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Bible Dictionaries
Caraites

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary

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or KARAEITES, an ancient Jewish sect. The name signifies Textualists, or Scripturists, and was originally given to the school of Shammai, (about thirty years or more before Christ,) because they rejected the traditions of the elders, as embraced by the school of Hillel and the Pharisees, and all the fanciful interpretations of the Cabbala. They claim, however, a much higher antiquity, and produce a catalogue of doctors up to the time of Ezra. The rabbinists have been accustomed to call them Sadducees; but they believed in the inspiration of the Scriptures, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment. They believe that Messiah is not yet come, and reject all calculations of the time of his appearance:

yet they say, it is proper that even every day they should receive their salvation by Messiah, the Son of David. As to the practice of religion, they differ from the rabbinists in the observance of the festivals, and keep the Sabbath with more strictness. They extend their prohibition of marriage to more degrees of affinity, and admit not of divorce on any slight or trivial grounds. The sect of Caraites still exists, but their number is inconsiderable. They are found chiefly in the Crimea, Lithuania, and Persia; at Damascus, Constantinople, and Cairo. Their honesty in the Crimea is said to be proverbial.

Bibliography Information
Watson, Richard. Entry for 'Caraites'. Richard Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​wtd/​c/caraites.html. 1831-2.
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