post 5-7 Sentences of a response to the Discovery Board
Which group of Jews was most similar to Jesus of Nazareth? Why?
the group is Pharisees
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Major Jewish Groups Video
Sadducees traced their lineage to Zadok, the high priest under King David. They acquired
wealth and were politically and religiously conservative. To secure their inherited status, they
cooperated with Roman rulers.
Sadducees were associated with the priesthood, presided over Temple activities, and remained
close to the Torah.
The New Testament and Josephus (Jewish historian of the time) explain Sadducees did not
believe in resurrection.
“The Sadducees came upon them, annoyed because they were teaching the people and
proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead” (Acts 4:1-2).
“The doctrine of the Sadducees is this: That souls die with the bodies” (Antiquities 18.1.4).
The Pharisees were pious and sought to democratize religion. For them, the family table was
the table of the Lord. They wanted to consecrate everyday life and specified in detail how to
Pharisees set clear guidelines for behavior on the Sabbath but were accused of being legalistic.
They were associated with legalism and hypocrisy (Mt. 23), but this negative portrayal is
exaggerated. Pharisees allowed for oral interpretation of the Torah to provide flexibility for
Pharisees undermined the Sadducees’ authority by relativizing the importance of the Temple
and its priests. Once Romans destroyed the Temple, Pharisees took over Judaism since priests
were out of business.
Unlike Sadducees, Pharisees neither inherited status nor earned a living from their religious life.
They earned their living from manual labor (Paul of Tarsus was a Pharisee and tentmaker).
Similar to early Christian belief, Pharisees believed in resurrection. Christians and Pharisees
also recruited from the same population. This competition may explain their negative image in
the New Testament.
The Essenes lived in communities apart from cities to avoid moral corruption.
Essenes were dedicated to living as pure a Jewish life as possible. Some were celibate, they
rejected riches, and had all things in common.
Zealots believed Israel’s problems were a result of Roman occupation. With the elimination of
Roman rule, God’s rule could be established. Zealots used guerrilla tactics to attack the
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