ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN
SHOULD CHRISTIANS FOLLOW THE JEWISH CLOCK, part 2 of 2
Allen Webster (to read part 1, click here)
Third, Judaism has been done away (Romans 7:1-7; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 8:6-7), and Sabbath worship with it. The Sabbath in the Old Testament was a day of rest sanctified to the Lord (Exodus 16:23; 31:15; Deuteronomy 5:14),. but Paul lists the Sabbath among the Jewish observances that are not required of Christians (Colossians 2:16; Galatians 4..9-10). Sunday is not the Christian Sabbath," as it is sometimes called. The New Testament never refers to it in this way.
Fourth, since the New Testament day of worship celebrates Jesus' resurrection, which occurred early Sunday morning (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1) and not on Saturday night, it follows that worship should be on Sunday. Sunday was also the day the resurrected Christ made appearances to various disciples (Luke 24:1-43; John 20:19).
Fifth, the first Sunday of worship was conducted when the "day of Pentecost was fully come" (Acts 2:1).' The Day of Pentecost was always on the first day of the week (Sunday) (Leviticus 23:15-21). According to Strong's Concordance, "day" refers to the,. splice between _dawn and dark. Thayer says it means "the interval between sunrise and sunset; in the daytime." "Fully come" means "completely" or "entirely." Thus this phrase means that the assembly was held after dawn on Sunday morning. The early church thus did not meet on Saturday night but on Sunday morning.
Sixth, the gospel was designed to be a universal religion, not a Jewish religion. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world . . . teach all nations" (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19). Although the church was born in a Jewish environment, it was not meant to be tied to the particulars of Jewish culture (Colossians 2:14). As the church moved from Jewish culture to the Roman world, it began using Romans measures. By the end of the first century, when John wrote, his biography: of Jesus' life, he was using Roman time For instance, John wrote, "And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Be-hold your King!" (John 19:14). When compared to Matthew's account (Matthew 27:45), it is evident that John was reckoning time in a different way than Matthew. Further, in commenting on the phrase "When therefore it was evening on that day" in John 20:19, A.T. Robertson points out that "day" is an old word "for the time from six to nine (John 6:16)." This was the same day as Jesus' resurrection (20:1) and was still being referred to as "that day" after 6:00 P.M.! Thus John was using Roman time instead of Jewish time. Robertson further points out that the addition of the phrase "the first day of the week"2 "proves that
John is using Roman time, not Jewish, for here evening follows day instead of preceding it"
Conclusion: Since Christians are to worship God on the first day of the week, could we worship at 6:00 P.M. on Saturday nights?
No, we should worship according to the clock and calendar of the world in which we live. The first day of our week begins at 12:00 P.M., not 6:00 P.M. Saturday night.
Lipscomb and Sewell answered this question in this way:
There is nothing more certain than that the division of time which made the day begin at six p.m. was not continued in the New Testament times, and especially among the Gentile nations. The third hour was nine o'clock, the sixth hour was twelve, and the ninth hour was three p.m. This may have been only the divisions for the day, not including the night. My opinion is that the Savior and the apostles adopted the division of the people among whom they lived. Smith's Bible Dictionary says, "The Babylonians reckoned the day from sunrise to sunrise; the Umbrians, from noon to noon; the Romans, from midnight to midnight; the Athenians, from sunset to sunset." The Jews early adopted the last, but it is thought after the captivity they held to the Babylonian division, or from sunrise to sunrise. This seems to me to be the division recognized in the New Testament. Matthew 28:1 and Mark 16:1-2 fix the end of the Sabbath at sunrise:
Guy N. Woods wrote: Are we then bound by the Jewish mode of counting time and must we regard the day as beginning and ending at sundown? No. There is nothing in the New Testament which designates any specific arrangement for computing this matter. The allegation that the Jewish method was "God's method," and that this arrangement is binding on the church today, is fanciful and false. Christians properly follow the method prevailing where they live. There are three hours difference between Eastern Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time. A meeting, to partake of the Lord's Supper at 1 a.m., Sunday, in New York would be scriptural; a similar meeting at the same time in Los Angeles would be unscriptural, because it would be at 10 p.m., Saturday night. I once partook of the Lord's Supper in Tiberias, on the shore of the historic Sea of Galilee at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. At that moment, it was 11 p.m. Saturday night, in Memphis, Tennessee."
Glad Tidings of Good Things, Vol. 14, April 11, 2008, page 2