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.