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Good question, because there's not just a clear verse that says exactly that.  (For that reason, I feel that this is one of the less important issues for Christians to disagree over -- not to say that there isn't a correct biblical answer on this.)

First of all, Col. 2:16-17 indicates that sabbath days (along with ordinances on meats, drinks, holy days, and new moons) are merely a shadow of things to come, fulfilled in Christ.  We are no longer subject to these ordinances (Col. 2:20).  (Some particular aspects of this general concept are expounded more fully in Heb. 7-10.)  Heb. 3-4 discusses in particular that the seventh-day rest represents the rest that God will give us in the future in we continue (by God's grace) in faith that produces good works.

Second, what is the pattern of the New Testament church recorded in Scripture?  The disciples in Troas met on the first day of the week to break bread (Acts 20:7).  The Corinthians were to bring together their offerrings for the church in Jerusalem on the first day of the week (I Cor. 16:2).  The N.T. never records that the church met together on the sabbath day (Paul preaching evangelistically in the Jews' synagouges doesn't count -- Acts 13:14, 42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4).  Most Christians would say that the reason for this is that Jesus resurrected on the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1; Mk. 16:2, 9; Lk. 24:1; John 20:1, 19), although the Bible doesn't exactly make that connection (but it makes sense to me).  Therefore the first-day sabbath would be an observance of the finished work of redemption (not just the finished work of creation).

Also (not sure how relevant this is to your question), if I'm not mistaken, there was more than one sabbath day between Christ's crucifiction and resurrection, because the Greek word in Matt. 28:1 is plural ("sabbaths" -- see Young's Literal Translation or Julia Smith Translation).  This shows not only that Christ was crucified on Thursday, not Friday, but also that the common understanding that the only sabbaths was exactly once a week misses some of the extra sabbaths in the Old Testament law.

Finally, note that observing the sabbath on the first day of the week (or any day of the week you like) isn't necessarily a violation of the 4th commandment.  In context (Ex. 20:8-11), we are commanded to work for 6 days and then rest on the 7th day.  One valid interpretation of this is that "the seventh day is the sabbath" is not the same as "the seventh day of the week is the sabbath;" in other words, the seventh day is simply the day following the six days of labor, whatever those days might be.
by (4k points)
Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2 both have the Greek word σαββάτων which is in the plural form. Also, the Greek word for day, ἡμέρα, is not in either of those verses. Thus Acts 20:7 should read "And on one of the sabbaths" and 1 Corinthians 16:2, "According to one of the sabbaths."
by (1.3k points)

Thank you for your attempt to answer the question I submitted. I have reviewed your scriptural references and respectfully disagree on most of your comments. I will address them below.

Colossians 2:16-17: These verses are actually related to the local community (which was mainly Gentile) who were condemning the church at Colosse for observing the sabbath, holy days, new moon celebrations and not eating meat sacrificed to idols. The Colosse community practiced a religion that included Greek speculation and Oriental mysticism. Paul addresses this in verses 18-19. The basic principles of the world (as stated in verse 20) was paganism! Acts 20:1-6 records Paul traveling with a group which included Greek converts, But Paul had a desire to spend the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the church at Philippi. (verse 6)  The rest of the group sailed ahead to Troas to spend this time with the brethren there. The reason for this is Paul's special affection for the church at Philippi. They helped him on several occasions (see the book of Philippians)

Hebrews chapters 7 thru 10: These chapters are actually discussing the transition from the earthly temple and its sacrifices (old covenant) to the new covenant where these practices were no longer required by God. The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was the last sacrifice required by God for the forgiveness of sin. Paul declares in chapter 8 that man will no longer teach others, (mainly because they were teaching falsely) but that God would write His laws in their minds and on their hearts.                 In Hebrews 8:13 Paul is confirming this transition, but we know that at the time Paul wrote Hebrews sacrifices were still being performed. The temple was not destroyed until 70 AD (after the death of Paul) hence the statement: “what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear”.

Hebrews chapters 3 and 4: I agree in principle with your assessment on these chapters.

Acts 20:7: The statement that Paul was having a meal with brethren (breaking bread) can not in any way be used to support changing a commandment from God.

1 Corinthians 16:2: This verse states that they (individually) should put aside or store up a sum of money on the first day of the week (the first of the sabbaths), so that no collections would be made upon Paul's arrival. The implication here is that it was inappropriate to collect money on the weekly rest (seventh day).

The verses in Acts that you say don't count are quite interesting! There were two Jewish groups at the time of Acts, the Hebraic Jews and the Grecian Jews. The Hebraic Jews were more aligned with Jerusalem and its customs (which did not permit Gentiles to enter their synagogues). The Grecian Jews were quite different. Since they resided (mostly) in Gentile areas they permitted Gentiles to enter their synagogues. So, as all the supplied verses state, Paul preached to both Jews and Gentiles on the sabbath. Unfortunately, as the Christian movement was growing pride began to sink-in and the Gentile Christians began to separate from their Jewish brethren. Paul addresses this pride in Romans 11, specifically verse 18, but the whole chapter addresses this problem. The verses in Acts are relevant and support that Gentile Christians attended the synagogues (on the sabbath) in the early stages of Christianity.

The verses in the gospels that relate to the resurrection do not state that Jesus rose on the first day of the week! They state that several women went to the tomb on the first day of the week and the tomb was empty. The verse in Mark 16:9 is more likely spurious. The earliest manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20. Since the gospels record that Jesus died around 3:00pm, it is more likely that Jesus was put into the tomb before sunset. This can be supported by Deuteronomy 21: 22-23

Many in the Christian community have tried for centuries to convince us that it really doesn't matter what day we worship God (with tremendous success) but God's word just doesn't agree with this.
Yes, it true we should worship God every day, but specifically on the day He made Holy.

Please understand that my only goal is to find the truth in God's word, no matter where it can be found.
by (2.3k points)
Donald, your comments are very interesting and well-reasoned, and I agree with a lot of what you said.  Let me say this:  If Jesus rose from the grave on Saturday rather than Sunday, and if Acts 20:7 and I Cor. 16:2 don't mean that the early church met on Sunday (see Daniel's comments), then the 1st-day sabbath is untenable.

However, I disagree with part of your comments:

I would assert that Col. 2 is similar to Jesus' comments on the commandments of men in Mt. 15:1-20; Mk. 7:1-23; see also Titus 1:14, and that the ordinances we are not to be subject to seem to be listed in the passage (Col. 2:16, 21) and have their root in the Old Testment.  The "rudiments of the world" are the Pharisaical observance (combined, as you said, with pagan philosophies such as Gnosticism in the case of this local congregation) of these laws that, though binding in the O.T. (the laws as well as all their spiritual principles, but not the superficial man-made regulations), now merely symbolize Christ (not to say that there are not spritual applications for us today).  Rom. 14:5-6 also seems clear that observing particular feast days is optional, not binding.

I mainly agree with your comments on Acts.  However, Paul's preaching to unbelievers (whether Jewish or otherwise) cannot be considered to be a church meeting of a group of believers.

You have a very interesting point about when Jesus rose from the grave.  I think you're implying that Jesus rose late Saturday afternoon, right?  But then why didn't the word get out sooner when it did, considering how shook up the guards were?  Furthermore, I think that wouldn't quite fulfill the three days and three nights (Mt. 12:40) -- we need Thursday night (just before sunset like you said), Friday morning, Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday morning to make three days and three nights.  The traditional timeline of Friday night, Saturday morning, Saturday night, and Sunday morning is also too short to count as three days and three nights imho.  We need two full sabbath days (Friday and Saturday) between the day of crucifiction and the day of resurrection.

(I am aware of the debate about the last part of Mark 16, but I tend to think that it was in fact inspired.  But that's another lengthy discussion.)

I appreciate your basing everything you've said in the Scriptures.  I can see that it's not extremely clear that 1st-day sabbath is the way to go, and I wish things were more clear so we could agree.  Whether that problem is due to a change being made by God without much discussion given to it in the Bible, or due to confusion caused by an unscriptural change, I guess that's the question.  I would be interested to know the practice of the church between A.D. 70-313.  Thanks for your comments.
by (1.3k points)
Greetings Joseph:
I am somewhat confused by your comment: “then the 1st day sabbath is untenable. This term is just what the early Church called the first day of the week or the first day between the sabbaths. The early Church refused to use the pagan terms for the days of the week: Sun's day (sun god), Moon's day (moon god) Tiu's day (Greek god of war), Woden's day (day of the god Hermes), Thor's day (Greek god) Freya's day (goddess of love). They used the term: 1st,  2nd , 3rd , etc. day between two sabbaths (seventh day) for these days.
You make a valid point concerning the commandments of men, but this goes both ways. The question  was: Where in the bible does God change the Holy Seventh Day to the Holy First Day? It doesn't. The bible writers record that God made the Seventh Day Holy, not the first. This is an issue that Jesus would not have ignored if there was a change. The only conclusion for me is that Sunday worship is a commandment of men. This can be supported by reviewing the history of the Universal or Catholic church (300 a.d. to present). The feast days that are recorded in Leviticus 23 are not the feast days of the Israelites, but the feast days of God! (see Leviticus 23:1)  Joseph, I have learned over the years that there comes a time when individuals just need to agree to disagree. This time has come between us concerning the verses in Colossians 2 (and similar verses). We just don't agree on the day God made Holy.

If the customs of the Israelites were applied to the burial of Jesus, he was put into the tomb just before sunset on a Wednesday (fourth day between the sabbaths) and rose just before the end of the weekly sabbath. This accounts for the three 24hr periods required. (sign of Jonah—Matthew 12:39-40) I am aware that many believe that the Greek word used in this instance could mean a partial day, but the Hebrew word used in Jonah doesn't. A careful review of the resurrection story in all four gospels reveals that they all tell a somewhat different story. The Aramaic translation (which the new testament was written in) tells the story of the women traveling towards the end of the sabbath and when the first day began. (sunset or close to this time) They experience an earthquake. When they arrive at the tomb the stone is rolled away and Jesus is not there. The guards who also experienced this event are in a dead like state. (trance) The women then leave and the guards are awakened. They return to the city and report the events and then the cover up begins. We need to remember that the apostles and other followers of Jesus were in hiding and feared for their lives. It wasn't until they actually saw Jesus alive that they became inspired to spread the news of the resurrection.
The Passover Festival or Days of Unleavened Bread required a High day on Nisan 14th  and 20th  (see Exodus 12:18) and there would be a weekly Sabbath during this time period. There are many differences between a weekly Sabbath and a High day, but one thing they have in common is a rest (sabbath) from worldly duties. The two sabbaths you mentioned would have been on Wednesday (Nisan14) and the weekly Sabbath. (three days later) Thus, Jesus died on a Holy Day and rose on a Holy Day. What a great honor the One True God gave to His only begotten Son.
Joseph, I disagree with your logic that we can decide whatever day to keep holy and whatever laws/commandments to keep that suit our fancy... and how could you say that this is one of the "less imporant issues?"  Either you honor and obey God or you don't.

Ms. Secnarf
by (2.3k points)
Donald, to clarify:  If what you say about Jesus rising on the 7th seventh and the 1st-century church not meeting weekly on the 1st day is true, then it makes no sense for us now to observe a 1st-day sabbath, and I would agree with everything you've said.  I actually do agree with a lot of what you've written, including the 72-hour requirement from Jonah.
by (2.3k points)
Ms. Secnarf, to clarify:  The Bible obviously specifies a holy day, and we should follow the Bible as best we understand.  Unfortunately, however, some of us have come to differing conclusions about what the Bible means here, and that's ok.  There certain things that we absolutely cannot compromise on (inspiration/inerrancy of the Bible, deity of Christ, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, etc.), but this is not one of them in my opinion.  I have friends who observe a 7th-day sabbath, and I don't let that stop me from fellowshipping with them and calling them Christian brothers; and they likewise with me.

With regard to keeping whatever laws/commandemnts that suit our fancy:  Let's be very clear:  Sin, the transgression of the law, is always wrong, and very grevous for a Christian to commit.  God's law has not changed.  However, there were certain things in the law of God, prior to the death of Christ, that no longer apply under the New Covenant.  I hope we would all agree that animal sacrifice now is wrong and would be a rejection of Christ's atoning work.  Likewise, I believe that laws regarding meats have been similarly done away with (see my discussion on Col. 2), although I try to follow them for health reasons.  But if the New Testament does not indicate that a particular part of God's law under the Old Covenant has been done away with, then it's still binding.
Joseph, your comments are lengthy, but the Bible clearly specifies the day that is called the "Holy 7th Day."  Having friends who observe the "Holy 7th Day" or not is another topic, but why wouldn't you have them as friends unless they interfered in keeping the "Holy 7th Day" holy.  Again, your comments about animal sacrifices and clean/unclean meats is another topic.  I don't see anything in the N.T. that states we should  not keep the "Holy 7th Day" holy.  However, you are entitled to your opinion - which you have stated above.

-Ms. Secnarf
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