Who Were the Sadducees at the Time of Jesus?

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The Sadducees, just like such other groups as the Pharisees, the Herodians and the Zealots played a major role in the life and ministry of Jesus.

Here is a short list of points stating the characteristics and beliefs of the Sadducees as found in the Synoptic Gospels.

1. The Sadducees were a small but very powerful group.

2. They were believed to be a priestly class tracing their origin to Zadok, the high priest at the time of King David.

3. The Sadducees supported Roman rule principally to advance their economic interests. They served as magistrates in the Roman colonial government.

4. The Sadducees constituted a wealthy economic class.

5. They supported the temple and the priesthood.

6. The Sadducees accepted only the five books of Moses and, unlike the Pharisees, rejected the oral tradition of the elders.

7. The Sadducees did not believe in the coming of a Messiah, the kingdom of God, the resurrection, angels and the judgment day.

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