HOW DID CHRISTIANS FELT ABOUT THE SHABBAT FROM THE 1500"S / 1800'S.
When was Sunday first called the "Sabbath"?
For many centuries, Christians were clear to distinguish between the Sabbath
and Sunday (the Lord's Day), then ...
[Heinrich] Bullinger had a high view of the law, and differed from Calvin
regarding the Sabbath. For Bullinger, Sunday was to be observed the same
in principle that the Sabbath was, with Sunday actually becoming the
for the Christian. Calvin, on the other hand, held that Sunday is not
Sabbath. The Puritans would follow Bullinger on this point.
for Web Site/Journals/3-2 20Aug-1996/Pine -
This seems to have happened about 1540 A.D., and was the start of the widespread naming of Sunday as the "Sabbath" in Christianity.
American Congregationalists: No authority in the New Testament for substitution of the first day for the seventh"The current notion that Christ and His apostles authoritatively substituted the first day for the seventh, is absolutely without any authority in the New Testament."Dr. Lyman Abbott, in the Christian Union, June 26, 1890Anglican: Nowhere commanded to keep the first day"And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep theseventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day. The reason why we keep the first of the week holyinstead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, - not because the Bible, butbecause the church, has enjoined [commanded] it."Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, Vol. 1, pp 334, 336.Anglican/Episcopal: The Catholics changed it"We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of theone holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church of Christ."Episcopalian Bishop Symour, Why we keep Sunday.Baptist: Sunday Sabbath not in the scriptures"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not on Sunday. It will besaid, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the Seventh to the First dayof the week, with all its duties, privileges and sanctions. Earnestly desiring information on this subject,which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in theNew Testament - absolutely not. There is no scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from theSeventh to the First day of the week ..."I wish to say that this Sabbath question, in this aspect of it, is the gravest and most perplexing questionconnected with Christian institutions which at present claims attention from Christian people; and the onlyreason that it is not a more disturbing element in Christian thought and in religious discussion is because theChristian world has settled down content on the conviction that some how a transference has taken place at thebeginning of Christian history."To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' discussion with His disciples, often conversingwith them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its falseglosses [of Jewish traditions], never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days ofHis resurrection life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the Spirit, which was given tobring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He had said unto them, deal with this question. Nor yetdid the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instruction those founded,discuss or approach the subject."Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as welearn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark ofpaganism, and christened with the name of a sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, andbequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"Dr. Edward Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual. From a photostatic copy of a notarized statement by Dr. Hiscox.
"There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh day Sabbath to the Christianfirst day observance"William Owen Carver, The Lord's Day in One Day p.49Church of England: No warrant from scripture for the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday"Neither did he (Jesus), nor his disciples, ordain another Sabbath in the place of this, as if they had intendedonly to shift the day; and to transfer this honor to some other time. Their doctrine and their practice aredirectly contrary, to so new a fancy. It is true, that in some tract of time, the Church in honor of hisresurrection, did set apart that day on the which he rose, to holy exercises: but this upon their own authority,and without warrant from above, that we can hear of; more then the general warrant which God gave his Church,that all things in it be done decently, and in comely order."Dr. Peter Heylyn of the Church of England, quoted in History of the Sabbath, Pt 2, Ch.2, p7
Congregationalist: The Christian Sabbath' [Sunday] is not in the Scripture"The Christian Sabbath' [Sunday] is not in the Scripture, and was not by the primitive [early Christian] churchcalled the Sabbath."Timothy Dwight, Theology, sermon 107, 1818 ed., Vol. IV, p49 [Dwight (1752-1817) was president of Yale Universityfrom 1795-1817].Disciples of Christ: It is all old wives' fables to talk of the 'change of the Sabbath'"If it [the Ten Commandments] yet exists, let us observe it ... And if it does not exist, let us abandon a mockobservance of another day for it. 'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where?when? and by whom? - No, it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again:for the reason assigned [in Genesis 2:1-3] must be changed before the observance or respect to the reason, canbe changed. It is all old wives' fables to talk of the 'change of the Sabbath' from the seventh to the first day.If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who changes times and laws ex officio, - I think hisname is "Doctor Antichrist.'"Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, February 2, 1824, vol 1, no. 7Episcopal: Bible commandment says the seventh day"The Bible commandment says on the seventh-day thou shalt rest. That is Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is itlaid down that worship should be done on Sunday."Phillip Carrington, quoted in Toronto Daily Star, Oct 26, 1949 [Carrington (1892-), Anglican archbishop ofQuebec, spoke the above in a message on this subject delivered to a packed assembly of clergymen. It was widelyreported at the time in the news media].
Lutheran: They err in teaching Sunday SabbathBut they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must bekept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel ... These churches err in their teaching, forscripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law inthe New Testament to that effect"John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp.15, 16"We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish Sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian church,and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church.We have seen that the Christian of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a timecelebrated both."The Sunday Problem, a study book by the Lutheran Church (1923) p.36"They [Roman Catholics] They refer to the Sabbath-day as having been changed into the Lord's Day, contraryto the Decalog, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changingof the Sabbath-day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of theTen Commandments!"Augsburg Confession of Faith, art. 28; written by Melanchthon and approved by Martin Luther, 1530; www.iclnet.org
Methodist: Jesus did not abolish the moral law - no command to keep holy the first dayThe moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He Jesus did not take away.It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which can never be broken ...Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind and in all ages; as not depending either on timeor place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of man, and their unchangeable relationto each other."John Wesley, Sermons on Several Occasions, Vol.1, No. 25"It is true that there is no positive command for infant baptism. Nor is there any for keeping holy the first dayof the week. Many believe that Christ changed the Sabbath. But, from His own words, we see that He came for nosuch purpose. Those who believe that Jesus changed the Sabbath base it only on a supposition."Amos Binney, Theological Compendium, 1902 edition, pp 180-181, 171 [Binney (1802-1878), Methodist ministerand presiding elder, whose Compendium was published for forty years in many languages, also wrote a MethodistNew Testament Commentary]."Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep thefirst day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day or totransfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day."
Moody Bible Institute: "Sabbath was before Sinai""I honestly believe that this commandment [the Sabbath commandment] is just as binding today as it ever was.I have talked with men who have said that it has been abrogated [abolished], but they have never been able topoint to any place in the Bible where God repealed it. When Christ was on earth, He did nothing to set it aside;He freed it from the traces under which the scribes and Pharisees had put it, and gave it its true place.'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath' [mark 2:27]. It is just as practicable and as necessaryfor men today as it ever was - in fact, more than ever, because we live in such an intense age."The [Seventh-day] Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This Fourth Commandment[Exodus 20:8-11] begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the Sabbath had already existed when God wrotethe law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away withwhen they admit that the other nine are still binding?"This Fourth is not a commandment for one place, or one time, but for all places and times."D.L. Moody, at San Francisco, Jan. 1st, 1881.Presbyterian: Sunday kept the Gentiles happy"Sunday being the first day of which the Gentiles solemnly adored that planet and called it Sunday, partly fromits influence on that day especially, and partly in respect to its divine body (as they conceived it) theChristians thought fit to keep the same day and the same name of it, that they might not appear carelesslypeevish, and by that means hinder the conversion of the Gentiles, and bring a greater prejudice that might beotherwise taken against the gospel"
Roman Catholic: No such law in the Bible"Nowhere in the bible do we find that Jesus or the apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturdayto Sunday. We have the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is, the seventh dayof the week, Saturday. Today, most Christians keep Sunday because it has been revealed to us by the [Roman]church outside the bible."Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing thesanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we neversanctified."James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 ed.), pp.72,73"If Protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath Day. In keeping the Sunday theyare following a law of the Catholic Church."Albert Smith, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, replying for the cardinal in a letter of Feb. 10, 1920.Question: "Have you not any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?"Answer: "Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her- she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance ofSaturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority"Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed. p. 174
"Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holydays?Answer: By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore theyfondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the sameChurch."Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (1833 approbation), p.58 (Same statement in Manual of
Christian Doctrine, ed. by Daniel Ferris [1916 ed.], p.67)"The Catholic Church, ... by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."The Catholic Mirror, official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893."1. Is Saturday the 7th day according to the Bible and the 10 Commandments?"I answer yes."2. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the 7th day, Saturday, for Sunday, the 1st day?"I answer yes."3. Did Christ change the day?"I answer no! Faithfully yours,"J. Cardinal Gibbons"
Gibbons' autograph letter.Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the NEW LAW,that he himself has explicitly substituted Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is entirely abandoned. It isnow commonly held that God simply gave His church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deemsuitable as holy days. The church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added otherdays as holy days."John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies 1936, vol.1 p.51"Question: Which is the Sabbath day?Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?Answer: We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturdayto Sunday."Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1946 ed.), p.50. Geiermann received the
"apostolic blessing" of Pope Pius X on his labors, January 25, 1910."The Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority givento her by her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant, claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has nowarrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh Day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.The Catholic Universe Bulletin, Aug. 14, 1942, p.4"The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority ofthe [Catholic] church." Monsignor Louis Segur,
Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today (1868), p. 213
"We are, therefore, to acknowledge one God, infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, thecreator of all things, most wise, most just, most good, most holy. We must love him, fear him, honour him, trustin him, pray to him, give him thanks, praise him, hallow his name, obey his commandments, and set times apartfor his service, as we are directed in the third and fourth Commandments, for this is the love of God, that wekeep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous. I John v. 3. And these things we must do not toany mediators between him and us, but to him alone, that he may give his angels charge over us, who, being ourfellow-servants, are pleased with the worship we give to their God. And this is the first and the principal partof religion. This always was, and always will be the religion of God's people, from the beginning to the end ofthe world."Isaac Newton, quoted in Sir David Brewster, Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of
Sir Isaac Newton, 2 vols., Edinburgh, 1885.To comment on this article or request more information, please contact James McBride by e-mail at the commentform below.
For PDF or mailed copy, see CGOM. Excerpt from New Horizons Volume 2 No. 2, March/April 1998. Edited by James
McBride of the Churches of God, United Kingdom.Sunday and Sabbath Observance, Rest and Worship1.The weekly Saturday Sabbath is a sign ... A Sign for Our Time by Leslie A. Turvey2.Oswald Glaidt & Andreas Fischer (1527) give their reasons why ... Christians Must Observe the SaturdaySabbath based on David Liechty3.The Day to Remember - Does God have a special day set aside when we should remember Him?4.Is a Day of Rest and Worship all that God requires? ... The Sabbath and Social Justiceby Gnana Robinson, Madurai, 19865.Is Sunday God's choice or Man's Choice? The American Legal Basis for Sunday Observanceby H.B. Clark, California, 19436.A new direction in "political correctness"? Get Ready for Sunday!7.Summary of the Holy Days that God commands His people to observe - The weekly Sabbath and the7 Annual Holy Days and Seasons.8.Sabbath observance by the OT patriarchs?9.Does Colossians 2:16-17 show that the Sabbath is not in effect?"10.Is Jesus "Lord of the Sabbath" because he fulfilled the Law?11.The Christian day of worship Saturday "Sabbath" or Sunday "Lord's Day"?12.Can't we worship any day?13.From Sabbath to Sunday - Sunday-keepers say when it happened and who commanded it.14.A Look at the Pope's Reason for Sunday-keeping. Saturday or Sunday? A response to the Pope'sPastoral Letter by Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University, 199815.When did the change to Sunday observance happen?16.Fact or legend? An event at the Tridentine Council... The Sabbath and the Council of Trent byArchbishop of Reggio, 156217.A historical note on Christian observations of the Saturday Sabbath... Sabbatarians. J. Evans,Wilmington, Delaware and London, 180418.A pastor reports on Sabbatarians in Gabon19.A poem explaining why most Christians refuse to obey God's command to keep the 7th-day Sabbath holy,by Roswell Cottrell, 185120.Comments on the Greek words for Sabbath, by Mike Linacre, ABCOG, 199821.How could a Day of Rest be a burden or a curse?... Delight in the Sabbath22.Is the Christian Sabbath Saturday or Sunday? What is the "Lord's Day"? "Remarks on the differentSentiments entertained in Christendom relative to the Weekly Sabbath." A book in 13 Chaptersby Robert Burnside, London, 182523.Have Christians remembered God's Saturday Sabbath? Historical References to Sabbath Observanceby J.F. Coltheart (corrected and revised)T.M. Morer, Dialogues on the Lord's Day"Dwight. L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting", 1898, pp.46-47 [D.L. Moody, (1837-1899) was the most famous evangelist
of his time, and founder of the Moody Bible Institute].
Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate July 2, 1942 pg. 26
For many centuries, Christians were clear to distinguish between the Sabbath and Sunday (the Lord's Day),
[Heinrich] Bullinger had a high view of the law, and differed from Calvin regarding the Sabbath.
For Bullinger, Sunday was to be observed the same way in principle that the Sabbath was, with Sunday actually
becoming the Sabbath for the Christian. Calvin, on the other hand, held that Sunday is not the Sabbath.
The Puritans would follow Bullinger on this point.
www.wrs.edu/Materials for Web Site/Journals/3-2 20Aug-1996/Pine - Heinrich Bullinger.pdf
This seems to have happened about 1540 A.D., and was the start of the widespread naming of Sunday as the
"Sabbath" in Christianity.
"Centuries of the Christian era passed away before Sunday was observed by the Christian church as a Sabbath.
History does not furnish us with a single proof or indication that it was at any time so observed previous to
the sabbatical edict of Constantine in A.D. 321"
[Wm Dornville: Examination of Six Texts]
"They know little who do not know that the ancient Sabbath remained and was observed by the Eastern churches
three hundred years after our Savior's passion"
[Prof. Brerewood: Treatise on the Sabbath]
"There is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday ... into the rest of Sunday
no divine law enters"
[Canon Eyton: The Ten Commandments]
"Take which you will, either the Fathers or the moderns, and we shall find no Lord's Day instituted by any
apostolical mandate, no Sabbath set on foot by them on the first day of the week"
[P. Heylyn: History of the Sabbath]
"... the transference to [Sunday] of the sabbatical obligation established by the promulgation of the 4th
commandment has no basis whatever either in Holy Scripture or in Christian antiquity" [Wm Smith: Dictionary
of Christian Antiquity]
"Q; Have you any other way of proving that the [Roman] Church has power to institute festivals?
A: Had she not such power she could not have instituted one in which all modern religionists agree with her -
she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of
Saturday, the seventh day of the week. A change for which there is no Scriptural authority" [Keenan's Doctrinal
"It is quite clear that however devotedly we may spend Sunday ... the Sabbath was founded on a specific divine
command. We can plead no such command for the observance of Sunday" [R W Dale: The Ten Commandments]
"In the interval between the days of apostles and the conversion of Constantine [325 A.D.] the Christian
commonwealth changed its aspect... Rites and ceremonies of which neither Paul nor Peter ever heard crept into
use then claimed the rank of divine institutions." [Dr Killen: The Ancient Church]
"The seventh-day Sabbath was solemnized [i.e. observed] by Christ, the Apostles and the primitive Christians -
until the Council of Laodicea did, in a manner, quite abolish the observance of it. The Council (A.D. 364) first
settled the observance of the Lord's Day" [Wm Prynne: Dissertations on the Lord's Day. Prynne was a 17th century
"Since the institution of the Sabbath at the close of creation ... there has been an unbroken line of God-loving
men who have kept the seventh day of the week.... In the Western Church the seventh day continued to be
observed quite generally till the fifth century." [Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge]