Abrahamic / Middle Eastern Christianity How to Pronounce "Sadducee" From the Bible Learn how to say this popular term from the Gospels Share Flipboard Email Print SuperStock / Getty Images Christianity The Bible Christianity Origins The New Testament The Old Testament Practical Tools for Christians Christian Life For Teens Christian Prayers Weddings Inspirational Bible Devotions Denominations of Christianity Funerals and Memorial Services Christian Holidays Christian Entertainment Key Terms in Christianity Catholicism Latter Day Saints View More By Sam O'Neal Christianity Expert M.A., Christian Studies, Union University B.A., English Literature, Wheaton College Sam O'Neal is the co-author of "Bible Stories You May Have Forgotten" and "The Bible Answer Book." He is a former editor for Christianity Today and LifeWay Christian Resources. our editorial process Sam O'Neal Updated December 03, 2017 The word "Sadducee" is an English translation of the ancient Hebrew term ṣədhūqī, which means "adherent (or follower) of Zadok." This Zadok likely refers to the High Priest who served in Jerusalem during the reign of King Solomon, which was the pinnacle of the Jewish nation in terms of size, wealth, and influence. The word "Sadducee" may also have been connected with the Jewish term tsahdak, which means "to be righteous." Pronunciation: SAD-dhzoo-see (rhymes with "bad you see"). Meaning The Sadducees were a specific group of religious leaders during the Second Temple period of Jewish history. They were especially active at the time of Jesus Christ and the launch of the Christian church, and they enjoyed a number of political connections with the Roman Empire and Roman leaders. The Sadducees were a rival group to the Pharisees, yet both groups were considered religious leaders and "teachers of the law" among the Jewish people. Usage The first mention of the term "Sadducee" occurs in the Gospel of Matthew, in connection with the public ministry of John the Baptist: 4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. - Matthew 3:4-10 (emphasis added) The Sadducees appear many more times in the Gospels and throughout the New Testament. While they disagreed with the Pharisees on many theological and political issues, they joined with their enemies in order to oppose (and eventually execute) Jesus Christ.