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Pharisee: Friend or Foe?

The word "Pharisee" in modern use means a hypocrite. Bible students rarely challenge this stereotype, but a closer reading of the gospel texts and First Century history bring new insights into the role of the Pharisees and their relationship to Yeshua (Jesus). A brief overview of the Jewish sects and cultural dynamics opens up the dialogues among Yeshua and his audiences, adding depth perception impossible when the Pharisees are dismissed as the arch-enemies of Yeshua. By comparing the Pharisees' own view of hypocrites and greed, Yeshua's corrections are understood as intra-faith discussion, not a Jesus-versus-the-Jews polemic. The most important legacy of the Pharisee is the formulation of a resurrection doctrine that most Christian readers take for granted. The First Century world, however, was not completely convinced. The timing of a Messiah preaching resurrection was perfectly cued to the Pharisees' short appearance in religious history, especially a zealous Jew named Paul. In explaining the "synagogue of Satan" in its First Century context, John's expressions in the Book of Revelation are understood in the original context, comparing the two schools of Pharisees and their treatment of Gentile converts.

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Hollisa Alewine

Dr. Hollisa Alewine teaches a framework of the Bible called "The Creation Gospel", the key concepts and symbols of which are found from Genesis to Revelation. READ MORE

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