Jewish sects of the 1st Century AD

National Association of Christian Ministers Summary Series: Theology

In the first century AD, several Jewish sects or parties are mentioned in the Bible. Apart from the Pharisees and the Sadducees, the following groups are also referenced:

1. Essenes: The Essenes were a Jewish sect that lived in communal settings, such as the famous community at Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. The Essenes practiced strict religious observance, including:

celibacy,

ritual purification, and a

strong focus on apocalyptic and eschatological beliefs.

2. Zealots: The Zealots were a political and religious movement that advocated for Jewish independence and the overthrow of Roman rule.

They were known for their fervent nationalism and were willing to resort to violence to achieve their goals.

3. Herodians: The Herodians were a political faction that supported the rule of the Herodian dynasty, particularly King Herod and his descendants.

They were known for their collaboration with the Roman authorities and were seen as political opportunists.

4. Samaritans: While not exclusively a Jewish sect, the Samaritans were a distinct religious community that resided in Samaria.

They followed a variation of Judaism and had a strained relationship with the Jews in Judea.

These are some of the notable Jewish sects or parties mentioned in the Bible during the first century AD. Each group had its own unique beliefs, practices, and interactions with Jesus and the early Christian movement.