Pre-Diaspora Jewish Sects

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by eagleseven, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. eagleseven
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    eagleseven Quod Erat Demonstrandum

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    Judaism, from the end of the Macabbean revolt (160 BC) to the destruction of the 2nd Temple and diaspora (70 AD), was heavily divided (even more than today). There were the Essenes, the Saducees, and the Pharisees.

    Essenes
    *Smallest sect, consisting of the followers of High Priest Zadok who split from the Saducees
    *Practiced ascetic Judaism, taking vows of poverty, and adding many additional rules to the Torah
    *Authored the Dead Sea Scrolls
    *Movement collapsed during the diaspora, though some Essene practices are preserved by Hasidic Jews

    Saducees
    *Second-largest sect, descendants and followers of the Jewish Hasmonean dynasty (formed during the Maccabean revolt)
    *High priests who maintained the 2nd Temple of Jerusalem
    *Rejected the (then new) Talmud, in favor of older texts
    *Aggressively opposed the Pharisees
    *Practiced more ancient form of Judaism (animal sacrifice), took Torah literally
    *Were lost with the destruction of the temple in 70 AD

    Pharisees
    *Followers of the Rabbis, who developed during the Persian period (pre-Hasmonean)
    *Authored what we now know as the Talmud
    *Worshiped in Synagogues, largely ignoring the Temple
    *Aggressively opposed the Saducees
    *Supported the Herod dynasty, and was most friendly with the Romans
    *Established the basis of Halakha
    *The only sect that survived the diaspora (as rabbis and synagogues were all that was left)
    *After the Diaspora, Pharisaic Judaism transformed into modern Rabbinic Judaism
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2010
  2. eagleseven
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    eagleseven Quod Erat Demonstrandum

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    P.S. Many believe that Jesus was raised an Essene by his family.

    (thanks, Jillian, for reminding me)
     

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