Just what do the churches say about the sabbath, the seventh day of the week, Saturday? If the sanctity of Saturday was truly transferred to Sunday in the early centuries as some believe, why has this day stayed a rest day and not been assimilated into the remaining work days of the week? Just what higher power could have stopped this from occurring and why?

What the CHURCHES say about the SABBATH

Roman Catholic

"The Sabbath was Saturday, not Sunday. The Church altered the observance of the Sabbath to the observance of Sunday. Protestants must be rather puzzled by the keeping of Sunday when God distinctly said, 'Keep holy the Sabbath Day.' The word Sunday does not come anywhere in the Bible, so, without knowing it they are obeying the authority of the Catholic Church." Canon Cafferata, The Catechism Explained, p. 89.

Cardinal Gibbons: "You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find a single line authorising the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify." Faith of our Fathers.

Father Conway: "If the Bible is the only guide for the Christian then the Seventh-day Adventist is right in observing the Saturday with the Jew. But Catholics learn what to believe and do from the Catholic Church, which in Apostolic times made Sunday the day of rest. ... Is it not strange that those who make the Bible their only teacher should inconsistently follow in this matter the tradition of the Church." Question Box Answers.

Plain Talk: "The observance of Sunday by Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the (Catholic) Church." Plain Talk about Protestantism of Today, by Msgr. Segur (RC).

John O'Brien, Ph.D.,LL.D.: "But since Saturday, not Sunday, is specified in the Bible, isn't it curious that non-Catholics who profess to take their religion directly from the Bible, and not the Church, observe Sunday instead of Saturday? Yes of course, it is inconsistent; but this change was made about 15 centuries before Protestantism was born, and by that time the custom was universally observed. They have continued the custom, even though it rests upon the authority of the Catholic Church and not upon an explicit text in the Bible. That observance remains as a reminder of the Mother Church from which the non-Catholic sects broke away - like a boy running away from home but still carrying in his pocket a picture of his mother or a lock of her hair." Faith of Millions, pp. 543 and 544.

Church of England

"Many people think that Sunday is the Sabbath. But neither in the New Testament nor in the early church is there anything to suggest that we have any right to transfer the observance of the seventh day of the week to the first. The Sabbath was and is Saturday and not Sunday, and if it were binding on us then we should observe it on that day, and on no other." Rev. Lionel Beere, All-Saints Church, Ponsonby, N.Z. in Church and People, Sept. 1, 1947.

"Nowhere in the Bible is it laid down that worship should be done on Sunday. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. ...! That is Saturday." P. Carrington, Archbishop of Quebec, Oct. 27, 1949.

"The observance of the first instead of the seventh day rests on the testimony of the church, and the church alone." Hobart Church News.

"Where are we told in Scripture that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the Seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day. The reason why we keep the first day holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many things, not because the Bible, but because the Church, has enjoined them." Rev. Isaac Williams, Ser. on Cathechism, p. 334.

"The seventh day, the commandment says, is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. No kind of arithmetic, no kind of almanac, can make seven equal one, nor the seventh mean the first, nor Saturday mean Sunday. ... The fact is that we are all Sabbath breakers, every one of us." Rev. Geo. Hodges.


"The Christian Sabbath (Sunday) is not in the Scriptures, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath." Dwight's Theology, Vol. 14, p. 401.

"A further argument for the perpetuity of the Sabbath we have in Matthew 24:20, Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter neither on the Sabbath day. But the final destruction of Jerusalem was after the Christian dispensation was fully set up (AD 70). Yet it is plainly implied in these words of the Lord that even then Christians were bound to strict observation of the Sabbath." Works of Jonathon Edwards, (Presby.) Vol. 4, p. 621.


"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that Sabbath was not Sunday. Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which I have studied for many years, I ask, where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament; absolutely not. There is no Scriptural evidence of the change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to the first day of the week ... Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to protestantism." Dr. Edward Hiscox, Author of the Baptist Manual.


"The Sabbath instituted in the beginning, and confirmed again and again by Moses and the prophets, has never been abrogated. A part of the moral law, not a jot or a tittle of its sanctity has been taken away." Bishops Pastoral.

"It is true there is no positive command for infant baptism ... nor is there any for keeping holy the first day of the week."


"With the views of the law and the Sabbath we once held ... and which are still held by perhaps the great majority of the most earnest Christians, we confess that we could not answer Adventists. What is more, neither before or since have I heard or read what would conclusively answer an Adventist in his Scriptural contention that the Seventh day is the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10). It is not 'one day in seven' as some put it, but 'the seventh day according to the commandment.' " Words of Truth and Grace, p. 281.


"The observance of the Lord's Day (Sunday) is founded not on any command of God, but on the authority of the Church." Augsburg Confession of Faith.


"It is clear that, however rigidly or devoutly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath ... The Sabbath was founded on a specific divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday ... There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday." Dr. Dale, The Ten Commandments, pp. 106, 107.

Church of Christ

"But we do not find any direct command from God, or instruction from the risen Christ, or admonition from the early apostles, that the first day is to be substituted for the seventh day Sabbath." "Let us be clear on this point. Though to the Christian 'that day, the first day of the week' is the most memorable of all days ... there is no command or warrant in the New Testament for observing it as a holy day." "The Roman Church selected the first day of the week in honour of the resurrection of Christ. ..." Bible Standard, May, 1916, Auckland, New Zealand.

"... If the fourth command is binding upon us Gentiles by all means keep it. But let those who demand a strict observance of the Sabbath remember that the seventh day is the ONLY sabbath day commanded, and God never repealed that command. If you would keep the Sabbath, keep it; but Sunday is not the Sabbath. The argument of the 'Seventh-day Adventists' is on one point unassailable. It is the Seventh day not the first day that the command refers to." G. Alridge, Editor, The Bible Standard, April, 1916.

Salvation Army

Copy of an Affidavit by Louis Currow, Minister in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia:

I, Louis Currow of Ballarat, do solemnly and sincerely declare THAT, I did hear the following statement made by General William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army at an Officers' meeting in the City Temple, Bourke Street, Melbourne.
VIZ. Friends, don't you know that we are not keeping the true Sabbath.
Two other officers and myself took our stand for the Sabbath, also a lady sergeant major, that heard the statement from his lips. And I make this solemn declaration ... etc. Declared at Ballarat in the state of Victoria, 10th May, 1934, before me, (signed) F.A.Cooper, J.P.


ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA: "It was Constantine the Great who first made a law for the proper observance of Sunday; who appointed it should be regularly celebrated throughout the Roman Empire." Article Sunday.

ENCYCLOPEDIA AMERICANA: "Constantine the Great made a law for the whole empire (AD 321) that Sunday should be kept as a day of rest."

CHAMBERS ENCYCLOPEDIA: "Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of Sunday is known to have been ordained, is the Sabbatical edict of Constantine, AD 321." Art. Sunday.


"Hence, the conclusion is inevitable; namely that of those who follow the Bible as their guide, the Israelites and the Seventh-day Adventists have the exclusive weight of evidence on their side, whilst the Biblical Protestant has not a word in self defense for his substitution of Sunday for Saturday." Catholic Mirror.

God Says

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; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates;
for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.
Exodus 20:8-11.

The Catholic Church says (about proof that the Bible supports the observance of Sunday)

"There is no such law in the Bible. It is a law of the Holy Catholic church alone. The Bible says 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Catholic church says, No. By my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week. And lo! The entire civilised world bows down in reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church." Priest Thomas Enright, CSSR, President of Redemptorist College, Kansas City, Missouri, in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, and printed in the American Sentinel, June 1883, a New York Roman Catholic journal.

Whom will you obey? God or the Church?

But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men.
Acts 5:29.
If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
John 14:15.
in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.
Matthew 15:9.

Excepting the introduction, not sure just where I got this from but most likely from a pamphlet published by Pr George Burnside many years ago.
Bible texts [excepting quotations] from:
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, OT 1952, NT 1946, 1971.

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Stephen Buckley
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