9-1-2 The Sabbath In The Early Church

Because of this, it is understandable that we do not read of the early believers keeping the Sabbath. Indeed, it is recorded that they met on “the first day of the week”, i.e. Sunday: “Upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread...” (Acts 20:7). That this was a widespread practice is indicated by Paul advising the believers at Corinth to take up a collection “upon the first day of the week” (1 Cor. 16:2), i.e. at their regular meetings on that day.

There is ample historical evidence that the early church didn’t keep Saturday. If some say ‘We keep the Sabbath but it’s now Sunday’ then they admit God’s law was changed- therefore their arguments about the unchangeable nature of God’s commands are nullified.

Ignatius (110 AD):" no longer observing the Sabbath but fashioning their lives after the Lord's day" ; " If then they who walked in ancient customs came to a new hope, no longer living for the Sabbath... how then shall we be able to live without Jesus…”

Justin Martyr (100-165): " Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly"

Epistle of Barnabas (120-150): " we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, a day also in which Jesus rose from the dead"

Irenaeus (178): " the mystery of the Lord's resurrection may not be celebrated on any day other than the Lord's day"

Bardasian (b. 154): " the first day of the week we assemble ourselves together"

The Didache (70 AD): " on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread"

And therefore " Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the sabbatical observance of that day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine 321 AD." (Chambers Encyclopaedia art. " Sabbath" ). Both history and Scripture show that the practice of the early believers was to meet together on Sundays- not Saturday. Either the early church was disobedient, or one has to conclude that Saturday observance was changed to Sunday. And there is no evidence for this.

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