Who changed the Sabbath to Sunday?

From the time of the reformation Protestantism has become one of the major sects of Christianity. Even though fragmented in itself, Protestants count for 35% of Christianity, while Catholicism dominates with 50%. While some of the doctrinal issues were considered by the Protestants(the ones who protested), at the time of the reformation, most of the traditions of the Catholic Church still exists in almost all Protestant denominations. One, if not the main of these, would be the observance of Sunday instead of the Seventh Day Sabbath as a day of rest and worship.

In 1934, a certain Mr. J.L. Day who was perplexed by this same question, sent a letter addressed to Pope Pius XI querying about the observance of Sunday over the Seventh Day Sabbath. Question

Thomaston, Georgia – May 22, 1934
Pope Pius XI – Rome, Italy

Dear Sir:
Is the accusation true, that Protestants accuse you of: They say you changed the Seventh Day Sabbath to the, so-called, Christian Sunday: identical with the First-Day of the Week. If so when did you make the change, and by what authority.

Yours very Truly,
J.L. Day

This is the reply he received. (Highlight added by me)



Extension Magazine – Published by The Catholic Extension Society of the United States of America 180 North Wabash Avenue, Chicago

Dear Sir:

Regarding the change from the observance of the Jewish Sabbath to the Christian Sunday, I wish to draw your attention to the facts:

(1) That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man.

(2) We Catholics do not accept the Bible as the only authority of the Church, as a rule to guide us. We say, this Church instituted by Christ, to teach and guide man through life, has the right to change the Ceremonial laws of the Old Testament and hence, we accept the change of the Sabbath to the Sunday. We frankly say, “Yes, the Church made this change, made this law, as she made many other laws, for instance, the Friday Abstinence, the unmarried priesthood, the laws concerning mixed marriages, the regulation of the Catholic marriages, and a thousand other laws.”

(3) We also say that of all Protestants, the Seventh-day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings. It is always somewhat laughable to see the Protestant Churches, in pulpit and legislature, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in the Bible.

With best wishes,
Peter R. Tramer, Editor

Protestants! Maybe its time to go back to the authority of the Scriptures and finally let go of the traditions of Catholicism completely!

15 thoughts on “Who changed the Sabbath to Sunday?

  1. dianebarrios

    I have been searching in the Bible where it says that the day of rest be change to the first day of the week, which is sunday but I could not find any concrete scripture to back this up. I asked my former church mate about this and her answer was, it was changed to sunday because Jesus rose up on a sunday, she added the verse which said man was not made for sabbath. I am still bothered with what she said. By the way,I have stopped attending any christian church due to their faulty teachings of the rapture that it is only for “special” believers and it will be a secret one.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Diane,
      We all come from this sort of background. The moment someone questions the doctrines of their denominations, they are usually shunned or shushed. We can’t blame your friend for giving such an answer, as that is what everyone is taught. Coincidentally, what he/she said is amazing! The Sabbath was made for Man and not Man for the Sabbath! People miss the importance of what Yeshua is saying here… Firstly, He said that the Sabbath is made for Man (not that it was made for Jews). It was made for all mankind! Secondly, we are not to be slaves to the Sabbath, but it is that God made the Sabbath to give us proper rest and relationship with Him.
      Keep searching Sister! He will lead you to all Truth! And if you ever have a question, I am a short comment or Email away! Love and Shalom!
      May you be a blessing to everyone around you!

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Steph,
      This blog has no connections with the Seventh Day Adventist Denomination. Although I agree with the SDA when it comes to the Sabbath, there are many other theological differences between us – the biggest one being that I believe no part of the Word of God is done away or abolished. I respect everyone’s opinion, and believe we must get rid of labels and Follow Christ and God’s Word.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

      1. Re

        We actually agree with you sir, as SDA’s we believe in sola scriptura – ‘not one jot or tittle’ will be changed. Nothing about Gods word will be or has been abolished. Blessings brother.

  2. Pingback: What is the Lord’s Day? Sunday, Sabbath or something else? | Bible things in Bible ways

  3. Pingback: Bible things in Bible ways | Jesus Christ Lord Savior

  4. Gunder Aragona

    Acts 20:7 – “And upon the first day of the week when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, and continued his speech until midnight. ”

    The first day of the week for meeting in their homes (from house to house) is because Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week. This fellowship on a Sunday began in Acts 2:44-46 & not because the vatican so instituted it.

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Dear Gunder,

      What if I told you that the words translated as “The First Day of the Week” is in fact the “First of the Sabbaths” or “One of the Sabbaths” referring to the Feast of Weeks which 7 Sabbaths are counted from the day of FirstFruits?

      Please read the following study on it if you wish:

      The bottom line is that there was no mention of the First Day of the week in the New Testament.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you!

    2. Rita

      Christ resurrection was on Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:9) which is always on the first day of the week (the day after the weekly Sabbath) because He FULFILLS scripture, not alters it! “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the FIRSTFRUITS of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the RESURRECTION of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the FIRSTFRUITS, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Acts 20:7 is additional proof the believers were keeping Passover and Unleavened Bread and counting the seven Sabbaths kickstarted by Firstfruits given verse 6 just prior which reads “we sailed away from Philippi after the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD, and in five days we came to them at Troas, where we stayed for SEVEN days.” That would’ve meant that their fellowship gathering that Sabbath would have been Sabbath #1 of 7 leading up to Pentecost/Shavuot. It’s also important to note that the disciples were breaking bread DAILY (Acts 2:46) which by no means indicates Sabbath was done away with! Shalom.

  5. Debbie Cutshall

    Hi Steph,
    Thank you so much for posting this blog! It has been of great import to me and has influenced my beliefs and actions.I am researching the Sabbath because I too was confused. I could not find anywhere in the Bible where the day was EVER changed. Which to me means it’s STILL IN EFFECT! I am a practicing Protestant (non-denominational), but now I am asking the Lord to lead me in the right direction. Perhaps there aren’t ANY true churches left in this day and age that haven’t been tainted by man’s need to control or change thing to suit his own needs. I have long struggled with churches and their “rules”. which is why I never stay with one for very long and usually end up studying the Scriptures on my own.
    My husband is a musician and many times he has to work on Saturdays. When I explained what I have been learning about the Sabbath he became upset. He is a new Christian. I don’t want to make him stumble. What should I do? I am going to practice “resting” on the Sabbath. Should I let the Lord deal with him in His own way?
    Thanks for your advice.
    Awaiting His Return!

    1. rameshdesilva Post author

      Hi Debbie,

      God blesses those who are obedient to Him, just like any father would do. So, if your husband chooses to stop his work on Saturday and work on the rest of the days, I’m sure God is good enough to bless him even more. But we cannot and should not force it upon others. You can tell your husband about it, but He has to take the stand by himself. Just remember “Resting” is not simply stopping work, it’s spending time with God.

      Be a blessing to everyone around you

  6. Daniel

    The Catholics also claim that Peter was a Pope. It boggles the mind that people who (rightfully) reject that claim out of hand, uncritically accept their absurd claim that they are the ones who changed from Saturday to Sunday. They live in a fantasy world where Popes existed from the get-go, and all the believers mentioned in the New Testament were Catholics. In reality, the Bible mentions multiple times when the early believers were together on Sunday (such as John 20:19-29, etc.) The Primitive Church changed Sabbath observance from Saturday to Sunday in order to celebrate the Resurrection.

    Of course, there was no Divine command to do so–for those who point that out, I wonder why, exactly, you would want to WAIT FOR A COMMAND before celebrating the most wonderful event in history! Why would you sit around and say, “My love for God is not enough to get me to celebrate this–I’m going to wait until God is forced to command me to do so before I’ll get around to celebrating it.”

    1. RameshDeSilva Post author

      Dear Daniel,
      Hope you don’t shrug this reply off without considering what I am going to say. The Sabbath was part of God’s Creation, and is still part of the 10 Commandments. I hope you don’t think that the 10 Commandments have also changed. Is it true that Christ arose on the 1st Day of the week? Of course! But what was this day? Just as God had given a divine appointment for the Passover – when Christ died, The Father also prescribed a divine appointment for the day Christ will arise – all the way back in Lev 23. This appointment is called and celebrated to this day, and is known as the Day of Firstfruits. Is this day important – Yes, just as all of God’s divine appointments are important – of which the Sabbath is the foremost appointment. Just as Passover occurs once a year, the Day of Firstfruits also occurs once a Year. But the Sabbath occurs each week. These are not appointments made by man, but God. Should we not celebrate Christ’s death on other days than the Day of Firstfruits? Of course, we can and should remember His atoning Sacrifice and His Resurrection each day. But this does not change the Holiness of what God prescribed as “His Holy Days”. Please do study this a little closer, before you make your conclusions about the declarations of God.
      Be a blessing to everyone around you


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