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Monday, May 13, 2024

Why Did Early Christians Choose Sunday?

According to my Bing Copilot:

Theological Significance of Sunday: Why did the early Christians choose Sunday for worship? Three theological factors played a role:

Resurrection: Sunday commemorates Christ’s resurrection from the grave, making it the Lord’s Day.

New Creation: As believers are identified as new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), the first day after the Sabbath symbolized a day of new creation.

Eighth Day: Sunday also represents the eighth day, associated with both circumcision and the final day of eternal rest and joy.

In addition to these, I would add that the Church began on Pentecost Sunday (Acts 2). Also, I would add the fact that there was some impetus to distinguish themselves from the Jews (who continued to meet and worship on the Sabbath).

Are there any references in the New Testament to Christians meeting and/or practicing their faith on the First Day of the week?

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. (Acts 20:7, ESV)

Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. (I Corinthians 16:1-2, ESV)


  1. At Corinth Paul taught at the synagogue on sabbath.

    “After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

    4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

    5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled [a]by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.

    6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”

    7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named [b]Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.

    8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.

    In verses 6 and 7 of Acts 18 above we read he was forced to leave the synagogue and go to a house.

    It makes no mention that he ‘’observed’’ sabbath at all times in that house, or elsewhere, for that matter.

    He ‘’reasoned’’ at the synagogue for a mere three weeks.

    Thus, it follows ‘’each sabbath day’’ - which concerns the synagogue - pertains to but a short time.

    (Of course, should one choose to read into scripture something beyond a plain reading of words - there is little point appealing to the merit of seeking truth impartially).

    Paul was at Corinth for some year and a half. He preached wherever it was possible - synagogues, private homes, market places. The synagogue of the town appears to have been his first port of call.

    Often it was on the Lord's Day as the above shows.

    Paul’s desire was to preach the gospel - he took every opportunity to do so at synagogues as noted - the synagogue being the common meeting place including for non Jewish peoples.

    This is attested to in these verses of Acts ( ch 13) where we read;

    “43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.

    44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.

    45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. They began to contradict what Paul was saying and heaped abuse on him”.

    The whole city at Antioch were not Jews. As such, the Gentiles of the city were gathering it seems in and about the synagogue. Perhaps spilling into the street if numbers were large.

    (Indeed, at the synagogue were not only Torah observing Jews there were often the gentiles associated in various ways with it - who respected and worshipped and feared God. I doubt Paul had any great expectation of converting the dedicated adherents of Judaism).

    It was the case that invariably Paul's welcome wore thin as his preachings were too controversial for many followers of Judaism. It happened a lot.

  2. Did Paul ever say, "Yes I've been reasoning on the Sabbath but I know people are going to get mixed up about that so let me make it perfectly clear: reasoning on the Sabbath is by no means to be confused with observing the Sabbath because Jesus abolished it and I second the motion"? If only he'd said something like that a whole lot of confusion would have been avoided.