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The Pharisees were essentially good people. They were zealous for religion. They were "set apart" from ordinary Jews by their devotion to Torah, the Law of God. They added to the rules and regulations of Judaism by "building a fence around the law" in order to make sure that they would not violate the law. Catholics call this "avoiding the near occasion of sin."

The Pharisees were grouped around "rabbis," teachers.

Unlike the Sadducees, who were religiously conservative priests associated with the Temple, the Pharisees accepted the existence of angels and the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.

Not all Pharisees were enemies of Christianity. St. Paul was a "Pharisee of Pharisees." Of all of the kinds of Jews talked about in the New Testament, Jesus most resembles the Pharisees.

Just as most Puritans were probably not Puritanical, I imagine that most Pharisees were not Pharisaical. Pharisaism is a sin of Christians, not of Jews. For the Jewish Pharisees, observing Torah was the perfection of Old Testament spirituality. Christians, however, have learned something from Jesus' death and resurrection that the Jewish Pharisees never could have known: we are saved not by scrupulous observance of the Law but by Jesus' self-sacrifice on the Cross.

Puritans, Pharisees: "Must use approved translation or else it will not be pleasing to GOD! God wants to hear us all saying exactly the same things. Thou shalt not pray with unauthorized translations!" Casting people out. Making them feel guilty. Tying up burdens too heavy to carry. If there was a law, there would be a law--but there is no law! They are reasoning from permission to publish or fact that there is an official lectionary for Mass to requirement to use one version in Liturgy of the Hours. Ignoring all the languages of the earth. 30 ways to be Catholic--all Catholic! Small minded. Latin chauvinism. Roman chauvinsim. "Una voce." We should pray with one heart in many words. I mustn't hate them, or else I will become like them.