How to remain faithful? There seems to have been four responses:
- PHARISEES - for the Pharisees, the response was to stand apart in holiness. Amidst a world of sin and darkness, fidelity required living an ultra holy life as the light as you await YHWH to act and reward the righteous (those faithful to the Torah).
- SADDUCEES - for the Sadducees, the response was to 'Do a deal; we have the Temple...' The Sadducees were the Jewish group with all the power through their pandering to the Roman overlords. They had control of the centre of Judaism - the Temple - so they should make the best of things and resist these new, radical ideas like angels and the resurrection.
- ESSENES - 'Run away!' It may sound like Monty Python, but the Essenes were serious. Israel is completely corrupt, so all that can be down is to head into the wilderness, start again and await YHWH's judgement on Israel.
- ZEALOTS - Related to some of the other responses, the Zealots understood fidelity to God via resistance to his enemy, the Romans. 'Trust God and Fight.' Whether you understand them as terrorists or freedom fighters, they wanted to lead God into defeat his enemies.
Series so far: Intro, I, and II