Posted by / Thursday 23 March 2017 / No comments

The party of the Zealots

The Zealots refer to a group of people who were extremely opposed to Roman rule and would do anything to drive them away from Israel. This group believes that they must declare a war against the Romans until they are driven away.

The group is said to have emerged from the remnants of the revolt led by Judas of Galilee against Roman occupation in AD 6. The revolt was brutally crushed by the Roman authorities and in the fight itself, Judas was killed.

God as the only ruler
The Zealots believe that in the absence of the supreme God, there is no other authority, not human, not spiritual. The existence of Caesar as a ruler was an affront to their beliefs, therefore, the payment of taxes to Caesar was considered as a grievous sin.  

Use of violence
The Zealots also believe that it was acceptable for them to use violence to achieve the aim of overthrowing the Romans and sending them away. To them, the end justifies the means, as long as Roman rule ends, the methods used do not matter.

Readiness to kill for their course
The Zealots were ready to use the sword to defend their course. They were even ready to kill their fellow Jews if they were found out to be in bed with the Romans. This readiness to kill for their course tuned the whole organization into a body of assassins.

Immortality of the soul and transmigration of souls
The Zealots believe that after the death of a good person, his or her soul passes into another person’s body. On the other hand, when a bad person dies, his or her soul goes into eternal punishment.

NOTE: Some of the disciples of Jesus who belonged to the party of the Zealots were Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. The man who drew his sword to cut off the ear of a servant of the High Priest may have been a Zealot; that may explain why he was carrying a sword in the first place.

1. a. Trace the origin of the party of the Zealots.
    b. Highlight any four of their beliefs.

Related Posts