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The Sadducees—The Urban Elite

  • May have derived from Zadok, high priest under King David.
  • Tended to represent the aristocrats, priests, merchants, and urban elite in Jerusalem and other cities in Judea.
  • Hostile to Jesus and His followers.
  • Many served on the council. Most of the high priests in the days of Jesus and the apostles were Sadducees.
  • Denied the resurrection or life after death, along with the doctrines of everlasting punishment and a literal kingdom.
  • Denied that God controls history, insisting on free will and the responsibility of humans to make wise choices according to the Law.
  • Held only to the Law of Moses (the first five books of the Old Testament) as supremely authoritative.
  • Denied the existence of angels.

The Word in Life Study Bible, New Testament Edition, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville; 1993), p. 71

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