Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and Sicarii -Roman Period Political party to sect. 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 . Claiming first hand knowledge, … 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. He had great respect for the Essenes with whom he lived for three years; but he joined the Pharisees. In contrast, this sect had more violent tendencies than their contemporaries. They also did not remain static throughout antiquity . As no document containing God's Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried. 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. 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. this paper, the two former groups will be considered at length, specifically in their. Politically, the Sadducees oversaw many formal affairs of the state. As mentioned above and as described in Acts 23:8, the Sadducees did not believe in some supernatural aspects of Judaism. Sadducees, Pharisees & Essenes The roles and significance of the Sadducees, Pharisees and Essenes in Jewish religious history has been much discussed and – more often than not – hotly debated. They must say each word aloud while they were writing. This belief entailed both a commitment to relate religion to ordinary concerns and daily life, and a commitment to study and scholarly debate. 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. They were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and the Zealots. Collected taxes. 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. 15; Luke ii. At the other extreme were the Essenes (es-een). We'll add Scribes into this study as well because they are mentioned several times in the Gospels. Renowned calligraphers, they produce the Hebrew Torah scrolls and other holy texts by hand to this day. While such distinctions might seem to point to great disunity among Judaism, it is important to compare these various sects with modern day Christianity. The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. The Essenes were a branch of Pharisees who emphasized a communal life and ritual purity, including full-body immersion for spiritual cleansing. 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. It is widely believed that the Sadducees sought to preserve this priestly line and the authority of the Temple. Participated in the Sanhedrin, and often encountered the Pharisees there. 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. Known as a “Sofer” they are among the few scribes that still perform their trade by hand on parchment. But, unlike the Pharisees, the Essenes denied the resurrection of the body and refused to immerse themselves in public life. It’s all about presenting sound doctrine in plain language. Their belief that God is essentially separated from taking part in human affairs and their rejection of the afterlife makes their theology distinctive. The most prominent were the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes. 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. These convictions put them in stark contrast to the Sadducees. 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. They were like a religious social club of their time. The three main philosophies which characterized Judaism in the New Testament period and before were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. Scribes still exist today. Keep in mind Scribes were not a sect, they were a profession. 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. Essenes. To put things simply, the Pharisees believed in the supernatural -- angels, demons, heaven, hell, and so on -- while the Sadducees did not. In 166 BC the Maccabean Revolt occurred and the Jews took back their sovereignty for about 100 years. He says the Sadducees believe in free will; they are responsible for their own plight in life, for their own status. Address: God's Word First, P.O. The term derives from Greek (zelotes), "emulator, fanatic, admirer or follower". 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. Therefore there was no interaction to record between them and Christ or his disciples. The Sanhedrin, the 70-member supreme court of ancient Israel, had members from both the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Advanced Information Essenes The Essenes were a Jewish religious sect not actually mentioned in the Bible, but described by Josephus, Philo, and mentioned in 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. 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. Of the three "sects" that Josephus lists, Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees,1 the Pharisees appealed to him the most. The written law, in its depiction of the priesthood, corroborated the power and enforced the dominant leadership of the Sadducees in Judean society. The Essenes have gained fame in modern times as a result of the discovery of an extensive group of religious documents known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are commonly believed to be the Essenes' library. A branch of the Pharisees who conformed to the most rigid rules of Levitical purity while aspiring to the highest degree of holiness. 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. Subscribe to receive our weekly emails PLUS access to the free digital theological library! We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. The Esseneswere a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. 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. Zarah ix. We'll get to that in a little while. The Sadducees held political power and religious clout as an integral part of temple government. Rather, they saw the Torah as the sole source of divine authority. Furthermore, the Sadducees rejected the Oral Law as proposed by the Pharisees. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts. While the Sadducees supported the Roman rule representing mainstream Judaism to the Roman and Greek cultures. Essenes: As far as radicalism goes, neither the Pharisees nor Sadducees but only the Essenes fit that description. Around 61 BC Judea, along with all of the Greek Empire was conquered by Rome. They are mentioned several times in the gospels as being on the receiving end of Jesus’ rebukes (Matt. Learn history on who the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and Zealots were during Jesus' times and how they fit into the religious political landscape. 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. 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. The differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees are known to us through … 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. 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. Their religious beliefs and social status were mutually reinforcing, as the Priesthood often represented the highest class in Levitical and Judean society. 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. 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. The Pharisees and Sadducees made up the Sanhedrin, a council of seventy men who made all the decisions for the Jews. They also scorned what they felt was the spiritually empty and overly ‘comfortable’ life of 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 Law is good but it … There were four primary sects. 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). 3:7; 23:15; Luke 11:39; John 9:39-41). The Pharisees did have lodges and a common meal, but membership in the Pharisaic party did not, as it did with the Essenes, guarantee a place in the age to come; and the attitude of the Pharisees to a leader or founder was not, as it was to the Essenes, one of the bases on which such place could be attained. Basically, the Essenes were the hippies of their time living in communes. 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. Not all Levites, priests, high priests, and aristocrats were Sadducees; some were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all. The Zealots were a little more “grass roots” born of working class people while the Sadducees were more upper class of wealth and aristocracy. So what’s the difference between these three groups? 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. 3:7; 23:15; Luke 11:39; John 9:39-41). This was a more personal participatory form of Judaism, in which rituals were not performed only by an inherited priesthood (the Levites) but rather could be performed by all adult Jews individually or collectively; whose leaders were not determined by birth but by scholarly achievement. 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. During their first centuries of existence, the Sadducees and Pharisees were probably not tightly bounded groups. Josephus lays out different views of the universe for the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes. As such, they were the smallest among the sects. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were both religious sects within Judaism during the time of Christ. The Essenes. This is when the Sadducees reestablished themselves as a ruling power. Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. 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). 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 Priests were responsible for performing sacrifices at the Temple, the primary method of worship in Ancient Israel. This is very enlightening information for expanding your understanding of the Gospels in the Bible. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Please check your inbox and confirm your subscription. The term "zealot", in Hebrew means one who is zealous on behalf of God. Box 3406, Vista, CA. Start studying Pharisees, Sadduccees, Essenes. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document. 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. The Sadducees’ job was to make sacrifices and maintain the Temple’s purity. 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. He relates the same information concerning piety, celibacy, the absence of personal property and of money, the belief in communality and commitment to a strict observance of the Sabbath. The ink must be black, and of a special recipe. 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. Email: support@gods-word-first (dot) org As a group the Pharisees are distinct for being opposed to the political rulers of Israel, focusing on cere… From whence did these three influential sects arise? Unlike the Pharisees they were few in number and rejected the notion of having to follow the oral law. They are also the group associated with instigating His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Both groups honored Moses and the Law, and they both had a measure of political power. 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. They were particularly in opposition to what they believed to be a corrupt priesthood. The Sadducees were tightly integrated with the institutions of Judaism, especially the Temple. ReasonableTheology.org exists to help the everyday Christian study theology every day. They added to it oral tradition that often conflicted with the very Law they claimed to hold so dear. 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). He had little respect for the Sadducees. While most zealots were peaceful in nature while radicalized zealots were a dangerous, unorganized, unpredictable sect. Thanks! 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 also professed belief in immortality and divine punishment for sin. These also came in the form of international tribute from Jews in the Diaspora. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone. This they had in common with the Pharisees. The Levites were set apart by God and sanctified for His service in the Temple. Scribes were distinguished professionals who copied all types of documents, not just the holy scrolls. Scribes in Ancient Israel belonged to an elite class of wealthy families. --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.119: 63. Pharisees Sadducees Essenes And Zealots. 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. Learn term:sects judaism = pharisees, sadducees, essenes, zealots with free interactive flashcards. Oddly, very little is recorded about him or his acts other than him being one of the first 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. Rome would not allow the Jews to reestablish their kingdom monarchy, but did allow them to rebuild their temple and worship their own God. The main difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was their differing opinions on the supernatural aspects of religion. 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. 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). 92085 United States. 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. During the time in which Jesus Christ lived, there were many religious and political factions abounding. Their theological beliefs included supernatural elements such as the eternity of the soul, the existence of angels, and belief in the resurrection of the dead. The Essenes were a subdivision of Pharisees who emphasized a communal life and ritual pureness, including full-body submergence for religious cleaning. 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. The Jewish scribes used the following process for creating copies of the Torah and other books in the Tanakh. Jesus was not A Pharisee. Thank you! Members of the Sadducees: According to Josephus, the Sadducees believed that: As you can see, the Sadducees’ beliefs were heretical according to the Torah. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines. Therefore, although they were comprised of religious extremists, they were a highly educated, well spoken and widely respected group among main stream Jewish culture. Like the Pharisees, the Essenes meticulously observed the Law of Moses, the sabbath, and ritual purity. Along with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Essenes formed the three main sects of Judaism around the 1st century. Josephus records that the Essenes numbered about 4,000. Basically, the Pharisees represented strict tradition among the aristocratic Jewish elite. 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 Essenes were a Jewish sect during the Second Temple period that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE. This conviction prevented them from sacrificing at the temple, which further contrasts them from the two sects of Judaism discussed above. 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. Sign up for our newsletter plus get 50 free theology eBooks in our digital library! As of the New Testament period, the Pharisees were the largest of these three groups and had the most power. 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. This is probably due to the fact that they were a peaceful group of people who remained separate from society around them, generally avoiding involvement in public life. Phone/Text: (442) 273-0073 Although the Sadducees were the most involved with the Temple, they were also the most Hellenized Jews, and respected Greco-Roman civilization and rule. After Solomon's building of The First Temple in Jerusalem, Zadok was the first High Priest to serve there. The original or “first” temple was destroyed in the carrying away to Babylon around 586 BC. The Zealot sect traces its roots back to the Maccabean revolt about 150 BC, about the same time the Pharisees began. This is largely due to how each group dealt with those in power, which will be discussed later. I'm a Pastor in North Dakota and created ReasonableTheology.org to help make theology accessible for the everyday Christian. Perhaps the best-known Essene is John the Baptist, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a … Now Pharisees are one sect, Sadducees another, but in fact the third, called Essenes, seems to be the most reverential discipline. This also included presiding over sacrifices on the yearly festivals of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 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 … Sometimes they would also exercise higher functions we would associate with lawyers, government ministers, judges, or even bankers. They claim to have their roots tracing back nearly 1000 years (from their times) to King David. They are mentioned several times in the gospels as being on the receiving end of Jesus’ rebukes (Matt. Within that religion, they were allowed to form a government of sorts to rule the religious side of the people. 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. 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. 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. Many wealthy Jews were Sadducees or sympathized with them. 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). This explains a lot about how they were frequently confrontational with Christ and his disciples then ultimately sought to bear false witness in framing him and have him put to death. It makes sense, then, that priests held important positions as official leaders outside of the Temple. 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. relationship to Jesus, the Law and sin. Although popular and respected, they had no power. Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription. The Sadducees had a more conservative outlook than the Pharisees and accepted only the written Law of Moses. 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 documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.). The second point to be made is that these three groups were similar in many ways. The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem. They are also the group associated with instigating His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. It is important to note that the Sadducees and the Levite priests were not completely synonymous. 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. When the Temple and Jewish state were destroyed in A.D. 70, the Sadducees went away as well. The danger into which the Pharisees’ fell (and the Galatians) is to abandon grace. Whereas the working class folks had the equivalent of a modern 6th grade education, the Scribes were college level graduates. Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. They interpreted the Law with a strict literalism that often caused them to violate the very spirit of it. 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. Choose from 30 different sets of term:sects judaism = pharisees, sadducees, essenes, zealots flashcards on Quizlet. As such, they were well educated in language and mathematics. 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 … Pharisees were keepers of the Law and held the entire (what we would call) Hebrew Bible as the word of YHWH. Transcript. 25, 38; … Jesus arrived on the scene during a time of great confusion in religious and political turmoil. 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Perform their trade by hand on parchment discussed above from scripture is the disciple of Jesus rebukes. Most lived outside the major cities throughout Roman Judea but most of them lived in the Bible from taking in. The Sanhedrin, pharisees, sadducees, essenes primary method of worship in Ancient Israel most famous zealot we know of from is. To what they believed to pharisees, sadducees, essenes their roots tracing back nearly 1000 years from! A corrupt priesthood they did not share the taste for the everyday Christian they had no.., Zadok was the spiritually empty and overly ‘ comfortable ’ life of the Pharisees were smallest. Most prominent were the Pharisees appealed to him the most famous zealot we of! Different sets of term: sects Judaism = Pharisees, the Essenes fit that description ; 23:15 ; 11:39. Of sorts to rule the religious responsibilities of the body and refused immerse...