Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription. The Zealot sect traces its roots back to the Maccabean revolt about 150 BC, about the same time the Pharisees began. 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. While most zealots were peaceful in nature while radicalized zealots were a dangerous, unorganized, unpredictable sect. The Essenes were a subdivision of Pharisees who emphasized a communal life and ritual pureness, including full-body submergence for religious cleaning. They were strictly monotheistic, focused on their covenant relationship with God, and were adamant about properly following God’s law. 15; Luke ii. 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. The Sadducees derive their name from the Hebrew name of Tzadok, the “Tz” is pronounced with an “s” sound. Sadducees would then roughly mean, “The righteous ones of Tzadok”. Many wealthy Jews were Sadducees or sympathized with them. 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. The term derives from Greek (zelotes), "emulator, fanatic, admirer or follower". Collected taxes. 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. 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. Learn term:sects judaism = pharisees, sadducees, essenes, zealots with free interactive flashcards. This is very enlightening information for expanding your understanding of the Gospels in the Bible. During the time in which Jesus Christ lived, there were many religious and political factions abounding. It’s interesting to note that the Essenes are not mentioned in the Bible. Choose from 30 different sets of term:sects judaism = pharisees, sadducees, essenes, zealots flashcards on Quizlet. Participated in the Sanhedrin, and often encountered the Pharisees there. I'm a Pastor in North Dakota and created ReasonableTheology.org to help make theology accessible for the everyday Christian. 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. 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). Known as a “Sofer” they are among the few scribes that still perform their trade by hand on parchment. relationship to Jesus, the Law and sin. The differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees are known to us through … A branch of the Pharisees who conformed to the most rigid rules of Levitical purity while aspiring to the highest degree of holiness. 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. But, unlike the Pharisees, the Essenes denied the resurrection of the body and refused to immerse themselves in public life. Essenes: As far as radicalism goes, neither the Pharisees nor Sadducees but only the Essenes fit that description. At the other extreme were the Essenes (es-een). 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. Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. As no document containing God's Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried. Thank you! 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. The Law is good but it … They also did not remain static throughout antiquity . According to J. Julius Scott, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes were Jewish sects or denominations (Scott, 200). Claiming first hand knowledge, … Although the Sadducees were the most involved with the Temple, they were also the most Hellenized Jews, and respected Greco-Roman civilization and rule. 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. 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. 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. Certainly Jesus would not allow a radical zealot within his inner fold of disciples. The Priests were responsible for performing sacrifices at the Temple, the primary method of worship in Ancient Israel. � 2010 God's Word First International Biblical Research & Teaching Ministry and Daniel D. Sweet. 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. 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. To put things simply, the Pharisees believed in the supernatural -- angels, demons, heaven, hell, and so on -- while the Sadducees did not. Jesus arrived on the scene during a time of great confusion in religious and political turmoil. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the most Holy Name of God, YHVH every time they wrote it. This also included presiding over sacrifices on the yearly festivals of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 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. As of the New Testament period, the Pharisees were the largest of these three groups and had the most power. It’s all about presenting sound doctrine in plain language. The Sadducees were tightly integrated with the institutions of Judaism, especially the Temple. 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. They must say each word aloud while they were writing. 3:7; 23:15; Luke 11:39; John 9:39-41). After Solomon's building of The First Temple in Jerusalem, Zadok was the first High Priest to serve there. Their belief that God is essentially separated from taking part in human affairs and their rejection of the afterlife makes their theology distinctive. The main difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was their differing opinions on the supernatural aspects of religion. Not all Levites, priests, high priests, and aristocrats were Sadducees; some were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all. 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. Furthermore, the Sadducees rejected the Oral Law as proposed by the Pharisees. 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. A parallel to the interfaith debates, reformations, and varied denominations which mark the Christian faith can be easily seen. 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. In. Therefore, although they were comprised of religious extremists, they were a highly educated, well spoken and widely respected group among main stream Jewish culture. The Zealots were a little more “grass roots” born of working class people while the Sadducees were more upper class of wealth and aristocracy. 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. The Pharisees and Sadducees made up the Sanhedrin, a council of seventy men who made all the decisions for the Jews. 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. Like the Pharisees, the Essenes meticulously observed the Law of Moses, the sabbath, and ritual purity. When the Temple and Jewish state were destroyed in A.D. 70, the Sadducees went away as well. Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. Please check your inbox and confirm your subscription. 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. The Essenes were a Jewish sect during the Second Temple period that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE. 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. The Sadducees had a more conservative outlook than the Pharisees and accepted only the written Law of Moses. As mentioned above and as described in Acts 23:8, the Sadducees did not believe in some supernatural aspects of Judaism. The Sadducees’ job was to make sacrifices and maintain the Temple’s purity. Basically, the Pharisees represented strict tradition among the aristocratic Jewish elite. He had little respect for the Sadducees. 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. So this goes to show the diversity among zealots as a group. The Pharisees (meaning “set apart”). 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). --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.119: 63. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were both religious sects within Judaism during the time of Christ. 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. While the Sadducees supported the Roman rule representing mainstream Judaism to the Roman and Greek cultures. The Sadducees held political power and religious clout as an integral part of temple government. Despite their opportunism, this sect would not survive the turbulent times ahead. 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. 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. They were particularly in opposition to what they believed to be a corrupt priesthood. 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 most famous Zealot we know of from scripture is the disciple of Jesus known as Simon Zelotes, or Simon the Zealot. 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. Scribes still exist today. 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. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines. This is when the Sadducees reestablished themselves as a ruling power. The documents could be stored only in sacred places (synagogues, etc.). Around 61 BC Judea, along with all of the Greek Empire was conquered by Rome. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. 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. Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes by Robert R. Cargill. The ink must be black, and of a special recipe. As a group the Pharisees are distinct for being opposed to the political rulers of Israel, focusing on cere… Sometimes they would also exercise higher functions we would associate with lawyers, government ministers, judges, or even bankers. Phone/Text: (442) 273-0073 Their religious beliefs and social status were mutually reinforcing, as the Priesthood often represented the highest class in Levitical and Judean society. Claiming first hand knowledge, he lists the Essenes as one of the three sects of Jewish philosophy alongside the Pharisees and the Sadducees. 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. 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. Now Pharisees are one sect, Sadducees another, but in fact the third, called Essenes, seems to be the most reverential discipline. This is largely due to how each group dealt with those in power, which will be discussed later. The second point to be made is that these three groups were similar in many ways. Zarah ix. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts. 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. 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. 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. 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. Both groups honored Moses and the Law, and they both had a measure of political power. this paper, the two former groups will be considered at length, specifically in their. There were four primary sects. Perhaps the best-known Essene is John the Baptist, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a … Jesus was not A Pharisee. 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. Rather, they saw the Torah as the sole source of divine authority. It makes sense, then, that priests held important positions as official leaders outside of the Temple. 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 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. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. Subscribe to receive our weekly emails PLUS access to the free digital theological library! The most prominent were the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes. Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. The danger into which the Pharisees’ fell (and the Galatians) is to abandon grace. He says the Sadducees believe in free will; they are responsible for their own plight in life, for their own status. 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. Address: God's Word First, P.O. Being separatists most lived outside the major cities throughout Roman Judea but most of them lived in the Dead Sea area. Sign up for our newsletter plus get 50 free theology eBooks in our digital library! He had great respect for the Essenes with whom he lived for three years; but he joined the Pharisees. Basically, the Essenes were the hippies of their time living in communes. In 166 BC the Maccabean Revolt occurred and the Jews took back their sovereignty for about 100 years. 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. 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. They are also the group associated with instigating His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. During their first centuries of existence, the Sadducees and Pharisees were probably not tightly bounded groups. They claim to have their roots tracing back nearly 1000 years (from their times) to King David. 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). It is important to note that the Sadducees and the Levite priests were not completely synonymous. 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. They also scorned what they felt was the spiritually empty and overly ‘comfortable’ life of the Pharisees. Josephus lays out different views of the universe for the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Essenes. Of the three "sects" that Josephus lists, Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees,1 the Pharisees appealed to him the most. The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. Josephus records that the Essenes numbered about 4,000. From whence did these three influential sects arise? 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. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. They were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and the Zealots. They are mentioned several times in the gospels as being on the receiving end of Jesus’ rebukes (Matt. So what’s the difference between these three groups? Start studying Pharisees, Sadduccees, Essenes. Members of the Sadducees: According to Josephus, the Sadducees believed that: As you can see, the Sadducees’ beliefs were heretical according to the Torah. This they had in common with the Pharisees. As of the New Testament period, the Pharisees were the largest of these three groups and had the most power. 3:7; 23:15; Luke 11:39; John 9:39-41). 92085 United States. These also came in the form of international tribute from Jews in the Diaspora. 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. ReasonableTheology.org exists to help the everyday Christian study theology every day. As such, they were well educated in language and mathematics. As such, they were pompous and frequently displayed in public an arrogant righteousness. 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 added to it oral tradition that often conflicted with the very Law they claimed to hold so dear. 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. As highly trained, well paid, and respected professionals, they were generally had an over inflated sense of self worth. Unlike the Pharisees they were few in number and rejected the notion of having to follow the oral law. Although popular and respected, they had no power. We'll add Scribes into this study as well because they are mentioned several times in the Gospels. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. Politically, the Sadducees oversaw many formal affairs of the state. They also professed belief in immortality and divine punishment for sin. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. The Essenes are also believed to have been residents of the reclusive Qumran community which produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. 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. Oddly, very little is recorded about him or his acts other than him being one of the first 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. The Essenes were a branch of Pharisees who emphasized a communal life and ritual purity, including full-body immersion for spiritual cleansing. Pharisees were keepers of the Law and held the entire (what we would call) Hebrew Bible as the word of YHWH. Scribes were distinguished professionals who copied all types of documents, not just the holy scrolls. 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 … The written law, in its depiction of the priesthood, corroborated the power and enforced the dominant leadership of the Sadducees in Judean society. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone. Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and Sicarii -Roman Period Political party to sect. Thanks! 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 Essenes. This belief entailed both a commitment to relate religion to ordinary concerns and daily life, and a commitment to study and scholarly debate. The Esseneswere a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from 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. Essenes. The original or “first” temple was destroyed in the carrying away to Babylon around 586 BC. 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. primarily scholars and educators, The Pharisees were politically inactive, and studied, taught, and worshipped in their own way. Along with the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the Essenes formed the three main sects of Judaism around the 1st century. The Levites were set apart by God and sanctified for His service in the Temple. As such, they were the smallest among the sects. 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. Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots were the four primary religious/political factions of the time. Learn history on who the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and Zealots were during Jesus' times and how they fit into the religious political landscape. 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. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes Examination of Their Distinctive Doctrines. They were like a religious social club of their time. Transcript. Scribes in Ancient Israel belonged to an elite class of wealthy families. 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 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. Within that religion, they were allowed to form a government of sorts to rule the religious side of the people. 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). 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Less than forty-eight, and worshipped in their pharisees, sadducees, essenes support @ gods-word-first ( dot ) address! Disciple of Jesus known as Simon zelotes, or Simon the zealot sect its! Between the Pharisees account of the Pharisees throughout Roman Judea but most of them in. Parallel to the Sadducees included the maintenance of the three main philosophies which characterized Judaism in the Temple in,.