III Publishing

Pharisees, Sadducees, and Roy Moore Evangelicals
December 9, 2017
by William P. Meyers

Site Search

Also sponsored by Earth Pendant at PeacefulJewelry

Popular pages:

U.S. War Against Asia
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Natural Liberation

Republican Candidate In Jesus's Thoughts

Let's skip over questions like whether Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah or god or a cheap charlatan, and assume for a moment that the words attributed to him in the New Testament are worth studying (I think they are, but then I study what a lot of different people have said in the past). Note that my English teachers warned me about long, complex run-on sentences that video-lobotomized types have trouble following, but I just think sometimes real-world thoughts are complicated enough to deserve expression in complex sentences.

[I use the Authorized King James Version below. In this article I see no reason to quibble about language or exactly how to translate first century Greek.]

Prelude: what are Pharisees and Sadducees?

It probably won't surprise you to find out that the Jews of Jesus's era were argumentative, or that they divided up into sects. The sects arose out of specific real-world situations. At the time of Jesus, that was mainly the fact that Judea was a subject province of the Roman Empire, and that Greek ideas had been influencing the backwards Jewish population for centuries by then.

Pharisees were in favor of rule by priests, including detailed supervision of every aspect of Jewish life. They believed in the afterlife, which was an innovation borrowed from Egypt with little or no support in earlier scriptures. They also had their own set of oral traditions not found in the Bible. [See Pharisees]

Sadducees formed the effective local government of Judea both before and under the Romans, until the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. The also usually controlled worship at the Temple (high priesthood). They rejected the idea of the afterlife. They held that the written Torah was the sole source their god's authority.

While Jesus sometimes lumped Sadducees and Pharisees together, they liked each other about as much as Democrats and Republicans do these days.

What Jesus said about Pharisees and Sadducees

Even before Jesus got started, John the Baptist went after both sects, as recorded in Matthew 3:7. "But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come." But this (and it is worth reading the following paragraphs, too) implies that it was not belonging to the sects that offended John, but how that particular generation was acting. And it also implies that most of the people he baptized were neither Pharisees nor Sadducees. These sects were elites, the equivalents of the people who run churches, industry and government in Alabama today.

Jesus was a Pharisee in the sense that he believed in life after death and even in the resurrection of dead bodies, shown in Mark 12:18-27. "Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection . . . [they ask a trick question about a woman who has had multiple husbands] . . . [Jesus answers] For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage."

In addition to eluding the logical traps, Jesus had some sharp criticisms, particularly of the Pharisees. I can't cover all of them here, but try Hypocrisies of the Pharisees for a longer list. Or just read Matthew chapter 23.

The basic criticism is in Mathew 23:1-3: "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not."

I should be brief, but the Bible is just too good: (verses 5 and 6) "But all their works they do for to be seen of men; they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues."

Roy Moore Evangelicals

I know, I know. You clicked on this to hear me trash evangelicals and Roy Moore, and instead got a Bible lesson from an atheist. Behold:

I solemnly swear that Roy Moore would be cursed by Jesus and John the Baptist, and by Matthew and all of the Disciples, and he would put them in jail on false charges of some sort or another.

The very Essence of Evangelicalism is a hypocritical interpretation of the New Testament. The evangelical voters of Alabama are drawn to Roy Moore like moths to the blinding light of hypocrisy.

Roy Moore is one of the best-known evangelicals in the United States. He has occupied "the chief seats in the synagogues." He has defied the ancient and honorable American agreement that church and government should be separated. He became famous by putting his alleged religious beliefs on display, not just inappropriately in the courtroom, but to the very free press he would so love to destroy. Roy Moore made broad his phylactery.

Roy Moore sent many a man and woman to jail for trivial violations of the law; but he did not follow the law himself.

Now the evangelical wives of Alabama cannot admit that the evidence shows him to be a criminal, a hypocrite, and a liar. To do that would cast suspicion on their own husbands, their sons, their daughters, and ultimately on themselves. To these hypocritical women and men it is better to lie through their teeth than to admit what they are and what they have done to other people.

These are the people who Jesus was talking about when he said:

"Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets."

III Blog list of articles