Last page update: 30 June, 2016.
There were several sub-groups of Pharisees
- Undefined splinter groups
- Conservatives - They accepted Jesus' teaching
- Essenes - seclusive radicals
- Zealots - militant radicals
- Sicarii a more extreme Zealot splinter group.
- Pharisees of the NT - Hellenistic radicals
- The most extreme Hellenistic radicals were part of a brotherhood connected to the 'Chamber of Scribes' in the Sanhedrin.
- It was this group that wrote the Mishna/oral law (and are the current Orthodox Jews?)
- This group thought their oral law that was supposingly passed down from Moses was the better than the written law of Moses when living in an Hellenistic society.
The Sadducee totally ignored the oral law and lived by the written Law only. Well unto the point it would cut their profits and political standing. They were buddies with the Romans.
The full 71 person Sanhedrin was made up from:
- 23 - Chamber of Chief priests
- The nasty political guys.
- Administration of sacrificial function of the Temple.
- Mainly Sadducean.
- They did not believe in the afterlife but lived according to the written laws of Moses.
- 23 - Chamber of Scribes
- The nasty religious guys.
- Mainly extremist Pharisees
- They did believe in the afterlife but held the opinion that their orals laws, they claimed came from Moses, were equal or even better than the written Law.
- Lawyers who made new legislation (new oral laws)
- Scribe means 'one who counts'. They originally counted all letters words and verse in the Torah to spot copying errors.
- 23 - Chamber of the Elders
- The good guys.
- The least influential Chamber that had nothing to do with criminal law.
- Senators aka councilors
- Conservative Pharisees who got along with Jesus.
- It's this group Jesus ate and talked with. The most known ones are Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimaethea. Both were extremely wealthy. Of Nicodemus it was said that he was so wealthy that he was one of the 3 or 4 people that could provide everything Jerusalem needed during a 27 year siege.
- 1 high priest / nasi
- In office 25-36AD
- Powerless strawman of Annas
- 1 vice-high priest and ‘father of the court’ / ‘ab beth din’
- Annas. He was simply the most powerful of them.
- High priest /nasi 7-11AD
- Father-in-law of Caiaphas.
- Killed by the Sicarii in the middle of Jerusalem during the Roman war for collaborating with the Roman - 66-70 AD
A 23 member criminal court was made up from 21 members from the "Chamber of Priests" and "Chamber of Scribes" + the 2 high priests. The 21 members were hand picked by Annas. (Mainly Sadducee family members and business partners)
Jesus stood trial before the that 23 member criminal court.