From Sabbath to Lord's Day
Have you ever wondered what really happened to the Sabbath — and why the vast majority of devout Christians observe Sunday as "the Lord's day" instead? If so, we hope you'll find this website interesting and helpful. It's based on research for The Seventh Day: Revelations from the Lost Pages of History, a documentary series hosted by Hal Holbrook and featuring more than fifty historians and theologians.
About nineteen hundred years ago an unknown Christian writer introduced a novel idea about the weekly holy day — the Sabbath. The proper day for Christians to observe, he suggested, is not the seventh day, as the Ten Commandments have it. It is the eighth day, the day following the Sabbath — the day we know as Sunday — that should be kept holy.
It seems like an irrational arithmetic that makes Sunday both the first day and the eighth day of a seven-day weekly cycle. If you throw logic to the wind, however, the message is simple: Sunday is superior to Sabbath (Saturday) just as eight is superior to seven.
This elevation of Sunday – which came to be called "the Lord's day" – over the Old Testament Sabbath is just one small piece of the history of the Sabbath. Some Christians took it for granted that the church could properly transfer the sacred nature of the Sabbath from one day to another. Whether or not the church has ever had that kind of authority is another matter altogether. That's a theological issue. Here we are dealing with history.
If you have questions or comments about the historical information offered here, feel free to contact us.