Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots:

What was the problem(s) in first-century Palestine?

What or who was the cause of the problem?

What was the potential solution(s) to the problem?

How were they/did they participate in the solution?

If a Messiah was anticipated, what would/should be His priority?

In 1st Century Palestine, the people were divided; in fact the entire country was divided with no core of union. There was mongering and corruption. The people were divided internally, the Jews splintered into various sects of differing beliefs, and they were also divided externally with rebellion against insecure and corrupt rule. On an external level, the Jews too were occupied by the Romans and their various proctors and, therefore, reduced to foreign and interfering rule.

Three prominent groups represented the Homeland at this time: the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots.

The Pharisees

The Pharisees, strict in their observance of law (Luke 18:10-12)...
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