who changed the sabbath day to sunday

Who Changed The Sabbath Day To Sunday? Unknown Facts Revealed

According to the Bible, the Sabbath is on the seventh day of the week! (Exodus 20:10), (Luke 23:53-56). If this is so, who changed the Sabbath Day to Sunday then? And with what authority has God’s holy day been changed from Saturday to Sunday?

Has this change been made by Jesus or the apostles? Is there any record in the Bible of such change? Are we to observe Sunday today as Christians?

According to historical records, the Emperor of Rome, Constantine the Great, made the first attempt and changed the day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday in 321 AD. Not only that but decades later in the Council of Laodicea in the year 363 AD, the change was officially made by the Church of Rome as well. 

In this article, we are going to explore how the seventh day of the week, always known as the Sabbath or the day of rest and worship, was changed to the first day of the week, and what this means today for Christians and Bible truth seekers!

Chapter 1 – Did Jesus or the Apostles Change the Sabbath Day of Worship?

Is there any record in the New Testament of the Bible about this change from the seventh-day Sabbath to the first day of the week? Let’s explore together!

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 

Matthew 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 
Matthew 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled

KJV Bible

Jesus kept the Sabbath when He was on Earth as per commandment! 

Luke 4:16  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 

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who changed the Sabbath day to Sunday and why

Jesus also predicted forty years before that the temple of Jerusalem would be destroyed in 70 A.D. Foreseeing this event taking place in the future He says the following about the Sabbath day:

Matthew 24:2  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 

Matthew 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day

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Also, before His ascension to Heaven after His resurrection, Jesus did not mention anything about any change in His Holy Law to the apostles! (Matthew 28:19-20)

Who changed the Sabbath Day from Saturday to Sunday

What about the Apostles? Did They Change the Sabbath To Sunday?

The term “Sunday” is nowhere to be found in the New Testament! 

Where in the Bible does it say the Sabbath is Sunday

Instead, the term “first day” that deals with Sunday is found in 8 verses! 

Out of these 8 verses, 5 of them talk about the women coming to the grave of Jesus! And the remaining 3 are about the apostles:

  • One is for an instance when they were hiding for the fear of the Jews – after Jesus was crucified! (John 20:19)
  • The 2nd one talks about Saturday evening when they were together breaking bread (they were breaking bread every day according to Acts 2:46). Paul was getting ready to depart the next day – not something you would do on a holy day! (Acts 20:7)
  • The third verse talks about a collection for helping the needy – which is to be made on the first day (1 Corinthians 16:2)

There is no mention of any Sabbath in these verses or any Holy day at all! Don’t you think that if this change was to be made it must have been all over the New Testament?

Instead, the apostles were keeping the Bible Sabbath, on the seventh day as Jesus did and commanded! See it for yourself in the following verses (Acts 13:14, 42, 15:21, 16:13, 17:2, 18:4).

Who then changed the Holy Day of God if this act was not done by Jesus or the apostles? Continue reading.

Chapter 2 – Who changed the Sabbath Day to Sunday and Why?

From historical records, we find out that Constantine the Great, the Emperor of Rome made this change in 321 AD. 

The religion of the Roman Empire of that time was Mithraism, which was Sun worship! They considered SUN-day as being sacred! Sunday was the day on which the pagans worshipped the Sun God! 

The Roman Emperor Constantine is described as follows:

“Like the majority, both of his contemporaries and also more particularly of his predecessors on the imperial throne, Constantine was warmly disposed towards Sun-worship.”

Will Rodorf, Sunday, pg 163-164

Did Constantine change the Sabbath Day to Sunday?

He enacted the first official Sunday Law in 321 AD. 

did Constantine change the Sabbath day to Sunday?

Constantine Sunday Law 321 AD

“On the venerable day of the Sun, let the magistrates and people residing in the cities rest, and let all workshops be closed! In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits!” 

History of the Christian Church, 1902 ed., vol. 3, p. 380 

Why did Constantine change the Sabbath to Sunday?

In making this law, Constantine sought to unite the vast Roman Empire, which at that time was filled with both pagans and Christians. 

The SUN-day holiday, based on the worship of the Sun, slowly and surely made its way into the Christian Church! This is the origin of Sunday worship! 

But a few years later, another influential organization decreed this change of Sabbath observance to Sunday instead of Saturday!     

the origin of Sunday worship

Chapter 3 – Who changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday?

This worldwide deception would be carried forward by the Church of Rome. First, we do see that Sunday was officially declared to be the Lord’s Day, not in the Bible, but by the Council of Laodicea! 

Which Pope changed the Sabbath Day to Sunday? 

In the year 325, Sylvester, bishop of Rome changed the title of the first day, calling it the Lord’s Day! 

Historia Ecclesiastica, p. 739

At the next Council of Laodicea, we can witness the very first religious law regarding the keeping of Sunday!

“Christians shall not Judaize [keep Sabbath] and be idle on Saturday…but shall work that day; but the Lord’s day shall they, especially honor, and, as being Christians, shall if possible, do no work on that day.”

A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 2, p. 252

Here we see the official change of the Sabbath to Sunday by the Church itself. 

This change allowed the Church to grow in number, wealth, and power, as heathens who worshipped the Sun God were welcomed into the Church. 

Eventually, through future councils and Church mandates, the position of Sunday was gradually exalted and the original Sabbath was slowly devalued in importance. 

Later on, the period of the Dark Ages brought more errors into spiritual matters for even more Bible truths, and people were not allowed to read the Bible in their own language, but the priests would “interpret” it for them! 

The Sabbath was Still Kept by Faithful People

Nevertheless, God still had faithful people who kept the true Sabbath along with the other commandments!

An example of a such group is the Waldenses who fled into the Alps of Italy from the persecution coming from the Church of Rome. 

The Protestant Reformation also made its way through spiritual darkness throughout Europe bringing back the truth of the Bible to the minds and hearts of people! The false doctrines of the apostate Church of Rome were exposed, and people were seeing the light of the truth again in the Bible!

why did the Church changed the Sabbath to Sunday?

However, nowadays, there are many sincere, God-loving Christians who, unfortunately, are being deceived to keep Sunday as a holy day when there is no such commandment in the Bible! 

Yet, God only holds us responsible for the light we have! He shows mercy when we are ignorant, but expects us to obey the truth when we learn it! 

Chapter 4 – Catholic Church Admits They Changed the Sabbath to Sunday

“This is what the papal power claims to have done respecting the fourth commandment. Catholics plainly acknowledge that there is no scriptural authority for the change they have made, but that it rests wholly upon the authority of the church; and they claim it as a token, or mark, of the authority of that church; the “very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday” being set forth as proof of its power in this respect.”

Who Changed the Sabbath? Uriah Smith p. 19.2 

“That many should suppose that Christ wrought this change is not strange; for they have been so taught. But this misapprehension should no longer exist; for, according to the prophecy, the only change ever to be made in the law of God was to be made by the little horn of Daniel 7, and the man of sin of 2 Thessalonians 2; and the only change that has been made in it is the change of the Sabbath.

Now, if Christ made this change, he filled the office of the blasphemous power spoken of by both Daniel and Paul – a conclusion sufficiently hideous to drive any Christian from the view which leads thereto.”

Who Changed the Sabbath? Uriah Smith p. 19.3

“The word of God commandeth the seventh day to be the Sabbath of our Lord, and to be kept holy; you (Protestants), without any precept of Scripture, change it to the first day of the week, only authorized by our traditions.

Divers English Puritans oppose, against this point, that the observation of the first day is proved out of Scripture, where it is said, the first day of the week. Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10. Have they not spun a fair thread in quoting these places?

If we should produce no better for purgatory, prayers for the dead, invocation of the saints, and the like, they might have good cause indeed to laugh us to scorn; for where is it written that these were Sabbath days in which those meetings were kept?

Or where is it ordained that they should be always observed? Or, which is the sum of all, where is it decreed that the observation of the first day should abrogate or abolish the sanctifying of the seventh day, which God commanded everlastingly to be kept holy? Not one of those is expressed in the written word of God.”

Who Changed the Sabbath? Uriah Smith p. 18.2

Catholic Catechism Sabbath changed to Sunday

“The Sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.”

“The Church celebrates the day of Christ’s Resurrection on the “eighth day,” Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord’s Day (cf. SC 106).”

“Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church” (CIC, can. 1246 § 1). “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass” (CIC, can. 1247).”

“On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord’s Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body” (CIC, can. 1247).

Cathechism of the Catholic Church – Second Edition

They incorrectly attribute Sunday as an honor to Christ’s resurrection, yet Jesus established baptism for that! (Romans 6:3-4)

Sunday is our mark of authority

“Sunday is our mark of authority …. The church is above the Bible, and this transference of sabbath observance is proof of that fact”

(The Catholic Record of London, Ontario, Sept. 1, 1923)

The Roman Catholic Church openly admits that Sunday is their mark of authority! 

Catholic Church Admits They Changed the Sabbath

Catholic Record, September 1, 1923

“Now in the matter of Sabbath observance the Protestant rule of Faith is utterly unable to explain the substitution of the Christian Sunday for the Jewish Saturday.

It has been changed. The Bible still teaches that the Sabbath or Saturday should be kept holy. There is no authority in the New Testament for the substitution of Sunday for Saturday.

Surely it is an important matter. It stands there in the Bible as one of the Ten Commandments of God. There is no authority in the Bible for abrogating this Commandment, or for transferring its observance to another day of the week.” (8)

The Catholic Record, September 1, 1923

The Catholic Mirror, September 23, 1893

“The Catholic Church for over 1000 years, before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday. …The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is therefore to this day acknowledged as the offspring of the Catholic Church. …without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world.” 

The Catholic Mirror, Sept.23, 1893

“You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the observance of Saturday, a day which we [Catholics] never sanctify.” 

James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 11

Chapter 5 – What Does God Have To Say About The Change Of His Seventh-Day Sabbath?

Matthew 15:9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Matthew 5:19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 

Luke 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 

James 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

John 14:15  If ye love me, keep my commandments. 

Deuteronomy 4:2  Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. 

Revelation 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 

Revelation 22:19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 

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Chapter 6 – Daniel’s Prophecy Predicted The Change Of The Seventh Day Sabbath

And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” 

Daniel 7:25 KJV

Daniel the prophet, foretold this event long before the “little horn” or the antichrist, dared to change the Law of God!  

Conclusion on Who Changed The Sabbath Day To Sunday

To conclude, the question of who changed the Sabbath day to Sunday has been analyzed in detail and the facts have been presented. Not Jesus nor the apostles ever changed the Sabbath, there is not a single verse in the New Testament authorizing such change! 

The Law of God is eternal because He does not change! (Malachi 3:6) On the New Earth also, the Sabbath will be kept, and for eternity! (Isaiah 66:23).

When God created this world, He rested on the seventh day and blessed the seventh day! (Genesis 2:2-3) Why would He change His mind and abolish something that He blesses and sanctifies? Does not make any sense!

The Sabbath was changed by man in their councils and decrees, and has nothing to do with God or the Bible! It is simply the tradition of man to worship on Sunday!

Behind these tactics, like always, is the enemy of souls, the Devil who deceives the whole world, the father of lies, confusion, and deception! (Revelation 12:9), (John 8:44).

In the end, it all comes down to a choice, who do we listen to? God or man’s teachings? Let’s all make an intelligent choice by analyzing the facts that have been presented! May God help us in doing so, and be faithful and loyal to Him, our loving Creator!

FAQ

Is it a sin to observe the Sabbath on Sunday?

The practice of observing the Sabbath on Sunday has nothing to do with the Bible, it is simply the tradition of man! Nowhere in the Bible, are we commanded to keep this day holy! God does not judge us for what we do not know but once we discover the truth of the seventh day Sabbath – Saturday, He expects us to obey and worship on His holy day!

Where in the Bible does it say that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday?

There is not a single verse in the entire Bible that proves such change! This is simply the doctrine and tradition of man, and has nothing to do with God or the teachings of the Bible!

Why do we go to Church on Sunday and not Saturday? 

The majority of sincere Christians are going to Church on Sunday because that’s how they’ve been raised and told to do! Yet, the Bible does not endorse such teaching, since the seventh day is the Sabbath, the holy day of God, and not the first day!

Why did the Catholic Church change the Sabbath to Sunday

The Catholic Church changed the Sabbath to Sunday because they claim they are above the Bible, and that they have the power to do so! 

Where in the Bible does it say the Sabbath is Sunday? 

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the Sabbath is Sunday! Some mistakenly attribute the term “Lord’s Day” from Revelation 1:10 to Sunday! Yet, Matthew 12:8 and Isaiah 58:13 tell us that the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day or Saturday! 

Should Christians worship on Saturday or Sunday?

According to the fourth commandment of the Bible found in Exodus 20:8-11 Christians should worship on Saturday, also known as the Sabbath!

Is Sunday a pagan day?

Sunday is of pagan origin and has nothing to do with the Bible, but merely with the worshipping of the Sun!


References:

Who Changed The Sabbath And Why? (The Real Story) by Hope Through Prophecy

Sunday – The history of the day of rest and worship in the earliest centuries of the Christian Church – Willy Rordorf

History of the Christian Church, Volume III by Philip Schaff

Historia Ecclesiastica, p. 739

A History of the Councils of the Church, vol. 2, p. 252

Who Changed the Sabbath? Uriah Smith  

Catechism of the Catholic Church – Second Edition

The Catholic Record, September 1, 1923

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