a1 Bristol, England
The reasonably clear picture of the Pharisees at the time of Jesus which we thought we had is now looking decidedly unclear. J. Bowker's work questions whether the Pharisees were the predecessors of the Rabbis, and J. Neusner's massive researches have shown how precarious are statements about the Pharisees before A.d. 70 when once critical techniques long used in Gospel criticism are employed on Rabbinic sources. It therefore seems appropriate to examine afresh the NT picture of the Pharisees, and in practice this means the Gospel picture, for elsewhere they are named once only, in Phil. iii. 5. I shall hope to show that this picture is strange and by no means uniform. We may conveniently attack the problem through Luke-Acts, partly because of the time-span involved, and partly because of the often noticed fact that Luke is rather less hostile to the Pharisees than the other evangelists are.