Baker Academic

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Does Pharisees = Hypocrites?

A must-read post by Scot McKnight:


1 comment:

  1. Anthony, I've never known what to do about the use of the word "Pharisee". Like most Jews, I view the Pharisees as my spiritual ancestors, and it's distressing that Christians use this word in a derogatory sense. It's kind of like having 2 billion people all insult your Grandpa Joe. But it's widely accepted that "Jesus opposed the Pharisees". I tend to view Jesus as a guy who argued with a lot of people, and some of those people were Pharisees ... but I think mine is a minority view, and the majority of Christians view Jesusism as being opposed to Phariseeism. And if Jesusism represents the best that humankind can be ... well, then, we can see where that leaves Phariseeism.

    I'm not comfortable with a program that merely improves the meaning we attach to "Pharisee". I'd like to rehabilitate the Pharisees in Christian thinking. I mean, most Christians think good things about the only Pharisee who's left us with any written work ... that being the Apostle Paul. (Moreover, if you examine Paul, HE says nothing negative about the Pharisees.) Could it be that in the final analysis, Jesus sought not to oppose the Pharisees, but to improve upon them?