They also scorned what they felt was the spiritually empty and overly ‘comfortable’ life of the Pharisees. 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. Claiming first hand knowledge, … The Esseneswere a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. The most famous Zealot we know of from scripture is the disciple of Jesus known as Simon Zelotes, or Simon the Zealot. Thanks! 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. 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. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. 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. Jesus Christ is believed by many notable historians and biblical scholars to have leanings toward being a non-violent type of zealot. He had great respect for the Essenes with whom he lived for three years; but he joined the Pharisees. Participated in the Sanhedrin, and often encountered the Pharisees there. As highly trained, well paid, and respected professionals, they were generally had an over inflated sense of self worth. Though one may at first be struck at the apparent disunity that is suggested by the Jewish faith having such distinct sects, it is important to remember two things: First, these different “schools of thought” as Josephus called them were not very large. They must say each word aloud while they were writing. Therefore there was no interaction to record between them and Christ or his disciples. As such, they were the smallest among the sects. 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. In. 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). 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. Whereas the working class folks had the equivalent of a modern 6th grade education, the Scribes were college level graduates. It’s all about presenting sound doctrine in plain language. relationship to Jesus, the Law and sin. The Essenes were a Jewish sect that flourished from about 200 BC to 100 AD which some scholars claim seceded from the Sadducees. The second point to be made is that these three groups were similar in many ways. Please check your inbox and confirm your subscription. During the time in which Jesus Christ lived, there were many religious and political factions abounding. As such, they were well educated in language and mathematics. The Law is good but it … 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. Therefore, although they were comprised of religious extremists, they were a highly educated, well spoken and widely respected group among main stream Jewish culture. Not all Levites, priests, high priests, and aristocrats were Sadducees; some were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all. This is when the Sadducees reestablished themselves as a ruling power. They also did not remain static throughout antiquity . The written law, in its depiction of the priesthood, corroborated the power and enforced the dominant leadership of the Sadducees in Judean society. They must wipe the pen and wash their entire bodies before writing the most Holy Name of God, YHVH every time they wrote it. Claiming first hand knowledge, he lists the Essenes as one of the three sects of Jewish philosophy alongside the Pharisees and 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. The Essenes were a branch of Pharisees who emphasized a communal life and ritual purity, including full-body immersion for spiritual cleansing. Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. Scribes in Ancient Israel belonged to an elite class of wealthy families. They were strictly monotheistic, focused on their covenant relationship with God, and were adamant about properly following God’s law. Transcript. Jesus was not A Pharisee. The main difference between the Pharisees and the Sadducees was their differing opinions on the supernatural aspects of religion. Rather, they saw the Torah as the sole source of divine authority. 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. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It’s interesting to note that the Essenes are not mentioned in the Bible. The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem. Pharisees were keepers of the Law and held the entire (what we would call) Hebrew Bible as the word of YHWH. Josephus records that the Essenes numbered about 4,000. 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). After Solomon's building of The First Temple in Jerusalem, Zadok was the first High Priest to serve there. We don't share your email address with anyone, and you can unsubscribe any time. Perhaps the best-known Essene is John the Baptist, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a … 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. Around 61 BC Judea, along with all of the Greek Empire was conquered by Rome. The Sadducees were tightly integrated with the institutions of Judaism, especially the Temple. 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 … 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. Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription. 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. 25, 38; … Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. There were four primary sects. ReasonableTheology.org exists to help the everyday Christian study theology every day. Learn term:sects judaism = pharisees, sadducees, essenes, zealots with free interactive flashcards. 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. Unlike the Pharisees they were few in number and rejected the notion of having to follow the oral law. Furthermore, the Sadducees rejected the Oral Law as proposed by the Pharisees. The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other. 15; Luke ii. 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. 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. Sadducees would then roughly mean, “The righteous ones of Tzadok”. They interpreted the Law with a strict literalism that often caused them to violate the very spirit of it. Email: [email protected] (dot) org Of the three "sects" that Josephus lists, Pharisees, Essenes, and Sadducees,1 the Pharisees appealed to him the most. They were like a religious social club of their time. Address: God's Word First, P.O. Box 3406, Vista, CA. Essenes. When the Temple and Jewish state were destroyed in A.D. 70, the Sadducees went away as well. 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. They are also the group associated with instigating His arrest, trial, and crucifixion. Learn history on who the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and Zealots were during Jesus' times and how they fit into the religious political landscape. This is largely due to how each group dealt with those in power, which will be discussed later. 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. Sign up for our newsletter plus get 50 free theology eBooks in our digital library! Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes by Robert R. Cargill. The Pharisees’ theology, accepting the entire Old Testament including eschatology, is much more in line with the whole Bible than the Sadducees’ or the Essenes’ theology. 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. The Levites were set apart by God and sanctified for His service in the Temple. The Pharisees and Sadducees made up the Sanhedrin, a council of seventy men who made all the decisions for the Jews. --- Josephus, Jewish War 2.119: 63. 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. 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. A branch of the Pharisees who conformed to the most rigid rules of Levitical purity while aspiring to the highest degree of holiness. Now Pharisees are one sect, Sadducees another, but in fact the third, called Essenes, seems to be the most reverential discipline. Many wealthy Jews were Sadducees or sympathized with them. The original or “first” temple was destroyed in the carrying away to Babylon around 586 BC. They also professed belief in immortality and divine punishment for sin. Scribes still exist today. Renowned calligraphers, they produce the Hebrew Torah scrolls and other holy texts by hand to this day. 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. The Zealot sect traces its roots back to the Maccabean revolt about 150 BC, about the same time the Pharisees began. The Essenes were a subdivision of Pharisees who emphasized a communal life and ritual pureness, including full-body submergence for religious cleaning. Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines. 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. 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. 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. The Zealots were a little more “grass roots” born of working class people while the Sadducees were more upper class of wealth and aristocracy. 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. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document. 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. They were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes and the Zealots. � 2010 God's Word First International Biblical Research & Teaching Ministry and Daniel D. Sweet. 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. 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. 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