• Regarding the beliefs of the Pharisees, states:
  • Who were the Sadducees and the Pharisees?

Both Pharisees and Sadducees are terms that refer to members of different Jewish “sects” before, during and after the time of Jesus.

Regarding later Pharisaic control of the Temple, says:

Paul Johnson describes this "oral law" of the Pharisees as follows:

Addressing this same topic in his history of the Hasmonean dynasty, Elias Bickerman states:
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Josephus records that two of those rewarded were a Pharisee named Pollio and his disciple Sameas, who had encouraged the Jews to accept Herod because they felt the rule by a foreigner resulted from divine judgment and the people should willingly bear it. Perhaps because of this intervention, Herod was on fairly good terms with the Pharisees throughout most of his reign and generally avoided conflict with them until just before his death. By that time, it appears that the Pharisees as a party had essentially withdrawn from politics, although individual Pharisees may have remained politically active.

Politically, they were ardent anti-Hellenists and anti-Romans.

They hated Jesus and played a huge part in his condemnation (along with the Pharisees).
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The philosophical belief that God – and Good – would ultimately triumph over Evil, coupled with rising political tension with Rome and the anticipation of inevitable war, led to an increasingly ‘Apocalyptic‘ view of the world: in other words, many Jews in Palestine began to believe that the ‘End of the World’ (at least as we know it) was rapidly approaching.


And unlike the Zealots, they had no taste for politics or violence.

Emil Schürer, in his extensive history of the Jews during this period, wrote:
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Addressing the differences between the Pharisees and Sadducees regarding religious observances, Alfred Edersheim, a noted 19th-century Jewish scholar, wrote:

Because of their fear of the people, this Sadducean adaptation to Pharisaic views extended to all official duties the Sadducees performed. Josephus verifies this fact; of the Sadducees, he states:

So how do we discover and deal with the Pharisee inside us?

One of the Dead Sea Scrolls, known as MMT, sheds light on the prestige the Pharisees enjoyed prior to the ministry of Yeshua. According to Schiffman:

Politics And The Jewish Language | Real Jew News

Different political agendas, upbringings, levels of education and philosophies were all brought together with one common purpose – to rule over the Jewish population.

The leaven of the pharisees and the sadducees.

Even though the high priest was a Sadducee, history shows that the Sadducees were compelled to follow Pharisaic customs in the Temple rituals because of their fear of the people. This gave the Pharisees effective control of Temple observances, which was probably most noticeable during the annual feasts.

The Pharisees were admired by the majority of Jews, ..

Pharisaic control of the local synagogues was more direct. Synagogues first came into being after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile. They were not intended to replace the Temple, but were meant to be places of prayer and instruction in the Torah. At first, the teachers of the Law in the synagogues were priests and Levites. But some in the priesthood became hellenized and lost the respect of the people because of their accommodation of Greek ideas at the expense of the Law. The apocryphal book of shows that, by the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, even the priests at the Temple in Jerusalem had become enamored with the Greek way of life; so much so "" (. 4:14).


There is some dispute among scholars about who actually controlled the Temple sacrifices and rituals before and during the time of Messiah. While many accept the witness of Josephus and the rabbinical writings, some scholars have taken the position that these Jewish historical sources cannot be trusted because they were written after 70 CE. They have rejected the claims made in post-destruction rabbinic literature that the Pharisees were the dominant religious group in the affairs of the Temple as early as the Maccabean period. However, new evidence found among the Dead Sea Scrolls tends to discredit this skeptical view.