Sectarian groups of the 1st century
Pharisee – Torah (written and oral)
Sadducees – Temple
Essenes – Land (Qumran and library of Dead Sea Scrolls)
Zealots – Kingship (Sicarii — extreme measures)
Herodians – Regime (Mark 3:6)
Scribes – Text (Shammai & Hillel; Mark 12:34)
Samaritans – Sectarian past (see 2 Kings 17; John 4)
Christians – Messiah (Christ)
Remnant of Jews joined the Christian movement (Romans 9-11).
Escalating antipathy, esp. after 70 AD. Anti-Christian curses.
Did not deny Christian miracles, but rejected Jesus’ divinity.
Expected a political Messiah (John 6:15).
Heirs of Pharisees (rabbinic Judaism) codify oral law in Mishnah, c.200 AD.
Descendants of the Pharisees
Three main divisions
Divisions into sects — each with its own take on the Messiah — was not just a Jewish phenomenon of the first century.
As we shall see, division will come round again in the course of church history, and perhaps nowhere more so than in our generation – about 20 lessons from now.
This violates God’s ideal that his people remain one (John 17:22-23).