Pharisee

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(set apart). A Jewish seat, strictly orthodox in religion, and politically opposed to foreign supremacy (Matt. 23:23-3323Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. 28Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. 29Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, 30And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. 32Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. 33Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:23‑33); Luke 18:9-149And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (Luke 18:9‑14)).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

This name was given to a religious school among the Jews; it is supposed to have been derived from the Hebrew word parash, signifying “to separate”; it was given to them by others, their chosen name being chasidim, “pious ones.” Josephus speaks of them as early as the reign of Jonathan (B.C. 161-144). They prided themselves on their superior sanctity of life, devotion to God, and their study of the law. The Pharisee in the parable thanked God that he was “not as other men” (Luke 18:1111The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (Luke 18:11)). Paul, when before Agrippa, spoke of them as “the most straitest sect.” The Pharisees included all classes of men, rich and poor: they were numerous, and at times had great influence. In the council before which Paul was arraigned they were well represented (Acts 23:6-96But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. 7And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. 8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. 9And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. (Acts 23:6‑9)). They were the great advocates of tradition, and were punctilious in paying tithes. In many respects the ritualists of modern days resemble them.
The Lord severely rebuked all their pretensions, and laid bare their wickedness as well as their hypocrisy. It may have been that because of the great laxity of the Jews generally, some at first devoutly sought for greater sanctity. Others, not sincere, may have joined themselves to the sect, and it thus degenerated from its original design, until its moral state became such as was exposed and denounced by the Lord. The very name has become a synonym for bigotry and formalism. Probably such men as Gamaliel, Nicodemus, and Saul were men of a different stamp, though all needed the regenerating power of grace to give them what they professed to seek.

Strong’s Dictionary of Greek Words:

Greek:
Φαρισαῖος
Transliteration:
Pharisaios
Phonic:
far-is-ah’-yos
Meaning:
of Hebrew origin (compare 6567); a separatist, i.e. exclusively religious; a Pharisean, i.e. Jewish sectary
KJV Usage:
Pharisee

Jackson’s Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names:

the separated: expounders

Potts’ Bible Proper Names:

Separated; a separatist; self-righteousness:―a Jewish sect, Matt. 3:7. {Separati}

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

Matthew 22:1515Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk. (Matthew 22:15). Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
The Pharisees were a politico-religious party among the Jews. Their origin is involved in obscurity, but it is commonly supposed that the beginning of the party dates from a time shortly after the Babylonish Captivity. A Pharisee is, literally, one who is separated; and it is thought that the name was given because these people separated themselves from all Levitical impurity. They were doubtless a pure people in the beginning, their design being to preserve the law from violation, and the Jewish people from contamination. As their influence increased, and political power came into their hands, they lost much of their original simplicity. In the time of Christ they were very numerous and influential, and occupied the chief offices among the Jews. They were divided into two schools: the School of Hillel, and the School of Shammai.
The Pharisees were especially distinguished for belief in an Oral Law of Moses, as well as a Written Law. This Oral Law was supposed to be supplementary to the Written Law, and, with various comments added from time to time, had been handed down by tradition. The Pharisees had great veneration for this traditionary code, and for the traditionary interpretations. They placed them in authority on a level with the Written Law, and even above it. See note on Matthew 15:33But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (Matthew 15:3) (#672). As a body, they were not chargeable With immorality in life; on the contrary, there were many zealous and conscientious men among them, and many things which they taught were worthy of being observed, as Jesus himself admitted. See Matthew 23:33All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. (Matthew 23:3). These teachings were from the law; it was when they attempted to make their traditions valid that Jesus denounced them. The great error of the most of them consisted in substituting human tradition for divine law, and in observing mere external forms, many of them of a most wearisome as well as puerile character, instead of seeking for inward purity of heart, which would have been accompanied by corresponding blamelessness in life.
It was but natural that such teachers should be bitterly opposed to Christ, and that he should vehemently denounce them and warn the people against them. They endeavored in various ways to “entangle him in his talk,” (literally, to ensnare or entrap him,) and in every possible manner they exhibited their hatred. His stinging rebukes tingled in their ears and rankled in their hearts, and made them threaten his life.