The Sabbath. Introduction

Ted Noel

Ted NoelWhen I wrote my first study (Daniel) I said that I did not know why I was compelled to write it. I have learned that the process of writing has refined my knowledge of God’s Word, bringing me closer to what Daniel refers to as “insight”. A few of my acquaintances have asked to look at my work, and I pray that they have been as blessed by reading as I have been by writing.

This study represents a side trip for me. I was deeply involved in the companion study to Daniel: Revelation. As visions of fantastic beings and events filled my notebook, our pastor chose to present a sermon on the Sabbath. (Please note that, as I began writing this study, I was attending the Church of the Nazarene, a spirit-filled, but Sunday keeping church.)

I found myself in profound disagreement with Pastor Page on a number of points as he spoke. After the sermon he asked me to come during the week and study the subject with him. I prepared as rapidly as I could, hoping to find a Biblical excuse for Sunday observance.

This study has grown out of that session. It has been revised and rewritten as I study and learn. I pray that anyone who reads it will be as blessed by the Spirit’s voice as I have been in my study.

I must emphasize that this is not a sermon. Many inspirational and sermonizing works have been written on the Sabbath. Like my study of Daniel, this is first and foremost an exploration of the directly expressed content of God’s word. As such, it may at times seem less than inspirational. This is not my intention, but a by-product of the method. I am “searching the scriptures”, and that leads to conclusions, but not directly to sermons. My search is for the truth. Once truth is found, I will let it carry the Spirit to the reader.

This study involves a considerable discussion of the early Church. A detailed analysis and quotation of early patristic writings is far beyond the scope of this study. For those who would find such a discussion valuable (as I have), two excellent works must be recommended:

  • From Sabbath to Sunday, by Samuele Bacchiocchi. Pub. 1977, The Pontifical Gregorian University Press, Rome, Italy. (Con approvazione del Vicariato di Roma in data 17 giugno 1975) (With the approval of the Pope, June 17, 1975) Available from Biblical Perspectives, 4569 Lisa Lane, Berrien Springs, MI 49103
  • Sabbath and Sunday in Early Christianity, by Robert L. Odom. Pub. 1977, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, DC 20012

I will be using the New American Standard Bible unless I note otherwise.

Ted Noel
September 1996
(revised February 1997)

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The majority of Christians attend church on Sunday, believing that they are following God’s word. Yet Jesus observed the Jewish Sabbath, and taught more about the Sabbath than about any other single subject. What day should we keep holy?

  1. Is Doctrine Important?
  2. What Law?
  3. The Purpose of the Sabbath
  4. God’s Plan for the Sabbath (Does It Still Exist?)
  5. The Apostolic Record (Which Day Did They Keep?)
  6. The Apostolic Record (Which Day Did They Teach?)
  7. Get Out of Jail Free! (Three Troublesome New Testament Texts)
  8. There Remains a Sabbath Rest
  9. How We Lost the Sabbath
  10. Is the Sabbath Really Saturday?
  11. The Sabbath at the Time of the End (The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast)
  12. What Now?