Despite their opportunism, this sect would not survive the turbulent times ahead. The second point to be made is that these three groups were similar in many ways. Please check your inbox and confirm your subscription. Scribes still exist today. While such distinctions might seem to point to great disunity among Judaism, it is important to compare these various sects with modern day Christianity. Collected taxes. During the time in which Jesus Christ lived, there were many religious and political factions abounding. The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document. Box 3406, Vista, CA. Perhaps the best-known Essene is John the Baptist, “And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a … The ink must be black, and of a special recipe. While they shared similar religious beliefs, they did not share the taste for the “high life”. They added to it oral tradition that often conflicted with the very Law they claimed to hold so dear. The Essenes are also believed to have been residents of the reclusive Qumran community which produced the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes Examination of Their Distinctive Doctrines. 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. 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. 3:7; 23:15; Luke 11:39; John 9:39-41). The Pharisees (meaning “set apart”). They are mentioned several times in the gospels as being on the receiving end of Jesus’ rebukes (Matt. As such, they were pompous and frequently displayed in public an arrogant righteousness. As no document containing God's Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried. 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. He had little respect for the Sadducees. 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. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone. Around 61 BC Judea, along with all of the Greek Empire was conquered by Rome. 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). 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. Scribes were distinguished professionals who copied all types of documents, not just the holy scrolls. There were four primary sects. Now Pharisees are one sect, Sadducees another, but in fact the third, called Essenes, seems to be the most reverential discipline. 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. Keep in mind Scribes were not a sect, they were a profession. The Essenes. 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 differences between the Pharisees and the Sadducees are known to us through … As of the New Testament period, the Pharisees were the largest of these three groups and had the most power. 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. 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. Due to the emphasis on orthopraxy, it is common for the differences between the groups to pertain more to activity than theology (Scott, 201). Zarah ix. 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. We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously. 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. It is important to note that the Sadducees and the Levite priests were not completely synonymous. Appearing overall as a rather peaceful and pious group when viewed from the outside, in contrast their confrontational actions, public austere and arrogant “better than thou” attitudes and their “behind closed doors” hatred of their perceived enemies spoke volumes concerning the spiritual darkness within their hearts. They also professed belief in immortality and divine punishment for sin. 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. But, unlike the Pharisees, the Essenes denied the resurrection of the body and refused to immerse themselves in public life. 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. I'm a Pastor in North Dakota and created ReasonableTheology.org to help make theology accessible for the everyday Christian. The Jewish scribes used the following process for creating copies of the Torah and other books in the Tanakh. 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. They emerged from the exile as the dominant faction because they (correctly) connected Israel's abandoning of the Law as the reason for the punishment of exile. During their first centuries of existence, the Sadducees and Pharisees were probably not tightly bounded groups. Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in three of his books. 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. Tribute from Jews in the pharisees, sadducees, essenes religious beliefs, they were allowed to form a government of sorts rule... 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