Who Changed The Sabbath from Saterday to Sunday?
"The Roman Catholic Church"
No such law in the Bible "Nowhere" in the bible do we find that Jesus or the
apostles ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have
the commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is, the
Seventh day of the week, Saturday. Today, all Christians keep Sunday because it
has been revealed to us by the [Roman] church outside the Bible."
Catholic Virginian, Oct. 3, 1947
"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 sanctified."
James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 ed.),
"If protestants would follow the Bible, they should worship God on the Sabbath
Day, that is Saturday. In keeping Sunday they are following a law of the
Catholic Church." Albert Smith, chancellor of the Archdiocese of
Baltimore, replying for the cardinal in a letter of Feb. 10, 1920.
"Have you not any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute
festivals of precept?"
"Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern
religionists agree with her, she could not have substituted the observance of
Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the Seventh
day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority"
Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed. p. 174
"How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and holydays?"
By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of;
and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and
breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church." Henry
Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (1833 approbation), p.58
(Same statement in Manual of Christian Doctrine, ed. by Daniel Ferris [1916
"The Catholic Church,... by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day
from Saturday to Sunday.
" The Catholic Mirror, official organ of Cardinal Gibbons, Sept.
"Is Saturday the 7th day according to the Bible and the 10 Commandments?"
"I answer yes".
"Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the 7th day,
Saturday, for Sunday, the 1st day?"
"I answer yes".
"Did Christ change the day?"
"I answer no!" Faithfully yours, "J. Cardinal Gibbons" Gibbons'
Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as
the day of worship in the NEW LAW, that he himself has explicitly substituted
Sunday for the Sabbath.
But this theory is entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply
gave His church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem
suitable as holy days. The church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and
in the course of time added other days as holy days."
John Laux A Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and
Academies 1936, vol.1 p.51
"Which is the Sabbath day?"
Saturday is the Sabbath day.
"Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?"
We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred
the solemity from Saturday to Sunday."
Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine
(1946 ed.), p.50. Geiermann received the "apostolic blessing" of Pope Pius X on
his labors, January 25, 1910.
"The Catholic Church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by
right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her Founder, Jesus
Christ. The Protestant, claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no
warrant for observing Sunday.
In this matter the Seventh Day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant.
The Catholic Universe Bulletin, Aug. 14, 1942, p.4
"The observance of Sunday by the Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of
themselves, to the authority of the [Catholic] church."
Monsignor Louis Segur, Plain Talk About the Protestantism of Today (1868), p.
Exodus 20: 8-11,
(8) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labor and
do all thy work: (10) But the Seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in
it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy
manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within
thy gates: (11) For in six days the Lord made the heaven and earth, the sea, and
all that in them is, and rested the Seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the
Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Colossians 2:8 warns us to:
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the
tradition of men after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
"What power has claimed authority to change God's law?"
The Papacy in Rome.
"The Pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or
interpret even Divine Laws...The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is
not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth."
Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca (Ready Library), "Papa",
"What part of the law of God has the papacy thought to change?"
The Fourth Commandment.
"Catholics alledge the change of the Sabbath into the Lord's day, contrary, as
it seemeth, to the Decalogue; and they have no example more in their mouth than
the change of the Sabbath. They will needs have to be very great, because it
hath dispensed with a precept of the Decalogue." The Augsburg
Confession (Lutheran), part 2, art. 7, in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of
Christendom (Harper), vol. 3, p. 64.
"It [the Roman Catholic Church] reversed the Fourth Commandment by doing
away with the Sabbath of God's word and instituting Sunday as a holiday."
N. Summerbell, History of the Christian Church (1873), p. 415.
"Does the papacy acknowledge changing the Sabbath?"
The Catechismus Romanus was commanded by the Council of Trent and published by
the Vatican Press, by order of Pope Pius V, in 1566. This catechism for priests
says: "It pleased the church of God, that the religious celebration of the
Sabbath day should be transferred to 'the Lord's day. Sunday.'"
Catechism of the Council of Trent (Donovan's translation, 1867), part 3, chap.
4, p. 345. The same in slightly different wording, is in the McHugh and Callan
translation (1937 ed.), p. 402.
"Do Catholic authorities acknowledge that there is no command in the bible for
santification of Sunday?"
"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."
James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 ed.), pp.
"How did Sunday observance originate?"
As a voluntary celebration of the Resurrection, a custom without pretense of
Matthew 28:1 KJV States clearly that Christ Rose on the Sabbath Saturday!! IN
the END of the Sabbath, as it began to Dawn TOWARD the FIRST day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher. Mat 28:6 He is not
here: for he is RISEN, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
"Who first enjoined Sunday keeping by law?"
Constantine the Great.
"The earliest recognition of the observance of Sunday as a legal duty is a
constitution of Constantine in 321 A.D., enacting that all courts of justice,
inhabitants of towns, and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday (venerabili die
solis), with an exception in favor of those engaged in agricultural labor."
Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., art. "Sunday".
"By what church council was the observance of the seventh day forbidden and
Sunday observance enjoined?"
The Council of Laodicea, in Asia Minor, fourth century.
"What kind of worship does the Saviour call that which is not according to
"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men."
Roman Catholic and Protestant Confessions about Sunday
The vast majority of Christian churches today teach the observance of Sunday,
the first day of the week, as a time for rest and worship. Yet it is generally
known and freely admitted that the early Christians observed the seventh day as
the Sabbath. How did this change come about?
History reveals that it was decades after the death of the apostles that a
politico-religious system repudiated the Sabbath of Scripture and substituted
the observance of the first day of the week. The following quotations, all from
Roman Catholic sources, freely acknowledge that there is no Biblical authority
for the observance of Sunday, that it was the Roman Church that changed the
Sabbath to the first day of the week.
In the second portion of this booklet are quotations from Protestants.
Undoubtedly all of these noted clergymen, scholars, and writers kept Sunday, but
they all frankly admit that there is no Biblical authority for a first-day
Roman Catholic Confessions
James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers,
88th ed., pp. 89.
"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."
Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p.
"Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to
institute festivals of precept?
"Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all
modern religionists agree with her-she could not have substituted the observance
of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the
seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority."
John Laux, A Course in Religion for Catholic High
Schools and Academies (1 936), vol. 1, P. 51.
"Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday
as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted
the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is now entirely abandoned. It is now
commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever
day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the
first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days as holy days."
Daniel Ferres, ed., Manual of Christian Doctrine
"Question: How prove you that the Church hath power to command feasts and
"Answer. By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which
Protestants allow of, and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by
keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same
James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921),
in a signed letter.
"Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments?
I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church change the
seventh day -Saturday - for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes . Did
Christ change the day'? I answer no!
"Faithfully yours, J. Card. Gibbons"
The Catholic Mirror, official publication of James
Cardinal Gibbons, Sept. 23, 1893.
"The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day
from Saturday to Sunday."
Catholic Virginian Oct. 3, 1947, p. 9, art. "To
Tell You the Truth."
"For example, nowhere in the Bible do we find that Christ or the Apostles
ordered that the Sabbath be changed from Saturday to Sunday. We have the
commandment of God given to Moses to keep holy the Sabbath day, that is the 7th
day of the week, Saturday. Today most Christians keep Sunday because it has been
revealed to us by the[Roman Catholic] church outside the Bible."
Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of
Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.
"Question: Which is the Sabbath day?
"Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day.
"Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
"Answer. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church
transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday."
Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About
"Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from
Saturday to Sunday .... Now the Church ... instituted, by God's authority,
Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority,
taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have,
therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday."
Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society
"Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the
Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:
"1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and
religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact
that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the
eyes of every thinking man.
"2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only rule of faith. Besides
the Bible we have the living Church, the authority of the Church, as a rule to
guide us. We say, this Church, instituted by Christ to teach and guide man
through life, has the right to change the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament
and hence, we accept her change of the Sabbath to Sunday. We frankly say, yes,
the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for
instance, the Friday abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning
mixed marriages, the regulation of Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.
"It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit
and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in
T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb.
"I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to anyone who can prove to me from the
Bible alone that I am bound to keep Sunday holy. 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 civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience
to the command of the holy Catholic Church."
Protestant theologians and preachers from a wide spectrum of denominations
have been quite candid in admitting that there is no Biblical authority for
observing Sunday as a sabbath.
Isaac Williams, Plain Sermons on the Catechism ,
vol. 1, pp.334, 336.
"And where are we told in the Scriptures 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 of the week holy instead
of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not
because the Bible, but because the church has enjoined it."
Canon Eyton, The Ten Commandments , pp. 52, 63, 65.
"There is no word, no hint, in the New Testament about abstaining from work
on Sunday .... into the rest of Sunday no divine law enters.... The observance
of Ash Wednesday or Lent stands exactly on the same footing as the observance of
Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday .
We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday
to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church."
Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, a paper read before a New York
ministers' conference, Nov. 13, 1893, reported in New York Examiner ,
"There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but that
Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said, however, and with some show of
triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the seventh to the first day of
the week .... Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the
New Testament absolutely not.
"To me it seems unaccountable that Jesus, during three years' intercourse
with His disciples, often conversing with them upon the Sabbath question . . .
never alluded to any transference of the day; also, that during forty days of
His resurrection life, no such thing was intimated.
"Of course, I quite well know that Sunday did come into use in early
Christian history . . . . But what a pity it comes branded with the mark of
paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, adopted and sanctioned by
the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"
William Owen Carver, The Lord's Day in Our Day , p.
"There was never any formal or authoritative change from the Jewish
seventh-day Sabbath to the Christian first-day observance."
Dr. R. W. Dale, The Ten Commandments (New York:
Eaton &Mains), p. 127-129.
" . . . it is quite clear that however rigidly or devotedly we may spend
Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath - . . 'Me 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."
Timothy Dwight, Theology: Explained and Defended
(1823), Ser. 107, vol. 3, p. 258.
" . . . the Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scriptures, and was not
by the primitive Church called the Sabbath."
Disciples of Christ
Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2,
1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164.
"'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where?
when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be,
unless creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be
changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is
all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to
the first day. If it be changed, it was that august personage changed it who
changes times and laws ex officio - I think his name is Doctor
First Day Observance , pp. 17, 19.
"The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake.
The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week.
The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire
Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from
Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of
such a change."
The Sunday Problem , a study book of the United
Lutheran Church (1923), p. 36.
"We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish sabbath faded from
the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought
underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We
have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one
with the other, but for a time celebrated both."
Augsburg Confession of Faith art. 28; written by
Melanchthon, approved by Martin Luther, 1530; as published in The Book of
Concord of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Henry Jacobs, ed. (1 91 1), p.
"They [Roman Catholics] refer to the Sabbath Day, a shaving been changed into
the Lord's Day, contrary to the Decalogue, as it seems. Neither is there any
example whereof they make more than concerning the changing of the Sabbath Day.
Great, say they, is the power of the Church, since it has dispensed with one of
the Ten Commandments!"
Dr. Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian
Religion and Church Henry John Rose, tr. (1843), p. 186.
"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human
ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a
Divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic
Church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday."
John Theodore Mueller, Sabbath or Sunday , pp. 15,
"But they err in teaching that Sunday has taken the place of the Old
Testament Sabbath and therefore must be kept as the seventh day had to be kept
by the children of Israel .... These churches err in their teaching, for
Scripture has in no way ordained the first day of the week in place of the
Sabbath. There is simply no law in the New Testament to that effect."
Harris Franklin Rall, Christian Advocate, July 2,
"Take the matter of Sunday. There are indications in the New Testament as to
how the church came to keep the first day of the week as its day of worship, but
there is no passage telling Christians to keep that day, or to transfer the
Jewish Sabbath to that day."
John Wesley, The Works of the Rev. John
Wesley, A.M., John Emory, ed. (New York: Eaton & Mains), Sermon 25,vol.
1, p. 221.
"But, the moral law contained in the ten commandments, and enforced by the
prophets, he [Christ] did not take away. It was not the design of his coming to
revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken .... Every part
of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not
depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change,
but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation
to each other."
Dwight L. Moody
D. L. Moody, Weighed and Wanting (Fleming H. Revell
Co.: New York), pp. 47, 48.
The Sabbath was binding in Eden, and it has been in force ever since. This
fourth commandment begins with the word 'remember,' showing that the Sabbath
already existed when God Wrote the law on the tables of stone at Sinai. How can
men claim that this one commandment has been done away with when they will admit
that the other nine are still binding?"
T. C. Blake, D.D., Theology Condensed, pp.474, 475.
"The Sabbath is a part of the decalogue - the Ten Commandments. This alone
forever settles the question as to the perpetuity of the institution . . . .
Until, therefore, it can be shown that the whole moral law has been repealed,
the Sabbath will stand . . . . The teaching of Christ confirms the perpetuity of