Was the Sabbath changed to Sunday in the Bible?
Read the Sabbath to Sunday change for a very detailed account on how and who changed the Sabbath to Sunday. Did God amend the original stone tablets that John saw in heaven in Revelation 11:19 to, “Remember to keep the first day”? Never. You can’t change a memorial day of creation. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:19, “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but obeying God’s Commandments is everything.” Paul plainly identifies here how important God’s Commandments are in comparison to circumcision. Yet this law of circumcision that was changed, and does not have the importance of the Ten Commandments, Paul mentioned more than 33 times and up to 10 verses at a time, and they were not verses you were left to make assumptions on. Yet there is not one clear verse in the whole Bible that says the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Paul’s letters always had plenty to say when people needed correcting or misunderstood the scriptures but the Sabbath was so ingrained in the culture that Paul never had to correct them. Observing the Pharisees reaction to breaking the Sabbath clearly shows this also but they went overboard and turned the day into a burden instead of a blessing, which Jesus found need to correct them on several times. In John 5:18 they accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing a man on the Sabbath. Jesus said that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whose words should we trust and listen to? The Pharisees or Jesus? In Matthew 12:10-12 Jesus heals a man and He says to them, “…it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Jesus shows that they misunderstood the intent of the Sabbath day, not the day to keep it. Imagine if Jesus had proposed changing the Sabbath, what a dreadful uproar would have ensued by the Jews that would be heard in several books of the Bible. View a short video of a Sabbath miracle.
When Christ was in the flesh, and lived on this earth, how did He regard the Sabbath? Luke 4:16, “So 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.” Jesus made the seventh day Sabbath and He also kept the seventh day Sabbath. He is our perfect example. We also find after the cross that Sabbath observance continued as we see by Paul’s example. In Acts 13:42-44 there is no conflict between Jews and Gentiles over the day to keep the Sabbath. The Jews of course still continue to keep the seventh day Sabbath today. What a perfect opportunity for the Jews to bring a valid accusation against Paul. But the allegations against Paul were always false and never involved an accusation for breaking the Sabbath such as those the Pharisees falsely brought against Jesus.
Acts 13:42-44 “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. 43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. 44 And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.”
Again in this example, we find no conflict between the Jews (who still keep Saturday today) or Greeks in regard to the day. Paul “came to Corinth … he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks” Acts 18:1, 4. “He continued a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them” (verse 11). Paul did not preach the traditions of men, but only “the word of God.” “Many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized,” including “Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue” (verse 8). Crispus was a Sabbath keeper who probably became one of the leaders (see 1 Corinthians 1:14) of the early New Testament Sabbath keeping Church of Jesus Christ in Corinth. Paul’s letters, First and Second Corinthians, were written to this Church.
After Paul was finally arrested in the Temple in Jerusalem, in his trial before the Sanhedrin, even the Pharisees said, “we find no evil in this man” Acts 23:9. Before Felix, Paul declared, “so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” Acts 24:14. Before Festus, “Neither against the law of the Jews, neither against the temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offended any thing at all…to the Jews have I done no wrong” Acts 25:8, 10. Before Agrippa, “I continue unto this day … saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come” Acts 26:22. The prophets and Moses did not say that “Sunday keeping should come.” Finally, Paul spoke to the Jews in Rome, “persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening” Acts 28:23. During all his trials, the Jews NEVER once accused Paul of breaking the Sabbath. Why? Because he NEVER did! Paul was a Pharisee since his childhood.
We also see Paul going into a Jewish synagogue in Thessalonica and “as his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue and on three Sabbath days reasoned with them from the scriptures…” Acts 17:1-4. As already stated, all practicing Jews still keep the seventh day Sabbath today, always have and undeniably did then and so there is no mistake as to what day Paul kept the Sabbath on as was “HIS CUSTOM” as this was a Jewish synagogue. As for his custom, Paul was a Jew and a Pharisee since childhood. Acts 26:5-6 “The Jews all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that according to the strictest sect of our religion, I lived as a Pharisee.”
Jesus also said in Matthew 5:18, “…Till the heaven and the earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any way pass from the Law…” Not even a comma of the law will be altered. We never have to make assumptions when it comes to important issues in God’s Word. When anything significant changed we were always told. The Ten Commandments are the only thing that God personally added to the Bible. There is no way in this universe that God would not unmistakably tell us in His Word if He were to alter the Ten Commandments by even the smallest amount.
Now for that one verse assumption that some use to argue that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. In Acts 20:7 we find a religious meeting on the first day of the week but it was not a Sunday meeting. It was after sunset, prior to midnight on the first day of the week. At that time in history the first day of the week did not start at midnight but at sunset. All Bible days begin and end at sunset. Therefore this meeting and Paul’s preaching took place on what we call Saturday night. It was not a Sunday meeting at all. Regardless of this fact anyway, breaking bread is commonly understood by the Jews as having a meal together and was not the Lord’s Supper. Note how the Good News Bible translates it “The fellowship meal.” Here are examples using the King James, Good News and the New English Bible.
- (Acts 20:7 King James) “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.”
- (Acts 20:7 Good News Bible) “On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal. Paul spoke to the people and kept on speaking until midnight, since he was going to leave the next day.”
- (Acts 20:7 New English Bible) “On the Saturday night, in our assembly for the breaking of bread, Paul, who was to leave next day, addressed them, and went on speaking until midnight.”
- (Acts 2:42 King James) “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
- (Acts 2:42 Good News Bible) “They spent their time in learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, and sharing in the fellowship meals and the prayers.”
The following verse shows not only that breaking of bread was having a fellowship meal but also demonstrates that this breaking of bread was done every day of the week! Therefore, even if it was the Lord’s Supper, which it is not, it was done every day of the week making the argument of the Saturday night meeting irrelevant anyway.
- (Acts 2:46 King James) “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,”
- (Acts 2:46 Good News Bible) “Day after day they met as a group in the Temple, and they had their meals together in their homes, eating with glad and humble hearts,”