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  #1  
Old Feb 29, '12, 3:29 pm
Augustine3 Augustine3 is offline
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Default Sadducees

If the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife then what was the point of serving God and keeping His commandments?
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  #2  
Old Feb 29, '12, 3:51 pm
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Kaninchen Kaninchen is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

Because the Covenant was with a People and strict observance was about God's promises in this World.

Vagueness about an afterlife was not unusual in Middle Eastern religions (outside Egypt), by the way.
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  #3  
Old Feb 29, '12, 3:53 pm
Publisher Publisher is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

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If the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife then what was the point of serving God and keeping His commandments?
Is not a good life lived in integrity and keeping the commandments not reward enough?
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Old Feb 29, '12, 5:02 pm
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

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Is not a good life lived in integrity and keeping the commandments not reward enough?
It would be if there were no heaven. But there is.
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  #5  
Old Feb 29, '12, 5:04 pm
meltzerboy meltzerboy is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

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Originally Posted by Augustine3 View Post
If the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife then what was the point of serving God and keeping His commandments?
Not everything we do in life is for the sole purpose of a reward. Often, virtue is its own reward. For the Creator to grant us life at all is itself something to be grateful for.
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Old Mar 1, '12, 8:25 am
Dave Noonan Dave Noonan is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

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Originally Posted by Augustine3 View Post
If the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife then what was the point of serving God and keeping His commandments?
Also, there's a difference between not believing in an afterlife and not believing in the general resurrection of the the dead. Generally, the Sadducees are portrayed as not believing in the latter (e.g., Matt 22:23, Lk 20:27). The the best of my knowledge, all Near Eastern cultures believed in some form of the afterlife, even if it wasn't particularly pleasant.
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Old Mar 1, '12, 4:50 pm
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

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Originally Posted by Dave Noonan View Post
Also, there's a difference between not believing in an afterlife and not believing in the general resurrection of the the dead. Generally, the Sadducees are portrayed as not believing in the latter (e.g., Matt 22:23, Lk 20:27). The the best of my knowledge, all Near Eastern cultures believed in some form of the afterlife, even if it wasn't particularly pleasant.
True. Many ancient cultures did not yet have a very complex set of beliefs concerning the afterlife. They believed that when we die, some part of our being goes to the realm of the dead, a place of darkness usually thought to be located beneath the earth (totally not a pleasant place to be in, of course!) and permanently stay there, cut off the land of the living, never to return - save for a few exceptions. Regardless of deeds or station in life, all humans, good or evil, are thought to go down the underworld. For the early Israelites, this was Sheol (the "Pit"); for the Greeks, this was Hades; for the Japanese, this was Yomi. We can find this earlier concept in the older parts of the Old Testament.

Since the Sadducees were somewhat doctrinally conservative, they probably would not have welcomed the more detailed conceptions of the afterlife that was gaining currency among Jews and thought of them as 'innovations'. If anything (this is just speculation since we don't know much about them), they would probably have still thought that our shades go to Sheol and forever dwell there. To be honest, though, Jewish eschatology today is still rather vague on a number of points (the concept of reward for the just is there, but the whole subject of damnation for the wicked is something that is uncertain); it is with us Christians that conceptions about the afterlife grew elaborate and specific.
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Old Mar 3, '12, 2:09 am
Todd Easton Todd Easton is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

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If the Sadducees did not believe in the afterlife then what was the point of serving God and keeping His commandments?
God once promised the Jews that, if they served Him and kept His Commandments, then they would enjoy many material blessings: peace and prosperity in the Promised Land, salvation from their enemies, bountiful harvests, lots of children, long life, etc. Perhaps the Sadducees thought that, if they served God and kept His commandments, then, even though their ancestors made a big mess of things, they might enjoy at least some of those promised material blessings.
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  #9  
Old Mar 3, '12, 5:45 am
Mintaka Mintaka is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

The crucial point here is that the Sadducees were mainly a sect of rich guys who were busy enjoying life. They were perfectly fine with being blessed in this life only. They also tended to interpret the Law pretty casually, so they didn't have to work as hard at it as the Pharisees.
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  #10  
Old Mar 3, '12, 6:38 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Sadducees

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Originally Posted by Mintaka View Post
The crucial point here is that the Sadducees were mainly a sect of rich guys who were busy enjoying life. They were perfectly fine with being blessed in this life only. They also tended to interpret the Law pretty casually, so they didn't have to work as hard at it as the Pharisees.
We know that they rejected the Pharisees' special traditions, but that only tells us that they had traditions of their own.
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