A member of my family is taking an institute class, and she came home last week with a handout. It attempted to describe the major sects of Judaism which existed during Jesus’ life, and this description of the Pharisees caught my eye:
The Pharisees were people who believed in strict obedience to a literal interpretation of the Law. They advocated adherence to the traditions which had been handed down to them, and they saw themselves as set apart, or different from the world.
That description hits a little too close to home for me, and I’m interested to hear what all of you think. For the purposes of this discussion, I suggest we set aside the secondary definition of Pharisee as a self-righteous blowhard, since that applies to all of us to some degree.