You cannot fail to feel the presence of this group in the narrative of the life and work of Jesus as recorded in the Synoptic Gospels of the New Testament.
So who were the Pharisees and what did they stand for? In this very brief post, I present to you the main things you need to know about the Pharisees.
Characteristics and beliefs of the Pharisees
1. The term “Pharisees
” means “separated ones”. They were a social and political group but not as elitist as the Sadducees with whom they disagreed on a number of social and political issues.
2. The Pharisees constantly came into conflict with Jesus on a number of issues. An example is their condemnation of Jesus and his disciples for their failure to strictly adhere to the tradition of the elders.
3. The Pharisees constituted the professional and economic class of Judea.
4. They believed in the teachings of the synagogue.
5. They were strict on the thorny issues of the observance and interpretation of the Torah (the law) and the tradition of the elders.
6. Jesus called them hypocrites.
7. Unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees believed in the resurrection, end of time, angels, demons, and hell.