Origin of the Sadducees?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Pastor_Bob, Jan 29, 2005.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    I have heard of two possibilities as to the origin of the Sadducees. One is that “Sadducee” is a derivative from the Hebrew word tsadik, which means "righteous one." Another is that they are named after a famous priest during the reigns of David and Solomon named Zadok, making Sadducee equivalent to Zadokite.

    If anyone has any further information or could confirm one of these two, or perhaps another origin, I would be most interested.
     
  2. Ben W

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    As I am aware, they were a group that was largely politically orientated.

    There are also Jews that were "Zealots" being that they were unable to distinguish between their government and there religion believing both to be one and the same. Maybe "Zealot" and "Zadokite" are connected?
     
  3. Charles Meadows

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    Bob,

    The origin of the name is not known, although many scholars favor derivation from Zadok. Some traditions cite Antigonus of Soko as one of the progenitors of this tradition (as well as that of the similar but less well known Boethusians). During the second temple periods there were different groups within Judaism. The Zadokite party included the temple priests and most of the Jewish leadership, which after the Maccabean revolt had become heavily political and Hellenized. The Pharisees believed in a resurrection (a relatively new theological development in Judaism) while the Sadducees maintained that everyone just goes to Sheol and that's it. There was also and "Enochic" party, likely the Essenes described byt Josephus. They disagreed with the temple establishment, asserting that only at the coming of the Lord would things be rectified (that is that the priesthood was illegitimate). The Qumran community was perhaps an offshoot of the Essene party.

    Rabbinic Judaism of today is largely descended from Pharisaic theology.
     
  4. Grasshopper

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    This is from the book "The Life and Times of Jesus the messiah" by Alfred Edersheim

    The Sadducees originally represented a reaction from the Pharisees-the moderate men, who sympathised with the later tendencies of the Maccabees. Josephus places the origin of these two schools in the time of Jonathan, the successor toJudas Maccabee(160-143BC).

    He also says the Tsadoq(Zadok) comes from a 7th century Jewish legend, and has no support from Josephus or early Jewish writings. Concerning Tsadoq coming from the High Priest in Solomons time he says this:"But the objections to this are insuperable. Not to speak of the linguistic difficulty of deriving Tsadduqum (Zaddukim, Sadducees) from Tsadoq(Zadok), niether Josephus nor the Rabbis know anything of such a connection Tsadoq and the Sadducees ,of which, indeed,the rationale would be dificult to percieve".

    He went on to say," the Sadducees must have given the name to their party, since it cannot be imagined that the Pharasees would have connected their opponents with the honoured name of the High Priest of Tsadoq."

    Finally he says this: "while the pharisees would arrogate to themselves the Scriptual name of Chasidim, or 'the pious', their opponents would retort that they were satisfied to be Tsaddiqim,'or righteous'. Thus the name of Tsaddiqim would become that of the party opposing the Pharisees, that is, the Sadducees..............whether or not this suggestion approve itself to critics, the derivation of Sadducees fromTsaddiqim is certainly that which offers most probability".
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    Also - Sadducees were in charge of Temple worship and ritual, representing most of the priestly class. Much of this was rote ritual with no real interaction and instruction of people. Like going to church week after week and "putting in our time". They would be like the liberal religionists of Judaism.

    Pharisees, trying to make Judaism relevant to the average man, where in the "hinterland", all over Israel, working in synagogues, teaching, studying. They were separatists and ultra-fundamental, lest a false step might set a bad example for those seeing them. They were the fundamentalists of Judaism.

    Herodians were secular Jews of all types that supported Roman rule and would be the big-government-is-good Democrats of Judaism.

    Zealots were secular Jews of all types that were actively opposed Roman rule and hated big government as Republicans of Judaism.
     
  6. Pastor_Bob

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