Did Constantine Change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday?
Many are asking did Constantine change the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. The short answer is No! Did Constantine's first Sunday law play a key part in the final change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday? The answer is an unmistakable resounding Yes!
Please consider carefully the following two questions. Does Satan hate God and His law? And since breaking the law of God is sin, would Satan attack and attempt to change God's law and deceive us on the truth of obedience to it? The wise will understand that he would and has attacked the Ten Commandment law of God and that there can be no doubt that he would do so. When did he first begin this attack on planet earth? In the very beginning in the Garden of Eden. See also the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments.
And while the second Commandment defines who and what we should not worship, the fourth Commandment defines who it is we do worship. Most are unaware of this fact and yet there is no shortage of scriptures both stating and demonstrating this. Satan wanted to be worshipped like the most High (Isaiah 14:12-14) and so instituted his own church and his own day of worship. And when did this begin? This can traced back as far as the tower of Babel around 2000 B.C. See the origin of Babylon and Sun worship first for a better understanding of this topic and the role of Emperor Constantine. See who changed the Sabbath to Sunday for more information.
It should come as no surprise that Satan has had no trouble in finding those he can deceive into posting false information about the Sabbath and hence attack any facts that prove there has been foul play with the fourth Commandment. So in an attempt to cover up the truth on the part Constantine played that resulted in the final change to the Sabbath, the proponents' whole argument is typically that Emperor Constantine did not change the Sabbath and only instituted the first Sunday law. That much in fact is true, but there is a lot more to the story which they very conveniently fail to mention like why and the major role Constantine did play in the change of the Sabbath to Sunday.
The deceived proponents usually say something like it is well documented that the early Church adopted Sunday as their day of worship. This statement is false and based on the abuse of two or three scriptures that refer to the first day of the week such as Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2. And if their statement was true, then there would have to be a very clear instruction from God as Jesus made it extremely clear that no change would occur to the law. This is the Ten Commandment law of God and something this important does not change on assumptions. There would always be very clear scriptures if there were to be so much as a jot or a tittle of a change. See Matthew 5:18 and Luke 16:17.
If the early Church really had changed to Sunday worship, the Apostles would have been instructed to do so by God and yet no such instruction exists. And absolutely all scriptures relating to worship in the Church would be on Sunday in the book of Acts if this were true, which would be many scriptures. So how many verses are there in the book of Acts showing Christians worshipping in the Synagogue (Church) on the first day of the week? Zero! There is not one single scripture! How many scriptures are there that show both Jew and Gentile worshipping in the synagogue on the Sabbath? Every single one of them and more than you can count on both hands! Not just those two or three scriptures that say “first day of the week” that do not even occur in a Church and are bad assumptions and deliberate attempts to bury a Commandment of God. Here are just a few examples of scriptures that are not assumptions unlike those trying to prove a fallacy: Mark 1:21, Mark 6:2, Luke 4:16, Luke 6:6, Luke 13:10, Acts 13:14, Acts 13:27, Acts 13:42, 44, Acts 15:21, Acts 17:1-2 and Acts 18:4. See who changed the Sabbath to Sunday and the Sabbath to Sunday change for full detail and all the proof.
These same people who are determined to squash the truth on the Sabbath day also typically quote Colossians 2:16, Galatians 4:10 and Romans 14:5. Are these scriptures all talking about the same thing? Yes! Are they talking about the Sabbath of the Lord? Not a chance! See Galatians and the law for a very misunderstood book.
Note what The People's New Testament (1891) by B. W. Johnson states in regards to these scriptures.
“Romans 14:5 – One man esteemeth one day above another. A second difference of opinion is now cited. Some, Jewish converts or Gentiles who did not understand that the old covenant was ended, believed that the Jewish sabbaths and new moons should be kept sacred. Compare Col_2:16, and Gal_4:10.”
This Bible commentary links all three passages but not with the Sabbath of the Lord thy God but the Mosaic Law with all the Jewish ceremonial sabbaths such as Passover and the Day of Atonement as well as the New Moon festivals etc. These were practiced because of sin and that is why they all ended at the cross.
Here is another from the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge by Canne, Browne, Blayney, Scott on Romans 14:5.
“Romans 14:5 – esteemeth: Gal_4:9-10; Col_2:16-17”
Again we see that all three passages are connected. But with what? See the Ten Commandments and the ceremonial law or Colossians 2:16, Galatians 4:9-10 and Romans 14:5-6 for full detail. See also Adam Clarke and Albert Barnes Commentaries on Colossians 2:14-16, Albert Barnes and People's New Testament Commentaries on Galatians 4:9-10 and People's New Testament and Adam Clarke Commentaries on Romans 14:5.
There are many web sites out there claiming these scriptures end the fourth Commandment but how many really know that these scriptures are quoted in ignorance and do not refer to the Ten Commandments or the Sabbath at all, but to the sacrificial law that was practiced before the cross when the Ten Commandments were broken? I believe this shows one of two main things. Those erecting these erroneous web sites are either deceived by Satan or they just simply have no idea on the sanctuary service and just read these scriptures and decide what they think they mean when in fact they have no idea. If you study the real truth on these passages, you will know that when you encounter anyone quoting these scriptures that they do not understand Biblical truth and thus one cannot trust anything they do say.
One such site called got questions has truth mixed with error on every topic I read and yet so many are linking to their pages because what they write sounds good even though most of their material is seriously wrong. Don't just believe what tickles your ears but examine the scriptures daily as the Bereans did. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, Acts 17:11) Now is not the time to be apathetic as the return of Christ is imminent and so Satan is working harder than ever to spread lies on crucial topics. Below you can find the real truth on the very significant part that Emperor Constantine did play in the change to the Sabbath.
So how do those that oppose the Sabbath truth say this Commandment has ended? It was changed to Sunday in the Bible. Wrong! Colossians 2:16 says let no one judge you for keeping it. Wrong! Romans 14:5 says we can observe any day. Wrong! Galatians 4:9-10 says the day is bondage. Wrong! It is only nine Commandments now. Wrong! All Ten Commandments were nailed to the cross. Wrong! The Sabbath is a ceremonial law. Wrong! It does not matter what day we keep. Wrong! We do not know the true day so we should not bother. Wrong! We are under grace so the law is gone. Wrong! The calendar has changed and the day is lost. Wrong! Jesus broke the Sabbath so we can too. Wrong! Jesus is our Sabbath rest so the day is gone. Wrong! The Sabbath was only for the Jews. Wrong again! So which is it? It seems that all those who say the Sabbath is abolished cannot decide on why they say this Commandment is gone. Does anyone see a problem here? To begin with, many of these reasons contradict each other and so have to be wrong! If the Sabbath Commandment was really abolished then there would have to be one clear reason that everyone would agree on but not so! Why are there so many different reasons? Because they all have one thing in common. They are all excuses perpetuated by Satan! See should Christians keep the Sabbath or Sabbath and antichrist truth for the real truth on these excuses.
Did Constantine Change the Sabbath?
In 312 A.D., prior to his pivotal victory over his rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, Constantine became a “Christian” after claiming to see in broad daylight a vision of “a cross above the sun” with these words emblazoned, “in hoc signo vinces” (by this sign conquer”). After defeating his enemies and becoming Emperor of Rome, Constantine presided in full royal pomp over the “First Council of Nicea” in 325 A.D.
As a shrewd political genius, his scheme was to unite Christianity and paganism in an effort to strengthen his disintegrating empire. Constantine knew that pagans throughout the empire worshiped the sun on “the first day of the week,” and he discovered that many Christians and especially in Rome and Alexandria also kept Sunday because Christ rose from the dead on that day. So Constantine developed a plan to unite both groups on the common platform of Sunday keeping. On March 7, 321 A.D., he passed his famous national Sunday law:
First Sunday Law enacted by Emperor Constantine - March, 321 A.D.
“On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Given the 7th day of March, Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time [A.D. 321].)” Source: Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol.3 (5th ed.; New York: Scribner, 1902), p.380, note 1.
Now a professed Christian, Constantine nevertheless remained a devout sun worshipper. “The sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine,” notes Edward Gibbon in his classic Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xx, par. 3.
Constantine even printed coins which “bore on the one side the letters of the name of Christ, on the other the figure of the sun god.” Arthur P. Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, lect. vi, par. 14.
Again, Constantine’s promotion of Sunday observance was part of his definite strategy to combine paganism with Christianity: “The retention of the old pagan name of dies Solis, or 'Sunday,' for the weekly Christian festival, is in great measure owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, pagan and Christian alike, as the ‘venerable day of the Sun.’” – Stanley’s History of the Eastern Church, p. 184.
In spite of the rising popularity of Sunday sacredness, Church historian Socrates Scholasticus (5th century) wrote: “For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries [of the Lord's Supper] on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.” – Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, ch. 22.
Another historian also confirmed this by stating, “The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria.” – Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, Book 7, ch. 19. Thus even in the 5th century, Sabbath keeping was universally prevalent (except in Rome and Alexandria) along with Sunday keeping. Many Christians kept both days, but as the centuries wore on, Sunday keeping grew in prominence and especially within Roman Catholic territories.
In 330 A.D., Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople (modern Istanbul), thus preparing the way for the Roman Catholic Popes to reign in Rome as the successors of Constantine. As the Papal Church grew in power, it opposed Sabbath observance in favour of Sunday sacredness and made the day change official in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 363-364). Constantine's law had now been fully integrated into the Papal Church and the final step of the Sabbath to Sunday change was complete.
So around the year A.D. 364, the Catholic Church outlawed Sabbath keeping in the Council of Laodicea when they decreed 59 Canon laws. The following is the relevant Canon law: Canon XXIX: “Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” (Percival Translation).
Four hundred years after the death of Christ and one hundred years after Constantine's linking of Church and State by his Sunday law edict, Rome and Alexandria were the only places in the world where many of the Christians kept only Sunday and not the true Sabbath. Why was it that Rome and Alexandria were also the first locations that Sunday worship began? Because this is where the pagan practices of Babylon eventually landed after it was conquered. And what was the dominant pagan practice that the Babylonian priests brought with them? Sun worship which was done on Sun-day! See the history of Sunday worship for more detail.
So one can understand why Rome and Alexandria did not bother to keep the true Sabbath as they had not done so for 200 years. Throughout the entire history of the changeover from Sabbath to Sunday, Rome and Alexandria had worked together. Alexandria provided the philosophical reasons for the changes and Rome provided the decrees and anathemas. Constantine's help was given only to the worldly Church leaders at Rome and those Christians that resisted the errors that were being introduced into the Church met with his opposition. “Unite with the bishop of Rome or be destroyed,” was Constantine's position.
“Great as were the favors which Constantine showed to the church, they were only for that strong, close-knit, hierarchically organized portion that called itself Catholic. The various [so-called] heretical sects could look for no bounty from his hands.” – Williston Walker, A History of the Christian Church, page 105.
The change of the Sabbath to Sunday was totally completed by the seventh century as the Popes consolidating their enormous power persecuted all who resisted their innovations. Did Satan use Constantine to play a key part in his plan to change the Sabbath to his day being Sunday? The answer is clear! From sun worship 2000 B.C., to Sunday worship in the Church. Satan infiltrated the Christian Church and most are oblivious to the fact that this has happened or understand the relevance. Sunday or “dies solis”, the day of the sun came from Satan worship and is his day. The mystery Babylonian religion went straight into the Church of Rome and that is why God calls her Babylon.
For more information on the Sabbath you may like to start with the Sabbath day truth. I pray that all you dear Catholics especially will read the page on Catholic Church error and was Peter the first Pope? See also who and what is the Antichrist.