A Dictionary of All Religions and Religious Denominations/Sadducees

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SADDUCEES, an ancient Jewish sect, said to be founded about three hundred years before Christ, by one Sadock, who is reported by tradition to have been the disciple of Antigonus Socho, president of the Sanhedrim of Jerusalem. This celebrated teacher inculcated a pure and disinterested principle of obedience to God, independent of rewards and punishments, from which some of his disciples interred that none were to be expected; and hence the sect degenerated into infidelity; and denied the being of angels and spirits, and, consequently, a future state. Acts xxiii. 8.

It has been said that they rejected all the sacred writings but those of Moses; and it is probable that some did so, but that this was not universally the case.[1] It is certain, indeed, that they rejected the traditions of the elders, and paid little attention to any religious forms. To make amends for this, however, they were very strict in administering justice between man and man; so much so, that some have derived the denomination from the Hebrew word for justice, which is (?). In their philosophy they were Epicureans or Materialists; but did not admit of a resurrection; and were so far from Necessarians, that they were great advocates for the doctrine of freewill, and totally rejected that of divine influences.[2] The history of the Sadducees may be traced down to the middle ages, and there are still said to be some remains of this sect in Africa. See Jews.

Original footnotes[edit]

  1. Prideaux's Connection. Anno. 107. Basnage's Hist. lib. 2, cap. 5. Sealiger Elench Triher, cap. 16.
  2. Prideaux's Connect Anno. 446. Lamy and Beausobre's Introduct. Cal- met's Dict. vol. ii. new ed. Stackhouse's Hist. of the Bible, 8vo. vol. v. p. 118.