View Full Version : (Jewish) Denominations
Jun 25, 2009, 03:09 PM
The word Pharisees comes from the Hebrew perushim from parush, meaning "separated". The Pharisees were, depending on the time, a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE-70 CE). After the destruction of the Second Temple, the Pharisaic sect was re-established as Rabbinic Judaism, which ultimately produced normative, traditional Judaism, the basis for all contemporary forms of Judaism (with the possible exception of the Karaites).
Jun 25, 2009, 03:10 PM
The Sadducees were a priestly group, Levites, associated with the leadership of the Temple in Jerusalem. Sadducees represented the aristocratic group of the Hasmonean High Priests, who replaced the previous High Priestly lineage. The earlier Priestly lineage had been blamed for allowing the Syrian Emperor Antiochus IV Epiphanes to desecrate the Temple of Jerusalem with idolatrous sacrifices and to martyr monotheistic Jews. The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the ousting of the Syrian forces, the rededication of the Temple, and the installment of the new Hasmonean priestly line. The Hasmoneans ruled as "priest-kings", claiming the titles of high priest and king simultaneously, and like other aristocracies across the Hellenistic world became increasingly influenced by Hellenistic syncretism and Greek philosophies: presumably Stoicism, and apparently Epicureanism in the Talmudic tradition criticizing the anti-Torah philosophy of the "Apikorsus" (i.e., Epicurus) refers to the Hasmonean clan qua Sadducees. Like Epicureans, Sadducees rejected the existence of an afterlife, thus denied the Pharisaic doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead.
Jun 25, 2009, 03:11 PM
The Essenes were a Jewish religious group that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE that claimed seccession from the Zadokite priests. Being much fewer in number than the Pharisees and the Sadducees (the other two major sects at the time) the Essenes lived in various cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to asceticism, voluntary poverty, and abstinence from worldly pleasures, including marriage and daily baptisms. Many separate but related religious groups of that era shared similar mystic, eschatological, messianic, and ascetic beliefs. These groups are collectively referred to by various scholars as the "Essenes." Josephus records that Essenes existed in large numbers, and thousands lived throughout Israel. The Essenes believed they were the last generation of the last generations and anticipated Teacher of Righteousness, Aaronic High Priest, and High Guard Messiah, similar to the Prophet, Priest and King expectations of the Pharisees.
Jun 25, 2009, 03:13 PM
Karaite Judaism (meaning "Followers of the Hebrew Scriptures, or Biblical Judaism"), is a Jewish movement characterized by the recognition of the Tanakh as its scripture, and the rejection of Rabbinic Judaism and the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmud) as binding. The movement crystallized in Baghdad, in present day Iraq. When interpreting the Tanakh, Karaites strive to adhere to the plain, or most obvious meaning (p'shat) of the text. This is in contrast to Rabbinical Judaism, which strives to employ the methods of p'shat, remez (implication or clue), drash (interpretation, exegesis), and sod (deep, hidden meaning, identified with the Kabbalah). At one time Karaites were a significant portion of the Jewish population.
Jan 18, 2010, 04:27 AM
Here is the folder of the Jewish religions.