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Along with the Pharisees, the Sadducees comprised the ruling class of Israel in Jesus’ time. The Sadducees, who tended to be wealthy aristocrats, held some of the most powerful religious and political positions in Israel. They also held a majority of the seats in the Sanhedrin, the council which condemned Jesus of blasphemy ultimately resulting in his crucifixion. Unlike the Pharisees, the Sadducess did not believe the oral tradition had equal authority to the laws set forth in the Pentateuch nor did they believe in a general resurrection of the dead (Matt. 22:23; Mark 12:18-27) or an afterlife.

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