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How common was the observance of the Jewish Sabbath among early Church Christians?

Discussion in 'Sabbath and The Law' started by TruthSeek3r, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    According to Wikipedia, the Jewish Sabbath is defined as:

    [...] the Sabbath, is Judaism's day of rest on the seventh day of the week—i.e., Saturday. On this day, religious Jews remember the biblical story describing the creation of the heavens and the earth in six days and look forward to a future Messianic Age. Since the Jewish religious calendar counts days from sunset to sunset, Shabbat begins in the evening of what on the secular calendar is Friday.

    Question: How common was the observance of the Jewish Sabbath among early Church Christians?

    Note 1: to be precise, the concept of "early Church" encompasses the first 4 centuries of Christianity, so it's very likely that the answer to the question depends on what specific period of time we are looking at. For this reason, I would rather like to know how the popularity of the observance of the Jewish Sabbath evolved over time. Was it very popular at the beginning and then gradually became less popular among early Church Christians as time went on? Or was the Jewish Sabbath never very popular to begin with?

    Note 2: answers that cite reputable unbiased historical sources will be appreciated. I'm interested in historical facts, not personal opinions.
     
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  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    Acts 13 - Sabbath after Sabbath services - where it is the "gentiles" that ask for more Gospel preaching "next Sabbath" and almost "The entire town shows up" for the message.

    Acts 17 - Sabbath after Sabbath after Sabbath services preaching the gospel message to both gentiles and Jews until finally the town rejects it and persecution arises - even though a group of Christian believers is raised up.

    Acts 18:4 "every Sabbath" Gospel preaching to both gentiles and Jews.

    Heb 4 "There REMAINS therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God" - remains from what? -- remains from what it was at the time of David according to Heb 4.

    Nothing like this exists in the NT for "week day 1"
     
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  3. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member

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    All ten of the Ten commandments - written on the heart under the New Covenant of Jer 31:31-34, Heb 8:6-12

    That same Law where "the first commandment with a promise" is "honor your father and mother" Eph 6:1-2 is still applicable to New Testament saints according to Paul.
     
  4. Taodeching

    Taodeching Well-Known Member

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    The Letter of Barnabas
    “We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead” (Letter of Barnabas 15:6–8 [A.D. 74]).

    Ignatius of Antioch
    “[T]hose who were brought up in the ancient order of things [i.e. Jews] have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s day, on which also our life has sprung up again by him and by his death” (Letter to the Magnesians 8 [A.D. 110]).

    Justin Martyr
    “But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead” (First Apology 67 [A.D. 155]).

    Origen
    “Hence it is not possible that the [day of] rest after the Sabbath should have come into existence from the seventh [day] of our God. On the contrary, it is our Savior who, after the pattern of his own rest, caused us to be made in the likeness of his death, and hence also of his resurrection” (Commentary on John 2:28 [A.D. 229]).

    Athanasius
    “The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord’s day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord’s day as being the memorial of the new creation” (On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).

    Cyril of Jerusalem
    “Fall not away either into the sect of the Samaritans or into Judaism, for Jesus Christ has henceforth ransomed you. Stand aloof from all observance of Sabbaths and from calling any indifferent meats common or unclean” (Catechetical Lectures 4:37 [A.D. 350]).

    Council of Laodicea
    “Christians should not Judaize and should not be idle on the Sabbath, but should work on that day; they should, however, particularly reverence the Lord’s day and, if possible, not work on it, because they were Christians” (Canon 29 [A.D. 360]).
     
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  5. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    This doesn't answer the question about popularity and evolution over time. The early Church is commonly understood to span the first 3 to 4 centuries of Christianity. The verses that you are quoting from Acts at best serve as evidence that people attended Jewish synagogues to hear what was being preached. That's not the same as observing the Jewish Sabbath (the text doesn't tell you what those individuals did before or after the synagogue services). The verses you are quoting do not tell you anything about:
    1. How popular it was to keep the Jewish Sabbath among early Church Christians.
    2. What happened over time (300-400 years of history).
    Can you please cite historical sources?
     
  6. TruthSeek3r

    TruthSeek3r Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the quotes. Should I understand implicitly from your answer that the strict observance of the Jewish Sabbath was rather unpopular among early Church Christians from the very beginning? Are there similar quotes from Church Fathers in favor of the Sabbath rather than against?
     
  7. Taodeching

    Taodeching Well-Known Member

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    From everything I seen Sabbath observation among the early Church until the radical Reformation was not encouraged nor thought about. I haven't found any talking about that we must keep a Jewish day holier than the day Christ rose from the dead. Now I maybe wrong but I never seen it until the SDA and a few other protestant groups came about
     
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  8. Nathan@work

    [email protected] Always ready :)

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    If your looking for details on it concerning from the end of Biblical context to now(or just several hundred years), then there is some early ‘Church’ writings, but it is only going to give detail of those who wrote the letters.

    Biblically speaking, the early Jewish believers would have still ‘rested’ on the Sabbath day of the week. There would have been no reason not to.

    They would have had different motives than traditional Jews though, knowing what the command/law was about.

    John, in Revelation, gives us great detail when he states that he was in the ‘Spirit’ on the ‘Lords day’.

    Sorry for my lack of any other detail, but I think the Sabbath is one of those things that is greatly misunderstood in these times. I really enjoy talking about it. :)
     
  9. OldWiseGuy

    OldWiseGuy Wake me when it's soup. Supporter

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    None of this matters. God established the Sabbath on the seventh day, not the Jews. It's called the Jewish Sabbath because the only ones who kept it were...the Jews.
     
  10. LoveGodsWord

    LoveGodsWord Well-Known Member

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    If one takes the scriptures alone there is no such thing as a Jewish Sabbath because Jesus says that the Sabbath was made for all mankind and he is the Lord and creator of the Sabbath according to Mark 2:27-28; Matthew 12:8; John 1:1-4; 14.

    According to the scriptures the Sabbath was made on the "seventh day" of the creation week were God blessed the "seventh day" and made the "seventh day" a holy day of rest according to Genesis 2:1-3. There was no Jew, no Israel, no Moses, no sin and no implementation for Gods' plan of salvation because man was sinless and in perfect harmony with God when he made the Sabbath for mankind.

    According to the scriptures God has always had a people that have kept His laws including the Sabbath all through time down to Jesus and the Apostles to after the death of Jesus and the Apostles who kept the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8; 10-12; 24:20; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:1-10; 13:14-16; 14:1-5; John 7:22-23; 9:14; Mark 1:21; Mark 6:2; Luke 4:16; 31; Luke 14:1; 23:56; John 2:6; Matthew 16:24; 1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1-21; Peter 2:20-22; Acts of the Apostles 13:14; 13:27; 13:44; 15:21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4; Revelation 1:10) which has continued to be kept unbroken to this very present day.

    Talking about exact numbers. Well according to the Christian world today only a small proportion keep the Sabbath of God's 4th commandment. Though the scriptures clearly state that only a remnant will be saved so the whole minority or majority argument is not relevant in my view. I would be of the belief though that the majority of the early Church (first to the third century) kept the Sabbath and it was a gradual decline over time to what we see today.

    May God bless us as we seek Him through his Word.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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  11. LoveGodsWord

    LoveGodsWord Well-Known Member

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    Sabbath Observance Through The Centuries - The First Century A.D.

    INSTITUTION OF THE SABBATH
    "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." (Genesis 2:1-3 )

    JESUS
    "And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." (Luke 4:16)

    JESUS
    "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." (Matthew 19:16,17)

    JESUS
    "But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day." (Matthew 24, 20).
    NOTE: Jesus asked his disciples to pray that in the flight from the doomed city of Jerusalem they would not have to flee on the Sabbath day. This flight took place in 70 A.D. 40 years after the Jesus' crucfixion and we see here that Jesus fully expected His church to be observing His true seventh day Sabbath that He Himself proclaimed to be the Lord of.

    JESUS' FOLLOWERS
    "And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." (Luke 23:56.) Did these women make a mistake and keep the wrong sabbath or was it that Christ NEVER EVER hinted that there would be a change forthcoming???

    PAUL
    "And Paul, as his manner was went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures" (Acts 17:2) Did Christ fail to inform Paul on the road to Damascus that there's now a new sabbath? Or rather does the silence of Christ speak volumes against the papal sabbath???

    PAUL AND THE GENTILES
    "And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath came almost the whole city together to hear the Word of God." Acts 13:42, 44.

    Here we find Gentiles in a Gentile city gathering on the Sabbath. It was not a synagogue meeting in verse 44, for it says almost the whole city came together, verse 42 says they asked to hear the message the "next Sabbath."

    And get this: The Bible does not say it is the "old Jewish Sabbath that was passed away," but the Spirit of God, writing the Book of Acts some 30 years after the crucifixion, calls it "the next Sabbath."

    JOHN
    "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day." Rev.1:10 (Matthew 12:6; Mark 2:28, Isa.58:13, Ex.20:10, Clearly show the Sabbath to be the Lord's day).
    The term "Lord's day" in reference to sunday came later. The Biblical meaning for Lord's day is the day that God calls "My holy day" and the day that Jesus said He is Lord of.

    JOSEPHUS
    "There is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the Barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come!" M'Clatchie, "Notes and Queries on China and Japan" (edited by Dennys), Vol 4, Nos 7, 8, p.100.

    PHILO
    Declares the seventh day to be a festival, not of this or of that city, but of the universe. M'Clatchie, "Notes and Queries," Vol. 4, 99

    So we have incontrovertible proof that the observance of sunday was NOT practiced by the apostolic church of the first century. Although the poison of apostasy had already begun, it did not reach the ascendancy until the passage of a few more centuries.

    The next installment will show the historical record of the early christians observing the true seventh day Sabbath in the second century A.D.

    Sabbath Observance Through The Centuries - The Second Century A.D.

    -----------------------------------------------

    EARLY CHRISTIANS - 2nd Century
    "The primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and spent the day in devotion and sermons. And it is not to be doubted but they derived this practice from the Apostles themselves, as appears by several scriptures to the purpose." "Dialogues on the Lord's Day," p. 189. London: 1701, By Dr. T.H. Morer (A Church of England divine).

    EARLY CHRISTIANS - 2nd Century
    "...The Sabbath was a strong tie which united them with the life of the whole people, and in keeping the Sabbath holy they followed not only the example but also the command of Jesus." "Geschichte des Sonntags," pp.13, 14

    EARLY CHRISTIANS - 2nd Century
    "The Gentile Christians observed also the Sabbath," Gieseler's "Church History," Vol.1, ch. 2, par. 30, 93.

    EARLY CHRISTIANS - 2nd Century
    "The primitive Christians did keep the Sabbath of the Jews;...therefore the Christians, for a long time together, did keep their conventions upon the Sabbath, in which some portions of the law were read: and this continued till the time of the Laodicean council." "The Whole Works" of Jeremy Taylor, Vol. IX,p. 416 (R. Heber's Edition, Vol XII, p. 416).

    EARLY CHRISTIANS - 2nd Century
    "It is certain that the ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed (together with the celebration of the Lord's day) by the Christians of the East Church, above three hundred years after our Saviour's death." "A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath," p. 77

    Note: By the "Lord's day" here the writer means Sunday and not the true Sabbath," which the Bible says is the Sabbath. This quotation shows Sunday coming into use in the early centuries soon after the death of the Apostles. It illustrates the apostasy that Paul the Apostle foretold of when he spoke about a great "falling away" from the Truth that would take place soon after his death.

    "From the apostles' time until the council of Laodicea, which was about the year 364, the holy observance of the Jews' Sabbath continued, as may be proved out of many authors: yea, notwithstanding the decree of the council against it." "Sunday a Sabbath." John Ley, p.163. London: 1640.


    Sabbath Observance Through The Centuries - The Third Century A.D.


    ------------------------------------------

    EGYPT (OXYRHYNCHUS PAPYRUS) (200-250 A.D.)
    "Except ye make the sabbath a real sabbath (sabbatize the Sabbath," Greek), ye shall not see the Father." "The oxyrhynchus Papyri," pt,1, p.3, Logion 2, verso 4-11 (London Offices of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898).

    EARLY CHRISTIANS-C 3rd
    "Thou shalt observe the Sabbath, on account of Him who ceased from His work of creation, but ceased not from His work of providence: it is a rest for meditation of the law, not for idleness of the hands." "The Anti-Nicene Fathers," Vol 7,p. 413. From "Constitutions of the Holy Apostles," a document of the 3rd and 4th Centuries.

    AFRICA (ALEXANDRIA) ORIGEN
    "After the festival of the unceasing sacrifice (the crucifixion) is put the second festival of the Sabbath, and it is fitting for whoever is righteous among the saints to keep also the festival of the Sabbath. There remaineth therefore a sabbatismus, that is, a keeping of the Sabbath, to the people of God (Hebrews 4:9)." "Homily on Numbers 23," par.4, in Migne, "Patrologia Graeca," Vol. 12,cols. 749, 750.

    PALESTINE TO INDIA (CHURCH OF THE EAST)
    As early as A.D. 225 there existed large bishoprics or conferences of the Church of the East (Sabbath-keeping) stretching from Palestine to India. Mingana, "Early Spread of Christianity." Vol.10, p. 460.

    INDIA (BUDDHIST CONTROVERSY), 220 A.D.)
    The Kushan Dynasty of North India called a famous council of Buddhist priests at Vaisalia to bring uniformity among the Buddhist monks on the observance of their weekly Sabbath. Some had been so impressed by the writings of the Old Testament that they had begun to keep holy the Sabbath. Lloyd, "The Creed of Half Japan," p. 23.

    EARLY CHRISTIANS
    "The seventh-day Sabbath was...solemnised by Christ, the Apostles, and primitive Christians, till the Laodicean Council did in manner quite abolish the observations of it." "Dissertation on the Lord's Day," pp. 33, 34
    ---------------------------------------------

    Sabbath Observance Through The Centuries - The Fourth Century A.D.

    -----------------------------------------------

    ITALY AND EAST-C 4th
    "It was the practice generally of the Easterne Churches; and some churches of the west...For in the Church of Millaine (Milan);...it seems the Saturday was held in a farre esteeme... Not that the Easterne Churches, or any of the rest which observed that day, were inclined to Iudaisme (Judaism); but that they came together on the Sabbath day, to worship Iesus (Jesus) Christ the Lord of the Sabbath." "History of the Sabbath" (original spelling retained), Part 2, par. 5, pp.73, 74. London: 1636. Dr. Heylyn.

    ORIENT AND MOST OF WORLD
    "The ancient Christians were very careful in the observance of Saturday, or the seventh day...It is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath as a festival...Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious assembles on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, Epiphanius says the same." "Antiquities of the Christian Church," Vol.II Book XX, chap. 3, sec.1, 66. 1137,1138.

    ABYSSINIA
    "In the last half of that century St. Ambrose of Milan stated officially that the Abyssinian bishop, Museus, had 'traveled almost everywhere in the country of the Seres' (China). For more than seventeen centuries the Abyssinian Church continued to sanctify Saturday as the holy day of the fourth commandment." Ambrose, DeMoribus, Brachmanorium Opera Ominia, 1132, found in Migne, Patrologia Latima, Vol.17, pp.1131,1132.

    ARABIA, PERSIA, INDIA, CHINA
    "Mingana proves that in 370 A.D. Abyssinian Christianity (a Sabbath keeping church) was so popular that its famous director, Musacus, travelled extensively in the East promoting the church in Arabia, Persia, India and China." "Truth Triumphanat,"p.308 (Footnote 27).

    ITALY-MILAN
    "Ambrose, the celebrated bishop of Milan, said that when he was in Milan he observed Saturday, but when in Rome observed Sunday. This gave rise to the proverb, 'When you are in Rome, do as Rome does.'" Heylyn, "The History of the Sabbath" (1612)

    SPAIN-COUNCIL ELVIRA (A.D.305)
    Canon 26 of the Council of Elvira reveals that the Church of Spain at that time kept Saturday, the seventh day. "As to fasting every Sabbath: Resolved, that the error be corrected of fasting every Sabbath." This resolution of the council is in direct opposition to the policy the church at Rome had inaugurated, that of commanding Sabbath as a fast day in order to humiliate it and make it repugnant to the people.

    SPAIN
    It is a point of further interest to note that in north-eastern Spain near the city of Barcelona is a city called Sabadell, in a district originaly inhabited. By a people called both "Valldenses" and Sabbatati."

    PERSIA-A.D. 335-375 (40 YEARS PERSECUTION UNDER SHAPUR II)
    The popular complaint against the Christians-"They despise our sungod, they have divine services on Saturday, they desecrate the sacred the earth by burying their dead in it." Truth Triumphant," p.170.

    PERSIA-A.D.335-375
    "They despise our sun-god. Did not Zorcaster, the sainted founder of our divine beliefs, institute Sunday one thousand years ago in honour of the sun and supplant the Sabbath of the Old Testament. Yet these Christians have divine services on Saturday." O'Leary, "The Syriac Church and Fathers," pp.83, 84.

    COUNCIL LAODICEA-A.D.365
    "Canon 16-On Saturday the Gospels and other portions of the Scripture shall be read aloud." "Canon 29-Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lord's day they shall especially honor, and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day." Hefele's "Councils," Vol. 2, b. 6.

    .....................

    You do know that also the Eastern Orthodox Churches still keep the Sabbath from the beginning right? If you need more quotes let me know as I have more historical quotes for every century right down to our present day. I only provided the first four centuries in accordance with the OP's interpretation of "early church".

    Hope this is helpful
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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  12. Basil the Great

    Basil the Great Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Stunning lay out of the history of keeping the Jewish Sabbath in the Early Church. Still, I do not think we can know with certainty how frequent such observance was in the first few centuries, except to say that it was fairly common. Logically, it probably started out as a majority viewpoint and then gradually diminished overtime.
     
  13. klutedavid

    klutedavid Well-Known Member

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    Very good post.

    You omitted Tertullian.

    Tertullian: Part I: Of Blasphemy. (197-202 AD)
    The Holy Spirit upbraids the Jews with their holy days. “Your Sabbaths, and new moons, and ceremonies,” says He, “My soul hateth.” By us, to whom Sabbaths are strange.
     
  14. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Epiphanius' Panarion describes the Nazarenes around 377 AD:

    For they use not only the New Testament but also the Old, like the Jews. For the Legislation and the Prophets and the Scriptures, which are called the Bible by the Jews, are not rejected by them as they are by those mentioned above [Manicheans, Marcionites, Gnostics]. Panarion 7.2

    "Only in this respect they differ from the Jews and Christians: with the Jews they do not agree because of their belief in Christ, with the Christians because they are trained in the Law, in circumcision, the Sabbath, and the other things." "By birth they are Jews and they dedicate themselves to the Law and submit to circumcision." Panarion 7.5

    However, they are very much hated by the Jews. For not only the Jewish children cherish hate against them but the people also stand up in the morning, at noon, and in the evening, three times a day and they pronounce curses and maledictions over them when they say their prayers in the synagogues. Three times a day they say: 'May God curse the Nazarenes.' For they are more hostile against them because they proclaim as Jews that Jesus is the Christ Panarion 9.2-3

    "They have a good mastery of the Hebrew language. For the entire Law and the Prophets and what is called the Scriptures, I mention the poetical books, Kings, Chronicles and Ester and all the others, are read by them in Hebrew as in the case with the Jews, of course." Panarion 7.4

    "They have the entire Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew. It is carefully preserved by them in Hebrew letters." Panarion 9.4

     
  15. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    John Chrysostom, Commentary on Galatians. 4th century
    NPNF1-13. Saint Chrysostom: Homilies on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus, and Philemon - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

    There are many among us now, who fast on the same day as the Jews, and keep the sabbaths in the same manner; and we endure it nobly or rather ignobly and basely.

    Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho:

    But if some, through weak-mindedness, wish to observe such institutions as were given by Moses, from which they expect some virtue, but which we believe were appointed by reason of the hardness of the people's hearts, along with their hope in this Christ, and [wish to perform] the eternal and natural acts of righteousness and piety, yet choose to live with the Christians and the faithful, as I said before, not inducing them either to be circumcised like themselves, or to keep the Sabbath, or to observe any other such ceremonies, then I hold that we ought to join ourselves to such, and associate with them in all things as kinsmen and brethren. But if, Trypho, I continued, some of your race, who say they believe in this Christ, compel those Gentiles who believe in this Christ to live in all respects according to the law given by Moses, or choose not to associate so intimately with them, I in like manner do not approve of them. But I believe that even those, who have been persuaded by them to observe the legal dispensation along with their confession of God in Christ, shall probably be saved. (Chapter 48)
     
  16. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    This discusses practices in various churches regarding assembly and celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday and Sabbath. It relates some information about practices to that point, so although it is a bit outside the specified time frame it still provides insights. For instance. Rome and Alexandria by some "ancient tradition" have ceased to celebrate the mysteries on every Sabbath.


    Sozomen, 5th century
    CHURCH FATHERS: Ecclesiastical History, Book VII (Sozomen)
    The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria.

    Socrates Scholasticus, History book 5, 5th century CHURCH FATHERS: Church History, Book V (Socrates Scholasticus)
    For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.

    Work info: NPNF2-02. Socrates and Sozomenus Ecclesiastical Histories - Christian Classics Ethereal Library
    The Arians, as we have said, held their meetings without the city. As often therefore as the festal days occurred. —I mean Sabbath and Lord’s day— in each week, on which assemblies are usually held in the churches, they congregated within the city gates about the public squares, and sang responsive verses adapted to the Arian heresy (Socrates' Ecclesiastical History, Book 6, Chapter 8, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3, p. 144)
     
  17. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    But as to their scrupulosity concerning meats, and their superstition as respects the Sabbaths, and their boasting about circumcision, and their fancies about fasting and the new moons, which are utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice,--I do not think that you require to learn anything from me. For, to accept some of those things which have been formed by God for the use of men as properly formed, and to reject others as useless and redundant,--how can this be lawful? And to speak falsely of God, as if He forbade us to do what is good on the Sabbath-days,--how is not this impious?
    Mathetes to Diognetus
    Estimated Range of Dating: 130-200 A.D.
    Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

     
  18. LoveGodsWord

    LoveGodsWord Well-Known Member

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    Hi Basil,

    I agree with you that in the beginning it would have been a majority that kept the Sabbath in the early Church's and it was a gradual decline over time. Here are some interesting historical references and article that might be of interest that supports your view here...

    Historically, Constantine did not change the day of worship as many claim. According to the historical records, Constantine made a civil Sunday law that the Roman Catholic Church adopted in order to practice and promote Sunday worship over the Sabbath of God's 4th commandment...

    First Sunday Law enacted by Emperor Constantine - March, 321 A.D.

    On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Given the 7th day of March, Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time [A.D. 321].)” Source: Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol.3 (5th ed.; New York: Scribner, 1902), p.380, note 1.

    Now a professed Christian, Constantine nevertheless remained a devout sun worshipper. “The sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine,” notes Edward Gibbon in his classic Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xx, par. 3.

    Constantine even printed coins which “bore on the one side the letters of the name of Christ, on the other the figure of the sun god.” Arthur P. Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, lect. vi, par. 14.

    Again, Constantine’s promotion of Sunday observance was part of his definite strategy to combine paganism with Christianity: “The retention of the old pagan name of dies Solis, or 'Sunday,' for the weekly Christian festival, is in great measure owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, pagan and Christian alike, as the ‘venerable day of the Sun.’” – Stanley’s History of the Eastern Church, p. 184.

    In spite of the rising popularity of Sunday sacredness, Church historian Socrates Scholasticus (5th century) wrote: “For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries [of the Lord's Supper] on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.” – Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, ch. 22.

    Another historian also confirmed this by stating, “The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria.” – Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, Book 7, ch. 19. Thus even in the 5th century, Sabbath keeping was universally prevalent (except in Rome and Alexandria) along with Sunday keeping. Many Christians kept both days, but as the centuries wore on, Sunday keeping grew in prominence and especially within Roman Catholic territories.

    In 330 A.D., Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople (modern Istanbul), thus preparing the way for the Roman Catholic Popes to reign in Rome as the successors of Constantine. As the Papal Church grew in power, it opposed Sabbath observance in favour of Sunday sacredness and made the day change official in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 363-364). Constantine's law had now been fully integrated into the Papal Church and the final step of the Sabbath to Sunday change was complete.

    So around the year A.D. 364, the Catholic Church outlawed Sabbath keeping in the Council of Laodicea when they decreed 59 Canon laws. The following is the relevant Canon law: Canon XXIX: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.” (Percival Translation).

    Four hundred years after the death of Christ and one hundred years after Constantine's linking of Church and State by his Sunday law edict, Rome and Alexandria were the only places in the world where many of the Christians kept only Sunday and not the true Sabbath. Why was it that Rome and Alexandria were also the first locations that Sunday worship began? Because this is where the pagan practices of Babylon eventually landed after it was conquered. And what was the dominant pagan practice that the Babylonian priests brought with them? Sun worship which was done on Sun-day! See the history of Sunday worship for more detail.

    So one can understand why Rome and Alexandria did not bother to keep the true Sabbath as they had not done so for 200 years. Throughout the entire history of the changeover from Sabbath to Sunday, Rome and Alexandria had worked together. Alexandria provided the philosophical reasons for the changes and Rome provided the decrees and anathemas. Constantine's help was given only to the worldly Church leaders at Rome and those Christians that resisted the errors that were being introduced into the Church met with his opposition. “Unite with the bishop of Rome or be destroyed,” was Constantine's position.

    Great as were the favors which Constantine showed to the church, they were only for that strong, close-knit, hierarchically organized portion that called itself Catholic. The various [so-called] heretical sects could look for no bounty from his hands.” – Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, page 105.

    The change of the Sabbath to Sunday was totally completed by the seventh century as the Popes consolidating their enormous power persecuted all who resisted their innovations. Did Satan use Constantine to play a key part in his plan to change the Sabbath to his day being Sunday? The answer is clear! From sun worship 2000 B.C., to Sunday worship in the Church. Satan infiltrated the Christian Church and most are oblivious to the fact that this has happened or understand the relevance. Sunday or “dies solis”, the day of the sun came from Satan worship and is his day. (more from here).

    God bless
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2021
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  19. pasifika

    pasifika Well-Known Member

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    Hello, the book of Acts is the beginning of the Gospel preaching by the Apostles to the Gentiles...

    Before the Gospel message goes to Gentiles the Jewish religion already established within the Gentiles regions ie Rome, Corin, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae etc so the Apostles preached the Gospel in Jewish synagogues to both Jews and Gentiles every Sabbath (Jewish day to worship in Synagogue)

    But as you read on in Acts 13 the Jewish leader reject their message and stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas.. (Acts:13:44-52)..

    Then the church began to held on Gentiles houses instead of synagogues...eg; Romans 16:5, 1Corinthians 16:19, Col 4:15...and there is no specific day mentioned in which they met..(except one passage mentioned some met on the first day of the week "breaking bread")

    HEBREWS 4..is Not about the 7th day Sabbath But "today" Sabbath...Hebrews 4:7

    By the way you enter into God's Sabbath by "Believing the Gospel "...Hebrews 4:3...
    So you cannot believe the Gospel only on the 7th day of each week and be an unbeliever for the rest of the week...
     
  20. tall73

    tall73 Sophia7's husband Supporter

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    Victorinus

    CHURCH FATHERS: On the Creation of the World (Victorinus)

    The document is probably around 300 AD.

    For light was made before sky and the earth. This sixth day is called parasceve, that is to say, the preparation of the kingdom. For He perfected Adam, whom He made after His image and likeness. But for this reason He completed His works before He created angels and fashioned man, lest perchance they should falsely assert that they had been His helpers. On this day also. on account of the passion of the Lord Jesus Christ, we make either a station to God, or a fast. On the seventh day He rested from all His works, and blessed it, and sanctified it. On the former day we are accustomed to fast rigorously, that on the Lord's day we may go forth to our bread with giving of thanks. And let the parasceve become a rigorous fast, lest we should appear to observe any Sabbath with the Jews, which Christ Himself, the Lord of the Sabbath, says by His prophets that "His soul hateth;" which Sabbath He in His body abolished, although, nevertheless, He had formerly Himself commanded Moses that circumcision should not pass over the eighth day, which day very frequently happens on the Sabbath, as we read written in the Gospel. Moses, foreseeing the hardness of that people, on the Sabbath raised up his hands, therefore, and thus figuratively fastened himself to a cross. And in the battle they were sought for by the foreigners on the Sabbath-day, that they might be taken captive, and, as if by the very strictness of the law, might be fashioned to the avoidance of its teaching.

    And thus in the sixth Psalm for the eighth day, David asks the Lord that He would not rebuke him in His anger, nor judge him in His fury; for this is indeed the eighth day of that future judgment, which will pass beyond the order of the sevenfold arrangement. Jesus also, the son of Nave, the successor of Moses, himSelf broke the Sabbath-day; for on the Sabbath-day he commanded the children of Israel to go round the walls of the city of Jericho with trumpets, and declare war against the aliens. Matthias also, prince of Judah, broke the Sabbath; for he slew the prefect of Antiochus the king of Syria on the Sabbath, and subdued the foreigners by pursuing them. And in Matthew we read, that it is written Isaiah also and the rest of his colleagues broke the Sabbath--that that true and just Sabbath should be observed in the seventh millenary of years. Wherefore to those seven days the Lord attributed to each a thousand years; for thus went the warning: "In Thine eyes, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day." Therefore in the eyes of the Lord each thousand of years is ordained, for I find that the Lord's eyes are seven. Wherefore, as I have narrated, that true Sabbath will be in the seventh millenary of years, when Christ with His elect shall reign. Moreover, the seven heavens agree with those days; for thus we are warned: "By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the powers of them by the spirit of His mouth." There are seven spirits. Their names are the spirits which abode on the Christ of God, as was intimated in Isaiah the prophet: "And there rests upon Him the spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of wisdom and of piety, and the spirit of God's fear hath filled Him." Therefore the highest heaven is the heaven of wisdom; the second, of understanding; the third, of counsel; the fourth, of might; the fifth, of knowledge; the sixth, of piety; the seventh, of God's fear. From this, therefore, the thunders bellow, the lightnings are kindled, the fires are heaped together; fiery darts appear, stars gleam, the anxiety caused by the dreadful comet is aroused. Sometimes it happens that the sun and moon approach one another, and cause those more than frightful appearances, radiating with light in the field of their aspect. But the author of the whole creation is Jesus. His name is the Word; for thus His Father says: "My heart hath emitted a good word." John the evangelist thus says: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made that was made." Therefore, first, was made the creation; secondly, man, the lord of the human race, as says the apostle. Therefore this Word, when it made light, is called Wisdom; when it made the sky, Understanding; when it made land and sea, Counsel; when it made sun and moon and other bright things, Power; when it calls forth land and sea, Knowledge; when it formed man, Piety; when it blesses and sanctifies man, it has the name of God's fear.
     
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