Contents
THE SAMARITANS, THE SADDUCEES,
AND
THE KARAITE JEWS
The three sects listed above are the ones most often referred to as keeping the Passover
and the Feast of the Passover both on the 14th day of the first month.  However, we have
found no history of the Sadducees believing differently than the Pharisees on which day to
keep the Passover.  They did differ on their definition of “between the evenings” but this
did not result in a different day for the observance of Passover.  These two sects did
differ about which Sabbath the wave sheaf was to follow and therefore which day to begin
the count for Pentecost, but they both observed Passover at the end of the 14th of Nisan.

The Samaritans were the oldest of these three groups, beginning shortly after the
captivity of the northern 10 tribes when the Assyrians placed them in Samaria.  Their
religion was a mixture of paganism and an out of focus "truth" as taught them by the
illegal priests of Israel, descendants of the priests of Jeroboam, who were taken captive
with the majority of the 10 tribes of Israel.  2Kings 17:24-41 gives their historic beginning,
as it related to the Jews, much of which we have already discussed under the heading
PAGANISM.  The few Israelites left in the countryside, and the hills that had escaped
captivity, intermarried with these foreign peoples and were absorbed into their Gentile
blood.  One cannot consider them a part of the descendants of Israel.  These are the
people we meet in the New Testament called Samaritans after the name of the land in
which they lived.  God did not give them any oracles or traditions to carry on as examples
for us today.  As of 1950, there were at most two hundred of them still alive.  
The Book of
Jewish Knowledge
by Nathan Ausubel has a picture of them observing their Passover
Festival.  They slaughter, roast and promptly eat the lambs as they stand in an outside
ceremony on their holy Mount Gerizim.

The Sadducees make up the second oldest group.  As far as we can find, there was no
disagreement between the Pharisees and the Sadducees on the point of the time for the
Passover Feast.  They did differ on the time for slaying the Passover, but as the
Sadducees started the day at dark rather than sunset this caused the Passover Feast of
these two sects to coincide.  In this research, we questioned a Jewish rabbi of Asheville,
North Carolina if the Sadducees and the Pharisees kept Passover at a different time.  He
said that as far as he knew they did not.  

We know that the Pharisees and the Sadducees did differ over Pentecost, but not over the
Passover Feast.  However, as some believe the Sadducees did differ on the time of their
observance of the Passover Feast, and as some believe the Karaite Jews descended from
the Sadducees, we will look into the background of the Sadducees.  Their tradition took
them back to the Priest Zadok during the time of David before he became king over all of
Israel – according to them.  Of course, they were dreaming.  They created this idea from
the fact that they constituted the priestly hierarchy and could trace their lineage back
that far; but as the sect of the Sadducees they came on the scene sometime late after the
return of the Jewish captives from Babylon - around 180 BC.  They formed the ruling
class and were ready to employ every means to maintain their power.  They were the
intellectuals of their people.  They were worldly, willing to corrupt themselves in order to
maintain their positions.  They tried hard to become thorough going Hellenists.  They
grasped power at the expense of the people and the Jewish masses hated and despised
them.  Although the Sadducees continued until the Bar Kochba revolt against the Romans
in 135 AD, they were for all practical purposes shattered before that in 70 AD when the
Romans destroyed the temple, their political jurisdiction – which they loved even more, as
well as the constituted nation of Judah.  This sect died out.  We only read about them in
the Bible and history books.  It is obvious that God did not call them to carry on any
traditions for later generations, as God is the God of the living and not the God of the
dead!

The Karaite Jews followed many of the practices of the Sadducees but some scholars
deny any historical connection between the two sects.  They came into existence in 760
AD led by Anan ben David.  Some referred to the Karaite Jews as Ananites, after the
name of their originator.  They continued until the gas chambers of Hitler, where they
perished and discontinued to exist in an organized way until recent times.  Some think
they may have gotten their understanding about the Passover from the Sadducees.  
However, as the Sadducees did not believe differently than the Pharisees on when to eat
the Passover Feast, nothing of importance materializes from this group.  Furthermore,
neither the Bible nor traditions came through them.  In addition, the calendar did not come
through them.  Why should we look to them for truth?  Moreover, according to the
Grabbe and Kuhn report,
The Passover in the Bible and the Church Today, the Karaite
Jews kept Passover Feast at the same time as all other Jews.  

Therefore, the three most important groups that the early 14th advocates claim to have
kept the Passover and the Passover Feast on the early 14th of the Nisan, have died out
except for a handful of Samaritans and Karaite Jews.  However, according to Grabbe and
Kuhn in
The Passover in the Bible and the Church Today report the following:

“Some misinformed individuals have claimed that the Samaritans celebrate their Passover at the
beginning of the 14th.  This is totally wrong.  As Jeremias shows, the Samaritans do not differ in the
basic time of their celebration of the Passover.  However, they continue to interpret the phrase
"between the two evenings" as the time between sunset and dark.  Being a small community today and
many of them butchers by trade, they are able to kill, skin, and begin roasting the animals in the brief
period of time between sunset and dark.  They eat until midnight, after which anything left over is
burned.  (The misunderstanding about their observance seems to result from the fact that their
calendar sometimes differs from the Jewish by a day or two.  Thus, they might celebrate their
Passover a day earlier on occasion but still at the end of the 14th by their own reckoning.)”



The Grabbe and Kuhn report makes the following astounding statement:  

"We have examined all the major sources for how the Jews have kept Passover down
through history.  Not a single one of them so much as suggest that the Passover was ever
offered at the beginning of the 14th.  They are all completely unified in seeing the
Passover as belonging to the end of the 14th."