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The Pharisees

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Jesus-and-pharisees-tax

Jesus having a conversation with the Pharisees.

The Pharisees are recurring villains in the Four Gospels of the New Testament. Though they make themselves appear holy to other people, deep down they were more concerned with the Law and not their fellow Jews. Because of this, they have found themselves going against Jesus several times in the Gospels.

Role in the Gospels

The Pharisees were interpreters of the Law of Moses and as such were very strict with keeping the law. Most of the Pharisees were very vain individuals who would use their knowledge of the Law to make themselves seem holier to other people. However, they were so strict with keeping the Law, they disregarded other people, most of them being their own people.

When they first interacted with Jesus, they hated Him because He would do things contrary to what the Law said. For example, they decried Him for healing a man's hand on the Sabbath and came to Him to ask if they should stone a woman to death after they saw her in the act of adultery. This dislike for Jesus wasn't just reserved to Him, but extended to His disciples as well. For example, they would ask them why they would eat with sinners or question their motives for following Jesus. Jesus had also accused them of hypocrisy because even when they study the Law they are hypocritical when it came to other people. In addition to this, most of the Pharisees would also cheat other people out of their possessions, or steal them by force. Because of their hatred for Jesus, the Pharisees conspired to kill Him alongside the Sadducees.

The conspirators then called upon Jesus's disciple Judas to betray his Master and offered him thirty pieces of silver. He does so, and Jesus is soon arrested on the Mount of Olives. When Judas found out that Jesus would be sent to death over Him being a potential rebel leader, he tries to return the thirty pieces of silver to the Pharisees. The Pharisees inform him that the Temple didn't take blood money and Jesus' fate is sealed. Judas then goes out of the Temple to hang himself in a field out of remorse. Some of the Pharisees then used the blood money to make a burial ground for foreigners.

Years after Jesus ascended into heaven, the Pharisees sentenced Saint Stephen to stoning for "blasphemy" (he was accusing them of their sins, and he saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God). As they stoned him, they laid their coats in front of one of them, Saul. While most of the Pharisees hated Jesus, only one decided to be His follower, named Nicodemus.

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