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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: Who Were the Sadducees?

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Don Stewart

The Sadducees were a Jewish political party. They were members of the priesthood and made up part of the Jewish council- the Sanhedrin. The high priest was taken from the Sadducees. Although they were few in number, they educated and usually wealthy. We read a description of them in the Book of Acts.

The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all (Acts 23:8).

They Were Opposed To The Pharisees

The Sadducees were opposed to the Pharisees. The Apostle Paul used their theological differences to cause a division between them.

Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead." When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided (Acts 23:6,7).

They Came To Trap Jesus

The Sadducees sent some of their people to question Jesus about the resurrection.

That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question (Matthew 22:23).

They Were Ignorant Of Two Basic Truths

In reply, Jesus said the Sadducees were ignorant of two things.

Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God" (Matthew 22:29).

They Joined With The Pharisees Against Jesus

Although they were usually opposed to the Pharisees we find them uniting together in their mutual hatred of Jesus.

The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked him to show them a sign from heaven (Matthew 16:1).

They Continued The Persecution Of Jesus' Followers

The Sadducees, like the Pharisees, continued with the persecution of Jesus' disciples.

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day (Acts 4:1-3)

They Disappeared After A.D. 70

With the destruction of Jerusalem the Sadducees disappeared from history. We hear no more from them after this time.


The Sadducees were the wealthy landowners. They were a Jewish party who were opposed to the Pharisees but joined them in their persecution of Jesus. When they questioned Jesus about the resurrection of the dead Jesus told them they were ignorant of the Scriptures and the power of God. The Sadducees ceased to exist after A.D. 70.
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