Jesus and the Pharisees According to NT Wright

Dunelm Road

I had a friend ask why, according to NT Wright,  Jesus rebuked the Pharisees.  I gave this response:

The Pharisees were, according to Wright, as concerned with the need for a political solution of purity as well as the religious, which I think is important to remember.  In the ancient world religion and politics were explicitly mixed, whereas today it is more implicit or at least mostly on the level of rhetoric rather than practice.  Thus when Jesus was preaching the Kingdom of God, the Pharisees could easily get on board with that as a restored kingdom of Israel, which entailed kicking out all the impure gentiles much like had happened with the Hasmoneans and the Hanukkah story.  However, the way that Jesus went about bringing in the kingdom was not through rebellion, which didn’t fit with the Pharisaic mindset of zeal for purity.  Rather, Jesus’ vision included not only…

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