Tel-World Ministries




The Sabbath - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know



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Which day is the Sabbath?

Many people question if, after the many years that have passed since the original Jewish Sabbath, we can know for certain which day is the actual day God would have us observe. This question naturally leads to the feeling that God is only requiring us to keep one day holy; not any particular day--just a day. How can God require observance of a certain day if we cannot even know what day it is any longer?

The answer to this question is surprisingly simple and clear. In fact, the Jews have kept careful track of the weekly cycle for thousands of years. By simply asking any Jew you might meet on the street, you will find that they are positive about which day is the Sabbath. Any Jew, even today, can tell you with certainty that the seventh day of our week, Saturday, has been kept for millenniums as the Jewish Sabbath; it is the day that is presently observed by Jews as the Sabbath of the Fourth Commandment.

This fact is more important as we realize that Jews have, like the Chinese, always maintained their own calendar. The weekly cycle remains unchanged over the years and Jews are confident in the integrity of their independent time-keeping schedule.

The reason Jewish time reckoning is significant to us is simply that the Jewish Scripture is the foundation for the whole concept of Sabbath-keeping. Thus, it is reasonable for us to look to the Jews to determine which day is the Sabbath the Lord reveals in His Word. An examination of the Fourth Commandment |0+| shows clearly that God expects the Sabbath to be kept on the seventh day of the week as a memorial of His creative power. However, we may still have questions about how accurately our own modern calendar reflects the ancient Jewish record of time.

Although the Jews have kept the same day holy for millennia, we could question the fact that our own calendar was changed. Perhaps, our own weekly cycle has been disrupted so that we are now "out of synch" with the Jews and their reckoning of days in the week. This can be easily shown as an invalid concern.

At the time of Jesus, the calendar in use was the Julian Calendar, named after its designer, Julius Caesar. In terms of weekly cycle, this calendar was "in synch" with the Jewish one. This calendar was used by the known civilized world until AD 1582 when an error in the calculated length of a year was discovered. The Julian Calendar was 365.25 solar days in length. However, the actual yearly cycle is 365.242195 days in length. So, the Julian Calendar was about 11 minutes too long. Although this difference was minimal, over the centuries the error became noticeable. The seasons shifted so that scholarly people realized there must be a problem. By 1582 the error amounted to 10 days. To correct this error, the Gregorian Calendar was initiated under the direction of Pope Gregory XIII.

The GREGORIAN CALENDAR not only solved the 10 day problem but started the familiar "leap year" cycle. This new calendar went into effect in Rome on Friday, the 5th of October, 1582. That day was simply changed to be Friday, the 15th of October, 1582. An example is shown below so that you can see how it was implemented.





































As you can clearly see, the weekly cycle was not changed at all. The days remained the same.


Spain, Portugal, and Italy adopted the new calendar at once. France waited until December of that year. Half of Germany accepted it in 1583, the other half waited until 1700. About 1700 the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark began using it. England did not adopt its use until 1752. But all through those years, when it was Saturday in Spain it was Saturday in England--even though the two nations were using different calendars!

Moreover, from the time of Christ to this day there have been people who have kept the seventh day Sabbath as a weekly cycle. So, we must conclude that the Sabbath was not changed due to the change of calendars. The Sabbath has always been on what we call Saturday, the seventh day by any calendar.


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