Pharisees held the seat of Moses?


#1

I’ve always understood that the Pharisees held the seat of Moses, which gave them the power to bind the people to the laws they made. But I started a class this semester, in which the professor said that it was the Saducees who were the priests, and that the Pharisees were just self-appointed religious leaders. I got the impression, from the way he told it, that the Pharisees were much like the self-appointed priests you find a lot in Protestantism. Was my professor right, or was he wrong?

Thanks,
St3746


#2

Matt 23:1-3 says, “Then said Jesus to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you…’”


#3

It would appear that your prof has it partly backwards.

Pharisees: [/font]http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11789b.htm

Saducees newadvent.org/cathen/13323a.htm


#4

Then who held the seat of Moses before the Pharisees were around? Why wouldn’t the priests have held it?


#5

Moses’ seat is in every synagog. It is today represented to us as the authority of the bishop, who has Moses seat, in a sense (the cathedra), the early bishop/pastors were like the presiders of the synagogs, as the faith grew in numbers the bishop/pastor would send elders to other locations and preside over them from a distance.

Jesus was a Pharisee. The other Pharisees regarded him as unorthodox (to the extereme)! But he was of the tradition that there is an afterlife, and he accepted the Prophetic books. The Pharisees had more influence in the Synagogs but did not dominate Judaism until after the destruction of the temple. The Council of Jamnia was a watershed event in Judaism, removing some books from the Old Testament (that seemed to support the teachings of Jesus) and basically establishing Pharisaic Judaism as a standard.

The Sadducees dominated the temple, they did not believe in an afterlife, this was a much older theological position in Judaism. The Sadducees (much like the Samaritans) were so conservative they were not accepting of the Prophets, and the books of the prophets. Their theological stance appears to have been a minority position, and they virtually dissapeared some time after the destruction of the temple.

The Sanhedin included Pharisees and Sadducees, they didn’t like each other but had to work together.


#6

[quote=St3746]I’ve always understood that the Pharisees held the seat of Moses, which gave them the power to bind the people to the laws they made. But I started a class this semester, in which the professor said that it was the Saducees who were the priests, and that the Pharisees were just self-appointed religious leaders. I got the impression, from the way he told it, that the Pharisees were much like the self-appointed priests you find a lot in Protestantism. Was my professor right, or was he wrong?

Thanks,
St3746
[/quote]

Your professor is mistaken. The Saducees were a religious party, as were the Pharisees. They had in their number many members of priestly families, but they had no authority by virtue of being members of the Saduccee party.

They differed in many ways from the Pharisees in their beliefs. For example they did not believe in an afterlife.

Which was why they were sad, you see…

:rolleyes:


#7

[quote=Fidelis]did not believe in an afterlife.

Which was why they were sad, you see…

:rolleyes:
[/quote]

:groan: :smiley:


#8

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