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Sadducees, Karaites, and Oral Torah[edit]

Hi. It's really not so clear as to what their position was regarding oral law. It is still up for debate, but then again, even the Karaites did not reject oral law--they rejected a specific oral law. As for life after death, their beliefs are entirely a matter of conjecture. Whatever position we take, there will be someone who rejects it. Danny 20:37 Feb 17, 2003 (UTC)

That's not correct. I am a Karaite. We reject the Oral Law. One may choose to follow it if he/she wishes, as long as it does not contradict the Tanakh and as long as they do not make that tradition on par with Torah. --Yoshiah ap 14:40, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I don't profess to know other than what I found in two Christian reference books written as Bible helps. What I wrote is I hope a fair summary what these books told me about how the Sadducees were presented in the Talmud. What you seem to be saying is that the Talmud may not be accurate as to their beliefs. I got that too, and tried to make it clear in the article that the positions attributed to the Sadducees may not have been what they actually held. If you think you can make it clearer, feel free. ---Ihcoyc

The problem is that both sources--Christian reference books and the Talmud--are writing from the perspective of people who disagreed with the Saduccees and are trying to place them within their own world view. I have a couple of sources at work that I could check tomorrow, but I was actually reading about it a couple of months ago, and it really is pretty murky. Danny 01:43 Feb 18, 2003 (UTC)

The Apocryphal Book of (Ben) Sirach was written by a Saducee--Yoshiah ap 22:00, 17 Jun 2004 (UTC)

They were republicans, and thats no compliment.--Stevert

Yeah, let's go Libertarian and get rid of both evils. --Yoshiah ap 14:40, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)

And what evidence is there that any sect of the Saducees accepted the entirety of the Hebrew Bible? -Drew —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:09, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Feel free to compare with this wiki article

Introductory Edit Dispute[edit]

Yoshia removed this historically documented factual text under the impression that it is POV.

Sadduccees were members of a political sect of Judaism that came into existence from 175BCE after Yehoshua Ben-Shimon II (pop. Jason) bought the right to be high priest from Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Their influence lasted until around the collapse of the second temple in 70CE. They displaced the legitimate Zadokite priesthood and userped their name, but after Yehoshua Ben-Shimon II were not even genealogically qualified to be Highpriests.

Since Karaites are said to descend from Sadducees I can see how this might be difficult to swallow, but I notice that Karaites do not actually claim this link themselves. The fact is that the Zadokites were forced from the temple from 175BCE onwards and those who called themselves sadducees in Jerusalem from that time until the temple was destroyed were in fact just politically powerful pretenders. Caiaphas included.Zestauferov 07:37, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • "They displaced the legitimate Zadokite priesthood and userped their name, but after Yehoshua Ben-Shimon II were not even genealogically qualified to be Highpriests" - that cannot be proven. Do you have any of their geneologies? Can you prove whether, or not, they were part of the lineage of Zadok, or not? Ignoring that issue, some (not all) of the Pharisees were equally "just politically powerful pretenders", and were the ones who betrayed Jerusalem when Rome beseiged it.--Josiah 14:20, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I do not know where the original evidence comes from, but I do know that several experts in the field (e.g. Falk, Maccoby, Chilton) including the Jewish encyclopaedia write about the matter. Pharisees could not have been pretenders because there was no requirement for them to be Kohanim, while real Zadokites had to be. Why should it matter so much to you anyway? I thought that Karaites were descended from a variety of jews who rejected the oral tradition.Zestauferov 23:42, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • I wasn't speaking about the matter of Kohanim, but let's hit the other subjects instead. The Jewish Encylopedia does not say they were not Kohanim geneologically, it mentions that the High Priest was a Sadducee who had been put in place by Rome. Why should it matter to me? For the same reasons it matters to you. Emet.--Josiah 22:58, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

For turth! :-) It is so nice to find people on wiki without an angle, I am sorry for connecting your interest in the article to your religion. Hope you can forgive me for that. Now I was speaking only about the fact that Zadokites had to be Kohanim until 175BCE, then after it became possible to buy the position the original Zadokites left in protest, while the new high-priests who according to the authors I have mentioned believed there was no requirement to be a Kohanim. Isn't this good enough to mention in the article?01:53, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

No problem. There has always been a requirement to be a priest - priestly descent. If they had not had the geneology, no one would have let them perform the rituals. My biggest objection to your edit is that it says that the Saducees were not Priests at all. I'll start a new section to this discussion page, and let's work on showing both views in a NPOV manner.--Josiah 02:25, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Working towards a NPOV intro[edit]

July 13, 2007: I have fixed the one reference to BC and the one reference to AD...This are not very nice things to write in an article concerning Judaism. We accept the terms BCE, and CE, respectively instead, since the terms BC, and AD are specifically references to the Christian Church and the Gregorian Calendar....

Hi Z. Below is my proposal for a new introduction. I've tried to merge both the important parts of your edit, and the existing version. Please tell me what you think.

The sect of the Sadducees - which may have originated as a Political Party - was founded in the second century BCE and ceased to exist sometime after the first century CE. It's rival, the Pharisees, is said to have originated from the same time period, but has survived as Orthodox Judaism.

The name "Sadducees" in Hebrew is "tsedduqim", a name they adopted to indicate that they were descendants of the High Priest Zadok, who anointed Solomon king during the First Temple era. While little or none of their own writings have been preserved til today, they seem to have indeed been a priestly group, associated with the leadership of the Temple in Jerusalem. Some say that they were not truly descendants of the High Priest Tzadok, but rather the followers of another Tzadok who rebelled against his Rabbinical Teacher.

Most of what we know about the Sadducees comes from Josephus, who wrote that they were a quarrelsome group whose followers were wealthy and powerful, and that he considered them boorish in social interactions. We know something of them from discussions in the Talmud, the core work of rabbinic Judaism, which is based on the teachings of Pharisaic Judaism. However, historians find the Talmud's historical statements on many issues to be suspect.

--Josiah 02:37, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • If there are no objections, I'll change the page to match the above, before Shabbat--Josiah 10:37, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Yes it looks good, but since the three authors (experts in their field) seem to have some sources which indicate the Kohanim Zadokites went to the Deadsea sometime after 175BCE and that the High-priests after that date until the end were not all Kohanim as they were supposed to be don't you think that this deserves som mention too?Zestauferov 16:20, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

  • We can't be entirely sure all of whom was at the Qumran Caves. Some say the Essenes were there. Some say the Saducees were there. Some say that the forces of Bar Kokhba were there. Some say all of them were there. Most, if not all of it, is speculation.--Josiah 19:25, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

An important change must be made: "It's rival, the Pharisees, is said to have originated from the same time period, but has survived as rabbinic Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism is characterized by adherence to the rabbinic understanding of the oral law, as understood by Jewish codes of law and the responsa literature. This would include modern day denominations of Judaism such as Hasidic Judaism, Orthodox Judaism and Conservative Judaism. RK

  • I disagree. A link can be made to the Judaism (or Orthodox Judaism) page where a person could learn more about the Orthodox POV. I feel this would be better because the Judaism page would do a better job of explaining these concepts, and because it seems to drift from the main subject (imo). Would that be suitable?--Josiah 19:25, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
This is unclear. With what specifically do you disagree? What about the fact that many descendants of the Pharisees, still living by rabbinic Jewish law, are not Orthodox Jews? RK
I don't think that change needs to be made. Is the Sadducee page the place to be describing Orthodox Judaism? I think linking to the Orthodox Judaism page would do an equal, if not better job.--Josiah 23:39, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Oh, I agree. Maybe I should rephrase. I just don't think we should say that "the Pharisees, is said to have originated from the same time period, but has survived as Orthodox Judaism. This just seems a little too specific. Maybe we could say "but has survived as the later forms of rabbinic Judaism." RK
Sounds good.--Josiah 02:35, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

RK, does that also include Progressive, Reform, Liberal, Humanist, and Reconstructionist Judaism in your opinion?Zestauferov 16:20, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Humanists Jews do not even pretend to be pharisees or to follow rabbinic Judaism. Reform (aka Liberal) Jews themselves state that they no longer accept the oral law and rabbinic Judaism as normative. By that alone, they cannot be pharisees or rabbinic Jews. Similarly, they deny that they should live by halakha. Instead, they make the different claim of being a form of authentic Judaism, yet they don't claim to be pharisees, they don't claim to follow rabbinic Jewish law, they don't claim to adhere to the oral law, etc. No other group in history has ever had this peculiar position. I guess we should leave it up to some sort of official statement by them (if we can find one) on how they would define themselves in this regard. Do you know of any? RK
I've never dealt with anyone who affiliated themselves as a Humanistic Jew, though I've seen some of their sites. Would they, in essense, be Reform Jews who opnely reject all of Judaism?--Josiah 23:44, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
They could be seen this way. Their website states that they do not adhere to any principles of Jewish belief. Rather, they believe:
"Each Jew has the right to create a meaningful Jewish lifestyle free from supernatural authority and imposed tradition. The goal of life is personal dignity and self-esteem. The secular roots of Jewish life are as important as the religious ones. The survival of the Jewish people needs a reconciliation between science, personal autonomy, and Jewish loyalty."
"Freedom from supernatural authority. Theistic religions assert that the ultimate source of wisdom and of the power of the solution to human problems is found outside of people - in a supernatural realm. Humanistic philosophy affirms that knowledge and power come from people and from the nature in which they live....Judaism is an ethnic culture. It did not fall from heaven. It was not invented by a divine spokesperson. It was created by the Jewish people. It was molded by Jewish experience. Holidays are responses to human events. Ceremonies are celebrations of human development."
Society for Humanistic Judaism
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was move. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 07:51, 1 April 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

User:IZAK has posted the following proposal on the Requested moves page:

Sadducee → Sadducees : This article's title is presently in the singular form. It should be changed to the plural to match Pharisees -- its "sister" article on its related topic that is written in the plural form. (Presently, Sadducees is only a redirect page to the main Sadducee article -- but it should be the other way around.)

Voting and discussion[edit]

Please add  * Support  or  * Oppose  followed by a brief explanation, then sign your vote using "~~~~"

  • Support. David Kernow 14:38, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Joe CrookTalk! 13:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Copy naming convention of other Encyclopedias like the Jewish Encyclopedia [2]. Jon513 11:08, 30 March 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

age and name[edit]

Doesn't the name "Zadokite" suggest that the party originates back to a time when the high priests weere Zadokites - that is, prior to the Hasmonean usurpation of the priesthood? john k 06:01, 25 April 2006 (UTC)


I haven't time to work on this now but Meyer Waxman in History of Jewish Literature vol. 1 makes a strong case that Josephus is highly unreliable. Josepus was attempting to parallel the Saducees to the greek epicureans (for propoganda purposes). It's very possible that Saducees did believe in some form of afterlife.Wolf2191 17:44, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

"Many scholars are skeptical of the historicity of this tradition." weaselish which scholars. Was a census done? It can easily be argued that Tzadok made a weak Saduccean sect into a powerful one. (Waxman- though he recants for some reason.) In any event will delete.Wolf2191 17:49, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

If you want to establish that the Sadducees believed in some sort of afterlife, you will need to present some sort of evidence in favor of it.

DSS community "probably" Essenes[edit]

I have removed the "probably" from the article. There is no probably about it. It is a popular position, but the Essenes were excluded from the temple and eschewed bloodline, making any Zadokite connection with the Essenes highly improbable. The fact that there were at least 800 scribal hands responsible for the copies of scrolls found at Qumran suggests that the scrolls were the product of somewhere that could support so many scribes, ie Jerusalem. It is safer not to assume an Essene connection with the DSS community. -- spincontrol 12:59, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Major rewrite of page[edit]

Wow! Someone knew exactly what he or she wanted to do on this page and exactly how to work Wikipedia to sort of game the system, but the person still does not want to identify him or herself. Let's see: person first made major edits from IP address But, the bot saw that an unregistered user was making major changes on a page and simply reverted everything back! So, the user registered first as HBSamuels and redid all the major edits. Then the same user registered again as Katherineblessing and corrected a bunch of formatting errors that were left on the page after the major rewrite. And then, to cap it off, the user still logged in just from a different IP address ( and did 2 more minor corrections (the second of which is still incorrect...). Now, this last correction from this last unidentified/unregistered user also precludes any editor of reverting the edits. So, someone that does not want to identify him or herself just did a major rewrite on this page, and for anyone interested in a due process of change here, the step by step option doesn't even exist any more. All that is left to the average editor is to go an look at each change that was made, one by one, and decide which version is better. The problem is that close to 50 major changes (I am estimating, guessing only here) were done, and going over them one by one is going to be a very long process, that could take a couple of hours at the least. Now, the changes that were made are serious, they are not vandalism. Looks like some scholar on the field studied the page carefully, and had the final product already written even before he or she came in and did the job in the manner described above. So, for me, the option left now is to study carefully all the major changes that were made, and decide if there is anything from the tens of lines of the old article that were obliterated that could still apply to the subject. I intend to do that sometime in the future, time allowing. I just wanted to record here what happened in case there are any admins around looking at it, and who would also have some insights or opinions on due change process in Wikipedia and on the 'system' that was used here today to accomplish a major rewrite of this page in one fell swoop, precluding even the possibility of asking the author to redo his changes step by step. warshytalk 20:31, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

One more note from a little spelling correction I just did to this major rewrite: from the new section of the supposed disputes with the Pharisees, which is written completely from a Talmudic perspective (i.e., a 'Pharisaic' perspective; certainly not from a Sadducee perspective, that would be very difficult to articulate anyhow...), my suspicion is that the objective of this major rewrite that was just accomplished is to ascertain that nothing currently left on the page may contradict the "correctness" of the religious Talmudic ruling on the subject. But with more time I may be able to say more on this... warshytalk 20:47, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

P.D.'s correction[edit]

I think P.D. is correct here. My question, to anyone interested would be:

The problem is that the "Oral Law" is not 'oral' any more, but has also been written down. Not only written down, but for some, who argue that the "Oral Law" had already also been given to Moses on Sinai, but written in stone, as it were. So where do we go from here?

As per reactions to my last comment here, right above, not too many people are checking this spot anyhow. I still am, just in case... :P warshytalk 21:08, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

greek name[edit]

The name is a greek transliteration so shouldn't the greek be in the header as well as the hebrew?. Σαδδουκαῖος --Teacherbrock (talk) 03:18, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

You are probably getting the Greek transliteration from Josephus. But the name itself is Hebrew, not Greek. Fact is you are calling it a transliteration, which is the correct classification here. If you want to include a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name, that should be OK, as long as you do it in a separate note and cite the proper sources correctly in the note. That is what I would recommend, in any case. Regards, warshytalk 12:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)

Clarification of Section 5.2[edit]

Re: As Opposed to the Jesus Movement. This section states that Matthew depicts the Sadducees as a "Brood of Vipers" and cites Matt.3:7. It may be a small point but Matthew is describing a comment of John the Baptist, who does not appear to distinguish between the Sadducees or the Pharisees, calling them both a "Brood of Vipers". - In which case I'm not sure it's completely accurate or necessary to single the Sadducees out as the target of John's venom. Mannanan51 (talk) 05:38, 23 May 2011 (UTC)mannanan51

Also I should add that Matthew 23:33 seems to focus on the Pharisees, not Sadducees. Overall I am under the impression that, although the Essenes and other groups may have called the Sadducees wicked and blamed them for the Judaic wars etc., Jesus was actually more opposed to the Pharisees, and his religious arguments with Sadducees were more benign. This should probably be mentioned to balance out what is said only about Sadducees. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Is this Wikipedia or Conservapedia?[edit]

Moved from User talk:DBigXray: DℬigXray 19:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Why would you otherwise revert a minor edit correcting BC/AD - and occasionally, inconsistently CE(!) - to BCE/CE? -- (talk) 19:07, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

Sadducees and assimilation[edit]

This is a quote from the article: The Rabbis, who are traditionally seen as the descendants of the Pharisees, describe the similarities and differences between the two sects in Mishnah Yadaim. The Mishnah explains that the Sadducees state, “So too, regarding the Holy Scriptures, their impurity is according to (our) love for them. But the books of Homer, which are not beloved, do not defile the hands.”[21]

Please! This is so bad it's actually funny. The Mishna in Yadayim says the exact opposite: Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai, the Pharisee, said this phrase to the Sadducees. I don't have the time or inclination to change this embarrassing mistake. Maybe some noble Wikipedian will do it. (talk) 19:40, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Beliefs' section contradicts itself.[edit]

It says they didn't believe in an afterlife, but then shortly afterward it says they believed in Sheol. This seems like a clear contradiction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:07, 21 March 2017 (UTC)