Historians Speak about the Bible Sabbath and Sunday

Sabbath not Sunday in the Early Church

"There is scarcely anything which strikes the mind of the careful student of ancient ecclesiastical history with greater surprise than the comparatively early period at which many of the corruption’s of Christianity, which are embodied in the Romish system, took their rise, yet it is not to be supposed that when the first originators of many of these unscriptural notions and practices planted those germs of corruption, they anticipated or even imagined they would ever grow into such a vast and hideous system of superstition and error as is that of popery. "— John Dowling, History of Romanism, 13th ed., i 1, sec. 1, p. 65 [Dowling was a Protestant clergyman and historian of the early nineteenth century].
"It would be an error to attribute [‘the sanctification of Sunday’] to a definite decision of the Apostles. There is no such decision mentioned in the Apostolic documents [the New Testament]. "–Antoine Villien, A History of the Commandments of the Church, 1915, p. 23 [Catholic priest and professor at the Catholic University of Paris].
"Rites and ceremonies, of which neither Paul nor Peter ever heard, crept silently into use, and then claimed the rank of divine institutions. Officers for whom the primitive disciples could have found no place, and titles which to them would have been altogether unintelligible, began to challenge attention, and to be named apostolic." –William D. Killen, The Ancient Church, preface, p. xvi [Killen (1806-1902) was a Protestant church history professor in Belfast, Ireland].
"The notion of a formal substitution [of the first for the seventh day] and the transference to it, perhaps in a spiritualized form, of the sabbatical obligation established by . . . the Fourth Commandment, has no basis whatever, either in Holy Scripture or in Christian antiquity. "–Smith and Cheetham’s Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, art. "Sabbath."
"Until well into the second century we do not find the slightest indication in our sources that Christians marked Sunday by any kind of abstention from work."–W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 157.
"Is it not strange that Sunday is almost universally observed when the Sacred Writings do not indorse it? Satan, the great counterfeiter, worked through the ‘mystery of iniquity’ to introduce a counterfeit Sabbath to take the place of the true Sabbath of God. Sunday stands side by side with Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Whitsun day, Corpus Christi, Assumption Day, All Souls’ Day, Christmas Day, and a host of other ecclesiastical feast days too numerous to mention. This array of Roman catholic feasts and fast days are all man made. None of them bears the divine credentials of the Author of the Inspired Word."–M. E. Walsh.
"There is not any city of the Grecian, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come."–Flavius Josephus, Against Apion, Book 2, par. 40, in Works of Josephus, p. 899 [Josephus the Jewish historian wrote at the end of the first century, A.D.].
"The obligation of rest from work on Sunday remained somewhat indefinite for several centuries."— The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 14, p. 336.
"The ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed . . . by the Christians of the Eastern Church, above three hundred years after our Savior’s death."–A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath, p. 77.
"The idea of importing into the Sunday the solemnity of the Sabbath with all its exigencies was an entirely foreign one to the early Christians."— Louis M.O. Duchesne, Christian Worship, p. 47 [Duchesne (1843-1922) was a French Catholic church historian, and director of the Ecole Francaise at Rome].
"It should be observed that Sunday is never called ‘the Sabbath’ (to sabbaton) by the ancient Fathers and historian."–translators’ footnote in The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates, bk. 5, chap. 22, 1874, p. 289 [Sunday was never confused with the Bible Sabbath in ancient times, in the middle ages, or early modern history. It was not until two or three centuries ago that some began calling Sunday the ‘Sabbath’].
"A history of the problem shows that in some places, it was really only after some centuries that the Sabbath rest really was entirely abolished, and by that time the practice of observing a bodily rest on the Sunday had taken its place . . . It was the seventh day of the week which typified the rest of God after creation, and not the first day. "–Vincent Jo Kelly, Forbidden Sunday and Feast day Occupations, 1943, pp. 15, 22 [This Catholic University Press publication was written by a priest of the Redemptorist order].
"Modern Christians who talk of keeping Sunday as a "holy’ day, as in the still extant "Blue Lows’ of colonial America, should know that as a ‘holy’ day of rest and cessation from labor and amusements Sunday, was unknown to Jesus . . . It formed no tenet [teaching] of the primitive Church and became "sacred’ only in course of time. Outside the Church its observance was legalized for the Roman Empire through a series of decrees starting with the famous one of Constantine in 321, an edict due to his political and social policies . . . So much confusion in identifying Sunday and the Sabbath has been inherited by Britain and America through Puritan influence that it seems well to recapitulate the well known facts. "–Walter Woodburn Hyde, Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, 1946, pp. 257. [Dr. Hyde (1870- ?) was a professor of Greek, Latin and ancient history in several American universities].
"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."–Augustus Neander, The History of the Christian Religion and Church, H. J. Rose’s translation from the first German edition, 1843, p. 186. [Dr. Neander (1789-1850), a professor of church history in Berlin, is generally considered to be one of the most important Protestant church historians of modern times].
"It must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day."–McClintock and Strong, Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature, vol. 9, p. 196, art. "The Sabbath."

Where Sunday Originated

"The [Catholic] church took the pagan buckler of faith against the heathen. She took the pagan Roman Pantheon, [the Roman] temple to all the gods, and made it sacred to all the martyrs: so it stands to this day. She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sun day . . . The Sun was a foremost god with heathendom. Balder the beautiful, the White God, the old Scandinavians called him. The sun has worshipers at this hour in Persia and other lands . . . There is, in truth, something royal, kingly about the sun, making it a fit emblem of Jesus, the Sun of Justice. Hence the church would seem to have said, ‘Keep that old, pagan name. It shall remain consecrated, sanctified.’ And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder, became the Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus. The sun is a fitting emblem of Jesus. The Fathers often compared Jesus to the sun; as they compared Mary to the moon."–William L. Gildea, "Paschale Gaudium," in The Catholic World, 58, March, 1894, p. 809. [Dr. Gildea (1856-19 14) was rector of St. James Catholic Church in London].
"Concerning the power of the Mithras cult [on Christianity], we still have evidence in the fact that it is not the Jewish Sabbath that is the sacred weekday (which Christianity, coming out of Judaism, had nearest at hand), but Sunday, dedicated to the Sun-god Mithra."–H. Lamer, "Mithras," Wurterbuch der Antike, 2nd ed., 1933. [Hans Lamer (1873- ?) was an archaeological writer and a student of ancient religions and civilizations].
"The Church made a sacred day of Sunday . . . largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun;–for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance."–Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity, 1928, p. 145 [Dr. A. E. Weigall (1880-1937) was a high-ranking British Egyptologist in the Egyptian Government].
"Remains of the struggle [between Christianity and Mithraism] are found in two institutions adopted from its rival by Christianity in the fourth century, the two Mithraic sacred days: December 25th, dies natalis solis [birthday of the sun], as the birthday of Jesus,–and Sunday, ‘the venerable day of the Sun,’ as Constantine called it in his [Sunday law] edict of 321."–Walter Woodburn Hyde, Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, p. 60. [Hyde (1870- ?) was an American ancient history professor and writer].
"The rites which they [the Mithraists] practiced offered numerous analogies [similarities, to Christianity]. The sectaries of the Persian god, like the Christians, purified themselves by baptism; received, by a species of confirmation, the power necessary to combat the spirits of evil; and expected from a Lord’s Supper salvation of body and soul . . . They held Sunday sacred, and celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th of December, the same day on which Christmas has been celebrated, since the fourth century at least . . . They both admitted the existence of a Heaven inhabited by beatified ones, situate in the upper regions, and of a Hell peopled by demons, situate in the bowels of the earth . . . They both believed in the immortality of the soul."–Franz F. Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, pp. 190-191. [Dr. Cumont (1868-1947) was one of the mast extensive writers on ancient Near-eastern religions of modern times].
"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, apostolic church of Christ."–Episcopalian Bishop Seymour, Why We Keep Sunday.
"Babylon, mother of harlots, derived much of her teachings from pagan Rome and thence from Babylon. Sun worship that led her to Sunday keeping, was one of those choice bits of paganism that sprang originally from the heathen lore of ancient Babylon: "The solar theology of the "Chaldaeans’ [Babylonian priests] had a decisive effect upon the final development of Semitic paganism . . . [It led to their] seeing the sun [as] the directing power of the cosmic system. All the Boats were thence forward turned into suns, the sun [itself] being the mover of the other stars, like it eternal and "unconquerable.’ . . Such was the final form reached by the religion of the pagan Semites, and, following them, by that of the Romans . . . when [they] raised Sol invictus [the Invincible Sun] to the rank of supreme divinity in the Empire."–F.V. M. Cumont, "The Frontier Provinces of the East," in The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. ll, pp. 643, 646-647. [Cumont (1868-1947) was the acknowledged expert in his field of Mithras, and a European university professor].
Sun-worship was "one of the oldest components of the [pagan] Roman religion."–Gaston H. Halsberghe, The Cult of Sol Invictus (the Religion of the Invincible Sun), 1972, p. 26.
Sun worship was deeply entrenched in the pagan Roman world just after the time of Christ. Mark Anthony (d. 31 B.C.) portrayed the Sun god on his coins and after marrying Cleopatra he renamed her two sons Helios and Selene. In 31 AD., Augustus Caesar sent two obelisks to Rome and had them dedicated to the Sun-god–Soli donum dedit–in the Circus Maximus and in Mars Field in Rome in thanks to that god for the victory over Antony which had made him Emperor. Over a century earlier, Cicero reflects the high esteem the cultured Romans had for the Sun-god. Like the pagans following him, he called it "the Lord." Nero (54- 68 AD.), who started the first organized slaughter of Christians, believed the Sun-god had protected him from the plot to assassinate him and erected the famous Colossus Neronis sun image–at the highest point of the velia in honor of it. Tacitus, the Roman historian (c. 55-120 AD.), tells us that Emperor Vespasian’s (69-79 AD.) third legion ‘according to the Syrian custom, greeted the rising sun.’ By the time of Hadrian (117-138), images of the Sun-god were on the emperial coins.
From all the evidence that is available, the planetary week–the practice of naming the days of the week after the sun, moon and planets was the basis of first-day sun-worship. There had been sun-worship for thousands of years, but not on any especially dedicated day. Satan arranged it, in anticipation of a change of the Sabbath, that the planetary week began less than a century before the time of Christ.
"This planetary week . . . did not become known and commonly used, as generally believed, only in the first half of the first century AD., but already in the first years of the Augustan era [27 B.C.-14 A.D.]."–A. Degrassi, Atti del Terro Congresso lnternationale, et. al., p. 104.
Paintings of Mithra, the sun-god, portrayed him as a man with a disk or circle behind his head. This same design was later used in Catholic paintings of Christ, and later still of the saints. This linking of the sun-god with Christ in art was matched with the linking of Christian worship on the day of the sun-god.
North African half-heathen Christians who led ou’ in Christian worship on Sunday, were also the first to call Jesus Christ the true Sun-god, and to direct their prayers toward the east–the rising sun–to rise early in the morning that they pray facing the sun as it arose. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215 AD.) frequently called Christ the true Sun, and he urged the pagans to accept Him as such. Origen (c. 185-254) said, "Christ is the Sun of Justice; if the moon is united, which is the Church, it will be filled with His light." Cyprian (d. 258), Bishop of Carthage told believers "to pray at sunrise to commemorate the resurrection . . . and to pray at the setting of the sun . . . for the advent of Christ." "They took a much easier view of certain pagan customs, conventions and images and saw no objection, after ridding them of their pagan content, to adapting them to Christian thought."–J. Danielou, Bible and Liturgy, p. 299. Clement of Alexandria explains that "prayers are offered while looking toward sunrise in the East" because that is where the birth of light that dispels the darkness of the night comes from. Origen said that the East symbolizes the soul that looks to the source of light and thus we should pray towards it. The anonymous Apostolic Constitutions urged Christians to pray while facing the East that they might be reminded of paradise and the coming of Christ.
[Writing to the pagans of the Roman empire, Tertullian defends the Christian adoption of Sunday from the pagans] "Others, with greater regard to good manners, it must be confessed, suppose that the sun is the God of the Christians, because it is a well-known fact that we pray toward the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity. What then? Do you do less than this? Do not many among you, with an affectation of sometimes worshiping the heavenly bodies likewise move your lips in the direct ion of the sunrise? It is you, who are responsible in the first place for admitting the sun into the calendar of the week; and it is you who have selected its day [Sunday] in preference to the preceding day [the Bible Sabbath], as the most suitable in the week for either an entire abstinence from the bath, or for its postponement until the evening, or for taking rest and for banqueting."–Tertullian [155-225 AD.], Ad Nationes (To the Nations), i 13, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. III, p. 123.
"A suitable, single example of the pagan influence may be had from an investigation of the Christian custom of turning toward the East, the land of the rising sun, while offering their prayers . . . in the transition from the observance of the [Bible] Sabbath to the celebration of the Lord’s day."–F.A. Regan, Dies Dominica, P. 196.
"When Christianity conquered Rome: the ecclesiastical structure of the pagan church, the title and the vestments of the pontifex maximus, the worship of the Great Mother goddess and a multitude of comforting divinities, the sense of super sensible presences everywhere, the joy or solemnity of old festivals, and the pageantry of immemorial ceremony, passed like maternal blood into the new religion,–and captive Rome conquered her conqueror. The reins and skills of government were handed down by a dying empire to a virile papacy."–Will Durant, Caesar and Christ, p. 672. [Durant (1885- ?) was a prolific historical writer and teacher at UCLA in Calif.].
"The power of the Caesars lived again in the universal dominion of the popes."–H.G. Guiness, Romanism and the Reformation.
"From simple beginnings the church developed a distinct priesthood and an elaborate service. In this way, Christianity and the higher forms of paganism tended to come nearer and nearer to each other as time went on. In one sense, it is true, they met like armies in mortal conflict, but at the same time they tended to merge into one another like streams which had been following converging courses. "–J. H. Robinson, Introduction to the History of Western Europe p. 31.
"Like two sacred rivers flowing from paradise, the Bible and divine Tradition contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed truth. Though these two divine streams are in them selves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, Tradition [the sayings of men] is to us more clear and safe. "–Di Bruno, Catholic Belief, p. 33.
"From earliest times, . . . every Pharaoh was an earthly incarnation of the sun, and every city worshiped its favorite form of the sun-god."–J. Mayer and T. Prideaux, eds., Never to Die: The Egyptians in Their Own Words, p. 18.
"The Oriental clergy [the religions of the East] . . . preached doctrines which tended to elevate sovereigns [kings] above mankind, and they supplied the [Roman] emperors with a dogmatic justification of their despotism . . . The emperor is the image of the Sun on earth, like him invincible and eternal . . . This sun-worship was the final form which Roman paganism assumed."–Franz Cumont, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, pp. 53, 54, 74. [Cumont (1868-1947) was professor in the University of Ghent].
"Cults of the sun, as we know from many sources, had attained great vogue during the second, third, and fourth centuries. Sun-worshipers indeed formed one of the big groups in that religious world in which Christianity was fighting for a place. Many of them became converts to Christianity . . . Worshipers in St. Peter’s turned away from the altar and faced the door so that they could adore the rising sun."–Gordon J. Laing, Survivals of Roman Religion, p. 192. [Dr. Laing(1869-1945) was a Canadian-born university professor and later dean at the University of Chicago].
"Bel of [ancient] Babylon was worshiped all over northern Syria . . . The naturalistic and primitive worship which these [Semitic] peoples paid to the Sun, the Moon, and certain stars such as Venus, was systematised by a doctrine which constituted the Sun–identified with the Baals, conceived as supreme gods–the almighty Lord of the universe, thus paving the way in the East for the future transformation of Roman paganism "–Franz Cumont, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, pp. 45- 46 [Cumont (1868-1947) was the most important writer on ancient Oriental religions in our century].
"The early Christians had at first adopted the Jewish seven-day week with its numbered week days, but by the close of the third century A.D. this began to give way to the planetary week; and in the fourth and fifth centuries the pagan designations became generally accepted in the western half of Christendom. The use of the planetary names by Christians attests the growing influence of astrological speculations introduced by converts from paganism . . . During these same centuries the spread of Oriental solar [sun] worships, especially that of Mithra [Persian sun worship], in the Roman world, had already led to the substitution by pagans of dies Solis for dies Saturni, as the first day of the planetary week. Thus gradually a pagan institution was engrafted on Christianity."–Hutton Webster, Rest Days, pp. 220-221. [Webster (1875-?), was an author, historian, and professor at the University of Nebraska].
Certain historians agree that it was the pagan sun-worshipers–and not Christians–who first gave the name ‘Lord’s day’ to Sunday. "The first day of each week, Sunday, was consecrated to Mithra [the most widely known sun-god of the early Christian centuries] since times remote, as several authors affirm. Because the Sun was god, the Lord par excellence, Sunday came to be called the ‘Lord’s day,’ as later was done by Christianity."–Agostinho de Almeida Paiva, 0 Mitraiomo, p. 3.
Here is the prayer that the heathen sun-worshipers offered to their god: "Lord, hail, King of great power, far-ruling, greatest of the gods, Helios, the Lord of the heaven and the earth, god of gods. "–A. Dieterich, Eine Mithrasliturgie (The Liturgy of the Mithraites), p. 10, line 31.

Constantine and the Fourth Century: The First Sunday Law

"Unquestionably the first law, either ecclesiastical or civil, by which the Sabbatical observance of that day is known to have been ordained, is the edict of Constantine, 321 A.D."–Chamber’s Encyclopedia, article, "Sabbath."
"Constantine the Great made a law for the whole empire in 321 AD. that Sunday be kept as a day of rest in all cities and towns; but he allowed the country people to follow their work."–Encyclopedia Americana, article: "Sunday."
Here is the first Sunday Law in history, a legal enactment of Constantine I (reigned 306-337): "On the venerable Day of the Sun [venerabili die Solis–the sacred day of the Sun] let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost–Given the 7th day of March, [321 A.D.,] Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time."–First Sunday Law of Constantine I, in Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3, trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3, p. 380.
"The earliest recognition of the observance of Sunday as a legal duty is a constitution of Constantine in 321 AD., 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, ninth edition, article: "Sunday."
"This [Constantine’s Sunday decree of March, 321] is the ‘parent’ Sunday law making it a day of rest and release from labor. For from that time to the present there have been decrees about the observance of Sunday which have profoundly influenced European and American society. When the Church became a part of State under the Christian emperors, Sunday observance was enforced by civil statutes, and later when the Empire was past, the Church in the hands of the papacy enforced it by ecclesiastical [church], and also by civil [government] enactments."–Walter Woodburn Hyde, Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, 1946, p. 261. [Hyde was an ancient history professor in several American universities].
"Constantine’s decree marked the beginning of a long, though intermittent series of imperial decrees in support of Sunday rest."–Vincent J. Kelly, Forbidden Sunday and Feast-Day Occupations, 1943, p. 29, [Catholic University of America dissertation].
What began, however, as a pagan ordinance, ended as a Christian regulation; and a long series of imperial decrees, during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries [and afterward], enjoined with increasing stringency abstinence from labor on Sunday."–Hutton Webster, Rest Days, 1916, pp. 122-123, 270. [Dr. Webster was a historian teaching at the University of Nebraska].
"This [Sunday law] legislation by Constantine probably bore no relation to Christianity. It appears, on the contrary, that the emperor, in his capacity as Pontifex Maximus, was only adding the day of the sun, the worship of which was then firmly established in the Roman Empire, to the other ferial days of the sacred calendar."–Hutton Webster, Rest Days, pp. 122-123 [Webster is an American anthropologist and historian].
Phillip Schaff, the noted church historian, commenting on the first Sunday Law Decree, clearly shows that the day to be observed was given not under the name Sabbatum [the Sabbath], or dies domini [the Lord’s day],–but instead the first Sunday Law was issued under the heathen title for the day of the sun god–dies Solis [the Day of the Sun]. Schaff notes that there was no reference in the law either to Christ, Christianity, or the resurrection of Christ.
"In the year 321 the Emperor Constantine, who was not yet a declared Christian, but was still hovering between paganism and Christianity, issued a decree making Sunday a compulsory day of rest: but the fact that he speaks of Sunday as ‘the venerable day of the Sun’ [the pagan sun-worship title for the day] shows that he was thinking of it as a traditional sun-festival at the same time that he thought of it as a Christian holy-day . . . Sunday came to be observed throughout Europe as it is still observed by Roman Catholics, namely, as a day on which, like our Christmas, people went to church in the morning and then gave themselves over to rest or to holiday-making and sports."–Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity, 1928, pp. 236-237. [A. D. Weigall (1880-1934) was a British historian, Egyptologist and inspector-general of antiquities for the Egyptian Government].
"Sunday (dies solis of the Roman calendar, ‘day of the sun’ because dedicated to the sun) the first day of the week, was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship. The ‘sun’ of Latin adoration [pagan Rome worship] they interpreted as the ‘Sun of Righteousness’ . . . No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined."–Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 3rd ed., Vol. VI, Art. "Sunday," p. 2259.
"The retention of the old pagan name, ‘Dies Solis’ [day of the Sun] or ‘Sunday’ for the weekly Christian festival, is, in great measure, owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment, with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, Pagan and Christian alike, as the venerable day of the sun’ . . . It was his mode of harmonizing the discordant religions of the empire under one common institution."–Dean Stanley [Episcopalian leader], Lectures on the Eastern Church, Lecture 6, p. 184.
"So long as Christianity was not recognized and protected by the state, the observance of Sunday was purely religious, a strictly voluntary service . . .
"Constantine is the founder, in part at least, of the civil observance of Sunday, by which alone the religious observance of it in the church could be made universal and could be properly secured . . . But there is no reference whatever in his law [Constantine’s first Sunday Law of 321 A.D.] either to the fourth commandment or to the resurrection of Christ. Besides, he expressly exempted the country districts, where paganism still prevailed, from the prohibition of labor . . . Christian’s and pagans had been accustomed to [religious] festival rests; Constantine made these rests to synchronize, and gave the preference to Sunday."–Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 1902, Vol. 3, pp. 379-380 [Schaff (1819-1893) was one of the most important church historians of modern times].
"Constantine labored at this time untiringly to unite the worshipers of the old [pagan] and the new [Christian] faith in one religion. All his laws and contrivances are aimed at promoting this amalgamation [combining] of religions. He would by all lawful and peaceable means melt together a purified heathen ism and a moderated [compromising] Christianity . . . Of all his blending and melting together of Christianity and heathenism none is more easy to see through than this making of his Sunday law. The Christians worshiped their Christ, the heathen their sun-god; according to the opinion of the Emperor, the objects for worship in both religions being the same [the worship of a divine person on a select day of the week]."–H. G. Heggtveit, Illustreret Kirkehistorie, 1895, p. 202. [Hallvard Heggtveit (1850-1924) was a Norwegian church historian and teacher].
It was the Roman Imperial plan on several occasions, to unite all religions of the Empire into one religion–sun-worship: "The Jewish, the Samaritan, even the Christian, were to be fused and recast into one great system, of which the sun was to be the central object of adoration."–Henry Hart Milman, The History of Christianity, bk. 2, chap. 8 (Vol. II, p. 175). [Dr. Milman (1791-1868) was an important historian of England and dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London].
"A star cult, sun-worship, became (in the third century AD.) the dominant official creed, paving the road for the ultimate triumph of Judaeo-Christian monotheism. So strong was the belief in the Invincible Sun (Sol Invictus) that for example Constantine I (d. 337), himself at first a devotee of the sun cult, found it, indeed perfectly compatible with his pro-Christian sympathies to authorize his own portrayal as Helios [the sun-god]. And in 354 the ascendent Christian church in the reign of his pious but unsavory son, Constantius II, found it prudent to change the celebration of the birth of Jesus from the traditional date (January 6) to December 25, in order to combat the pagan Sun god’s popularity–his ‘birthday’ being December 25."–Franz Cumont, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, pp. 89-90 [January 6 had a century earlier been adopted by paganizing Christians from a different pagan god. The earliest Christians thought Jesus was born in May].
"The devotion of Constantine was more peculiarly directed to the genius of the sun, the Apollo of Greek and Roman mythology; and he was pleased to be represented with the symbols of the god of light and poetry . . . The altars of Apollo [the sun god] were crowned with votive offerings of Constantine; and the credulous multitude were taught to believe that the emperor was permitted to behold with mortal eyes the visible majesty of their tutelar deity; and that, either waking or in a vision, he was blessed with the auspicious omens of a long and victorious reign. The sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine."–Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 2, chap. 20, par. 3, p. 291 [Gibbon (1737-1794), English historian and member of Parliament, was the out standing scholar of the history of Rome of his time].
"With [Constantine’s father] Constantius Cholorus (305 AD.) there ascended the throne [of the Roman Empire] a solar dynasty which . . . professed to have Sol Invictus [the Unconquered Sun] as it special protector and ancestor. Even the Christian emperors, Constantine and [his son] Constantius, did not altogether forget the pretensions which they could derive from so illustrious a descent, and the last pagan who occupied the throne of the Caesars [Constantius’ cousin], Julian the Apostate [was a sun worshiper]."–Franz F. V. M. Cumont, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, p. 55 [Cumont (1868-1947) was a Belgian university professor].
"He [Constantine] sent to the legions [of the Roman armies], to be recited upon that day [Sunday], a form of prayer which could have been employed by a worshiper of [pagan gods:] Mithra, of Serapis, or of Apollo, quite as well as by a Christian believer. This was the official sanction of the old custom of addressing a prayer to the rising sun."–Victor Duruy, History of Rome, volume 7, page 489.

The Attack on the Sabbath by Constantine’s Pope

"At this time in early church history it was necessary for the church to either adopt the Gentiles’ day or else have the Gentiles change their day. To change the Gentiles’ day would have been an offense and a stumbling block to them. The church could naturally reach them better by keeping their day."–William Frederick, Three Prophetic Days, pp. 169-170.
In Revelation 1:10 we are told of "the Lord’s Day," but we are not there told which day of the week this is. Else where in Scripture the "Lord’s Day" is clearly explained: only the Seventh-day Sabbath is His day (Ex 16:23,25; 20:10; 31:15; 35:2; Lev 23:3; Deut 5:4; Isa 58:13; Matt 12:8 and Mark 2:28). But it was pope Sylvester, Bishop of Rome (314- 337 A.D.–the "pope" during the reign of Constantine) who officially called Sunday the "Lord’s Day." "He officially changed the title of the first day, calling it the ‘Lord’s Day’ "–M. Ludovicum Lucium, Historia Ecclesiastica, "Century IV," chap. 10. pp. 739-740, Edition Basilea, 1624.
Sylvester (314-337 A.D.) was the pope during the reign of Constantine. Here is what he thought of the Bible Sabbath: "If every Sunday is to be observed joyfully by the Christians on account of the resurrection, then every Sabbath on account of the burial is to be execration [loathing or cursing] of the Jews."–quoted by S. R. E. Humbert, Adversus Graecorum calumnias 6, in Patrologie Cursus Completus, Series Latina, ed. J.P. Migne, 1844, p. 143.

Eusebius’ Proud Boast

Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea (c. 260-340), was the first Christian to associate the Christian Sunday and the pagan veneration of the day of the Sun. He is mentioned in that masterpiece of church history, Great Controversy, as "the special friend and flatterer of Constantine"–Great Controversy, p. 574. A well-known quotation from Eusebius is then given, in which he admits that it was his ecclesiastical organization–the church–which was responsible for the change of the Sabbath. Very true this is, and the entire quotation shows that Eusebius repeatedly connects the new holy day of the Christians–Sunday–with the symbols of the Sun-god:
"The Logos [Christ] has transferred by the New Alliance [new covenant] the celebration of the Sabbath to the rising of the light. He has given us a type of the true rest in the saving day of the Lord, the first day of light . . . In this day of light, first day and true day of the sun, when we gather after the interval of six days, we celebrate the holy and spiritual Sabbaths. All things whatsoever that were prescribed for the [Bible] Sabbath, we have transferred them to the Lord’s day, as being more authoritative and more highly regarded and first in rank, and more honorable than the Jewish Sabbath. In fact, it is on this day of the creation of the world that God said, ‘Let there be light and there was light.’ It is also on this day that the Sun of Justice has risen for our souls."–Eusebius, Commentary on the Psalms, Psalm 91, in Patrologie Cursus Completus, Series Latina, ed. J.P. Migne, p 23, 1169-1172.
"Not a single testimony of the Scriptures was produced in proof of the new doctrine. Eusebius himself unwitting ly acknowledges its falsity, and points to the real authors of the change. "All things,’ he says, "whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord’s day.’ But the Sunday argument, groundless as it was, served to embolden men in trampling upon the Sabbath of the Lord. All who desired to be honored by the world accepted the popular festival."— E. G. White, The Great Controversy, page 574.

The Council of Laodicea: The First Church Sunday Law

"Ques. –Which is the Sabbath Day?
"Ans. –Saturday is the Sabbath Day?
"Ques. –Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?
"Ans. –We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church, in the Council of Laodicea 336 AD., transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. "–Peter Geiermann, A Doctrinal Catechism, London, 1934 ed., p. 50. [Geiermann was a Catholic priest of Mt. St. Clement’s College, in De Soto, Missouri].
"The keeping of the Sunday rest arose from the custom of the people and the constitution of the Church . . . Tertullian [155-225 A.D.] was probably the first to refer to a cessation of affairs on the Sunday; the Council of Laodicea [337 A.D.] issued the first conciliar church council] legislation for that day; Constantine I [321 A.D.] issued the first civil legislation."–Vincent J. Kelly, Forbidden Sunday and Feast-day Occupations, 1943, p. 203. [Kelly is an American Catholic priest of the Redemptorist order].
Sunday keeping "was made a [church] law by the Council of Laodicea [337 A.D.] . . . Constantine legally recognized it, in [his Imperil Sunday Law of] 321."–George Park Fisher, History of the Christian Church, 1900, p. 118 [Dr. Fisher (1827-1909) was professor of ecclesiastical history in Yale University].
"The first important conciliar [church council] decree in the history of the Sunday observance is that contained in the 29th canon [decree] of the Council of Laodicea . . . Against these ‘Judaizers,’ the Council acted, warning the faithful that they should work on Saturday and not rest like the Jews. However the Council adds, let them as Christians rest on Sunday." –Vincent J. Kelly, Forbidden Sunday and Feast-Day Occupations, 1943, p. 30. [Kelly is a Catholic priest and this work is his doctoral dissertation at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.]
Here is the text of the first Church Sunday legislation in history: "Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday [sabbaton–Sabbath–in the Greek origin al] but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honor, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out [anathema–excommunicated] from Christ."–Council of Laodicea, canon 29, trans. in Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Christian Councils, Vol. 2, trans. and ed. by H. N. Oxenham, 1896, p. 316 [In our studies on the Sabbath we list the date of this important council as 337 AD., although there is a question as to its actual date. It is most commonly thought of as occurring in 337 or 339, but may also have occurred between the years 343 and 381 A.D. Nearly all of the sixty articles adopted by this gathering later became a part of Roman Catholic Canon Law].

Fifth Century: Sunday only at Rome and Alexandria

"As we have already noted, excepting for the Roman and Alexandrian Christians, the majority of Christians were observing the seventh-day Sabbath at least as late as the middle of the fifth century. The Roman and Alexandrian Christians were among those converted from heathenism. They began observing Sunday as a merry religious festival in honor of the Lord’s resurrection, about the latter half of the second century A.D. However, they did not try to teach that the Lord or His apostles commanded it. In fact, no ecclesiastical writer before Eusebius of Caesarea in the fourth century even suggested that either Christ or His apostles instituted the observance of the first day of the week.
"These Gentile Christians of Rome and Alexandria began calling the first day of the week ‘the Lord’s day.’ This was not difficult for the pagans of the Roman Empire who were steeped in sun worship to accept, because they [the pagans] referred to their sun-god as their ‘Lord’ "–E. M. Chalmers, How Sunday Came Into the Christian Church, p. 3.
"Although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this. "–Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, bk. 5, chap. 22 [This is a very important statement, for it shows that most Christians were still keeping the Bible Sabbath in the fifth century–one hundred years after Constantine’s Sunday law. Socrates Scholasticus was a fifth century historian who wrote shortly after 439 AD.].
"The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria."–Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, vii, 19, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2nd series, vol. II, p. 390 [This valuable statement that Christians were still keeping the Sabbath in the fifth century–though by then trying to satisfy the Sunday edict too–comes from Hermias Sozomen, who was a Greek Christian author of this important church history, written after 415 AD.].
"Down even to the fifth century the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the Christian church, but with a rigor and solemnity gradually diminishing until it was wholly discontinued."–Lyman Coleman, Ancient Christianity Exemplified, chap, 26, sec. 2, p.527.

Persecution of Sabbath-keepers Begins

"Constantine’s decrees marked the beginning of a long though intermittent series of imperil decrees in support of Sunday rest. "–A History of the Councils of the Church, volume 2, page 316.
"What began, however, as a pagan ordinance, ended as a Christian regulation; and a long series of imperial decrees, during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, enjoined with increasing stringency abstinence from labor on Sunday"–Hutton Webster, Rest Days, 1916, pp. 122-123, 270. [Webster (1875-?) was an anthropologist and historian at the University of Nebraska].
Constantine enacted several Sunday laws during his reign (306-337 A.D.). In my files I have information on at least fifteen additional Sunday decrees within the next few centuries after his death. Governmental decrees in the years 365, 386, 389, 458, 460, 554, 589, 681, 768, 789, and onward. Church council decrees in 343, 538, 578, 581, 690 and onward. These laws restricted what could be done on Sunday and forbade Sabbath keeping. Each law became more strict, each penalty more severe. It is obvious that humble Christians were determined not to stop keeping the Bible Sabbath. Do you think highly of Sunday sacredness? You shouldn’t. It has been responsible for the suffering and death of large numbers of Christians.
"The church has persecuted. Protestants were persecuted in France and Spain with the full approval of the church authorities. We have always defended the persecution of the Huguenots, and the Spanish Inquisition . . . When she thinks it good to use physical force, she will use it."–Western Watchman, December 24, 1908 [Roman Catholic].
"The attempt of the Roman papacy to extinguish the Waldenses, Lollards, Bohemians, and the Albigenses is a matter of history. The Inquisition in Spain and Italy, the ferocity of the Duke of Alvais the Netherlands, the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, the persecution of the Huguenots by the league, and the open persecution in Poland are known to all. The prophecy [of Daniel 7:25] said that this power would ‘wear out the saints of the Most High.’ "–Theodore Carcich.

Pope Gregory I: Calling Christians Antichrist

"About 590 Pope Gregory, in a letter to the Roman people, denounced as the prophets of Antichrist those who maintained that work ought not to be done on the seventh day."–James T. Ringgold, The Law of Sunday, p. 267.
Gregory I ("Gregory the Great"), was pope from 590 to 604 A.D., and is an excellent example of the papal view of things. Here is the text of Gregory’s letter to the citizens of Rome. It is blasphemous, for it declares that the keeping of the Bible Sabbath is the teaching of the Antichrist: "Gregory, bishop by the grace of God to his well-beloved sons, the Roman citizens: It has come to me that certain men of perverse spirit have disseminated among you things depraved and opposed to the holy faith, so that they forbid anything to be done on the day of the Sabbath. What shall I call them except preachers of antichrist, who when he [the Antichrist] comes, will cause the Sabbath day to be kept free from all work . . . He [the Antichrist] compels the people to Judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the perfidy of the Jews to himself, [therefore] he wishes the Sabbath to be observed.
"On the Lord’s day [Sunday], however, there should be a cessation of labor and attention given in every way to prayers, so that if anything is done negligently during the six days, it may be expiated by supplications on the day of the Lord’s resurrection."–Gregory I, Epistles, book 13, epis. 1, in Labbe and Cossart, Sacrosancta Concilia, vol. 5, col. 1511. [Gregory I, bishop of Rome from 590-604 A.D. here condemned those that kept the Bible Sabbath instead of Sunday].
"The doctrine which, from the very first origin of religious dissensions, has been held by all bigots of all sects, when condensed into a few words, and stripped of rhetorical disguise, is simply this: I am in the right, and you are in the wrong. When you are the stronger, you ought to tolerate me; for it is your duty to tolerate truth. But when I am the stronger, I shall persecute you; for it is my duty to persecute error."–Lord Macaulay, Essay on "Sir James Mackintosh," in Critical and Historical Essays, 1865 edition, vol. 1, pp. 333-334.

Convert Them to Sunday–or Else

"They do not hear the masses of Christians [Catholics] . . . they flee the image of the Crucifix as the devil, they do not celebrate the feasts [Catholic holy days] of the divine Virgin Mary and of the apostles, . . . Some indeed celebrate [keep] the Sabbath that the Jews observe!"–Translated by J. J. von Doellinger, Beitraege zur Sektengeschiechte des Mittelalters, vol. 2, no. 61, p. 662.
"Convicted heretics should be put to death just as surely as other criminals."–Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 AD.) [Aquinas is the most important Catholic theologian in all history. He was made a saint in 1323, and in 1789, Pope Leo XXIII decreed that Aquinas’ writings be the basis of all Catholic theology].
"The Ethiopians received the Eastern form of doctrine in the fourth century. The Sabbath had not then been discarded as the day of rest, though the Sunday festival was observed. In the seventh century the rise of the Saracen [Mohammedan] power cut Abyssinia [Ethiopia] off from the knowledge of the world. Gibbon says: ‘Encompassed on all sides by the enemies of their religion, the Ethiopians slept near a thousand years, forgetful of the world, by whom they were forgotten’ (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 47, par. 37). And when discovered by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, they were found making the seventh day, as well as Sunday, a day of rest, not having known of its being set fully aside in the course of apostasy. Gibbon relates how the Jesuits never rested until they persuaded the Abyssinian king (A.D. 1604) to submit to the pope, and to prohibit Sabbath observance."–Bible Students Source Book, p. 895.
In the year 1054, Cardinal S. R. E. Humbert was sent by Pope Leo IX as papal nuncio [ambassador] to Constantinople to try to bring the Greek Christians back to the Roman Catholic Church. The fact that the Greek Catholics were still keeping the Bible Sabbath was one of the heresies that Humbert was sent to correct them on. He wrote up a complete report of his visit, his discussions, and his failure to win them back to the "true faith."–Cardinal S. R. E. Humbert, Adversus Graecorum Calumnias 6, quoted in Patrologie Cursus Completus, Series Latina, ed. J. P. Migne, 1844, p. 143, 933.
"The monks sent to England [in 596 A.D.] by Pope Gregory the Great soon came to see that the Celtic Church differed from theirs in many respects . . . Augustine himself [a Benedictine abbot] . . . held several conferences with the Christian Celts in order to accomplish the difficult task of their subjugation [submission] to Roman authority . . . The Celts permitted their priests to marry, the Romans forbade it. The Celts used a different mode of baptism from that of the Romans . . . The Celts held their own councils and enacted their own laws, independent of Rome. The Celts used a Latin Bible unlike the [Catholic] Vulgate, and kept Saturday as a day of rest."–Alexander Clarence Flick, The Rise of The Mediaeval Church, 1959, pp. 236- 327 [Dr. Flick (1869-1942) was professor of European history in Syracuse University and author of an important historical work].
Columba, the early sixth century missionary of Scotland kept the Bible Sabbath, and so he instructed others. A missionary school was established in the lonely island of Iona, off the Scottish-coast, and from there missionaries carrying the truth of the Bible Sabbath went to England, Germany, Switzerland, and even to Italy. In 1435, a decree was issued in the provincial Catholic council in Bergen, Norway, warning Christians not to keep the Bible Sabbath–the Seventh-day Sabbath. "The decrees of councils proving insufficient, the secular authorities were besought to issue an edict that would strike terror to the hearts of the people and force them to refrain from labor on the Sunday." (Great Controversy, p. 575). Many incidents of this occurred. One example is in the year 1864, as Theodore Norlin tells us, "We find traces of these Jewish doctrines throughout practically the whole of Sweden of the day, from Finland through northern Sweden . . . Some of the common people would not work on Saturday but would keep it . . . They also assert that they through various dreams and visions were moved to such worship." (Svenska Kyrkans Historia, 1864, Vol. 1, pp. 357-358). We are then told that king Gustavus, in 1541, issued a strict prohibition against this practice in Scandinavia. Many of the Picards and Waldenses throughout Europe kept it also. "They do not celebrate the feasts of the divine Virgin Mary and of the Apostles; some [observe] only the Lord’s day. Some indeed celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews." (Cod. Viennens, c. 967 A.D., quoted in J. J. von Doellinger, Beitrage zur Sektengeschiechte des Mittelalters, 1890, vol. 2, p. 662.) The Waldensians mentioned here included a much larger group of Europeans than those in Switzerland. Among the first to bring the Bible Sabbath to the New World were the Moravians under the instruction of their leader, Nikolaus Zinzendorf (1700-1760). Many other examples could be cited of Bible Sabbath keepers through the ages.
The Council of Sardica, a church session of about the year 343, decreed that Christians must not absent themselves from church services more than three Sundays in a row–or be excommunicated. This was followed soon after by laws forbidding farmers to tend their crops on Sunday. More restrictions followed. The council of Orleans in Gaul (ancient France) required that punishments for Sunday violations be meted out by the church leaders directly. This was strengthened by further requirements at the Council at Auxerre in France in 578, and at the Council of Macon in 581. Four years later, in the Second Council of Macon, Sunday amusements, and court trials were forbidden. This was confirmed by act of King Guntram soon after.
At the Council of Narbonne in Spain in 589, it was decreed that anyone doing work on Sunday should receive a hundred strokes of the whip. Soon after, as mentioned earlier, Pope Gregory I declared all who kept the Bible Sabbath to be followers of Antichrist. A church council summoned by King Ina of Wessex (in ancient Britain) in 690 ruled that a freeman violating Sunday sacredness would become a slave.
As soon as Charlemagne was crowned king, he immediately issued the first of a long series of Sunday laws. These were specifically enforced by counts and bishops who were sent around his empire to inspect on whether the people were keeping Sunday properly. The passing of such laws and their enforcement by continually stricter means continued on through the centuries, until by the time of the Reformation, true Sabbathkeeping on God’s holy day–the Seventh day–had been almost entirely crushed out and forgotten.

The Sixteenth Century and the Reformation

Who among the early Reformers raised the question of Sabbath observance? "Carlstadt held to the divine authority of the Sabbath from the Old Testament."–Dr. Barnes Sears, Life of Luther, page 402.
What did Luther say of Carlstadt’s Sabbath views? "Indeed, if Carlstadt were to write further about the Sabbath, [then] Sunday would have to give way, and the Sabbath, that is to say, Saturday, must be kept holy."–Martin Luther, in his pamphlet, "Against the Celestial Prophets," quoted in Life of Martin Luther in Pictures, page 147.
Carlstadt, a co-worker with Martin Luther in the Sixteenth Century German Reformation, accepted the Bible Sabbath as correct, and published his belief: "When servants have worked six days, they should have the seventh day free. God says without distinction, ‘Remember that you observe the seventh day’ . . . Concerning Sunday it is known that men have instituted it . . . It is clear however, that you should celebrate the seventh day."–Andres Carlstadt [Andreas Rudolf Karlstadt]. Von dem Sabbat und gebotten feyertagen (Concerning the Sabbath and Commanded Holidays), 1524, chap. 4, pp. 23-24 [Karlstadt (1480-1541) joined Luther at Wittenberg in 1517, and later taught at Bazel from 1534 onward].
"God blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it to Himself. It is moreover to be remarked that God did this to no other creature. God did not sanctify to Himself the heaven nor the earth nor any other creature. But God did sanctify to Himself the seventh day . . . The Sabbath therefore has, from the beginning of the world, been set apart for the worship of God."
–Martin Luther, Commentary on Genesis, ed. J N. Lenker, Vol. 1, Comment on Gen. 203, pp. 138-139 [Luther (1483- 1546) is recognized as the one who led out in the great Sixteenth Century Reformation].

"Hence you can see that the Sabbath was before the law of Moses came, and has existed from the beginning of the world. Especially have the devout, who have preserved the true faith, met together and called upon God on this day."–Martin Luther, Comment on Exodus 16:4, 22-30. Translated from Luther’s Old Testament Commentary, in Sammtliche Schriften (Collected Writings), edited by J. G. Walch, vol. 3, cal.950.

The Council of Trent

"They [the Catholics] allege the change of the Sabbath into the Lord’s day, as it seemeth, to the Decalogue; and they have no example more in their mouths than the change of the Sabbath. They will needs have the Church’s power to be very great, because it hath dispensed with a precept of the Decalogue."–The Augsburg Confession, 1530 AD. (Lutheran), part 2, art. 7, in Philip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom, fourth edition, vol. 3, p. 64 [this important statement was made only thirteen years after Luther nailed his theses to the door and began the Reformation].
"The Scripture teaches: Remember that you sanctify the Sabbath day; you will labor six days and do all your work, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God, etc., etc.; nevertheless the church has changed the Sabbath to the Lord’s day by its own authority, concerning which you have no Scripture."–John Eck, 1533 AD., Enchiridion Locorum, et al. (Handbook of Common places Against the Lutherans), pp. 4-5. [John Eck (1486-1543), professor of theology at lngolstadt, was the outstanding Roman Catholic opponent of Martin Luther in debates and assemblies during Luther’s lifetime].
When the Reformation presented an open Bible to the world, the Church of Rome needed something to withstand it. The Council of Trent was convened for this purpose (1545-1563), and it was not until their last session that they struck on the solution–to officially declare Tradition (what the Church says) to be greater than Scripture. And we are told that the fact that the Catholic Church had earlier changed Sabbath to Sunday–was the truth that convinced them that they had a right to vote this in: "Finally at their last opening on the 18th of January 1563, their last scruple was laid aside. The Archbishop of Reggio made a speech in which he openly declared that tradition stood above the Scriptures. The authority of the Church could therefore no longer be bound to the authority of the Scriptures–because the Church had changed Sabbath into Sunday–not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority. With this, to be sure, the last illusion [of Scriptural authority] was destroyed."–Heinrich Julius Holtzman, Kanon und Tradition (Scripture and Tradition), 1859 ed., p. 263 [In the discussion following his speech, it was officially stated "For this reason [the change of the Sabbath to Sunday], we have the right to bind the conscience of the people by tradition as well as Scripture. It [the change of the Sabbath] is the evidence, the mark, the sign of our authority in religious things." Holtzmann (1832-1910), the author of the above statement, was a respected theology professor at several German universities].
"From a doctrinal and disciplinary point of view, it [the Council of Trent] was the most important council in the history of the Roman church, fixing her distinctive faith and practice in relation to the Protestant Evangelical churches."–The Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, art. "Council of Trent."
"Tradition, not Scripture, is the rock on which the church of Jesus Christ is built. "–Adrien Nampon, Catholic Doctrine as Defined by the Council of Trent, p. 157. [Nampon (1809-1869) was a Jesuit of Geneva who wrote on Catholic doctrine].
"The Church of God has thought it well to transfer the celebration and observance of the Sabbath to Sunday."–Catechism of the Council of Trent, for Parish Priests, p. 402 of the 1937 English edition. First published 1566.

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