I do stuff
It seems they vanished from history shortly after the destruction of the temple (70 AD). Whats up with that?
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I find it odd that the Sadducees did not leave any writings behind, not a trace. They held a very prestigious and honorable position in Jewish society during the first century. They had to be well versed in Jewish scripture and able to read and write. People are reluctant to change. You would think after the war they would have regrouped as a new sect or at the very least write about the good ole days before the destruction of the Temple. They must have known, without leaving any type of memoirs behind they would fade from history. My guess is that either the Romans or the Pharisees might have stumped out there memory like an unwanted bug. The best way to preserve orthodoxy is to stump out heterodoxy.
They seem to have been a small group of aristocrats who ran the temple and dominated the Sanhedrin. They also cultivated good relations with the Romans. So, war with Rome, the Sanhedrin abolished, the temple destroyed not much opportunity left to be a Sadducee.
They evolved into the Karaites
They did not dominate the Sanhedrin-- at least not the legitimate Sanhedrin. They did, unfortunately, dominate the Temple priesthood more often than not, and those who did were extremely corrupt. They may well have instituted illegitimate sanhedrins. But the legitimate Sanhedrin was never Sadducee, it was distinctively Pharisaic in nature.
They did not. The Sadducees dwindled out of existence rapidly in the wake of the destruction of the Temple. They were history long before Karaism was founded.
When Anan ben David broke away from the authority of the Gaonim in Babylonia, rejected the Oral Torah, and founded Karaism, he claimed to be "reviving" the tradition of the Sadducees, which he claimed was the "true and authentic" way of observing the commandments. In fact, by then there were no extant writings of the Sadducees, and so Anan and his followers had to construct their own "Sadducee" style works, on the premise of Biblical literalism-- many of which nonetheless look suspiciously like Rabbinic methodology and teaching styles with a "Sadducee" paint job, as it were.
So the Karaites were an attempted revival movement but were unable to truly revive what the Sadducees taught because they had very little information about the Sadducees?
I can see that, you're probably correct.
They were at least an attempted revival movement in name; but I think that Anan was infinitely less concerned with an honest attempt to revive Sadduceeism-- I am not even convinced he truly believed that was what he was doing-- and infinitely more concerned with his own attainment of power.
Prior to founding Karaism, Anan had contended fiercely to be appointed to the position of Reish Galuta (or Reish Galvata, meaning Exilarch), ambitions which were foiled by an appointee who had the backing of the Gaonim (the heads of the two great Academies). Anan seems to have taken this political defeat-- and the defeat being due in no small part to the power of the Gaonim-- quite personally, and for this reason he seems to have rejected the authority of the Gaonim, and since he could see no other way to do so, he rejected the Oral Torah itself. Biblical literalism seems to have been the best alternative ideology he knew of, and the Sadducees seem to have been the only Biblical literalists known in our history, so he picked them.
Despite his profession of Sadduceean Biblical literalism, he and his followers did develop a set of guidelines and interpretive precedents that essentially fulfilled the function in Karaite society that Mishnah and Gemara fulfilled in Rabbinic society, with the attraction of Karaism to the average Jew coming from a tradeoff of certain increased strictures (such as literally no lit fires or hot food on Shabbat) for certain increased leniencies (such as in certain matters of sexual relations, and in radically simplified observance of kashrut). I would sincerely doubt that anything in Karaism actually resembles the historical teachings of Sadducees, whatever those might have been, and I doubt that that fact ever bothered Anan in the slightest.
I would like to go off on a slight little tangent. Why was the Temple destroyed? One of the early church fathers believed God had the Temple destroyed because of the stoning of James. Im looking for a Jewish perspective not Christian. Normally when the Jews experience some sort of calamity they had done something wrong to be deserving of it. This is the view of the Jewish prophets not mine. What did the Jews do to be deserving?
I would like to go off on a slight little tangent. Why was the Temple destroyed? One of the early church fathers believed God had the Temple destroyed because of the stoning of stephen. Im looking for a Jewish perspective not Christian. Normally when the Jews experience some sort of calamity they had done something wrong to be deserving of it. This is the view of the Jewish prophets not mine. What did the Jews do to be deserving?
Can you give me a quote or link please? I would like to read it.
Here is a link, but I don't think it will help you much.
Here is a quote:
The First Temple, why was it destroyed? Because of the three things that were during it: idol-worship, immorality and bloodshed. Idol-worship as it says...
But [during] the Second Temple [where] they were toiling in Torah (ie. learning Torah), the Laws (ie. performing the Commandments) and Kind Deeds, for what reason was it destroyed?
Because of baseless hatred. [This comes] to teach you, that baseless hatred is as weighty as the three sins: idol-worship, immorality and bloodshed [combined].