Yes, perfection was the goal.
Matt. 5:48 'Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect."
2 Cor.7:1 " Therfore having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
1John 2:5 “but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has been truly perfected."
Philippians 3:15 " Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal it to you.”
John 17:23 “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity."
James 1:4 " And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
These Pharisees and scribes you speak of were following the Levitical law, which was the teaching of the Levitical priesthood.
As Acts 7:37:43 says Moses gave them the living oracles ( “For they drank of the spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ.”) However, the Levites rejected Moses "and in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, saying to Aaron ‘Make us gods to go before us.’ “Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven.”
Ezekial 20:18 “But I said to their children in the wilderness, ’ Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. I am the Lord your God; Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments and do them.”
They continued to worship their false gods through the works of their own hands which was the Levitical law.
Those who followed the Levitical law rejected the words of Jesus and murdered Him. Jesus was NOT their authority, the Levitical law was, what more is there to say?