Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Hippolytus/The Refutation of All Heresies/Book IX/Part 14
Chapter XIII.—The Jewish Sects.
Originally there prevailed but one usage among the Jews; for one teacher was given unto them by God, namely Moses, and one law by this same Moses. And there was one desert region and one Mount Sinai, for one God it was who legislated for these Jews. But, again, after they had crossed the river Jordan, and had inherited by lot the conquered country, they in various ways rent in sunder the law of God, each devising a different interpretation of the declarations made by God. And in this way they raised up for themselves teachers, (and) invented doctrines of an heretical nature, and they continued to advance into (sectarian) divisions. Now it is the diversity of these Jews that I at present propose to explain. But though for even a considerable time they have been rent into very numerous sects, yet I intend to elucidate the more principal of them, while those who are of a studious turn will easily become acquainted with the rest. For there is a division amongst them into three sorts; and the adherents of the first are the Pharisees, but of the second the Sadducees, while the rest are Essenes. These practise a more devotional life, being filled with mutual love, and being temperate. And they turn away from every act of inordinate desire, being averse even to hearing of things of the sort. And they renounce matrimony, but they take the boys of others, and thus have an offspring begotten for them. And they lead these adopted children into an observance of their own peculiar customs, and in this way bring them up and impel them to learn the sciences. They do not, however, forbid them to marry, though themselves refraining from matrimony. Women, however, even though they may be disposed to adhere to the same course of life, they do not admit, inasmuch as in no way whatsoever have they confidence in women.
- Or, “nation.”
- See Josephus, De Bell. Judaic. ii. 8, from whom Hippolytus seems to have taken his account of the Jewish sects, except, as Schneidewin remarks, we suppose some other writer whom Josephus and Hippolytus themselves followed. The Abbe Cruice thinks that the author followed by Hippolytus was not Josephus, but a Christian writer of the first century, who derived his materials from the Jewish historian. Hippolytus’ text sometimes varies from the text of Josephus, as well as of Porphyry, who has taken excerpts from Josephus work.
- Or “choice.”