Distinguishing Sadducees from Pharisees

Key Difference – Sadducees vs Pharisees

The terms Sadducee and Pharisee are found in the works of Josephus and the Bible, and they refer to Jewish sects that existed before the advent of Christianity. They were considered as religious parties during the time of Jesus, and both were opposed to his teachings. Despite this similarity, there are significant differences between the two.

What is Sadducee?

Sadducees were a Jewish sect and socio-political group that was prominent during the 3rd and 2nd century BC. They were characterized by their elite and priestly class and disappeared after the destruction of the Temple. Sadducees held important and powerful positions in society and had a majority in the ruling council. They believed only in the written Law of Moses, did not approve of the Oral Torah, did not believe in an afterlife, and opposed priesthood being given to any other class of people other than themselves. They were conservatives who opposed the oral Torah.

What is Pharisee?

Pharisees were another socio-political group among the Jews, made up of common people. They were prominent during the Hasmonean Dynasty and were in direct opposition to the Sadducees due to differences in social and political status. They gave equal respect to the Oral Torah and believed in an afterlife, resurrection, and the existence of angels. The modern Judaism traces its roots to this group or class of people that was referred to as Pharisees.

Key Takeaways

  • Sadducees were an elite and priestly class, while Pharisees were made up of common people.
  • Sadducees did not believe in an afterlife, whereas Pharisees believed in an afterlife and resurrection.
  • Pharisees rose in stature after the destruction of the Temple due to their belief in oral Torah, while Sadducees’ prominence waned with the destruction of the Temple.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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