when did sunday worship begin
However, Jesus did not do any work here, and the man’s life was not in danger. Charles, R.H. For several centuries, some Christians kept Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, Saturday, while others kept Sunday holy. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1997. They ceased to keep the Sabbath and lived by the Lord’s Day, on which our life as well as theirs shone forth, thanks to Him and his death, though some deny this…. Word Biblical Commentary: Vol. Andreasen, M.L. Had Jesus said that the sabbath was made for Gentiles, this would have created another controversy, but none is indicated here. The sabbath command must be interpreted in terms of mercy, not strict unbending demand. Other church historians document the fact that by the middle of the second century Sunday had become the predominant day of worship. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1959, 1965. Later, however, Sunday worship did spread to many churches. 16:2 that he did not consider every day alike. Word Biblical Commentary: Vol. The fact that he did not designate the day implies that no specific name for it was in general use (the name “Lord’s Day” would have been used only among Christians. When did Sunday Schools start? 9:1) as a ministry of service (leitourgia).7 If regular systematic saving were all that Paul intended, one day would appear as suitable as another for this purpose.8 When Paul refers to this collection as ministry of service (2 Cor. As we saw a lessening of importance of the seventh-day sabbath in the sabbath controversies, we are seeing the rising importance of the first day of the week in the resurrection narratives. In these passages Paul is contending with the dangers of some obligations being placed on his converts. 24:8-9). One widely acclaimed study, for example, suggests that the weekly Christian Sunday arose from Sunday-evening communion Vol. Lincoln, A. T. “From Sabbath to Lord’s Day: A Biblical and Theological Perspective” in From Sabbath to Lord’s Day, ed. Part II: Samuele Bacchiocchi’s Reconstruction,” Andrews University Seminary Studies 17 (1979): 85-104. When Jesus gave the sign that He would be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40), He meant it. The apostolic faith took on many forms of expression in the first decades of its life as it responded to cultural, social, political and religious pressures.1 We see in Luke’s writing of Acts that the first Christians were Jews, and the earliest church is classifiable as a messianic sect within Judaism. Sunday School attendance has seen a … Paul tells the Colossians in Col. 2:16: “Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths.” The Colossian Christians had syncretistic practices that included ascetic regulations drawn from Judaism performed to appease the elemental spirits (stoicheia) of the universe (2:8, 20).13 Paul’s use of “do not let anyone condemn you” about observing these days shows that Paul did not lay down any regulations over the use of the festivals; in other words, it was not required to keep the seventh-day sabbath or the other festival days. Never miss a post! London: A & C Black, 1989. See also S. McKnight, “Matthew, Gospel of,” Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1992), 526-541. 67 associate Sunday worship with the resurrection. : Newman Press, 1952. We all appeared weekly in our “Sunday best.” Here John is confronting the chief Jewish objection to Jesus, that he makes himself equal to God. 35 P.R. Of interest here is the Jerusalem conference in Acts 15 about what was required of Gentile converts. Bauckham says that Barnabas 15 is an attempt to reinterpret the sabbath command so to disallow its observance, not only by Christians but even by Jews before Christ. 4:10; Rom. It would seem odd for these Jewish women to have done anything differently in a pre-resurrection setting. As Jude wrote: “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. ———, and Gerard Damsteegt, eds., Source Book for the History of Sabbath and Sunday. According to the "Dictionary of Christianity in America," the Puritans of the 1600's in America had a Sunday morning and a Sunday evening gathering time as well as a Thursday morning lecture. Small groups are effective but they have yet to rival what the Sunday school already does even in its battered condition. Guelich, R.A. Mark 1-8:26. “And on the Sabbath day we [the apostle Paul, Luke and others] went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there” (Acts 16:13). 16:1), but that he also approved of that distinction by making it himself.9 The reference to the first day of the week would have no significance unless Paul is assuming that this day was already a special day for the church.10, 1 Cor. Word Biblical Commentary: Vol. After that time we hear of agape feasts in the evening having a charitable purpose, but with few exceptions losing their eucharistic character.62, Clement of Alexandria (d. A.D. 215) was the main instructor in Alexandria at the end of the second century. Green, Scot McKnight and I. Howard Marshall. Second, we need to understand that secular records do not override the authority of the Bible. “And [the apostle Paul] reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 18:4). When Did the Change From Saturday to Sunday Occur? 41. In Dialogue With Trypho 19, Justin claims that many righteous men in the Old Testament did not keep the sabbath. 72 Bauckham, 261. In the Gospel pericopes we studied, we see Jesus being confronted for healing on the sabbath.Though he is seen to break halakic regulations concerning the sabbath, the incident of his disciples plucking heads of grain on the sabbath is the closest thing to work for which Jesus’ disciples could be accused of sabbath breaking according to the Torah. The crowd is angered to the point of almost committing murder on the sabbath. Harrisburg: Trinity Press International, 1990. Or Is the Sabbath a Gift for All? If we view Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 2 (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1978), 6. The context deals not with the universal scope of the sabbath, but the purpose of the sabbath rest.23 The sabbath was created for the benefit of humans, and here Jesus is speaking against the burdensome requirements that the Jews had added to the original command. And they will also keep the sabbath. 200) and Clement of Alexandria (ca. In Barnabas and Justin, other reasons for the significance of Sunday are given first: Sunday representing the eschatological eighth day in Barnabas, and the day on which God began the creation in Justin.53, The second century church was not a monolithic structure but a variegated group of churches with conflicting beliefs.54 Legalist Jewish Christians, zealous for the law, believed that the whole law had to be obeyed for a person to be saved. It is the occult equivalent and this is not by chance but Satan's choice. Based on this, it also becomes likely that kuriakē hēmera in Rev. In Matthew, Jesus does not challenge the sabbath law, but the interpretation of it, showing that the determining factor is love.29. I say “No.” But I don’t think we must worship on Sunday either. Bruce, F.F. Bultmann, Rudolf, History of the Synoptic Tradition. When Sunday worship was the practice, Christians must have connected it with the Lord’s resurrection on a Sunday.77 This may have also influenced the way the Gospel writers treated the sabbath controversies as they showed that Jesus was superior to the sabbath and that his actions offended the sabbath-observing Pharisees. Acts 1:12: “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, a sabbath day’s journey away.”, Acts 13:27: “Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him.”, Acts 13:42, 44: “As Paul and Barnabas were going out, the people urged them to speak about these things again the next sabbath…. Sun worship, veneration of the sun or a representation of the sun as a deity, as in Atonism in Egypt in the 14th century BCE. However, Jewish Christianity was anything but a single, unified phenomenon. The Rev Alan Miller leads a service from the Church of the Holy Rude in Stirling. So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:11-12), Here Jesus is shown as an interpreter of the law for the church, which in Matthew’s community still kept the sabbath (Matthew 24:20).28 In Matthew’s account, the sabbath law is superseded by concern for the life of an animal. Luke adds to Mark’s account that Jesus’ disciples plucked the heads of grain “and ate them,” thus apparently reassuring his readers that the disciples were not guilty of what was proscribed in Deut. This puts Ignatius as an early witness of the dissociation of Christianity from Judaism, which is characteristic of the second century and a wholly negative attitude to sabbath observance.72. David Treybig is a husband, father and grandfather. met to worship God. 25 Dunn, Unity and Diversity in the New Testament, 246-247. Jesus responds in similar ways to the Jews who reacted negatively to both healings. The Pharisees put the healed man out of the synagogue (verse 34). Cohen, From the Maccabees to the Mishnah (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1987), 55. Later, after God made the Jews his chosen people, the sabbath was for them only. Waco: Word, 1989. 21:6) and ate the bread of the Presence, “which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat” (cf. Second Sunday of Advent. Though Matthew shows a high regard for the law and the sabbath, there is an anti-Jewish tone to the Gospel, too, and even here we can see a softening of demands for keeping the sabbath. 10 he wrote: “It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. Some argue that Jesus’ statement that “the sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath” gives universal scope for the sabbath. Hultgren, Arland J. Jesus and His Adversaries. 118:24). The Answer: No historical facts have been found that relate when and why Lord’s Day evening and Wednesday evening services began. So if Sunday was Satan's plan for a day of worship, and we have seen historically that it is, then his week would be the reverse of God's week. There was another feast in between them called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It was significant to them to include the day of the week when the resurrection took place, and this may have reflected the significance their communities attached to the first day of the week.48. 11). She and the baby began to be worshiped as deities and mother child worship begins. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1975. Danby, Herbert. Sabbath observance is not listed among the requirements for the Gentiles that the Jerusalem conference decided upon (Acts 15:20). The Law and the Sabbath. That the twelve apostles were able to remain in Jerusalem while the Hellenist members were forced to flee indicates that the persecution was not directed at the apostles, probably because they dissociated themselves from the views of the Hellenistic Jewish Christians.4 As the persecuted Christians fled Jerusalem, they preached the gospel (8:4, 11:19-20), eventually reaching Antioch, the church that launched the Pauline mission to the gentiles (Acts 13:1-3). Carson, D.A., ed., From Sabbath to Lord’s Day: A Biblical, Historical and Theological Investigation. This also can be seen as a Christological statement about Jesus and his ministry rather than an apology for the disciples’ (or later, the church’s) sabbath conduct. He reminds them that they give water to oxen and donkeys on the sabbath, and asks what is wrong with freeing a daughter of Abraham bound by Satan for eighteen years (13:15-16) and implicitly asks what is wrong with healing the man of dropsy on the sabbath. Downers Grove: InterVarsity: 1997, 287-300. Goldingay, John E. Daniel. “A 4-Year-Old Child Knows Saturday Is the Sabbath!”, Sola Scriptura vs. Sunday: Why the Reformation Failed, Sign of Jonah: Did Jesus Die Good Friday, Rise on Easter. Jefford. Bauckham, R.J. “The Lord’s Day,” chap. While this relationship calls us to praise and thanksgiving at all times, it demands of us a special time of renewal and detachment when our prayers become explicit. A sabbatarian argument is that these days refer to pagan days, but the problem appears to have arisen because many Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians influenced by Jewish tradition regarded the continued observance of the Jewish sabbath and festival days as of continued importance because they viewed the new movement they were a part of as a fulfilled form of Judaism.12 Here, though, Paul speaks both of the freedom to keep or not to keep the sabbath. Unity and Diversity in the New Testament. for example, the related Quartodeciman controversy). Blessed art thou, O Lord, who humblest the arrogant.49. Also in this Pastor’s article He referenced from John 20:19 that was obvious that Yeshua (Jesus) established Sunday … How did the Sabbath become accepted on Saturday or Sunday? The Apostolic Church (What would later split to become the Orthodox and Catholic Churches): St. Justin Martyr testifies to Sunday worship in his First Apology (150-160 A.D) CHAPTER LXVII -- WEEKLY WORSHIP OF THE CHRIS- TIANS. However, he did not start this trend. Robinson, James, ed. Waco: Word, 1987. eds. We need to understand two important facts. Further He says to them, “Your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot endure.” Ye perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Grand Rapids:Eerdmans, 1971. Williamson, G.A. When did the Christian church switch the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday?No specific names or dates are associated with the church's shift from observing the holy day on … When the language was confused at Babel the gods remain the same but the names were changed due to the language confusion. The Works of Josephus: Complete and Unabridged. Most of these scriptures show the apostles beginning to preach the gospel in the Jewish synagogues, both to the Jews and to Gentiles who had assembled there. Westminster, Md. The second century references of Ignatius, Magn. If merely systematic giving were all Paul asked for, he would not have specified the day of the week. When the church remained in the confines of Judaism, we see no evidence in Acts of sabbath controversies. “So [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. Downers Grove: InterVarsity: 1997, 686-694. So we see that neither the sabbath nor the food laws applied to people after the Flood, before there were Jews and Gentiles. NICNT. As we see in Acts 20:7 (which predates the Jewish Christians being expelled from the synagogues), Luke writes that the church in Troas was meeting on the first day of the week for the purpose of breaking bread. Word Biblical Commentary. Bauckham concludes that in Ignatius and the Gospel of Peter, the word kuriakē is a technical term in fairly widespread use at least in Syria and Asia Minor, showing the first day of the week as the Christian day of regular corporate worship. Ancient Christian Writers vol. Trebilco, “Diaspora Judaism,” in Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1997), 292. When Stephen, a Hellenist, came on the scene in Acts 6:1-5, the church began to broaden while still within the confines of Judaism. With the lack of an authoritative word from God, the Jews could not always determine God’s will on the basis of scriptural text alone.  The Sunday school still holds the very best time slot of the week—the hour before or after Sunday worship. Carson, From Sabbath to Lord’s Day: A Biblical, Historical and Theological Investigation.Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982. ———. Why did the church start to worship on Sunday instead of Saturday? Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982. But we still have Sunday evening worship, ... Two services on Sunday has been around for a while and it didn’t start with Baptists nor did it begin as an evangelistic time nor did its origins have anything to do with electric lighting. Stephen said that the temple had limited importance and that “the Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands” (Acts 7:48). The universality of the custom argues for an early origin. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. He sought to assure pagans that Christianity was not the absurd superstition some claimed it to be.63 He wrote that the sabbath rest of the seventh day is merely a preparation for the true sabbath rest of the eighth day, because the eighth day is the first day and the first day is the Christ, the archē (beginning) of creation and the light of men.64, The term Lord’s Day (kuriakē hēmera) occurs only once in the New Testament, in Revelation 1:10, but its use there is significant in studying the origins of the weekly day of worship in Christianity.65, Bauckham notes thirteen times in first and second century writings where kuriakē hēmera or kuriakē (belonging to the Lord) by itself means the Lord’s Day. No Biblical evidence for Sunday worship. Kelly, J.N.D. 7:2) and smearing the clay on his eyes, possibly a prohibited anointing (m. Shab. Martin, R.P. Christians were included among the heretics referred to in the twelfth of the Eighteen Benedictions that Jews recited daily and in every synagogue service. Deissmann, A. Wainwright, G. “Lord’s Supper, Love Feast,” Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Developments, eds. I can recall sitting on a stool wearing a bow tie in Sunday school at age three, surrounded by other children. Barrett, ed., The New Testament Background (San Francisco: Harper, 1987), 210-211. From the Maccabees to the Mishnah. Downers Grove: InterVarsity: 1997, 679-686. They say the church didn’t begin Sunday worship until the time of Constantine. Waco: Word, 1982. 7 in Kenneth A. Strand, ed., The Sabbath in Scripture and History, 132-150. Waco: Word, 1988. Turner, M.M.B. Word Biblical Commentary: Vol. Ralph Martin and Peter H. Davids. The first day of the week was the day on which our Lord rose from the dead (John 20:1; cf. These practices almost certainly go back to the Puritans in England. Nolland, John. So why do we worship on Sunday and not Saturday? The Corinthian church was aware (1 Cor.
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