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The Bad Guys of the New Testament were the Pharisees. They were Jesus’ main antagonists, arguing about the law and about righteousness from keeping the law. The Pharisees started out to protect the Jewish culture from Hellenization, being assimilated by Greek culture, and to keep the customs of the law from being forgotten. From those noble beginnings, by Jesus’ time they had become the poster child for hypocrisy. How did this happen, and how can we avoid going down the same path?

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