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BIBLE AND THEOLOGY FORUM
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WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY, THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK?

Of course "Sunday" is a word not found in the Bible. The word "Sunday" probably derives from our English pagan Anglo-Saxon / Germanic heritage. In Spanish the first day of the week is called Domingo, evidently related to the Latin word for Lord, referring to the day of the Lord Jesus, particularly the day on which He rose from the dead.

The "first day of the week" does occur in the New Testament. However, there are no commandments regarding the first day of the week (except one Paul gave to the Corinthians). Commandments in the Bible establish obligations for obedience; historical occurrences do not (by themselves) establish obligation for obedience. Just because the early Church did something, does not (by itself) establish an obligation for us to obey. Obviously the fact that there were 4 factions in the Church of Corinth, does not oblige us to have 4 factions in our churches.

It seems probable that the Book of Revelation calls the first day of the week "the Lord's Day," although the context does not make that certain. Revelation 1:10 contains these words: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day." Although "the Lord's Day" here has been interpreted as meaning "the Day of the Lord," the Greek is different from the usual expression for "the Day of the Lord." On the other hand, "the Lord's Day" is similar to the modern Greek expression for the first day of the week. Therefore, one is led to suppose that what John means here is in fact the first day of the week. The other interpretation would connect "the Lord's Day" here with the eschatological "Day of the Lord," and in particular with Daniel's 70th week, popularly called "the Tribulation," which appears to be the main time period described in Revelation.

If we are correct in interpreting "the Lord's day" in Rev. 1:10 as the first day of the week, that would indicate that Sunday had already been considered a special day in the Church, a day named for the day on which our Lord Jesus rose from the dead.

In Acts there are several references to the first day of the week. In Acts it is indicated that the Church met on the first day of the week. And it also appears that the Church met on what we call Saturday evening, since the first day began on Saturday at about 6 PM or sundown. On the other hand, there is no commandment given in Acts that churches ought to meet on the first day of the week. In order to use time most efficiently and minimize time spent on travel and dressing up, I think it would be well to have all the essential church activities on Saturday evening, including a Prayer Meeting (at which one prays!), praise singing, Bible teaching, and the Lord's Supper. On Sunday morning one could then sleep in and rest.

I, myself, would like to meet on Saturday evening and have Sunday reserved for resting. Going to church twice on Sunday may not be resting. In fact a church may have so many activities and take so much time on Sunday that the Christian is not well-rested for resuming work on Monday.

As to church attendance, there is no commandment concerning attending on Saturday night or Sunday. But there is the admonition in Hebrews not to forsake the assembly.

And as to the first day of the week, Paul did tell the Corinthians that each man should lay by him in store on the first day of the week, money for his special Jerusalem Aid Fund that he was collecting.

In 1 Cor 16 we read:

16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I gave order to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. 3 And when I arrive, whomsoever ye shall approve, them will I send with letters to carry your bounty unto Jerusalem: 4 and if it be meet for me to go also, they shall go with me.

This commandment does not appear to be intended for those outside of this context, like ourselves today. However, as part of scripture, it is there for our edification. I don't see anything in that passage about giving money to the church on Sunday. Apparently it pertains to persons privately storing money themselves to bring out and give to Paul whenever Paul should arrive in Corinth (for Paul to take to Jerusalem). Neither does there appear in this passage any connection with the Old Testament admonition to bring the tithes into the storehouse, an activity which seems unlikely to have been a weekly occurrence.

The main thing to keep in mind regarding what we do on the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, is that we are to use it to love the Lord with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves, which is the same thing to keep in mind regarding all days.

Re: WHAT ABOUT SUNDAY, THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK?

Enoch,

re: “In Acts there are several references to the first day of the week.”

I’m aware of only one reference - Acts 20:7. What other ones do you have in mind?

Error Above: Acts 20 is the only reference in Acts

Thanks for leading me to this correction. I wrote from memory, and my memory was wrong. A concordance check indicates that Acts 20 has the only reference to "first day" in Acts (as a reference to first day of the week). John 20 has another, but Acts has only 1 reference. Pardon my error.