There was a recent article about the work of E. P. Sanders in THE CHRISTIAN CENTURY that I found interesting. Sanders has suggested that we need to rethink "common wisdom" about rabbinic Judaism of the first century. Sanders questions if the Jewish leaders of the first century were as legalistic has we have been led to believe.
I am not sure that I follow all of Sanders' argument, but I do remember there are times when I have felt that many of us who are "religious leaders" may have more in common with these first century leaders than we wish to admit. Sometimes the "good" that we attempt to do falls far short of what the world really needs. "Let the one without sin cast the first stone."