Who were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Essenes and Zealots?
Cullmann, Jesus and the Revolutionaries (New York: Harper & R. This content 6 M. Smith, "Zealots and Sicarii, Their Origins and Relation," HTR (). Zealots were one of several New Testament period Jewish political movements. Did you know that Jesus personally called one of the zealots to be his disciple . Why did Jesus choose Simon the Zealot to be one of His disciples? three main Jewish groups existed at the time of Christ—the Pharisees, the Sadducees.
Sicarii One particularly extreme group, perhaps a subgroup of the Zealots, was known in Latin as sicarii, meaning "violent men" or "dagger men" sing. Perhaps many Zealots were sicarii simultaneously, and they may be the biryonim of the Talmud that were feared even by the Jewish sages of the Mishnah.
According to historian Hayim Hillel Ben-Sassonthe Sicarii, originally based in Galilee"were fighting for a social revolution, while the Jerusalem Zealots placed less stress on the social aspect" and the Sicarii "never attached themselves to one particular family and never proclaimed any of their leaders king".
Both groups objected to the way the priestly families were running the Temple. Fairchild suggests that Paul the Apostle may have been a Zealot, which might have been the driving force behind his persecution of the Christians see stoning of Saint Stephen before his conversion to Christianityand his incident at Antioch even after his conversion.
While most English translations of the Bible render this Greek word as the adjective "zealous", the word is a noun meaning 'adherent, loyalist, enthusiast; patriot, zealot'. A 'Zealot' with capital Z, however, would suggest a member of the particular Zealots, the group that emerged in Jerusalem ca. AD 6 according to Josephus, see above. In the two cited verses Paul literally declares himself as one who is loyal to God, or an ardent observer of the Law, but the relationship of Paul of Tarsus and Judaism is still debated.
This does not necessarily prove Paul was revealing himself as a Zealot. Green renders it as 'a zealous one'. The Unvarnished New Testament renders Galatians 1: The Sadducees The Sadducees held political power and religious clout as an integral part of temple government.
They claim to have their roots tracing back nearly years from their times to King David. 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. In any event, the name Tzadok could be indicative of their aristocratic status in society in the beginning of their existence due to their close relationship with the monarchy and King Solomon.
It makes sense, then, that priests held important positions as official leaders outside of the Temple. This is when the Sadducees reestablished themselves as a ruling power.
The Gospel of Peter: from Jesus the Zealot to Jesus Christ - Tom Rogers - Eclectica Magazine v7n3
The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem. Their high social status was reinforced by their priestly responsibilities, as mandated in the Torah. The Priests were responsible for performing sacrifices at the Temple, the primary method of worship in Ancient Israel. This also included presiding over sacrifices on the yearly festivals of pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Their religious beliefs and social status were mutually reinforcing, as the Priesthood often represented the highest class in Levitical and Judean society.
It is important to note that the Sadducees and the Levite priests were not completely synonymous. Not all Levites, priests, high priests, and aristocrats were Sadducees; some were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all.
It is widely believed that the Sadducees sought to preserve this priestly line and the authority of the Temple. Politically, the Sadducees oversaw many formal affairs of the state.
Members of the Sadducees: Administered the state domestically Represented the state internationally Participated in the Sanhedrin, and often encountered the Pharisees there. These also came in the form of international tribute from Jews in the Diaspora. Equipped and led the army Regulated relations with the Romans Mediated domestic grievances. According to Josephus, the Sadducees believed that: 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.
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. The Sadducees had a more conservative outlook than the Pharisees and accepted only the written Law of Moses. Many wealthy Jews were Sadducees or sympathized with them. Furthermore, the Sadducees rejected the Oral Law as proposed by the Pharisees.
Rather, they saw the Torah as the sole source of divine authority.
- The Gospel of Peter: from Jesus the Zealot to Jesus Christ
The written law, in its depiction of the priesthood, corroborated the power and enforced the dominant leadership of the Sadducees in Judean society. Basically, the Pharisees represented strict tradition among the aristocratic Jewish elite.The Jesus of History versus the Christ of Faith
While the Sadducees supported the Roman rule representing mainstream Judaism to the Roman and Greek cultures. The Scribes Scribes in Ancient Israel belonged to an elite class of wealthy families.
As such, they were well educated in language and mathematics. Whereas the working class folks had the equivalent of a modern 6th grade education, the Scribes were college level graduates. Scribes were distinguished professionals who copied all types of documents, not just the holy scrolls.
Sometimes they would also exercise higher functions we would associate with lawyers, government ministers, judges, or even bankers. As highly trained, well paid, and respected professionals, they were generally had an over inflated sense of self worth.
As such, they were pompous and frequently displayed in public an arrogant righteousness. The Jewish scribes used the following process for creating copies of the Torah and other books in the Tanakh. They could only use clean animal skins, both to write on, and even to bind manuscripts.
Each column of writing could have no less than forty-eight, and no more than sixty lines.
The ink must be black, and of a special recipe. They must say each word aloud while they were writing. There must be a review within thirty days, and if as many as three pages required corrections, the entire manuscript had to be redone.
The letters, words, and paragraphs had to be counted, and the document became invalid if two letters touched each other.
The middle paragraph, word and letter must correspond to those of the original document. The documents could be stored only in sacred places synagogues, etc. As no document containing God's Word could be destroyed, they were stored, or buried Scribes still exist today. Renowned calligraphers, they produce the Hebrew Torah scrolls and other holy texts by hand to this day.
The Zealots The term "zealot", in Hebrew means one who is zealous on behalf of God. The term derives from Greek zelotes"emulator, fanatic, admirer or follower". 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.