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Author Topic:   the modern Saduccees?
randman 
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Message 1 of 57 (277933)
01-10-2006 10:53 PM


One of the primary enemies of Jesus' ministry and the ministry of the apostles in Acts, and a group Jesus condemned somewhat harshly are the Sadduccees. He calls them vipers in fact.

7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Matthew 3:7 (King James Version)

One of the main sources of criticism of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ and of His Apostles in the book of Acts were the Sadduccees.

Nelson Bible Dictionary writes:

SADDUCEES -- members of a Jewish faction that opposed Jesus during His ministry. Known for their denial of the bodily resurrection, the Sadducees came from the leading families of the nation-the priests, merchants, and aristocrats. The high priests and the most powerful members of the priesthood were mainly Sadducees (Acts 5:17).
Some scholars believe the name Sadducees came from Zadok, the high priest in the days of David (2 Sam 15:24) and Solomon (1 Kings 1:34-45). Many of the wealthy lay people were also Sadducees. This may be the reason why the Sadducees gave the impression of wanting to preserve things as they were. They enjoyed privileged positions in society and managed to get along well under Roman rule. Any movement that might upset order and authority was bound to appear dangerous in their eyes.
The Sadducees rejected "the tradition of the elders," that body of oral and written commentary which interpreted the law of Moses. This automatically placed them in direct conflict with another Jewish group, the PHARISEES, who had made the traditions surrounding the Law almost as important as the Law itself.

John the Baptist condemned the Sadducees.(Matthew 3:7)

Jesus warned us to beware of their doctrine or "leaven", their way of looking at things. Keep in mind there are a limited number of things Jesus says to beware of, and the Sadducees ideas make the list. (Matthew 16:6)
So here we have a religious group that denies the existence of the spiritual realm, of angels, and of the literal resurrection. It seems to me that a great many moralists who attempt to reduce Jesus, His teachings, and Christianity to a mere hypothetical and humanist moral code are, in fact, Sadducean in their outlook.

Moreover, looking past overt theistic religion, it seems that many materialists and rationalists could rightly be considered somewhat similar to Sadducean doctrine.

Imo then, Jesus takes a very dim and harsh view of many that advance ideas that the spiritual realm is a myth, and of those that overly rely on reason over revelation and who downplay the supernatural, revelatory and mystical aspects of Christ. In short, the whole Rationalist approach is condemned by Jesus, to a certain extent, imo.

(Note: some of this includes phat's suggestions for an editted version.)

This message has been edited by randman, 01-04-2006 08:57 AM


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AdminBen
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Message 2 of 57 (277934)
01-10-2006 10:54 PM


Copied here from the Proposed New Topics Forum.

  
jar
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Message 3 of 57 (277935)
01-10-2006 11:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
01-10-2006 10:53 PM


Actually, in Matthew 3:7 it is not Jesus speaking but John, and he is not condemning the Sadducees but rather both the Pharisees and Sadduccees. That seems to imply that it had nothing to do with there philosophical approach (the Pharisees and Sadducees approached learning in different ways) but rather their actions, their behavior.

It looks like John was refering to ALL of the priestly class.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion

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jaywill
Member (Idle past 329 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 4 of 57 (277941)
01-10-2006 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
01-10-2006 11:03 PM


That seems to imply that it had nothing to do with there philosophical approach (the Pharisees and Sadducees approached learning in different ways) but rather their actions, their behavior.
It looks like John was refering to ALL of the priestly class

I have to see things very similiar to jar's view in this regard.

Jesus equally condemned the Saduccees and the Pharisees.

In fact in Jesus, the Pharisees and the Saduccees had a common enemy. They normally would have been at odds with each other.

Jesus causes enemies of one another to unite together to fight a common threat. One time the opposing enemies came to question Jesus thinking that if He took sides one way or the other He would be condemned.

But of course He was too wise to be caught in such a trap.


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3287 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 5 of 57 (277958)
01-11-2006 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
01-10-2006 11:03 PM


Herodians
Were the Herodians a priestly class too? Jesus says to beware of their "leaven" as well.

The fact is Jesus here and elsewhere says to beware of the leaven of the Saduccees. Now, he does say the same thing about the Pharisees and even the Herodians, and people mostly focus on the Pharisees, but both the doctrine of the Pharisees and Saduccees, Jesus warns of.

The Saduccees rejected the whole concept of the spiritual realm. I really think the materialist and moral claims connected to a sense of scientific progress that came out of the 19th century fit very well with what Jesus warned about. It's not that there is nothing good about the Saduccees, but that along with some good things, like morals, comes along something Jesus feels is extremely dangerous, the denigration of the need and reality of faith.


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randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 6 of 57 (277959)
01-11-2006 2:00 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by jaywill
01-10-2006 11:20 PM


leaven?
Jesus warns of their leaven, of their doctrine. So it's not so much he is just warning about his enemies, but their basic doctrine and belief system.

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randman 
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Posts: 6367
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Message 7 of 57 (277964)
01-11-2006 2:17 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
01-10-2006 11:03 PM


good point on John
That was a little hasty to attribute that to Jesus. Here are some more references.

6Then Jesus said unto them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

7And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have taken no bread."

8But when Jesus perceived this, He said unto them, "O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, `because ye have brought no bread'?

9Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

10Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

11How is it that ye do not understand that I spoke it not to you concerning bread, but that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees?"

12Then understood they that He bade them not to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Matthew 16:7-12

18Then came unto Him the Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked Him, saying,

19"Master, Moses wrote unto us that if a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, then his brother should take his wife and raise up seed unto his brother.

20Now there were seven brethren; and the first took a wife, and dying, left no seed.

21And the second took her and died, neither leaving any seed. And the third likewise.

22So the seven had her and left no seed. Last of all the woman died also.

23In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be, for all seven had her for a wife?"

24And Jesus answering, said unto them, "Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God? 25For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels who are in Heaven.

26And concerning the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spoke unto him, saying, `I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'?

27He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. Ye therefore do greatly err."

Mark 12:18-27

They err not knowing the Scriptures, neither the power of God. They know the words, but not the Scripture from the believing perspective of Jesus, and they don't know the power of God.

Same event in Matthew.

23The same day the Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him,
24saying, "Master, Moses said, `If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up seed unto his brother.'

.... 28Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her."

29Jesus answered and said unto them, "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

Matthew 22:223-29


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PaulK
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Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 8 of 57 (277971)
01-11-2006 2:36 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by randman
01-10-2006 10:53 PM


Since that Saducees and Pharisees are directly linked and condemned with the same words there are no grounds for assuming that the condemnation was based on a doctrine held solely by the Saducees. Moreover the quoted part does not identify any particular belief - or even make it clear that it refers to beleifs as such.

The context of Matthew 16:6 is the Pharisees and Saducees testing Jesus and asking for a miracle (16:1). Again the Pharisees and Saducees are joined in condemnation (16:6 16:12). The only hint of the actual basis for the condemnation is 16:2-4 which allege that there are clear "signs of the times" which the Saducees and Pharisees do not notice and state that no sign will be given "except the sign of Jonah".

The parallel passage in Mark (8:11-15) does not mention the Saducees at all and condemns the "leaven" of the Pharisees and the Herodians. Luke 11 agrees with Mark in not mentioning the Saducees.

Thus any attempt to single out a particular belief of the Saducees as prompting this exclamation is eisegesis and a misuse of the Gospels and of words attributed by them to Jesus.


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randman 
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Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 9 of 57 (277979)
01-11-2006 2:49 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by PaulK
01-11-2006 2:36 AM


look again
Since that Saducees and Pharisees are directly linked and condemned with the same words there are no grounds for assuming that the condemnation was based on a doctrine held solely by the Saducees. Moreover the quoted part does not identify any particular belief - or even make it clear that it refers to beleifs as such.

Jesus warns of their doctrine, and the gospels, Acts and Jesus all mention the fact the Saduccees don't believe in "the spirit, angels and the resurrection", and Jesus says they err because of it.

18Then came unto Him the Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection. And they asked Him, saying,
....24And Jesus answering, said unto them, "Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God? 25For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels who are in Heaven.

They are trying to mock the spiritual aspect of Jesus' teachings. Jesus thinks believing and knowing the spiritual and supernatural are critical, and if you discount them, you "greatly err".

Note the comment in Acts of what they believed.

8For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both.

It's important to remember that Jesus condemned both the doctrine of the Pharisees and Saduccees not because they are both the same, but because they both contain serious errors believers need to watch out for: legalism and hypocrisy on the one hand (Pharisees), and disbelief towards the spiritual and supernatural as well as over-reliance on the other hand.

We hear a lot about the dangers of Pharisaical doctrine, but little about the Saduccees. The Saduccees were curiously similar, imo, to modern secular humanists and rationalists. They believe in doing good, but scoff at or downplay the supernatural aspects of God and His message.


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PaulK
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Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 10 of 57 (277982)
01-11-2006 3:10 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by randman
01-11-2006 2:49 AM


Re: look again
"look again" actually means "don't look again. look somewhere else instead".

The issue is whether the condemnations cited specifically referred to the Saducees rejection of the resurrection. Since the first does not refer to beliefs at all and the second only mentions the Saducees in a single version of the event (neither Mark nor Luke mentioning them) - and in the context of requests for a "sign from heaven" we cannot conclude that it eas "really" about the Saducees lack of belief in the resurrection in either case. Looking again at these passages will only confirm that.

The comment in Acts is mostly relevant in that it confirms that the Pharisees did not share this belief and thus we cannot assume that a combined denunciation of both referred to one specific belief.

The reference from Matthew 22 (also in Mark 12, Luke 20) also fails to confirm that the denial of the resurrection is the reason for the earlier condmenations. Jesus loudly disagrees with it but does not condemn the Saducees with the same vigour as in the passages cited earlier - which also serves to undermine the idea that the resurrection beleif was the primary issue in the passages cited earlier.e


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randman 
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Posts: 6367
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Message 11 of 57 (277983)
01-11-2006 3:19 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by PaulK
01-11-2006 3:10 AM


Re: look again
Paulk, a few points.

1. Jesus Himself says they err greatly. The context is clear in the gospels when they try to ask him a question to essentially mock belief in the resurrection.

2. Jesus condemns both the doctrine (way of thinking and beliefs) of the Saduccees and Pharisees. He condemns both. It's pretty simple. Both of their different ways of thinking are condemned by Jesus.

3. Jesus says we need to beware of the way they think, of their "leaven" as he put it and then plainly states "doctrine."

Jesus warns of lust and bitterness too. We don't say, now the specifics of bitterness are OK because after all he also spoke of a bunch of other things that were wrong at the same time.


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PaulK
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Posts: 15843
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 12 of 57 (277986)
01-11-2006 3:42 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by randman
01-11-2006 3:19 AM


Re: look again
1) Which is a far cry from calling them "vipers" or referring to an "evil and adulterous generation"

2) That Jesus condmens both in the same breath suggests that the primary fault is shared. It certainly does not suggest that the primary reason for condemning the Saducees is one particular belief that is not even raised in the passages you originally cited.

3) And the context of that remark is a request for a sign - which is assigned to the Saducees and the Pharisses by one Gospel. But another two do not include the Saducees in that condmenation at all.

Really you are making it quite clear that your interest is not in what the Bible says but in using it to attack people whose views you dislike.e


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3287 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 13 of 57 (277988)
01-11-2006 3:52 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by PaulK
01-11-2006 3:42 AM


Re: look again
Paulk, you are correct in saying Jesus only says they "err greatly" in one passage. They are called vipers along with the Pharisees in another. Perhaps Jesus condemns their hypocrisy along with the Pharissees in greater terms.

However, he clearly condemns both of their doctrines and warns us to beware of both of their doctrines. So the question is still what is it about the Saduccees that Jesus says to beware of, and says "errs greatly."

I think you have to look at both passages to get a clear picture of his attitude, and since he speaks against their beliefs in both, with one time clearly not lumping them with the Pharissees, I think you have to consider whatever distinct doctrines they had that are mentioned, that are different from the Pharisees.

And the Bible is very clear on what that teaching was. They don't believe in the resurrection, in angels or in spirit.

Who does that sound like to you?

If you want to say, hey, the Pharissees seem to be referenced with greater condemnation or whatever, let's take that up on another thread and not debate it here. This thread is about the Saduccees and why Jesus warns us of their doctrine (beleif and attitudes) and says they err greatly.

I think an honest appraisal of some other sayings of Jesus show that He very much condemns disbelief in spiritual things, and that He places a great emphasis on faith.

This message has been edited by randman, 01-11-2006 03:53 AM


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PaulK
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Posts: 15843
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 14 of 57 (277989)
01-11-2006 4:36 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by randman
01-11-2006 3:52 AM


Re: look again
The real question is whether that doctrine is so central to Jesus's condemnation of the Saducees that agreement on that point alone justifies the label "the new Saducees".

We have three condemnations from the Gospels. In the first we can only say that the condemnation applies equally to the Pharisees who believed in the resurrection. In fact Mark omits this condemnation altogether and Luke presents it as a general condemnation of everyone present so we certainly cannot take it as a specific condemnation fo the Saducees for not beleiving in the resurrection !

In the second, Mark and Luke fail to mention the Saducees at all, though keeping the reference to the Pharisees - and the context is asking for a "sign from heaven".

Only in the third, mildest condemnation is this doctrine an issue - and according to the Gospels the reason it is an issue is because the Saducees themselves bring it up as part of their attack on Jesus' teachings.

Thus from the Bible the answer to the central question of this thread is a clear "no". There is no justification for singling out this particular belief.


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jaywill
Member (Idle past 329 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 15 of 57 (278009)
01-11-2006 7:15 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by randman
01-11-2006 1:59 AM


Re: Herodians
Randman,

. It's not that there is nothing good about the Saduccees, but that along with some good things, like morals, comes along something Jesus feels is extremely dangerous, the denigration of the need and reality of faith.

I understand you.

I also was taught that the Saduccees were the ancient Modernists.

This message has been edited by jaywill, 01-11-2006 07:18 AM


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