Mark 12:18

Next came some Sadducees – the men who maintain that there is no resurrection. Their question was this –

there are not 10 rounds
in everyday life
some never make it
to the struggle
when we do
we are trapped
by rope and cage
into win or lose
round by round
stage by stage
we value each
in its turn
knowing each
lives on in
dreams nightmares
constraining opening
boundaries journeys
vanquished victorious
we exit to
everyday eternities
rued cherished
breathing beyond
a new venue

Information about the Sadducees is not the clearest. Suffice it to say they “maintained a literalist reading, while the Pharisees fostered the tradition of an oral interpretation—the ‘Oral Torah’” (Sabin193. It might be said the Sadducees were a social class of priests who were able to work with whomever was in political and military control of Palestine—from the Hasmoneans to the Romans.

The Sadducean denial of resurrection also included angels and other spirits. Their focus was on Torah and Temple in their most conservative forms (literal and physical). They saw resurrection and angels as recent liberal speculations from late writings by Daniel and others, as well as foreign religious influences.

The Sadducees were basically in charge of the Temple through the High Priesthood and lost their authority and presence after the Temple was destroyed. After the fall of the Temple, the Pharisees developed into an ongoing rabbi and synagogue combination.

The Acts of the Apostles 22:30–23:10 gives another glimpse into the differences between Sadducees and Pharisees and the importance of resurrection which brings images of G*D into play for Jesus, Disciples and Readers. At stake is a theological point—if G*D can create an image of G*D, can or will G*D re-create and/or re-partner with that image in the present and future?

Religious opponents come toward Jesus with questions that would either trap or in some way discredit him. When their political frontal attack of a taxation question brought by the Pharisees failed, the Sadducees enter with a flanking theological challenge regarding resurrection. This is a significant one-two punch.

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