A prominent religious sect of Judaism in the first century C.E. They were not of priestly descent, but they were strict observers of the Law in its smallest detail, and they elevated oral traditions to the same level. (Mt 23:23) They opposed any Greek cultural influence, and as scholars of the Law and the traditions, they had great authority over the people. (Mt 23:2-6) Some were also members of the Sanhedrin. They often opposed Jesus regarding Sabbath observance, traditions, and association with sinners and tax collectors. Some became Christians, including Saul of Tarsus.—Mt 9:11; 12:14; Mr 7:5; Lu 6:2; Ac 26:5.