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The word Pharisee means “separatist, i.e., exclusively religious” [See, Strong’s Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary, 1994.] In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were a sect of middle class, religious Jews known for their strict adherence to following every letter of the law, including oral tradition. In Acts 26:5, the Pharisees are described as the strictest sect in the Jewish religion. The Pharisees (along with the Sadducees) comprised the Sanhedrin — the council that condemned Jesus of blasphemy and demanded he be executed by way of crucifixion.

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