New Testament

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Pharisees

  • Political Party, Social Movement and School which dominated second temple era
  • The word Pharisee means "set apart"
  • Belief in the Torah (divine law of Moses) and the Talmud (oral law)
  • Written in mishnah
  • Strict observers of the law, Josephus "Most accurate interpreters of the law
  • Most were lawyers or scribes, P. Barrett "theological and moral watchdogs"
  • Believed in righteousness came from salvation by works not grace
  • Keen on keeping Judaism pure , disagreed with the concept of a priest king (can't proclaim)
  • New line of the Hasmoneans weren't from the priest family of the zadokites (throne not pure)
  • King can't hold 2 positions, Torah says they can't control power and money (Jesus agreed)
  • Marriage led to Romans controlling the country
  • Belief in the soul, spirit world, after life and soul predestination
  • belief in future rewards or punishments depending on the work they done
  • Belief of the after life and the resurrection of the body, life after death, immortality
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Sadducee's

  • Third biggest sect between 150BCE to 70CE
  • Little is written about them as there own writings had not survived although Josephus and written about them
  • Had conflicts with the Pharisees, Vehemently opposed them
  • Made up of wealthy Jews and wealthy Jews who were not part of the group sympathized for them (because they understood their views on politics and religious rulings)
  • Had a conservative outlook and only looked at the written law of Moses, no belief in the Talmud which was considered blasphemous, angered Pharisees
  • Followed their own laws and written it on the Book of Decrees
  • Denied bodily resurrection as well as spirit world, meaning they didn't believe in life after death (denied absolute predestination with man's free will resulting on one's own consequences
  • God isn't concerned with human action and Josephus said they believed in the here and now
  • Heavy influence on second temple and also the Torah
  • Described as wild and barbarous by Josephus (because of opposition by pharisees)
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Sadducee's 2

  • Punishments from the Sanhedrin as well
  • "people who did not stand in mainstream Jewish orthodoxy)
  • Jesus cleansing of the temple gave them his views on them
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Essenes

  • Religious group that flourished during 2nd century BCE
  • Scholars claim that they had succeeded from the Zadokites
  • Essenes lived in various cities but congregated in communal life and had been associated with:
    • Asceticism
    • Voluntary Poverty
    • Abistenece from worldly pleasures including marriages and daily baptisms
  • Josephus had described the essenes as living in large numbers and thousands lived throughout Judea
  • Believed that they were the last of the teachers of righteousness, aaronic high priests, and High Guard Messiah, similar to the prophet, Priest and King expectations of the Pharisees
  • Gained fame from dead sea scrolls
  • copies included untouched Hebrew bibles
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