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Gάλλει, λέγον εκείνα δείν ηγείσθαι νόμιμα τα γεγραμμένα, τα δ' εκ παραδόσεως των πατέρων μη τηρείν. και περί τούτων ζητήσεις αυτούς και διαφορας γενέσθαι συνέβαινε μεγάλας.
The Pharisees have delivered to the people many precepts from the tradition of the fathers, which are not written in the laws of Moses; and for this reason the Sadducees reject them, saying, that those are only to be accounted statutes and precepts which are written, and that those which are delivered down by tradition are not to be regarded; and upon this subject they have had perpetual disputations and great contentions.' Ant. xii. x. 6.
Σαδδουκαίοις δε τας ψυχάς ο λόγος συναφανίζει τους σώμασι» φυλακής δε ουδαμών τινων μεταποίησης αυτούς ή των νόμων. προς γαρ τους διδασκάλους σοφίας, ήν μετίασιν, αμφιλογείν αρετήν αριθμoυσιν.
The Sadducees hold that the soul and body perish to. gether, and think themselves bound to observe nothing besides the laws; but judge it right and commendable to dispute against the teachers of what is called wisdom.' Ant. xviii. i. 4.
Eopía here is rabbinical, pharisaical, traditionary wisdom, and its professors and doctors were called cofci, chachams. Wisdom is the doctrine of the Jewish schools and synagogues.
1. The Sadducees, says Josephus, observe the laws, and nothing else. Now νόμος and νόμοι, though strictly they mean the law of Moses, yet sometimes include the prophets in Jewish phrase; as John X. 34.—' Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods ?' that is, in the Psalms. And again, xv. 25.'' that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.' In their law, that is, in the Psalms. St. Paul, after having cited the Psalms, subjoins, “Now we know that whatsoever things the law saith,' &c. Rom. iii. 9.
2. Josephus says, that the Sadducees observed only the laws, that is, if you please, the laws of Moses. Be it so; but this only is plainly opposed by him to the unwritten law, and therefore the prophets seem to be out of the question. The Pharisees, on the other hand, delivered precepts which were not written in the laws of Moses; and I add, nor in the prophets neither. VOL. I.
In the controversy between these two sects, the Sadducees did right in rejecting the oral and traditionary law, and our Saviour decided it on their side ; which also made them the more favourable to him during his ministry.
3. “The Sadducees received no precepts besides those which were contained in the law; therefore they rejected the prophets.' I deny the consequence, for this reason, that there are in the prophets no νόμοι and νόμιμα, να laws, no statutes, no articles of Jewish faith, no fundamentals, which are not contained, either explicitly or implicitly, in the law of Moses. The prophets were not, properly speaking, legislators, but enforcers of the Mosaic system.
4. Josephus had no fove for the Sadducees, and gives them a bad character; and had no reason to fear them, and was not at all disposed to spare them. If they had rejected the prophets, he would have charged them with it expressly, and not have left us to collect it from oblique hints and dark intimations. «Tantamne rem tam negligenter!' It is inconceivable.
5. The sacred writers of the New Testament, who have spoken of the Sadducees in many places, and have given us an account of their errors, have also omitted the mention of this capital one. Strange indeed! To this must be added the silence of the Apostolical Constitutions, and the Recog. nitions of Clemcns, in which the Sadducees are censured for denying the resurrection of the dead, but not for rejecting the prophets.
6. Josephus, writing against Apion, mentions the sacred books which were received by his nation, and boasts of the Teligious and uncommon care with which they had been preserved, and of the universal and uniform respect paid to them by the Jews, by all and every Jew; and consequently by Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. If it had not been so, the friends of Apion, and the adversaries of Josephus, and of the poor Jewish nation, would have said to the historian, “Thou art an audacious romancer, to talk with such confidence and effrontery of this uniform consent, when a whole sect of thy countrymen reject all those books, the Pentateuch excepted.'
Here was the proper place for Josephus to mention the
Sadducees with ignominy, as despisers of the prophets, and little better than apostates.
Δύο δε μόνα (είσί παρ' ημίν) προς τους είκοσι βιβλιατα δικαίως θεία πεπιστευμένα.-δηλον δ' έστιν έργω πως ημείς τους ιδίοις γράμμασι πεπιστέυκαμεν" τοσούτου γαρ αιώνος ήδη παρωχηκότος, ούτε προσθείναι τις ουδέν ούτε αφελείν αυτών, ούτε μεταθείναι τετόλμηκεν. ΠΑΣΙ δε σύμφυτόν έστιν ευθύς εκ της πρώτης γενέσεως ΙΟΥΔΑΙΟΙΣ, το νομίζειν αυτα ΘΕΟΥ ΔΟΓΜΑΤΑ, και τούτοις εμμένειν, και υπέρ αυτών, ει δέοι, θνήσκειν ηδέως.
*Duo duntaxat et viginti sunt apud nos libri --qui merito creduntur divini.--Quanta porro veneratione libros nostros prosequamur, reipsa apparet. Cum enim tot jain sæcula effluxerint, nemo adhuc nec adjicere quicquam illis, nec demere, aut mutare aliquid est ausus. Sed omnibus Judaeis statim ab ipso nascendi exordio hoc insitum atque innatum est, Dei ut hæc esse præcepta credamus, iisdemque constanter adhærescamus, ut eorum causa, si opus fuerit, libentissime mortem perferamus.' i. 8.
7. The Sadducees lay under no temptation to discard the prophets; for the traditions which they opposed and hated were not grounded on the prophets, but on the oral law, and the decrees of the fathers. If a future state had been so taught by any prophet as to leave them no room for doubts and evasions, they might have been induced to decline his authority; but there is nothing of that kind in the sacred books which they did not think themselves able to shuffle or explain away, without having recourse to the desperate expedient of condemning those books. The truth is, that the Sadducees had as poor disputants as themselves to deal with; and contended with adversaries who knew not how to urge the proper arguments from reason and revelation, and from historical facts contained in the Scriptures in favour of the permanency of the soul, and a future state.
8. The Sadducees conformed to the Pharisees in many things,' says Josephus, for fear of the people. If they had struck any of the sacred books out of the canon, it would not have been endured; for they could not reject the prophets without treating them as liars and impostors. In this case there can be no medium. Whosoever speaks as a
prophct in the name of the Lord, must be a sacred messenger, or a vile deceiver. If the Sadducees had dared to treat David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, &c. in this manner, the people would have stoned them as blasphemers ; at the least, they certainly would not have held communion with them as they did.
9. They knew that Moses had promised a succession of inspired teachers, and had left Joshua for his prophetic suc
10. They, like the rest of the Jews, had no right to their own lands but by prophetic appointment; and if they rejected the book of Joshua, they rejected the charter by which they held them. They had no claim to the priesthood (and yet some of them were priests) but by their ge. nealogies, which stood partly upon prophetic authority.
11. It hath been the temper of all people, it was more particularly the temper of the Jews, to honour and reve. rence their ancestors. One cannot suppose, unless there were overbearing evidence for it, that the Sadducees accounted their whole history, and all their own annals, from their entrance into Canaan, to have been a bundle of fic. tions; and their forefathers, from Joshua to Malachi, to have been made up of two sorts of men, of deceivers who pretended to prophecy, and of dupes who were deluded by them. The very Pagans believed more than this, and paid more regard than this to the Jewish prophets, of whom some had been consulted, protected, and honoured by neighbouring princes.
12. The Sadducees, you will perhaps say, admitted what was historic, and discarded what was didactic in the sacred books; but see what follows: The Sadducees believed a God, and admitted his government, and a general providence rewarding and punishing the Jewish nation, according as the people observed or neglected the law of Moses. Now add to this, that they rejected the prophets
, and from such a system it must have followed, that God suffered the nation to flourish most under David and Solomon, who both pretended to be prophets ; that Ahab, Jezabel, and other wicked princes, did well in cutting off the prophets, and yet were cut off themselves for it; that Moses gave then a most useless instruction, how to distin
guish true from false prophets, instead of admonishing them to receive none; that the prophets foretold the fates of their own country; and of neighbouring nations ; that their predictions were accomplished; and that, notwithstanding all this, they were false teachers, &c. And yet we read of no Bedlam erected at Jerusalem for the reception of these Sadducees.
13. Some of the Jewish fasts and feasts and religious customs stood upon prophetic authority, and with these the Sadducees complied. They paid as much regard to the temple, and to the service of the temple, as the other Jews, for which they had only prophetic warrant; and they heard the prophets read in the synagogues.
14. They came at first to John the Baptist, as to a prophet ; though perhaps afterwards, like the Pharisees, finding that John was not such an one as they expected, and that he had borne testimony to Christ, they slighted and rejected him. See Matth. iii. 7. Luke vii. 30. and the commentators.
15. The rabbins, in their disputes with the Sadducees, have never charged them with discarding the prophets; but, on the contrary, reason against them from the prophets. Of this many
instances might be given from their writings. • Interrogarunt Sadducæi R. Gamalielem, undenam probaret Deum mortuos vivificaturum. Dixit illis, Ex lege, ex prophetis, ex hagiographis: ex lege, Deuter. xxxi. 16. ex prophetis, Esai. xxvi. 19. ex hagiographis, Cant. vii. 9.' Gemara Sanhedrin cap. 11.
Here are the texts produced by this doctor for proofs of a resurrection.
. And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, &c. Deut. xxxi, 16, Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise : awake and sing ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Isai. xxvi. 19. And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine, for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak a.' Cantic, vü: 9.
a Rabbi Schabtai published in the year 1993 a catalogue of rabbinical writers, and called it " Labia Dormientium,' from Cantic. yii. Do