Religious Groups: The Silent Centuries
Religious Groups of the Intertestamental Period by Al Maxey
Judaism was certainly no exception to the human tendency toward sectarianism. The various sects or factions within the Jewish religion all considered themselves to be good, honorable, godly people, and to be devoted followers of Divine Law. However, their beliefs and practices were often quite diverse, which would frequently lead to quarreling, hatred, and division .... and at times even to death. It was very similar to the situation found among believers today --- each group claiming to be genuine followers of the Lord and His teaching, and yet hopelessly divided over various perceptions, preferences, and practices peculiar to their faction of Christianity. As is the case with God's people today, these various sects (and their sectarian spirit) led to a deplorable state of affairs within Judaism, which too often resulted in the people of God being mocked and scorned by the people of the world.