The Jewish religious leaders did not agree with Jesus Christ’s teaching and validity whilst he was on earth, and were divided into several groups. Two of the most prominent groups were the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees were more religious minded and separated themselves from anything non-Jewish, carefully following both the Old Testament laws and the oral traditions handed down through the centuries.
The Sadducees were more politically minded and believed the Pentateuch alone (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy) to be God’s word. The Sadducees descended mainly from priestly nobility, while the Pharisees came from all classes of people.
Although both groups disliked and distrusted each other they became allies in their common hatred for Jesus. The Pharisees were criticised for being legalistic and hypocritical, following the letter of the law while ignoring its true intent. The Sadducees were criticised for using religion to advance their political position.