Means “righteous ones.” Wealthy Jewish aristocracy, claiming descent and authority from the high priest Zadok. Oversaw Temple; theology based on the first five books of the Bible; did not believe that God interfered in human lives or in any afterlife. Notoriously corrupt; disliked by the common people; helped to preserve their own political power and wealth by collaborating with the Romans. As the majority of the 70-man religious council (Sanhedrin), they wielded great authority over the nation’s everyday affairs. Had the most to lose by Jesus’ ministry, as he challenged the temple authority. Many scholars believe the Sadduccees were responsible for plotting to kill Jesus%u2014having him arrested, interrogated, and then released to the Romans.

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