What is the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments?

I have been trying to get my head around the Sabbath vs Sunday concept as viewed by the early Christians, what I see is that the early Church Fathers would not observe the custom of the Sabbath in the same way they did not observe circumcision. It does not seem to be a “change” of day, but instead two separate independent actions. On the one hand the Jewish (Old Covenant) Sabbath was reduced, and the Christian (New Covenant) Lord’s Day was increased. The two actions and reasons seem to be independent of each other. The nearest I can compare it to is John the Baptist “I must decrease” and he, Jesus Christ must increase.

But at the same time the early Church Fathers did not throw out the third command “remember the sabbath and keep it holy”. So how were the early Church Fathers able to fully remember the sabbath and keep it holy, but not observe the Jewish sabbath? It seems to me the early Church Fathers viewed the Sabbath of the 10 commandments as something different than the Sabbath day of Jewish Old Covenant.

My question is then What was the early Christian understanding of what the third commandment Sabbath really means?

Hope this article helps


God bless!

In my mind (I’m hardly a bible scholar, but I am a diehard enthusiast), I tie the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day to creation(s); the old, and the new.

The Sabbath is celebrated on Saturday, the seventh day…So creation’s (the original creation as told in Genesis 1) must have been a Sunday.

The resurrection of Christ marked a new beginning (or new creation), and occurred on a Sunday, according to the Gospels. Hence we get Sunday as the Lord’s Day.

So, when I tie these two Sundays together, it seems to me no accident that the Jewish Sabbath was Saturday the seventh day; and the Lord’s resurrection was on Sunday; and, appropriately, Sunday is the first day of creation (both of the Old and the New).

I’m sure I rambled, but I hope I made some sense…I’m convinced it just shows the perfection of God’s Plan, and that Holy Scripture is, indeed, inspired by God!

Peace and Prayers!

I think it is pretty simple.

The Jewish Sabbath is Saturday and that is very clear and we still believe this to be true. We actually don’t celebrate the jewish sabbath anymore we actually celebrate the 8th day or the day of the new creation. It is actually some very beautiful theology that goes behind this.

We celebrate the sabbath on Sunday’s now for a very simple reason. Christ rose from the dead on Sunday so we celebrate the Lord’s resurrection for our sabbath. Think about it this way. In Genesis God spend 6 days working in his creation to bring about man and everything else and rested on the 7th day. The Church tells us that Christ was crucified on Friday the 6th day. (The 6th day may be a type of the passion of Christ but I’m not sure) Than Christ rests on the 7th day in the tomb. Than on that glorious 8th day Christ brings about a new creation.

to put it simply

Christ died on day 6
rested on day 7
brought in the new creation on day 1 (or as the Church says day 8)

So because we follow Christ we remember the day of his new creation, the 8th day.

1166 “By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ’s Resurrection, the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day, which day is appropriately called the Lord’s Day or Sunday.” The day of Christ’s Resurrection is both the first day of the week, the memorial of the first day of creation, and the “eighth day,” on which Christ after his “rest” on the great sabbath inaugurates the “day that the Lord has made,” the “day that knows no evening.”37 The Lord’s Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet: (1343)

The Lord’s day, the day of Resurrection, the day of Christians, is our day. It is called the Lord’s day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father. If pagans call it the “day of the sun,” we willingly agree, for today the light of the world is raised, today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays.

1167 Sunday is the pre-eminent day for the liturgical assembly, when the faithful gather “to listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the Passion, Resurrection, and glory of the Lord Jesus, and giving thanks to God who ‘has begotten them again, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ unto a living hope”:

When we ponder, O Christ, the marvels accomplished on this day, the Sunday of your holy resurrection, we say: “Blessed is Sunday, for on it began creation … the world’s salvation … the renewal of the human race.… On Sunday heaven and earth rejoiced and the whole universe was filled with light. Blessed is Sunday, for on it were opened the gates of paradise so that Adam and all the exiles might enter it without fear.

From the CCC

Thanks everyone. I agree with that but I was wondering how the Sabbath of the third commandment was understood. Was it in some way viewed as the rest described in Hebrews 3-4? Is the Sabbath day “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”?

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