The term “Sadducees” (Gk.
ṣadduqayya, thought to derive from David’s high priest, Zadok [
ṣādôq], see 2 Sam. 15:24–29) is used for members of a party of priests and nobles in Jerusalem. We have references to them, at times under the name “Boethusians,” only occasionally in Josephus and early Christian and rabbinic writings, mostly hostile. Only within limits, then, can we reconstruct their history and character. Historically important is the question of power in the political and religious life of Palestinian Judaism fro…