The Sadducees were one of the three main Jewish political and religious movements in the years between c.150 BCE and 70 CE.
They were a sect or group of Jews that were active in Judea during the Second Temple period from the second century before Christ up to the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. They had a more conservative outlook and accepted only the written Law of Moses.
Historians like Josephus identified them with the upper social and economic echelon of Judean political society. While the seem to have taken their name Zadok (root צָדַק ṣādaq to be right, just), the first High Priest of ancient Israel who served in the First Temple over the centuries there temple operations were far from righteous.
The religious responsibilities of the Sadducees included the maintenance of the Temple in Jerusalem. But Sadducee and the priests were not synonymous "many were Pharisees, and many were not members of any group at all." 
One of the major differences religiously was that they did not believe in an after life and therefor there is no resurrection of the dead and no punishment or reward after death.
Yet they were often in charge of the administered the state domestically and representing it to other nations like the Levites often did. Of course this meant they might hold a political office in the Sanhedrin along with the Pharisees.
Another huge difference was that Israel had been originally run entirely by Freewill offerings but the Sadducees collected taxes which was Foolishly introduced by Saul when Israel went from a Republic to an indirect Democracy and monarchy.
Thy Kingdom Comes
Quotes from the book Thy Kingdom Comes
- The Pharisees and Sadducees at the time of Christ, rejected the ways of the original kingdom. According to large groups at that time those ministers of the kingdom had mistranslated, misunderstood, and misinterpreted the ancient text. The mysteries of that kingdom had been hidden, twisted, and even stamped out from the mind and memory of men throughout the ages.
- Jesus preached that kingdom which was different than other governments. It was a kingdom of faith, not force; charity, not control; hope, not entitlements. It operated in liberty for and by the people under God.
- From the fall of mankind until today, there has been two kinds of government on earth. One is established by temptation and force and the other by love and charity.
- I must agree with one thing stated by Plato, “And the one man that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and a fool”.
The Pharisees and The Sadducees
- Sadducees started in the second century BC as a political party and ceased around the first century AD. They claimed to be the followers of Tsadok, a high priest who anointed Solomon or Zadok in the 3rd century BC who rebelled against the teachings of Antigonus of Soko, a government official.
- As the first notable of the Jews to have a Greek name his theology was epitomized by the saying, “Be not like slaves who serve their master for their daily rations; be like those who serve their master without regard to emoluments, and let the fear of God be with you”.  In the original text the word for “Heaven” was substituted for “God”. He may have been the first to do this. Zadok broke with his teachings because he believed that Antigonus denounced the idea of an afterlife. Although that assumption may have been incorrect it is clear that he did not advocate doing God’s will to obtain physical benefit, nor the specifically “Pharisaic” view which placed reward for virtue in an after life.
- The wealthy Sadducees were unpopular with the masses and often sided with ruling power. They rejected the oral traditions and concluded that religion was the opiate of the people. They, in essence, denied the resurrection, the immortality of the soul, and the existence of angels, as they functioned in their politically-correct priestly role. They interpreted eye for an eye literally and dated all civil documents with the phrase “after the high priest of the Most High”, opposing the Pharisees in their divorce documents use of “According to the law of Moses and Israel”. Judea as a government and its public administrators were called priests, rabbi, and scribes. 
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