Sabbath to Sunday – Part 1

TimeWatch Editorial
December 01, 2016

The World Net Daily Webpage describes Joe Kovacs as an award-winning journalist and, since 1999, executive news editor of WND. He is the author of two best-selling books: "Shocked by the Bible: The Most Astonishing Facts You've Never Been Told" and its 2012 sequel, "The Divine Secret: The Awesome and Untold Truth About Your Phenomenal Destiny." The World Net Daily Website says the following in its mission statement.

“WND is an independent news company dedicated to uncompromising journalism, seeking truth and justice and revitalizing the role of the free press as a guardian of liberty. We remain faithful to the traditional and central role of a free press in a free society — as a light exposing wrongdoing, corruption and abuse of power. We also seek to stimulate a free-and-open debate about the great moral and political ideas facing the world and to promote freedom and self-government by encouraging personal virtue and good character.”
The World Net Daily Website Mission Statement

On March 16, 2008, Joe Kovacs published an article entitled “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The article is an exhaustive treatment of the controversy regarding the day of worship chosen by Christians. As he puts it in his opening paragraphs,

“Two thousand years after Jesus walked the Earth, Christians are at war with each other concerning – as strange as it may sound – a day of the week mentioned in the Ten Commandments. The issue boils down to: “When is God’s Sabbath?” In other words, what is His holy day of rest? Most Christians today think its Sunday, when the majority of churches hold services. But others confidently say its Saturday, calling Sunday worship “the most flagrant error of mainstream Christianity,” believing Sunday-keepers are victims of clever deception.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

The treatment of the subject carries a certain logical sequence of argument, revealing the sincerity of the investigation. First Mr. Kovacs begins with the Biblical inferences regarding the Seventh Day.

“Christians seem irreparably split, as this issue goes back to the beginning of time itself… The Bible, though, indicates God created the Earth and its life forms in six days, and then rested on the seventh… Biblically speaking, the first six days of the week had no special name. They were simply identified by ordinal numbers, such as the first, second and third day. But the seventh day was given a unique name. In Hebrew, it’s “shabbat,” meaning “rest.” In English, the word is “Sabbath,” and it’s detailed in the Fourth Commandment.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

Then he includes in his presentation a detail that is rarely revealed in many debates concerning the viability of the Seventh Day Sabbath. Notice the following.

“In many languages, the word used for the seventh day of the week – what we call Saturday – is actually the same word used for “Sabbath.” In Greek, it is sabbaton; Italian, sabato; Spanish, sábado; Russian, subbota; Polish, sobota; and Hungarian, szómbat. Even the French “samedi” is from the Latin “Sambata dies,” for “day of the Sabbath.” Names of days in today’s English come from ancient paganism, where they were originally associated with celestial objects and heathen gods.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

Mr. Kovacs then adds to his article a chart showing the origin of the days of the week in English, as found in paganism.

Not often does one deal with the matter of the Sabbath Sunday debate with as much calm delivery. But Mr. Kovacs continues his presentation with equanimity.

“In the King James Version of the Bible, the word “Sabbath” appears 137 times. The word “Sunday” is absent, though its equivalent, the first day of the week, occurs eight times – nine if the “first day” of creation is counted. Most biblical scholars have little disagreement when asked what day the Bible specifically calls the Sabbath. “The seventh day, Saturday,” says Richard Bauckham, professor of New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. “No other day is called the Sabbath in Old or New Testaments.” Joe Kovacs, “'Deception': Christians war over worship day.” The World Net Daily Website, March 16, 2008

He then proceeds to present the other side of the argument. He is truly informed concerning the opinions of those who maintain the expiration of the Seventh Day Sabbath.

“But while the Bible never calls the first day of the week a Sabbath, the vast majority of Christians today gather for worship then. Many think Sabbath-keeping was either abolished or moved to Sunday once Jesus rose from the grave. “There’s not a simple answer,” said Dr. Roger Felipe, a Baptist preacher from Marco Island, Fla., who is also director of programs for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, part of Trinity International University. “From [today’s] Christian point of view, the Sabbath is Sunday.” There is little, if any, argument Jesus and His fellow Jews observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, as the Bible states, “as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read.” (Luke 4:16) But it’s what took place after His death and resurrection that’s key.

It is clear that Mr. Kovacs has done his work. What is perhaps unfortunate is that many others have not. We will continue to look at his presentation in our next editorial.

Cameron A. Bowen

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