Who Were The Sadducees?

In the Synoptic Gospels, some Sadducees come forward to challenge Jesus about his teachings on the resurrection. The Sadducees were an upper class Jewish sect of Jesus’ day. Despite disbelieving many popular Jewish beliefs, they dominated the Jews’ religious and political leadership in Jerusalem.

The Sadducees only accepted the Bible’s first five books as inspired and rejected any religious teachings they could not find there; including angels, life after death, and the resurrection of the dead. This is why when the Sadducees try to use an absurd (polyandrous) example to mock Jesus’ belief in the resurrection, he replies by citing the scene of Moses and burning bush from Exodus—a book of Scripture they accept.

The Sadducees administered in the Temple, often served as its priests, and were numerous on the Jewish high counsel—the Sanhedrin—which would go on to condemn Jesus to death for blasphemy. Jesus, however, would go on to demonstrate his contention that “the dead will rise” in his own person.

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