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Jewish Religious Sects Of The First Century

607 words - 3 pages

The Sadducees were one of the many distinct groups making up the Jewish faith during the first century. Their name is derived from the Greek and Hebrew languages and means the “righteous ones.” This may have been in direct relation to their belief that they were the descendants of Zadok, who was once a high priest during the reigns of King David and King Solomon and the revelation of the prophet Ezekiel advising that only those who were the “sons of Zadok” could approach God and the most do so only in the Temple. Typically wealthy aristocrats, they had supreme control over the priesthood, the Temple and how their followers viewed religion. The Torah and its strict literal interpretation were the central focus of this group as they rejected all other written and oral laws that tried to clarify, question or add to this sacred written work. They shared a special bond with the Roman forces controlling the area and benefited from this alliance allowing the Sadducees to exert their influence over political concerns for the region. They believed that Roman control protected the political security of Judea and that Jewish rebellion against Rome would destroy their nation. They viewed Jesus as a rebel and were happy to condemn him to maintain their necessary relationship with the Romans. This group within the Jewish religion disappeared shortly after the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70CE.

The Pharisees became the most important group in the Jewish religion after the destruction of the Temple. They are largely viewed as responsible for providing the foundation of present day Judaism. They became known for their progressive interpretation of the scriptures, their incorporation of it in day to day life, their flexability in adapting biblical principles to accommodate changing circumstances, and their ability to successfully reinvent the Jewish...

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