The Sabbath: The Change Of Observance From The Seventh To The Lord’s Day -- By: William Deloss Love

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 037:147 (Jul 1880)
Article: The Sabbath: The Change Of Observance From The Seventh To The Lord’s Day
Author: William Deloss Love


The Sabbath: The Change Of Observance From The Seventh To The Lord’s Day

Rev. William Deloss Love

(k) Within about thirty or thirty-five years after the date of Luke’s treatise on the Acts of the Apostles, and of Paul’s first Epistle to the church at Corinth, the first day of the week, as we learn from the apostle John (Rev. 1:10), had come to have a distinctive and sacred title, — the “Lord’s day,” — just as the commemoration of the sufferings and death of Christ had come to have the sacred title of “Lord’s supper” (1 Cor. 11:20). It was the Lord’s supper, because he gave it, and it commemorated his propitiatory death; it was the Lord’s day, because he gave it, and it commemorated his triumph over death and hell. He gave the supper in person, before his death; he evidently gave the day in person, after his death, by rising upon it, by appearing so much upon it, by producing in some way such an impression that the apostles and disciples immediately began to observe it, and appointed the most precious of all their religious services, the Lord’s supper, upon it.

Objection: By the Lord’s day may have been meant Easter-day, on which the Lord’s resurrection was annually celebrated. Reply: None of the early fathers use the phrase with that meaning; and, since the day in the year for Easter was a long time in question, the apostle John did not refer to a doubtful day in addressing the churches on so important a matter.

Objection second: The apostle may have been speaking of the Sabbath, and may have given it a designation similar to that in Isa. 58:13: “my holy day.”1 Reply: If John

meant the Sabbath, he would doubtless have called it by its usual name. The early fathers used the term “Lord’s day” for the first day of the week, copying, no doubt, from the apostle. They also were careful to distinguish between Sabbath and Lord’s day; and we should not expect that their teacher, the apostle, would use a term of confusion, as he did if by Lord’s day he meant the Sabbath. Besides, the phraseology for Lord’s day, in this case, is peculiar to itself, as we shall see. It is never used elsewhere for the seventh-day Sabbath, either in the Greek of the Old Testament or that of the new. It is mere groundless assumption to say that it here means the Sabbath.

Objection third: By the Lord’s day the apostle meant the day of judgment, often designated “the day of our Lord” (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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