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Pharisees were members of one of the group movements that characterized early Judaism (Essenes; Sadducees). The name, first found in Phil. 3:5 and based on Aram. pĕrîšayyâ (= Heb. pĕrûšîm, “separated ones”), might well have been first used by others to denote separatists, but the Pharisees themselves could also adopt it in the sense of holy or abstemious ones.

1. Sources

We have no reliable sources dating from the period before a.d. 70. For sources we are dependent on Josephus (ca. 37–ca. 100, J.W. and Ant.), primiti…

Cite this page
Schaller, Berndt, “Pharisees”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 24 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.79>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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