A casual reader of the Gospels usually sees the Pharisees as Jesus' implacable enemies. After all, they often accused him of breaking the Laws of the Torah and Jesus frequently denounced them as hypocrites and worse. In John 5, we are told that they wanted to kill Him, and in chapters 8 and 10, they tried to stone Him.
However, the honorific term "Rabbi" was generally a pharisaic title, and Jesus was referred to multiple times as Rabbi. (e.g. Mark 9:5).
Additionally, at one point a group of Pharisees warned Jesus that Herod Antipas was trying to kill him.
At that very hour some Pharisees came, and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” (Luke 13:31)
At least one Pharisee, namely Nicodemus, defended Jesus before the Sanhedrin
50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does? (John 7:50-51).
Joseph of Arimathea, a Sanhedrin member who was a "secret disciple" (John 19:38) was also most likely a Pharisee.
A Pharisee in Capernaum invited Jesus as a guest of honor in his home
One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house, and took his place at table. (Luke 7:36)
In the 20th century interpreters began to question whether gospels' portrayal of the mutual animosity between Jesus and the Pharisees is an anachronism. Religious historians point to the fact that in Jesus time, the Pharisees held diverse opinions on most matters of Jewish law and it was only later that the rabbis began expelling Jewish Christians from synagogues. In their view, the gospels' portrayal of the Pharisees reflects the reality of a later generation.
Later, scholars such as Jacob Neusner explored the Jewish Jesus in his book A Rabbi Talks with Jesus. Hyam Maccoby went even further in his book Jesus the Pharisee. In his multi-volume study of the historical Jesus A Marginal Jew, John P. Meir undertook a monumental re-evaluation of Jesus and the Jewish culture of his times.
Some scholars today thus believe that Jesus debated the Pharisees not so much as an outsider but as an active participant in arguments that the Pharisees themselves discussed, including such unresolved issues as: the paying taxes to Rome, washing hands before eating, healing on the Sabbath, when divorce is allowed, relations with Gentiles, the coming of the Messiah, and whether there will be a resurrection of the dead.
So how universal was the Pharisees' opposition to Jesus. Is it possible that Jesus himself was a type of Pharisee?