Did the Karaites and the Sadducees believe in the same "Judaism"?

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    Can you specify the question? They obviously had disagreements. Are you asking if they agreed on any fundamentals? – WAF May 13 '12 at 16:55
  • They lived in two historical different time periods. How did their beliefs differ? – Adam Mosheh May 13 '12 at 16:56
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    This is the opposite of your question as stated. – WAF May 13 '12 at 17:06
  • Why is that so? – Adam Mosheh May 13 '12 at 17:07
  • See Igros Moshe volume 9 siman 41:3 of the difference between a Kuti and a Tzeduki – Shmuel Brin Mar 14 '13 at 3:34

The Ramabam in hilchos Teffilin 4:3 says that if one wears teffilin on his palm or head teffilin on his forehead then he is doing the practice of the Sadducees. The karaites never wore teffilin at all so that seems to be one difference.

The Karaites claim no connection to them since the Sadducees lived in Judea and they lived in Egypt also the Sadducees lived 700 years apart from the karaites since they ceased to exist. The Karaites claim to hold the same philosophical approach of the Written Torah. They also claim that don't know alot about them to begin with.

Just to add there were different groups(betusim,essens,annaim) that only believed in the written Torah but they all seem to have a different twist on interpretation(some more literal some more liberal in translation)

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  • I thought Essenes did believe in the Oral Torah on some level? – Aman May 15 '12 at 10:29
  • We do not know very much about what the Essenes believed. Much is archaeological evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls, but Josephus did write a few things about them (IIRC). – Adam Mosheh May 15 '12 at 17:00

The Sadducees and Karaites are distinct historical movements, though similarities in their approaches to Tanakh suggest they may be related in some sense. This Karaite website, answers this question with

We know very little about the beliefs of the Sadducees. We do know however that like the Karaites they believed only in the authority of the Tanach and rejected the Oral Law.

Another important difference is that the Sadducees have ceased being a movement centuries ago, whereas Karaites continue to be a functional sect today.

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From what we know of the Sadducees, they not only rejected the authority of the Oral Torah, but they also did not believe in the afterlife. To my knowledge, the Karaites do believe in the afterlife.

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  • Can you give a source for this? – Adam Mosheh May 14 '12 at 15:35
  • I've heard this too, no source though – Baby Seal Jun 2 '14 at 13:07

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