A minority group in 1st-cent. CE Judaism. They were traditionalists in faith and practice. It was important in their eyes to be faithful to the terms of membership of the Jewish nation by observances of the written Law and participation in the Temple cult, but they held that this was compatible with submission to the Roman occupying power. They opposed armed conflict and preparations for it.
Sadducees rejected the Pharisees' concept of the oral law as being no less valid than the written. They were therefore loyal adherents to what had been established by Ezra at the time of the Return from Exile in Babylon (5th cent. BCE). Compromises with the Romans meant that the high priesthood was a government appointment and the Temple was overseen by the Roman military. Thus, though at a price, Israel was enabled to maintain its relationship with God and atone by sacrifices for its sins. But novel beliefs in the immortality of the soul or resurrection of the body were rejected by Sadducees. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE the Sadducees no longer existed. According to one theory, they were Zadokites who had controlled the Temple for several centuries.

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • SADDUCEES — (Heb. צְדוּקִים, Ẓedukim), sect of the latter half of the Second Temple period, formed about 200 B.C.E. Active in political and economic life, the Sadducean party was composed largely of the wealthier elements of the population – priests,… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sadducees — • A politico religious sect of the Jews during the late post Exile and New Testament period. The old derivation of the name from tsaddiqim, i.e. the righteous; with assumed reference to the adherence of the Sadducees to the letter of the Law as… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Sadducees — The Sadducees were members of a Jewish sect founded in the second century BC, possibly as a political party. They ceased to exist sometime after the first century AD.EtymologyThe Hebrew name, Tsdoki, indicates their claim that they are the… …   Wikipedia

  • Sadducees — noun The sect of the Sadducees (săjʊsēz, sădyʊ–), sect of Jews formed in Palestine around the time of the Hasmonean revolt (c.200 ), and ceased to exist sometime after the 1st century …   Wiktionary

  • Sadducees —    The origin of this Jewish sect cannot definitely be traced. It was probably the outcome of the influence of Grecian customs and philosophy during the period of Greek domination. The first time they are met with is in connection with John the… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Sadducees —    This term (whose origin is unclear) refers to a Jewish religious party or school at the time of Jesus; the Sadducees, who did not believe in the resurrection of the body, are depicted in the New Testament as hostile to the teaching of Jesus …   Glossary of theological terms

  • SADDUCEES —    a sect of the Jews of high priestly origin that first came into prominence by their opposition to the Pharisees, being the party in power when Pharisaism arose in protestation against their policy as tending to the secularisation of the Jewish …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Sadducees — (Heb. zadokim, named after Solomon’s high priest)    The religious and political party in the Hasmonean and Herodian periods, representing the conservative priestly and upper class establishment, and opposed by the Pharisees (see above) …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • SADDUCEES —    originating in the second century B.C. They were a religious and political GROUP, which rejected such BELIEFS as the RESURRECTION, ANGELS and SPIRITS, that disappeared after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70. In the NEW TESTAMENT they are… …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Sadducees — n. member of an ancient Jewish sect characterized by its literal interpretation of the Bible …   English contemporary dictionary

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