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The Old Testament Sabbath and Christians

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Divine Mercy icon, Byzantine style

Divine Mercy icon, Byzantine style

Adventists and other Sabbath keeping Christians often present arguments from the Bible to show that Christians are still expected by God to keep the Sabbath day on the 7th day of the week, Saturday (Friday sunset till Saturday sunset.)

They tell us that God gave the Sabbath to Adam and Eve, but that’s not in the Bible. They tell us that the Sabbath was a perpetual sign, which means we must keep it even today – but the Levitical priesthood and circumcision were also perpetual signs, so it’s really a case of selective quoting of references that suit the theology of the moment, ignoring the fuller context of the Bible.

My position is this: If you take the verses Adventists use as proof texts, and look at what they actually say, in the context of the verses around them, it soon becomes evident that all the passages have had their context seriously abused. By looking at everything the New Testament says about the Sabbath, it becomes clear that not once are Christians told to keep the Sabbath, not once do the Apostles keep the Sabbath as a witness to us, and the only three times that any Christians do keep the Sabbath after the resurrection of Christ, they are reprimanded by Paul. What is even more fascinating is that there is only one time when the day of the week when a specific Christian worship service was held is named. And that day? The first day of the week!

Looking at the proof texts Sabbatarians provide from the Old Testament is just as revealing. In context, some texts actually show the very opposite of what Adventists claim they mean.

The Bible translation used throughout is the King James Version. I have tried to keep the verses in sequence, but when one topic is discussed in more than one book, I have brought those passages together.

There are several passages that need to be discussed when we deal with whether or not Christians still need to observe the 7th day Sabbath today.  Click on the verses to go to the posts where they are discussed.

Isaiah 66 – Sabbath keeping in heaven? and also Isaiah 66 – from one sabbath to another

Gen 2:2–3 – Did Adam keep the Sabbath?

Exodus / Deuteronomy / Nehemiah / Ezekiel – To whom was the Sabbath given, as a sign of what?

The Sabbath first revealed to man

The Sabbath and the Old Covenant, part 1
The Sabbath and the Old Covenant, part 2
The Sabbath and the Old Covenant, part 3

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