Responding to Peter, Part 2

Rising to the challenge I threw out, Peter has responded with numerous citations. He is probably using a secondary source (I wish he would name the source) with a list of citations. He has given so many I cannot respond to all of them. I do work seven days a week (rabbis don’t rest on Shabbat and this rabbi doesn’t even get to rest on Sundays).

Peter’s assertion is that many early Christians kept the Sabbath and did not participate in Sunday worship. My position is that Sunday worship was a fixture in Christian communities by the early second century. I am the first to admit that evidence of universal Sunday worship in the New Testament is completely overblown. Acts 20:7 was on the first day of the week, meaning Saturday night until Sunday at sundown (only Jews had weeks in the first century, so first day of the week had to mean by Jewish reckoning which starts at sundown). Since the events surrounding Acts 20:7 took place late at night, this was a Saturday night meeting, not a Sunday meeting. I’m sorry, Christian friends who use Acts 20:7 as if God commanded Sunday worship, but history is not on your side. Neither, however, is history on Peter’s side.

I will list some of Peter’s most important citations and respond. My goal is to show that Sabbath observance was not prominent in early Christianity. I am not trying to argue that Sunday worship is commanded by God. I am trying to show that Jews and Gentiles were distinct in the early church, at least in the early centuries.

First, Peter cites early Jewish authors:

Josephus

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4 Responses to Responding to Peter, Part 2

  1. pbandj says:

    derek

    my purpose wasnt to throw so much info to have you unable to respond.

    however, i think you emphasized the first century and ignored the rest of the stuff.

    there is substantial info that i included. let me narrow down the argument to make it easier to respond to.

    ambrose, bishop of milan, kept the Sabbath, but when he was in rome, he honored sunday.

    the church in the east tended to observe the 7th day, as well as keep Passover and other things.

    this barely scratches the surface. i encourage anyone to research for themselves. but i think that derek misunderstood what i was saying. because i didnt say that early gentile believers didnt observe sunday. i said that they kept the 7th day Sabbath rest. i think this is substantial evidence that they did rest on saturday and worship on sunday. and i am not alone in my opinions. there are various church historians who have held the same view. check out justo gonzalez “history of christianity” volume 1. he doesnt make a big pt about it. but states that the early christians (referring to gentile believers) rested on saturday and after working or before working on sunday, they met as well to sing and have communion.

    now, dont get me wrong, i am not saying that gentiles kept the same practices as jews on the Sabbath. but i am saying that the early gentile christians rested on saturday, not sunday.

    and derek, i dont appreciate being reduced down to an adventist, because their interpretations and stances are crazy and not good history. however, there is good history that demonstrates a much much more balanced view. that there was many many gentile believers who rested on saturday and not on sunday.

    peter

  2. Peter, I think you are a bit harsh on the some 15 million of us who are a part of the Seventh-day Adventist faith. Our stances are certainly based solely on Scripture.

    The most interesting part of the discourse is that no one wants to admit that for centuries the Catholic church has shown that it was the body that officially changed the day of worship to Sunday.

    They maintain that they have the authority to do that, as God’s direct representative on this earth. All other Sunday-keeping groups are merely acquiescing to their authority.

    They even authorized an SDA theologian who graduated from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome to publish his thesis, “From Sabbath to Sunday”, documenting the historical records of the church, and the decisions that were made to change the worship day.

    All that aside, it is not man’s tradition that should govern how we worship God. It should be His words to us that governs our relationship and our worship. Since there is no clear word from Him moving His declared day of worship to another day, I feel I should move to the more conservative side and try to “do as He did”.

  3. pbandj says:

    david

    i am sorry to have offended you. you are right that the SDA guys i know are genuinely trying to fulfill how they interpret Scripture. and i actually agree on many issues with SDA. but at the same time, i think there is too much emphasis on apocalyptic stuff that is all speculative. and i certainly dont hold that changing the Sabbath was/is the mark of the beast as National Sunday Law does.

    my apologies for my rude comments.

    peter

  4. PB and J says:

    derek

    i thought i would share with you the words of the Didache:

    Didache 8:1
    And let not your fastings be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and the fifth day of the week; but do ye keep your fast on the fourth and on the preparation (the sixth) day.

    Didache 14:1
    And on the Lord’s own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.

    since you cited the Didache as evidence against early gentile christian resting on saturday, let me address that. first, let me draw your attention to 8:1. here, the text says to fast on “preparation day”. why would they call it preparation day if they werent preparing for Sabbath?

    next, look at the words of 14:1. it says that believers should gather together and break bread and give thanks, confessing, on the “Lord’s Day”. so what if they were to meet together on sunday? this doesnt have anything to do with resting on saturday. yes, the early christians did meet on sunday (like i pted out: either early at dawn or in evening) to celebrate the death and resurrection of Yeshua. but if you want to use the Didache, dont forget to read the whole thing. why would it refer to “preparation” if they werent preparing for anything?

    peter

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