"The Fraternity of the Pharisees"; and "Relation of the Pharises to the Sadducess and Essenes, and to the Gospel of Christ"

Edersheim's "The Fraternity of the Pharisees"; and "Relation of the Pharises to the Sadducess and Essenes, and to the Gospel of Christ"; are from his "Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Time of Christ".

Extract: The Pharisees themselves delighted in tracing their history up to the time of Ezra, and there may have been substantial, though not literal truth in their claim. For we read in Ezra 6:21; 9:1; 10: 11; and Neh. 9:2 of the "Nivdalim," or those who had "separated " themselves "from the filthiness of the heathen;" while in Neh. 9:29 we find, that they entered into a "solemn league and covenant," with definite vows and obligations. Now, it is quite true that the Aramaean word "Perishuth" also means "separation," and that the "Perushim," or Pharisees, of the Mishnah are, so far as the meaning of the term is concerned, "the separated," or the "Nivdalim" of their period. But although they could thus, not only linguistically but historically, trace their origin to those who had "separated" themselves at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, they were not their successors in spirit; and the difference between the designations "Nivdalim" and "Perushim" marks also the widest possible internal difference, albeit it may have been gradually brought about in the course of historical development. All this will become immediately more plain.

Click here to download (Size: 38k)