Jesus’ life is intertwined with Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, while these groups are not mentioned in the Old Testament (OT). Between the last events recorded in the OT and the events in the New Testament (NT), there is a 400 year gap. During this time interval, the various groups listed above became prominent. After the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in 586 B.C., a devout Jew’s focus shifted from the Temple (sacrifice) to obeying God’s Law in the Torah. This swing resulted in new leaders arising. Scribes (aka “lawyers” in the NT) copied the Scriptures. With time, they evolved from mere copyists to teachers. Pharisees were the keepers of the Law. They surmised that Israel’s abandonment of the Law was the cause of the dispersion of the Jewish nation. To prevent this from recurring, they created legal “fences” surrounding the desired goal. I.e., if the object were to prevent Jews from traveling to Tulsa, they would preach that a devout Jew should not even go to Oklahoma. Sadducees were functionally like the Pharisees, but each hated the other. Sadducees rejected all Scripture except the first five books (the Pentateuch), and they also rejected the belief in a resurrection.
~ Dr. Gil Haas
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