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Among the reasons that this topic may be considered controversial is that some of its factual basis comes from religious texts. Specific reasons for controversy have to do with the death of Jesus, and whether this institutional body was truly in a postion to stop it, or if it was directly responsible. The casual editor should be warned that posits made in this article, innocently stated, may fuel a sensitive debate.

Sanhedrin removed from Wikipedia:Good articles[edit]

Sanhedrin (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) was formerly listed as a good article, but was removed from the listing because {{{1}}} There are some major inaccuracies in this article, no matter what scholarly position one holds on controversial issues.


Almost the entire section pertaining to The Sandhedrin and Christianity was removed. Why is this even here when this is suppose to be about the Sandhedrin? Maybe a note and link should have been added instead,but I was quite appalled to come here to learn about the sandhedrin and find myself instead confronted by christian views about a person who has not even been proven to have existed. Obiviously the author had little interest in actually researching or giving accurate information regarding the supreme council and instead was biased in trying to link this to a possibly fictional event. The title of this article is Sanhedrin and should remained impartial and focused on the subject. Not wander all over the place, being mostly vague until the authors own personal views come into play. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kwitsunaih (talkcontribs) 11:42, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

the entire section on early christianity and the gospels is irrelevent in a disscusion about sanhedrin and should be moved to another article!!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm puzzled by the claim that most scholars think the Gospels were not written in Jesus' lifetime. Can anyone name some scholars who think that they were? (talk) 09:38, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


An important binary in the New Testament is the opposition between law and love. Also the New Testament portrays the Sanhedrin as a corrupt group of Pharisees, despite that it was predominantly Sadducees at the time. Accordingly, the New Testament presents the Pharisees as obsessed with man-made rules (especially concerning purity) whereas Jesus is more concerned with God’s love; the Pharisees scorn sinners whereas Jesus seeks them out. Because of the New Testament's frequent depictions of Pharisees as self-righteous rule-followers, and because most scholars agree that the gospels place the blame for Jesus' crucifixion on a large faction of Pharisees, the word "pharisee" (and its derivatives: "pharisaical", etc.) has come into semi-common usage in English to describe a hypocritical and arrogant person who places the letter of the law above its spirit. Jews today, who ascribe to Pharisaic Judaism, typically find this insulting if not anti-Semitic.

--metta, The Sunborn 06:48, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Put a line back[edit]

The line "the New Testament portrays the Sanhedrin as a corrupt group of Pharisees, despite that it was predominantly Sadducees at the time." still speaks to the topic, introduces the two groups. I put it back in where it would tie two concepts together.

--Jndrline 30 June 2005 00:11 (UTC)

POV alert[edit]

Surely the following is highly POV: However, the Gospels and the acts of the Apostles are actual, personal, accounts of events that happened well before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, and are presumed to have been based on earlier sources. Though scholars may dispute their bias, they are not works of fiction. It is by no means undisputed that the gospels are "not works of fiction" (c.f. Historicity of Jesus for both sides of the argument). As such I have removed the passage. Dewrad 15:36, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)

This was actually something I edited so that it wouldn't be based on POV, when I separated the religious accounts from the scholarly accounts. (Prior, both were mixed together, and very confusing to read.) It seems that people have edited the statement so that it actually reads differently.
I think the objection isn't with the statement as a whole, but with a misunderstanding of "they are not works of fiction." I meant to say that they exist today, and that someone wrote them. I don't remember my orignal phrasing, but "actual,personal" was also pointing to the same. They are really accounts, and they were written by people — regardless of their content.
Under this assumption I have put it back and rephrased:
However, the Gospels exist, and do account the events that happened well before the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, and there is no dispute that they were penned after the Temple was destroyed. But, scholars believe them to have been based on earlier sources, rather than giving a first-person account; though the Gospels are not entirely dismissed, they are presumed to be biased rather than factual.
Personally, I think they're all fiction, but I didn't think staying objective would've been as hard as it has; thanks for calling it to attention.

There's plenty of dispute that they were all written after AD 70. Mark may date from the late 60s, and some scholars have argued for an earlier date for John. The notion that they are pure fiction is a minority one, for the good reason that there are plenty of things in the Gospels that the Christians would not have invented, and plenty of things missing that they *would* have invented, had they just been making it all up. (talk) 09:40, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

>Personally, I think they're all fiction> You are patently wrong. The name of roman governor Pontius Pilate is absolutely not mentioned in any other source but the Bible. It was so stated he must have been an invented personality and thus the New Testament is a work of fiction. However, a few years ago a very minor sidewalk was found during archeological excavations in Jerusalem and one of its stones bore the inscription that it was built by the order and at the expense of governor Pontius Pilate. This single evidence alone shows that the New Testament contains genuine non-fiction information.
Apparently Pilate was in office for no more than 2.5 years maximum and so left little lasting effect except the execution of Jesus. 12:28, 7 December 2005 (UTC)
--Jndrline 30 June 2005 00:11 (UTC)

The paragraphs about the Sanhedrin in the Gospels and opposition to the Gospel accounts contain too many qualifications for easy reading. The controversy need not bee suppressed, but the passage needs to be edited for greater ease of reading. The Gospel case ought to be stated in the first paragraph and the opposition to the Gospel case stated in the second. I hope that those who favour the former might allow the latter to be stated clearly without interpolating the Gospel case ("However ... ") between every sentence. Marshall46 (talk) 13:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Modern Sanhedrin[edit]

To the writer that stated Pontius Pilate has not been identified in any source other than the Bible please not: Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (c.A.D. 55-120), a Roman historian and pagan wrote concerning Jesus "...who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also" (Annals XV, 44). This provides secular confirmation of not only Pontius Pilate but also Tiberius and the death of Christ at the hands of Pilate.

The authority of this body is not recognized by the Israeli government or by non-traditional streams of Judaism. This language, which originally read "non-hareidi streams of Judaism", is misleading. What is "traditional"? Are the Modern Orthodox, Yeshiva University-types "traditional"? As far as I am aware they have not recognized the authority of the modern Sanhedrin. In the US there is a growing "Traditional" movement, that certainly has not recognized them. Who are the members of this Sanhedrin? Does anyone have a list? I'll accept that "non-haredi" may be inaccurate to the extent that some members are not hareidim per se, but this language is not acceptable either. --Briangotts 15:59, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)


This was removed from the article because it didn't have anything to do with the actual sanhedrin:

(perhaps it could be compared to the reaction of the Chinese government to Falun Gong). seems to me POV and beside the point. I'm deleting it. --Ori.livneh 17:14, 4 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Sorry. Thanks.  

—  <TALKJNDRLINETALK>     23:30, 24 August 2005 (UTC)

Not guilty of treason[edit]

The Gospels don't say Jesus was found guilty by the Romans of treason. This section is obviously a kind of online battleground over points of faith, and so wording is touchy but should not be inaccurate.

--josephconklin 13 August 2005

The original did not simply say that he was guilty of treason. It said "Whereas the Sanhedrin was a legitimate body representing an existing religion, sanctioned under Roman law, starting a new religion was seen by the Romans as a treasonous means to overthrow their leadership." Dwrad felt that this was me lying: "starting a new religion was not seen by Romans as treason." Since I no longer have my source, I let it be. When you came to it, the sentance had become disjointed from its explanation.
I agree with you wholeheartedly that this article is prone to POV. It brings up the touchy (esp for me) subject of whether Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus.

— <TALKJNDRLINETALK>     00:13, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
It's also touchy for me, but I believe truth should be the standard. Jesus made claims that were considered blasphemous by Jewish religious leaders. He made it clear several times that being crucified fulfilled His mission. If it was the Jewish authorities who instigated it, then that's just the facts. Got to go with the facts. Regardless of quibbling, the Gospels are the closest to witness we have of these events, and they say it was the Sanhedrin that instigated the crucifixion. Barring irrefutable evidence to the contrary, I see no reason not to go with the Gospel accounts.

josephconklin 8 September 2005

Indiscrimate POV[edit]

The recent edit that the portrayal of the Sanhedrin in the Gospels is not "generally" taken as historical fact, versus "universally," reflects extreme POV on the part of the editor. Any dispute with the Gospel accounts is not "generally" accepted at all. We can go back and forth on this, but the fact is that the Gospels are generally viewed as historical by those reading them, but not universally.

josephconklin 8 September 2005

I think "extreme pov" is a bit of an overreaction. The diction of universally versus generally is really meaningless. These reversions are pointless. freestylefrappe 23:58, September 9, 2005 (UTC)
The "diction" is definitely not meaningless. "The portrayal is not generally taken as historical fact" implies that there is a majority opinion against it. "The portrayal is not universally taken as historical fact" implies simply that there is a dispute. josephconklin September 11, 2005

Armageddonic bullshit in the article![edit]

>XY saw it as good news >Believing that the Sanhedrin would be responsible for the rebuilding of the Temple

Which of course would mean WWIII, since the same location is now occupied by the building of the golden-roof mosque, the third holiest place in Islam. There are 900 million muslims and the judeo-christians are already in a global war with them.

A religious fanatic's wet dream of seeing mankind massacre each other entirely so that King of Hell can return does not belong to Wikipedia. Please erase the offending sentence.

If that is what this organisation believes it would amount to censorship to remove this. It's not the words that cause World Wars but the people who believe them. JFW | T@lk 22:33, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Comments on the article[edit]

1. Why is the etymology given not once, but twice in the intro?? The first time it says "probably"; the second time seems a little more certain, but is still slightly different interpretaton of the Greek. Oughtn't these be merged better?

2. About the section entitled, "Opposition to Christian historical accounts"... (Uh,...)

I read the following: "Furthermore, it was only after 70 that Phariseeism emerged as the dominant form of Judaism." But, isn't that statement proven false by the Dead Sea Scrolls, that are agreed by all to be rather older than that, and don't the Scrolls describe the Pharisees as the dominant party already (and isn't that mainly the reason why the "Essene party" had to hide out in caves anyway?) Could someone with more expertise weigh in on this? Regards, ፈቃደ 00:56, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

The definition is given twice because the etymology is usually given right after the first use of the term. To give the whole etymology in the first line would clutter the intro. JFW | T@lk 08:34, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
You are right in regards to the fact that the Pharisees were already powerful among the Israelites. They emerged out of the Babylonian Exile as Rabbi's, etc. Unlike it was with the priesthood, one did not have to be a Levite to be a Pharisee, as the Apostle Paul demonstrated in his writing (1 Corinthians). However, that is really not the reason the Essenes were in the desert. They believed that they were the rightful priesthood - true descendants of Zadok and were awaiting the day when the temple would be purified, along with Jerusalem and the land of Israel in general. That was the main reason for their own ascetic practices: to remain ritually clean. Eltinwë 20:43, 31 January 2006 (UTC)


"Specifically the writings of Luke and the Apostle Paul have been established as published in the 40's and 50's CE. Therefore, it is quite possible that these early Christian writings are accurate contemporary accounts of the Sanhedrin and could reflect the socio-political dynamics which surrounded this institution in Judean society."

Huh????? "Established"????? "Published"????? Since when?????

Since 1 Thessalonians is widely recognized as Paul's first work, and is widely recognized as having been written in about 51 AD, how does this article get away with pushing a date of "40s." Furthermore, Luke's Gospel is dated by the vast, vast, overwhelming majority of scholars to the mid-80s. The generally accepted dates for the writings of the New Testament are Mark 65-75 (much controversy, of course, as to whether or not pre- or post-70); Luke and Acts (volumes 1 and 2 of a single, complete work) roughly 85; Matthew anywhere from 75 to 90, depending on whom one reads; John 90-100; Paul's letters 51-67 (I won't go into individual letters and dates here). If there were pre-existent written Christian documents, such as the speculated "Q" or "Aramaic Matthew," their date and contents are mostly conjecture.

Let me say: this does not make the Gospel accounts useless as clues to 1st Century Sanhedrin practice. That's a whole interesting other argument. But whatever one's position on that, let's not take the rather wild, fringe opinions of a couple of scholars (with agendas) and call them "established." Amherst5282 04:09, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

And we can honestly say YOU don't have an agenda? Frankly, I think the uncharacteristically Jewish nature of the Gospel of Matthew certainly provides evidence for an early dating. Also, if the Gospels were written AFTER 70 A.D., would they not have mentioned the Fall of the Temple considereding THREE of the FOUR Gospel writers were Hebrews? Not only that, Jesus' own predictions concerning the Temple's fall would make any human writer put it in there for the sake of proving the point. The Gospels don't do that but the history speaks for itself. Even Bruce Metzger, liberal that he is, argues that the Scriptures are historically early.

Rabbi Richman[edit]

Could someone knowledable about this subject stop by God's Learning Channel and see if the language introducing Rabbi Chaim Richman is accurate and NPOV (and fix it if it isn't). Thanks. -- Finlay McWalter | Talk 23:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


How are the details of Jesus' trial sensitive? Are there really people getting violent somewhere over this kind of trivial detail?

Liastnir 00:24, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

  • In response to this question, and because I haven't been to this page in a while and have seen some pretty bad edits, and many revertings . . . I have added the Template:Controversial to the Talk page, and an explanation that should warn the newbie to be aware.


Not a medication[edit]

O.k., for the last time, "Sanhedrin" is NOT a headache medicine. 13:11, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

It's not? Oh man, what're these meds I've been taking? Lol j/k I guess people are confusing it with hedrin, a cure for lice, ephedrin, a botanical drug, or most likely sudafedrin cold medicine, and so on. Some people are just stupid, I doubt it needed a talk comment but oh well. SF2K1

It isn't a real headache medicine, but it is a fake headache medicine in a skit from The Kentucky Fried Movie. Maybe that could be included in the disambiguation page to clear up any confusion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


Users seem to be reverted BCE/CE back to BC/AD. While I support BC/AD myself, as a courtesy to the Jewish people (of whom I have a deep respect), I have put them back and ask any users to cease these pointless edits. -DavidK 22:18, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Nice info[edit]

See [1] it should be nice to get the quote of the Muslims.. etc. if anyone has time.... 23:19, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

July Edit War[edit]

Moved to Talk:Modern_attempts_to_revive_the_Sanhedrin/Archive_1

This article is even more infomative[edit]

This article is more infomative and it is written by an athiest about the Sanhedrin. 16:33, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

I appreciate the assistance, but the article doesn't seem to be from a recognized publication. It also contains a number of statements which are widely contradicted by generally-regarded souces. It says the Sanhedrin consisted of "chief priests" and later "chief priests or political leaders, but the Sanhedrin contained many individuals with little political base. It claims the Mishnah indicates the Sanhedrin existed "between the 4th and 5th century" BCE, but there's a lot of evidence (including statements in the Mishnah) that the Sanhedrin existed for a much longer period. And so forth. Thank you for your interest and contribution. --Shirahadasha 21:14, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
However wrong it is. It still is a lot more infomative than this article. How a Sanhedrin functioned should be explained here instead of talking about some well-disputed references to a Sanhedrin in Christian literature which don't even give any insight on how it functioned! 10:18, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Explain different types of Sanhedrins[edit]

This article needs to explain the different types of Sanhedrins. Saying the Sanhedrin met in ... is misleading without explaining which Sanhedrin. Maybe we can have a comparation in between the Great Sanhedrin and the Senate. And a normal Sanhedrin a court. 10:27, 22 August 2006 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Added Great Sanhedrin and Lesser Sanhedrin section. --Shirahadasha 03:44, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Reference for disputed text[edit]

Hi, is there a reference to support the inclusion of "including the refusal of the Haredi leadership to recognize the body. " According to WP:V the burden of proof is on the editors who want the material included to provide references. This policy also clearly states that any editor can remove material not supported by reliable sources. Addhoc 14:35, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

The issue is not just WP:verifiability, it's also WP:NPOV#undue weight, singling out a particular group for special mention among all the other groups involved. The main article, Modern attempts to revive the Sanhedrin, currently has individual subsections on seven such groups, includein gModern attempts to revive the Sanhedrin#The debate stirred within the Haredi camp, which currently indicates there are multiple opinions in this area. It would would give undue weight to mention only an editor's own opinion about the editor's own group in what is supposed to be a high-level summary. Suggest the main article continue to handle the various contentious disputes over who supports and opposes what, and the Sanhedrin article continue to focus on the original Sanhedrin and give only a brief summary of the recent effort -- including the existence of opposition and contention -- without supplying details. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Shirahadasha (talkcontribs)

Made an NPOV version. Hope everyone agrees. --Daniel575 | (talk) 20:49, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

I dispute it. How do two unsourced statements make it NPOV? If you can't bring a source for either, why say it? --Historian2 11:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

It should be noted that very large segments of the Jewish world do not support this Sanhedrin. Or, I see, next you are going to claim that they do? Since you oppose merely saying that large parts (specifically the Chareidi world) oppose this 'Sanhedrin', it would seem no more than logical to just add a notice that 'others, however, do support it', to make it NPOV. --Daniel575 | (talk) 12:50, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I dispute it, it "virulent opposition and fanatical support" is POV and unsourced. --Historian2 11:19, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Move proposed[edit]

I suggest to move this article to Synedrion as Sanhedrin is only a local name (and reflects merely back-transliteration). Syendrion is the original name of the assembly as well as government councils in other countries and entities (such as League of Corinth and Seleucid Empire). It is also the international word such as "senate", "republic", "president" which used unchanged in the same form regardless local variations and pronounciation.--Nixer 10:55, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

This article only covers one specific instance of a Synedrion: the particular legislative body which was connected with the Jewish people primarily during the Second Temple period, and its subsequent attempts at restoration. As far as I know this Jewish body has universally been called "Sanhedrin" by Jews and Christians in the English language. --Historian2 11:16, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
We can name the article Synedrion (Judea) for example--Nixer 13:27, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

WTF. Nixer, please take a hike and do some research before you make a total idiot/fool out of yourself, which is what you are doing with this 'proposal'. --Daniel575 | (talk) 13:54, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Is there some more grounded opinion?--Nixer 18:56, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, Nixer. Sanhedrin, whatever the etymology, is a uniquely Jewish institution, and is uniformly known as precisely Sanhedrin, not Synhedrion, ever, for any reason. No Jewish people have ever heard of a "Synhedrion" and wouldn't know it from baked beans. I have no idea what the motivation would be to move the article in this fashion, and must resolutely oppose the move. What's more, I guarantee you that every single participant of WP:JEW, WP:OJ, and WP:ORBCW would oppose as well if they knew. - CrazyRussian talk/email 21:44, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
You're not right. Synedrion in Judea was indtroduced by Seleucid king Antiochus to make the state more close resembling the Greek standard. It was a common institution in ancient world - just as modern "republic", "federation", "president", "parliament", "secretary" etc. We do not use local variations of these words. About Russia, for example, we say "federation", not "federatsiya", "republic", not "respublika", "president", not "prezident". We do not need back-transliterate these words.--Nixer 22:58, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

A couple of thoughts here.

  • First "Synedrion" probably warrants its own wikipage to cover its Seleucidian origin, perhaps with the Judean 'Synedrion' linked as a specific example of this.
  • Second, the voluminous amount of literature in English which references this body as the 'Sanhedrin' would make giving it any other notation awkward. (Google lists 'Sanhedrin' almost 100 times more than 'Synedrion').
  • Lastly, in spite of its name, the origin of the Sanhedrin as a greek institution is not universally admitted, and especially not within the traditional Jewish circles. The word 'Synedrion' has come to be associated with a historical literature which in general rejects the traditional view.

If the majority of the content of this wikipage will concern its function within Jewish tradition or its encounter with Christianity, the name that literatures on that subject in English uses is the one we should use. --Historian2 19:23, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

The term "synedrion" is not of Seleucid origin. It was a generic word for assemblies in Greek city-states and their unions. The supreme body of Alexander the Great's empire was also called "synedrion". The use of "sanhedrin" is not typical for all branches of Christianity. For example, in Russian tradition the body of the Jesus Christ's times also named "synedrion", it used in Gospels, literature and translations, the word "sanhedrin" looks only as Hebraized form of the word.--Nixer 19:49, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry I meant the institution, not the word itself. BTW, I noticed "Synedrion" already has its own wikipage and it probably warrants expansion. I think the use of "Sanhedrin" for that body was typical for most (if not all) English language translations of the Bible and Talmud, and as I pointed out above it is certainly more common in popular usage. Is there a problem with having both wikipages? --Historian2 20:03, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
I suggest only to move it to Synedrion (Judea). BTW, I was not right. Synedrion was invented in Judea during Hasmonean rule (they were very hellinized dynasty).--Nixer 20:47, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Nixer, your idea is plain ridiculous and will not come to happen. I repeat what I said before: do at least SOME research. Even 5 minutes of research would have made it clear to you that you are making a complete fool out of yourself with this proposal. By the way, Historian2, I do not get 10 times as many, but 79 times as many Google results for Sanhedrin (887k) vs Synedrion (11k). --Daniel575 | (talk) 20:55, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Google results may vary. What research do you mean? What exactly do you contest?--Nixer 20:57, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
If you would have done even the slightest little bit of research, you would have seen that your proposal is totally ridiculous. If you still don't understand, I'm not going to spend any more words on it. --Daniel575 | (talk) 20:59, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Daniel575, I said "almost 100 times" 921,000 vs 11,600. Nixer take a look at Synedrion and see if this is a good direction? --Historian2 21:20, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, read too quickly. About 100, indeed. --Daniel575 | (talk) 21:54, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
User:Nixer, would you also be taking the view that the term United States President is an inappropriately local term (and equally questionable philologically, as the American head of state actually does very little presiding), and would you be wanting the article renamed to a more general/philologicslly appropriate term such as Archon (United States)? This would seem to be another case where Wikipedia has a whole article on the form of government of only one local country. Perhaps the material on the United States Government should appear only as a local example of a more general government form, such as Republic. On the other hand, nation-states (and forms of government) are only local examples of more general forms of human social organization, and may not deserve their own article either. If you don't oppose an article on something as local as United States President even though it's a local event that could be described as an example of more general phenomena, what makes the Jewish Sanhedrin any different? --Shirahadasha 03:46, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Very nice response. (Shira, I added your username instead of your IP - looks like you forgot to log in when you posted that.) --Daniel575 | (talk) 08:27, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
You did not get my point completely. I do not suggest to rename Sanhedrin to Council (Judea). I only say that we do not need use local forms of international words when we have internationally-established form (syedrion) and Jewish word "sanhedrin" is just transliteration of the Greek word into Hebrew alphabet.--Nixer 08:27, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Now I indeed do not understand your point. Answer Shira's question. Are you going to change President of the United States into Archon (United States)? --Daniel575 | (talk) 08:30, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Why? I never suggested anything even close to that. Do you undestand English?--Nixer 08:58, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Both Synedrion and Sanhedrin have a place within their respective literature. Within the context of a Greek history and a comparison of assemblies in Greek city-states the word Synedrion is commonly used. Within the context Christian and Jewish literature in the English language the word Sanhedrin is almost universally used. I recommend that the two wikipages Synedrion and Sanhedrin reflect these two contexts and use their respective terminology. BTW, Sanhedrin is not used today as a local variations of an international term, but has been fully accepted as a word on its own right in the English language.Random House American Heritage Dictionary —Preceding unsigned comment added by Historian2 (talkcontribs)
Let's keep it civil. What's next, renaming all republic into democracy? The same words, translated from Greek into Latin... ←Humus sapiens ну? 10:59, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Republic is the original Latin word. It even is not a translation of "democracy", not to speak transliteration. By the way, we use word "democracy" even if in local language it is "demokratiya", we use "republic" even if in local language it is "respublika" - we do not back-transliterate these words. We say "Russian Federation", not "Russian Federatsyya"--Nixer 14:21, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Translation, not transliteration: Demos+Kratos vs. Rex+Publica. But let's forget about it, as well as about the whole unpopular proposal and move on. ←Humus sapiens ну? 22:45, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
No, Republic is not from rex+publica, but from res+publica, which had completely differing meaning.--Nixer 16:30, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
It's worth remembering that this is the English Wikipedia, and while the word Sanhedrin is a common one in English, the word Synedrion is obscure. It would be (at best) a bit like a scholar of Middle English proposing to move the Sheriff article to a subsection of Reeve. It's true that the Reeve of the Shire (The Shire-Reeve or Sheriff) was once just one kind of Reeve among many, but we don't speak Middle English anymore, the word Reeve has all but dissappeared from English while the word Sheriff survives, and the connection has been forgotten. And that's at best. Not everyone would agree that the Sanhedron was originally a kind of Synedrion in the way a Sheriff was originally a kind of Reeve. There are claims that its origins were completely different -- that it was an older institution with different cultural roots. --Shirahadasha 15:35, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

And then Nixer moved 'Sanhedrin' to 'Synedrion (Judea)' anyway[edit]

Nixer, what you have done now is not going to remain without consequences. There was an extensive consensus that your proposed change was a completely ridiculous proposal. I am reporting this on the Administrator's noticeboard with a request for it to be reverted immediately, and for you to be given an official warning. --Daniel575 | (talk) 16:09, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

I also moved back the talk page.--Runcorn 16:40, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. If you could also leave a warning for Nixer, would also be nice. --Daniel575 | (talk) 16:42, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
I was already wondering how Runcorn (not administrator) had done that - it was Yanksox (talk · contribs) who moved the page back. --Daniel575 | (talk) 16:49, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Actually, Runcorn's a sysop[2]. Yanksox 16:50, 14 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh right, okay. Thanks. You blocked Nixer for 72 hours, I see. Note that he is an established sockpuppet (???? see bottom of user page) with a huge list of bans and accounts of vandalism. Time for permanent ban? --Daniel575 | (talk) 16:51, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Relationship between Synedrion and Sanhedrin wikipages[edit]

I propose moving content on the Sanhedrin the other way, from the Synedrion#Synhedrion in Judea article to Sanhedrin. I notice that the current content under Synedrion seems to be a WP:POV fork. It duplicates some of the content of this article, but from a POV that the Sanhedrin was an essentially Hellenic institution, primarily civil rather than religious in character, that was founded and operated much like any other Greek Synedrion, and it explicitly says that claims of an older or culturally different origin are false, mere embellishments of chroniclers. Suggest we move things the other way, that is, that the Synedrion#Synhedrion in Judea section merely provide a summary and a link to Sanhedrin as main article, and that the content and claims made about the Sanhedrin in the Synedrion article be moved here. Otherwise we have a clear POV fork in violation of Wikipedia policy. --Shirahadasha 15:18, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Note: Both views may well be consistent with the evidence and correct in their own worlds. As User:Historian2 indicated, Hellenic governements who had dealings with it may well have viewed it as a hellenic institution, while locals viewed it as a local one. A scholar of the Hellenic world would perhaps be inclined to see it through the Greek lens, while religious Jews and other descendents of the locals would be inclined to see it through a different lens. --Shirahadasha 15:42, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I agree. However, there is no need to move content from Synedrion#Synhedrion in Judea article to Sanhedrin, because it is an exact duplicate what is already in Sanhedrin. I put that text there, but no POV was intended. My thinking was to place information that would interest someone researching the Greek Assemblies/Synhedrions in Synhedrion. This would include a summary about each specific Synhedrion including the Judean Synhedrion/Sanhedrin and a link to each respective page.
I didn't have a summary text to place in Synhedrion so I copied the "Synhedrion" paragraph to Synedrion, leaving that information also in Sanhedrin. What is needed now to complete the task, is to write a proper NPOV summary for Synedrion#Synhedrion in Judea. --Historian2 16:31, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
I notice the wikipage Synhedrion is spelled with an "h". The standard spelling is without an "h". You can see this in google. "Synedrion" is much more common then "Synhedrion", 11,000 to 527 most of which are wikipedia hits. --Historian2 20:40, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
Shirahadasha I changed the name to the accepted spelling, and replied to your comment on the Synedrion talk page. --Historian2 10:35, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

jurisdictional details[edit]

The main article doesn't exactly say what the scope of the Sanhedrin's jurisdiction was, short of it being at once both a supreme court and legislative body, and implicitly a single body convened at a single time.

Would it be right to say that the building that the Sanhedrin was housed in, was the Temple of Jerusalem, and this was where legal instruments (like deeds, leases, treaties, and those relating to the payment of taxes and equitable liens) were recorded? And if legal instruments were recorded in some other building, and kept apart from the temple, what was the method whereby the judges of the Sanhedrin would go about taking judicial notice of the existence of those records?

The main article would be improved if there were at least some reference to the Sanhedrin's subject matter jurisdiction.

The main article needs a lot of work. I am collecting information, and hope to add some, but go ahead and add yourself as well. --Historian2 06:03, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Sanhedrin versus Brahmin[edit]

Are Sanhedrin same as Brahmins in India? Maaparty 15:08, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

  • No. —Dfass 16:11, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
  • The Sanhedrin were not a caste. Anyone with appropriate learning could, at least theoretically, become a member. Briangotts (Talk) (Contrib) 16:29, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Removal of Synedrion Section[edit]

  • You'll notice I removed the section in this article on the Synedrion. I did this for a few reasons. First of all, it was discussing a body that is already discussed at another article, Synedrion and is for the most part irrelevant to the body discussed here. In addition, the section looked to be copy/pasted right out of Britannica, the section began in mid-sentence and used language that was totally inconsistent with the rest of the article, making it nearly incomprehensible. If anyone feels that it is crucially important to have here, feel free to take the time to rewrite it, it's still in the page history. -- Chabuk 21:00, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Hyam Maccoby Book[edit]

Anyone want to expand that comment about Maccoby's book and give citation? I've only read Revolution in Judaea and not the book mentioned, though I expect some of the ideas are similar. Khanele 03:33, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


I reveted what looked like original resesarch - if it isn't I hope thye material will be restored with appropriate citations. Slrubenstein | Talk 23:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

In Search of the Undroken Chain of Semicha[edit]

Hello. I am new to Wikipedia but I have some thoughts I would like for you to consider. I will not attempt to add any of this to the article (I will leave editing to the Wiki-wise) but will simply post it for your consideration. I would appreciate an in depth critique which may be sent to :

Most of it would come under original research but other sections of it would not. Obviously I am prepared for an onslaught of name calling but perhaps there are some amicable people here that can be constructive. I just think there needs to be more serious research done in this area. I am not the man to do it. But perhaps someone will read this and seriously look into it.

I was somewhat hesitant to post it because of it's length but I feel it is important. Thank you.


One of the most intriguing stories ever told is that of the ancient chain of Semicha.

Today it is almost universally accepted that the chain of Semicha was broken around the fifth century AD and was forever lost. Recent research, however, has uncovered at least four remarkable sources of possible intact Semicha.

Semicha is the rabbinical ordination classically transmitted by the laying on of hands. Moses ordained Joshua and the seventy elders through this authority (Num 27:15-23, Num 11: 16-25, Deut. 34: 9). Their successors in turn ordained others. This hands on transmission continued until around the fifth century at which time it is believed to have ceased to exist.

But G-d said Semicha was unto all generations forever. Is G-d not capable of preserving the gift He so graciously bestowed upon his people. Without Semicha there is no succession of the Sanhedrin nor a priesthood. Without the priesthood there is no building of the Temple. Without the Temple to where will Messiah come ? (Rambam said, “If there is one with uninterrupted semicha, you do not require everyone’s agreement”). Jewish people today believe in the absolute transmission of Torah and Mesorah from Rabbineau Moshe to the present day but believe Semicha ceased centuries ago. But if Hashem preserved the Torah why could He not also preserve Semicha? There are three sources of possible Semicha to consider: (1) A Lost Tribe of Israel (Lemba's) (2) Isaac Ben Luria (3) Remnant in Europe (4) Teacher/student transmission. Today I will give more space to sources one and four beginning with the first source.


" I would like to mention that we, the Jewish community are guilty--guilty because we never accepted what the Lemba had always maintained...until [the] genetic proof recently ; that their story was a part of ours. We are guilty because we rejected them. " (Dr. Rudo Mathiva).

Approximately 2,500 years ago, a group of Jews left Judah settling in Yemen populating a city called Senna. Unfavorable conditions compelled them to journey many miles until settling in and around Zimbabwe. Similar to other Jews during the Diaspora they assimilated local customs and genes from the local gene pool. For centuries these people passed down their tradition to their children and adamantly claimed they were Jewish. Unlike the locals they believed in one God, Shabbot, Kosher dietary laws, circumcision, the lunar calendar, Torah, and many other Jewish customs. They not only claimed to be Jewish and of the Cohanim but they also boasted an unbroken Semicha. Academia laughed at these black people proclaiming to be Jews. They were in a delusion...or were they they? In 1997 critical research data indicated that a large proportion of contemporary Jewish Cohanim (those claiming ancestry from the priestly line of Aaron the High Priest) share a set of Y chromosomal genetic markers, known as the Cohen Modal Haplotype, which has been determined to have derived from a single common ancestor dating back to the very time in which the Torah recorded Aaron existed. Scientific calculations which were based on the high rate of genetic similarity of today's Cohanim resulted in the highest "paternity-certainty" rate that has been ever been recorded in population genetics studies. Scientists found that 45 percent of Ashkenazi priests and 56 percent of Sepharic priests have the cohen genetic signature, while in Jewish populations in general the frequency rate is 3 to 5 percent. When they tested the priestly tribe of Lemba they were astonished to discover they had 53 percent! They had unique genetic markers found only in the Jewish communities. Dr. Tudar Parfitt says "It turned out what they are saying about themselves is substantially correct." Geneticist Trevor Jenkins said the tests turned out to "prove consistent with Lemba oral history." Science had conclusively proven the Lemba carried the Priestly genes dating back to the time of Aaron and Moses just as they had always proclaimed.

Numerous other historical traditions they proclaimed turned out to be true. The unknown city Lemba claimed they journeyed from was discovered ("Journey to the Vanished City", Dr. Tudor Parfitt). An artifact they claimed they possessed and lost hundreds of years ago was discovered in a an ancient cave. Dr. Mathiva said, "Old maps of the Holy Land have now revealed that there was a place called Lemba way back BCE." She further stated that the Jewish community was left with a moral dilemma as to their responsibility and future obligations to the Lemba and concluded saying, "Now that we know, can we continue to pretend they do not exist?"

We have an even GREATER dilemma. If their claims of Jewish origin, Cohanim decent , names of lost cities, etc. proved to be true....what about their claim to possess an unbroken line of Semicha!!! They have persistently claimed an unbroken succession of ordination...the Semicha.

Please keep in mind Semicha has alledgedly been conferred on clans of Lemba that were Cohanim as well as those that were not but were nevertheless considered Jewish. Those recieving Semicha are considered Priests although most are born into into the Priesthood as well as recieving Semicha.

Magdel le Roux says the Lemba still has the priesthood to this very day and the priest traditionally passes his teaching and priesthood on to his son in perpetual succession. He reports the priest said to him:

"The succession is just from our forefathers right up to this generation and it will just continue like that. You see there is just a house of priesthood like in the Old Testament and this priesthood is not something of imposition of something you do to yourself. It was something bestowed to a particular house by G-d." (D:A:4; italics mine).

Would such a Semicha be halackally acceptable? It may be time for us to reconsider what is halackally acceptable transmission of Semicha when faced with dispersion and hardship. Even Elijah when in exile accepted food from non-kosher unclean birds until such a time he could resume a normal kosher life. Rabbi Yisroel Shklover said a dispersed group distant from the rest of Klal Yisroel before certain halachic Rabbinical rules were declared would be exempt from those rules not having accepted nor heard them.

One thing is for certain...the Lemba and their claims of Semicha are here...and they are not going to just "go away."


Isaac Bin Luria (ARI) was a mystic whom many felt was a holy man with divine favor. He claimed the prophet Elijah, who had been his godfather in his babyhood, paid him frequent visits, initiating him into sublime truths. Rabbi Chayim Vital said the ARI increased his piety, asceticism, purity and holiness until he reached a level where Eliyahu HaNavie (Elijah the prophet) would constantly reveal himself to him, speaking to him "mouth to mouth," teaching him these mysteries. " According to scripture Elijah was one of two men who had never tasted death. This would not have been a "phantom" but the real Elijah. If this is true then there would be no doubt Semicha continued because the ARI's line is still presently extent. However this is impossible to verify and smacks a bit as being Quixotic but is still an avenue for the mystically minded to explore.


It is claimed that Semicha survived intact in a remnant of Jewish people in Europe. A small group of Messianic Jews as well as independent orthodox groups claim to have received preserved Semicha from this and other lines. Further research is needed before I can accurately publish the details which I can do at a later date. Also we must not forget there are many laymen "balebatim" who have semicha and are officially "ordained" but do not practice as rabbis at all.


We must seriously consider the theorem that in times when persecution prohibited the existence of ordained Rabbi’s that the father automatically became Rabbi of the home and passed his rabbinical blessing to his son (or children) until such time the classical form of Semicha was able to be resumed (after all Rabbi does mean "teacher"). Perhaps we need to reconsider what is halackally acceptable transmission of Semicha when faced with insurmountable persecution and threat of death.

It is possible, no PROBABLE, that in time of unavoidable secrecy and threat of death that Hashem accepted the following as transmission of Semicha : Transmission of Torah from teacher to student (or father to son) consisting of Torah teaching, pronunciation of blessing, and the physical embrace and/or kiss. This would have been an acceptable link in the unbroken chain of Semichut until such a time that the classical Semicha could be resumed by Rambam's suggestion of all the sages of Israel coming together, unanimously ordaining judges, and then resuming classical Semicha. This is the most practical and pragmatic approach . If , as many believe, there was an unbroken chain of transmission of Torah, there by necessity must be a teacher to transmit it and a student to receive it, and this done in perpetual succession.

Consider the precision that the Torah was preserved in and passed on in times of aggressive prohibition. Consider the intricate , detailed, typologies involved in Pesach observance. Consider the multitude of details in Jewish observances accurately handed down from generation to generation of families forbidden to observe such custom even at the threat of death and extinction. Do you...COULD you...imagine for one single moment that some Jewish family or families failed to pass on something as critical as Semicha? The vast interactive, connecting, branching, web of of Jewish culture has spun a geometric weave of cultural preservation in the metropolitans, prison camps, jungles, and villages throughout the far reaches of the earth. To think the anointed, ethereal substance of Semicha came to an end is to strike the very heart of faith as well as the credibility of human potential. Hashem is much wiser then we could ever imagine and what He has established He has the ability to preserve. There are no DNA tests, no historical discoveries, no law in the land, nor religious body that can prove to be as dependable a source of evidence as the way and word of Hashem. He has preserved the Jewish people, their traditions, and the Cohanim in the brutal face of Dispersion, holocausts, prison, and centuries of exile. Hitler could not burn her traditions, Nazi's could not imprison them, and exile could not silence her voice. Through the stygian darkness of night by the candles of Shabbot precious oral history and religious traditions were secretly passed down from generation to generation as her persecutors stalked her doors firing their brutal ammunition over her weary head. When the smoke of historical debates have cleared and skeptics reluctantly lift their heads from the fox holes...before them standing undaunted will be proof of Hashem's perpetual all generations forever.

"THEIR ANOINTING shall surely be an EVERLASTING priesthood throughout your generations." (Ex. 40: 15)

CWatchman (talk) 19:38, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Opposition to Christian historical accounts[edit]

Removed "Since proclaiming oneself Moshiach is not forbidden under halakha (there were many springing up at the time), but was illegal under Roman law as a challenge to imperial authority, perhaps this may be a more likely alternative. However, John 19:12 cites the religious Sanhedrin using this argument to sway Pilate. Hyam Maccoby's book "The Mythmaker" presents an interesting account of a different historical interpretation.[citation needed]"

Irrelevant and misguided POV. The Gospels do not state Jesus as being crucified for merely claiming to be the Messiah. He was accused of blasphemy for claiming to be God, or equal to God. Book reference is not offering any information and should be expanded on if anyone wishes it to stay. Sb981 (talk) 15:53, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

This section is extremely anti-Christian (thanks Wikipedia leftists hanging out in dorms and faculty lounges for using our tax money to attack our religion. You can't basically state "Christians are full of bias they wrote the account of the Sanhedrin trial more like how Coca Cola advertises, you know the Romans were their target demographic???" and then, when asked to support it, you link to a "scholarly article" where you have another guy doing exactly what you are, saying something and not supporting it. The article you link to is another guy (who calls himself a scholar) saying "it totally makes sense that the early Christians were kissing Roman ass and had no dignity...SO IT MUST BE TRUE DON'T ASK ME TO SUPPORT IT WITH THOSE PESKY ORIGINAL SOURCES AND RIGOROUSLY FOLLOWING THE SCHOLARLY METHOD...ISN'T OBVIOUS TO YOU THAT MARXISM IS TRUE AND EVERY RELIGIOUS PERSON JUST WANTS TO SCREW EVERYONE FOR CONTROL!?!?!" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 12 March 2011 (UTC)


Why the Sanhedrin in the book of Numbers removed? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 25 August 2012 (UTC) nct

... and too much numerology![edit]

The opening paragraph should not jump into the deep-end of the mysterical reasons for the number 21.

Instead, lead with:

Who were the Sanhedrin? When did they exist? Where were they? What function did they serve?

The numerology is interesting but should be way down in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:20, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Number of judges[edit]

Can anyone provide proof that a Sanhedrin numbered twenty judges, as written here in the first sentence? The rule of no "tie" could have not been applied. I am sure that this is incorrect and propose to have this removed.Ineuw 02:47, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Assembly vs. council[edit]

The first sentence in the lead paragraph describes the Sanhedrin as "an assembly...". This is liable for ambiguous readings. "Assembly" has the connotation of a gathering, i.e. those who assemble, rather than a public body composed of appointed (or elected) members that convenes (= assembles). Might the word "council" be a better descriptor? -- Deborahjay (talk) 17:29, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Sanhedrin under Romans[edit]

Before the first Jewish revolt, the Sanhedrin seems to have been dominated by prominent Jerusalem priestly families (more or less what have been known as Sadducees). Subsequent versions of the Sanhedrin were rabbinic... AnonMoos (talk) 22:42, 25 September 2013 (UTC)


Propose to merge Palestinian Patriarchate -> Sanhedrin, the first likely being a WP:FORK article, about exactly the same topic. The Great Sanhedrin during the late Roman period is sometimes referred as Sanhedrin in Palestine or Patriarchate in Palestine, but the WP:COMMONNAME is Sanhedrin.GreyShark (dibra) 08:44, 30 June 2015 (UTC)