Question When Did The Pharisees Begin

by Rev. Jack Barr


Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 22:18:27 -0600
From: xxxxxxx@xxxxxxxx

Did they (the Pharisees) not originate during the time of the maccabees, specifically when john hyracanus was king?

As for when the Pharisees originated, what you say is possible, and even probable, when viewed from Easton's Bible Dictionary statements. However you must remember that the time of the Maccabees lasted for 400 years, which is a wide window. As for the Pharisees coming into being when John Hyracanus was king, I do not have that source which you must be referring to. None of my sources pins it down that close.

My sources are:

From Clarke's Commentary on Matthew - vol. 5A - Verse 7, page 56

"When the sect of the Pharisees arose cannot be distinctly ascertained; but it is supposed to have been some time after the Babylonish captivity."

And from Easton's Bible Dictionary Page 931

"Pharisees - separatists (Hebrews persahin, from parsahin, 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)" Question:
I no of no evidence that there were any female pharisees, biblical or otherwise.

My source for female Pharisees is from "Vincent's NT Word Studies Vol. 1 & 2 #21 Pages 612-613"

"The Pharisees were avowedly a fraternity or guild; and they, or some of their kindred fraternities, would furnish the ready material for such a band, to whom this additional vow would be nothing new or strange, and, murderous though it sounded, only seem a further carrying out of the principles of their order. Again, since the wife and all the children of a member were ipso facto members of the guild, and Paul's father had been a Pharisee (ver.6), Paul's sister also would, by virtue of her birth, belong to the fraternity, even irrespective of the probability that, in accordance with the principles of the party, she would have married into a Pharisaical family" (Edersheim, "Jewish Social Life")

May this answer your questions.

May God lead you into all His Truths

Rev. Jack Barr

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