The following study treats two distinct but related questions. First, were the Pharisees the dominant party in Palestinian Judaism before the destruction of the temple? And second, did Jesus of Nazareth engage in controversy with them? Many scholars today would answer one or both of these questions negatively. My thesis, however, is that both should be answered affirmatively and, further, that it was precisely the status of the Pharisees as the dominant party that makes intelligible Jesus' charge of hypocrisy.