Debunking the Myths- Saturday or Sunday? Part 3

02 August 2009

Did the Sabbath Day Change to Sunday in the New Covenant?

In the first part of this series we examined Scripture that referenced the "first day of the week" to see if the Sabbath day was changed to Sunday in the New Covenant.  In the second part of the series we examined Scripture that referenced the "day of the Lord" or "the Lord's day".  In this third part of the series we will consider a few other points to discover the answer.

Rome's Challenge

In the late nineteenth century the cardinal of the Baltimore diocese, James Gibbons, authorized a series of articles entitled "The Christian Sabbath".  This work is today often referred to as "Rome's Challenge".  In it he alternately uses humor and biting wit to examine Scripture and declares that unless one was willing to accept the authority of the Catholic church to designate the day of worship on Sunday, Protestant believers should observe Saturday as the Sabbath.  The point of his message is that there is no Scriptural foundation supporting the claim that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday and that only the authority of Catholic church did so.  Through our examination in the first two parts of this series we have confirmed this is so.

The Synod of Laodicea

In the fourth century AD (three hundred years after the death and resurrection of the Messiah), a council of Asian congregations was convened.  At the conclusion of the meeting 60 canons (laws) were published.  Among them were two of particular interest:

Canon 16:The Gospels are to be read on the Sabbath [i.e. Saturday], with the other Scriptures.

Canon 29:Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

From these official pronouncements we find three things:

1) In the fourth century, believers still recognized that the Sabbath was Saturday. 2) The Catholic church had to pass rules prohibiting believers from honoring the Sabbath (on pain of excommunication) to get them to stop. 3) The Catholic church invented Sunday as "the Lord's Day" since there is no evidence in Scripture for such a thing (as Catholicism itself has declared).


The Words of the Master

The ultimate authority for us as believers in Messiah Yeshua are the words of the Master Himself.  Did He ever, at any point in His life, say anything to change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday?  No.  To speak against the Law would have been a violation of the Law.  Speaking against the Law was one of the false accusations leveled against Stephen before he was martyred (Acts 6:13).

Summary of part 3

The accounts of history and the words of the Master declare that the Sabbath day was never changed from Saturday to Sunday.

Having answered the question it should be noted that any day we have the opportunity to gather as believers, worship, and praise G-d is appropriate.  The Sabbath day, however, has remained since the week of Creation as the seventh day of the week.

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim 1:17)


Last modified on 14 January 2015

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