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The Sadducees
Sadducees
(/ˈsædʒəˌsiːz, ˈsædjə-/; Hebrew: צְדוּקִים‬ Ṣĕḏûqîm) were a sect or group of Jews that was active in Judea
Judea
during the Second Temple period, starting from the second century BCE through the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. The sect was identified by Josephus
Josephus
with the upper social and economic echelon of Judean society.[1] As a whole, the sect fulfilled various political, social, and religious roles, including maintaining the Temple. The Sadducees
Sadducees
are often compared to other contemporaneous sects, including the Pharisees
Pharisees
and the Essenes. Their sect is believed to have become extinct some time after the destruction of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in 70 CE, but it has been speculated that the later Karaites may have had some roots in—or connections with—Sadducaic views.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 History

2.1 The Second Temple Period 2.2 Role of the Temple 2.3 After the Temple destruction

3 Role of the Sadducees

3.1 Religious 3.2 Political

4 Beliefs

4.1 General 4.2 Disputes with the Pharisees

5 Jewish sectarianism

5.1 As opposed to the Essenes 5.2 As opposed to the Early Christian Church 5.3 As opposed to the Pharisees

6 References

6.1 Primary 6.2 Secondary

7 External links

Etymology[edit] According to Abraham Geiger, the Sadducaic sect of Judaism
Judaism
drew their name from Zadok, the first High Priest of ancient Israel to serve in the First Temple, with the leaders of the sect proposed as the Kohanim (priests, the "sons of Zadok", descendants of Eleazar, son of Aaron).[2] In any event, the name Zadok, being related to the root צָדַק‬ ṣāḏaq (to be right, just),[3] could be indicative of their aristocratic status in society in the initial period of their existence.[4] Furthermore, Flavius Josephus
Josephus
mentions in Antiquities of the Jews
Jews
that in the time of Boethus: "...one Judas, a Gaulonite, of a city whose name was Gamala, who taking with him Sadduc, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt,...".[5] Paul L. Maier notes, "It seems not improbable to me that this Sadduc, the Pharisee, was the very same man of whom the rabbis speak, as the unhappy but undesigning occasion of the impiety or infidelity of the Sadduccees; nor perhaps had the men this name of the Sadduccees till this very time, though they were a distinct sect long before."[6] The similarity of Sadduc to the Zadok
Zadok
above, varying largely in transliteration, lends credence to that account. The contextual inclusion of Boethus and Sadduc implies they were most likely contemporaries. History[edit] The Second Temple Period[edit] See also: Second Temple Judaism The Second Temple Period is the period in ancient Israel between the construction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in 516 BCE and its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE.

A Sadducee, illustrated in the 15th-century Nuremberg Chronicle

Throughout the Second Temple Period, Jerusalem
Jerusalem
saw several shifts in rule. Alexander's conquest of the Mediterranean world brought an end to Persian control of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
(539 BCE–334/333 BCE) and ushered in the Hellenistic period. The Hellenistic period, which extended from 334/333 BCE to 63 BCE, is known today for the spread of Hellenistic influence. This included an expansion of culture, including an appreciation of Greek theater, and admiration of the human body. After the death of Alexander in 323 BCE, his generals divided the empire among themselves and for the next 30 years, they fought for control of the empire. The Ptolemies emerged with control of Judea
Judea
in 301 BCE (r. 301–200 BCE), but only held it until the Seleucids (r. 200–167) took control in 200 BCE. King Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria, a Seleucid, disrupted whatever peace there had been in Judea
Judea
when he desecrated the temple in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and forced Jews
Jews
to violate the Torah. Most prominent of the rebel groups were the Maccabees, led by Mattathias the Hasmonean and his son Judah the Maccabee. Though the Maccabees
Maccabees
rebelled against the Seleucids in 164 BCE, Seleucid rule did not end for another 20 years. The Maccabean (a.k.a. Hasmonean) rule lasted until 63 BCE, when the Roman general Pompey, having grown uncomfortable with the dynasty's growing power, conquered Jerusalem. Thus began the Roman period of Judea, leading to the creation of the province of Roman Judea
Judea
in 6 CE and extending into the 4th century CE, well beyond the end of the Second Temple Period. Cooperation between the Romans and the Jews
Jews
was strongest during the reigns of Herod and Herod Agrippa I
Agrippa I
(his grandson). However, the Romans moved power out of the hands of vassal kings and into the hands of Roman administrators, beginning with the Census of Quirinius
Census of Quirinius
in 6 CE. The First Jewish–Roman War broke out in 66 CE. After a few years of conflict, the Romans retook Jerusalem
Jerusalem
and destroyed the temple, bringing an end to the Second Temple Period in 70 CE.[7] Role of the Temple[edit] During the Persian period, the Temple became more than the center of worship in Judea
Judea
after its reconstruction in 516 BCE; it served as the center of society. It makes sense, then, that priests held important positions as official leaders outside of the Temple. The democratizing forces of the Hellenistic period
Hellenistic period
lessened and shifted the focus of Judaism
Judaism
away from the Temple and in the 3rd century BCE, a scribal class began to emerge. New organizations and "social elites," according to Shaye Cohen, appeared.[citation needed] It was also during this time that the high priesthood—the members of which often identified as Sadducees—was developing a reputation for corruption. Questions about the legitimacy of the Second Temple and its Sadducaic leadership freely circulated within Judean society. Sects began to form during the Maccabean reign (see Jewish Sectarianism below).[8] The Temple in Jerusalem
Jerusalem
was the formal center of political and governmental leadership in ancient Israel, although its power was often contested and disputed by fringe groups. After the Temple destruction[edit] After the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
in 70 CE, the Sadducees
Sadducees
appear only in a few references in the Talmud. In the beginnings of Karaism, the followers of Anan ben David were called "Sadducees" and set a claim of the former being a historical continuity from the latter. The Sadducee concept of the mortality of the soul is reflected on by Uriel Acosta, who mentions them in his writings. Acosta was referred to as a Sadducee in Karl Gutzkow's play The Sadducees
Sadducees
in Amsterdam (1834). Role of the Sadducees[edit] Religious[edit] The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees
Sadducees
included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem. Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. The priests were responsible for performing sacrifices at the Temple, the primary method of worship in ancient Israel. This included presiding over sacrifices during the three festivals of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Their religious beliefs and social status were mutually reinforcing, as the priesthood often represented the highest class in Judean society. However, Sadducees
Sadducees
and the priests were not completely synonymous. Cohen points out that "not all priests, high priests, and aristocrats were Sadducees; many were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all."[9] Political[edit] The Sadducees
Sadducees
oversaw many formal affairs of the state.[10] Members of the Sadducees:

Administered the state domestically Represented the state internationally Participated in the Sanhedrin, and often encountered the Pharisees there. Collected taxes. These also came in the form of international tribute from Jews
Jews
in the Diaspora. Equipped and led the army Regulated relations with the Romans Mediated domestic grievances.

Beliefs[edit] General[edit] The Sadducees
Sadducees
rejected the Oral Law as proposed by the Pharisees. Rather, they saw the written Torah
Torah
as the sole source of divine authority.[11] The written law, in its depiction of the priesthood, corroborated the power and enforced the hegemony of the Sadducees
Sadducees
in Judean society. According to Josephus, the Sadducees
Sadducees
believed that:

There is no fate. God does not commit evil. Man has free will; "man has the free choice of good or evil". The soul is not immortal; there is no afterlife. There are no rewards or penalties after death.

The Sadducees
Sadducees
did not believe in resurrection of the dead, but believed in the traditional Jewish concept of Sheol
Sheol
for those who had died. Disputes with the Pharisees[edit]

According to the Pharisees, spilt water became impure through its pouring. Sadducees
Sadducees
denied that this is sufficient grounds for Tumah (impurity).[12] Many Sadducee-Pharisee disputes revolved around issues of Tumah
Tumah
and purity. Some scholars[who?] suggest that the emphasis on purity is characteristic of priestly groups, who often utilized their perceptions of "holiness" and "unholiness" to enforce their power. According to Jewish law, daughters inherit when there are no sons; otherwise, the sons inherit. The Pharisees
Pharisees
posited that if a deceased son left only one daughter, then she shares the inheritance with the sons of her grandfather. The Sadducees
Sadducees
suggested that it is impossible for the granddaughter to have a more favorable relationship to her grandfather than his own daughter does, and thus rejected this ruling.[13] This ruling was a testament to the Sadducaic emphasis on patriarchal descent. The Sadducees
Sadducees
demanded that the master pay for damages caused by his slave. The Pharisees
Pharisees
imposed no such obligation, as the slave may intentionally cause damage in order to see the liability for it brought on his master.[12] The Pharisees
Pharisees
posited that false witnesses should be executed if the verdict is pronounced on the basis of their testimony—even if not yet actually carried out. The Sadducees
Sadducees
argued that false witnesses should be executed only if the death penalty has already been carried out on the falsely accused.[14] The Sadducees
Sadducees
did not believe in resurrection, whereas the Pharisees did. In Acts, Paul chose this point of division to gain the protection of the Pharisees. [15] The Sadducees
Sadducees
also rejected the notion of spirits or angels, whereas the Pharisees
Pharisees
acknowledged them. [16]

Jewish sectarianism[edit]

The Pharisees
Pharisees
and the Sadducees
Sadducees
Come to Tempt Jesus by James Tissot (Brooklyn Museum)

The Jewish community of the Second Temple period
Second Temple period
is often defined by its sectarian and fragmented attributes. Josephus, in Antiquities, contextualizes the Sadducees
Sadducees
as opposed to the Pharisees
Pharisees
and the Essenes. The Sadducees
Sadducees
are also notably distinguishable from the growing Jesus movement, which later evolved into Christianity. These groups differed in their beliefs, social statuses, and sacred texts. Though the Sadducees
Sadducees
produced no primary works themselves, their attributes can be derived from other contemporaneous texts, namely, the New Testament, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and later, the Mishnah
Mishnah
and Talmud. Overall, the Sadducees
Sadducees
represented an aristocratic, wealthy, and traditional elite within the hierarchy. As opposed to the Essenes[edit] The Dead Sea Scrolls, which are often attributed to the Essenes, suggest clashing ideologies and social positions between the Essenes and the Sadducees. In fact, some scholars suggest that the Essenes began as a group of renegade Zadokites, which would indicate that the group itself had priestly, and thus Sadducaic origins. Within the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Sadducees
Sadducees
are often referred to as Manasseh. The scrolls suggest that the Sadducees
Sadducees
(Manasseh) and the Pharisees (Ephraim) became religious communities that were distinct from the Essenes, the true Judah. Clashes between the Essenes
Essenes
and the Sadducees are depicted in the Pesher
Pesher
on Nahum, which states "They [Manasseh] are the wicked ones...whose reign over Israel will be brought down...his wives, his children, and his infant will go into captivity. His warriors and his honored ones [will perish] by the sword."[17] The reference to the Sadducees
Sadducees
as those who reign over Israel corroborates their aristocratic status as opposed to the more fringe group of Essenes. Furthermore, it suggests that the Essenes
Essenes
challenged the authenticity of the rule of the Sadducees, blaming the downfall of ancient Israel and the siege of Jerusalem
Jerusalem
on their impiety. The Dead Sea Scrolls brand the Sadducaic elite as those who broke the covenant with God in their rule of the Judean state, and thus became targets of divine revenge. As opposed to the Early Christian Church[edit] See also: Early Christianity The New Testament, specifically the books of Mark and Matthew, describe anecdotes which hint at hostility between the early Christians and the Sadducaic establishment. These disputes manifest themselves on both theological and social levels. Mark describes how the Sadducees
Sadducees
challenged Jesus' belief in the resurrection of the dead. Jesus subsequently defends his belief in resurrection against Sadducaic resistance, stating, "and as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?" He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong."[18] According to Matthew's Gospel, Jesus asserts that the Sadducees
Sadducees
were wrong because they knew "neither the scriptures nor the power of God".[19] The Pulpit Commentary notes that the dispute recorded between Jesus and the Sadducees
Sadducees
does not display the hypocrisy which the Pharisees
Pharisees
demonstrated: the Sadducees
Sadducees
"are treated with patience and calm argument, because they are not hypocrites like the Pharisees, but have the courage of their opinions, and do not seek to appear other than they are" but they need to be corrected where they are in error.[20] Jesus challenges the reliability of Sadducaic interpretation of Biblical doctrine, the authority of which enforces the power of the Sadducaic priesthood. The Sadducees
Sadducees
address the issue of resurrection through the lens of marriage, which "hinted at their real agenda: the protection of property rights through patriarchal marriage that perpetuated the male lineage."[21] Furthermore, Matthew records John the Baptist
John the Baptist
calling the Sadducees
Sadducees
a "brood of vipers".[22] The New Testament
New Testament
thus constructs the identity of Christianity
Christianity
in opposition to the Sadducees. As opposed to the Pharisees[edit] The Pharisees
Pharisees
and the Sadducees
Sadducees
are historically seen as antitheses of one another. Josephus, the author of the most extensive historical account of the Second Temple Period, gives a lengthy account of Jewish sectarianism in both Jewish War and Antiquities. In Antiquities, he describes "the Pharisees
Pharisees
have delivered to the people a great many observances by succession from their fathers, which are not written in the law of Moses, and for that reason it is that the Sadducees
Sadducees
reject them and say that we are to esteem those observance to be obligatory which are in the written word, but are not to observe what are derived from the tradition of our forefathers."[11] The Sadducees
Sadducees
rejected the Pharisaic use of the Oral Law to enforce their claims to power, citing the Written Torah
Written Torah
as the sole manifestation of divinity. The Rabbis, who are traditionally seen as the descendants of the Pharisees, describe the similarities and differences between the two sects in Mishnah
Mishnah
Yadaim. The Mishnah
Mishnah
explains that the Sadducees state, "So too, regarding the Holy Scriptures, their impurity is according to (our) love for them. But the books of Homer, which are not beloved, do not defile the hands."[23] The Sadducees
Sadducees
thus accuse the Pharisees
Pharisees
as the opponents of traditional Judaism
Judaism
because of their susceptibility and assimilation into the Hellenistic world. When synthesized, one can discern that the Pharisees
Pharisees
represented mainstream Judaism
Judaism
in the Hellenistic world, while the Sadducees
Sadducees
represented a more aristocratic elite. Despite this, a passage from the book of Acts suggests that both Pharisees
Pharisees
and Sadducees
Sadducees
collaborated in the Sanhedrin, the high Jewish court.[24] References[edit]

^ "...while the Sadducees
Sadducees
are able to persuade none but the rich, and have not the populace obsequious to them, but the Pharisees
Pharisees
have the multitude on their side." Josephus. AJ. Translated by Whiston, William. 13.10.6. . ^ Abraham Geiger, Urschrift, pp. 20 &c ^ Hebrew
Hebrew
word #6659 in Strong's Concordance ^ Newman, p. 76 ^ Josephus. AJ. Translated by Whiston, William. 18.1.1. . ^ Josephus, Flavius (1999). The New Complete Works of Josephus. Kregel Academic. p. 587. ISBN 9780825429248.  ^ Cohen, 1–5, 15–16 ^ Cohen, 153–154 ^ Cohen 155 ^ Wellhausen, 45 ^ a b Josephus. AJ. 13.10.6. . ^ a b Mishnah
Mishnah
Yadaim 4:7 ^ Mishnah
Mishnah
Yadaim 4:6 ^ Mishnah
Mishnah
Makot 1.6 ^ Acts 23:6-9 ^ Acts 23:8 ^ Pesher
Pesher
on Nahumin Eshol, 40' ^ Mark 12:27 ^ Matthew 22:29 ^ Pulpit Commentary on Matthew 22, accessed 14 February 2017 ^ Commentary, New Oxford Annotated Bible ^ Matthew 3:7 ^ Mishnah
Mishnah
Yadaim 4:6–8 ^ Acts 23:6

Primary[edit]

Tenney, Merrill (1998). Josephus
Josephus
Complete Works. City: Nelson Reference. ISBN 978-0-7852-1427-4.  Vermes, Geza (2004). The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
in English. Harmondsworth Eng.: Penguin. ISBN 978-0-14-044952-5.  Coogan, Michael (2007). The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha. City: Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-528882-7. 

Secondary[edit]

Wellhausen, Julius (2001). The Pharisees
Pharisees
and the Sadducees. Macon: Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-86554-729-2.  Vermes, Geza (2003). Jesus in His Jewish Context. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. ISBN 978-0-8006-3623-4.  Cohen, Shaye (2006). From the Maccabees
Maccabees
to the Mishnah. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-0-664-22743-2.  Eshel, Hanan (2008). The Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
and the Hasmonean State. City: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8028-6285-3.  Newman, Hillel (2006). Proximity to Power and Jewish Sectarian Groups of the Ancient Period: a Review of Lifestyle, Values, and Halakha in the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Qumran. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-14699-0.  Stemberger, Günter (1995). Jewish Contemporaries of Jesus. Minneapolis: Fortress Press. ISBN 978-0-8006-2624-2.  Johnson, Paul (1988). A History of the Jews. San Francisco: Perennial Library. ISBN 978-0-06-091533-9.  Mishnah
Mishnah
Yadayim 4:6–8, The Pharisee–Sadducee Debate

External links[edit]

 "Sadducees". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

v t e

Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls
topics

Texts

4Q106 4Q107 4Q108 4Q166 4Q175 4Q240 4Q246 4Q252 4Q400-407 Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice 4Q448 4Q510-511 Songs of the Sage 4Q521 4QMMT 4QInstruction 6Q6 7Q5 11Q13 Melchizedek The Book of Giants The Book of Mysteries (1Q27 and 4Q299-301) Community Rule (1QS) Copper Scroll
Copper Scroll
(3Q15) Damascus Document
Damascus Document
(CD) Genesis Apocryphon
Genesis Apocryphon
(1QapGen ar) Habakkuk Commentary
Habakkuk Commentary
(1QpHab) Isaiah scroll
Isaiah scroll
(1QIsaa) Nahum Commentary (4QpNah) The Rule of the Blessing
The Rule of the Blessing
(1QSb) The Rule of the Congregation (1QSa) The Secret of the Way Things Are Temple Scroll
Temple Scroll
(11Q19) Thanksgiving Hymns (1QH) War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness
War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness
(1QM)

Places

Qumran Qumran
Qumran
Caves Qumran
Qumran
cemetery Ein Feshkha Kohlit Secacah Wadi Murabba'at

Issues

Essenes Sadducees Carbon dating Yahad Ostracon Pesher Dual messiahs Teacher of Righteousness Wicked Priest Calendrical texts

Scholars

Martin G. Abegg John Marco Allegro Joseph M. Baumgarten Pierre Benoit John J. Collins Edward M. Cook Frank Moore Cross Philip R. Davies André Dupont-Sommer Robert Eisenman Hanan Eshel Craig A. Evans Joseph Fitzmyer Peter W. Flint Katharina Galor Jamal-Dominique Hopkins Jean-Baptiste Humbert Florentino García Martínez Norman Golb Jonas C. Greenfield Gerald Lankester Harding Yizhar Hirschfeld Ernest-Marie Laperrousaz Jodi Magness Józef Milik Bargil Pixner Elisha Qimron Lawrence Schiffman Michael Segal Hershel Shanks Solomon H. Steckoll Hartmut Stegemann John Strugnell Eleazar
Eleazar
Sukenik Carsten Peter Thiede Emanuel Tov John C. Trever Eugene Ulrich Roland de Vaux Géza Vermes Michael O. Wise Yigael Yadin José O'Callaghan Martínez

Other

Shrine of the Book The Orion Center École Biblique Discoveries in the Judaean Desert Mar Samuel Muhammed edh-Dhib

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