" (man from the pharisees), rather than just calling him a "pharisee" outright is another way of indicating that Nicodemus was different from most Pharisees.”
“I get the feeling from the content of his post and the title of his post that the use of "pharisee" is not complimentary to those who are careful with what they eat.”
“He, too, had taken the part of the lowly and oppressed, and against all the established power of priest and pharisee.”
“Well, at least Mr. Neal is getting his head from beer unlike some of the holier-than-thou hypocrites of the right-wing and all their good christian pharisee cohorts covering up their dirty deeds at the C-Street house of collusion.”
“Beck is the modern day pharisee, a wolf disguised as a friendly.”
“Without the crucification Paul isn't another apocalyptic preacher, he is another pharisee.”
“So OK, am I being an old prude here, a pharisee in the mould of those who criticised Jesus because he ate with tax collectors and sinners.”
“The "pharisee of pharisees," the least likely to be chosen for the task of reaching the Gentiles, was the very one God chose.”
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