Sadducees

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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.

Bibliography

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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Sadducees

 

(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

References in periodicals archive ?
The most prominent Jewish groups were the Pharisees, Sadduceees (Sadooqis), Essenes, Zealots and Zadokites. Some of the Jews did not believe in the hereafter.
(254) The Zadokites, for instance, derived their prohibition from Leviticus 18:3 and an analogy between men and women.
Whether it was the Zadokite or Damascus Document with its focus on Genesis 1:27 ("[I]n the image of God he created them, male and female he created them." (244)) and 7:9 ("[M]ale and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah." (245)), or the Samaritans' and Karaites' focus on Leviticus 18:18 ("Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living." (246)) the heretical influence might have been the real polygamic spur in the Rabbinic side.
The idea of social conflict between returnees and any other group must be rejected, as must the idea of rivalry between the returning Zadokites and the Levitical priests.
163) argues that large numbers of Levites at the high places outside of Jerusalem, plus the Aaronide priests residing at Bethel, and the great majority of the Abiatharides living in Anathoth would all have been spared and would have officiated at the ruined temple in Jerusalem after the Zadokite priesthood was deported.
He writes, for example, of the "showdown" between the Levite families and the Zadokites (p.
Absent are the Christian Jews of the time, the Gnostic Jews, the Essenes, the Zadokites. All of these movements had a definite relationship to the Bible, but they are not mentioned in the Mishnah as legitimate parties to the debate.
From what we know of the history of those who claimed to be Zadokites, there seem at Herod's accession to power to have been three groupings:
In favour is the lack of appeal to legal tradition, certain halakhic disputes between Pharisees and Sadducees (Zadokites?) in the rabbinic literature; against is a statement about resurrection in 4Q521 (`allowing for the possibility that this text may come from a Pharisaic source which happened to be preserved in the Qumran library...') and the even greater points of agreement between Josephus' account of the Essenes and the Qumran literature.
In a forthcoming publication of other 4Q texts pertaining to the purification rite, I offer evidence that, aside from the controversy surrounding the (one who had bathed, but not waited for sundown), whom the Qumran Zadokites disqualified for sprinkling the water, there was another issue of a polemical nature.
Three specific examples will illustrate this: the elevation of the Zadokites above all other priests is attributed to active interference by the Persians for imperial purposes; the term nasi' (often translated |prince') is understood as the title of the Persian governor of Judah; the borders of the land are identified as the actual borders of the Persian province of Abar-Nahara.
The problems of high-priestly discontinuity begin as early as the split among the Zadokite Oniads in 175 BC, when the high priest Onias III was held captive in Antioch, while in Jerusalem the Hellenistic 'reform' was introduced by his brother Jason who had supplanted him.