Most of us have been taught that the Sabbath Day has been changed/moved to Sunday or that it is impossible to know the correct day which was kept as the Sabbath, even in the time of Christ. Even though there is no Scriptural or Historical proof to backup the theory that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday, by Christ or any of the Disciples, this is not what we hope to examine in this study.
This post provides 3 clear witnesses, as evidence to prove that the “Sabbath” day in the New Testament is in fact the day which is presently known as “Saturday”. The facts will be laid out for every discerning student of the Scriptures, to examine for themselves. Can history prove that the day we now call “Saturday” is the same day which was observed by Christ and His Disciples as the “Sabbath”? Let us examine the evidence.
Paul, in his first letter to Timothy writes “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses”(1Ti 5:19) quoting a Law on judging people which was taken from the Old Testament(Deut 19:15). Similarly, we will also provide 3 witnesses to make the case that the word “Sabbath” was in fact the day which is known as “Saturday”. We sincerely hope that you will hear the facts from the 3 witnesses and decide for yourself, what verdict should be given.
Calling of Witnesses
A Roman historian named Cassius Dio who wrote about Roman History, gives an account of Wars waged between Rome & Judea. In it he explains the capture of Jerusalem in 63BC saying “As it was, they made an exception of what are called the days of Saturn, and by doing no work at all on those days afforded the Romans an opportunity in this interval to batter down the wall. The latter, on learning of this superstitious awe of theirs, made no serious attempts the rest of the time, but on those days, when they came round in succession, assaulted most vigorously. Thus the defenders were captured on the day of Saturn, without making any defense, and all the wealth was plundered”. Cassius wrote that the Romans who learned that the Jews rested on the Days of Saturn (Saturday which was known as Saturn’s Day in Rome), attacked the Jerusalem stronghold on those days. These words also tally with the writings of Josephus, showing us that Saturn’s Day in Rome coincided with the day kept as the Sabbath by the Jews, even in the 1st Century BC.
Reference – Cassius Dio – Roman History 37.16.1-4 [A]
A Roman Soldier named Frontinus in his book named Strategems writes the account of the destruction of the 2nd temple in Jerusalem in 70AD, saying “The divine Vespasian attacked the Jews on the days of Saturn, on which it is forbidden for them to do anything serious, and prevailed.” Similar to the words of the historian Cassius Dio, this Roman soldier equated the day of rest (Sabbath) of the Jews to the Day of Saturn (Saturday which was known as Saturn’s Day in Rome). This account of Vespasian (also known as Titus) attacking Jerusalem on Sabbath days, tallies with the account seen in the Historical works of Josephus as well.
Reference – Frontinus – The Stratagems 2.1.17. [B]
The Greek Language and the ancient Manuscripts of the New Testament also give evidence of the connection between the word “Sabbath” and the day which has been named “Saturday”. The Greek word “Sabbaton”(Strong’s Greek Concordance – G4521 – σάββατον) used in the Original Greek Manuscripts of the New Testament which is translated as “Sabbath” in English, is the same word that is used for “Saturday” in the Greek language even today. In other words, the day which is known to us as “Saturday”, is called “Sabbato” (σάββατο) by the Greeks even today. This is a remarkable piece of evidence which has survived almost untouched to our very present age, making “Sabbath” and “Saturday” one in the same. A person who is unsure about this fact can look at any Greek-English Dictionary to seek further verification. The easiest tool to translate English into Greek that anyone could use would be Google Translate, as seen in the thumbnail to your right. This goes to prove that wherever we see the word “Sabbath” in our New Testament English translations, it originally meant a particular day (which is proven to be none other than what we know as “Saturday” today.
Reference – Strong’s Greek Concordance & Dictionary [C]
Some bring objections against the above witnesses by arguing that one of the major calendar changes in history would have also affected the “Saturday Sabbath”. We need to consider this valid objection and see whether it holds true. This piece of evidence that is brought against our 3 witnesses is the “Julian to Gregorian calendar change”.
The Julian calendar was instituted in 46BC by Julius Caesar and was the most widely used calendar in Rome, making this the calendar which the Romans would have used in the time of Christ and subsequently His disciples.
The Gregorian calendar which is the civil calendar used by the whole world today, was put into effect in 1582AD by Pope Gregory XIII. Pope Gregory’s Calendar effectively skipped a few days, when this change was made to the Julian calendar in 1582. This is what most who object bring as a witness to say that the “Saturday Sabbath” would have for sure changed with this change that was done to the calendar system.
What most people do not understand is that the amount of days dropped from the Julian Calendar, when it was changed to the Gregorian calendar, did not in anyway effect the 7 day week. In other words, even though 10 days were removed from the calendar, it did not effect the individual days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.). An example is given in the above thumbnail which indicates this change of Calendars that was put into effect in 1752 in the UK. Note how the removal of days do not effect the 7 day week. (Please refer this link for more information on this subject)
The testimony of the 3 witnesses makes it very clear that the Day which is known today as “Saturday” is none other than the “Sabbath” mentioned in the New Testament. The “Day of Saturn” or “Satur-day” was the day known by the Romans to be the same day as what was observed by the Jews as the Sabbath. The Greek word “Sabbaton” is the unmistakable proof that the word “Sabbath” in the New Testament, is in fact “Saturday”.
Through reading the New Testament alone, we know that the Pharisees disagreed on how Yeshua observed the Sabbath, but there were no arguments made against the day that was observed by Christ. This makes it clear that the same day that Christ kept in accordance to God’s 4th commandment (Mark 1:21, 6:2, Luke 4:16, 13:10) was the day which was widely observed by the Jews as the “Sabbath”. This is also the same day that the disciples including Paul observed (Luke 23:56, Act 13:14, 15:21, 17:2, 18:4).
If Yeshua(Jesus’ true name) also kept God’s rest day on “Saturday”, it would be highly unlikely that the “Sabbath” instituted and instructed by God Almighty could be any other day. And because the 7 day week has not been effected in anyway for the past 2000 years, the “Saturday Sabbath” also has not been exposed to any change, making each “Saturday” the “Sabbath” day, instituted by our Heavenly Father and followed by Christ and His disciples. It is upto each of us to look at the provided evidence and make a judgement for ourselves. Whether we believe the Sabbath is “Saturday” as the witnesses suggest, or whether we refuse it, is completely in our own hands.
I really agree with your explanation and the proves you provided . It is my greatest wish that all people could read and know that Sabbath is truly Sabbath
A Roman historian named Cassius Dio who wrote about Roman History, gives an account of Wars waged between Rome & Judea. In it he explains the capture of Jerusalem in 63BC saying…
BC should be corrected as AD.
Dear Gast, Thank you for reading the post. I must point out that 63BC is correct in this case, as the historical account Cassius Dio is providing is of the siege of Jerusalem that happened in 63BC when the Hasmoneons were in power (Pompey intervened for Hyrcanus, and Aristobulus was taken away) – hence it should not be 63AD, but 63BC.
Be a blessing to all around you!
Cassius Dio (fl. late third century) was a Roman senator who was appointed consul in AD 291.
Dear Gast, Cassius Dio lived between 150-235AD. He was a Roman administrator and a historian – please see below link:
If you believe the day of Saturn on the Roman calendar is the Sabbath, then I have a question for you. How was the Sabbath determined before the creation of the Roman calendar in the year 46 BC?
I have another question. Where in scripture are we given instructions to formulate a lunar calendar or to add a thirteenth month every few years?
The 7th day Sabbath instituted by God does not depend on the Roman Calendar. The post just provides skeptics with additional proof that the Sabbath coincided with the day of Saturn in the Roman calendar… which is Saturday still on our Gregorian Calendars.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed. vol. 4, p. 988, tells us: The week is a period of seven days, having no reference whatever to the celestial motions — a circumstance to which it owes its unalterable uniformity… It has been employed from time immemorial in almost all eastern countries. The Hebrew people spoke of the days of the week by number rather than by name. The only day that had a name was the seventh day which was called Shabat, the Sabbath, or the rest day. In at least 108 different languages the name for the seventh day, corresponding to our “Saturday”, is a word meaning “rest day.”
In the post I have provided sufficient evidence to show that the Biblical Month is connected with the Moon – hence the months depended on the Moon sightings. Please read below link for additional info:
On the question of adding a 13th month to a year:- no one needed to add a 13th Month to the biblical year, as the two witnesses of Abib Barley and the sighting of the New Moon would have ushered in the Biblical New Year. Whether there are 12 moon cycles or 13 moon cycles between the start of the Biblical year is of no consequence to God’s calendar and His Appointed Times.
May you be a blessing to everyone around you!
dear rames the saturns feast was held on december 17 which was a sunday please check your hebrew and your greek before creating a post like this 🙂
I believe you are confusing the Saturnalia Festival with the day of Saturn. As the Historical evidence shows, Jews were forbidden to work on a particular day of the week – which was the Sabbath. This same day is known by these Historians to be Saturn’s Day, from which we derive Saturday. Please let me know where I have erred regarding Hebrew and Greek, as you have pointed out.
Be a blessing to everyone around you!
Pingback: What is the Lord’s Day? Sunday, Sabbath or something else? | Bible things in Bible ways
Pingback: Bible things in Bible ways | Jesus Christ Lord Savior
Oh wow, so let me get this straight, the Romans, who cruxified Jesus, and the very guards ordered to guard his tomb, were commanded to lie about his ressurection so that the people would not know the truth. The same Romans who declared anything Jewish was outlawed and commanded by death. The same Romans that ordered the very history of Jesus to be covered up.
Even after all of this, their still considered reputable witnesses to you? Wow . . .
I hope you are not saying that we cannot rely on any of their historical writings… especially ones which were written about their victories.
Be a blessing to everyone around you
Saturday has never been the biblical 7th day Sabbath. Saturday is the pagan Catholic 7th day. There is a huge difference.
I have provided evidence for my claims. I hope you can do the same with your claims.
Be a blessing to everyone around you
Neither Saturday nor Sunday
Wrong calendar; Mans calendar.
Julius Caesar’s Calendar.
Pope Gregory’s Calendar.
The Moedim of YHWH all on one calendar.
Weekly Sabbath, New Moon Days, Annual Feasts are all Moedim. All on same calendar.
YHWH’s Calendar (not man’s)
Determined by the sun and the moon.
Up in the heavens.
Where no man can mess with it.
In Exodus it is recorded that for 3 months in a row, the 15th day was was a Sabbath. Only possible on a calendar utilizing lunar months.
Sabbath did, and still does, occur on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days of the month on a lunar calendar.
There are three types of days and they are all mutually exclusive:
1. Work days.
2. Weekly Sabbath (following 6 work days)
2. New Moon days (following 4 completed weeks – some months have 1, some 2)
Each month has 29 or 30 days as the moon cycles every 29.1/2 days.
It has been a huge error of understanding placing the seventh day sabbath on a strictly solar continuous seven day cycle. Torah observant Christians have been duped by those who claim to be the decedents of Shem but who are not. They have been duped by the decedents of Japheth dwelling in the tents of Shem.
There are 3 types of days which are distinctly separate from each other:-
Please check the validity of your argument against the following questions. If the Sabbath falls on 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th of each month, what about the 1st? (is that day also a Sabbath?) What happens to a 30 day Lunar month? Will there be a 8 day week? If so, how can the work 6 days, but rest on the Sabbath command still hold true?
Be a blessing to everyone around you
The new month, new moon day, was a non work day as well. The Sanhedrin were responsible for determining whether the month prior was 29 or would be 30 days. (No planning ahead for these people!)
The one or two New Moon days were days of worship as the Temple gates were to be open on those days. (Ezek 46:1 )
Additional to three witness the day which Jesus Christ was crucified is Friday and was buried the same day because the Sabbath was nigh and He resurrected on the first day of the week which is Sunday.so I do support.
Saturday was not the seventh day of the week anywhere on the earth until A.D. 321, and then by virtue of Constantine, not the Creator Almighty, so it certainly was NOT the Sabbath of Israel at any time in earth’s history
The evidence has been presented here to show that the day we call saturday coincides with the Sabbath of the Bible. I hope you can show the evidence for why it was not ever the sabbath – as you said in your comment.
Be a blessing to everyone around you
I agree with you David! The whole exodus account proves the Sabbath is reset by the Moon. It is man’s doing that started the continuous cycle of weeks.
If I read this post properly, the three witnesses used were from outside Scripture. Three witnesses from within Scripture are:
Ex 16:1 . . . in the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. (This would be the third month of the year… would the 15th day be a Sabbath two months apart on a continuous cycle of weeks? )
Ex 19:1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, in the same day, they came to the wilderness of Sinai. (Third month after = fourth month of year. “in the same day” this makes the 15th a Sabbath two months in a row on the 15th)
A third witness from Scripture is in Deut 5:15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought you out from there by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath.
Also, regarding the meaning for Sabbath as Saturday in so many languages… read in Daniel 7:23-27 the fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth . . . He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.. .
If Satan has indeed deceived the whole world, and Christ’s followers are known by the sign of the Sabbath, wouldn’t it stand to reason that the biggest deception would be to confuse the day to worship our LORD in His truth?
Also Leviticus 23 is often stated as the reason for keeping the Feasts according to the New Moon yet everyone skips over verse three .. “Six days shall work be done but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest . . .
In concluding, these are my three plus Scriptural witnesses for NOT keeping Saturday as His Holy Feast day Sabbath.
Oh, and one more! Ex 23:13 And in all that I have said to you, be circumspect and make no mention of the name of other gods, nor let it be heard from your mouth.
This was said after giving the laws of the Sabbath years and days. Is it possible to keep His Holy day on a Saturday, the god of Saturn, and make no mention of other gods?
If you made it this far, thank you! Remember please, I’m simply sharing what I’ve learned from my studies. I once defended Sunday… then Saturday. Now I defend the Lunar Sabbath.
I am open to this possibility and have replied to many people before on this same subject. I have only one question which I have never got a satisfactory answer to. God created the universe in 6 days and rested on the Sabbath, and this is clearly connected to the Sabbath command of working 6 days and resting on the 7th. My question to you is, since a Lunar cycle is 29.53 days a Lunar cycle lasts for 29 or 30 days. If the 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th day of a New Month are sabbath days, what happens to the next day or 2? Wouldn’t the last week of each month break the cycle of 6 days of work and seventh day being of rest. I hope you understand that I have thought about this possibility.
Also a small thing to add – even though the Sabbath day is known by other names (such as saturday) it does not take away from it’s holiness. Much like people can call Yeshua – Jesus, but that does not take away from the real person. Also on the fact that the Anti-christ intending to change times… hasn’t that happened already? The majority of the world fulfill the Sabbath command by celebrating it on Sunday.
Be a blessing to everyone around you
The Apostle Paul penned the statement, ‘If a man desires to be ignorant, let him be ignorant.’
An argument can never convert the heart, only submission to truth can do this through the Spirit. It is biblically impossible for a person to belong to Christ when he refuses to honor The
Commandments. Truth has never saved the one who loves lies. People need to consider repenting while they still have time. Love rejoices in the truth, and I speak this in truth and love.
There is only one mention of the new moon in the New Testament and it is regarded as “a shadow of things to come but the substance is of Christ.”
Colossians 2:16, 17 – “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
The New Moon shall be a time to worship the Lord in the coming kingdom.
Isaiah 66:23 – “And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.
There are 3 different days to the month: New Moon with courts open for worship, Sabbath with courts open for worship, and the Working Days when the courts are closed for worship.
Ezekiel 46:1 – ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened, and on the day of the New Moon it shall be opened.
Ezekiel 46:3 – “Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the LORD on the Sabbaths and the New Moons.”
The new moon is considered similar to the appointed Feasts. Trumpets were used to sound the advance or call men to war and to call the congregation to assemble.
Numbers 10:10 – “Also in the day of your gladness, in your appointed Feasts and at the beginning of your months you shall blow the trumpets . . . ”
Also Psalm 81:3 – “Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon on our feast day. ”
There were daily sacrifices, Sabbath day sacrifices, Feast day sacrifices as well as beginning of month (New Moon) sacrifices.
Numbers 28:14b, 15b – ” . . . this is the burnt offering for each month throughout the months of the year. . . . besides the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. ”
1 Chronicles 23:30-31 – “They are to stand every morning to thank and to praise the LORD and likewise at evening, and to offer all burnt offerings to the LORD on the Sabbaths, the new moons and the fixed festivals in the number set by the ordinance concerning them, continually before the LORD.”
Elisha and the Shunammite woman: Her husband was confused that she was going to see the man of God on a working day.
2 Kings 4:23 – So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.”
They are complaining that they cannot sell or trade (by cheating) on the New Moon or on the Sabbath day.
Amos 8:5 – Saying: “When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, falsifying the scales by deceit,
In my studies the only New Moon day that is described is the Feast of Trumpets. What if, like the two first Feast days of Unleavened Bread and of Tabernacles that are High Sabbaths on the 15th of the first and seventh months, Feast of Trumpets describes how we are to keep the first day of each month… the new moon days!
These are the reasons I keep the Lunar Calendar by sight. Each month is determined by God’s heavenly sign. 29 or 30 days, He chooses. Either the sky is clear =29 or it isn’t = 30. The 30th and first are holy convocation New Moon days (think long weekend once a month) the 2-7 are 6 working days with the 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th being Sabbath days.
This does mean the Sabbath day will travel through the pagan calendar each month. I no longer work outside the home so it’s been fairly easy for me to adjust. I believe though, that God sees our heart and will honour our desire to serve Him His way. He will either make a way for us to worship Him in the job we have, or He will make a way for us to find a job so we can worship Him properly.
I’ll leave off with something to think on… from before creation Lucifer wanted to be better than God. He wanted to be worshipped as God was. This caused his fall from heaven. (Isaiah 14:12-23) Ever since then he’s been deceiving the people regarding which day to worship God on knowing that anything but God’s Sabbath day is false worship. The Sabbath is a sign (Exodus 31:13) that we are sanctified by God.
The day on which you choose to worship is a sign of WHO you are worshipping.
I think this is a succinct answer in how you see all of these things work. We also celebrate the New Moon Day. But not this way. My question is still unanswered, because the way you see all of this working, the 7 day week cycle will break each month. The Sabbath starts all things and connects us back to creation as well as a 7th Day of rest in the future. Consider this question as well. If the cycle breaks every month, how will the 50-day count work? It is very clear that we are to count 7 Sabbaths and have a Holy Convocation on the day after the 7th Sabbath. Which counts upto 7×7 +1=50. If the 7-day cycle breaks down, how will the 50 day count work?
Be a blessing to everyone around you
*Keep in mind I follow the Lunar Sabbath not continuous cycles of Saturday Sabbaths. The wave sheaf would be waved on the 16th, the day after the High Sabbath (2nd Sabbath of month/ First day of Unleavened Bread)**
Exodus 16:1 – ” . . . came to the Wilderness of Sin which is between Elim and Sinai on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. ”
Exodus 19:1 states – In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai. . .vs 3 and Moses went up to God.
When I read these two verses, I believe they are referring to the third month and the fourth month. The “after leaving Egypt ” part of each verse is there for a reason, otherwise it would have simply said in the second month and in the third month.
If the seven Sabbaths are included as 49 of the 50 days, the Feast of Weeks/Feast of Harvest/Pentecost would be on the 9th day of the third month; however, we are told they arrived on the same day – the 15th of the month. This count is too early, they are not yet at Mount Sinai.
If on “the third month after the children of Israel had gone out” they arrive at Mount Sinai in the fourth month on the 15th day. If the seven Sabbaths completed are part of the Feast of First Fruits to the 8th (first Sabbath) of the third month. (The word ‘And’ at the beginning of Lev 23:15 ties it to the previous subject.) Then for the Feast of Weeks/ Harvest/ Pentecost we count 50 days to the day, after the seventh Sabbath – the date is the 28th day of the fourth month or possibly the 29th (fourth Sabbath) depending on the length of the third month. Fourteen or fifteen days after they arrive at Mount Sinai.
Also, in the KJV Leviticus 23:15,16 say to count seven Sabbaths and then to number 50 days. Again, I have to believe that the two distinct counts are said separately for a reason, otherwise why not simply say the day after seven Sabbaths or count 50 days? God is not the author of confusion. Counting seven Sabbaths would account for the added New Moon day (or two) and this forces the 50 day count to occur after, not concurrent with the seven Sabbaths.
The wave offering on the 16th of the first month is a sheaf of grain – most likely barley. The offering at the end of the spring harvest on the 28th/29th day of the fourth month is a cake of the first of your ground meal; a heave offering of the threshing floor. Numbers 15:17-21
The Feast of Weeks is reviewed in Deuteronomy 16:9, 10 – “You shall count seven weeks for yourself; begin to count the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the grain. Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God . . . ” This wording separates the seven Sabbaths and the 50 day count a little more than in Leviticus. I believe the seven Sabbaths are separate counts from the 50 days.
After the Passover, in John 4:35 Jesus says to His disciples “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’” If counted inclusively, could the four months refer to the Feast of Harvest seven Sabbaths plus 50 days?
Also, could ‘the second Sabbath after the first’ in Luke 6:1 refer to the 15th of the month? The first indicating the New Moon?
A couple of questions I have regarding Pentecost are regarding Acts. In Acts 2:13, “others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.” I cannot find what determines new wine from old wine. Would they have new wine in the beginning of the third month of the year? Or would it be the end of the fourth month?
And in Acts 20, Paul leaves Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread (v6) In v16 he decides to sail past Ephesus because he was hurrying to Jerusalem for the day of Pentecost. In Acts 21:26, Paul enters the temple when the purification time of seven days were almost over and he was captured.
My question is this… could Paul have left Philippi and, with all the stops and stay overs, made it to Jerusalem with 7 days for purification of making a vow, in 50 days keeping in mind that he left after the Days of Unleavened Bread so one week had already passed therefore in 42 days? Possibly even 35 days if Pentecost happened after the purification.
What do you think? I must thank you for at least considering my thoughts/ beliefs regarding these most Holy Days. The pastor at the church I was attending told me if I thought their days were wrong, that I should find a new church.