The “Hypocrisy” of the Pharisees

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Without reading the Scriptures carefully, and without a familiarity with Second Temple-period extra-biblical sources, a simple reader of the New Testament might assume that a majority of the Pharisees were hypocrites and that the Pharisees as a movement were indeed a “brood of vipers.” As a result of this common Christian assumption, the word “Pharisee” has become a synonym for “hypocrite” in the English language.

How should I cite material taken from your site?

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Due to the nature of Internet publishing, content found on Web sites can be updated, corrections and improvements being inserted whenever an author desires. Sometimes, an article’s revision involves no more than a word or two. An online article might be revised, for example, twenty times in one day. Consequently, online articles are usually accompanied by a “Last Revised” date and the “Date Read” (date of access)

Did women go through a mikveh (ritual immersion pool) after childbirth?

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According to Leviticus 12, the presenting of the two turtledoves constituted the purification for childbirth. And in fact, the same thing seems to be implied concerning a woman’s menstrual period (Lev. 15:19ff.). Anyone who touches her or anything she has touched has to purify himself by washing, but nothing seems to be said about the woman washing herself at any time, either after childbirth or after her monthly period.

Matthew 24:20: Why did Jesus advise people to pray that their flight not be on the Sabbath?

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The biblical prohibition against working on the Sabbath, as interpreted by the rabbis, included carrying burdens (Mishnah, Shabbath 7:2). If one had to flee on the Sabbath one would be forced to leave behind nearly all of one’s possessions. One would not be permitted to take any money, would be allowed to carry only enough food for three meals and a maximum of eighteen different pieces of clothing (Mishnah, Shabbath 16:2, 4).