The Pharisees and Sadducees Essenes!

Pharisees

The Pharisees

The most important of the three were the Pharisees because they are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism (the first monotheistic religion, one God). Their main specific characteristic was a belief in an Oral Law that God gave to Moses at Sinai along with the Torah. The Torah (first five books of the Hebrew Bible), or Written Law (consists of the five books of the Hebrew Bible – known more commonly to non-Jews as the “Old Testament” – that were given by G-d to Moses on Mount Sinai and include within them all of the biblical laws of Judaism. The Torah is also known as the Chumash, Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses), was similar to the U.S. Constitution in the sense that it set down a series of laws that were open to interpretation. The Pharisees believed that God also gave Moses the knowledge of what these laws meant and how they should be applied. This oral tradition was codified and written down roughly three centuries later in what is known as the Talmud, (Rabbi commentaries of the Law nothing more than social media on paper it was a Facebook of their time). The Pharisees also maintained that an after-life existed and that God punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous in the world to come. They also believed in a messiah (Jewish tradition affirms at least five things about the Messiah. He will be a descendant of King David, gain sovereignty over the land of Israel, gather the Jews there from the four corners of the earth, restore them to full observance of Torah law, and, as a grand finale, bring peace to the whole world. Isaiah’s vision of a messianic age in which the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the calf with the young lion (Isaiah 11:6.) The Jewish belief that the Messiah’s reign lies in the future has long distinguished Jews from their Christian neighbors who believe, of course, that the Messiah came two thousand years ago in the person of Jesus. The most basic reason for the Jewish denial of the messianic claims made on Jesus’ behalf is that he did not usher in world peace, as Isaiah had prophesied: “And nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4). In addition, Jesus did not help bring about Jewish political sovereignty for the Jews or protection from their enemies).
Pharisees were in a sense blue-collar Jews who observed the doctrines well-known after the destruction of the Temple; that is, such things as individual prayer and assembly in synagogues.

Christus im Hause des Pharisäers

The Sadducees

The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly class, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism (term generally used by historians to refer to the period from the death of Alexander the Great (323 B.C.E.) to the death of Cleopatra and the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E. Egypt was the last important survivor of the political system which had developed as a consequence both of the victories of Alexander and of his premature death.

The word Hellenism is also used to indicate more generically the cultural tradition of the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire between Augustus and Justinian and/or the influence of Greek civilization on Rome, Carthage, India, and other regions which were never part of the empire of Alexander. Finally, Hellenization is used with reference to Judea, Persia, etc. to indicate the penetration of elements of Greek civilization into territories which, though subject to Greco-Macedonian rule for a certain period of time, preserved their national culture with conspicuous success. The words Hellenism and Hellenistic have a long history in which the text of the Acts of the Apostles 6:1 plays a central part because it opposes Hebraioi to Hellenistai. At least from the 16th century onward (J.

The word Hellenism is also used to indicate more generically the cultural tradition of the Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire between Augustus and Justinian and/or the influence of Greek civilization on Rome, Carthage, India, and other regions which were never part of the empire of Alexander. Finally, Hellenization is used with reference to Judea, Persia, etc. to indicate the penetration of elements of Greek civilization into territories which, though subject to Greco-Macedonian rule for a certain period of time, preserved their national culture with conspicuous success. The words Hellenism and Hellenistic have a long history in which the text of the Acts of the Apostles 6:1 plays a central part because it opposes Hebraioi to Hellenistai. At least from the 16th century onward (J.

At least from the 16th century onward (J. Scaliger), this text was interpreted to imply a contrast between Jews who used Hebrew and Jews who used Greek in the synagogue service. D. Heinsius developed the notion that Jewish Hellenistai used a special Greek dialect (lingua Hellenistic), which is reflected in the Septuagint translation of the Bible. C. Salmasius denied the existence of such a special dialect (1643), but the notion of a special lingua Hellenistic to indicate the Greek of the Old and New Testaments remained in circulation until the middle of the 19th century. In the 18th century in Germany, J.G. Herder used Hellenismus to indicate the way of thinking of Jews and other Orientals who spoke Greek.) Into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law; so, they did not believe in an afterlife, since it is not mentioned in the Torah. The main focus of Sadducee life was rituals associated with the Temple.

phariseesreThe Sadducees disappeared around 70 A.D., after the destruction of the Second Temple. None of the writings of the Sadducees has survived, so the little we know about them comes from their Pharisaic opponents. These two “parties” served in the Great Sanhedrin, a kind of Jewish Supreme Court made up of 71 members whose responsibility was to interpret civil and religious laws. Also, another party was involved in the Great Sanhedrin, Rome (The Great Sanhedrin was the supreme religious body in the Land of Israel during the time of the Holy Temple. There were also smaller religious Sanhedrin in every town in the Land of Israel, as well as a civil political-democratic Sanhedrin. These Sanhedrin existed until the abolishment of the rabbinic patriarchate in about 425 C.E. The earliest record of a Sanhedrin is by Josephus who wrote of a political Sanhedrin assembled by the Romans in 57 B.C.E. Hellenistic sources generally depict the Sanhedrin as a political and judicial council headed by the country’s ruler.

The Great Sanhedrin met daily during the daytime and did not meet on the Sabbath, festivals or festival eves. It was the final authority on Jewish law. The Sanhedrin was led by a president called the Nasi (“prince”) and a vice president called the av bet din (“father of the court”). The other 69 sages sat in a semicircle facing the leaders. The Roman leaders did not include the high priest. No one could argue with the Jews for wanting to throw off Roman rule. Since the Romans had first occupied Israel in 63 B.C.E., their rule had grown more and more difficult. From almost the beginning of the Common Era, Judea was ruled by Roman procurators, whose chief responsibility was to collect and deliver an annual tax to the empire.

Whatever the procurators rose beyond the quota assigned, they could keep. Not surprisingly, they often imposed confiscatory taxes. Equally infuriating to the Judeans, Rome took over the appointment of the High Priest (a turn of events that the ancient Jews appreciated as much as modern Catholics would have appreciated Mussolini appointing the popes). As a result, the High Priests, who represented the Jews before God on their most sacred occasions, came from the ranks of Jews who collaborated with Roman dictates).

The Great Sanhedrin met daily during the daytime and did not meet on the Sabbath, festivals or festival eves. It was the final authority on Jewish law. The Sanhedrin was led by a president called the Nasi (“prince”) and a vice president called the av bet din (“father of the court”). The other 69 sages sat in a semicircle facing the leaders. The Roman leaders did not include the high priest. No one could argue with the Jews for wanting to throw off Roman rule. Since the Romans had first occupied Israel in 63 B.C.E., their rule had grown more and more difficult.

From almost the beginning of the Common Era, Judea was ruled by Roman procurators, whose chief responsibility was to collect and deliver an annual tax to the empire. Whatever the procurators rose beyond the quota assigned, they could keep. Not surprisingly, they often imposed confiscatory taxes. Equally infuriating to the Judeans, Rome took over the appointment of the High Priest (a turn of events that the ancient Jews appreciated as much as modern Catholics would have appreciated Mussolini appointing the popes). As a result, the High Priests, who represented the Jews before God on their most sacred occasions, came from the ranks of Jews who collaborated with Roman dictates).

Essenes

QumranA third faction that is not talked about is the Essenes, emerged out of disgust with the other two. This group believed the others had corrupted the city and the Temple. They moved out of Jerusalem and lived a monastic life in the desert, accepting strict dietary laws and a commitment to celibacy. The Essenes are mainly curious to scholars because they are believed to be an offshoot of the group that lived in Qumran, near the Dead Sea and in my research, they are exactly the same sect. In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd stumbled into a cave containing various ancient artifacts and jars containing manuscripts describing the beliefs of the group and events of the time. The most important documents, often only parchment fragments that had to be meticulously restored, were the earliest known copies of the Old Testament. The similarity of the substance of the material found in the scrolls to that in the modern scriptures has confirmed the authenticity of the Bible used today. was found intact as other books of the Prophets were found in jars. Some books are still being held by the Rockefeller Foundation in Jerusalem to this day.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were released but not in its entirety. Two different types of exegesis exist. The first is called Rational and the second is called Revealed. The revealed type states that God’s Spirit is the inspiration behind the writers of the Bible. The words within the pages of Scripture are written under God’s divine inspiration and they convey his perfect will for mankind. Rational states the authors of the books of the Bible were using their own creative minds (without any influence from God) to compose their writings.

Taken together, the two types of Exegesis state that some can study God’s word believing he himself was the inspiration behind it while others study the Scriptures from the point of view that it is just a mere collection of made up stories, myths, tall tales, etc. Because prophecy was not brought at any time by human will, but the holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2Peter 1:21) The Bible clearly states its writers were inspired and even eyewitnesses to what they wrote. Rather than being a collection of fanciful fables or stories created out of the will of man, the Bible teaches its words came from God to holy men and women through the power of the Holy Spirit. Based on this site’s belief of letting God’s word interpret itself, it endorses the study of the Scripture using the Exegesis approach.

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