The Difference Between the Sadducees and the Pharisees
To me both the Pharisees and Sadducees were fundamentalists. They had different foundations. The Pharisees saw the Torah and
Prophets as their foundation and the Sadducees saw only the Pentateuch (5 books of Moses) and the Temple as the foundation.
The Sadducees ruled the temple, the Sanhedrin and the nation in the days of Yahshuah. They were interlopers having stolen the
kingship (from the descendants of Judah) and the priesthood (from the sons of Zaddok) during the days of the Maccabees.
The Sadducees bought the high priesthood from the Greek and then later the Roman governors.
The Pharisees were a group of Tenach believing Jews who rose up against the Sadducees around 160 BC declaring
that they were usurpers and illegitimate. Josephus reports that 800 Pharisees were crucified and as they hung dying their
families were brought before them and slain by the Sadducees. Therefore, there was actually a bloody civil war between the
two fundamentalist factions.
When the Sadducees were in power, they forced all the Edomites to convert or be killed. That is how at the time of Yahshuah,
a non-Jewish Edomite, Herod,
became the ruler in Israel.
Often Christians are told that liberals are Sadducees and conservatives are Pharisees. Both groups were radically
conservative but in different ways. Both worshipped God in the flesh and not the spirit. Both were legalists. Both were militant
and murderous. Both were involved in political intrigue it just happened that during the time of Yahshuah the Sadducees had the upper
hand. The Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife or in demons nor angels. They admired the Greeks for their education, philosophy,
arts, clothes, theatre, government, military prowess, empire, and sports.
It would not be fair to categorize the Sadducees as liberals however for they were archly conservative about the Pentateuch and the Temple
and preservation of the nation and had a fascist superiority about their race. They viewed the Pharisees who were from the lower classes
as the liberals who were teaching tales of demons, and Satan, and that the soul did not die at the grave.
Christians have been falsely taught that liberal Christians are like Sadducees and Conservative Christians are like Pharisees.
Both groups were rabid legalists and extreme conservatives -the blind fighting the blind.
Yahshuah warned his followers to beware of the teachings of the Sadducees, Pharisees, and the Herodians.
- The Pharisees had added many of the traditions of the elders from the oral trdition to their religion and were teaching them as commandments from God.
Yahshuah said they were lovers of money. They taught that after death the soul was immortal. They believed in endless eternal punishment.
Yahshuah always described them as having an outward show of holiness but inwardly they were greedy hypocrites.
- The Sadducees taught that the writings of the Prophets while inspiring were not divinely inspired. They were Hellenizers and secular. They were fierce about
Capital punishment. They denied an afterlife, and did not believe in angels or demons.
- Herod was a pretender to the Messiahship as one of the claims of the Messiah would be the rebuilding of the temple. He also was a pretender to the
throne although he was not even Jewish but an Edomite. He was an adulterer and there is a hint of pedophilia with Salome his step daughter. The Sadducees
were Hellenizers but Herod was a Romanizer and came to power by using Rome.
So Yahshuah is saying do not follow the traditions, commandments, or philosophies
of the Greeks, the Romans, or the Hebrews. They are all the teachings of men, and will lead you away from the teachings of Yahveh.