Although the Sadducees were the most involved with the Temple, they were also the most Hellenized Jews, and respected Greco-Roman civilization and rule. They emerged from the exile as the dominant faction because they (correctly) connected Israel's abandoning of the Law as the reason for the punishment of exile. They were like a religious social club of their time. They claim to have their roots tracing back nearly 1000 years (from their times) to King David. Some of the more notorious were untrustworthy as they were known to take monetary bribes from the enemy to back off and at times do evil to their own people under deception in order to incite them to engage in action, riot or war whatever the prevailing situation might warrant. Start studying Pharisees, Sadduccees, Essenes. Their belief in personal acts of worship put them at direct odds with the Law of Moses where God set up the Levites to be His holy priests. These are Jewish sects that were already in place before the advent of Christianity and were considered as religious parties in the times of Jesus.Not surprisingly, both were opposed to what Jesus had to say. The Essenes. While most zealots were peaceful in nature while radicalized zealots were a dangerous, unorganized, unpredictable sect. Pharisees were keepers of the Law and held the entire (what we would call) Hebrew Bible as the word of YHWH. There were four primary groups of Jews during much of the Second Temple Era: Pharisees, Sadducees, Amei Haaretz, and Essenes.The Pharisees, known as Perushim, or Chaverim, consisted of the sages and the vast majority of the Jewish people who were loyal to the Torah and followed the sages. Other mentions of the Sadducees are found in Acts 4:1 and Acts 5:17, and the Sadducees are implicated in the death of James the brother of John in Acts 12:1–2. Their founder, Tzadok (or sometimes spelled Zadok, in Hebrew meaning "Righteous"), was a priest descended from Eleazar the son of Aaron, who aided King David during the revolt of his son Absalom, and was consequently instrumental in bringing King Solomon to the throne. Sadducees would then roughly mean, “The righteous ones of Tzadok”. Acts 23:6-8 – Paul pitted the Sadducees and the Pharisees against each other in the Sanhedrin Matthew 23 – Pharisees as hypocrites There were at least four major schools of thought within the Jewish religion at the beginning of this century, Pharisees, Sadduces, Essenes, and the revolutionaries (zealots). They added to it oral tradition that often conflicted with the very Law they claimed to hold so dear. More like revolutionists, many members of this party bore also the name Sicarii, from their custom of going about with daggers ("sicæ") hidden beneath their cloaks, with which they would stab any one found committing a sacrilegious act or anything provoking anti-Jewish feeling. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.). You can find me on Twitter, The Armor of God: What It Is and How to Use It, The Role of the King James Bible in the Modern Church | RTP 37, George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789, How Long It Takes to Read Each Book in the Old Testament (Infographic). primarily scholars and educators, The Pharisees were politically inactive, and studied, taught, and worshipped in their own way. The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. This belief entailed both a commitment to relate religion to ordinary concerns and daily life, and a commitment to study and scholarly debate. The Sadducees held political power and religious clout as an integral part of temple government. The Pharisees were a group that practiced a form of extreme Judaism that extended beyond the Temple, applying Jewish law to everything, even mundane activities in order to sanctify (set apart as holy) the every day world. The Essenes are also believed to have been residents of the reclusive Qumran community which produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Essenes separated themselves from both of these groups by living separately in the desert and holding to God’s Word in a more practical manner by living in community and emphasized the spiritual life above the politics of the Pharisees and Sadducees. This is very enlightening information for expanding your understanding of the Gospels in the Bible. Choose from 30 different sets of term:sects judaism = pharisees, sadducees, essenes, zealots flashcards on Quizlet. Moreover, they believed that these ends would be achieved through halakha ("the walk, or how to walk"), a large collection of laws derived from a close reading of sacred texts. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. He says the Sadducees believe in free will; they are responsible for their own plight in life, for their own status. The Esseneswere a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. Essenes. Seeing "that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees" (Acts 23:6), Paul decided to pit them against one another so that a "dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees" (Acts 23:7) and "the scribes of the Pharisees’ party arose and protested, saying, "We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God" (Acts 23:9). The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes Examination of Their Distinctive Doctrines. Like the Pharisees, the Essenes meticulously observed the Law of Moses, the sabbath, and ritual purity. They were particularly in opposition to what they believed to be a corrupt priesthood. At that point the Sadducees joined with the Pharisees and conspired to put Christ to death (John 11:48–50; Mark 14:53; 15:1). Perhaps the best-known Essene is John the Baptist, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a … ReasonableTheology.org exists to help the everyday Christian study theology every day. The Levites were set apart by God and sanctified for His service in the Temple. relationship to Jesus, the Law and sin. Key Difference – Sadducees vs Pharisees Sadducee and Pharisee are terms that are encountered in the works of Josephus and the Bible between which a key difference can be identified. They are also the group associated with instigating His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. While the Sadducees controlled the high priesthood and the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, it was the Pharisees who were the teachers in the synagogues throughout Israel. Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and Sicarii -Roman Period Political party to sect. When reading the Bible we must keep in mind that the books therein were written 1,000’s of years ago in a different culture than our own. The written law, in its depiction of the priesthood, corroborated the power and enforced the dominant leadership of the Sadducees in Judean society. The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem. Scribes still exist today. Of the three "sects" that Josephus lists, Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees,1 the Pharisees appealed to him the most. As of the New Testament period, the Pharisees were the largest of these three groups and had the most power. The Sadducees had a more conservative outlook than the Pharisees and accepted only the written Law of Moses. Transcript. Sign up for our newsletter plus get 50 free theology eBooks in our digital library! The Law is good but it … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. Zealots were known in the time of Jesus as religious fanatics who defended the Law of Moses and of the national life of the Jewish people relentlessly opposing any attempt to bring Judea under the dominion of idolatrous Rome. Email: support@gods-word-first (dot) org We'll get to that in a little while. Therefore, although they were comprised of religious extremists, they were a highly educated, well spoken and widely respected group among main stream Jewish culture. They were strictly monotheistic, focused on their covenant relationship with God, and were adamant about properly following God’s law. � 2010 God's Word First International Biblical Research & Teaching Ministry and Daniel D. Sweet. The three main philosophies which characterized Judaism in the New Testament period and before were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. Participated in the Sanhedrin, and often encountered the Pharisees there. He had little respect for the Sadducees. Origins: The Essenes are not mentioned in New Testament or the Talmud, but Philo, and Pliny the Elder do mention them, and Josephus gives a detailed description of … When the Temple and Jewish state were destroyed in A.D. 70, the Sadducees went away as well. It’s interesting to note that the Essenes are not mentioned in the Bible. They accept the written Law of Moses known as the Torah, the written Tanakh (all other books in the OT) and in oral traditions and teachings. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. These also came in the form of international tribute from Jews in the Diaspora. Box 3406, Vista, CA. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law ; consequently, they did not believe in an after life, since it is not mentioned in the Torah . The Essenes The Qumran sect's origins are postulated by some scholars to be in the communities of the Hasidim, the pious anti-Hellenistic circles formed in the early days of the Maccabees. Claiming first hand knowledge, … The Zealots objected to Roman rule and violently sought to eradicate it by generally targeting the Romans, their Jewish collaborators, and the Sadducees, by raiding for provisions and other activities to aid their cause. Rather, they saw the Torah as the sole source of divine authority. The original or “first” temple was destroyed in the carrying away to Babylon around 586 BC. Such is the Kingdom of God: Those who are considered the least by man in self arrogance will be the greatest to God in meekness and grace. At the other extreme were the Essenes (es-een). During the time in which Jesus Christ lived, there were many religious and political factions abounding. Josephus lays out different views of the universe for the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes. They also scorned what they felt was the spiritually empty and overly ‘comfortable’ life of the Pharisees. Rome would not allow the Jews to reestablish their kingdom monarchy, but did allow them to rebuild their temple and worship their own God. After its reconstruction in 516 BC the “second” Temple became more than the center of worship in Judea; it served as the center of society. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts. Their belief that God is essentially separated from taking part in human affairs and their rejection of the afterlife makes their theology distinctive. Within that religion, they were allowed to form a government of sorts to rule the religious side of the people. He had great respect for the Essenes with whom he lived for three years; but he joined the Pharisees. Essenes: As far as radicalism goes, neither the Pharisees nor Sadducees but only the Essenes fit that description. It is widely believed that the Sadducees sought to preserve this priestly line and the authority of the Temple. Pharisees Sadducees Essenes And Zealots. Thanks! They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the most Holy Name of God, YHVH every time they wrote it. The Sadducees derive their name from the Hebrew name of Tzadok, the “Tz” is pronounced with an “s” sound. The Pharisees (meaning “set apart”). The term derives from Greek (zelotes), "emulator, fanatic, admirer or follower". The differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees are known to us through … As mentioned above and as described in Acts 23:8, the Sadducees did not believe in some supernatural aspects of Judaism. According to J. Julius Scott, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes were Jewish sects or denominations (Scott, 200). So this goes to show the diversity among zealots as a group. Politically, the Sadducees oversaw many formal affairs of the state. Renowned calligraphers, they produce the Hebrew Torah scrolls and other holy texts by hand to this day. Keep in mind Scribes were not a sect, they were a profession. Though there are some theological and social disagreements between them, the varied opinions on how to rightly interpret and live out the law account for most of their distinguishing characteristics. Thank you! While such distinctions might seem to point to great disunity among Judaism, it is important to compare these various sects with modern day Christianity. They are also the group associated with instigating His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. From whence did these three influential sects arise? This also included presiding over sacrifices on the yearly festivals of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription. During their first centuries of existence, the Sadducees and Pharisees were probably not tightly bounded groups. Basically, the Pharisees represented strict tradition among the aristocratic Jewish elite. As such, they were well educated in language and mathematics. They also did not remain static throughout antiquity . So what’s the difference between these three groups? But in this mention of the Pharisees and Sadducees, we are far from exhausting the subject of Jewish divisions, and far from enumerating all those phases of opinion which must have had some connection with the growth of rising Christianity. This they had in common with the Pharisees. The Essenes lived in various smaller cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to self denial, voluntary poverty and abstinence from worldly pleasures, including for some even marriage. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. Going back about 700 years before Christ, the northern part of the Hebrew nation was conquered and integrated into their culture by the Assyrians (721 BC), then the southern part fell to Babylon (Persia) in 586 BC, then all of it to the Greek Empire in 331. Subscribe to receive our weekly emails PLUS access to the free digital theological library! Despite their small numbers, the Sadducees were able to maneuver themselves politically to positions of power within the Sanhedrin (a sort of religious Supreme Court) and allied themselves with the Romans. 25, 38; … Josephus records that the Essenes numbered about 4,000. We don't share your email address with anyone, and you can unsubscribe any time. Scribes were distinguished professionals who copied all types of documents, not just the holy scrolls. Realizing this fact helps us relate to the situation experienced by the Jews of this period and allows us to better understand the background of the events recorded in the New Testament. The most prominent were the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes. 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