Bible Theologians about “The Sabbath”

Bible Theologians about “The Sabbath”

Michael G

Stockton, CA

#1 Aug 2, 2011
PROTESTANT CONFESSIONS
Protestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for observing Sunday as a Sabbath.

Sabbath Comments made by Other Churches

BAPTIST
Harold Lindsell (editor), Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 1976:
"There is nothing in Scripture that requires us to keep Sunday rather than Saturday as a holy day."

Baptist
Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York ministers' conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner, Nov.16, 1893.
"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the week .... Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament absolutely not.
"To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' intercourse with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question ... never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.
"Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history .... But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"
William Owen Carver, The Lord's Day in Our Day, p. 49.
"There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance."

Dr. E.T. Hiscox author of Baptist Manual
Baptist November 16, 1893
“ To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years’ discussion with his disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question, discussing it in some of its various aspects, freeing it from its false [Jewish tradition] glosses, never alluded to any transference of the day; also that during the forty days of his resurrected life, no such thing was intimated. Nor, so far as we know, did the spirit, which was given to bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that, He had said unto them, deal with this Question. Nor yet did the inspired apostles, in preaching the gospel, founding churches, counseling and instructing 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 we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that is comes branded with the mark of Paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god., then adopted and sanctified by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism.”
Report of his sermon at the Baptist Ministers Convention
New York Examiner November 16, 1893

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual
"There was and is a COMMANDMENT to KEEP HOLY the SABBATH DAY, but that SABBATH DAY was NOT SUNDAY.... It will be said, however, and with some show of triumph, that the SABBATH was transferred from the SEVENTH to the FIRST DAY of the week.... Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament--absolutely not. There is NO SCRIPTURAL evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the SEVENTH to the FIRST DAY of the week."

Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual, in a paper read before a New York ministers' conference held Nov. 13, 1893.
Michael G

Stockton, CA

#2 Aug 2, 2011
Southern Baptist:
The sacred name of the SEVENTH DAY is SABBATH. This fact is too clear to require argument (EXODUS 20:10 quoted)… on this point the plain teaching of the Word has been admitted in all ages…. NOT ONCE did the DISCIPLES APPLY the SABBATH LAW to the FIRST DAY of the week, that folly was left for a later age, not did they pretend that the first day supplanted the seventh.
Joseph Judson Taylor, The Sabbatic Question Page 14-17, 41

Church of Christ:
"Finally, we have the testimony of Christ on this subject. In Mark 2:27, he says:'The SABBATH was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.' From this passage it is evident that the Sabbath was made not merely for the Israelites, as Paley and Hengstenberg would have us believe, but for man ... that is, for the race. Hence we conclude that the Sabbath was sanctified from the beginning, and that it was given to Adam, even in Eden, as one of those primeval institutions that God ordained for the happiness of all men." --Robert Milligan, Scheme of Redemption,(St. Louis, The Bethany Press, 1962), p. 165.

Congregationalist:
"The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath."
--Dwight's Theology, Vol. 4, p. 401.

Congregationalist
“ it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath … the Sabbath was founded on a specific, divine command. We can plead no such command for the observance of Sunday… There is not a single line in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday.”
Dr. R.W. Dale Ten Commandments Page 106-107

Congregationalist
Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York: Eaton &Mains), p. 127-129.
" ... it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath —..'The Sabbath was founded on a specific Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday .... There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday."
Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended (1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258.
" ... the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive Church called the Sabbath."
Michael G

Stockton, CA

#3 Aug 2, 2011
Disciples of Christ
"'But,' say some,'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be 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 his name is Doctor Antichrist.'
Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.

"The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change."
First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19.

EPISCOPAL
Philip Carrington, Toronto Daily Star, Oct. 26, 1949:
"The Bible commandment says on the seventh day thou shalt rest. That is Saturday. Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday."

Episcopal: 1883
"Sunday (Dies Solis, of the Roman calendar,'day of the sun', because dedicated to the sun), the first day of the week, was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship.... No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined."
--"Sunday," A Religious Encyclopedia, Vol. 3,(New York, Funk and Wagnalls, 1883) p. 2259.

Episcopalian:
“We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy, catholic, apostolic church of Christ.”
Bishop Seymour Why We Keep Sunday

Anglican / Episcopal
Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1, pp.334, 336.
"And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day .... The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it."
Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments, pp. 52, 63, 65.
"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.... The observance of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of Sunday."
Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday.
We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church."
Michael G

Stockton, CA

#4 Aug 2, 2011
ANGLICAN
Isaac William, D.D., Plain Sermons on the Catechism, vol. 1:
"Where are we told in Scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day.... The reason why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the Church, has enjoined it."

Lutheran:
"The observance of the Lord's day [Sunday] is founded not on any command of God, but on the authority of the church."
--Augsburg Confession of Faith, quoted in Catholic Sabbath Manual, Part 2, Chapter 1, Section 10.

Lutheran
The Sunday Problem, a study book of the United Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.
"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 Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both."
Augsburg Confession of Faith art. 28; written by Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Henry Jacobs, ed.(1 91 1), p. 63.
"They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, a shaving been changed into the Lord's Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day. Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of the Ten Commandments!"
Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church Henry John Rose, tr.(1843), p. 186.
"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday."
John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday, pp. 15, 16.
"But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept by the children of Israel .... These churches err in their teaching, for Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect."
Michael G

Stockton, CA

#5 Aug 2, 2011
METHODIST
Charles Buck, A Theological Dictionary, "Sabbath":
"Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week... and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day."
Clovis Chappell, Ten Rules for Living, p. 61:
"The reason we observe the first day instead of the seventh is based on no positive command. One will search the Scriptures in vain for authority for changing from the seventh day to the first."

Methodist: July 2, 1942
"Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day."
--Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942.

Methodist
“it is true that there is no positive command for infant Baptism. Nor is there any for keeping holy the first day of the week. Many believe that Christ changed the Sabbath. But from his own words, we see that He came for no such propose. Those who believe that Jesus changed the Sabbath base it only on a supposition”
Amos Binney Theological Compendium Page 180-181

Methodist
Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2, 1942, p.26.
"Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the Jewish Sabbath to that day."
John Wesley, The Works of the Revelation John Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed.(New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25,vol. 1, p. 221.
"But, the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken.... Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other."
D.L. Moody American Evangelist, 1837-1899

Dwight L. Moody
Moody Bible Institute:
D. L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell Co.: New York), pp. 47, 48.
The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the Sabbath already existed when God Wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit that the other nine are still binding?"
Michael G

Stockton, CA

#6 Aug 2, 2011
PRESBYTERIAN
The Christian at Work", April 19, 1883, and Jan. 1884:
"Some have tried to build the observance of Sunday upon Apostolic command, whereas the Apostles gave no command on the matter at all.... The truth is, so soon as we appeal to the litera scripta [literal writing] of the Bible, the Sabbatarians have the best of the argument."

Presbyterian: "Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand.... The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath."
--T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp. 474, 475.

Presbyterian:
In the Ten Commandments there is no word, no hint in the New Testament about abstaining from work on Sunday,
Canon Eyton

Presbyterian
T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp.474, 475.
"The Sabbath is a part of the decalogue — the Ten Commandments. This alone forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution .... Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed, the Sabbath will stand .... The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of the Sabbath."

Presbyterian ALBERT BARNES was born in Rome, New York on December 1, 1798. He graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, in 1820, and from Princeton Theological Seminary, in 1823. COMMENTARY on the ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT and on portions of the Old

Barnes was ordained PASTOR of the PRESBYTERIAN church in Morristown, NJ, in 1825. He was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, 1830-67, where he resigned and was made pastor emeritus. He was an advocate of total abstinence from alcohol, was a staunch proponent of the abolition of slavery, and worked actively to PROMOTE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. In 1835 he was brought to TRIAL FOR HERESY by the SECOND PRESBYTERY of Philadelphia, and was acquitted, but his accusers succeeded in having him suspended from the ministry, but he was again acquitted of heresy in 1836. The charges of heresy primarily related to HIS COMMENTS ON ROMANS and the fact that BARNES BROKE FROM STRICT CALVINISM and taught that man had FREE WILL to ACCEPT or DENY the Gospel. He was a leader in the "New School" branch of the Presbyterian church. His COMMENTARY on the ENTIRE NEW TESTAMENT and on portions of the Old (Notes: Explanatory and Practical, 1832-72), designed originally for his congregation in Philadelphia, were well-suited for popular use and more than one million copies were sold before his death. He died in West Philadelphia on December 24, 1870.
Michael G

Stockton, CA

#7 Aug 2, 2011
ALBERT BARNES was BORN in ROME, NEW YORK on DECEMBER 1, 1798.
He graduated from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, in 1820, and from PRINCETON Theological Seminary, in 1823. Barnes was ordained PASTOR of the PRESBYTERIAN church in Morristown, NJ, in 1825.
He was pastor of the FIRST PRESBYTERIAN Church, Philadelphia, 1830-67 , where he resigned and was made pastor emeritus. He was an ADVOCATE of TOTAL ABSTINENCE from ALCOHOL, was a staunch proponent of the abolition of slavery, and worked actively to PROMOTE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.

His COMMENTARY on the entire New Testament and on portions of the Old were designed originally for his congregation in Philadelphia, were well-suited for popular use and more than one million copies were sold before his death. He died in West Philadelphia on December 24, 1870.

Albert Barnes Commentary on Colossians 2:16

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an HOLYDAY, or of the new moon, or of the SABBATHS:
Col 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Or of the SABBATH DAYS - Greek,“of the SABBATHS.”
The WORD SABBATH in the Old Testament is applied not only to the SEVENTH DAY, but to all the days of HOLY REST that were observed by the Hebrews, and particularly to the BEGINNING and CLOSE of their GREAT FESTIVALS. There is, doubtless, reference to those days in this place, since the WORD IS USED in the PLURAL NUMBER, and the apostle DOES NOT refer particularly to the SABBATH properly so called. There is NO EVIDENCE from this PASSAGE that he would TEACH that there was NO OBLIGATION to observe any holy time, for THERE is NOT the SLIGHTEST REASON to believe that HE MEANT to TEACH that ONE of the TEN COMMANDMENTS had CEASED to be binding on mankind.

If he had USED the WORD in the SINGULAR number -“the SABBATH,” it would then, of course, have been CLEAR that he meant to TEACH that that COMMANDMENT had CEASED to be BINDING, and that a SABBATH was no longer to be observed.

But the use of the TERM in the PLURAL number, and the connection, show that he had his eye on the great number of days which were observed by the Hebrews as FESTIVALS, as a part of their CEREMONIAL and TYPICAL LAW, and NOT to the MORAL LAW, or the TEN COMMANDMENTS.

No part of the MORAL LAW, NOT ONE of the TEN COMMANDMENTS could be spoken of as “A SHADOW of good things to come.” These COMMANDMENTS are, from the nature of MORAL LAW, of perpetual and universal obligation.
Michael G

Stockton, CA

#8 Aug 2, 2011
Pentecostal: Aug. 9, 1959
"'Why do we worship on Sunday? Doesn't the Bible teach us that Saturday should be the Lord's Day?'... Apparently we will have to seek the answer from some other source than the New Testament." --David A. Womack, "Is Sunday the Lord's Day?"
The Pentecostal Evangel, Aug. 9, 1959, No. 2361, p. 3.

Encyclopedia: 1872
"Sunday was a name given by the heathen to the first day of the week, because it was the day on which they worshiped the sun,... the seventh day was blessed and hallowed by God Himself, and ... He requires His creatures to keep it holy to Him. This commandment is of universal and perpetual obligation."
--Eadie's Biblical Cyclopedia, 1872 ed., p. 561.
Darryl Edward Williams

Hillsboro, OR

#9 Jun 2, 2013
It was said that On the Seventh Day, God sees that everything that is created is Good, and then God rests. (paraphrased) This day of resting is then called The Sabbath, and is then said to be a holy day, and we are admonished to keep it holy and to respect the day for what it is. The Sabbath Day is a holy day because it's a reminder that all that is made by God is Good, and that all Creation is made all Good, not because it's a day for resting. The fact that it was a Day for rest is incidental to the fact that God made an observance that all is Good, in the eyes of God. We best love all that is here, now, and give thanks for how God sees it.
Rob

Feasterville Trevose, PA

#10 Jun 2, 2013
Darryl Edward Williams wrote:
It was said that On the Seventh Day, God sees that everything that is created is Good, and then God rests.(paraphrased) This day of resting is then called The Sabbath, and is then said to be a holy day, and we are admonished to keep it holy and to respect the day for what it is. The Sabbath Day is a holy day because it's a reminder that all that is made by God is Good, and that all Creation is made all Good, not because it's a day for resting. The fact that it was a Day for rest is incidental to the fact that God made an observance that all is Good, in the eyes of God. We best love all that is here, now, and give thanks for how God sees it.
Hebrews 4
Hobie

Cape Coral, FL

#11 Jun 7, 2013
Darryl Edward Williams wrote:
It was said that On the Seventh Day, God sees that everything that is created is Good, and then God rests.(paraphrased) This day of resting is then called The Sabbath, and is then said to be a holy day, and we are admonished to keep it holy and to respect the day for what it is. The Sabbath Day is a holy day because it's a reminder that all that is made by God is Good, and that all Creation is made all Good, not because it's a day for resting. The fact that it was a Day for rest is incidental to the fact that God made an observance that all is Good, in the eyes of God. We best love all that is here, now, and give thanks for how God sees it.
It seems so straight forward and simple, I don't understand why anyone would have a issue on it.

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