The Sabbath of the Roman Catholic Church

He forcefully interpreted Sunday as the “fullest expression”; the “fulfillment;” and the “embodiment” of the Sabbath when in fact it is not.

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INTRODUCTION

There are two major views regarding the historical origin of Sunday. One is the traditional view which can be traced back to the early Christianity “observes a radical discontinuity between the Sabbath and Sunday and argues that Sunday is not the Sabbath.” According to this view, “the two days differ in their origin, meaning, and experience.”[]

Motivated by his deep concern to the revival of the Sunday observance, on the other hand, John Paul II teaches that Sunday is the “fullest expression” of the Sabbath because “this aspect of the Christian Sunday shows in a special way how it is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Sabbath.” The Pope gives a vivid and clear theological sympathy of Sunday as a fulfillment of the Old Testament Sabbath.

The weak motivation of the faith, or perhaps due to sociological pressure, that the “percentage of those attending the Sunday liturgy is striking [ly] low.”[]

To strengthen the validity of the Sunday sacredness, he emphasized the legitimacy of Sunday observance as the Sabbath’s creative-redemptive fulfillment. He even concluded that “in order to grasp fully the meaning of Sunday, therefore, we must re-read the great story of creation and deepen our understanding of the theology of the ‘Sabbath.’”[]

The Pope Benedict XVI, in his pastoral letter to Cardinal Francis Arinse, says, “Sunday was not chosen by the Christian community but by the Apostles, and indeed by Christ Himself, who on that day, ‘the first day of the week,’ rose and appeared to his disciples (cf. Mt 28:1; Mk 16:9; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2), and appeared to them again ‘eight day later’ (Jn 20:26.”[] John Paul II strongly urges everyone to “rediscover Sunday,” to give and open our time to Christ.[]

Statement of the Problem

This papers seeks to answer the following questions: (1) Does the Sabbath find its “fulfillment” in the observance of Sunday?; and (2) Did Christ and His Apostles chose Sunday to replace the Sabbath in the NT?

Purpose of the Study

Central to the purpose of this research paper is to discover the current theology of the Sabbath from the standpoint of the Catholic Church.

Importance of the Research

This research is important because it will clarify the readers the current understanding of the Sabbath in the context of the Catholic’s theology.

Delimitations of the Study

This research will only study the theology of the Sabbath from the standpoint of the Catholic Church.

Presuppositions

The presuppositions of this research are as follow:  (1) that Scripture interprets Scriptures; (2) that there is sufficiency of Scripture; (3) that there is totality of Scripture (i.e. “we must consider all that is stated by Scripture”); and (4) that there is clarity of Scripture.[]

Methodology & Procedures

To find the answers to the above statements of the problem, this chapter examines the Sabbath from the theological standpoint of the Catholic Church. This investigation seeks to relate its theological understanding to the sacredness of Sunday.

In order to reach its intention, (1) first part will address the introductory issues of the paper; (2) chapter 1 examines the Sabbath in the Catholic theology;  (3) chapter 2 confers the summation and conclusions of the paper.

CHAPTER 1

THE SABBATH IN THE CATHOLIC THEOLOGY

Sunday: Sabbath’s Fulfillment

The opening words of Dies Domini[] says that “the Lord’s day—as Sunday called from Apostolic times—has always been accorded special attention in the history of the Church because of its close connection with the very core of the Christian mystery.”  “In fact,” he adds, “in the weekly reckoning of time Sunday recalls the day of Christ’s Resurrection.”[]

The pope overwhelmingly emphasizes the Resurrection of Jesus on the first day as the basis for the change from Sabbath to Sunday—making Jesus’ resurrection as the “fundamental event which Christian faith rests.”[] Thus, he concludes that “in commemorating the day of Christ’s Resurrection not just once a year but every Sunday.”[]

Though liturgically, historically, and biblically inaccurate of his Sunday emphasis, but John Paul II is theologically “most perceptive, and should thrill especially Sabbatarians.”[] The pope says that “the divine rest of the seventh day does not allude to an inactive God, but emphasizes the fullness of what has been accomplished. It speaks, as it were, of God’s lingering before the ‘very good’ work (Gn 1:31) which his hand has wrought, in order to cast upon it a gaze full of joyous delight.[]

Clearly, the pontiff understood and emphasized the theological development of the seventh-day Sabbath from the rest of creation (Gen 2:1-3; Ex 20:8-11) to the rest of redemption (Deut 5:12-15). He commented that the seventh-day Sabbath is linked “not only with God’s mysterious ‘rest’ after the days of creation (cf. Ex 20:8-11), but also with the salvation which he offers to Israel in the liberation from the slavery of Egypt (cf. Deut 5:12-15).”  He adds, “What God accomplished in Creation and wrought for his People in Exodus has found its fullest fulfillment in Christ’s Death and Resurrection, though its definitive fulfillment will not come until the Parousia, when Christ returns in glory.”[]

“This aspect of the Christian Sunday shows in a special way how it is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Sabbath… The remembrance of the liberation of the Exodus also assumes its full meaning as it becomes a remembrance of the universal redemption accomplished by Christ in his Death and Resurrection.” That is why, “more than a ‘replacement’ for the Sabbath…Sunday is its fulfillment, and in a certain sense its extension and full expression in the ordered unfolding of the history of salvation, which reaches its culmination in Christ.”[]

The Religiosity of “The First Day of the Week” in the NT

Pope John Paul II advocates that the beginning of Sunday worship goes back to the Apostolic Church.[] He writes,

According to the common witness of the Gospels, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead took place on “the first day after the Sabbath.” (Mk 16: 2, 9; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1). On the same day, the Risen Lord appeared to the two disciples of Emmaus (cf. Lk 24:13: 13-25) and to the eleven Apostles gathered together (cf. Lk 24: 36; Jn 20:19). A week later—as the Gospel of John recounts (cf. 20:26)—the disciples were gathered together once again, when Jesus appeared to them and made himself known to Thomas by showing him the signs of his Passion. The day of Pentecost—the first day of the eight week after the Jewish Passover (cf. Acts 2:1), when the promise made by Jesus to the Apostles after the Resurrection was fulfilled by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 24:49; Acts 1:4-5)—also fell on a Sunday. This was the day of the first proclamation and the first baptisms: Peter announced to the assembled crowd that Christ was risen and “those who received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:41).”[]

In another paragraph, he adds,

It was for this reason that, from Apostolic times, “the first day after the Sabbath,” the first day of the week, began to shape the rhythm of life for Christ’s disciples (cf. 1 Cor 16:2). “The first day of after the Sabbath” was also the day upon which the faithful of Troas were gathered “for the breaking of bread,” when Paul bade them farewell and miraculously restored the young Eutychus to life (cf. Acts 20:7-12). The Book of Revelation gives evidence of the practice of calling the first day of the week “the Lord’s day” (1.10)[]

“The First Day of the Week” in Matthew 28

It would be the best time for Jesus to tell the women of His institution of Sunday to commemorate His resurrection. But, instead, He said, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me” (Matt 28:10). The absence of the explicit statement that the Sabbath found its “fullest expression” in Christ’s death and resurrection signifies that Sunday is not the continuity of the Old Testament Sabbath.

To memorialize Christ’s death and resurrection are by baptism (Rom 6:6) and Lord’s Supper (1 Cor 11: 23-26), and not by Sunday-keeping. The disciples worshiped Him when He was resurrected. Unfortunately, it was not to commemorate Sunday. It was out of their recognition of Christ’s divinity.[]

The issue of the conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees was not Sunday should replace the Sabbath but how should the Sabbath be keep prior and after the time of His resurrection.  Jesus is consistent when He warned His disciples that their flights “not be in winter or on the Sabbath” (Matt 24:20).

“The First Day of the Week” in Mark 16

Mark 16 consists a “longer ending”—outlining several important events to happen “on the first day of the week:” (1) the three post-Resurrection apparitions of Jesus (vv. 9-14); (2) Jesus’ commission to the apostles to preach the gospels (vv. 15-18), and (3) the record of Jesus’ ascension to His Father’s right hand.[]

Undoubtedly, the historical resurrection took place “very early on the first day of the week…when the sun had risen” (v. 2) and He “appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons” (v. 9, RSV).  A resurrection emphasis claimed by the Catholic Church for Sunday to replace the Sabbath is invalid because Mary’s “companions who are mourning and weeping” (v. 10) “did not believe” that Christ was resurrected (v. 11). How could they understand the resurrection emphasis if they didn’t believe that Jesus was resurrected?

The next apparition “seems to be an abbreviation of the story of the walk to Emmaus by two disciples (not of the twelve) recorded in detail by Luke (chap. 24:13-35).”[] Jesus, in this incident, appeared to them in “another form.” And, “when they returned to the eleven to tell what they had seen, their report, too, was met with unbelief” (Mark 16:12, 13).[] “Unbelief” prevented them from believing that Christ was resurrected. It even goes beyond. Not only unbelief, it also includes “hardness of heart” (v. 14).[]

For what purpose had the disciples met together? Was their meeting to celebrate the resurrection?  Absolutely not! There could be no plainer answer to these questions. “They did not at this time believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.”[]Lastly, book of Mark was written “more than a quarter of a century after the events took place” and then, “there is no hint that the day on which they occurred had acquired any sacred character whatever.” []

“The First Day of the Week” in Luke 24

William M. Ramsay considers Luke “as one of the greatest historians.”[] “He was a man of culture, with a trained mind and literary charm.”[] In the prologue (Luke 1:1-4), Luke claimed to have “accurately” traced back the sequence of “Jesus-event” and wrote it in an “orderly sequence.” In that sense, he is more accurate in presenting the sequence of the death, burial, resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ death and burial was on “the day of preparation, and the sabbath was about to begin” (Luke 23:54). During that day (i.e. Friday), “the women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind” have seen the tomb and the way his body was laid and “returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils” (v. 55). The Sabbath arrived and “they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment” (v. 56). When the Sabbath was over “on the first day of the week, they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb” (Luke 24:1).

Specht writes, “The passage from Luke 23:55 to 24:1 is in reality but one sentence in the Greek. The adversitive conjunction de of Luke 24:1 corresponds to the conjunctive particle men of Luke 23:56. It is unfortunate that the chapter division was made but the women rested on the Sabbath but on the first day of the week they did not rest.” [] When they remembered Christ’s words, “that the Son of Man must be handled over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day, they lift from the tomb and “announced all these things to the eleven and to all the other…” but “their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them” (vv. 7-9).

If Sunday was to be the fulfillment of the OT Sabbath, then, the women would not be going to the tomb to take “the spices they had prepared” (v. 1) to continue their unfinished business that was blocked by the arrival of the Sabbath. In the same way, the resurrection would be of their great anticipation to worship the risen Christ on that day, “in the remembrance of the liberation of the Exodus,” as the pope contents, [] but to the contrary, “they were startled and terrified, and thought that were seeing a ghost” (Luke 24:37) upon seeing Jesus.

The startling and terrifying happened because of no explicit or even implied supports that Sunday would replace the Sabbath when Jesus would be resurrected “on the third day” (v. 46). After Jesus would be resurrected, “repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (v. 47), and, unfortunately, not Sunday-keeping.

The Roman Catholic Church admitted that “the author [Luke] was acquainted with the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70, the Gospel of Luke is dated by most scholars after that date; many propose A.D. 80-90 as the time of composition”[] but what he failed to detect “even a hint that the Sabbath was now had to be laid aside and that Christians were to observe the first day of the week.”[]

“The First Day of the Week” in John 20

Prior to John 20, in chapter 19 we can see how Jesus’ followers valued the Sabbath so much. Because “it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away” (v. 31). If the Sabbath was to be replaced by another after Jesus’ resurrection it would be highlighted in the context clearly. In contrast, it is not even mentioned once in the whole context that a certain day would replace the Sabbath after Jesus resurrection. The fact that they prevented their bodies from remaining on the cross on the Sabbath is a strong argument that it would be of the same value after Christ’s resurrection.

Joseph of Arimathea, due to his fear of the Jews, secretly asked Pilate the body of Jesus. Pilate granted his request. In the same way, Nicodemus “came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds’ weight” (v. 39). What they did was that “they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (v. 40). Due to the fact that it was “the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there” (v. 42). The fact that the closing of the tomb was “at hand” at the time of the Jewish day of Preparation explicitly clarifies that the Sabbath as of the same value after Jesus would die and resurrection.

John termed the resurrection day as the “first day of the week” (John 20:1).[] The pope termed it as the “Day of the Resurrection” to uplift its religious significance.[] But this term lacks biblical supports for it usage “appears in the fourth century.”[] “By that time Sunday had become associated with the resurrection and consequently was referred to as the ‘Day of the Resurrection.’” It is right to argue that this progress occurred after several centuries –after the beginning of Christianity.[]

On that day Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, “while it was still dark” and she saw that “the stone had been taken away” from it (v. 1). What she did was she ran to Simon Peter and “the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved’ [John] and told them that “they have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him” (v. 3). If the “first of the week” would replace the Sabbath day, then Jesus’ disciples would be expecting Him and that day to worship Him. Christ’s disciples were not expecting a resurrection of their Lord. So, they did not also anticipate his resurrection day to replace the day they had rested, the Sabbath day.

John’s testimony about the Sabbath and the “the first day of the week” is of paramount importance for two reasons: (1) “its late date,” and (2) “its apostolic authority.”[] The Catholic Church admits that “the final editing of the gospel [of John] and arrangement in its present from probably dates from between A.D. 90 and 100.” “Traditionally,’ it adds, “Ephesus has been favoured as the place of composition, though many support a location in Syria, perhaps the city of Antioch, while some have suggested other places, including Alexandria.”[] Wherever is the case, Specht analyses that “if the Gospel is indeed that late, its testimony regarding the Christian day of worship is very significant.”[]

John concludes that “it is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.” “We know,” the Catholic Church accepts, is “the Christian community”[] to testify that John was not propagating Sunday to replace the Sabbath he had rested during that terrible episode of Jesus’ life.

The Day of Pentecost

The Day of Pentecost is one of the many passages, which according to the pope, justifies Sunday worship because it “fell on Sunday.”[] The pope seems correct in his reckoning. “Since, in the year of the crucifixion, Nissan fell on a Sunday…, Pentecost, coming 50 days, inclusive, later (seven weeks and one day), would fall in a Sunday in that year.”[]

However, the Pentecost was not a gathering to replace the Sabbath with Sunday. It was

a feast to remember “that they had been slaves in Egypt, could feel again the liberty the Exodus had given them (Deut. 16:9-12), and be free of servile work (Lev. 23:21).”[]

The Sabbath, in the heart of the Decalogue, reminded the Israelites of their experience. It is not stated that because the Pentecost fell on Sunday it would automatically replace the Sabbath. Simply because Sunday has no liturgical significance—it was just “seen as an existential reality experienced by living victoriously by the power of the Risen Savior.” []

No other feast would compare with Pentecost—a gathering in Jerusalem represented from “so many nations.” Therefore, “there was no other time in which the gift of the Spirit was likely to produce such direct, immediate, and far-reaching effects.”[]

The pope’s argument sounds illegitimate. It is hard to go away with the burden of proof in this. It is nowhere in Acts 2 that because “those who received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41) Sunday would automatically replace the Sabbath.[]

The First-Day Meeting at Troas

Questions pertaining this gathering should be keep in mind. Was this a regular weekend meeting? Or was it pertained to the presence and the imminent departure of Paul? Did it occur in relation to our present Sunday? Specht concludes that “the reference to the use of lights and to the prolongation of the service past midnight, even till daybreak, plus the deep sleep of Eutychus, make it obvious that this was a night gathering.”[] But was it a gathering a night before Sunday or the night after?

The purpose of the gathering was to “break bread” (Acts 20:7). According to Specht, “it had become customary in Palestine to break bread with the hands rather than to cut it with knife. The host at the table, after the offering of thanks, broke the loaves and distributed them to his guests.”[] So it suggests that the gathering was just a “common meal”[]to the fact that, in verse 11, “speaks only of Paul as eating bread, not the entire congregation.” Furthermore, also “there is no mention of a cup nor of any prayers.”[]

But was it a “Saturday-Sunday” or “Sunday-Monday?” It was in either case. And, it was a farewell gathering “for the great missionary and his traveling companions.” It is not also certain that the Lord’s Supper was commemorated. The expression “to break bread” could refer “to the beginning of a farewell supper” there is no clear evidence that it had become a weekly celebration. “There are numerous examples in the book of Acts of religious gatherings on the Sabbath in which the apostle too part. But there is no evidence whatever that regular assemblies for worship took place on the first day of the week.”[]

The Collection on the “First Day of the Week”

This incident convinced John Paul II that Sunday “began to shape the rhythm of life for Christ’s disciples.” The text states, “on the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come” (1 Cor 16:2). But the American Standard Version gives a literal rendering by saying that “Let each one of you lay by him in store as he may prosper.”

The phrase “lay by him” (par heauto titheto) is as expression “to put aside at home.” If they had to meet every “first day of the week” for worship, then it would be of no good reason to “put aside privately at home on that day.” Thus, “this passage sets forth valuable suggestions for systematic and regular fund raising. But to extract from it evidence in the day of worship is to give a forced interpretation.”[]

The “Lord’s Day” in Revelation 1:10

This phrase appears only in Revelation 1:10 and there is “not sufficient data given in the book… to be certain of the correct interpretation of the phrase.”[] Sunday, as the Lord’s day, “is not based on internal evidences of the book of Revelation or of the rest of the New Testament.”[]

Clearly, “if Sunday had already received the new appellation “Lord’s day” by the end of the first century, when both the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation were written, we would expect this new name for Sunday to be used consistently in both works, especially since they were apparently produced by the same author at approximately the same time and the same geographical area.”[] Therefore, the “Lord’s Day” can hardly be referred to Sunday.

CHAPTER 3

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Summary

The records where the pope argues to be supporting the biblical origin of Sunday worship were of, no doubt, a product of human speculations. I can go with Bacchioccchi’s argument, which says that “the New Testament attributes no liturgical significance to the day of Christ’s Resurrection simply because the Resurrection was seen as an existential reality experienced by living victoriously by the power of the Risen Savior, and not a liturgical practice associated with Sunday worship.”[] He adds that “there are no indications that New Testament Christians ever interpreted the day of Christ’s Resurrection as representing the fulfillment and ‘full expression’ of the creation/redemption meanings of the Sabbath.”[]

Besides, there are discrepancies of the record when it comes to the place where Jesus made His appearances. Mathew 28:10 and Mark 16:7 tell us that it occurred in Jerusalem but Luke and John mentioned that it occurred in Galilee. S.V. McCasland observes “the appearance may have been as much as ten days later, after the feast of the unleavened bread, as indicated by the closing fragments of the Gospel of Peter. But if the appearance at this late date was on Sunday it would be scarcely possible to account for the observance of Sunday in such an accidental way.”[]

It makes Bacchiocchi to argue that the difficulty to explain the discrepancies in the Gospel narratives is a fact that “both Matthew and Mark make no reference to any meal or meeting of Christ with his disciples on Easter-Sunday.” Due to this scenario it implies that “no particular importance was attributed to the meal Christ shared with his disciples on the Sunday night of his Resurrection.”[] The Sunday was not the pattern set up for recurring weekly commemoration of the Resurrection. Because “the occurred at different times, places, and circumstances; and in those instances where Christ ate, He partook of ordinary food (like fish-John 21:13), not to institute a eucharistic Sunday worship but to demonstrate the reality of his bodily resurrection.”[]

The Catholic Bible (NAB) footnotes Matthew 24:20, which states, “it was addressed to a church still observing the Mosaic Law of sabbath rest…” In the New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible states, “The Christians of Jerusalem, who would still be following the Jewish Law, would not feel free to take flight on a Sabbath.” The destruction of Jerusalem took place in 70 A.D. And, these two Catholic Bibles are clear enough to argue that the Jerusalem Christians followed the Jewish Law of keeping the Sabbath even during and after the destruction of Jerusalem. Therefore, they did not understand the “fulfillment” emphasis claimed by the Catholic Church, to keep Sunday if they were still keeping the same Sabbath day.[]

Justin Martyr, and other Church Fathers, did not give the resurrection emphasis in stressing Sunday but of pagan philosophies. Furthermore, no mention in the entire New Testament that Sunday commemorates Christ’s resurrection. Thus, “the total absence of any such allusions indicates that such developments occurred in the post-apostolic period as a result of interplay of political, social, and religious factors.”[]

Conclusions

The Pope appears to be artificially constructing a theological view to justify Sunday observance.  He is just motivated in the Roman Catholic doctrine without seeing his negation on both the character and the divinity of Christ. He forcefully interpreted Sunday as the “fullest expression”; the “fulfillment;” and the “embodiment” of the Sabbath when in fact it is not.

The Sabbath commandment, in the heart of the Decalogue, “specifically calls upon believers to ‘Remember’ what many have forgotten, namely, that the seventh day is holy unto the Lord our God (Ex 20:8-11).”[] Dederen states “the Sabbath issue involves far more than the mechanics of keeping the right day as holy day of rest and worship.  It is a matter of belief or disbelief in Jesus Christ as Creator and Redeemer, as revealed in the Scriptures; therefore it bears upon the future orientation of one’s entire way of life.”1

The goal of mankind in these last days is not to “rediscover Sunday” as John Paul II is aiming, but to “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex 20:8). It is a day, which fall a lot of controversy in the religious world, but it is a test of worship to Creator-Redeemer God before, now and for all eternity.

In Christ, “creation, redemption, and restoration of all things belongs together,”2 since He is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb 13:8). Because Sabbath continues, and it was not changed or replaced, then, it will not be an “unending Sunday in the heavenly Jerusalem.”3 – it will Sabbath full of joyous delights for all eternity.


[] Samuele Bacchiocchi, Popular Beliefs, Are They Biblical? (Berrien Springs, Michigan: Biblical Perspectives, 2008), 196.

[] John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Dies Domini of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful of the Catholic Church on Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy (Pasay City, Philippines: Paulines  Publishing House, 1998),  19, para. 18, 59.

[] Ibid.

[] Quoted by Bacchiocchi, Popular Beliefs, 195.

[] John Paul II, Domini, 8, para. 7.

[] Frank M. Hazel, “Presuppositions in the Interpretation of Scripture” Understanding Scripture An Adventist Approach, ed. George W. Reid (Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2006), 36-40.

[] The Dies Domini is originally written by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the present Roman pontiff Benedict XI, in behalf of the late Pope John Paul II.

[] John Paul II, Dies Domini, 1, para. 1.

[] Ibid., 2, para. 2.

[] Ibid., 2, 3, para. 2.

[] Samuele Bacchiocchi, “A Look at the Pope’s Pastoral Letter Dies Domini.” http://www.bibleplus.org/sabbath/bacchiocchi.htm (accessed 28 November 2010).

[] John Paul II, Dies Domini, 13, para. 11.

[] Ibid., 19, para. 18.

[] Ibid., 68, para. 59.

[] John Paul II, Dies Domini, 23, para. 21.

[] Ibid., 22, 23, para. 20.

[] Ibid., 23, para. 21.

[] “Worship him” [Matt 28:9] The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (SDABC), rev. ed., ed. Francis D. Nichol (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1976-1980).

[] Walter F. Specht, “Sunday in the New Testament,” The Sabbath in Scripture and History, Kenneth A. Strand, ed.  (Washington, DC: Review and Herald, 1982), 115.

[] Specht, 116.

[] Ibid.

[] It is “identical with the one mentioned in Luke 24:36-53 and/or John 20:19-29).

[] Specht, 121.

[] Ibid., 115.

[] By Specht, 116 citing W.M. Ramsay, The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1953), 222.

[] Specht, 116.

[] Ibid., 118.

[] John Paul II, Dies Domini, 68, para. 59.

[] Taken from the Introduction of the Gospel of Luke in the NT of The New American Bible Saint Joseph Edition page 96 with the Imprimatur by Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington, July 27, 1970.

[] Specht, 119.

[] Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible citations are taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible.

[] John Paul II, Dies Domini, 24, para. 22.

[] Samuele Bacchiocchi, The Sabbath Under Crossfire (Berrien Springs, Michigan, 1998), 27.

[] Bacchiocchi, “A Look at the Pope’s Pastoral Letter Dies Domini.” http://www.bibleplus.org/sabbath/bacchiocchi.htm (accessed 19 January 2011).

[] Specht, 120.

[] Taken from the Introduction of the Gospel of John in the NT of The New American Bible Saint Joseph Edition page 144 with the Imprimatur by Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington, July 27, 1970.

[] Specht, 120.

[] Taken from the footnote of John 21:24 from in the NT of The New American Bible Saint Joseph Edition page 178 with the Imprimatur by Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle, D.D., Archbishop of Washington, July 27, 1970.

[] John Paul II, Dies Domini, 2, para. 20.

[] “Pentecost” [Acts 2:1], SDABC, 6:134.

[] Ibid.

[] Baccchiocchi, Popular Beliefs, 217.

[]“There is no scriptural support, however, for assigning sacredness of Sunday on this account (cf. on Matt. 28:1).” “Pentecost” [Acts 2:1], SDABC, 6:134.

[] “Pentecost” [Acts 2:1], SDABC, 6:134.

[] Specht, 122.

[] Ibid., 123 citing Johannez Behm, “klaw” TDNT, 3:728, 729.

[] Specht, 123.

[] Ibid.

[] Ibid., 124. See also Bacchiocchi, Crossfire, 36-37 for the explanation of the phrase “breaking of the bread.”

[] Specht, 125. See also Bacchiocchi, Crossfire, 33-25 on this matter.

[] Specht, 127.

[] Bacchiocchi, Crossfire, 38.

[] Ibid., 39.

[] Bacchiocchi, Crossfire, 27.

[] Samuele Bacchiocchi, “A Look at the Pope’s Pastoral Letter Dies Domini.” http://www.bibleplus.org/sabbath/bacchiocchi.htm (accessed 19 January 2011).

[] See Bacchiocchi, Crossfire, 29, 30 quoting S.V. McCasland (note 38), 69.

[] Bacchiocchi, Crossfire, 30.

[] Ibid., 30.

[] “The fact that the Sabbath is here mentioned not polemically, but incidentally as a factor unfavorable to a flight of Christians from Jerusalem, implies on the one hand that Christ did not foresee its substitution with another day of worship.” Samuele Bacchiocchi, The Sabbath in the New Testament (Berrien Springs, Michigan: Biblical Perspectives, 1985), 97.

[] Bacchiocchi, Popular Beliefs, 208.

[] Ibid., 52.

1 Dederen, 295.

2 Ibid., 300.

3 John Paul II, Dies Domini, 92, para. 84.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bacchiocchi, Samuele. From Sabbath to Sunday, A Historical Investigation of the Rise of Sunday Observance of Early Christianity. Rome: Pontifical University Press, 1977.

__________________.  Popular Beliefs, Are They Biblical?. Berrien Springs, Michigan: Biblical Perspectives, 2008.

___________________. The Sabbath in the New Testament (Berrien Springs, Michigan: Biblical Perspectives, 1985), 97.

__________________.  The Sabbath Under Crossfire (Berrien Springs, Michigan, 1998), 27.

___________________. “A Look at the Pope’s Pastoral Letter Dies Domini.” http://www.bibleplus.org/sabbath/bacchiocchi.htm (accessed 19 January 2011).

Cairus, Aecio E. The SDA Doctrine of the Sabbath & the Sabbath in the Old Testament. Cavite, Philippines: Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, 2009.

Gulley, Norman. Christ is Coming. Washington. D.C.: Review and Herald, 1998.

Hazel, Frank M. “Presuppositions in the Interpretation of Scripture” Understanding Scripture, An Adventist Approach, ed. George W. Reid. Silver Spring, MD: Biblical Research Institute, 2006.

Paul, John, II, Apostolic Letter Dies Domini of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Bishops, Clergy and Faithful of the Catholic Church on Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy. Pasay City, Philippines: Paulines Publishing House, 1998.

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About the author:

Cristopher V. Luaya is a Bachelor of Theology graduate of Central Philippine Adventist College in 2004. At present, he is at Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies taking up Master of Arts in Religion major in Church History.

The above topic is one of his research papers. You may contact him at luayac@aiias.edu.

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