What Do The Holy Scriptures Really Say?
In the following paragraphs the challenge against the Sabbath day is written in pink letters, the answers in white. The statement is made that scripture supports the change from Sabbath to Sunday. We cannot find it there. It is our prayer that those who read will understand — for the battle is not between people, the battle is to distinguish between truth and error.
Sabbatarians insist that it was the Catholic Church which changed the day of worship to Sunday, the first day of the week. They say there is absolutely no Biblical evidence for doing this:
The first day of the week is Sunday and the 'breaking of the bread' is the Catholic Mass. So translated, that verse reads, "WE MET ON SUNDAY FOR MASS."
Now we must be honest here. Does this really show that the apostles instituted Sunday worship? First let's look at the full text:
Paul spent a week with the disciples at Troas. When the time came for him to say farewell, they came together for a last meeting with their beloved apostle. They celebrated the Lord's Supper and Paul spoke. This first-day meeting took place on what is now commonly called Saturday night. We know this from the mention of lights in the room and Paul's continuing his discourse until midnight. Biblical time is described from sundown to sundown.
This is how the Bible describes days, starting in the book of Genesis: "And there was evening, and there was morning, one day." (Gen. 1:5). As another example, Lev. 23:42 refers to Yom Kippur explicitly as "from evening to the next evening".
Also notice this quote taken from a Catholic magazine written September 23, 1883 in the Catholic Mirror:
Seventh Day Adventists have told me that the 'first day of the week' mentioned in this verse is really the 'seventh' day or the Sabbath'. This is a 'twisting' of Scripture by them to fit their teaching. Twisting Scripture is something the cults do to try and make Bible verses conform to their beliefs.
No, according to Jewish reckoning, when the sun sets at the end of the 7th day, it is no longer "the Sabbath" but the first day. However, it is still Saturday night by modern reckoning.
It's rather interesting that the New English Bible (NEB) translates this verse as:
Please, someone tell me how the "first" day means the "seventh" day? What wording would Luke have to use in order to convince you that he was talking about Sunday and not Saturday?
We don't say the "first day" is the "seventh day"-- we say, when evening comes at the end of the 7th day, the Sabbath is passed, and the first day begins. But it is still SATURDAY NIGHT in modern reckoning.
Genesis actually makes this principle of measuring time from sunset to sunset to equal a day very plain.
The evening and the morning were the first day. The evening and the morning were the second day. The evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the evening and the morning are also the seventh day, beginning Friday at sunset and ending Saturday at sunset.
Lev. 23:32 " from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath."
So the first day begins at the evening sunset when Sabbath ends.
In Acts 20:7, St. Luke did not say they met on the morning of the first day, or at noon, or in the evening. He merely said "on the first day". Acts 20:8 does mention that there were "many lamps" in the upper room which indicates it was evening of the first day.
It was evening, Saturday evening. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia agrees with that:
The verse also tells us Paul was ready to depart on the morrow. Obviously he was not keeping Sunday if he was embarking on a strenuous journey on Sunday morning.
As to the last statement about the apostles being the catholics who instituted Sunday worship-- it seems the Catholics were more honest in years past in admitting this was not so. I already quoted one comment from the Catholic Mirror. Here is another from a Catholic source:
"1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.
"2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.
"It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible."
Please do not say Sunday worship is not Scriptural, since Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2 clearly shows that it simply is Scriptural when the verse is correctly interpreted.
I believe we've already covered Acts 20:7, now lets look at 1 Cor. 16:2
Also missing in the Bible is any reference that taking up offerings was a worship day activity. The followers of Jesus met "every Sabbath" to hear the word of God; the Scriptures were read "every Sabbath day." "And Paul, as his manner was to reason in the synagogue every Sabbath, introducing people to the Lord Jesus Christ," etc. Since all those are reported as taking place upon the 7th day Sabbath how can one come to the conclusion that taking up offerings, suddenly supplants the reading of the Scriptures, prayer, exhortation, and preaching, as the indication that Sunday was the day they worshipped upon?
Yet a different argument used by Sabbath keepers to "try to disprove" Acts 20:7, is that they say (using the underlying Greek) the verse cannot be interpreted that the disciples gathered to celebrate the Lords Supper that Sunday evening, as the Greek words used for "breaking of bread" are different from the Greek words used for the "Lords Supper" in 1Cor 11:20. Well, they conveniently omit the fact that the Lords Supper was first instituted in Matt 26:26 where Jesus "broke" bread. The same Greek word for "broke", used in Matthew 26:26, is a variant of the Greek word for "breaking", in Acts 20:7. Trying to prove a difference between "Lords Supper", and "Breaking Bread", has no validity whatsoever. The meaning is the same, but the wording is different.
"Let us call attention to the Acts chapter 2 and the 46th verse:
Besides it is true that "breaking bread" was a common way of saying-- let's eat. It does not necessarily mean they were partaking of the "Lord's Supper".
An example: when Paul was shipwrecked on the voyage to Rome, the sailors had been fasting out of fright. But "Paul besought them all to take MEAT, saying, "This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. Wherefore I pray you to take some MEAT: for this is for your health— And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat." (Acts 27:33-35). Here Paul broke bread to give to unconverted sailors who were hungry.
If that wasn't enough, then they go on to say the verse does not mention the wine, therefore it cannot be the Eucharistic celebration or "communion". This is simply not true, as there are many verses which refer to the Eucharistic celebration, or the Mass, which do not mention the wine. Read this prime example:
The story of Christ's encounter with the travelers to Emmaus, is NOT speaking of a formal "celebration of the communion".
Two disciples were traveling. The resurrected Jesus joined the two, but they didn't recognize Him. He gave them a bible study on His mission. As they reached the house, the two disciples begged Jesus to join them, He did, and they SAT DOWN TO MEAT-- that means they sat down to eat a meal. The disciples didn't even know who he was! In the course of the meal Jesus took some bread and as the custom of serving bread was, started to break it, then they did recognize Him, it wasn't His "presence" in the bread they recognized. They recognized the nail prints in His hands--and may very well have grasped the connection that just like the bread was broken the Bible prophecied that Christ would die.
However, this took place -- not on the first day of the week, but on the second. For evening was drawing on and the day was about over when they reached the village. By the time the meal was prepared the evening of the second day would have started.
The disciples ran the seven miles back to Jerusalem (in the dark) to tell the other disciples. They did not believe, till Jesus appeared in their midst. This was on the second day of the week according to Jewish reckoning-- or Sunday night in by modern reckoning.
In Luke 24:30, Jesus took bread and broke and handed it to them. The same Greek word (klah-o) is used in this verse for "breaking of bread", as in Acts 20:7. Jesus did this on the same day as His Resurrection. The first breaking of the bread of the "New Creation" was on Sunday and it was done by Jesus Christ Himself.
Was it Sunday? Again remember time runs from sundown to sundown in Bible reckoning. Why did Jesus wait till sundown Sunday, before "sitting down to meat" with those two disciples? ( Maybe to frustrate the Sunday worships to come?) Anyway, it was NOT a formal "communion service" at all. However, due to the great memorial, the cross of Calvary is stamped on every loaf. The food that nourishes our bodies is to remind us of the spiritual food that nourishes our souls.
Why didn't Christ wait till the next Saturday? Simply because it wasn't a formal worship service as we showed above. Secondly because He wanted to reveal Himself to His disciples as soon as possible. We could also ask, why didn't He institute the Lord's Supper on a Saturday or a Sunday instead of on a Thursday? Not many are using the VERY FORMAL THURSDAY service Jesus conducted as an argument that now Thursday is a Holy Day.
Sabbatarians insist that St. Paul preached to the Jews on the Sabbath, and therefore, the Sabbath is still the day of worship: They are right about his preaching to the Jews on their Sabbath as shown in Acts 13:14, Acts 13:44, and Acts 18:4. What they fail to realize is, since that was the day when the Jews were gathered in the Synagogue, as it was their Sabbath, he could preach to the maximum number gathered in one place, all at one time. That was the only reason for his preaching to the Jews on their Sabbath. He preached to the Jews first on their Sabbath, while they were gathered in one place and then after he preached to the Gentiles as shown in Acts 13:46.
What the challenger fails to tell the reader is the many references of Sabbath observing of Paul, and others.
Luke, the Gentile physician who traveled with Paul and wrote the book of Acts also wrote the gospel of Luke. This is what he wrote about the Sabbath some 30 years after Christ's ascension:
"And Jesus said unto them, The Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath."
Luke 23.54-24:1 And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.
And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.
Then, upon the first day of the week..
no mention is made whatsoever that the Sabbath was transferred.
Luke simply states they rested according to the commandment. He does not say they rested after the old covenant commandments . If the Sabbath was really changed to honor Christ's resurrection, what an opportunity for Luke to say, the women rested on the old Sabbath then an the first day of the week the dawn of a new Sabbath began. But Luke does not say this because the Sabbath is still the Sabbath according to God's commandment..
Then in Acts 13:14 we see Paul entering the synagogue on the Sabbath.
"But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and sat down."
Now there is nothing unusual about that, Sabbath was the time to go to the synagogue. But notice what happens after Paul preaches in that synagogue.
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles came asking that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath...
And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. Now why did Paul wait until the next Sabbath to preach to the Gentiles? Why did he not tell them that they should come the next day— Sunday, and he would preach to them then? The truth is we find no evidence whatsoever in the Bible that the 7th day Sabbath was abolished and another day was installed.
We see Paul in the Macedonian city of Philippi, searching for a group of people to worship with upon the Sabbath day.
And from there to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia,..
and on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where we heard people gathered for prayer; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which gathered there.
There are many documents written by early Church Fathers which attest to the demise of worship on the Sabbath, replacing it with Sunday, "The Lord's Day" Sunday is called "The Lord's Day", as shown in Revelations 1:10.
But what day does Christ claim as the day He is Lord of:
For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
There are many documents written by early Church Fathers which attest to the demise of worship on the Sabbath, replacing it with Sunday,
Remember the seventh day to keep it holy!