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Sadducees(săj`o͝osēz, săd`yo͝o–), sect of Jews formed around the time of the Hasmonean revolt (c.200 B.C.). Little is known concerning their beliefs, but according to Josephus Flavius, they upheld only the authority of the written law, and not the oral tradition held by the Pharisees. They are believed to have had a small following, drawn primarily from the upper classes. Eventually, they reached an accommodation with the Pharisees, which allowed them to serve as priests in exchange for acceptance of Pharasitical rulings regarding the law. Their sect was centered on the cult of the Temple, and they ceased to exist after its destruction in A.D. 70.
See bibliography under PhariseesPharisees
, one of the two great Jewish religious and political parties of the second commonwealth. Their opponents were the Sadducees, and it appears that the Sadducees gave them their name, perushim, Hebrew for "separatists" or "deviants.
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(in Greek, Saddukaioi; in Hebrew, tsedoqim, from Tzadoq [Zadok], a high priest in the tenth century B.C.), a religious and political current in Judea from the second century B.C. through the first century A.D.; it drew its support from the higher officialdom, rich merchants, and the priestly, landhold-ing, and military aristocracy.
The Sadducees captured the commanding positions in the temple hierarchy and in political life and became the political basis of the Hasmonean dynasty. They sharply diverged from the Pharisees on questions of dogma, rejecting the Oral Law elaborated by the Pharisees and not permitting any deviation from the letter of the Mosaic Written Law. Contrary to the Pharisees’ teaching about a transcendental god, the Sadducees had anthropomorphic conceptions of him and rejected the doctrines of predestination, physical resurrection, and the immortality of the soul. They taught that god did not interfere in human affairs and that man had a free will and could freely choose between good and evil. After the attacks launched by Herod I, the war against Rome of 66–73, and the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, the Sadducees disappeared from the historical scene.
I. D. AMUSIN