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The Pharisees were the fundamentalists of their day. They were known as the “separatists.” They were strict law-observers. The Pharisees considered Jesus and His followers heretics. Thus they, along with the Sadducees, led the opposition against the Lord.

The Sadducees were the liberals of their day. They stressed man’s free will and self-determination. They denied angels, spirits, the resurrection, and the super-natural. Thus they led the opposition against the Gospel.

The Scribes – in New Testament times the scribes belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, who supplemented the ancient written law by their traditions (Matt. 23), thereby obscuring it and rendering it of none effect. The titles “scribes” and “lawyers” (q.v.) are in the Gospels interchangeable (Matt. 22:35; Mark 12:28; Luke 20:39, etc.). They were in the time of our Lord the public teachers of the people, and frequently came into collision with him. They afterwards showed themselves greatly hostile to the apostles (Acts 4:5; 6:12).

Some of the scribes, however, were men of a different spirit, and showed themselves friendly to the gospel and its preachers. Thus Gamaliel advised the Sanhedrin, when the apostles were before them charged with “teaching in this name,” to “refrain from these men and let them alone” (Acts 5:34–39; comp. 23:9)



               1. A professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.

               2. Roman Catholic Church. a baptized Roman Catholic who willfully and persistently rejects any article of faith.

               3. Anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.


Sanhedrin Council - The highest court of the land (Supreme Court). It was made up of 71 members: 24 Chief Priests, 24 Elders, 22 Scribes, and presided over by the High Priest.

The Sanhedrin was an assembly of twenty-three to seventy-one men appointed in every city in the Land of Israel. This court dealt with only religious matters.


Acts 4:6 lists some of the prominent members:

Rulers represented the Sadducees

Elders members of the Council

Scribes were teachers of Law, belonging usually to Pharisees

Annas, the High Priest

Caiaphas, his son-in-law

John and Alexander – nothing known about them (They must have belonged to the High Priest’s family.)


Herod Antipater born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD), known by the nickname Antipas, was a 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea, who bore the title of tetrarch ("ruler of a quarter").

He is best known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth. After being named to the throne by Caesar Augustus upon the death of his father, Herod the Great, in 4 BC, and subsequent Ethnarch rule by his brother, Herod Archelaus, Antipas ruled Galilee and Perea as a client state of the Roman Empire.


Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26–36. He served under Emperor Tiberius, and is best known from the biblical account of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus.


Herod  represents the Hebrew authority

Pilate represents theRoman authority

Gentiles represents thethe uncircumcised

Israel represents the the circumcised

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