Now there were also among the people many which were of the scribes and Pharisees,
and with them also were certain of the Sadducees and Herodians; for they had all
come seeking against the Lord some offense.
Summary: The Sadducees represented a prominent Jewish sect responsible for overseeing
various political, religious and social affairs in Israel. Unlike the Pharisees (a
contemporary religious sect) who typically came from the middle-class, the Sadducees
were usually wealthy and came from the elite Jewish aristocracy. They saw compromise
with Rome as a means to maintain their wealth and power.
Sadducees oversaw maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem and presided over the sacrifices
there. Many members of the Sanhedrin were Sadducees. During the days of Yeshua, the
leader of the Sadducee party was Joseph Caiaphas, who, having purchased the position
of High Priest from Pontius Pilate, was primarily responsible for the death of Yeshua.
As a Sadducee, Caiaphas considered the Torah as the only source of divine authority,
holding to a literal interpretation of Mosiac Law while rejecting the Oral Law, as
proposed by the Pharisees. Sadducees rejected the idea of spirits, resurrection of
the dead, and the afterlife, while Pharisees and most Jews embraced such beliefs.
Both John the Baptizer and Yeshua criticized the Sadducees for corruption and hypocrisy
and for placing the letter of the law above the spirit of the law. The Sadducees
considered Yeshua’s religious teachings as a threat to their power and authority.
Scripture relates several incidents in which Sadducees are offended by Yeshua and
even attempt to kill him.
Y:30:4-27 Sadducees attempt to trap Yeshua, asking a hypothetical question about
marriage and the afterlife
Y:37:35-51 Offended Sadducees pick up stones to kill Yeshua but refrain after Pharisees
counsel against it
Y:39:27-43 Sadducees scoff against Yeshua and become offended at his responses
On a certain day when Yeshua was again in the city teaching, there came unto him
they which were of the Sadducees which believed not in the life after death;
For the Sadducees scorned the traditions and teachings of the elders, for they believed
with strictness the law of Moses only.
For many which were of the Sanhedrin believed in Yeshua and would not permit that
any evil should fall upon him.
But they which were of the Sadducees and the scribes consulted whereby they might
take Yeshua by subtlety and put him to death according to the law.