did paul change the sabbath command

Did Paul change the Sabbath command? Examining the Evidence

There is no proof in the New Testament that Paul changed the Sabbath command. On the contrary, there are so many verses that show Paul actually kept and preached on the Sabbath day.

What about verses like Colossians 2:16, and Romans 14:5? Does Paul tell us anything here about the Sabbath? 

If you are confused, continue reading this post to get more clarity on the subject!

Because people are always contradicting themselves, we should always look for clarity in the Bible itself! (2 Peter 1:20)

Did Paul Change the Sabbath command?

No verse in the New Testament somehow proves that Paul changed the Sabbath command. 

Instead, there are many accounts of Paul preaching on the Sabbath day, both to Jews and Gentiles. 

Let’s explore some of them!

Paul in Antioch on the Sabbath day 

Act 13:14  But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. 

Act 13:42  And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

Act 13:44  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. 

KJV Bible
did paul change the sabbath command

The verses are clear! Paul and Barnabas went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day! 

And Paul preached to Jews and Gentiles!

If the Sabbath was changed, he should have gathered with people on Sunday, the first day of the week!

But there is no verse in the New Testament sustaining this claim or the changing of the Sabbath! Nor by Paul or any other apostle!

Paul in Philippi on the Sabbath day

And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. 

Act 16:13 KJV
Paul preaches to Lydia in Philippi by the riverside on the Sabbath

The context here is that Paul receives a vision from God to go and preach the Gospel also in Macedonia! (Acts 16:9-10)

As we can see from the verse above, they went out by a riverside on the Sabbath day, where prayer was held! 

A woman called Lydia got converted there due to hearing Paul’s preaching on the Sabbath day! (Acts 16:14-15)

Paul in Thessalonica on the Sabbath day

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 

Act 17:2 KJV
Paul preaches in Thessalonica on the Sabbath day

Again, Paul continues to preach to the Jewish people in the synagogue on the Sabbath day everywhere where God is sending him! 

If “Paul changed the Sabbath”, why we do not see any worship service on Sunday? But instead, all the worship service is on the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week! 

Paul in Corinth on the Sabbath day

And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. 

Act 18:4 KJV
Paul preaches on the Sabbath day in Corinth to Jews and Greeks.

In this chapter, like in the other ones, the concern and dispute are on a different topic than the changing of the Sabbath! 

Paul was preaching about Jesus to both Jews and Gentiles, that He was the Messiah, that the Jews rejected and crucified! 

The dispute was never about the Sabbath day! Because if the Sabbath day were to be changed, the Jews would have been the first people to attack Paul about this change!

The gatherings are always on the Sabbath, and not on the first day of the week – Sunday!

Romans 14:5 – Sabbath day or Ceremonial Sabbaths?

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 

Romans 14:5 KJV

There you have it you may say! The Sabbath is not that important, and it can be on every day! 

Why so much debate about it?

The thing is that in this context, there is no mention of the Sabbath! 

Instead, it talks about different days that people esteemeth above others! Besides that, in this chapter, there is mention of “eating and drinking”, along with “these days”!

The Sabbath of the fourth commandment does not have anything to do specifically with eating and drinking! (Exodus 20:8-11)

But guess what? The Sabbath days, which were the ceremonial laws in the Old Testament were connected with drinks, food, offerings, etc. 

They are to be found in Leviticus chapter 23! They are called Sabbath days, but they were ceremonial, and not moral like the Sabbath of the fourth commandment! 

The Sabbath from the moral Law also known as the fourth commandment is different from the Ceremonial Sabbaths! 

Colossians 2:16 | Sabbath days

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Colossians 2:16 KJV

This verse is very often used by many to “prove” the Sabbath day is not important, that it can be on any day and other similar remarks!

Yet, in this verse, we see again mentions of “meat, drinks, and sabbath days”! 

Paul is talking about the Ceremonial Sabbaths, which were done away with at the cross! (Daniel 9:27)

The Ceremonial laws from Leviticus 23 had to deal with things such as meat, drinks, offerings, and sabbath days! 

Again, it is not mentioning the Sabbath day (the fourth commandment) but Sabbath days!! This is not to be mistaken with the moral law of God! 

Acts 20:7 | First Day Gathering

And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. 

Act 20:7 KJV

This verse also does not prove that somehow Paul changed the Sabbath.

The disciples were breaking bread every day (Acts 2:46).

Here is talking about Saturday evening, because in the Bible the day starts at sunset and ends at sunset! (Leviticus 23:32).


In conclusion, there is not a single proof that Paul changed the Sabbath of the Lord in the New Testament! And how can a man change the holy Law of God? 

There are many accounts of when Paul preached and went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day

The apostles of Jesus were keeping the seventh day Sabbath as Jesus did when He was on Earth! (Luke 4:16)

Jesus also said that it “is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16:17).

God does not change, He does not alter the things that were gone out of His lips,  (Malachi 3:6, Psalms 89:34). 

Jesus did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfil it and to show that it is possible to keep His Law with the help of the Holy Spirit! (Matthew 5:17)

The attack on the Sabbath day or the fourth commandment of God is coming from the enemy of souls as usual! 

Satan knows that all he has to do is to convince us to break one of the Ten Commandments! Then we are lost if we sin against the Law of God willingly! 

The enemy has various strategies to destroy Christians! He will tell you to not steal, not kill, not commit adultery, and to keep the 9 commandments, but the Sabbath is not important! Or that the Sabbath was “changed”! 

The Bible warned us that “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”  (James 2:10)

I pray you won’t be deceived by the enemy, and keep the holy day of God – the Sabbath, on the seventh day as He created and established it!

May He help us to be faithful to Him and His commandments! (John 14:15)

Cover Image – https://www.freebibleimages.org/illustrations/paul-cyprus/

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