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SMC203Y1 Lecture Notes - Sadducees, Ebionites, Sectarianism

St. Michael's College Courses
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Jessy Pagliaroli

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SMC 203
Lecture 4
Hellenistic vs. Observant—Hellenistic more open to Rome’s influence/observant Jews
more concerned with maintaining purity
Roman vs. Conquered—The Sadducees don’t like the Romans b/c they enjoy their power
and positions.
Urban vs. Rural
Tenant vs. land Owner
Sadducees—high priests/aristocratic class--open to Hellenistic culture—in Jesus’ time,
they control the temple and had a high place in Jewish courts. Temple cult was
fundamental to survival of jewish faith. They saw themselves as having the most
important role. They’re closely allied with the conquerors. Do not accept th special
traditions of the Pharisees and don’t believe in life after death. Not very popular among
wider populace.
Pharisees—developed many non-biblical traditions on how to observe the law….beleived
in life after death. Suspicious of Hellenistic tendencies.
Essenes / Dead Sea Sectarians? – disappeared 64-67 adleft with the Pharisees—basis
for modern Rabbinic Judaism—Did not worship @ the temple. Group of both priests and
lay people. Sectarian group that fled to the dessert to follow Judaism as they believed it
should be followed. Continued to hope for the eventual removal of the Sadducees.
Pharisees try to create a Judaism for a conquered people.
Despite the divisions, Jews share common beliefs:
They’re monotheists
Eschatological hope—hope/belief in a Messiah—that an anointed one will be sent by
God to intervene and bring order and restoration to his chosen people
Rituals: worshiping and serving God done through rituals and ethical living,
circumcision, avoiding certain foods, purification (especially before entering the temple)
Dead Sea Sectarians also had their own scrolls
Herod’s death in 4 CEhis kingdom is divided and ran by his children
Messiah means anointed-In Greek = Christos
Initially, this could refer to any prophet
The figure of the Messiah becomes increasingly important for the Jewish people
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