Let's compile a list of what the Pharisees and Scribes are condemned for in Matthew 23
NUMERO UNO Being Hypocrites
So what is a Hypocrite or what was the word used to describe in Jesus' time?
A HYPOCRITE was literally a mask wearer an actor
Most forms of acting comedy farce or tragedy and possibly the Pantomimes which may have been more like ballet involved wearing masks.
An word originally used for the theatre came to mean a pretender or liar in common usage.
While the Greek and Roman Colonists probably had minimal interactions with the local rural population in Galilee urban Jews in larger towns would have been aware or maybe even snuck in to see plays that were staged in public.
So the Pharisees "love the place of honor" and wearing decorated robes and mission work, making proslytes, converts to Judaism, taxing market goods like herbs, overlooking corruption, and in
Verses 29-30 they are condemned for honoring prophets but not fully acknowledging the sins of their ancestors and still killing, crucifying, and scourging dissenters.
Physical force towards dissenters is condemned.
Basically they are saying one thing and doing another, more concerned with appearances than truly righteous actions.
Some people particularly the Puritans have used this verse to condemn acting as a profession but remember its the actions not the profession that is condemned.
They seem to have been more concerned with the appearance of law and order than actual justice and righteousness.