that your flight may be not in winter
or on a Sabbath!
Commandment Iš=ŠeMŌT 20, 8 says: „Zākōr
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy“.
Hebrew word šabbāt is derived from the root ŠBT. The meaning of
this root “to calm down” appears in variuos derivatives in Torah. The
root itself is derivable from an old Hebrew root JŠB “to sit, to stay”
on a deeper level, akin to the root WTB in Arabic. On the latter
ground there appears a secondary root TBT “to cease moving, to
become unchangeable” in Arabic, analogically to Hebrew. (There is also a
verb sábata “had rest, kept the Sabbath Day” in Arabic, as
well as the word sabt “Sabbath”, both being cultural
borrowings due to contacts with Christians and Jews).
In other words, the Commandment means “Remember
the Day of Repose, to keep it holy”,
translating it literally.
on the seventh day of the week is one of the basics of the Judaism. The
“Queen Sabbath” is the first and the main among all feasts instituted
by G-d Himself. The ways of the traditional Judaism and Christianity
separated finally only after Christians had ceased celebrating Sabbath of
the seventh day. Christianity basically being Judaism of the New Covenant,
restoration of the Seventh-Day Sabbath is the first task for the
traditional Christians to come back to their Judaic “Olive Tree” root.
This means to celebrate the Sabbath together with all Jews as it was from
Nevertheless this does not mean any negation of the significance of first
day of the week as the Day of Resurrection of JHS the Messiah, apparantly
celebrated as the Day of Eucharist since His disciples' times.
Since 364, when common celebrations
of the Sabbath had been prohibited
for Christians at the Council of
Laodicea, the seventh day of Sabbath,
traditional Western “Saturday”, was still treated as a holy day in
various areas in the Christian East. Even today some remnants of this
practice in the Orthodox tradition may be seen, but Ethiopian Church keeps
rest on Sabbath and celebrates Eucharist on the First Day of the week
(Western “Sunday”) since apostolic times.
One often hears fanatic negators of “Sunday” saying it was
i.e. the Roman Emperor Constantin the Great (272-306-337), who “moved
the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday” by his decree of 321,
because he ostensibly wanted “to preserve habitual pagan celebration of
the feast of the Sun (here a believer in this tale usually points a finger
at English Sunday, although this “proof” is not necessary if
one wants to know that the Old-Roman first day of the week was dedicated
to the deity of the Sun). However a bit more delirious “experts” are
inclined to add that “Constantine” planned “to implant paganism into
First of all one should wonder whether any “change” of the day did
matter here. Was the Sabbath on Saturday any official day of rest in the
Roman Empire ever before? Could a professional war fighter Constantine
have any comprehention of the Jewish Sabbath at all? Or was it his mother,
who began to hate the Decalogue to such a degree that she suddenly decided
to be baptized? Which Christian taught her that the Sabbath should have
been moved from Saturday to Sunday? It had been already since the 2nd c.
that Christians avoided celebrations on Saturdays in Rome and in
in order not to be identified with the Jewish rebells.
Secondly, Constantine made a turn toward Christianity in 312, a decade
before his Sunday-decree. Why on earth did he need to adopt Christianity
at all if he “planned to implant paganism” into it?
Thirdly, Constantine was not even baptized in 321 yet. Therefore he could
not be authorized by any Church bishop to “move” Christian days and
feasts. Nevertheless it was namely the first day of the week (Roman day of
the Sun) when the Christians have used to gather to celebrate the
Eucharistic Sacrifice for two and a half centuries already, since it was
not the death, but the Resurrection of the L-rd which dramatically moved
them to remember His Last Supper. Only therefore the Emperor Constantine
used his civil right for the sake of Christians in order to make soldiers
and slaves free on that day, thus enabling their participation in the
Eucharist: “On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be
Justinianus, lib. 3, XII, (2) 3).
With no doubt, this official transferring of “the venerable day of the
Sun” into the day of rest for the whole Roman Empire became the first
step to eliminate the pagan holiday and to replace it with the Christian
It is interesting to see how the Jewish name of the seventh day of the
week has been persisting in the Orthodox and Eastern tradition up to our
days: cf. Georgian šabat-i, or Armenian šabat, adapted
even without any change. At the same time, one should not forget that the
first day of the week, “Sunday” is characterized by the Catholic
Church as “the eighth day”, the fulfillment of the time-transcendent
Sabbath (CCC 2174), on the first day of the week as the First Day of the
re-created saved Universe.
Even more: Byzantine and Eastern calendars often follow the original
Jewish enumerating of the days of the week “a day forward” without any
“Sun days” (in Greece, as well as in other Orthodox countries, there
is “the Day of the L-rd (Kyríou)”, or straight “the day of
Resurrection (Воскресенье)” instead of the Sun-day.
Pay your attention to archaical names of the days in Georgian, from
the kvira (Gk. Kyríou “L-rd's”) up to the šabat- (“Saturday”):
oršabat-i “(our) Monday”, i.e. in fact “two (of) the Sabbath”.
samšabat-i “(our) Tuesdau”
= “three (of) the Sabbath”.
otxšabat-i “(our) Wednesday” = “four (of) the Sabbath”.
xutšabat-i “(our) Thursday” = “five (of) the Sabbath”.
letter x renders the sound kh here)
Analogously are named Modern
Greek days of the week from our Monday to Thursday (Friday is named to
Parascheva both in Greek and in Georgian, however this name is nothing
else but a Jewish helenism “preparing”, i.e. preparing to celebrate
coming Sabbath), althoug the ordinal numerals
are used agreeing with the substantive “day” in the feminine gender.
Deutéra the second “Monday”,
Tríti the third “Tuesday”,
Tetárti the fourth “Wednesday”,
Pémpti the fifth “Thursday”.
The same is in Hebrew, of course.
Thus it becomes clear that the Orthodox names of the days of the week come
from the Greek tradition, which fully corresponds to the Hebrew tradition
One finds this (although with a cardinal numeral) in the Greek text of
Lukas telling about women who went to the grave of JHS: tēi
tōn sabbátōn, órthrou bathéōs, epì tò mnēma ēlthon, phérousai hà
hētoímasan arōmata “[on] the however one of-those Sabbaths,
morning early, to the tomb came, bringing those prepared aromatics”.
This “one of the Sabbths” was the same as Georgian kvira, i.e.
the first day after the Sabbath, which is the first day of the Jewish
week, but with is our Sun-day (with all probability, craftily prepared by
still not born “Constantine” in order to implant paganism into
Christianity). In Hebrew the same is - be’exād
baššabbāt „in one in the Sabbath“.
They did not find JHS, because He had already resurrected on that day (the
day began after the sunset) before their coming there.
It is a pity, that so popular among many Messianic Jews Adventist preacher
Jim Staley tries to persuade us as if “[on]
one of-those Sabbaths”
in Acts 20, 7 (about meeting of the disciples) means the first
Sabbath, starting to count up 7 Sabbaths, i.e. weeks, after this current
post-Pesach week and up to the feast of the Šavu‘ot. Staley translates
the word šabbāt
“Sabbath”, sometimes “a week”, as
it more suits for him (in Hebrew the meaning “week” spread from counting of the Omer between
the Pesakh and the Šavu‘ot).
In case this is counting of the Omer, Acts 20, 6 tells that Paul had spent
the Pesakh in Philippi, therefore one Sabbath should have been counted. In
five days after that (up to the next Sabbath on which one cannot travel,
of course) he came to Troas, staying there for 7 days more. Two Sabbaths
already! Then where does Staley obtain meeting of the disciples on
counting of the first Sabbath-week from? Nevertheless the same words in Luke 24, 1
mean the first day of the week, the Sunday, for him too, because everyone
knows this was the day of the Resurrection. Therefore the day in Luke 24, 1
appears to be the first day of the first Post-Pesakh week for him.
With the same voluntarism Staley explains the expression katà mían
sabbátou “every [on-]one of the Sabbath [let
each of you put treasuring up, as he may prosper]”, 1
Cor 16, 2. Staley says there is “one of the Sabbaths“ here, but not
the first day of the week (not “Sun day”), i.e. the word “day” is
not used (nor borne in mind) at all in this and in all other cases,
Staley's aim is clear: to show that the disciples never gathered onn the
first day (on “Sunday”) of he week to celebrate the Eucharist, but
such an opinion arose because translators Greeks (?) did not understand
Jewish holidays and, as a result, could not comprehend the Hebrew text
speaking either about a Sabbath, or about weeks only (see
[do not click the address directly, but open it in a new window]:
1:14:14 - 1:18:25).
According to this “discovery”, there were not Jews at all, who
translated terms from Hebrew and Aramaic, and even more: the first
Christians were not Jewish!
In additon, on the spot Staley boasts of his possible error when he demonstrates on
the screen an ostensible genitive plural sabbátōn
in the 1 Cor 16, 2, while there is genitive singular sabbátou
there (cf. http://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_corinthians/16-2.htm). What is important, the “Greeks” did not ignore the word “day”
in Luke 24, 1 anyhow, because this word is feminine in Greek - hēméra,
however the dative-locative of the numeral ‘one’ in tēi
tōn sabbátōn “on
the one of those Sabbaths”, “on Sunday” apparently agrees with the
absent word “day” in the feminine gender.
Even more, the singular fem. miai, mían is a cardinal, not an ordinal numeral, because there is another word
for the ordinal one in Greek, i.e. masc. prōtos, fem. prōtē.
Even from the standpoint of Staley one can conclude that the expression
“one of the Sabbath / Sabbaths” can point to the first day of the week
only. One sees full correspondence of the Georgian names of the week to
the Greek ones in this instance.
One can argue as long
as possible, however it is certainly impossible to negate from the Acts
20, 7 that the Eucharist namely on the first day of the week (on “Sunday”)
is mentioned there. This is well confirmed by the nearest monument of the
1st / 2nd c., i.e. in Didache, 14, 1, Christian Catechism: Katà kyriakēn
each Lord's day having gathered yourselves
together, break bread, and give thanksgiving”.
even allows to date the name kyriakē
“the L-rd's day” to the time of life of the
disciples. Even the replacement of the pagan “day of the Sun” with the
“day of the L-rd” corresponds to the most ancient epithet of JHS as
“Sun of the Truth”.
These remarks on lectures of
Jim Staley are not said to criticize his Adventist views. It is not
desirable to criticize any Christian denomination from the
interconfessional messianic point of view, let it be the Adventism, or the
Catholicism. Has Staley accepted the Gift of the Redemption of the L-rd JHS,
nobody can dare to doubt Staley's salvation due to his bias in favour of
own faith. Nevertheless he constantly mentions the Holiest NAME without any
necessity, when it is possible to avoid it for the sake of keeping it
untouchable by any banal need of the moment like a dust rag. Any true Jew
is overawed by this. Can one trust in a preacher free from the fear of
G-d? For what aim does he preach then?
controversy “Whether Saturday, or Sunday?”
arose from stupidity. The wish to
prove that Sunday is the pagan feast of the Sun, implanted in Christianity
by “Constantin”, has no other causal matter as hostility towards the
Catholic Church only. However there was no Catholic Church and the Papacy
as such in the time of Constantine the Great. Those who try to negate
Sunday Celebrations on the basis of the eternity of the Shabbat, are
forcing an open door, because usually they even forget the main argument
of Matthew 24, 20, namely the
words of JHS Himself: “Pray
that your flight may be not in winter or on a Sabbath”.
Faith that G-d has come into the world and JHS incarnated warrants comprehension of
2,2 + Is=JəŠA‘JĀ
40,28 as the greatest prophesy about JHS' Sabbath Rest in Grave “from all
His work” between His Death and Resurrection.
is not so difficult to understand that the feasts on Sabbath and on Sunday
are different feasts:
the Sunday is an eschatological fulfillment of the Shabbat. Therefore, it
would be logical for the Messianic Jews to celebrate Shabbat during both
days, considering Sunday to be the day of the Eucharist. Then the final
separation of holy and unholy, the Havdalah, should be performed on the end
of Sunday, not of Saturday.