Sadducees

Doctrines The Sadducees were members of the aristocratic elite of Jewish society in the Second Temple Period, including both priests and lay noblemen. They sought to keep Judaism free from hellenistic innovations by rejecting as uncanonical all scripture apart from the Torah (Pentateuch), and denying such beliefs as the resurrection of the dead, belief in angels and demons, and a doctrine of divine predestination. They maintained the elaborate sacrificial system in Jerusalem and strictly controlled access to the Temple.

History The term "Sadducee" is probably derived from "Zadokite", literally a descendant of Zadok the High Priest in Solomon's Temple, and the Sadducees' authority was always dependent upon the Temple hierarchy. They consistently supported the ruling authorities in Jerusalem, even the non-Zadokite Hasmonean dynasty (160-63BCE) who assumed control of the Jewish state after the Maccabean revolt, and non-Jew Herod the Great (37-4BCE) who was appointed by the Romans. Throughout most of this period they controlled the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem. Their political stance and conservative beliefs distanced them from the mass of popular Jews who turned to lay scholars and teachers for leadership (see Pharisees). They joined the Jewish revolt against Rome in 66CE, and did not survive the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70CE as a significant force in Judaism.

Symbols Apart from traditional images associated with the Torah Scroll and the Temple (see Ancient Judaism), this conservative variety of Judaism interpreted scripture in as non-figurative a sense as possible, and vigorously resisted the use of symbols that were popular in other varieties of Judaism.

Adherents No figures available

Headquarters/
Main Centre
 Jerusalem where they dominated the Sanhedrin and controlled the Temple until its destruction in 70CE