Admissions and Confessions About Sunday

From the first century A.D. to the present the vast majority of Christians have observed Sunday as a day of rest and worship. However, it is generally known and freely admitted that the early Christians observed the seventh-day Sabbath (Shabbat).

The prophet Daniel explained the reason for the change from Sabbath to Sunday when he prophesied that an attempt would be made by a great evil power to change the laws and holy times of God:

"And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time" (Dan.7:25 Para.).

Both secular and ecclesiastical history reveal that the observance of the first day of the week in place of the seventh day was initiated and enforced by the ancient Roman Empire centuries ago. In the Book of Revelation, we are told there will come a time when a powerful world ruler will institute his god's religion and will attempt to destroy the Sovereign God's people and eliminate the observance of his weekly Sabbath, the Passover, and the annual festivals.

Jesus Christ clearly said: "If you love me, keep my commandments" (Jn.14:15 KJV). And the commandments of God include keeping the Sabbath day.

However, most of today's theologians and religious leaders refuse to keep the commandments of God. Instead, they reject and ridicule the Sabbath, which God created for our good, and they keep Sunday, which was never sanctioned by God as his Sabbath.

By their own admissions, they know and freely admit that men, not God, changed this day of worship from the seventh day to Sunday. By rejecting this basic fundamental teaching of the Bible—"Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy."—they stand condemned before God by their own words.


The Catechismus Romanus was commanded by the Council of Trent and published by the Vatican Press by order of Pope Pius V in 1566. This catechism for priests reads: "It pleased the church of God, that the religious celebration of the Sabbath day should be transferred to 'the Lord's day.'" Catechism of the Council of Trent (Donovan's translation, 1867) Part 3, chap. 4, p.345. The same, in slightly different wording, is in the McHugh and Callan translation, 1937 ed. p.402. 

The following are excerpts from the Catechismus Romanus which contains confessions and admissions from many prestigious religious leaders and scholars in regard to the change from observing the Sabbath to observing Sunday.


"Question Henry Tuberville asked the following question about the church's authority to change the Sabbath to Sunday: How prove you that the Church has power to command feasts and holy days?"

"Answer By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; and therefore they fondly contradict themselves, by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same Church." Henry Tuberville, An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine (1833 approbation), p.58. (Same statement in Manual of Christian Doctrine [ed., by Daniel Ferris [1916 ed.,] p.67).


"Question Keeman asked: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?"

"Answer Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority." Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism (3rd ed.), p.174.

"The Catholic Church, . . . by virtue of her divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday." The Catholic Mirror, Sept. 23, 1893.


"If we consulted the Bible only, we should still have to keep holy the Sabbath Day, that is Saturday." John Laux, Course in Religion for Catholic High Schools and Academies, vol. 1, (1936 ed.), p. 51. Quoted by permission of Benziger Brothers, Inc., proprietors of the copyright.



"Question Which is the Sabbath day? "Answer Saturday is the Sabbath day."

"Question Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday?"

"Answer We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." Peter Geiermann, The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1946 ed.), p.50. Geiermann received the "apostolic blessing" of Pope Pius X in his labors Jan. 25,1910.


"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify." James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers (1917 ed.), pp.72-73.


"Nowhere in the Bible is it stated that worship should be changed from Saturday to Sunday. The fact is that the Church was in existence for several centuries before the Bible was given to the world. The Church made the Bible, the Bible did not make the Church.

"Now the Church . . . instituted, by God's authority, Sunday as the day of worship. This same Church, by the same divine authority, taught the doctrine of Purgatory long before the Bible was made. We have, therefore, the same authority for Purgatory as we have for Sunday." Martin J. Scott, Things Catholics Are Asked About (1927 ed.), p.136.


"Some theologians have held that God likewise directly determined the Sunday as the day of worship in the New Law, that He Himself has explicitly substituted the Sunday for the Sabbath. But this theory is not entirely abandoned. It is now commonly held that God simply gave His Church the power to set aside whatever day or days she would deem suitable as Holy Days. The Church chose Sunday, the first day of the week, and in the course of time added other days, as holy days." Vincent J. Kelly (Catholic), Forbidden Sunday and Feast Day Occupations (1943 ed.), p.2.


"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 rule of faith. Besides the Bible we have the living Church, the 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 her change of the Sabbath to 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 Catholic marriages and a thousand other laws.

"3) We also say that of all Protestants, the Seventh-day Adventist denomination is the only major Protestant denomination that reasons correctly and is consistent with its teaching. It is always somewhat laughable, to see the Protestant churches, in pulpit and legislation, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in their Bible." Father Peter R. Kraemer, Catholic Church Extension Society, Chicago, IL.

A $1,000 REWARD

"My brethren, look about you upon the various wrangling sects and denominations. Show me one that claims or possesses the power to make laws binding on the conscience. There's but one on the face of the earth the Catholic Church that has the power to make laws binding upon the conscience, binding before God, binding under pain of hell fire. Take, for instance, the day we celebrate Sunday. What right have the Protestant churches to observe that day? None whatever. You say it is to obey the commandment, 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' But Sunday is not the Sabbath according to the Bible and the record of time.

"Everyone knows that Sunday is the first day of the week, while Saturday is the seventh day, and the Sabbath, the day consecrated as a day of rest. It is so recognized in all civilized nations. I have repeatedly offered $1,000 to any one who will furnish any proof from the Bible that Sunday is the day we are bound to keep, and no one has called for the money. If any person in this town will show any scripture for it, I will tomorrow evening publicly acknowledge it and thank him for it. It was the Holy Catholic Church that changed the day of rest from Saturday to Sunday, the first day of the week. And it not only compelled all to keep Sunday, but at the Council of Laodicea, A.D. 364, anathematized those who kept the Sabbath and urged all persons to labor on the seventh day under penalty of anathema. 

"Which church does the whole civilized world obey? Protestants call us every horrible name they can think of antichrist, the scarlet colored beast, Babylon, etc. and at the same time profess great reverence for the Bible, and yet by their solemn act of keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the power of the Catholic Church.

"The Bible says: 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' But the Catholic Church says, 'No, keep the first day of the week,' and the whole world bows in obedience."Father T. Enright, Roman Catholic Priest, Kansas City, MO.


"Incidentally, there is no proof in scripture that God willed the Sabbath to be changed from Saturday to Sunday, so that those non-Catholics who do not accept the value of tradition as a source of faith, should logically still observe Saturday as the Sabbath." This Is The Faith Catholic Theology For Laymen, Francis J. Ripley, p. 176).


All of these quotations are from Catholic authors and/or published by Catholic publishing houses.


The excerpts that follow are from noted clergymen, scholars and other eminent writers, who probably kept Sunday as a matter of church custom and bear witness that there is no biblical authority for Sunday observance.


"And where are we told in the Scriptures that we are to keep the first day at all? We are commanded to keep the seventh; but we are nowhere commanded to keep the first day . . . The reasons why we keep the first day of the week holy instead of the seventh is for the same reason that we observe many other things, not because the Bible, but because the church, has enjoined it." Isaac Williams (Anglican),  Plain Sermons on the Catechism ,  vol. 1, pp.334-336.

"The Lord's day was merely of ecclesiastical institution. It was not introduced by virtue of the fourth commandment." Jeremy Taylor (Church of England), Ductor Dubitantium , part 1, book 2, chap. 2, rule 6, secs. 51,59 (1850 ed.), vol. 9, pp.458-464.

Mr. Morer, a learned clergyman of the Church of England, says: "The Primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and spent the Day in Devotion and Sermons. And 'tis not to be doubted but they derived this practice from the Apostles themselves." A Discourse in Six Dialogues on the Name, Notion, and Observation of the Lord's Day , p.189. 


Dr. Edward T. Hiscox (Baptist): "There was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day, but the Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will, however, be readily said, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath was transferred from the Seventh to the First day of the week. . . Where can the record of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament Paper read Aug. 20,1893, at a Baptist ministers' meeting at Saratoga, New York.

"The Lord's Day is not sanctified by any specific command or by any inevitable inference. In all the New Testament there is no hint or suggestion of a legal obligation binding any man, whether saint or sinner, to observe the Day. Its sanctity arises only out of what it means to the true believer." J. J. Taylor (Baptist), The Sabbatic Question, p.72.


Dr. R. W. Dale (British Congregationalist): "It is quite clear that, however rigidly or devotedly we may spend Sunday, we are not keeping the Sabbath. . . The Sabbath was founded on a specific, Divine command. We can plead no such command for the obligation to observe Sunday. . . There is not a single sentence in the New Testament to suggest that we incur any penalty by violating the supposed sanctity of Sunday." The Ten Commandments, pp.127-129.

Timothy Dwight's Theology (American Congregationalist) says: "The Christian Sabbath [Sunday] is not in the Scripture, and was not by the primitive church called the Sabbath." Sermon 107 (1818 ed.), vol.4, p.49.

CHRISTIAN (Disciples of Christ):

Alexander Campbell (founder of Disciples of Christ); "'But,' say some, 'it was changed from the seventh to the first day.' Where?

when? and by whom? No man can tell. No; it never was changed, nor could it be, unless Creation was to be gone through again: for the reason assigned must be changed before the observance, or respect to the reason, can be changed! It is all old wives' fables to talk of the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day. If it be changed, it was that August personage changed it who changes times and laws 'ex officio' I think his name is Doctor Antichrist." The Christian Baptist, Feb.1, 1824, vol.1, no.7.

"The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change."  First Day Observance, pp.17-19. 


"We have seen how gradually the impression of the Jewish Sabbath faded from the mind of the Christian Church, and how completely the newer thought underlying the observance of the first day took possession of the church. We have seen that the Christians of the first three centuries never confused one with the other, but for a time celebrated both." The Sunday Problem (1923 ed.), a study book of the United Lutheran Churches, p.36.

"Because it was requisite to appoint a certain day, that the people might know when they ought to come together, it appears that the [Christian] Church did for that purpose appoint the Lord's day." Augsburg Confession, part 2, art. 7, in Philip Schaff's The Creeds of Christendom (Scribner's, 4th ed.), vol.3, p.69.

"The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance, and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect; far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday." The History of the Christian Religion and Church, Dr. Augustus Neander, p.186.


Methodist Episcopal Theological Compend, by Amos Binney: "It is true there is no positive command for infant baptism. . . Nor is there any for keeping holy the first day of the week." p.180, 181.

"The Lord's Day is not sanctified by any specific command or by any inevitable inference. In all the New Testament there is no hint or suggestion of a legal obligation binding on any man, whether saint or sinner, to observe the Day." (The Sabbath Question, p.72).

On whose authority have Protestants decided to observe Sunday? Plainly on the authority of the very Catholic Church, which they claim to have abandoned!


Almost all religious leaders who worship on Sunday and claim to follow the teachings of the Bible know they are going against what is written in that book when they teach and practice Sunday worship.

To refuse to change after admittedly being wrong is willful sin. To the elect of God, the writer to the Hebrews said there is no more sacrifice for this type of sin, but a fearful looking forward to eternal death (Heb.10:26-29). 

Jesus Christ said that we can know a person's spiritual condition by their fruits:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore you shall know them by their fruits" (Matt.7:15-20 Para.).

Jesus says, "If you love me, keep my commandments" (Jn.14:15).

And the commandments of God include observing the Sabbath.

The apostle Paul also gave a strong warning concerning the apostasy that was to arise after his death (2.Thes.2:1-8). Moreover, he also indicated that there would be eternal damnation for those who follow the traditions and commandments of men in opposition to the truth of God (2.Thes.2:9-12). The standard of righteousness by which all humanity is to be judged is found in the laws of God which too many people disregard as being harsh and burdensome.

The question everyone will eventually have to answer is whether or not they will follow the truth or a lie.


Listed below are some excellent sources that are recommended as additional reading for those who are interested in the historical documentation and the progression of events that led to the change from worshiping on the Sabbath to worshiping on Sunday.

The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop.

A History of Sabbath and Sunday, by John Hiesz. Sabbath To Sunday, by Samuele Bacchiocchi.

By B.L. Cocherell      b5w8