Pharisees and Sadducees on free Will by Prof. Pinchas Shir February 2, 2019
This is an excerpt from “Antiquities of the Jews” by Flavius Josephus (Late First Century CE). Writing for a Roman audience this Jewish historian (from Pharisaic background himself) endeavors to explain the varieties of Jewish belief and practice, comparing them to schools of philosophy. The contrast Josephus highlights here are the opinions on afterlife, fate, free will, and destiny.
(11) The Jews had for a great while three sects of philosophy peculiar to themselves; the sect of the Essenes, and the sect of the Sadducees, and the third sort of opinions was that of those called Pharisees; of which sects although I have already spoken in the second book of the Jewish War, yet will I a little touch upon them now.