Pharisees Sadducees Zealots And Essenes Theology Religion

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We must first expression at the history of Israel to happen the outgrowth of the chief spiritual religious orders. Israel was transgressing against God, non following the Torahs of Moses, intermarrying with other states, and idolizing other Gods. God sent Prophetss to talk to the Hebrewss to convey them back to him, but if they would non listen. The Prophetss would frequently prophesize events that would come because of the noncompliance, but besides Restoration besides. The events that lead to this split within the Judaic civilization happened around the exile and expatriate of an unknown figure of Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar II, get downing with the first exile in 597 BCE ( Coogan, 1999, pg 350 ) and go oning after the autumn of Jerusalem and devastation of the Temple in 587 BCE ( Jer 52,12-13 ) . Fast forward to 539 BC, the Persians had captured Babylon ; and Cyrus the great had allowed the Israelites to return back to Israel. Ezra 1:1-2: In the first twelvemonth of Cyrus male monarch of Persia, in order to carry through the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the bosom of Cyrus male monarch of Persia to do a announcement throughout his kingdom and besides to set it in authorship: “ This is what Cyrus male monarch of Persia says: “ ‘The LORD, the God of Eden, has given me all the lands of the Earth and he has appointed me to construct a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may travel up to Jerusalem in Judah and construct the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any vicinity where subsisters may now be populating, the people are to supply them with Ag and gold, with goods and farm animal, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem. “ It was during these times that it is believed the two chief religious orders ; the Pharisees and Sadducees emerged. W. D. Morrison puts it: “ Long before the names Pharisee and Sadducee appear in the pages of history the divergent inclinations which these two parties represented were in being within the Jewish community. It has, in fact, been contended that the foundation of their differences goes back into pre-exilian times, and that the priests and Prophetss of the old Israelitish monarchy are the true precursors of the Sadducees and Pharisees. But the complete transmutation which Judaic society underwent after the return from Babylon ” ( W Morrison, 2007, pg 13 ) . Although it was non until the Maccabean period that these two groups decently emerged as outstanding groups within the Judaic civilization


The name Pharisee in its Hebrew signifier means separationists, or the detached 1s, The Pharisees were ‘common ‘ people, which consisted of laypersons and Scribes. Harmonizing to Maayan Jaffe “ The Pharisees offered replies for how to populate in a post-Temple universe and for how to prosecute with the sacred in their day-to-day lives. Likewise, the Pharisees had a committedness to scholarly argument. Their responses and their disposition for statement for the interest of Torah would finally represent Rabbinic Judaism. ( The rabbis of the Amoraic period, for illustration, completed framing the Jerusalem Talmud circa 400 C.E. and the Babylonia one circa 500 C.E. ) ” ( Jaffe pg 14, 2008 ) ” . While Encyclopedia Britannica gives the reader farther information on the beliefs of the Pharisees “ The Pharisees, on the other manus, believed that the Law that God gave to Moses was twofold, dwelling of the Written Law and the Oral Law, i.e. the instructions of the Prophetss and the unwritten traditions of the Judaic people ” ( Encyclopedia Britannica online ) . The Basic function of The Pharisees was to maintain the jurisprudence. “ The Pharisees were really avid for the Law of Moses, but they besides considered themselves the defenders of the unwritten traditions that bookmans developed over coevalss. The unwritten traditions interpreted the Law of Moses. For illustration, the Law said to maintain the Sabbath. They were non to work on God ‘s holy twenty-four hours. Yet, what was work and what was non? The unwritten traditions filled in the inside informations that Moses left out. For case, how far could a individual walk on the Sabbath without it being work? The translators decided that the distance was 2000 cubits which is about 2/3 of a stat mi. This was known as a Sabbath ‘s twenty-four hours journey. Where did they acquire that figure? When the Hebrews carried the Ark of the Covenant in the wilderness, God commanded them to walk 2000 cubits behind the Ark. They decided that was God ‘s manner of stating them how far one could walk on the Sabbath ”

( Doug Reed, pg 1, 2011 ) The Pharisees besides maintained that an hereafter existed and that God punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous in the universe to come. They besides believed in a christ who would announce an epoch of universe peace.


The Sadducees, by contrast, were the main priests and people of the highest societal and wealth category of the clip, who were installed by the Roman authorities, chiefly for the intent of ‘keeping the peace ‘ between Rome and the Jews. They were frequently affluent and portion of the governing category in Jesus ‘ twenty-four hours. Many of them comprised the priesthood, but unlike the Levites, were non from the hereditary line of priests ( royal priesthood, descendants of Aaron ) that controlled the temple in Jerusalem. “ They merely recognized the Torah as the divine word of God. They acknowledged neither the Prophetss nor the unwritten traditions that came after the first five books of the Bible. Consequently, they did non believe in the Resurrection or any life after decease. They were frequently at odds with the Pharisees over this affair. ” ( Doug Reed, pg 1, 2011 )


The Essenes were a subdivision of Pharisees who emphasized a communal life and ritual pureness, including full-body submergence for religious cleaning. Possibly the best-known Essene is John the Baptist, “ And so John the BaptistA appeared in the wilderness, prophesying a baptism of repentanceA for the forgiveness of sins.A The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their wickednesss, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.A John wore dressing made of camel ‘s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, A and he ate locustsA and wild honey ” ( Mark 1:4-6 ) . Harmonizing to the Judaic Dictionary: “ A subdivision of the Pharisees who conformed to the most stiff regulations of Levitical pureness while draw a bead oning to the highest grade of sanctity. They lived entirely by the work of their custodies and in a province of communism, devoted their clip to analyze and devotedness and to the pattern of benevolence, and refrained every bit far as executable from connubial intercourse and animal pleasances, in order to be initiated into the highest enigmas of Eden and do the expected Messianic clip to come ” ( Judaic Encyclopedia pg 19-20, 1906 ) , it goes on to state: “ that ten thousand of them had been initiated by Moses into the enigmas of the religious order, which, dwelling of work forces of advanced old ages holding neither married womans nor kids, practised the virtuousnesss of love and sanctity and inhabited many metropoliss and small towns of Judea, populating in communism as tillers of the dirt or as mechanics harmonizing to common regulations of simpleness and abstention. In another transition he speaks of merely four 1000 Essenes, who lived as husbandmans and craftsmans apart from the metropoliss and in a perfect province of communism, and who condemned bondage, avoided forfeit, abstained from cursing, endeavor for sanctity, and were peculiarly scrupulous sing the Sabbath, which twenty-four hours was devoted to the reading and allegorical reading of the Law. ”


The Zealots were yet another outgrowth of the Pharisees. The Zealots believed that they could convey the beginning of the Messianic epoch ( which included an terminal to foreign domination of Judea ) by get downing a rebellion against Rome. The lexicon besides refers to Zealots as “ a member of a extremist, warlike, ardently loyal group of Jews in Judea, peculiarly outstanding from a.d. 69 to 81, recommending the violent overthrow of Roman regulation and smartly defying the attempts of the Romans and their protagonists to heathenize the Jews. ” ( 2008 )

The Oxford History of the Biblical World, erectile dysfunction. by Michael D Coogan. Pub. by Oxford University Press, 1999. pg 350

Hebrews under Roman RulebyW. D. Morrison pg 13 2007 was launched in 1995, under the name of Lexico Publishing, LLC and was acquired by IAC in 2008. Today, it is the most-visited, most trusted, on-line lexicon.

A 1906 Judaic Encyclopedia pg 19-20

Jaffe, Maayan.A Baltimore Jewish TimesHYPERLINK “ hypertext transfer protocol: // $ 23Jan+4, +2008 $ 3b++Vol.+300+ $ 281 $ 29/300/1? accountid=44543 ” 300.A 1A ( Jan 4, 2008 ) : 14.

Encyclop?dia BritannicaA A

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As of 2008, 4,411 named subscribers


Scotland ( 1768-1900 )

United States ( 1901-present )



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Encyclop?dia Britannica, Inc.

Official site

Publication day of the month

1768-2010 ( printed version )

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As of 2010, 32 volumes ( hardbound )


ISBN 1-59339-292-3

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AE5.E363 2007

Thorncrownjournal Doug Reed 2011

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