Sadducees

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Sadducees

Sadducees (săj´ŏŏsēz, săd´yŏŏ–), sect of Jews formed around the time of the Hasmonean revolt (c.200 BC). Little is known concerning their beliefs, but according to Josephus Flavius, they upheld only the authority of the written law, and not the oral tradition held by the Pharisees. They are believed to have had a small following, drawn primarily from the upper classes. Eventually, they reached an accommodation with the Pharisees, which allowed them to serve as priests in exchange for acceptance of Pharasitical rulings regarding the law. Their sect was centered on the cult of the Temple, and they ceased to exist after its destruction in AD 70.

See bibliography under Pharisees.

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