As a group the Pharisees are distinct for being opposed to the political rulers of Israel, focusing on ceremonial washing, and most notably for their strict adherence to the oral law, or traditions of the elders. 3:7; 23:15; Luke 11:39; John 9:39-41). They are also the group associated with instigating His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. The danger into which the Pharisees’ fell (and the Galatians) is to abandon grace. They must say each word aloud while they were writing. In any event, the name Tzadok could be indicative of their aristocratic status in society in the beginning of their existence due to their close relationship with the monarchy and King Solomon. As of the New Testament period, the Pharisees were the largest of these three groups and had the most power. 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. As such, they were well educated in language and mathematics. They lived solely by the work of their hands and in a state of communism, devoted their time to study and devotion and to the practise of benevolence, and refrained as far as feasible from conjugal intercourse and sensual pleasures, in order to be initiated into the highest mysteries of heaven and cause the expected Messianic time to come ('Ab. This belief entailed both a commitment to relate religion to ordinary concerns and daily life, and a commitment to study and scholarly debate. ReasonableTheology.org exists to help the everyday Christian study theology every day. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines. 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. Email: support@gods-word-first (dot) org Learn term:sects judaism = pharisees, sadducees, essenes, zealots with free interactive flashcards. 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. Address: God's Word First, P.O. 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. These convictions put them in stark contrast to the Sadducees. 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. Though one may at first be struck at the apparent disunity that is suggested by the Jewish faith having such distinct sects, it is important to remember two things: First, these different “schools of thought” as Josephus called them were not very large. They also scorned what they felt was the spiritually empty and overly ‘comfortable’ life of the Pharisees. They added to it oral tradition that often conflicted with the very Law they claimed to hold so dear. This is when the Sadducees reestablished themselves as a ruling power. Man has free will; “man has the free choice of good or evil”, The soul is not immortal; there is no afterlife, and, There are no rewards or penalties after death. Although they were certainly influential and may appear in the New Testament and various other writings of the time, this influence was not proportional to their number of followers. They were like a religious social club of their time. 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. Basically, the Essenes were the hippies of their time living in communes. 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. They were at various times a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews beginning around 150 BC in the wake of the Maccabean Revolt. Claiming first hand knowledge, … relationship to Jesus, the Law and sin. 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. 92085 United States. Rome would not allow the Jews to reestablish their kingdom monarchy, but did allow them to rebuild their temple and worship their own God. Please check your inbox and confirm your subscription. 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 . Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. The Sadducees (/ ˈ s æ dj ə ˌ s iː z /; Hebrew: צְדוּקִים Ṣĕdûqîm) were a sect or group of Jews who were active in Judea during the Second Temple period, starting from the second century BCE through the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.The Sadducees are often compared to other contemporaneous sects, including the Pharisees and the Essenes. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.). There were four primary sects. The Jewish scribes used the following process for creating copies of the Torah and other books in the Tanakh. He had great respect for the Essenes with whom he lived for three years; but he joined the Pharisees. There is a definite record of only one high priest (Ananus, in 62) being a Sadducee, although some scholars assume, based purely on speculation, that the Sanhedrin was dominated by Sadducees.Nevertheless, their power severely curtailed, during the Roman period Sadducees are … In 166 BC the Maccabean Revolt occurred and the Jews took back their sovereignty for about 100 years. 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. In contrast, this sect had more violent tendencies than their contemporaries. They are mentioned several times in the gospels as being on the receiving end of Jesus’ rebukes (Matt. Collected taxes. A branch of the Pharisees who conformed to the most rigid rules of Levitical purity while aspiring to the highest degree of holiness. The second point to be made is that these three groups were similar in many ways. The Sadducees rejected the belief in Resurrection of the Dead, which was a central tenet believed by the Pharisees and as prophesied in the Tanakh. This brief overview of the 5 major groups of people that Jesus and his disciples dealt with gives us an expanded understanding and perhaps a less myopic viewpoint when reading the books contained in the New Testament. I'm a Pastor in North Dakota and created ReasonableTheology.org to help make theology accessible for the everyday Christian. These documents include preserved multiple copies of the Hebrew Bible (the Torah and Tanakh) along with other literary works of the time untouched from as early as 300 BC until their discovery over 2,000 years later in 1946 AD. The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem. 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. Participated in the Sanhedrin, and often encountered the Pharisees there. 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. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. He had little respect for the Sadducees. As such, they were pompous and frequently displayed in public an arrogant righteousness. Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and Sicarii -Roman Period Political party to sect. 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. As of the New Testament period, the Pharisees were the largest of these three groups and had the most power. The most famous Zealot we know of from scripture is the disciple of Jesus known as Simon Zelotes, or Simon the Zealot. 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. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document. Learn history on who the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and Zealots were during Jesus' times and how they fit into the religious political landscape. Scribes still exist today. 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. They also professed belief in immortality and divine punishment for sin. They are mentioned several times in the gospels as being on the receiving end of Jesus’ rebukes (Matt. This kept the peace, at least on the surface, so that most of Judea would accept Roman rule as long as they could keep their religious roots and methods of worship. The Levites were set apart by God and sanctified for His service in the Temple. In. Jesus arrived on the scene during a time of great confusion in religious and political turmoil. So this goes to show the diversity among zealots as a group. 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 … � 2010 God's Word First International Biblical Research & Teaching Ministry and Daniel D. Sweet. Sometimes they would also exercise higher functions we would associate with lawyers, government ministers, judges, or even bankers. Therefore there was no interaction to record between them and Christ or his disciples. Perhaps the best-known Essene is John the Baptist, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a … The term derives from Greek (zelotes), "emulator, fanatic, admirer or follower". After the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD Pharisaic beliefs became the basis for Rabbinic Judaism, which ultimately produced the basis for all contemporary forms of Judaism with what is known today as modern Hasidic Judaism being the oldest core foundational belief. The differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees are known to us through … Aside from their heretical views on worship and priestly service, in general, the Pharisees emphasized a commitment to social justice, belief in the brotherhood of mankind, and a faith in the redemption of the Jewish nation and, ultimately, humanity. It’s all about presenting sound doctrine in plain language. Phone/Text: (442) 273-0073 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). 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. This is very enlightening information for expanding your understanding of the Gospels in the Bible. The Pharisees and Sadducees made up the Sanhedrin, a council of seventy men who made all the decisions for the Jews. The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly caste, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. Known as a “Sofer” they are among the few scribes that still perform their trade by hand on parchment. As no document containing God's Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried. The Law is good but it … The main difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was their differing opinions on the supernatural aspects of religion. Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots were the four primary religious/political factions of the time. During the time in which Jesus Christ lived, there were many religious and political factions abounding. Like the Pharisees, the Essenes meticulously observed the Law of Moses, the sabbath, and ritual purity. Pharisees Sadducees Essenes And Zealots. 25, 38; … The original or “first” temple was destroyed in the carrying away to Babylon around 586 BC. 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. As highly trained, well paid, and respected professionals, they were generally had an over inflated sense of self worth. The Pharisees’ theology, accepting the entire Old Testament including eschatology, is much more in line with the whole Bible than the Sadducees’ or the Essenes’ theology. Due to the emphasis on orthopraxy, it is common for the differences between the groups to pertain more to activity than theology (Scott, 201). They claim to have their roots tracing back nearly 1000 years (from their times) to King David. Appearing overall as a rather peaceful and pious group when viewed from the outside, in contrast their confrontational actions, public austere and arrogant “better than thou” attitudes and their “behind closed doors” hatred of their perceived enemies spoke volumes concerning the spiritual darkness within their hearts. The Sanhedrin, the 70-member supreme court of ancient Israel, had members from both the Sadducees and the Pharisees. According to J. Julius Scott, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes were Jewish sects or denominations (Scott, 200). Keep in mind Scribes were not a sect, they were a profession. Renowned calligraphers, they produce the Hebrew Torah scrolls and other holy texts by hand to this day. 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. The Esseneswere a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. This conviction prevented them from sacrificing at the temple, which further contrasts them from the two sects of Judaism discussed above. The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. Essenes – A Jewish Community of Scribes The Essenes were a type of monastic Jewish community, which copied and preserved sacred writings at places such as Qumran near the Dead Sea in Israel. Their religious beliefs and social status were mutually reinforcing, as the Priesthood often represented the highest class in Levitical and Judean society. Within that religion, they were allowed to form a government of sorts to rule the religious side of the people. Zarah ix. Although popular and respected, they had no power. Politically, the Sadducees oversaw many formal affairs of the state. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the most Holy Name of God, YHVH every time they wrote it. Although there is still much unknown about this group, they appear to have been theologically distinct for a heightened reverence for Moses, a strict interpretation of the law, and for following their own sacrificial system. We'll add Scribes into this study as well because they are mentioned several times in the Gospels. The Pharisees thus accuse the Sadducees as the opponents of traditional Judaism because of the way they embraced the Roman / Greek culture and political hierarchy (rule). At the other extreme were the Essenes (es-een). This they had in common with the Pharisees. Jesus Christ is believed by many notable historians and biblical scholars to have leanings toward being a non-violent type of zealot. The Essenes are not mentioned in the New Testament and are likely an offshoot of Pharisaism, as much of their theology appears to have been similar. He further adds that the Essenes traded in commerce amongst themselves, ritually immersed in water every morning, ate together after prayer, devoted themselves to charity and benevolence, forbade the expression of anger, studied the books of the elders, preserved secrets, and were very mindful of the names of the angels kept in their sacred writings. The Essenes are also believed to have been residents of the reclusive Qumran community which produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. Transcript. They were strictly monotheistic, focused on their covenant relationship with God, and were adamant about properly following God’s law. Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription. During their first centuries of existence, the Sadducees and Pharisees were probably not tightly bounded groups. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. 15; Luke ii. When the Temple and Jewish state were destroyed in A.D. 70, the Sadducees went away as well. Basically, the Pharisees represented strict tradition among the aristocratic Jewish elite. This often provoked hostilities between the two sects even though they often worked closely together in service to the temple, the people in presiding over the Sanhedrin (which was the Jewish high court of law) and in fulfilling their political positions. Rather than emphasizing free will like the Sadducees, the Pharisees believed God's sovereignty could essentially cancel out free will, though free will did still affect a person's life. While most zealots were peaceful in nature while radicalized zealots were a dangerous, unorganized, unpredictable sect. So what’s the difference between these three groups? They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts. Sadducees would then roughly mean, “The righteous ones of Tzadok”. Jesus was not A Pharisee. Many wealthy Jews were Sadducees or sympathized with them. 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). It’s clear to see why three of the five these groups held so much hatred and distain for our Lord and his disciples who were less educated lower working class commoners compared to the highly educated upper class Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes. this paper, the two former groups will be considered at length, specifically in their. Subscribe to receive our weekly emails PLUS access to the free digital theological library! 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. These were religious Jews who, in contrast with the Sadducees, now rejected the Temple and the Priesthood believing these had been defiled by corruption and murder. While the Sadducees supported the Roman rule representing mainstream Judaism to the Roman and Greek cultures. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Rather, they saw the Torah as the sole source of divine authority. As a group the Pharisees are distinct for being opposed to the political rulers of Israel, focusing on cere… Of the three "sects" that Josephus lists, Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees,1 the Pharisees appealed to him the most. The Sadducees derive their name from the Hebrew name of Tzadok, the “Tz” is pronounced with an “s” sound. As such, they were the smallest among the sects. Now Pharisees are one sect, Sadducees another, but in fact the third, called Essenes, seems to be the most reverential discipline. The Sadducees’ job was to make sacrifices and maintain the Temple’s purity. They were particularly in opposition to what they believed to be a corrupt priesthood. 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