sunday worship

Concerning the worshipping of the 7th day (Sat) in Judaism and the Lord’s Day (Sun) in Christianity…

…shouldn’t that happen just once per year?

After all, the day after the 7th day is the 8th day, not the 1st all over again. Every other holiday, we celebrate on an event’s anniversary, or at least close to it. But these two are, for some reason, celebrated 51 times per year more often than any other holiday. And yes, I am going by the modern solar calendar, not the ancient lunar one used by the Jewish religion, but the point is the same even if the frequency is not.

  • Yak

Link to column: Why do Christians worship on Sunday when the Bible says the Sabbath is on Saturday?


[Note: This message has been edited by CKDextHavn]

yak, (assuming this is not a troll–you never know, guys):

The commandments read “for six days you shall. . . and on the seventh day you shall. . . .” This clearly implies a seven day cycle (known to us as a week). It is not simply the seventh day of the year, but the seventh day in a repeating series of days. It honors the seven days of Creation and Rest described in chapter 1 of Genesis.

On those holy days that occur once in a year, the days are described as “on the xth day of (the month of) yyyy, you shall. . . .” Since that formulation is not used in the prescriptions for the Lord’s Day, it is apparently/obviously not intended as an annual event.

If my Hebrew was stronger, I would go look up whether the original text actually said “each six days,” but my Hebrew skills are almost non-existent and I’ll settle for the translations we have.


Interesting on the names of Saturday and Sunday in Scandanavian languages. The name for Saturday in Danish, which is older than English, is Lorddag.

Obviously the Romans didn’t make up that far.

In reference to the original question ansewred in part my our very own beloved Cecil:
The Ten Commandments which Biblically were obtained by Moses has been interpreted to read, “Thou shalt keep holy the Sabbath.” However, since Moses was primarily a prophet to free the Jewish people so that from the house of David a saviour would be born, the rules ( as of most of the OT) were to be a route of guidance until the time when Jesus would be born. Once He began his mission, a lot of things were changed ( which is one of the major reasons for his subsequent death.) For example no more were living sacrifices ordained, as He was the last of them as the “Lamb of God,” thereby negating the need for any further ones. Also, when questioned by the pharisees ( spelling sorry) as the the most important commandment, no mention of keeping holy the sabbath was even uttered. Only, " Love the Lord your God with all you heart and soul etc, and love thy neighbor as thyself."

But if you truly obey those 2 the rest will follow. If you Love God as numero uno, certainly you will take the time weekly ( if not hourly) worshipping and loving him! And if you love your neighbor as yourself, you certainly wouldn’t lie, steal, murder him, or certainly want his spouse.

One must learn by doing things; for though you think you know it you have no certainty until you try.

It would stand to reason that since Judaism celebrates the Sabbath on Saturday, and Christians celebrate it on Sunday, that is why the American work week is Monday through Friday. Please respond if this is not true.

Well thanks for the replies. Being a non-Christian, I have some issues with that last post, but I’ll respectfully keep that quiet in respect for another religion. Let’s face it, we all have our translations, and this is no place to debate dogma.

But getting back to the original question, it is interesting how clear the bible is in regards to holiday dates (the xx day of yy month), but is so vague as to the “weekly” ritual. It never does, to my knowledge, say to start counting the day after the 7th as the 1st again, and while no month is specified, the Jews do celebrate a new year… is this the anniversary of the creation of the universe? And if so, couldn’t the seven days be counted from there? Without specific biblical instructions to do it on a weekly basis, one could argue that there is a case for annual worship still.

I’m not very well versed in the Bible, so this is a question that may be very easy to rebuke. And no answer will make me change my way of living, I just do it for the sake of curiosity.

  • Yak

Sorry, a quick clarification in case I didn’t state my case clearly enough earlier:

“his clearly implies a seven day cycle(known to us as a week).”

Yes, I agree there is an implication there. But what I was trying to get at is, the bible usually is very clear on what it considers important, often repeating the point several times in several different ways. Vague implication is not its usual style, hence the room for questioning.

Oh goody, this is my kinda subject. FYI, I am a Sabbatarian, keeper of the holy days, not the holidays.

The Ten Commandments state to “remember the sabbath, to keep it holy.” The sabbath is Saturday, the seventh day, the day He rested. This is the day you go to church.

The so-called “8th day”, or “Lord’s Day” that was brought up is also celebrated once a year. I’ve always known this as the Last Great Day, and it falls just after the Feast of Tabernacles.

Ha! How many of you keep THAT, instead of your smarmy lie-infested greed-swamped holiday known as Christmas? But that’s another arguement.

reloffcl, originally the work week in the U.S. was Monday through Saturday. That is fact, the following is some fact with a lot of WAG.

Saturday night was often the time selected for parties, socials, and such. (Parties on Sunday would have been frowned on in Puritan-influenced communities and an 8:00 a.m. church service still allowed more time to sleep in than a 6:00 a.m. starting time for a job.) Gradually the practice developed of taking off Saturday afternoon to clean up and prepare for the Saturday evening socials. As the labor movement pushed for better conditions and a shorter work week, the half-day Saturday was shortened to “Saturday off.” (A number of colleges routinely held Saturday morning classes for their resident students as late as the 1960’s. The Saturday classes I have seen in recent years tended to be “specials.”)

There has never been a movement to include Saturday as a day off to accomodate adherents to Judaism. They just got one of their infrequent lucky breaks on this occasion.

yak, I haven’t got absolute proof against your speculation. I will note that it certainly appears that Judaism has always followed the seven-day cycle, indicating that the earliest adherents did not believe that it was a single event per year. I will also point out that “keeping sabbaths” is mentioned on several occasions, but in Leviticus 23, where the principal feasts are described, there is no mention of this special seven-day event that has no specific name.

Maybe CKDextHavn or CMKeller can wander through here and point out anything I’ve missed.


WAG regarding why the Bible doesn’t clearly state a seven-day cycle:

Even the Bible, basic though it is, would be based on some cultural foundations that just seemed natural to the people who wrote it down. IIRC, the concept of weeks (by whatever name) was known long before that. It may even have been seven days long because that’s such a natural choice (derived from the lunar cycle, plus all the symbolism of the number seven). Thus, the authors of the Bible may simply have assumed a seven-day week as given (as they apparently did with the concept of months).

There is a column by Cecil on how weeks evolved, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now.

Based on a Lunar cycle? It would be out by a day every few months.

The Roman emperor Constantine proclaimed Sunday to be holy (and his following proclamation provided for seers to attend when a public building was struck by lightning, and their utterances recorded). Since then, the politicians have been at pains to exterminate Sabbath observance, and have never quite succeeded.

Christ said (Matthew ch 5) that he had NOT come to destroy the law.

It’s an interesting idle debate, until you discover that scientists believe in a chemical impossibility: spontaneous generation (now dignified with the title abiogensis). Not only that, of the 250,000 fossil species so far identified, ZERO are unqualified intermediate species; the simple-to-complex development sequence in the geological column can only be made to work for vertebrates; our mountains should be over 15000 km high at current rates of upthrust, while the rest of the planet should be under more than 2km of water (itself almost solid salt) at current rates of erosion. Eventually, you realise that an alternative to current developmental theories is required, and this idle discussion is related to it.

If at first you don’t succeed, try a shorter bungee

Cecil on Why are there seven days in a week?:

So yes, it’s based – among other aspects – on the lunar cycle. OTOH, I seem to have gotten the timing wrong and my WAG is busted. Too bad.

Apart from that, leonbrooks, I can’t quite follow your thoughts (and I’m not sure I want to).

Can we have a little data here from a qualified Jew? Is observance of the Sabbath Noachic or Mosaic?

(By the way, speaking as a Christian, I’d like to apologize for “leonbrooks”'s off-topic and ignorant rant above.)

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams

Sabbath observance is pretty clearly Mosaic (although there are some commentators who contend that sabbath was observed prior to Moses).

I have not got my copies of text handy, I will try to check tonight whether the context is clearly “weekly”, but I am sure that it was always understood as weekly. Sabbath is not listed in the lists of annual festivals, for instance.

Yes, the Israelite calendar (and the Jewish calendar today) was based on a lunar cycle. Four weeks of seven days gave a neat lunar month (mostly) except that a few days here and there got lost. Since about 100 BC or so, this has been compensated by a “leap month”, adding an extra month to the year according to a pattern, so that the calendar year and the solar/seasonal year stay in tune.

I’ve always had a hard time understanding why
Christians say that Sunday is the day of the resurrection. If Jesus died on Friday and he said he would rise after three days, how can Sunday be the third day. I know that the Jewish day begins at night, thus the Sabbath begins Friday night - when Jesus died.

As opposed to the incontrovertible truth present in the last great feast of tabernacles.


To respond to Dan Richard’s post waayyy back
there, technically the Danish word for
Saturday is Lørdag, not Lorddag, which
actually would be “Herredag”. With the
exception of “Sun-day” and “Moon-day” all
the other days are named after old Norse
gods (Tir’s day, Odin’s day, Thor’s day and
Frig’s day), with modern spelling
adjustments. I dont remember the
translation for “lørdag”, and I can find out
and get back to you, but the point Im trying
to come to is that the Viking culture had
many “Lords” (and a few “Ladies” too). If
the Scandinavian name for Saturday dates
back to that time it’s incredibly unlikely
that when so many other days were specified
there would be a day dedicated to an unnamed
“Lord”. If the name dates back to Christian
times (which began in Denmark around 1000
CE, other Scandinavian countries following
later) it’s even more unlikely that it means
“Lord’s day”, IMHO, because AFAIK by the
year 1000 Christianity was very solidly set
on Sunday being the Lord’s day.

Whoops, didnt mean to froth there, but the
Danish language and the Viking culture are
two things Im passionately interested in
(hey, I take my excitement where I can get
it) and also happen to know something about.

Kara’s Bizarre Movie Quote for the Day:
“Such as who we are, what we’re doing…” “…and why I have a picture of a burger on the wall.”

Re: Jesus rising on the '3rd day.'

Jesus was crucified on Friday afternoon. In the Jewish reckoning, Jewish Friday began with the sundown on Thursday and ended with the sundown on Friday. This is the first day of Jesus’ death. (This is also the sixth day of the week.)

Jesus was hastily buried because the coming sundown started Jewish Saturday, commonly known as Sabbath, which was the day of no work (including burying the dead). Sabbath lasted until sundown on Saturday. This is the second day of Jesus’ death. (This is also the seventh, or last day of the week – God rested.)

From Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown is Jewish Sunday, the first day of the week. This is the third day of death for Jesus. According to the gospels, when the ladies arrived shortly after Sunday sunrise to finish the burial preparations that they didn’t have time for on Friday, they found that the tomb was empty.

And thus, Jesus rose on the third day.

Now, for some irrelevant tangents:

Some Christian Churches (especially the high, liturgical churches such as the RCC, Orthodox, or Anglican churches) have a dual personality disorder when keeping time. They use both the Jewish and the Gentile method of keeping track of days. For example, in the RCC, Saturday evening is considered to be part of Sunday – that is why Catholics can have their Sunday Mass on Saturday evening. They use the Jewish method of tracking days – beginning at sundown.

However, Sunday evening doesn’t belong to Monday – it still is Sunday evening until midnight. This is the Gentile method of tracking days.

High holy days grab the previous day’s night and keep their own night, making them 1 1/2 days long.

That is why some Christian Churches begin celebrating the Easter Resurrection on Saturday Evening, because Saturday Evening begins the third day (by Jewish, and thus, scriptural, reckoning).


OK, on the question of why the Jewish sabbath is weekly, not annual – and I confess I haven’t researched in full, I went far enough to prove the point, because I think the question is inherently uninteresting.

If you read the text out of context, I can see the interpretation that “on the seventh day” means “on the seventh day of the year”, not weekly. But reading in context, that interpretation just doesn’t hold up.

First, Biblical references to the holidays (for example, the list of sacrifices in Exodus 34) mention “on every sabbath”… and “on the new moons.” The other holidays (annjual) are specified, such as “on the first day of the seventh month”. The fact that sabbath is not specified as “on the seventh day of the first month” is pretty conclusive that it is not meant as annual.

Second, the notion of the Jewish New Year signifying the date of the creation of the world is a post-Biblical interpretation. In the Bible, the holiday is a day for sounding the ram’s horn, a special holiday on the first day of the seventh month. Seventh month, you say? Yes, under the Biblical calendar reckoning, the first month was the spring month (the month of the Exodus from Egypt.) So… if the sabbath were to be celebrated as an annual occurrence on the seventh day of the year, it would come in the spring, about a week before Passover.

The idea of a holiday commemorating the birthday of the world is very late, rabbinic addition, not found in the Torah text.

I hope that’s reasonably conclusive.

Other interesting facts: the seven-day cycle was fairly common in the ancient Near East. In Mesopotamia, on certain months, the seventh, 14th, 21st, and 28th day were considered ill-omened and special ceremonies were used to drive away the bad spirits. Ancient Judaism transformed this into a weekly day of rest and sanctification.

The other holidays are all based on the lunar or solar calendar; the seven day week was the early interpretation of a lunar cycle as approximately 28 days.

Different languages use expressions like “third day after” to mean different things. The most famous example is that, to an ancient Roman, Tuesday was “three days before” Thursday. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – three days. It appears that the early Christians felt the same way.

In any case, it is very clear from the narrative that Sunday is the day meant, no matter whether you want to call it “third” or not.

Before you laugh, consider how many living speakers of English say “more than” when they mean “at least”.

John W. Kennedy
“Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays.”
– Charles Williams