From the Beginning to Modern Influence
The Pharisees, which mean “separate ones,” 1 (and who devoted
considerable effort to separating themselves from others 2) were a major religious
and political party in Palestine. They were a large group with an enormous
influence over the masses. 3
One may ask, if the Pharisees had such influence, why would they separate
themselves from others? Very simply, the Pharisees felt that since other Jews, as
well as Gentiles, were not careful enough about keeping God’s laws, they felt it was
necessary to place limits on their contacts with them. For example, they could not
eat in the home of a non-Pharisee, since they could not be sure that the food had
been properly tithed and kept ritually pure.
As to the Pharisees origin? That is debatable. Some scholars will point out
that by the time of John Hyrcanus (135-104 BC) the Pharisees “had a large,
powerful, and dedicated following of people.” 4 Others will say that this couldn’t be
so. They say the Pharisees origin started in the New Testament times. 5 Of
course, with the writings of Josephus, we can certainly say that the Pharisees did
originate prior to the first century A.D. Josephus clearly points out that during the
time of Alexandra’s nine year reign, that the Pharisees assisted her in her
government. 6 It is most certain that not only did the Pharisees originate prior to
the first century A.D., but we have evidence that they first appear, by name,
during the reign of Jonathan, (brother of Judah the Maccabbe, ca. 150 B.C.E.). 7
Many scholars have attempted to identify the Pharisees with, or to locate their
origins in, the Hasidim who were allies of Judah in the Maccabean Revolt. Yet,
according to Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, Lawrence Schiffman, this
theory, cannot be substantiated. 8
Rabbinic sources have also traced the Pharisees back to the Persian and
early Hellenistic periods. Some modern scholars have associated the Soferim
("scribes") with the "Men of the Great Assembly." 9 The Soferim would then be
the forerunners of the Pharisaic movement. Unfortunately, the historical evidence
doesn’t give us any definite conclusions. All that can be said is that the Pharisees
could not have emerged suddenly in the Hasmonean period. Reason being, their
theology would have been in formation sometime earlier. How much earlier? It’s
hard to say. 10
Most scholars believe that the Pharisees got their origin either during or after
the destruction of Second Temple. 11 They believe that the Second Temple
destruction marked the breakup of a monolithic Judaism, which brought about
various new sects of Judaism. Clearly, the destruction of the Second Temple
marked a major turning in the history of Judaism. Judaism not only saw the loss
of the rebuilding of the Second Temple as a considerable consequence, but there
was indeed devastation in the Jewish community. 12 But, Dr. William Varner,
Professor of Old Testament at The Master’s College, would argue the point that
this was the end of a monolithic Judaism. He tells us the Jewish community
already had other sects already in existence prior to the destruction:
Although we cannot be sure of the exact number, there can be no doubt
that at the time of the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D., the Jewish
community comprised numerous parties, sects and brotherhoods. Recent
scholarship has questioned and effectively destroyed the concept of a
monolithic “Judaism” that existed during the Second Temple (516 B.C. - 70
A.D.). Furthermore, Josephus’ famous listing of the standard divisions —
Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and the “Fourth Philosophy” (the Zealots) —
is simply not adequate in conveying the mosaic of Second Temple Judaism.
The new source material (e.g. Dead Sea Scrolls) which has become available
in recent years, as well as a reassessment of information from the known
sources (e.g. the Pseudepigrapha) have indicated a number of “hidden
streams” during the period prior to the fall of the Temple. 13
In any case, the Pharisees appeared in Hasmonean times as part of the
coalition with the Sadducees and other sects of society. They were a forceful
group that ordered their way of life onto the Jewish people–how they should live
and govern themselves. They were ready to criticize others for not keeping the
laws, and they often looked down on “sinners” who showed no interest in God’s
law (Mark 2:16; Luke 7:39; 15:2; 18:11).
Under John Hyrcanus and Alexander Janneus, conditions gave them greater
political power. As the Hasmoneans became increasingly Hellenized, the Pharisees
expressed their opposition towards them. It would be under Hyrcanus, that the
Hasmoneans would be swayed towards the Sadducees. And during the time of
Janneus, the Pharisees were in open warfare with the king, who was consequently
defeated by the Seleucid Demetrius III Eukairos (96-88 B.C.E.). 14 In 89 B.C.E.
this led to a reconciliation between the king and the Pharisees. During the reign of
Salome Alexandra the Pharisees had political clout and controlled the affairs of the
nation (the Pharisees political clout may have been exaggerated by scholars and
historians, just a tad 15 ).
Rabbinic Statements About The Pharisees
In the rabbinic literature the Pharisees admitted (to themselves, at least)
that some of their own regulations were like “mountains hanging by a hair” 16 of
Scripture support, or even floating in the air with no support. But still they insisted
on and fought for their observances being the official ones (rather than that of the
Sadducees being official). This fits Josephus’ picture. The Pharisees depended on
oral tradition, but the Sadducees sought to have support of Scripture for any
regulations to be officially observed.
The rabbinic literature show great antagonism between the Pharisees and
the Sadducees. The Pharisees, who by NT times, controlled the actual practices in
the temple, 17 would go out of their way to spite the Sadducees. They would
intentionally violate a Sadducean understanding of the law when this was not
necessary. On one occasion, they made the high priest ritually unclean, so that by
Sadducean law he would not be able carry out a certain ceremony, but he could by
Pharisaic law. 18 They were probably the instigators of the incident over a century
earlier in which the crowd of a festival threw fruit at the high priest because he
poured out a drink offering in the Sadducean manner. 19 The Pharisees even
debated among themselves as to whether the Sadducees should be treated as
Israelites, Samaritans or Gentiles. 20
While it’s obvious the Pharisees sought out to humiliate the Sadducees, in
general, the Pharisees are treated quite favorably in rabbinic literature. There is one
passage, out of many, that does list the Pharisees in an unfavorable light. This
passage lists seven kinds of Pharisees who were considered plagues upon their
reputation. These descriptions are brief and obscure. Apparently one kind of
Pharisee receives circumcision for ulterior motives, another exaggerates his
humility, a third is so preoccupied with obeying a commandment that he collides
with a wall, a fourth always has his head buried in prayer, a fifth is forever looking
for new commandments that he can obey, and the sixth and seventh types are
Pharisees from love of reward and fear of punishment rather than from a real
desire to please God. 21
The Pharisees Beliefs and Daily Life
According to contemporary, Flavius Josephus, the Pharisees believed in the
immortality of the soul, 22 the existence of angels, 23 divine providence, 24
freedom of will, and judgement in the future with rewards and punishment. 25
According to the New Testament, they believed in being circumcised on the
eighth day of life (Philippians 3:5); they were concerned about strictly interpreting
and keeping the law on all matters (Acts 25:5), including the Sabbath (Mark 2:24),
resurrection, divorce (Mark 10:2), oaths (Matthew 23:16-22), the wearing of
phylacteries and fringes (Matthew 23:5). They showed special zeal in insisting that
laws of tithing (the scribes had expanded the items required to be tithed 26 ), ritual
purity (Matthew 23:23-26; Mark 7:1-13; Luke 11:37-42; 18:12) and fasting.
Fasting was kept twice a week (perhaps a Monday and Thursday, Luke 18:12; cf.
Basically, the Pharisees were to daily live according to what they considered
to be the law of God. That law was to be interpreted and applied by the scribes
(Lev. 10:8-11; Deut. 33:8-10). The way in which the Pharisees spelled out the
meaning of the Mosaic Law, the ways in which they adapted the Law to suit the
needs of their day, the time-honored customs they endorsed—all this became a
part of the “tradition of the elders” (Mark 7:3). While these traditions were not put
into writing, they were passed on from one scribe to another and from the scribes
to the people. From this tradition, they claimed, the Jewish people could know the
way God’s law should be observed.
Along with abiding by the Law, the Pharisees naturally had Messianic
expectations–the anointed king of Israel, the son of David. This Messianic concept
that the Pharisees had, is why they were such critics of the Hasmonean dynasty,
who were calling themselves “kings of Israel.” 27 Generations later, this question
of early kingship would split the Pharisees when under Roman occupation the
Zealot Judas and the Pharisee Zadok denied that the Jews should acknowledge
other rulers beside God Himself. 28 Certainly both the Pharisees and the
Sadducees could agree on that point. But, unlike the Sadducees, who were mostly
rich landowners and powerful priests, many Pharisees were ordinary people. And
even though other Jews could not be bothered with observing all the details of the
Law, they respected the Pharisees for making the effort. Sadly, their effort was a
‘stumbling stone” (Romans 9:32) and they had “a zeal for God, but not in
accordance with knowledge” (Romans 10:2).
The Pharisaic scribes sought to sanctify all of the Jewish people’s actions,
even down to the most mundane things. It was expected that such matters as
personal hygiene and dress would come under the halakhah (“the way things are
done” 29) . The Jewish people were expected to begin their day by washing their
hands, a practice that was meant to purify them from any impurities they might
have contracted during sleep. Clothing was to be modest, especially in the case of
women. Certain clothing and haircuts were excluded because of their pagan
associations. Again, men were expected to have the biblically mandated fringes
(called tsitsit) on their garments, as reminders of the obligation to observe the
commandments. The Jewish men were to pray 3 times daily (Deut 6:4-9; 11:13-21; Number 15:37-41) and the benedictions surrounding that prayer time was to
be recited both morning and evening.
Known Pharisees in the New Testament
Paul the apostle was a known Pharisee, prior to becoming a committed
follower of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:5). The Law was fundamental for Paul, in the
specific Pharisaic sense, “I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my
contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my
ancestral traditions” (Galatians 1:14).
Simon, the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-50). Simon supposedly had not, as of yet,
formed an opinion of Jesus. Yet, by about verse 39, it does seem that Simon is
beginning to form a negative opinion when noticing how kindly Jesus was treating
an unnamed woman, “Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this he
said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of
person this woman is....she is a sinner.”
It may seem that Simon had heard some things about Jesus and wanted to
form his own opinion about Jesus himself. He may have concluded, “Yes, Jesus
was indeed a fraud.”
Jesus does not condemn Simon, He tries to teach Simon, “Do you see this
Jesus shows all that the woman had done for Him—and all that Simon did
not do. While the spiritual life is not about “works,” it is about the matters of the
heart. Jesus said, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have
been for given for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke
We are not told how Simon, the Pharisee responded. Did he repent? Did he
inwardly mock Jesus? Or, did he like so many others, walk away? One main
theme seems to run through the book of Luke is that of exalting the lowly person
and bringing low the proud person, such as the Pharisee, “He has brought down
rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble.” (Luke 1:52).
The infamous prayerful Pharisee, ‘God I thank Thee that I am not like other
people: swindlers, unjust adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. I fast twice a
week; I pay tithes of all that I get.” (Luke 18:11-12). This Pharisee, like all
Pharisees are what Luke described as “trusted in themselves that they were
righteous, and viewed others with contempt” (Luke 18:9).
Nicodemus">, “a ruler of the Jews,” (John 3:1), may have been a secret
follower because he first sought Jesus by night (John 3:1; 7:50; 19:39).
Jairus, a synagogue official, came up to Jesus, fell at His feet and asked
Jesus to heel His daughter. Clearly, the official, was desperate and wanted to put
His faith in Christ (Mark 5:22-24,35-43).
Gamaliel (Acts 5:34) a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people.
Gamaliel was a respected rabbi who followed the liberal interpretations of Hillel,
another rabbi who lived shortly before the time of Christ. Gamaliel’s popularity
demanded that the Sanhedrin listen to him. Paul was a student of Gamaliel (Acts
Jesus. Some scholars suggest that Jesus was a Pharisee. They say that he
grew up in the synagogue, which was during Christ’s time, a Pharisaic institution.
Matthew also reminds us that Jesus went throughout Galilee “teaching in their
synagogues.” So, “taken as a whole, this evidence suggests that Jesus accepted
the halakhah of the Pharisees as normative.” 31
Pharisees Who Defended Christ & the Apostles
While Christ and the apostles never lacked enemies, (including the
Pharisees), we do see in the book of Acts, that there were some Pharisees that, at
times, came to the apostles and Christ’s defense. Gamaliel intervened on behalf of
Peter and the other apostles when the Sadducees were ready to kill them after
telling other that Jesus had resurrected (Acts 5:31-33)
Gamaliel told the entire Sadducean Council, “Men of Israel, take care what
you propose to do with these men....lf this plan or action should be of men it will
be overthrown; but if it is of God you will not be able to overthrow them; or else
you may even be found fighting against God.” (Acts 35, 28-29). The Sadducees
listened to the great rabbi, and released apostles.
A group of Pharisees intervened on Paul’s behalf. Paul was brought before
the Sanhedrin because of his hope for the resurrection of the dead. (Acts 23:6-10). The Sadducees were against this belief (Acts 23:8). Suddenly, a “great
uproar” evolved, and the Pharisees stood up and “argued heatedly, saying, ‘We find
nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”
A Pharisaic scribe publically affirmed Christ. When some Sadducees were
arguing with Jesus over the resurrection (Mark 12:18-27), a Pharisaic scribe came
along and heard the “arguing” that occurring (Mark 12:28). So he asked Jesus
the question, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” (Mark 12:28). When
Christ answered, the Pharisee was very impressed. Unlike the other Pharisees who
challenged Jesus, this Pharisee, treated Jesus with respect. Jesus told Him, “You
are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34).
What Jesus Said of the Pharisees
Often in Christ’s public ministry, He was challenged by the Pharisees (and
Sadducees). They questioned Him why He healed and forgave a paralytic (Mark
2:6); ate with “tax-gathers and sinners” (Matthew 9:11); questioned whether he
was possessed by Beelzebub (Mark 3:22). They tested Him often, such as asking
Him for a sign from Heaven (Matthew 16:1). They counseled together on how
they could trap Him in what He said (Matthew 22:15) and destroy Him (Matthew
12:14). To Him, they accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath (Matthew
12:1-2) and of violating the traditions of the elders (Matthew 15:1-2; Mark 7:5).
How does Christ respond? By confronting His attackers. For instance, in
regards to the “tradition of the elders” Christ outranks their authorities (the elders)
by citing “Moses,” (Mark 7:10). He also shows them that their emphasis has been
on “tradition” rather than on the “Word of God” (Mark 7:13). Therefore, they
have invalidated the Word of God (Mark 7:13).
Christ also confronted the issue of the Pharisees authority. He told them,
“all that they tell you do and observe” (Matthew 23:3). Some suggest that this
command of Christ’s was simply “an exaggeration.” 32 But, is it really? Did the
Pharisees have any authority over those who were now followers of Jesus Christ?
In order to know if Jesus really meant that the disciples and others should do
whatever the Pharisees say, we need to understand the “chair of Moses,” which
the “scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves” (Matthew 23:2), and
other realms of "authority."
Theories Regarding Authority & The Chair of Moses
Some believe that it’s “impossible to determine what ‘the chair of Moses”
means with any degree of certainty.” 33 Perhaps this may be true. But, I think we
can get a pretty good idea. First let's start with the seat itself. Having personally
been in Israel and seen with my own eyes not only the unearthed synagogues at
Chorazin, and En Gedi, but the actual "chair of Moses" that Jesus refers to--there
is no question what Jesus is talking about. They are actual seats upon which the
Pharisees (and most likely Christ) sat on. These unearth seats, still in amazing
condition, are made of white limestone. Those who sat on the seats (primarily
the scribes) assumed themselves as the person of authority--teaching and reading
the Torah and communicating the Law to the people.
One theory is that when Jesus says that the scribes and Pharisees sat on the
seat of Moses, He might not be referring to their role as teachers at all, but to their
social position as people who control accessibility to the Torah. They are the ones
who possess copies of the Torah and are able to read them. They are the ones
who know and are able to tell others what Moses said. 34 Simple enough. Now,
here's where the confusion begins. One writer wrote, “simply conceding their
position of authority does not explain why Jesus then instructs his disciples to obey
those whose authority he rejects. His command to do what the Pharisees teach
invokes Deuteronomy 17:11, the very text upon which the authority of the
Sanhedrin, the Sages, and later rabbis is based." 35
Added to the above, several scholars take Jesus’ words in Matthew 23:2-3
to be ironic. Irony implies that a statement is fundamentally false or the opposite
of what is true. Therefore, when Jesus says that the Pharisees sit in the seat of
Moses and he instructs his disciples to do what they say, he in fact means precisely
the opposite. So, the question we can ask is, did Jesus affirm the Pharisees
authority, or did he repudiate it? Jewish believer, Michael J. Cook believes that
Jesus affirmed the Pharisees authority. In an article he wrote for the Hebrew Union
College he writes, "the Gospel according to Matthew manifests a persistent anti-Jewish animus. Yet four passages (Matthew 10:5-6 and 15:24; 5:17ff.; 23:2)
appear to reflect a pro-Jewish slant; accordingly, they are frequently enlisted in
apologetic efforts which aim at establishing Jesus' loyalty to both the Jewish people
and the Law, as well as his affirmation of the authority of the scribes and
After reading Cook's lengthy article, I do not believe that Cook understood,
clearly, what Christ was trying to communicate to the apostles (although I'm glad
he believes that Christ was not "anti-Jewish").
Personally, I believe Jesus was repudiating the Pharisees authority. They
failed to know who Christ really was (Matthew 23:42). Thus, in His next breath,
Christ says of the Pharisees, “all that they tell you, do and observe.” We cannot
imagine Jesus is telling His followers to learn of the Pharisees, doctrinally. He
warned his disciples to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” (Matthew 16:5).
They are “blind guides of the blind” (Matthew 15:14). The famous theologian,
John Lightfoot also took the “non-doctrinal” position. He said over 100 years ago
that Jesus’ command refers to civil as opposed to doctrinal authority; “Christ here
asserts the authority of the magistrate.” 37
Christ tells the Pharisees “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil,
speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart”
(Matthew 12:34). Along with Jesus showing that the Pharisees authority is
illegitimate, He publically pronounces “Woes” upon them (see His entire sermon
against them in Matthew 23:1-36): “Woe you Pharisees....you shut off the
kingdom of heaven from men (23:13); you devour widow’s house (23:14); you
have made a proselyte twice as much a son of hell as yourself (23:15); you tithe,
yet you neglect the more important thing: justice, mercy, and faithfulness (23:23).
You clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you’re full of robbery
and self-indulgence “(23:25).
While keeping God’s law was commendable, Jesus was telling the scribes
and Pharisees that they could not discern “the more important matters of the law”
38 and who burden others with responsibilities they themselves do not want to
carry. They also tend to put the emphasis on the wrong things. Minor details
become a major preoccupation, and they simply forget the more important things,
such as “justice and mercy, and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23).
The Pharisees would “exemplify the temptations of religious leadership in
every time and place–those who prefer outward show and the attention of others
to true godliness and who set up elaborate casuistries to justify their self-centered
attitudes and behavior.” 39 One author wrote the following, in regard to the
Pharisees use of the Law:
The evidence from Josephus, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the rabbinic literature
(and the NT itself) demonstrate the Pharisees cannot be drawn as one-dimensional characters. The picture that emerges of the Pharisees is one in
which they sought to make the Law relevant and frequently succeeded.
Unfortunately, however, that accomplishment was marred when they
distorted the Law’s intent or when they used the Law to place burdens on
the backs of others which they themselves were unwilling to bear. 40
It’s for the above reasons that Jesus warned His disciples about the
Pharisees “hypocrisy” (Matthew 23:13, 14, 15, 23, 25, 27, 29). Some, such as
Rabbi Jacob Neusner and Rudolf Meyer would disagree with Jesus. They believe
that Pharisaism can not be characterized as “hypocritical.” 41 Yet, what Neusner
and Meyer aren’t looking at is that Jesus was clearly pointing to the heart and the
Pharisees wrongful motives. They wanted human praise; they wanted to be seen
of men (Matthew 6:2, 5, 6, 16; 23:5-7). They had evil desires (Matthew 9:4)
that were hidden by their pious show (Matthew 23:25-28). Their hearts simply
didn’t match their outward appearance. Jesus gave the Pharisees a
recommendation: “First clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the
outside of it may become clean also (Matthew 23:26). Obviously, it would be hard
for the Pharisees to do, for as Jesus told them, “you are like whitewashed tombs
which on the outside appear beautiful but the inside they are full of dead men’s
bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27).
Since Christ’s suggestion that the Pharisees clean the inside of the cup, what
has become of them? Many people believe the Pharisees died off as a group.
Actually, there are Christians who will call lukewarm Christians “modern-day
Pharisees” who are acting as “hypocrites.” While I guess these make good
sermon illustrations, I cringe when I hear them. Perhaps it's because I expect that
"it's coming," perhaps it's because these illustrations have gotten overused, and
I appreciate the scholars we have today who correctly state that Pharisaism
is still alive and well. These historians have shown that Pharisaism has has become
Rabbinic Judaism. 42 Jewish scholars Bruce Chilton and Jacob Neusner state that,
Pharisaism continues with its “capacity to discern the paradigms of human
existence, a systematic religious theory, based the Torah, to describe and explain
the actualities of the whole human condition–those like Adam via Noah, those like
Abraham via Isaac and Jacob, that is, the nations and Israel, idolaters and those
who know God.” 43
Scholar Lawrence H. Schiffman said that Pharisaism would indeed continue
on and be the Rabbinic Judaism and “basis for all subsequent Jewish life and
civilization.” 44 Indeed , “it was the Pharisaic approach’ which would “shape the
later development of Rabbinic Judaism well as it medieval and modern reflections.”
Rabbi Louis Finkelstein tells us that the ancient Pharisees have survived
unaltered: “Pharisaism became Talmudism, Talmudism became Medieval
Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became Modern Rabbinism. But throughout
these changes of name ... the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered.” 46
Taking one step further, Pharisaim moved on from Rabbinic Judaism to
Orthodox Judaism, as Dr. Varner confirms: “without apology, modern scholars
affirm that Talmudic Judaism and modern Orthodox Judaism are essentially
Rabbinic Judaism—Orthodox Judaism
As best as history can tell us, the Sadducees and Zealots, along with other
sects disappeared forever after the Jewish revolt ended with the destruction of
Jerusalem and the Second Temple in 70 A.D. The only true sect that remained
were the Pharisees. 47 There are a few interesting opinions as to why the
Pharisees are the only sect remaining. One reason is cited by Shaye Cohen:
"According to the usual view, sectarianism ceased when the Pharisees, gathered at
Yavneh, ejected all those who were not members of their own party. Functioning
in a "crisis" atmosphere, the rabbis of yavneh were motivated by an exclusivitic
ethnic; their goal was to define orthodoxy and to rid Judaism of all those who
would not conform to it. In this interpretation the 'synod' of Yavneh becomes a
prefiguration of the church council of Nicea (325 c.e.); one party triumphs and
ousts its competitors. In addition, we are told, the Sadducees, Essences, and
presumably, all other sects, conveniently rolled over and died, thereby facilitating
Pharisaic victory. The Sadducees, bereft of the temple, were bereft of their
livelihood and powerbase. The Essenes perished in the great war against the Sons
of darkness." 48
Another thought as to why the Essense and Sadducees were completely
eliminated may have to do with the fact that there had never really been any
proselytizing. While there is evidence that there were periods of some proselytism
in Judaism, 49 it remains very little. This is due to the fact that the Mishana (ca.
200 C.E) "contains no direct dedicated discussion of proselytism or conversion,
suggesting that the topic was not of central concern." 50 Of course, ask any Jew
and they'll tell you, "Judaism is not a proselytizing religion; we do not try to
convert people to Judaism nor even the Ten Commandments. According to
Judaism, only seven commandments are required for Gentiles. We have no
religious need to teach the Ten Commandments to the world. 51 And, even within
Judaism, each group now, should be concerned more for for one another---that
none of them split. One Orthodox Jew put it this way, "When I was younger, I
stormed against Conservative and Reform, but I no longer do so. We nowadays
have so many external problems that we must try to keep every Jew within the
fold. We should not rejoice when other movements such as the Conservatives
have survival problems. Such an attitude will only result in a greater attrition of
Judaism. It will not help us at all." 52
Whatever the case, after the revolt, the Pharisees remained, and today, we
have from that group, Orthodox Judaism. The Orthodox, still hold on (and
actually make exclusive claims) to their Pharisaic sages--Hillel and Rabbi Yochanan
ben Zakkai. These men were in the first century who were against the priestly
Sadducees, who refused to accept any sacred law not recorded in Scripture.
Basic to Rabbinic Judaism/Orthodox Judaism is the belief that the world was
created by one God who had existed from eternity and will exist forever. This God
is omnipotent and omniscient. He created the world and is in control of all of its
affairs. He desires only that His creatures observe His Torah (the instruction that
god revealed to Moses at Sinai/written law and oral law). The Toral is the only way
people can enter into the world to come. Non-Jews can enter this world by
observing a few of the commandments. Conversion to Judaism, is open to non-Jews who wish to identify themselves with the Jewish people and adopt their way
The halakhah seeks to identify the Jewish person’s entire life—his relations
with both God and his fellow man. It’s through the halakhah that he will achieve
perfection in both ritual matters, ethical and moral concerns. 53 One Jewish man
by the name of Israel Shahak, former chemistry professor at Hebrew University,
wrote several controversial books, one of which is called, Jewish History, Jewish
Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years. In this book, he believes he
exposes many of Orthodox Judaism's views of halakhah of which he calls, "Laws
Against Non-Jews" (can be found in Chapter 5).54
He feels there are many offenses that the Pharisees had against non-Jews
long ago, and they still exist today, not only in Orthodox Judaism (since they follow
the halakhah) but also in the Israeli army; in the Israeli court system, in the Israeli
government. Some laws are outright unjust such as not selling land to Gentiles,
not protecting the lives of Gentiles in the same way as the Israeli lives are
protected. One major offense Shahak mentioned was an attitude of scorn and
hatred towards Gentiles. Shahak said it's seen in some of the common prayers.
In one of the first sections of the daily morning prayer, every devout Orthodox Jew
blesses God for not making him a Gentile. (This is followed by a blessing 'for not
making me a slave'. Next, a male must add a blessing 'for not making me a
woman', and a female 'for making me as He pleased'.)
The concluding section of the daily prayer (which is also used in the most
solemn part of the service on New Years' day and on Yom Kippur) opens with the
statement: "We must praise the Lord of all ... for not making us like the nations of
[all] lands ... for they bow down to vanity and nothingness and pray to a god that
does not help.' 55
The last clause was censored out of the prayer books, but in eastern
Europe it was supplied orally, and has now been restored into many Israeli-printed
prayer books. In the most important section of the weekday prayer - the 'eighteen
blessings' - there is a special curse, originally directed against Christians, Jewish
converts to Christianity and other Jewish heretics: 'And may the apostates' 56
have no hope, and all the Christians perish instantly'.
Professor Shahak tells us that this formula dates from the end of the 1st
century, when Christianity was still a small persecuted sect. Some time before the
14th century it was softened into: 'And may the apostates have no hope. and all
the heretics 57 perish instantly', and after additional pressure into: 'And may the
informers have no hope, and all the heretics perish instantly'. After the
establishment of Israel. The process was reversed, and many newly printed prayer
books reverted to the second formula, which was also prescribed by many
teachers in religious Israeli schools. After 1967, several congregations close to
Gush Emunim have restored the first version (so far only verbally, not in print) and
now pray daily that the Christians may perish instantly'. 58
Along with the halahkah, there is the belief system of Orthodox Judaism.
Orthodox Judaism's Belief System.
The Orthodox believe that the study and the teaching of the law, and the
passing down to the next generation is the most valuable thing they could do. It
fulfills the Divine will. they become a link of an unbroken chain connecting
themselves to the revelation at Sinai.
Reward and punishment (both in this life and the next) is based upon the
observance or nonobservance of the commandments (mitzvot). Although the
wicked appear to propsper in this life, their success is only illusory. In the next life
they will receive their just. 59
• Belief that the Torah (The Five Books of Moses , "instruction, teaching" 60) and
it’s Laws are divine.
• Belief that the Nevi'm (the books of the Prophets) are considered Divine and
• Belief that the Tanakh (The Old Testament) and the Talmud (The Oral Law) are
the main holy books. The Oral Law is contained in the Mishnah, Tosefta, classical
midrashim, and the two Talmuds.
• Belief that God made an unbreakable covenant with the Children of Israel,
governed by the Torah.
• Belief that there is also an oral Law, embodied mainly in the Talmud and the
Aggadah, (written lawof the Torah).
• Belief in a Jewish eschatology including a Jewish Messiah, a rebuilt Temple in
Jerusalem, and a resurrection of the dead.
• Acceptance of codes, such as the Shulchan Aruch, (written and oral laws).
• Acceptance of Rabbis as authoritative interpreters and judges of Jewish law.
• Belief that every human being is bound by a universal Noachide Code, as defined
by Torah law. "The earliest known text of the Noahide laws composed by the
third century C.E. reads, 'The children of Noah were commanded concerning seven
commandments; about adjudication; about idolatry; and about blasphemy; and
about sexual immorality; and about murder; and about robbery; [and
about eating a limb from a living animal]. 61
• Belief that each Jew must adhere to the Halakha (code/s of Jewish law).
• Belief in the thirteen Jewish principles of faith as stated by the Rambam
(Maimonides). Below are those thirteen principles:
1. Belief in the existence of the Creator, be He Blessed, who is perfect in every
manner of existence and is the Primary Cause of all that exists.
2. The belief in G-d's absolute and unparalleled unity.
3. The belief in G-d's noncorporeality, nor that He will be affected by any physical
occurrences, such as movement, or rest, or dwelling.
4. The belief in G-d's eternity.
5. The imperative to worship Him exclusively and no foreign false gods.
6. The belief that G-d communicates with man through prophecy.
7. The belief that the prophecy of Moses our teacher has priority.
8. The belief in the divine origin of the Torah.
9. The belief in the immutability of the Torah.
10. The belief in divine omniscience and providence.
11. The belief in divine reward and retribution.
12. The belief in the arrival of the Messiah and the messianic era.
13. The belief in the resurrection of the dead.
As we can see, Orthodox Judaism, just as Pharisaism, is identical. It is
based upon strict monothism, belief that God is One. The Hebrew Bible, and
classical Rabbinic literature affirm theism and reject deism. Orthodox Jews believe
that God is omnipotent, omniscient. The issue of "theodicy" (God being "all good")
is a struggle for Jews, especally after the extreme horrors of the Holocaust. So,
for obvious reasons, there may be some differences among Orthodox Jews and
how the past Pharsees viewed God on this issue. In regard to God being personal,
verses God as non-personal , Orthodox Jews do see God as caring for humanity.
Orthodox Jews do not believe that mankind should pray to anyone other than God
alone--there is no intermediary between God or man. They could never consider
praying to Jesus Christ. Their theological play field is that "if Jesus is not literally
"god" then worshipping Jesus (a man) is idolatry for a Jew (but not a Gentile). The
penalty for such idolatry is 'koras," which means separation from God in the World
to Come." 63
The Orthodox Jews, believe that the prophecy of Moses is true; that he held
to be the chief of all prophets, even those who came before and after him. Jesus
knew the Pharisees held Moses in such high esteem. Once, when He wanted to
get their attention, He replied, "For Moses said..." (Mark 7:10).
They believe the soul is pure at birth; there is no such thing as original sin,
humans are born morally pure--they will in life have a tendency to do good, or evil.
In the end, God will reward those who observe His commandments and punish
those who intentionally go against them. Before moving on, let's take a look at
one more belief. Their view of forgiveness.
The Orthodox View of Forgiveness
When Jesus was hanging on the cross He was saying, "Father, forgive them;
for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34). As Christians, we look
at Christ's words with awe, thinking it remarkable that He forgave His enemies, and
believe that we too should forgive our enemies (no matter how difficult). Christ
also commanded, "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor,
and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those
who persecute you" (Matthew 23:33).
The book of Leviticus told the Jews that "you shall not "hate your fellow
countryman in your heart...not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the
sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord"
Any Jewish person can say to the Christian, "It's easy for you to talk about
forgiveness, your people did not experience Hitler."
I would beg to differ with them, in part. There were many Christians who
risked their lives (and died) to rescue Jews from the Nazi's. So, in a small way,
they have tasted the likes of Hitler. Regardless, we can all understand what the
Jewish people are saying. For instance, currently, Jewish people who live in Israel
have neighbors who hate them. Brigitte Gabriel, in a speech at Duke University
said, "I was raised in Lebanon, where I was taught that the Jews were evil, Israel
was the devil, and the only time we will have peace in the Middle East is when we
kill all the Jews and drive them into the sea." 64 And, for thousands of years, there
have been brutal dictators wanting to see Jews extinct---such as Hitler and the
Nazi's--which takes us back to our story.
There was an Orthodox Jew, by the name of Simon Wiesenthal, who tells
the story of a Nazi prisoner who, at his death bed in a hospital , was searching out
Jews...any Jew to confess to. He wanted forgiveness. He knew he had little time
left and wanted to die in peace. He was filled with guilt, because of being
responsible for the torture of hundreds of Jews. Wiesenthal was one of the Jews
he grabbed to tell his story. Wiesenthal listened to the dying Nazi, while shooing
away a fly from his dying body. In the end, Wiesenthal wouldn't grant forgivness
to the Nazi. He now questions whether that was the right thing to do or not. His
Jewish friends tell him that he was correct in not granting him forgiveness. A
Jewish woman, who heard Wiesenthal's story wrote the following poem,
Let the SS man die unshriven
Let him go to hell
Sooner the fly to God than he. 65
Jewish author, Meir Soloveichik who wrote in his article, "The Virtue of Hate"
said that "Judaism believes that while forgiveness is often a virtue, hate can be
virtuous when one is dealing with the frightfully wicked. Rather than forgive we can
wish ill, rather than hope for repentance, we can instead hope that our enemies
experience the wrath of God." 66
Soloveichik may be speaking for the majority of Jews, but there were Jews
who did think differently. Rabbi Dr. David Weinstein of the Holocaust Memorial
Council received former Nazi, Hilmar von Campe, twice. Von Campe said,
"I apologized to him for the suffering Germany had inflicted on the Jewish
people. I told Rabbi Weinstein that the crimes of the Nazis were only
possible because of the moral cowardice of so many of us non-Nazis.
We...so-called good people, had a relative morality and only small personal
goals. The opportunists outnumbered by far the men of the resistance who
paid with their lives for opposing Hitler and his gang. Remembering the
Holocaust the focus should be on the bystanders and the appeasers of evil
who were silent when faced at the beginning of the process with
discrimination and injustice committed against others. It was not God who
let the Holocaust happen. It was us who rejected His Commandments.
David Weinstein made me his friend." 67
I'm sure to Soloveichik, Weinstein is a rare man. And, perhaps Soloveichik
would make Weinstein a friend as well. But, he asks this question of the more
hardened soul, "Is an utterly evil man--Hitler, Stalin, Osama bin Laden--deserving
of a theists love? 68 He rationalizes with this thought, "when we are facing those
who seek nothing but our destruction, our hate reminds us who we are dealing
with. When hate is appropriate, then it is not only virtuous, but essential for Jewish
It's with this Orthodox mindset that allows a Jew to believe he has the right
not to forgive because of the horrors of such atrocities as the Holocaust. Scriptural
examples the Orthodox most assuredly give are Samson, for example. The
Philistines had seized him and gouged out his eyes. Samson asks the Lord that he
may be avenged of the Philistines for his two eyes (rather than forgive). He ends
up killing more Philistines at his death than he did in life (Judges 16:21-30). Other
examples (although there are more), are Deborah asking the Lord for His enemies
to perish (Judges 5:31); and Esther's plea that Haman be hanged (Esther 7:1-10).
Soloveichik admits of the Jews, "Another danger inherent in our hate is that
we may misdirect our odium at institutions in the present because of their past
misdeeds. For instance, some of my coreligionists reservespecial abhorrence for
anything German, even though Germany is currently one of the most pro-Israel
countries in Europe. Similarily, after centuries of suffering, many Jews have, in my
own experience, continuad to despise religious Christians, even thought it is
secularists and Islamists who threaten them today, and Christians should really be
seen as their natural allies. Many Jewish intellectuals and others of influence still
take every assertion of the truth of Christianity as an anti-Semitic attack." 70
The bottom line is, according to Soloveichik, "hate" goes back to the
Talmud. He adds, "'hate is not always synonymous with the terribly sinful. While
Moses commanded us not to hate our brother in our hearts, a man's immoral
actions can serve to sever the bonds of brotherhood between himself and
humanity. For example, if an Orthodox Jew (or really, any Jew) becomes a
follower of Christ, and declares his committment to love and serve Christ, he
becomes a trader to the Jewish people, and thus, "a hater of Jews." In the Jewish
mindset the love of Christ cannot--absolutely cannot--be separated from hatred of
Jews. 71 The Hebrew word, rasha, is a term for hopelessly wicked--the Talmud
clearly states: mitzvah lisnoso--one is obligated to hate him." 72 This is why so
many Orthodox Jews (and many other Jewish families) have funerals for their
family members that become Christians.
All that the Orthodox believe in regards to "hate;" and "forgiveness," Jesus
addresses them, just as He did to the Pharisees. He says, "love the Lord your God
with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great
and foremost commandment. And a second is like, it, you shall love your neighbor
as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the
Prophets" (Matthew 22:39-40).
The Pharisees understood the "Love the Lord your God" commandment all
too well. They wore such a command on their phylacteries (although, they didn't
wear it in their hearts). The second command was a bit more of a stretch,
especially when seasoned with loving one's enemy. Jesus said, "You shall love
your neighbor, and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and
pray for those who persecute you" (Matthew 5:43-44).
While true love produces love, Jesus understood that the Pharisees were
only too happy to take parts of the Law that they thought provided retaliation on
one's enemy (Deuteronomy 25:17-19), while ignoring verses that showed
kindness towards one's enemy (Exodus 23:4; Job 31:29). As we can see, it's still
hard for the modern day Pharisees today. Why? I believe, in part, it's because of
their view of Jesus. The Talmud (what the Orthodox believe to be the oral word of
God) says some horrible things about Christ. To love one's enemy (in this case,
Christ) would be just too repulsive for them to do.
Orthodox Judaism's View of Jesus
As we have seen earlier in this paper, the Pharisees challenged Christ
regarding the Sabbath, and the Law, and were quite upset when He indeed
challenged their authority. Today, it is no different. Take a look on the Orthodox
Jewish Hasidic Lubavitc website (http://www.noahide.com/yeshu.htm 73 ). You
will see an article titled, "Who Was Jesus? " Please read it. You will see that the
Orthodox Jew believes that Jesus is a dangerous false prophet; that God
commands Jews to kill this false prophet; that the false prophet would challenge
the authority of the Sanhedrin--"revealing himself to be an evil man." This false
prophet is described as a king. "This man known today as "Jesus" fulfilled these
prophecies....He disregarded the infinite G-d in favor of a new "trinity" that included
The Orthodox also believe that Jesus repudiated the laws of kosher food; He
repudiated the laws of honoring one's parents; He violated the Sabbath; and He
brazenly defied and disobeyed the rabbis of the Sanhedrin. 75
The Talmud (Babylonian edition) records other sins of Jesus the Nazarene:
1. He and his disciples practiced sorcery and black magic, led Jews astray
into idolatry, and were sponsored by foreign, gentile powers for the purpose of
subverting Jewish worship (Sanhedrin 43a).
2. He was sexually immoral, worshipped statues of stone (a brick is
mentioned), was cut off from the Jewish people for his wickedness, and refused to
repent (Sanhedrin 107b; Sotah 47a).
3. He learned witchcraft in Egypt and, to perform miracles, used procedures
that involved cutting his flesh—which is also explicitly banned in the Bible (Shabbos
The Orthodox believe that "the false, rebellious message of Jesus has been
thoroughly rejected by the vast majority of the Jewish people, as G-d
commanded. Unfortunately, however, this same message has brought a terrible
darkness upon the world; today, over 1.5 billion gentiles believe in Jesus. These
lost souls mistakenly think they have found salvation in Jesus; tragically, they are
in for a rude awakening. Truth and eternal life are found directly from G-d,
through performing His Law. Any "mediator" only separates man from G-d....".
The Orthodox simply believe that Jesus had an "evil agenda." 77 With the
hope of staying objective, I'm sure it's accurate to say that not all Jews will be as
"hard-core" on the facts about Christ from the Talmud. The Karaites, for instance,
are a Jewish sect that "does not recognize the authority of the post-Biblical
tradition incorporated in the Talmud and in the latter Rabbinic works."' 78
Other Jewish sects believe that there might not be a connection between the
Jesus Christ of the New Testament and the Yeshua of the Talmud. Their thinking is
that the Talmud story just might be portraying a different person. 79 Yet, when it
comes to the Orthodox Jew, they do indeed believe that the Yeshua of the Talmud
is the Jesus of the New Testament. In this Talmud, Jesus' mother was Miriam who was betrothed to a carpenter. This is fact. So too, is the
following: that Miriam was either raped by or voluntarily slept with a Greek or
Roman soldier named Pandeira. 80
Just as mentioned above, the Talmud describes Yeshua as a heretic who
dabbled in sorcery and led the people astray. Later, the Sanhedrin (the Jewish
"Supreme Court") ordered Yeshua stoned to death and his dead body was hung
from a tree until nightfall after his death, in accordance with the ancient Jewish
punishment for heretics.
Sadly, the Talmud keeps the Orthodox Jews so far away from seeking the
truth of Jesus Christ. Just as in the days of the Pharisees, the Orthodox still see
Christ as threatening. And, along with seeing Jesus as threatening (as written in
their Talmud), there are three major teachings of Christ that Orthodox Judaism
currently opposes--(which you can find on various Orthodox websites 81):
1. The Orthodox oppose the fact that Jesus forgives all sins: "The
Son of man has the authority on earth to forgive sins" (Matthew 9:6). Judaism
doesn't believe that Jesus is God. Judaism believes that only God Himself can
forgive sins committed against Him.
2. The Orthodox oppose Jesus' attitude toward evil people: "You
have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say
to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek,
turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:38-40). And, "Love your enemies and
pray for your persecutors" (Matthew 5:44).
The Orthodox Jew believe that the Torah (the Jewish Bible) communicates
the opposite. They believe it commands that one offer the wicked man powerful
resistance: "you shall purge the evil from your midst" (Deuteronomy 17:7). The
Orthodox Jew will tell you that the only reason why America survived the Second
World War was became almost all American Christians rejected Jesus' advice to
"resist not evil." 82
3. The Orthodox oppose the fact that Jesus is the Way--No One
Comes to the Father except Through Him. The Orthodox Jew denies Jesus'
statement that "all things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one
knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the
Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him (Matthew 11:24). They
instead believe, instead, that anyone can come to God because the Psalmist says
"God is near to all who call unto Him" (Psalm 145:18).
Yet, the question the Jews must ask is, which God are the people calling
upon? They can't all be calling upon the God of Heaven. So, could it be, Allah? Is
it, Buddah? Is it the Jehovah's Witness god, or perhaps one of the Mormon gods?
Jesus says that we can only go through Him---only He reveals the true God to us
(Matthew 11:27). He says, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one
comes to the Father, but through Me." (John 14:6).
As mentioned earlier, Jesus was constantly questioned by the Pharisees. All
questions stopped after Jesus posed them with this one question: “If David then
calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?” (Matthew 22:45-46; cf. Psalm 110:1).
Jesus was clearly showing them that He wasn't just the Son of David, but too, He
was the Lord of David (Ps. 110:1). 83
The influence of the Orthodox (especially the rabbis) is no different today
than it was in the days of the Pharisees. Just as the Pharisees didn't recognize
Christ as the Messiah, so too, the Orthodox do not. The Pharisees did not realize
that it was prophesied in the Tanakh (Old Testament) that their Messiah would be
crucified for the sins of the people (Isaiah 53). Today, the Orthodox do not realize
it either--at least they deny it vehemently (many rabbis will not even recognize
Isaiah 53. They also deny the Suffering Servant). As well, the Pharisees did not
realize that their own scriptures prophesied when the Messiah would come (Daniel
9:24-26); where He would be born (Micah 5:2); even exactly when his death
would occur (before the destruction of the Second Temple). Today, it's no
different, the Orthodox Jews still do not have any understanding of the prophesies.
It's clear, the rabbis still shut off the kingdom of heaven from men (Matthew
23:13), and as a result their '"followers" deny the prophesies of Christ given to
them in their Scriptures. Because of these denials, they will one day be weeping
and mourning something horribly (Zechariah 12:10). As a whole, they will come
to the reality that they've been denying, for over 2,000 years, who Jesus Christ is--- the Messiah!
...God highly exalted Him,
and bestowed on Him
the name which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
of those who are in heaven,
and on earth, and under the earth,
and that every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father
Blomberg, Craig L. “The New Testament Definition of Heresy (or When Do Jesus and the Apostles Really Get Mad?). Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 45:1, March 2002. 59-72
Cohen, Shaye J.D. "The Significance of Yavneh: Pharisees, Rabbis and the End of Jewish Sectarianism." Hebrew Union College. Annual 55. 1984, 27-53.
Cook, Michael, J. "Interpreting "Pro-Jewish" Passages in Matthew." Hebrew Union College. Annual 54.1. 1983, 135-146.
Chilton, Bruce D., and Neusner, Jacob. Classical Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism: Comparing Theologies, (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004).
Greenberg, Blue. "We Call It The Learning Tradition." Living Pulpit, 9:3, JI-S 2000, 12-13.
Jensen, Richard A. “Telling Luke’s Story: A Narrative Approach to Preaching on the Third Gospel.” Currents in Theology and Mission, 21:6, December 1994, 402-450.
Langer, Ruth. "Jewish Understandings of the Religious Other." Theological Studies 64, 2004, 255-277.
Luhrmann, Dieter. “Paul and the Pharisaic Tradition.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 36:1. June, 1989. 75-94.
Malbon, Elizabeth Struthers. “The Jewish Leaders in the Gospel of Mark: A Literary Study of Marcan Characterization.” Journal of Biblical Literature, 108, Summer 1989, 259-281.
Marty, Martin. "Bellow & Jesus." Christian Century, 122:13, June 28, 2005, 47.
Mason, S.N. “Priesthood in Josephus and the ‘Pharisaic Revolution.’” Journal of Biblical Literature, 107:4, December 1988. 657-661.
Meier, John P. “The Quest for the Historical Pharisee: A Review Essay on Roland Deines, Die Pharisaier.” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 61:4, October 1999, 713-722.
Neusner, Jacob. An Introduction to Judaism: A Textbook & Reader, (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991).
Neusner, Jacob. Early rabbinic judaism: historical studies in religion, literature and art, (Leiden, Netherlands: E.J. Brill Publishers, 1975), 1-230.
Newman, Robert C. “Breadmaking With Jesus.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 40:1, March 1997, 1-11.
Powell, Mark Allan. “Do and Keep What Moses Says (Matthew 23: 2-7).” Journal of Biblical Literature, 114:3, Fall, 1995, 419-435.
Rabinovitch, Nachum L. "The Law in Rabbinic Judaism." Greek Orthodox Theological Review, 24. 1979.
Rabbinowitz, Noel S. “Matthew 23:2-4: Does Jesus Recognize the Authority of the Pharisees and Does He Endorse Their Halakhah?” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 46:3, September 2003, 423-427.
Sanders, James. "Torah and Christ." Interpretation, 29, 1975, 372-390.
Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. The Ryrie Study Bible (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1976, 1978)
Schiffman, Lawrence H. From Text to Tradition: A History of Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism (Hoboken, New Jersey: Ktav Publishing House, 1991).
Shanks, Hershel, ed. Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, (Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeology Society, 1992).
Soloveichik, Meir Y. "The Virtue of Hate." First Things, 130F, 2003, 41-46.
Stoutenburg, Dennis, Book Review on “The Pharisees and the Sadducees: An Examination of Internal Jewish History, By Julius Wellhausen.” Journal of Biblical Literuature 122:2, Summer 2003.
Tannehill, Robert C. “Should We Love Simon the Pharisee? Hermeneutical Reflections on the Pharisees in Luke.” Currents in Theology and Mission, 21:6, December 1994, 424-433.
Varner, William C. “Jesus and the Pharisees: A Jewish Perspective.” Personal Freedom Outreach, 1996.
Vinson, Richard, Book Review, “The Pharisees and Sadducees by Julius Wellhausen,Perspectives in Religious Studies, 28:2, Summer 2001, 171-177.
Whiston, William, The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus (Chicago: The John C. Winston Company, n.d.)
Youngblood, Ronald F. New Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995, 1986), 978-981
Copyright © 2006 by Donna Morley
You may reproduce, distribute, or put on your website
only with the written permission of the author.