The Nazarene Way of Essenic Studies
From Sabbath To "Sun" Day
Sunday is "Not" The Sabbath

So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day he rested from all of his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. ~Genesis 2:1-2 NIV

"Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to The Lord your God." (Exodus 20:8-10 RSV)

Our Star

The sun is a medium-sized main sequence yellow star at the center of our solar system, about 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) from earth. Measuring about 865,000 miles (1,400,000 kilometers) in diameter, the sun could contain 1,300,000 earths. The sun is very big, very hot, and makes life possible on earth. There are over 200 billion other stars in the "Milky Way" galaxy, plus hundreds of billions of other galaxies throughout the universe.

The Ancient "God"

Since ancient times, the sun has been a favorite "God" or God symbol of people all around the world. The Babylonians, Persians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all had their sun gods.

The native peoples of North and South America widely practiced sun worship, as did their Asian ancestors. The Europeans too were deeply involved in sun worship, and many of their sun-god festivals were carried over with their conversion to Christianity. These can still be seen today in the Easter bonfire and sunrise services, and the Christmas burning of the Yule log.

Sun worship was also widely practiced by the people of the Middle East, and even the Israelites sometimes practiced it.

The Halo

The heads of Saints didn't really glow as is so often portrayed in religious art. The use of the halo, or nimbus, originated with the Greeks and Romans to represent their sun god, Helios. Later artists adopted it for use in Christian images.

God's Calendar and The Roman Calendar

Today, the names that are used for the days of the week are all named after the sun, moon, or pagan gods. Sunday ("sun" day), Monday ("moon" day), Tuesday ("Tiwe's" day), Wednesday ("Woden's" day), Thursday ("Thor's" day), Friday ("Frie's" day) and Saturday ("Saturn's" day) are all pagan in origin.

Throughout the Bible, the days of the week were identified by number, from first to seventh. Only the seventh day was given a name, the Sabbath: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to The Lord your God." (Exodus 20:8-10 RSV)

As well, any day prior to a Sabbath, whether the regular weekly seventh-day Sabbath, or any of the annual Sabbaths (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles) was designated as a "Preparation day."

From Sabbath To "Sun" day

The Fourth Commandment is to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. All of the righteous people of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, including Jesus Himself (e.g. Luke 4:16), observed the Sabbath. No where in the Bible, including after Christ's resurrection, will you find people observing the first day of the week, Sunday, as a replacement for the Sabbath.

This reality was freely admitted by Roman Catholic Cardinal Gibbon in his Faith Of Our Fathers: "But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify."

So, why do so many Christian-professing churches use Sunday for the Sabbath? And the big question, should they be doing so?

The Unjustifiable Justification

Essentially, Sunday worship is supposedly justified because of the assumption that Christ was resurrected on the first day of the week. Without a Sunday resurrection, there is no justification whatsoever for observing Sunday as a day of Christian worship, as Sunday-keeping theologians readily admit.

But, was Christ resurrected on a Sunday?

We know that Christ was crucified on the day before a Sabbath, the "preparation" day (e.g. Mark 15:42). Many have assumed that meant Friday, and commonly refer to it as "Good Friday." But the Bible record doesn't say that He was crucified on the day before the regular weekly Sabbath. He was crucified before the annual Sabbath, the Passover (i.e. John 19:14). That preparation day was not a Friday. "Good Friday" never happened.

Further, Christ said that the only proof that He was the Messiah was that He would be in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights (Matthew 12:39- 40), which is 72 hours. Friday afternoon to Sunday morning is barely 36 hours, only 2 nights and 1 day. Friday to Sunday doesn't work. (Note: Biblical days begin and end at sunset.)

When Peter, John and Mary of Magdala arrived at the tomb early that Sunday morning, the resurrection had already occurred. It was long before sunrise because it was still dark, but the tomb was then already empty. (John 20:1).

We know that Christ was placed in the tomb in late afternoon near sunset (Matthew 27:57), and would arise 72 hours later as He said. He would therefore have arisen also on a late afternoon, near sunset, 3 days later. Since He was already gone by Sunday morning, He had to have arisen the previous afternoon near sunset, on Saturday, not Sunday. Therefore, worship on the first day of the week cannot be justified.

Who Decided On Sunday?

As already stated, Sunday worship did not originate in the Bible, or because of the events of the crucifixion and resurrection. All of the first Christians, including Peter, Paul, all of the apostles, Mary and Joseph, all of the people who wrote the Bible, and Jesus himself, all observed the Sabbath on the seventh-day.

So, where did Sunday worship come from?

Gradually, the Roman empire that originally persecuted Christians began to adopt Christianity, or rather, its own self-serving version of Christianity, which was a blend of politics and religion, some usurped teachings of the Nazarene, but consisted mostly of Roman paganism - included worship of the Roman sun god.

In 321, the Roman emperor Constantine issued an edict which outlawed work on the "venerable day of the sun," Sunday, and within 3 years the "corrected" version of Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman empire. From that, the Roman Catholic Church began the commonly-accepted Sunday observance of today.

By the fourth century, only Jews (by then the Sabbath was becoming known as the "Jewish" Sabbath), and a relatively few number of Christians, continued to observe the original seventh-day Sabbath.

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