Are there any writings of the Sadducees that remain to this day?

The Sadducees were a Jewish sect that existed during the Second Temple period, from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE. They were known for their strict adherence to the written Torah and their rejection of the Oral Torah and the traditions of the Pharisees. While many writings from the Second Temple period have been preserved, there are very few surviving texts that can be attributed to the Sadducees. In this post, we will explore whether there are any writings of the Sadducees that remain to this day.

One of the primary sources of information about the Sadducees comes from the New Testament and other early Christian writings. However, these sources are often biased and may not provide an accurate picture of the Sadducees' beliefs and practices. Additionally, there are very few references to the Sadducees in rabbinic literature, which suggests that they were a relatively small and marginalized sect.

Despite the lack of surviving texts that can be definitively attributed to the Sadducees, there are a few sources that may provide some insight into their beliefs and practices. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were discovered in the mid-20th century, contain a number of texts that may have been written by Sadducees or their contemporaries.

One such text is the "Temple Scroll," which describes the construction and operation of the Temple in Jerusalem. While the authorship of the Temple Scroll is still debated, some scholars have suggested that it may have been written by a group associated with the Sadducees. The text contains detailed instructions for the construction of the Temple and describes a number of rituals and practices that are not found in the Torah.

Another text that may shed light on Sadducean beliefs is the "Book of Enoch." This text, which is not included in the Hebrew Bible but is considered canonical by some Ethiopian and Eritrean Christians, describes a group of fallen angels who teach humans various forms of knowledge, including astrology and divination. The author of the Book of Enoch may have been influenced by Sadducean or other Second Temple sects that were interested in esoteric knowledge.

While these texts may provide some glimpses into the beliefs and practices of the Sadducees, they do not provide a complete picture. It is important to remember that the Sadducees were a relatively small and marginalized group, and their writings may not have been preserved or may have been lost over time.

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Jamie Larson