9-1-2 The Sabbath In The Early Church
Because of this, it is understandable that we do not read of the
early believers keeping the Sabbath. Indeed, it is recorded that they
met on “the first day of the week”, i.e. Sunday: “Upon the
first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread...”
(Acts 20:7). That this was a widespread practice is indicated by Paul
advising the believers at Corinth to take up a collection “upon the
first day of the week” (1 Cor. 16:2), i.e. at their regular meetings
on that day.
There is ample historical evidence that the early church didn’t keep
Saturday. If some say ‘We keep the Sabbath but it’s now Sunday’ then
they admit God’s law was changed- therefore their arguments about
the unchangeable nature of God’s commands are nullified.
Ignatius (110 AD):" no longer observing the Sabbath but fashioning
their lives after the Lord's day" ; " If then they who walked
in ancient customs came to a new hope, no longer living for the Sabbath...
how then shall we be able to live without Jesus…”
Justin Martyr (100-165): " Sunday is the day on which we all
hold our common assembly"
Epistle of Barnabas (120-150): " we keep the eighth day with
joyfulness, a day also in which Jesus rose from the dead"
Irenaeus (178): " the mystery of the Lord's resurrection may
not be celebrated on any day other than the Lord's day"
Bardasian (b. 154): " the first day of the week we assemble
The Didache (70 AD): " on the Lord's own day gather yourselves
together and break bread"
And therefore " 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
AD." (Chambers Encyclopaedia art. " Sabbath"
). Both history and Scripture show that the practice of the early
believers was to meet together on Sundays- not Saturday. Either the
early church was disobedient, or one has to conclude that Saturday
observance was changed to Sunday. And there is no evidence for this.