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In my opinion, most of the Pharisees (with isolated exceptions such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea) believed that Jesus was a religious impostor (similar to previous individuals such as those cited by the Pharisee Gamaliel in Acts 5:36-37) who was trying to draw people away from the worship of God (and thereby to reduce the Pharisees' control over the religious life of the people, as well as the influence and wealth that the Pharisees achieved from that control). In the Pharisees' view, Jesus was seeking to set Himself up as an earthly ruler under the guise of religion through "miracles" performed with the aid of Satan and his demonic forces (Matthew 9:34). The Pharisees did not recognize Him as the Messiah because He did not keep or acknowledge the traditions that they had added to God's original commands (Matthew 15:2), and because of what they viewed as Jesus' non-fulfillment of the messianic prophecies of Scripture -- especially the fact that He was from Nazareth in Galilee (which, according to their reading of those prophecies, had no foretold connection with the Messiah, or with any other prophet (John 7:52)), and that He was not freeing Israel from Roman domination, as they expected the Messiah to do.
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