Origins -Descended from Hasidim freedom fighters of the Maccabee era -Descended from Solomon’s high priest, Zadok-Became a faction in approximately 200 BC -Resisted the Maccabees’ claim to the high priesthood in approximately 170 AD -A movement formed against a Roman census in 6 AD and led by Judas the Galilean
Membership -Were middle-class merchants numbering about 6,000 -Were priests who were wealthy, aristocratic, and often Hellenistic -Were possibly dissident Sadducees or Pharisees who preferred isolation in the wilderness to participation in Temple services led by corrupt priests -Were extreme Pharisees and religious Jews living primarily in Galilee
Beliefs -The entire OT as law-Accepted the oral interpretations of the OT as binding

-The study of the Torah (law) was the highest act of worship

-Keeping the law was God’s desire

-Bodily resurrection and life after death

-Only the Torah was God’s law-Rejected oral traditions

-The Temple was the only path to God

-Did not believe in bodily resurrection

-Withdrawal from corruption-True priests were descended only from Zadok

-Rigid adherence to the Torah

-They had been chosen to prepare for the imminent arrival of the kingdom of God

-Theology resembled the Pharisees, however, only God could rule.-Slavery was the worst evil

-Taxes were due only to God

Practices -Supported the synagogue for the study, interpretation and teaching of the Torah-Strict, detailed obedience to the oral and written law

-Accepted Rome as a necessary evil so long as they could practice obedience to their beliefs

-Ran the Temple and all the ceremonies-Dominated the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling council

-Lived a Hellenistic lifestyle

-Received Roman support

-Worked at copying and studying the Torah-Lived in isolated communities

-Shared property and communal meals

-Practiced ritual cleansing

-Rejected Hellenism

-Practiced terrorism against the hated Romans-Refused to pay taxes

-Adhered carefully to the Torah and oral interpretations