THE GOSPEL WAY Articles | Videos | Invitations | Courses / Commentaries

Home > Topics

Is Sunday the "Christian Sabbath"?

Sunday the Christian Sabbath?Many people believe that Sunday (the first day of the week) is the "Christian Sabbath." However, what Bible evidence substantiates such a view?

God required the Israelites to keep the Sabbath under the Old Testament. However, the Bible makes quite clear that the Sabbath was the seventh day of the week (Ex. 20:9,10). Note that it was a day of rest on which work was forbidden ("sabbath" means "rest").

In the New Testament, however, Christians had the Lord's supper and the collection on the "first day of the week" (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:1,2). No passage anywhere indicates that the first day of the week is a day of rest. Rather, it is a day on which we worship God by remembering Jesus' death, etc.

Since the "seventh day of the week" and the "first day of the week" are clearly two different days, it follows that the first day of the week is not and never has been a weekly "Sabbath" or day of rest.

But consider the evidence more closely. To make sure people understood His meaning in Ex. 20:8-11, God explained that the Sabbath was "the seventh day of the week" like the fact that He rested on the "seventh day" after creating all things in six days. So the seventh day "Sabbath" was clearly the last day of the week.

To further emphasize this point, please look at the creation account in Gen. 1 and 2. Each day of creation is counted, and we are told what God did on each day. Specifically, He made the light on "the first day" (1:3-5). After a total of six such days of creation, we are told that He ended His work and rested "on the seventh day" (2:1,2). Furthermore, Genesis 2:3 says He blessed the seventh day because it was the day on which He rested.

Based on the creation account, there can be no doubt that the "first day" means the day that begins the week, and the "seventh day" means the day that ends the week. There is simply no way that any day can be both the "seventh day" and the "first day of the week." They are two distinct days. To deny this would be to deny the plain statements of Scripture. Furthermore, it is clear that the Sabbath was the "seventh day," not the "first day."

To bind a Sabbath of any kind today is to bind what God expressly states should not be bound (see Col. 2:14,16). As a matter of personal preference, of course, one may simply choose to rest on any day he wishes; but he will not be doing so as an act of obedience to any command of God for us today.

But God does want us to worship Him on the "first day of the week," as shown above in Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:1,2. There is simply no way that "the first day of the week" can be the same day as "the seventh day of the week."

For further study I encourage the reader to go to /instruct/ and  study our online article about the old law for today and compare it to the article about the day for the Lord's supper.

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2005;

To study more articles like this (syndicated for reproduction) visit our Bible study topics web site. This article is freely available to be reproduced in print or on a web site under the following conditions: (1) The article must be reproduced verbatim in total without any change in content, (2) the name of the author and web site addresses must be included (as in this trailer), (3) the use must be entirely non-commercial with no fee or financial charge of any kind to the readers. Click here for more information about our copyright guidelines.  

For a complete list of Bible articles and study materials by the author please visit these web sites: and

Bible study topics: brief articles free online View our menu of brief Bible Study Topics and articles

Please bookmark our site in your favorites.


Subscribe to our free Bible study email lists. E-mail us at the Gospel Way Gospelway icon

We welcome links to us from other sites : - The Gospel Way: Free Bible Study Materials & Guides

See our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) if you have questions about our site.

Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

Hit-meter: 51292019