Governing Body of Pharisees

by TerryWalstrom 13 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TD

    Perhaps a little explanation in in order?

    The Pharisees are not simply an antiquarian sect with no relevance for Jewish life today. Out of all the various Jewish parties that flourished during the Second Temple period, only the Pharisees survived the Jewish-Roman war as an identifiable continuing entity. The semi-monastic Essenes eventually died out, the Sadducees were all but wiped out in the fall of Jerusalem and the last of the Zealots were crushed at Masada.

    Judaism of the second and third centuries was based on the Pharisaic beliefs and practices of pre-70 A.D. The Pharisees are therefore in a real sense, the fathers of modern Rabbinic Judaism and this is affirmed without apology by modern Jewish scholars:

    "Pharisaic Judaism became normative Judaism. Its principal features — the synagogue, the rabbi, prayer, Torah study, and belief in the oral law — became the modes of religious expression guiding Jewish life ever since. All Jewish life today, therefore, stems from the Pharisaic tradition and derives its central religious characteristics from it." (Eckstein, Yehiel, What Christians Should Know About Jews and Judaism. Word Books 1984, p. 258.)

    From a Jewish perspective then, it is understandable why using the term "Pharisee" as a synonym for "Hypocrite" smacks of outright religious bigotism. Therefore even if this perception were true, one might hesitate to repeat it either on a public forum or in front of someone they knew to be Jewish.

    Of course, we could take the attitude that, "If the truth hurts, that's your problem" as the saying goes, but is there any justification for that statement in this instance? Does modern, scholarly opinion support Terry's view of the Pharisees?

    I would contend that it does not. Modern scholarship does not support Terry's opinion.

    I understand that his particular prejudice is hard to put aside. I understand that the possibility that Jesus of the Bible was a Pharisee himself (albeit a maverick or reformer) is positively shocking for anyone who has been under the destructive influence of the JW cult.

    ..But part of the process of recovery is undoing that damage.

  • TerryWalstrom

    And why, exactly, do you accept that connotation, Terry?

    How is that not antisemitic?
    I'm directing it (perhaps not articulately) at the contemporary hypocrites who run the Watchtower Society. The anointed think of themselves as the real Jews (spiritual Jews) and it's not even a joke

  • Old Navy
    Old Navy

    Quote from Terry Walstrom:

    One thing is certain--everywhere you look.
    Pharisees are still with us!

    Indeed they are! And look how they've come into prominence "behind the curtain."

    The Entertainment Industry; Television Industry; Hollywood; the Music Industry; the Sports Industry; the Financial Services Industry; the Banking Industry; the Industry of Government; the Religious Industry; the Industry of Warfare; the Health Care Industry; the Agricultural Industry; the Science Industry; the Educational Industry; etc.; etc.; etc...

    Their infiltration and control of virtually The Entire World is without precedent.

    As it was foretold that it would be.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Just picked this up.

    The root meaning of the word "Pharisee" is uncertain. It is probably related to the Hebrew root prs [v;r'P], meaning "separate" or "detach." From whom did the Pharisees separate? From those, especially priests or clerics, who interpreted the Law differently than they? From the common people of the land ( John 7:49 )? From Gentiles or Jews who embraced the Hellenistic culture? From certain political groups? All these groups of people the Pharisees would have been determined to avoid in their resolution to separate themselves from any type of impurity proscribed by the levitical lawor, more specifically, their strict interpretation of it.

    Definition: a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.

    I think this fits the GB rather nicely...and perhaps much of the leadership at the congregational level as well.]

    Jesus did not come for righteous ones, but to call sinners to repentance.

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