Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

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For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Bible article:
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For more information, see the Skeptic's Annotated Bible article:
Ten Commandments
Protestant numbering
1st 6th
2nd 7th
3rd 8th
4th 9th
5th 10th
Catholic numbering
1st a b 6th
2nd 7th
3rd 8th
4th 9th
5th 10th

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy is the 4rd of the Ten Commandments in the Protestant tradition. It is considered the 3rd commandment according to Catholic numbering. The Sabbath runs approximately from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, a fact which escapes most Christians. [1]

Exodus 20:8-11 Bible-icon.png:

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 Bible-icon.png:

12 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.

13 Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work:

14 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

Contents

Counter-apologetics

  • The Jewish Sabbath is on Saturday, the last day of the week. Over time, Christians gradually moved to Sunday worship. This is problematic due to the reasoning that the seventh day is representative of the days in the Genesis story when God rested after making the world. The story didn't involve a creator God resting one day then working six. Changing the day of the week might qualify as not remembering the sabbath day or keeping it holy.
  • The Sabbathists and Seventh Day Adventists celebrate the sabbath on Saturday.
  • Robert Ingersoll in 'About the Holy Bible' noted, "To pick up sticks on Sunday, to murder your father on Monday, were equal crimes."
  • The emergency services have to work on the Sabbath day.

In United States law

The 4th commandment is not a part of U.S. law or custom. No federal laws are in place to prevent a person from doing any activity on Sunday that they could legally do on any other of the 6 days in the week. There was a time when Blue laws prevented many things, but most have since been repealed (although a few state or local laws may still limit things like the purchase of alcoholic beverages on Sunday, which is not the Sabbath anyway). According to the biblical application of this law (as we saw in Numbers 15), millions of Americans deserve capital punishment.

Sunday is not the Sabbath

Despite the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy, Christians usually worship on Sundays which is a different day. [2][3] The 1st century Christian church probably had a range of practices including Sabbath worship and Sunday worship. [4] In 321 CE, the Roman Emperor decreeing that Sunday was a day of rest, which coincided with Christianity's normal day of worship.

"We have made the change from the seventh day to the first day, from Saturday to Sunday, on the authority of the one holy Catholic Church. [2]"

Some Christians argue that the specific day of worship is not particularly important, contrary to the Ten Commandments. [5] Even if Sunday worship is acceptable to God, Christians also changed the nature of the holy day with an entirely different ceremony.

"By Jewish standards, Christians don't keep the Sabbath at all. [4]"

Some Christians argue that keeping the Sabbath is a law that does not apply to Christians or it is an optional practice. [6] A minority of Christian groups worship on the Sabbath rather than Sunday, such as the Seventh-day Adventists.

See also

References

  1. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 [2]
  3. [3]
  4. 4.0 4.1 [4]
  5. [5]
  6. [6]
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