This name was applied in the time of Jesus to a portion or sect of the Jews, who were usually at variance with the other leading sect, namely, the Pharisees, but united with them in opposing Jesus and accomplishing his death, Matthew 16:1-12; Luke 20:27. The name would seem to be derived from a Hebrew word signifying the just; but the Talmudists affirm that it comes from a certain Sadoc, or Sadducus, who was the founder of the sect, and lived about three centuries before the Christian era. The Sadducees disregarded all the traditions and unwritten laws which the Pharisees prized so highly, and professed to consider the Scriptures as the only source and rule of the Jewish religion. They rejected the demonology of the Pharisees; denied the existence of angles and spirits; considered the soul as dying with the body, and of course admitted no future state of rewards and punishments, Matthew 22:23. While, moreover, the Pharisees believed that all events and actions were directed by an overruling providence or fate, the Sadducees considered them all as depending on the will and agency of man. The tenets of these freethinking philosophers were not, in general, so acceptable to the people as those of the Pharisees; yet many of the highest rank adopted them, and practiced great severity of manners and of life. Many members of the Sanhedrin were Sadducees, Acts 23:6-9; and so was the high priest in the time of Christ seems to have added bitterness to their hatred of Christianity, Acts 4:1; 5:17.