Various Jewish sources indicate the presence of Sadducees among the priesthood, including the position of Kohen Gadol. However, are there any Jewish sources that discuss Sadducees on the Great Sanhedrin? (I am wondering because of the Christian account in Acts 23:6-8. The description of the beliefs of the Sadducees matches with what we know about their beliefs from Jewish sources.)

  • books.google.com/… refers to a Tzedukki sanhedrin. Do you mean a mixed one?
    – rosends
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 21:13
  • 1
    @Danno I had in mind the Sanhedrin of 71 which was located in the Temple grounds. If there are any Jewish sources which talk about that being entirely composed of Sadducees, that would certainly be interesting too
    – wfb
    Commented May 18, 2015 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


There was a Tzeduki Sanhedrin in the times of Shimon ben Shatach, but he got them to disband, and the day this happened (28th of Teves) was declared a Yom Tov. (Megillas Taanis)

According to the Eshel Avraham there, this 'sanhedrin' of Tzedukim is mentioned in maseches Sanhedrin 52a, see Rashi at the end of the mishna.

This is also the 'sanhedrin' that was disbanded after the Chashmanim took power, mentioned in Megila taanis at the end of the fifth chapter. The mefarshim point out that this particular story is also mentioned Bava Basra 116b. There the protagonist is Yochanan ben Zakai.

(All these timings seem conflicting but the basic idea of Tzedukim running the Sanhedrin follows through.)

  • Actually, the source says that the Sanhedrin was initially composed of Tzedokim except for R. Shimon b. Shetach, and he gradually replaced its members one at a time with his talmidim, until no Tzedokim remained. So this is a good example of a "mixed Sanhedrin" at least at one point in time.
    – wfb
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 17:26
  • @Shamiach if any or all of what I edited in to your answer is not in line with what you had in mind, please feel free to role it back.
    – user6591
    Commented May 19, 2015 at 18:30
  • @wfb I know of no Jewish source that the Sadducees were allowed to be joint members of the regular Sanhedrin. This alleged "mixed Sanhedrin" in the times of Shimon ben Shatach, was fundamentally a breakaway Tzeduki Sanhedrin, as is indicated in Megillas Taanis שכשהיו הצדוקין יושבין בסנהדרין שלהם, "their Sanhedrin", indicating a different Sanhedrin, one that was separate from the mainstream Sanhedrin. However R. Shimon b. Shetach managed to infiltrate this rebel Sanhedrin, and eventually replaced all their members with Torah loyal rabbis. This is a far cry from a "mixed Sanhedrin". Commented May 30, 2019 at 17:30

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