One of the nearly-universal inaccurate church traditions is the one which teaches that Sunday is the Sabbath.
This particular tradition is the result of the legacy of Roman Emperor Constantine I.
“On March 7, 321, Roman Emperor Constantine I decreed that dies Solis Invicti (‘sun-day,’ or Day of Sol Invictus, Roman God of the Sun) would be the Roman day of rest throughout the Roman Empire.” – Daniel Zarzeczny, History & Headlines
“The worship of the Sun (Sol) was indigenous to the Romans, who had a temple to Sol Indiges on the Quirinal that was said to have been established by Tatius, king of the Sabines . . . In AD 219, not long after Elagabalus arrived from Syria, where he had been the hereditary priest of the sun god Elagabal in Emesa, Sol Invictus (the Invincible or Unconquerable Sun) was introduced to Rome as its principal deity.” – James Grout, Encyclopedia Romana
“Constantine was determined to unite Christianity and paganism in an effort to strengthen his collapsing empire. Constantine knew that pagans throughout the empire worshiped the sun on ‘the first day of the week,’ and he discovered that many Christians and especially in Rome and Alexandria also kept Sunday because Christ rose from the dead on that day. So Constantine developed a plan to unite both groups on the common platform of Sunday keeping.” – Ancient Pages
From History Channel:
. . . Constantine decreed that dies Solis, or “the day of the sun,” should be observed as a universal day of rest. The pious observance of the Sabbath was important in expressing thanks for God’s toil, and showed deference to the claim that God rested on the seventh day of the Creation.
The decree was far-reaching, stating that numerous activities should be avoided on Sunday. Merchants were forbidden to trade, and administrative establishments were closed, apart from those that dealt with the freeing of slaves. Farmers alone were permitted to continue working on the Sabbath, in recognition that some farm activity was impossible to defer.
Constantine chose Sunday to be the day for Christian worship as it already enjoyed special status in the Roman week. Named after the Pagan Sun God Invictus, Sunday had become the day when wages were traditionally paid to workers, leading it to be seen as a day of celebration and thanks.
Nothing in the New Testament forbids believers in Messiah Jesus from resting on Sunday or from participating in group worship on Sunday.
Yet, in both the Tanakh (a.k.a Old Testament) and the New Testament, the Sabbath takes place from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.
Nowhere does the New Testament say that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday.
Constantine decrees “Sun-Day” as day of rest. History Channel. Retrieved from https://www.historychannel.com.au/this-day-in-history/constantine-decrees-sun-day-as-day-of-rest/
Grout, J. (n.d.). Sol Invictus and Christmas. Encyclopedia Romana. Retrieved from https://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/calendar/
On This Day In History: Emperor Constantine I Passes His Famous National Sunday Law – On March 7, 321. Ancient Pages. Retrieved from http://www.ancientpages.com/2017/03/07/on-this-day-in-history-emperor-constantine-i-passes-his-famous-national-sunday-law/
Zarzeczny, D. (2017, March 7). March 7, 321: How Sunday Became the Christian Day of Rest. History & Headlines. Retrieved from https://www.historyandheadlines.com/march-7-321-sunday-became-christian-day-rest/
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