I had always heard that the Sadducees only held the Torah as sacred scripture and not the Prophets etc. I recently read a refutation of this from a protestant that said this was a misunderstanding of Origen who was referring to Josephus but apparently Josephus was saying that the Sadducees only believed in written tradition and not oral tradition. Has anyone else ran into this?
Google Josephus and Sadducees and you will get your answer.
And it will be the definitive answer, as Josephus was a Priest in the Second Temple.
The Sadducees strictly followed the Torah- as all Jews had to- but little else.
The guy is correct. From a past post of mine:
Of course, when Josephus says that the Sadducees reject ‘tradition’, he just means the ‘tradition’ of the Pharisees. The Sadducees have their own special traditions, of course.
What makes it difficult to study the Sadducees is the fact that many of our sources are biased against them. The later Mishnah and Talmud were codified by the Pharisees’ spiritual descendants, and Josephus chooses to repeat public opinion (which preferred the lay-oriented Pharisees more to the aristocratic Sadducees).
Josephus writes about them in “Wars” as well.
Remember that they were essentially outlawed after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
You have to be on VERY solid grounds to challenge or downplay Josephus.