What does Lord's Day mean in the Bible?

Dictionary

Easton's Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day
Only once, in Revelation 1:10 , was in the early Christian ages used to denote the first day of the week, which commemorated the Lord's resurrection. There is every reason to conclude that John thus used the name. (See SABBATH .)
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Lord's Day
See SABBATH.
Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day
The Christian sabbath, called so in Revelation 1:10, the earliest mention of the term. But the consecration of the day to worship, to almsgiving (but not to earning), and to the Lord's supper, is implied in Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. The Lord singled it out as the day of His repeated appearances after His resurrection (John 20:19; John 20:26), and the evangelists' special mention of this day as the day of those reappearances implies their recognition of its sanctity. The designation corresponds to "the Lord's supper" (1 Corinthians 11:20): Ignatius (ad Magnes. ix) and Irenaeus (Quaest. ad Orthod. 115, in Justin Martyr); and Justin Martyr, A.D. 140 (Apol. ii. 98), writes: "on Sunday we hold our joint meeting, for the first day is that on which God, having removed darkness, made the world, and Jesus Christ our Saviour rose from the dead.
On the day before Saturday they crucified Him; on the day after Saturday, Sunday, having appeared to His apostles He taught." Pliny writes in his famous letter to Trajan (x. 97), "the Christians (in Bithynia) on a fixed day before dawn meet and sing a hymn to Christ as God." Tertullian (de Coron. iii), "on the Lord's day we deem it wrong to fast." Melito, bishop of Sardis (second century), wrote a book on the Lord's day (Eusebius iv. 26). The reference in Romans 14:5-6 is to days of Jewish observance. The words "he that regardeth not the day to the Lord he doth not regard it" are not in the Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Vaticanus manuscripts, and the Vulgate. "The day of the Lord" (namely, of His second advent: 1 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10) is distinct from "the Lord's (an adjective, eej kuriakee ) day," which in the ancient church designated Sunday.
The visions of the seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven vials, naturally begin on the first day of the seven, the birthday of the church whose future they set forth (Wordsworth). In A.D. 321 Constantine expressed the feeling of all his Christian subjects by enjoining that "all judges, and the civic population, and workshops of artisans should rest on the venerable day of the Sun." The council of Nicea (A.D. 325) assume the universal acceptance of the obligation of the Lord's day, and only direct as to the posture of worshippers on it. Christ's rising from the dead on the first day, to bring in the new creation, is the ground of transference of the sabbath from the seventh day.
If the former creation out of chaos was rightly marked by the seventh day, much more the more momentous (Isaiah 65:17) new creation, out of moral chaos (Jeremiah 4:22-23), by the first day. The seventh day sabbath was the gloomy, silent one of Jesus' resting in the grave; the first day sabbath is the joyful one of the once "rejected stone becoming head of the corner." "This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will be glad and rejoice in it" (Psalms 118:22-24). If a seventh day sabbath marked Israel's emancipation from Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15), much more (compare Jeremiah 16:14-15) should the first day sabbath mark ushering in of the world's redemption from Satan by Jesus. (See SABBATH.)
Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Lord's Day
LORD’S DAY
1. Name and origin . The title used by St. John ( Revelation 1:10 ), probably to describe the day upon which the Christian Church in Apostolic days assembled for worship. The Acts of the Apostles shows us the disciples of Christ immediately after Pentecost as a closely united body, ‘of one heart and soul,’ supported by daily gatherings together and the Eucharist ( Acts 4:32 ; Acts 2:42 ; Acts 2:46 ). Their new faith did not at first lead them to cut themselves off from their old Jewish worship, for their belief in Jesus as Messiah seemed to them to add to and fulfil, rather than to abolish, the religion of their childhood. This worship of Christians with their Jewish fellow-countrymen secured the continuation of the Church of God from one dispensation to another; while their exclusively Christian Eucharists consolidated the Church and enabled it to discover itself.
The daity worship of the Christian Church would no doubt soon prove impracticable, and a weekly gathering become customary. For this weekly gathering the Sabbath was unsuitable, as being then observed in a spirit radically different from the joy and liberty of the new faith; doubtless also the restrictions as to length of a Sabbath day’s journey would prove a bar to the gathering together of the little body. Of the other six days none so naturally suggested itself as the first. To it our Lord had granted a certain approval; for on it He rose from the grave and appeared to His disciples, and on the following Sunday repeated His visitation; while, if Pentecost that year fell on the first day of the week (which it did if the chronology of St. John be followed), it received a final seal as the special day of grace.
That this day was actually chosen is seen in the NT (Acts 20:7 , 1 Corinthians 16:2 ). And mention of it is found in the literature immediately following the Apostolic writings.
Not the least interesting evidence is found in a report to the Emperor Trajan written by Pliny, a heathen magistrate, not long after the death of St. John, which mentions that the custom of the Christians was to meet together early in the morning on a certain ‘fixed day’ and sing hymns to Christ as a god, and bind themselves by a sacramentum to commit no crime. Ignatius, the earliest of post-Apostolic Christian writers, also speaks of it, telling the Magnesians to lead a life comformable to ‘the Lord’s Day.’
And from then to now a continuous stream of evidence shows that the Church has faithfully observed the custom ever since.
The title by which early Christian writers usually called the festival was ‘the Lord’s Day’; but before long the Church felt no difficulty in adopting the heathen title of ‘ Sunday ,’ realizing that as on that day light was created, and the Sun of Righteousness arose on it, there was to them a peculiar fitness in the name.
The most valuable evidence as to the method by which the early Church observed the day is found in Justin Martyr’s Apotogy (i. 67, a.d. 120), where we read that on the day called Sunday the Christians met together, out of both city and country, and held a religious service at which first the writings of Apostles and Prophets were read; then the president preached; after which common prayers were said; and when these were ended, bread and wine were brought to the president, who uttered prayers and thanksgivings, to which the people said, ‘Amen’; all present then participated in the Eucharist, the deacons carrying it to the absent. Thus it is clear that the early Church continued the Apostolic custom ( Acts 20:7 ) of celebrating the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day a custom so wide-spread as to enable Chrysostom to call Sunday dies panis , or ‘the day of bread.’
2. Relation to the Sabbath. The relation of the Lord’s Day to the Sabbath is best defined as one of close affinity rather than of identity. The Sabbath was originally instituted as a provision for deep physical and spiritual needs of human nature. It sprang from the love of God for man, providing by religious sanction for the definite setting apart of the seventh day as a time for rest from labour and for communion with God. Our Lord found the original institution almost hidden beneath a mass of traditional regulations. Thus his action towards the Sabbath as He found it, was to bring men back to its first ideal. This He did by showing that their tradition told how David broke the letter of its regulation and yet was guiltless ( Luke 6:3 ); how charity and common sense led men to break their own rules ( Luke 13:15 ); how the Sabbath was granted to man as a blessing and not laid on him as a burden ( Mark 2:27 ); and how He as Son of Man, fulfilling ideal manhood, was its Lord ( Mark 2:28 ); but while our Lord thus purified the Sabbath, there is no proof that He abolished it. He foreknew its ultimate abolition, as He foreknew the ultimate destruction of the Temple; and He cleansed it as He cleansed the Temple.
We can best see Christ’s will regarding the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day in what actually happened. For what happened had its rise in Apostolic times, and has been adopted by the Church universal ever since, and is thus assuredly His will as wrought by the Spirit. The Acts shows us that the Christians who were originally Jews observed both the Sabbath and the Christian Lord’s Day ( Acts 21:20 f.); and this double observance lasted among them at least until the destruction of the Temple. The Jewish members of the Church were soon outnumbered by the Gentile, and these latter would feel in no way drawn to continuing the observance of the Jewish Sabbath as well as their own Lord’s Day; and this the more so that they had received the gospel under the wider teaching of St. Paul, who had emphasized the danger of an undue observance of days, and had spoken of the Sabbath as ‘a shadow of the things to come’ ( i.e . the Christian dispensation; cf. Colossians 2:16 f., Galatians 4:9-11 , Romans 14:5 f.). But if the Gentile Christian did not observe the Jewish Sabbath, yet he could not be ignorant of its deeper meaning, for he saw the Sabbath observed by his Jewish neighbours, and read in the OT of its institution and uses; and thus imperceptibly the essential principles of the Sabbath would pass into the Christian idea of their own sacred day of rest and worship. Christ’s intention, then, seems to have been to allow the Sabbath to die slowly, but by His Spirit to teach the Church to perpetuate for mankind in her Lord’s Day all that was of eternal moment in the Sabbath. Thus was avoided the danger of pouring the new wine of Christian truth and liberty into the old bottles of Jewish traditional observances.
Charles T. P. Grierson.
1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Lord's Day
Special name for the first day of the week in the New Testament. This day was chosen to honor the day on which Our Lord rose from the dead. On this day the faithful are obliged to hear Mass and rest from all servile works.
Holman Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day
A designation for Sunday, the first day of the week, used only once in the New Testament (Revelation 1:10 ). The Greek word for “Lord's,” however, is precisely the same as that used in the term for “Lord's Supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20 ). In fact, the Didache , an early Christian manual for worship and instruction, links the two terms together, indicating that the Lord's Supper was observed each Lord's Day (1 Corinthians 14:1 ). Herein may lie the origin of the term. Because the first day of the week was the day on which the early Christians celebrated Lord's Supper, it became known as Lord's Day, the distinctively Christian day of worship.
The earliest account of a first-day worship experience is found in Acts 20:7-12 . Here Paul joined the Christians of Troas on the evening of the first day of the week for the breaking of bread (probably a reference to the Lord's Supper). The actual day is somewhat uncertain. Evening of the first day could refer to Saturday evening (by Jewish reckoning) or to Sunday evening (by Roman reckoning). Since the incident involved Gentiles on Gentile soil, however, the probable reference is to Sunday night.
The importance of Sunday to first-century Christians is also intimated in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 . Giving instructions about a special relief offering he wanted to take to the Christians in Jerusalem, Paul suggested that the Corinthians should set aside their weekly contributions on the first day of the week. Paul probably mentioned this day because he knew that his readers routinely assembled on that day for worship and that would be the logical time for them to set aside their offering.
Two other second-century documents also shed light on the significance of Lord's Day for the early church. First, Ignatius in his Epistle to the Magnesians (about A.D. 110-117) stressed the importance of Lord's Day by contrasting the worship done on that day with that formerly observed on the Sabbath ( 1 Corinthians 9:1 ). Second, Justin Martyr (about A.D. 150) wrote the first extant Christian description of a worship service. He noted that the early Sunday morning service began with baptism, included Scripture readings, expository preaching, and prayer, and then concluded with the observance of the Lord's Supper (Apology 65-67).
First and second century Christian documents indicate that Sunday quickly became the standard day for Christian worship, but they do not explain how or why this change from Sabbath to Lord's Day came about. The most obvious reason, of course, was the Resurrection of Jesus which took place on that first Lord's Day. Since the earliest collective experiences of the disciples with the risen Lord took place on Easter Sunday evening ( Luke 24:36-49 ; John 20:19-23 ), one might naturally expect the disciples to gather at that same hour on subsequent Sundays to remember Him in the observance of the Supper. This pattern, perhaps, is reflected in the service at Troas in Acts 20:1 .
The change in the time of worship from evening to morning, though, probably came about because of practical necessity. Writing to the emperor Trajan at the beginning of the second century, Pliny the Younger, governor of Bithynia, reported that in compliance with Trajan's edict against seditious assemblies, he had ordered that no group, including the Christians, could meet at night. Pliny then described an early morning service of the Christians. Forbidden to meet at night, they met for the observance of the Supper at the only other hour available to them on the first day of the week: early in the morning before they went to work. It is likely that the practice then spread throughout the empire wherever similar regulations against evening worship were in force.
Although some Jewish Christians probably also observed the sabbath, the early Christians saw Sunday as a day of joy and celebration, not a substitute for the sabbath. The use of the term “sabbath” to refer to Sunday did not become common until the English Puritans began to do so after A.D. 1500. Evidence from the early centuries clearly shows that Christians regarded Sunday as a day to rejoice in the new life brought by the resurrection. On other days Christians might fast and kneel when praying, but the joyous character of the Lord's day made those actions inappropriate on Sundays. Soon after Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire. Sunday was officially declared a day of rest. See Didache ; Lord's Supper ; Sabbath ; Worship
Fred A. Grissom and Naymond Keathley
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Lord's Day, the
The expression "the Lord's day" is found only once in the Bible. In Revelation 1:10 John relates the beginning of his visionary experience to being in the Spirit "on the Lord's Day." The phrase seems to have become more common in the second century a.d., where it is found in such early Christian writings as Ignatius's Epistle to the Magnesians 9:1 (c. a.d. 108), the Didache 14:1 (c. a.d. 100-125), and the Gospel of Peter 9:35; 12:50 (c. a.d. 125-50).
The presence of the adjective kuriakos [1] makes the expression grammatically different from the common biblical phrase "the Day of the Lord, " which uses the genitive form of the noun kurios [2]. The adjective is found only one other time in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 11:20 , where Paul speaks of "the Lord's Supper." Non-Christian parallels suggest that the adjective was used with reference to that which belonged to the Roman emperor; early Christians seem to have used it, perhaps in conscious protest, to refer to that which belonged to Jesus.
The particular "day" that belonged to Jesus seems to have been Sunday, or, by Jewish reckoning, Saturday sundown until Sunday sundown. According to the Gospels, Jesus was raised from the dead on "the first day of the week" (Matthew 28:1 ; Mark 16:2 ; Luke 24:1 ; John 20:1 ), that is, Sunday. New Testament evidence suggests that by the 50s, if not earlier, Christians were attaching special significance to Sunday. In 1Corinthians 16:1-3Paul exhorts the church at Corinth to set aside a sum of money "on the first day of every week" for the church at Jerusalem, as the Galatian churches were already doing. Similarly, Luke notes that when Paul arrived at Troas near the end of his third missionary journey, the church gathered together to break bread "on the first day of the week" (Acts 20:6-7 ). Although the identification is not made explicit, there is therefore good reason to believe that John has Sunday in mind when he mentions "the Lord's Day" in Revelation 1:10 . Certainly the second-century Gospel of Peter, which twice speaks of the day of Jesus' resurrection as "the Lord's Day" (9:35; 12:50), makes the connection. Similarly, the Epistle of Barnabas (c. a.d. 130) notes that Christians celebrate Jesus' resurrection of "the eighth day" (15:9; cf. John 20:26 ), or Sunday, which is the day after the seventh day—that is, the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday). Justin Martyr affirms that Jesus was raised on "the day of the Sun" (Apology 67).
How quickly the Lord's Day emerged as a specific day of worship for the early church is not clear. Luke observes that in the period immediately following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the earliest Christians met "every day" in the temple courts. Whether their breaking of bread in their homes was a daily or weekly occurrence he does not specify, but the former seems more likely (Acts 2:46 ). Alternately, Paul's comments to the Corinthians concerning the laying aside of money on the first day of the week do not indicate whether this action was connected with a formal gathering of the church (1 Corinthians 16:13 ). Luke's description of the meeting of believers at Troas is the first clear indication of a special gathering as taking place in the evening, by which he probably means Sunday, using Roman reckoning from midnight to midnight, rather than the Jewish system. By the second century the Lord's Day was clearly set apart as a special day for worship. In a letter to the emperor Trajan (c. a.d. 112), the Roman governor Pliny the Younger notes that Christians assembled before daylight "on an appointed day" (Epistle 10:96), undoubtedly Sunday. The Didache specifically exhorts believers to come together on the Lord's Day (14:1), and the Epistle of Barnabas sees it as a special day of celebration (15:9). Indeed, Justin Martyr (c. a.d. 150) gives a detailed account of typical Sunday worship (Apology 67).
A clear picture of how the early Christians celebrated the Lord's Day emerges only gradually. Luke records that the Christians at Troas came together to break bread, which may well denote a meal that included the Lord's Supper (cf. Acts 2:42 ; 1 Corinthians 11:20-22 ). That Paul spoke (at great length!) to the assembled believers (Acts 20:7-11 ) implies nothing about their typical practice, since Paul was a special guest and intended to leave the next day. The Didache makes explicit the connection between the breaking of bread and the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day but says little else concerning the meeting, apart from mentioning the practice of confession of sin (14:1). Pliny mentions two meetings on the "appointed day": the Christians first meet before dawn to sing a hymn to Christ "as to a god" and to affirm certain ethical commitments; then they depart and reassemble for a meal. Not being a Christian himself, Pliny would not have understood the significance of the meal as a setting for the Lord's Supper; for him it was enough that the meal consisted "of ordinary, innocent food" (Galatians 4:9-11).
The most extensive account of an early Christian Sunday worship service is provided by Justin Martyr (Apology 67, cf. 65). According to Justin, the gathering begins with readings from "the memoirs of the apostles" the Gospelsor the writings of the prophets for "as long as time permits." The "president" then delivers a sermon consisting of instruction and exhortation. Next, the congregation rises for prayer, following which the bread and wine are brought in for the Lord's Supper. After prayers and thanksgivings by the president and a congregational "Amen, " the deacons distribute the bread and wine to those who are present (and then carry some to those who are absent). There follows a collection of "what each thinks fit" for the needy, and, apparently, the end of the service.
Noteworthy in these early texts is the lack of identification of Sunday with the Jewish Sabbath. Luke has little to say about early Christian observance of the Sabbath, apart from recording Paul's preaching on the Sabbath in Jewish synagogues (Acts 13:14,42 , 44 ; 17:2 ; 18:4 ; 16:13 ), which perhaps says less about Paul's commitment to Sabbath observance than about his missionary strategy. Indeed, Paul has little interest in observing special days as sacred (Romans 14:5-6 ; Epistle 10:96 ; Colossians 2:16 ). Ignatius contrasts observance of the Sabbath with living for the Lord's Day (Magnesians 9:1). The Epistle of Barnabas views the significance of the biblical Sabbath as being a symbol of the future rest established at the return of Jesus (15:1-8; cf. Hebrews 4:3-11 ). Justin Martyr speaks of the Sabbath in terms of a perpetual turning from sin (Dialogue with Trypho 12). In 321Constantine proclaimed Sunday to be official day of rest in the Roman Empire (Codex Justinianus 3.12.3), but this does not seem to have been related to any concern with the Jewish Sabbath. By the end of the fourth century, church leaders such as Ambrose and John Chrysostom were making such a connection, defending relaxation from work on Sunday on the basis of the Fourth Commandment and paving the way for later Catholic and Protestant elaboration on Sunday as the Sabbath.
In the early church, then, the Christians began to give a special place to Sunday as the day on which Jesus was raised from the dead. It soon became a fixed day for worship, a celebration of the resurrection centered around the Lord's Supper. As Christianity distanced itself from Judaism, it is not surprising that eventually the church would see its special day in terms of the special day of the Jews, the Sabbath, and would transfer the provisions of the Fourth Commandment to Sunday.Joseph L. Trafton
See also Worship
Bibliography . P. K. Jewett, The Lord's Day ; W. Rordorf, Sunday .
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Lord's Day
1. Origin.-Before the apostolic period had wholly passed away ‘the first day of the week’ had become, or was well on the way to become, the stated weekly holy-day of the Christian Church, bearing the distinctive designation ‘the Lord’s Day’ (ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα). It is evident that this day was regarded as of special importance from the beginning, and was placed alongside of the Sabbath in the esteem of Jewish Christians. In the course of time it became a substitute for the Sabbath itself. How this was brought about cannot be exactly stated. We cannot point to any definite act of institution, any such impressive story and legislative sanction as the Pentateuch supplies with reference to the Jewish Sabbath. No authority of the Lord Himself can be cited for it; there is no ‘Jesus said’ to correspond to ‘God spake all these words, saying’ (Exodus 20:1), or ‘the Lord spake unto Moses, saying’ (Leviticus 19:1-3).
The materials afforded us by the NT are scanty indeed. Two things, however, are clear.-(a) In the brief Resurrection stories, as found in all the Gospels, conspicuous emphasis is laid on ‘the first day of the week’ as the day on which Jesus rose from the dead. See Mark 16:2, Luke 24:1, John 20:1 (τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων), Matthew 28:1 (εἰς μίαν σαββάτων), the fragment Mark 16:9-20 (πρώτῃ σαββάτου), John 20:19 (τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἑκείνη τῇ μιᾷ σαββάτων). John 20:26, with its ‘after eight days’ (the octave), is specially interesting, for it has the faint suggestion of a custom-germ, or reflects the early-established practice of a weekly meeting on that day. Th. Zahn calls attention to the particularity with which John notes the days connected with the Passion and Resurrection, and explains it as due to the Christian week-scheme already fully established among the churches of Asia Minor, with which the Fourth Gospel was so closely associated (Skizzen aus dem Leben der alten Kirche, no. 5, p. 178).-(b) Early in the 2nd cent. the first day of the week appears as distinctively the sacred day of Christianity under the name of ‘the Lord’s Day.’
The connexion between (a) and (b) cannot be fortuitous. The tradition that the Lord rose again on the first day of the week naturally invested that day with special interest. Jesus’ Resurrection from the first figured as a dominating fact concerning Him in early faith and evangelism. What wonder that that day should come to be regarded as par excellence the Lord’s Day?
Those who deny the reality of the Resurrection as a unique event are hard pressed to account for the undeniable primitive association of the day with that occurrence. What is there convincing in the following suggestions? ‘It is quite possible that the Christian Sunday was originally fixed-perhaps before the women’s story was generally known-in some other way, e.g. by the events of the Day of Pentecost, or by the first appearance of the risen Christ in Galilee, or by the selection of the first available time after the Jewish Sabbath, and that the connexion of it with the date of the Resurrection was an afterthought’ (J. M. Thompson, Miracles in the NT, London, 1911, p. 164). Later on the same author seems to treat the ‘appearance’ also as a fictitious afterthought grafted on to a Christian time-scheme of amazingly early development: ‘Both the appearances take place on Sunday (John 20). This is another indication of the ecclesiastical and eucharistic atmosphere in which the Resurrection stories grew up’ (p. 199; cf. A. Loisy, Autour d’un petit livre, Paris, 1903, p. 242f.).
The NT itself is not without evidence that this institution began its growth in apostolic times. The passages are few but familiar. In Acts 20:7 the first day of the week is associated with a Christian assembly for religious purposes (συνηγμένων ἡμῶν κλάσαι ἄρτον). If a use of this kind had not already begun, what propriety or moment would there be in stating what day of the week it was? Again, at an earlier point in St. Paul’s career we find him urging the Christians at Corinth to make weekly contributions towards the fund for the relief of the impoverished church at Jerusalem, and to do it on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:2). It has been pointed out, not unreasonably, that this contribution is not represented as an offering to be collected at some meeting for worship (Deissmann, article ‘Lord’s Day’ in Encyclopaedia Biblica ), that, rather, the expression παρʼ ἑαυτῷ simply points to setting aside such a gift at home, and so the passage yields no positive evidence for the observance of the day as in later times. When, however, it is suggested, as an alternative explanation, that the first day of the week is named because probably this or the day before was the pay-day for working folk at Corinth, we need some definite evidence for this which is not forthcoming. And when, as Zahn observes (op. cit. p. 177), we find that in the 2nd cent. there was a wide-spread custom of laying charitable gifts for the poor on the church dish in connexion with public worship, it is difficult not to connect this with St. Paul’s words here. May not his action in this particular instance, indeed, have directly led to the institution of a collection for the poor on the Lord’s Day, and especially in association with ‘the breaking of bread’? It may be added that, as St. Paul urges this course so ‘that no collections be made when I come,’ and as the whole work is described in v. 1 as a ‘collection’ (λογία), it is most natural to infer that there was not only a setting apart of gifts, but also a paying into a local fund week by week. This strengthens the view that 1 Corinthians 16:2 incidentally gives evidence of early movements towards the setting up of the Lord’s Day as an institution, especially when taken along with Acts 20:7; for when could the contributions of the people be better collected in readiness for the Apostle than at their meetings on the special day of worship?
It is fair also to suggest (with Hessey, Sunday, p. 43) that the ‘assembling’ spoken of in Hebrews 10:25 must have taken place at stated times and that the time is most likely to have been the first day of the week.
The mention of ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα in Revelation 1:10 calls for special notice, as this is the only instance in the NT of the use of the expression that subsequently became so established and familiar. But does it bear in this place the same significance as it came to possess and possesses still? Some have argued that what is meant is not ‘the Lord’s Day’ as we understand it, but ‘the Day of the Lord’ in the sense in which the OT prophets employ the term, and as it figures in the eschatological outlook of the NT (e.g. 1 Thessalonians 5:2). Hort (Apoc. of St. John, I.-III., London, 1908, ad loc.) inclines to this view, thinking it suits the context better, and seeing no reason for mentioning the day on which the seer had his vision. He suggests as a possible rendering: ‘I became in the Spirit and so in the Day of the Lord.’ It is not surprising that he only ventures on this ‘with some doubt.’ Deissmann (loc. cit.) also favours this view, identifying ‘the Lord’s Day’ here with ‘the day of Jahweh,’ the day of judgment-in the Septuagint ἡ ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου (as also in St. Paul and elsewhere). But here we have an important point telling for the ordinary view. Neither in the Septuagint nor in the NT (nor in other early Christian writings) have we any instance of ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα (if not here) used as = ‘the Day of the Lord.’ The term with this meaning is ἡ ἡμέρα (τοῦ) κυρίου. If the two expressions were equivalent and interchangeable, how strange that the latter should occur so regularly and the former be found in but one solitary instance!
On the other hand, we have an undisputed early example of the use of ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα (in noteworthy abbreviation) as = ‘Sunday’ in Didache, xiv. 1 (κατὰ κυριακὴν δὲ κυρίου συναχθέντες κλάσατε ἄρτον; cf. Acts 20:7). The expression thus could not have been a new term c. [1] a.d. 100, since κυριακή alone is used as = ‘Lord’s Day,’ and particularly in the striking collocation κυριακὴ κυρίου. The relevance of this is unaffected even if Turner is right in regarding the Didaċhe as simply a réchauffé of a purely Jewish manual, and the curious phrase ‘the Lord’s day of the Lord’ as ‘only the Christian substitute for the Jewish “Sabbath of the Lord” ’ (Studies in Early Church History, Oxford, 1912, p. 8). Cf. also Ignatius, ad Magn. ix. 1 ‘living in the observance of the Lord’s Day’ (κατὰ κυριακὴν ζῶντες). No difficulty in point of time emerges concerning the use of ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα in Rev., which is reasonably assigned to the reign of Domitian. And it is not used here as a newly-coined term. How much earlier than the time of Domitian it came into use none can say.
It is true we find the simple early name ‘first day’ or ‘eighth day’ continuing in use long after ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα emerges. Note particularly ‘the eighth day, which is also the first,’ used by Justin Martyr (Dial. xli., Apol. i. 67) and still later writers. But evidently there was in ‘Lord’s Day’ an inherent suitability and felicity which caused it to outlive these primitive designations and become the permanent and characteristic Christian name of the day. It passed into Western use, not only figuring as dies dominica in the liturgical scheme of the week, but establishing itself in ordinary modern nomenclature (e.g. in French dimanche and Italian domenica).
2. The epithet κυριακή and its use.-We can hardly wonder that at one time κυριακός was regarded as a word ‘coined by the apostles themselves’ (Winer-Moulton, Grammar of NT Greek9, Edinburgh, 1882, p. 296). In Wilke-Grimm’s Clavis Novi Testamenti3, Leipzig, 1888, it is described as ‘vox solum biblica et ecclesiastica,’ and in Thayer Grimm’s Gr.-Eng. Lexicon of the NT, tr. Thayer 4, Edinburgh, 1892, this is reproduced, save that ‘solum’ is passed over. However, the papyri and inscriptions discovered more recently in Egypt and in Asia Minor abundantly prove that the word was in current use in the whole of the Greek-speaking world; e.g. κυριακὸς λόγος (= Imperial treasury) occurs in a government decree issued in a.d. 68, ὁ κύριος being a designation of the Emperor (cf. similar use of Lat. dominicus). For other examples see Deissmann, Bible Studies, Eng. translation , Edinburgh, 1901, p. 217f.
But from the fact that early Christians did not coin the term κυριακός, but found it ready to hand in the vocabulary of the day, it does not necessarily follow that they used it as the pagan world used it. They set it in a new connexion. In their use of it they gave it a specific and distinctive character. Thus we find it used in specific association (which became permanent) with the Supper (κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, 1 Corinthians 11:20), with the Day (as here), with the Sayings of Jesus (λόγια κυριακά, Papias), with the House, the domus ecclesiae (τὸ κυριακόν).
In this connexion the following note from OED [2] , s.v. ‘Church,’ may be of use: ‘The parallelism of Gr. κυριακόν, church, κυριακή, Sunday (in 11th cent. also ‘church’), L. dominicum, church, dominica, dies dominica, Sunday, Irish domhnach, “church” and “Sunday,” is instructive.’
Deissmann (loc. cit.) dissents from the view advanced by Holtzmann and others that our particular term (ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα or ἡ κυριακή) ‘is formed after the analogy of δεῖπνον κυριακόν.’ He prefers (though, indeed, with a certain amount of caution) to regard this Christian mode of naming the first day of the week as analogous to the custom of the pagan world in Egypt and Asia Minor whereby the first day of each month was called Σεβαστή (= Imperial). Thus the Christian weekly ‘Lord’s Day’ was the direct counterpart of a monthly ‘Emperor’s Day.’ This, to say the least, is not self-evident; and Deissmann may well hesitate, as he does, to maintain that the Christians thus consciously copied the pagan use. We need not, indeed, argue a direct analogy to κυριακὸν δεῖπνον in particular. Perhaps we may more reasonably regard both these expressions and others given above as being independent but co-ordinate examples of the application of the epithet κυριακός. There could be no question from the first as to the κύριος it had reference to. Nor, again, need we suppose that Christians, in thus speaking of Jesus, were directly influenced by the use of ὁ κύριος or ὁ κύριος ημῶν as designating a deity or an emperor in the time of the Roman Empire. They had a sufficient precedent for this in the Jewish use of ’Adônâi for God. At the same time the parallelism in such use among Jews, Christians, and pagans is a matter of some interest.
3. The relation of the Lord’s Day to the Jewish Sabbath.-As shown by the few passages already noticed, the first day of the week evidently began from the earliest times to have a special value in the eyes of Christians. But, whatever the significance and use of that day, the day itself was not confounded with the Jewish Sabbath. Nor is there any sign that in apostolic times there was any thought of superseding the latter by the Lord’s Day.
‘L’idée de transporter au dimanche la solennité du sabbat, avec toutes ses exigences, est une idée étrangère au christianisme primitif’ (Duchesne, Origines du culte chrétien4, p. 46). Similarly Zahn (op. cit. p. 188f.) points out that no one belonging to the circle of Jewish Christians would think of relaxing one of Moses’ commandments; and, even if already in apostolic times Sunday came to be observed, none could think that the Sabbath commandment would be fulfilled through a Sabbath-like observance of another day instead of the observance of the Sabbath itself.
For a considerable time the two existed side by side. The Jewish Christian who met with his fellow-Christians on the Lord’s Day still observed the Sabbath of his fathers. Nothing in the use of the first day of the week as a day for Christian reunions could have been intended as hostile to the old Jewish institution. Clear evidence as to the two-fold observance of both the days is furnished by Ignatius (ad Magn. ix. [3]), who exhorts Christians to keep the Sabbath, ‘but no longer after the Jewish manner.’ ‘And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days,’ Similarly in the Apost. Const. ii. 59: ‘Assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord’s House (ἐν τοῖς κυριακοῖς) … but principally on the Sabbath day; and on the day of our Lord’s Resurrection, which is the Lord’s Day, meet more diligently,’ etc. We have an interesting memorial of this primitive double observance in the Lat. and Gr. liturgical names for Sunday (dies dominica, κυριακή) and Saturday (sabbatum, σάββατον), the whole liturgical scheme of the week having come down from early times when Christiana discarded the use of day-names associated with pagan gods.
It is true that Justin Martyr in a well-known passage (Apology, i. 67) uses the name ‘Sunday’ (τῆ τοῦ Ἡλίου λεγομένῃ ἡμέρα); but the expression ‘the day called the day at the sun’ clearly indicates that whilst Christians might use the ordinary name in intercourse with non-Christians they did not use it among themselves. Similarly in the same chapter Justin uses ‘day of Saturn’ (Saturday) instead of ‘Sabbath.’ Zahn (op. cit. p. 357) marks this as the only instance he knows of in which a Christian writer uses the term ‘Sunday’ in pre-Constantine times (see also Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics , article ‘Festivals and Fasts [4]’).
As Duchesne (op. cit. p. 396) and others have pointed out, the observance of Sunday is one of a number of elements which Christianity had in common with the religion of Mithras. In Mithraism this was directly connected with the worship of the sun. It was inevitable that some should argue from this a vital connexion between the two religions. This was the case in primitive times. Tertullian (Apol. xvi.) vigorously repudiates the charge that Christians worshipped the sun as their god.
In the course of time, the distinction between church and synagogue growing wider, the Sabbath inevitably became less and less important and eventually fell into complete neglect among Christians, whilst the Lord’s Day survived as their special sacred day of the week. (No institution of like kind was known in paganism.) It must be remembered that St. Paul was opposed to the introduction of OT festivals (including the Sabbath) into the churches he founded among the Gentiles, ‘declaring that by the adoption of them the Gentile believer forfeited the benefits of the gospel, since he chose to rest his salvation upon rites instead of upon Christ (Colossians 2:16; cf. Galatians 4:10, Romans 14:5 f.)’ (G. P. Fisher, Beginnings of Christianity, 1877, new ed., 1886, p. 561; cf. Zahn, p. 189). We may reasonably conclude, indeed, that St. Paul himself, being one of the ‘strong’ (Romans 14:5 f.), shared the view of those who esteemed ‘every day alike,’ and that all days were alike sacred in his eyes, whether Sabbaths, Lord’s Days, or others.
But the observance of the Lord’s Day must have been a very different thing from that of the Jewish Sabbath. The commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ alone would make a great difference. Whether or not the apostles saw what the issue would be when the first day of the week began to be thus observed (in however simple a way), they must have given the growing custom their approval and welcomed the association of acts of joyful worship and almsgiving with the day. St. Paul could have been no exception in this respect; but apparently he did not foresee that the Christian ‘first day’ might in time assume those very features of the Jewish ‘seventh day’ Sabbath which made him deprecate the introduction of this ancient institution among Gentile Christians (see also article Sabbath).
4. Primitive modes of observing the Lord’s Day.-The fact that for Christians the one raison d’étre of the Lord’s Day was the commemoration of the Lord’s Resurrection made it a weekly festival to be kept with gladness.
Somewhat later on, it is true, other associations were claimed for it as of to enhance the dignity of the day. E.g. a connexion with the first day of Creation and ever, with the Ascension was assumed; though these were trifling compared with some mediaeval developments. Between the 11th and the 15th centuries we meet with a wide-spread fiction of a ‘Letter from Heaven’ inculcating Sunday observance, wherein the largest claims are made for the day: how that on it the angels were created, the ark rested on Ararat, the Exodus took place, also the Baptism of Jesus, His great miracles. His Ascensions, and the Charism of Pentecost (see An English Miscellany, in honour of Dr. Furnivall, Oxford, 1901).
(a) We are frequently reminded by early Christian writers that it was the primitive custom to stand for prayer on that day instead of kneeling as on other days. Tertullian, amongst others, dilates on this (de Orat. xxiii.). Canon 20 of the Council of Nicaea plainly reflects a very old custom, as it enjoins that ‘seeing there are some who kneel on Sunday and in the days of Pentecost … men should offer their prayers to God standing.’
(b) Cessation from all work does not appear to have been required in primitive times as an element in the observance of the day. So long as there were meetings for religious worship, Christians were not expected to cease from manual labour. But so far as Jewish Christians were concerned, if they observed Sabbath in such a way, they would hardly he likely to observe the day immediately following in the same way as well. For the rest it may be questioned whether social conditions made it practicable. We can hardly argue back to apostolic times from customs obtaining in society nominally Christian under nominally Christian government. Old Roman laws in pre-Christian times provided for the suspension of business (particularly in the law courts) on all feriae or festivals. It was the Emperor Constantine who at length ordered that the same rule should apply to the Lord’s Day, thus bestowing honour on the day as a fixed weekly festival (see Bingham, Antiquities of the Christian Church, bk. xx. ch. ii). It is noticeable that in Ignatius (ad Magn. ix. [5]) Christians are exhorted to keep Sabbath ‘after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the Law’; and abstention from work in expressly discountenanced, while rest from labour is not demanded for the observance of the Lord’s Day. Later on the practice of using Sunday as a day of rest from work came into vogue; and then it served as a sign distinguishing Christian from Jew.
Considerable light on this point is incidentally gained from the 29th Canon or the Council of Laodicea (4th cent.)-light as to what had long been the practice of Christians who clung to Jewish antecedents, and as to the conditions then prevailing. It reads; ‘That Christians must not act as Jews by refraining tram work on the Sabbath, but must rather work on that day, and, if they can, as Christiana they must cease work on the Lord’s Day, so giving it the greater honour.’
(c) The assemblies connected with the Lord’s Day were two; the vigil in the night between Saturday and Sunday, and the celebration of the Liturgy on Sunday morning. One reason for meeting at such times was most probably the need for precaution in times of persecution and difficulty. An interesting account of Sunday worship of Christians at Jerusalem in the 4th cent. is to be found in a letter written by a Gallic lady who went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The document, written in the vulgar Latin, is given by Duchesne in his Origines du culte chrétien, Appendix 5. No doubt the picture reflects in the main a usage which had existed from much earlier times. A crowd of people (‘all who could possibly be there’) gathers at the church doors ‘before cock-crow’ when the doors are first opened, then streams into the church, which is lit up by a large number of lamps (luminaria infinita). (Not that such zest in church attendance was universal in the early centuries. In a Homily on the Lord’s Day by Eusebius of Alexandria [6] the slackness of people in coming to church is humorously treated and rebuked.) The worship includes inter alia the recitation of three psalms, responses, prayers, and the reading of the gospel story of the Resurrection. Justin Martyr’s account of worship on the Lord’s Day is also well known (Apol. i. 65-67), while-to go still further back to the very fringe of the Apostolic Age-we have Pliny’s famous letter to Trajan wherein he describes Christians meeting early in the morning to sing hymns to Christ and (v.l. [2] ‘as’) God, and joining in a sacramental act and a common meal. This took place, he says, stato die, and no doubt that fixed day was the first day of the week.
(d) Very possibly the sacramental meal (‘breaking of bread’) was the earliest distinctive feature in the Christian observance of the Lord’s Day, the other exercises of prayer, reading, etc., being added later. ‘To the sacramental meal of apostolic times, understood as a foretaste and assurance of the “Messianic banquet” in the coming Parousia, there was soon prefixed a religious exercise-modelled perhaps on the common worship of the Synagogue-which implied just those preparatory acts of penance, purification, and desirous stretching out towards the Infinite, which precede in the experience of the growing soul the establishment of communion with the Spiritual World’ (E. Underhill, The Mystic Way, London, 1913, p. 335).
5. Modern names for Lord’s Day.-The varying names by which the day has been known in later times reflect the confusion which has attended the history of the Lord’s Day as a Christian institution.
(a) To speak of the day as ‘the Sabbath’ (even the expression ‘Christian Sabbath’ is only admissible on the ground of analogy) is to use a modus loquendi that primitive Christians could never have used. Their distinction between Sabbath and Lord’s Day was as clear as between the first and the seventh day. It arises from the mistaken identification of the weekly festival of the Resurrection of Christ with the Sabbath of the Jews and of the Fourth Commandment in the Decalogue. The sanctions for the observance of the Lord’s Day were wrongly sought in OT prescriptions (see Richard Baxter’s treatise on ‘The Divine appointment of the Lord’s Day proved, etc.,’ in Works, ed. Orme, London, 1830, xiii. 363ff.).
Less than ever is it of service now to appeal to the Fourth Commandment as an authority in urging the due maintenance of the Lord’s Day; though, indeed, the Mosaic institution has its full value as a venerable exemplification of the naturally wise provision for a weekly release from daily business and toil. Christians must rely on other sanctions, and chiefly the definite association of the day with the Resurrection of our Lord, the true instinct by which with great spontaneity the first little Christian communities set the day apart, the continuous usage of the Church, the provision for the function of worship. Others who may be uninfluenced by specific religious considerations, and for whom the very term ‘Lord’s Day’ may have no significance, may yet very well recognize the value of the underlying natural principle of the ‘day of rest.’
(b) Again, the persistence, or survival, of the pre-Christian and pagan designation ‘Sunday’ is a matter of interest, especially since, being tacitly denuded of its ancient associations with sun-worship, it has come to be invested to the Christian mind with all the meaning attached to ‘Lord’s Day,’ and used interchangeably with that name. We have seen how careful primitive Christians were to distinguish between the pa
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Lord's Day (2)
LORD'S DAY.—See Calendar (the Christian).
Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day, the
This occurs only in Revelation 1:10 ; John was in [1] Spirit on the Lord's day. It was the day of the week on which the Lord arose — the resurrection day, and thus emphatically marks the sabbath for the Christian. It is the first day of the week, and is suggestive of the beginning of a new order of things, altogether distinct from that connected with the legal Sabbath. It was the day on which the disciples commonly came together for the express purpose of breaking bread, Acts 20:7 ; and though no legal enactment is given concerning it, it is a day specially regarded by Christians. It is literally 'the dominical-day,' κυριακός, a word that occurs only in reference to 'the Lord's supper' in 1 Corinthians 11:20 and to 'the Lord's day:' the term is not to be confounded with 'the day of the Lord.'
Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Lord's Day
See SABBATH .
Smith's Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day, the
(Kuriake Hemera ), ( Revelation 1:10 ) (only), the weekly festival of our Lord's resurrection, and identified with "the first day of the week," or "Sunday," of every age of the Church. Scripture says very little concerning this day; but that little seems to indicate that the divinely-inspired apostles, by their practice and by their precepts, marked the first day of the week as a day for meeting together to break bread, for communicating and receiving instruction, for laying up offerings in store for charitable purposes, for occupation in holy thought and prayer. [1]
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Lord's Day
Christians in the early churches met together often (Acts 2:46; Hebrews 10:25). Although the frequency of meetings varied from place to place, the common practice seems to have been that all the Christians in a church met together at least on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:20; 1 Corinthians 16:2). By the end of the first century, Christians commonly referred to the first day of the week as the Lord’s day, probably because it was the day on which Jesus rose from the dead as the triumphant Lord (John 20:1; John 20:19; cf. Acts 2:36; Romans 1:4; Philippians 2:9-11). (Concerning the difference between the Lord’s day and the Jewish Sabbath see SABBATH.)
The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia - Lord's Day
The first day of the week is not the Sabbath, but theLord's Day, and as such has been observed since the Resurrectionof our Lord, of which it is the weekly commemoration. From the NewTestament itself we learn that the first day of the week, commonlycalled Sunday, has always been the day which Christians haveconsecrated to God's service. The Rt. Rev. F. W. Taylor, D.D., hasgiven us the following clear statement concerning the first day ofthe week observed as the Lord's Day: "Our Saviour Jesus Christ, inthe exercise of this His Lordship over the day, has first of allabolished the ordinance of the Seventh Day, and substituted, by theHoly Spirit guiding His Church into all Truth, the ordinance of theFirst Day, as that one day in seven which the Fourth Commandmentenjoins to be kept sacred to God as a moral obligation. Then ourLord has made this day one of the highest spiritual privilege, byuniting it to His own Person and work as the Day of His Resurrection,the weekly recurrence of the Christian Passover, a perpetualEaster; and also as the weekly memorial of His supreme Gift of theHoly Ghost upon the Feast of Pentecost, to abide with His Churchforever. It is preeminently a day of joy and gladness before theLord, and should first of all be observed to the Lord, in theassembling of the Church together for worship and communion with Godand for spiritual instruction and profit. Hence the Prayer Bookprescribes a Collect, Epistle and Gospel for every Sunday in theyear, and its rubrics plainly teach us that according to the mindof the Church the principal service of every Lord's Day should bethe celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Our Lord has also taught usby His example as well as by precept, that works of mercy, bothspiritual and corporal, are lawful to be done on this day, and arepeculiarly appropriate to it."

Sentence search

Dominical - ) The Lord's Day or Sunday; also, the Lord's prayer. ) Indicating, or pertaining to, the Lord's Day, or Sunday
Sunday - See Lord's Day
Sunday - (See Lord's Day
Lord's Day (2) - LORD'S DAY
Lord (2) - Lord's Day. From the times of the apostles, the first day of the week has been kept sacred by Christians in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, and it is invariably designated as the Lord's Day by the fathers of the primitive church up to the time of the edict of Constantine, when the name Sunday became common. John commences the Revelation saying: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. The Lord's Day, as the Sabbath, reminds us of the finished work of creation and redemption
Lord (2) - Lord's Day. From the times of the apostles, the first day of the week has been kept sacred by Christians in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, and it is invariably designated as the Lord's Day by the fathers of the primitive church up to the time of the edict of Constantine, when the name Sunday became common. John commences the Revelation saying: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. The Lord's Day, as the Sabbath, reminds us of the finished work of creation and redemption
Lord (2) - Lord's Day. From the times of the apostles, the first day of the week has been kept sacred by Christians in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ, and it is invariably designated as the Lord's Day by the fathers of the primitive church up to the time of the edict of Constantine, when the name Sunday became common. John commences the Revelation saying: "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. The Lord's Day, as the Sabbath, reminds us of the finished work of creation and redemption
Early Communion - From the very earliest ages of the Church it hasbeen the custom to begin the devotions of the Lord's Day with theHoly Communion celebrated at an early hour. The motive of the early Communion, especially on the Lord's Day,may be said to be twofold: First, the recognition of the Holy Communion as the distinctive act of worship for each Lord's Day,without taking part in which no primitive Christian would have beenconsidered to have properly kept Sunday, and secondly, the reverentdesire to receive fasting, or as Bishop Jeremy Taylor has said, "todo this honor to the Blessed Sacrament, that It be the first foodwe eat and the first beverage we drink on that day
Lord's Day, the - This occurs only in Revelation 1:10 ; John was in [1] Spirit on the Lord's Day. It is literally 'the dominical-day,' κυριακός, a word that occurs only in reference to 'the Lord's supper' in 1 Corinthians 11:20 and to 'the Lord's Day:' the term is not to be confounded with 'the day of the Lord
Sabbath - (See Lord's Day
Rogereens - In consequence of this, they used a variety of measures to disturb those who were assembled for public worship on the Lord's Day
Sunday - Or the Lord's Day, a solemn festival observed by Christians on the first day of every week in memory of our Saviour's resurrection. The words Sabbath and Lord's Day, say some, are the only names mentioned in Scripture respecting this day. But although it was in the primitive times indifferently called the Lord's Day, or Sunday, yet it was never denominated the Sabbath; a name constantly appropriate to Saturday or the seventh day, both by the sacred and ecclesiastical writers
Lord's Day - In fact, the Didache , an early Christian manual for worship and instruction, links the two terms together, indicating that the Lord's Supper was observed each Lord's Day (1 Corinthians 14:1 ). Because the first day of the week was the day on which the early Christians celebrated Lord's Supper, it became known as Lord's Day, the distinctively Christian day of worship. ...
Two other second-century documents also shed light on the significance of Lord's Day for the early church. 110-117) stressed the importance of Lord's Day by contrasting the worship done on that day with that formerly observed on the Sabbath ( 1 Corinthians 9:1 ). ...
First and second century Christian documents indicate that Sunday quickly became the standard day for Christian worship, but they do not explain how or why this change from Sabbath to Lord's Day came about. The most obvious reason, of course, was the Resurrection of Jesus which took place on that first Lord's Day. On other days Christians might fast and kneel when praying, but the joyous character of the Lord's Day made those actions inappropriate on Sundays
Lord's Day, the - The expression "the Lord's Day" is found only once in the Bible. In Revelation 1:10 John relates the beginning of his visionary experience to being in the Spirit "on the Lord's Day. Although the identification is not made explicit, there is therefore good reason to believe that John has Sunday in mind when he mentions "the Lord's Day" in Revelation 1:10 . Certainly the second-century Gospel of Peter, which twice speaks of the day of Jesus' resurrection as "the Lord's Day" (9:35; 12:50), makes the connection. ...
How quickly the Lord's Day emerged as a specific day of worship for the early church is not clear. By the second century the Lord's Day was clearly set apart as a special day for worship. The Didache specifically exhorts believers to come together on the Lord's Day (14:1), and the Epistle of Barnabas sees it as a special day of celebration (15:9). ...
A clear picture of how the early Christians celebrated the Lord's Day emerges only gradually. The Didache makes explicit the connection between the breaking of bread and the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day but says little else concerning the meeting, apart from mentioning the practice of confession of sin (14:1). Ignatius contrasts observance of the Sabbath with living for the Lord's Day (Magnesians 9:1). Jewett, The Lord's Day ; W
Sabbath - ) A season or day of rest; one day in seven appointed for rest or worship, the observance of which was enjoined upon the Jews in the Decalogue, and has been continued by the Christian church with a transference of the day observed from the last to the first day of the week, which is called also Lord's Day
Sabbatarianism - Members of a sect who, though not Jews, hold to the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath, rather than the Christian Lord's Day
Sabbatarians - Members of a sect who, though not Jews, hold to the keeping of the Jewish Sabbath, rather than the Christian Lord's Day
Sabbath - This was the original name first used by the Hebrews for the Lord's Day. " (Hebrews 4:10)...
Since the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the name of Sabbath hath been less used, and that of the Lord's Day substituted more generally in its place; and the authority for so doing is derived from the apostles. Thus John, when speaking of those revelations made to him by the Lord Jesus in the Isle of Patmos, saith that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. Hence divine honour is given in the observance of the Lord's Day on the first day of the week to all the persons of the GODHEAD, for creation, redemption, and sanctification. It were devoutly to be desired that believers in the Lord Jesus, in their ordinary conversation, would distinguish the Sabbath by its proper name, and call it what the apostle called it, the Lord's Day. (See Deuteronomy 4:19; 2 Kings 23:11; Job 31:26-28; Ezekiel 8:16) It is strange, therefore, that the name should be retained when the Holy Scriptures have never once mentioned such a name, and the apostle's example so sweetly recommends what ought to be so dear when we speak with reverence of the Sabbath, that we call it the Lord's Day. ...
We meet with several expressions connected with the Lord's Day in the New Testament, such as "a Sabbath day's journey, the second Sabbath after the first
Christian Festivals - Along with these the church celebrated the Lord's Day on the first day of each week
Lord's Day - The first day of the week is not the Sabbath, but theLord's Day, and as such has been observed since the Resurrectionof our Lord, of which it is the weekly commemoration. , hasgiven us the following clear statement concerning the first day ofthe week observed as the Lord's Day: "Our Saviour Jesus Christ, inthe exercise of this His Lordship over the day, has first of allabolished the ordinance of the Seventh Day, and substituted, by theHoly Spirit guiding His Church into all Truth, the ordinance of theFirst Day, as that one day in seven which the Fourth Commandmentenjoins to be kept sacred to God as a moral obligation. Hence the Prayer Bookprescribes a Collect, Epistle and Gospel for every Sunday in theyear, and its rubrics plainly teach us that according to the mindof the Church the principal service of every Lord's Day should bethe celebration of the Holy Eucharist
Patmos - The scene of John's banishment (by Domitian), where he "was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day
Sabbath - It was upon the Lord's Day—and by this name he calls it—that John on Patmos saw through the opened door into heaven. Around the Lord's Day we do well to throw safeguards. See Lord's Day
Lord's Day - iii), "on the Lord's Day we deem it wrong to fast. " Melito, bishop of Sardis (second century), wrote a book on the Lord's Day (Eusebius iv. 325) assume the universal acceptance of the obligation of the Lord's Day, and only direct as to the posture of worshippers on it
Zelotes - As the germ of this body seems to have existed in our Lord's Day, some suppose that the apostle Simon Zelotes was so called from his having once belonged to it
Church Year - ...
The original Christian festival and the basic building block for all the church year is the Lord's Day, Sunday. See Advent ; Christmas ; Easter ; Epiphany ; Holy Week ; Lent ; Lord's Day
Frequent Communion - While the Prayer Book provides for frequent Communion, that is,every Lord's Day and Holy Day at the least, yet under the Puritaninfluence infrequent Communion became prevalent, and four times ayear at the most came to be considered sufficient. , has remarked, "God's Word and allhistory show that receiving the Holy Communion every Lord's Daywas the old way and receiving once a month entirely a moderncustom
Sabbath - ...
The Christian's Sabbath is designated the Lord's Day — and is as distinct in principle from the Jewish legal Sabbath as the opening, or first day of a new week is from the close of a past one. See Lord's Day
Lent, Sundays in - They areexcluded because the Lord's Day is always kept as a Festival andnever as a Fast
Lectures, Morning - most of the citizens having some near relation or friend in the army of the earl of Essex, so many bills were sent up to the pulpit every Lord's Day for their preservation, that the minister had neither time to read them, nor to recommend their cases to God in prayer; it was, therefore, agreed by some London divines to separate an hour for this purpose every morning, one half to be spent in prayer, and the other in a suitable exhortation to the people
Sabbath - As the Old Testament Sabbath was the seal of the first creation in innocence, so the New Testament Lord's Day is the seal of the new creation. 170 ("we spent the Lord's Day as a holy day in which we read your letter"), and Clemens Alex. 194, mention the Lord's Day Sabbath. Revelation 1:10 first mentions "the Lord's Day" . (See Lord's Day; REST. But when Judaizing Christians wished to bring Christians under the bondage of the law, and the Jews became open antagonists of the church, the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was tacitly laid aside, and the Lord's Day alone was kept; see Colossians 2:16
Sabbath - It is called the Lord's Day, Revelation 1:10 . "Look into the streets, " says bishop Porteus, "on the Lord's Day, and see whether they convey the idea of a day of rest. of Times and Places; Orton's Six Discourses on the Lord's Day; Kennicott's Ser
Sports - to encourage recreations and sports on the Lord's Day
Sabbath - John observed the day with peculiar solemnity, Revelation 1:10 ; and it had then received the name of "The Lord's Day," which it has ever since retained. So well known was their custom, that the ordinary test question put by persecutors to those suspected of Christianity was "Hast thou kept the Lord's Day?" to which the reply was, "I am a Christian; I cannot omit it. " Justin Martyr observes that "on the Lord's Day all Christians in the city or country meet together, because that is the day of our Lord's resurrection, and then we read the writings of the apostles and prophets; this being done, the person presiding makes an oration to the assembly, to exhort them to imitate and to practice the things they have heard; then we all join in prayer, and after that we celebrate the sacrament
Joel - Joel is the prophet of repentance in view of the Lord's Day
Sabbath - Thus Christ appears as instituting a new day to be observed by his people as the Sabbath, a day to be henceforth known amongst them as the "Lord's day. " The observance of this "Lord's day" as the Sabbath was the general custom of the primitive churches, and must have had apostolic sanction (Compare Acts 20:3-7 ; 1 Corinthians 16:1,2 ) and authority, and so the sanction and authority of Jesus Christ
Thomas - ...
(3) (John 20:20; John 20:24-29) Thomas with morbid brooding over doubts had absented himself from the disciples' assembly on the first Lord's Day, when "He showed unto them His hands and His side"; so he missed the immediate blessing (compare Hebrews 10:25). On the next Lord's Day, Thomas, laying aside his morbid isolation, attended the weekly assembly of disciples; though the doors were shut Jesus came and stood in the midst with His wonted salutation, cf6 "Peace be unto you"; then saith He to Thomas, with grave yet tender reproof (showing that He knew all that had passed in Thomas's mind and all he had said to his fellow disciples), cf6 "reach here thy finger, and behold My hands, and reach here thy hand, and thrust it into My side; and be ("become", ginou ) not faithless but believing"
Eusebius of Alexandria, a Writer of Sermons - On the Lord's Day. on the Lord's Day , Galland
Lord's Supper - Some have been for keeping it every day in the week; others four times a week; some every Lord's Day, which many think is nearest the apostolic practice, Acts 20:7 . always on the Lord's Day, and between Easter and Whitsuntide
Directory - In an appendix to this Directory it is ordered, that all festivals, vulgarly called holy days, are to be abolished; that no day is to be kept but the Lord's Day; and that as no place is capable of any holiness under pretence of consecration, so neither is it subject to pollution by any superstition formerly used; and therefore it is held requisite, that the places of public worship now used should still be continued and employed
Alms - A laying by for alms in proportion to one's means on every Lord's Day is recommended (1 Corinthians 16:1-4; Acts 11:29-30; Acts 20:35)
Judgment - The adjective anthropinos, "human, belonging to man" (anthropos), is doubtless set in contrast here to kuriakos, "belonging to the Lord" (kurios, "a lord"), which is used in the phrase "the Day of the Lord," in Revelation 1:10 , "The Lord's Day," a period of Divine judgments
Pentecost - Others make the 13th that of the supper; 14th the crucifixion, the Passover day; 15th the day of Jesus' sleep, the Saturday Sabbath, the holy convocation; our Sunday, first day, the omer day; 50th day from that would be Pentecost, on our Lord's Day
Sabbath - Slane...
See also Lord's Day, the ...
Bibliography . Carson, From Sabbath to Lord's Day ; S. Jewett, The Lord's Day
Samar'Itans - Such were the Samaritans of our Lord's Day; a people distinct from the jews, though lying in the very midst of the Jews; a people preserving their identity, though seven centuries had rolled away since they had been brought from Assyria by Esar-haddon, and though they had abandoned their polytheism for a sort of ultra Mosaicism; a people who, though their limits had gradually contracted and the rallying-place of their religion on Mount Gerizim had been destroyed one hundred and sixty years before by John Hyrcanus (B
Parents - Nothing can be more criminal than the conduct of some parents in the inferior classes of the community, who never restrain the desires and passions of their children, suffer them to live in idleness, dishonesty, and profanation of the Lord's Day, the consequence of which is often an ignominious end
Day - In 1 Corinthians 4:3 , "man's day," AV, "man's judgement," RV, denotes mere human judgment upon matters ("man's" translates the adjective anthropinos, "human"), a judgment exercised in the present period of human rebellion against "God;" probably therefore "the Lord's Day," Revelation 1:10 , or "the Day of the Lord" (where an adjective, kuriakos, is similarly used), is the Day of His manifested judgment on the world
Feasts - Christians have always celebrated the memory of his resurrection by regarding the Sabbath, which we see, from Revelation 1:10 , was in John's time commonly called "the Lord's Day
Tradition - ...
We receive the Christian Lord's Day and infant baptism not on the inherent authority of the fathers, but on their testimony as witnesses of facts which give force to the infiltrations of Scripture
Jerusalem - It is Jerusalem's day, not the Lord's Day of grace
Theodosius i., the Great - He issued, in 386, a stringent edict for the observance of the Lord's Day, suspending all public business and branding as sacrilegious any one violating its sanctity (Cod. "Lord's Day" in D
Love-Feasts - And whether they were converts from among the Jews or Gentiles, they retained their old custom with very little alteration, and as their αγαπαι had been commonly annexed to their sacrifices, so they were now annexed to the commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ at the Lord's Supper; and were therefore held on the Lord's Day before or after the celebration of that ordinance
Victor, Bishop of Rome - Synods were held on the subject in various parts—in Palestine under Theophilus of Caesarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem, in Pontus under Palmas, in Gaul under Irenaeus, in Corinth under its bishop, Bachillus, at Osrhoene in Mesopotamia, and elsewhere, by all of which synodical letters were issued, unanimous in disapproval of the Asian custom, and in declaring that "on the Lord's Day only the mystery of the resurrection of the Lord from the dead was accomplished, and that on that day only we keep the close of the paschal fast" (Eus
Synagogue - The transfer of the sanctity of the Sabbath to the Lord's Day involved a corresponding change in the order of the week, and the first, the fourth the sixth became to the Christian society what the other days had been to the Jewish
Apostolic Fathers - Part two gives directions concerning baptism (7), fasting and prayers (8), the eucharist (9-10), travelers who seek hospitality (11-13), worship on the Lord's Day (14), and bishops and deacons (15)
Feasts - ...
Doth not every regenerated child of God in honouring the Lord's Day, honour at the same time the Lord's work; and while he celebrates God the Father's resting from the works of the old creation, celebrate also God the Father's work in the new creation of his precious soul in Christ Jesus? (See Ephesians 2:10) And in the celebration of the sabbath in honour of God the Son, who by his triumph over death, hell, and the grave, when he arose on that day, and manifested himself to be the resurrection and the life; doth not every regenerated child of God thereby prove, "that he is risen with Christ from dead works, to serve the living and true God?" Yea, doth he not manifest his personal interest in that sweet promise, by those acts of giving honour to his Lord, where it said, "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power
Feasts - Christians have always celebrated the memory of his resurrection, and observe this feast on every Sunday, which was commonly called the Lord's Day, Revelation 1:10
Psalmody - After six years more, they agreed to sing on the thanksgiving days; but it required still fourteen years more before he could persuade them to sing every Lord's Day; and then it was only after the last prayer, that those who chose it might withdraw without joining in it! Nor did even this satisfy these scrupulous consciences; for, after all, a separation took place, and the inharmonious seceders formed a new church in May's Pond, where it was above twenty years longer before singing the praises of God could be endured
Dionysius (3), Bishop of Corinth - Dionysius informs the church of Rome that the day on which he wrote, being the Lord's Day, had been kept holy, and that they had then read the letter of the Roman church, and would continue from time to time to read it for their instruction, as they were in the habit of reading the letter formerly written from the same church by the hand of Clement; and speaking of the falsification of his own letters, he adds, "No marvel, then, that some have attempted to tamper with the Scriptures of the Lord, since they have attempted it on writings not comparable to them (οὐ τοιαύταις )
Petrus, Saint, Archbaptist of Alexandria - " "For," he adds, "we keep the Lord's Day as a day of gladness, because on it He rose again; and on it, according to tradition, we do not even kneel
the Pharisee - Pusey's short and sharp way of it the true Pharisee of our Lord's Day had plenty of divine light in his head, only he was wholly lacking in divine love in his heart. In short, all the best people in Israel in our Lord's Day belonged to the party of the Pharisees
Worship - The first-day celebration became “the Lord's Day” (Revelation 1:10 ) with emphasis on the resurrection
John - "Little children, love one another," was the aged apostle's whole benediction as the young men carried him into the church of Ephesus every Lord's Day
Bereans - ...
They meet every Lord's Day for the purpose of preaching, praying, and exhorting to love and good works
Toleration Act - Provided, That all the laws made and provided for the frequenting of divine service on the Lord's Day, commonly called Sunday, shall be still in force, and executed against all persons that offend against the said laws, except such persons come to some congregation or assembly of religious worship, allowed or permitted by this act
Synagogue - The custom of ending the Saturday Sabbath with a feast formed the connecting link between the seventh day Jewish sabbath and the first day, Christian Lord's Day and Lord's supper (1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 1:10)
Lord's Supper, the - After Pentecost (Acts 2 ) they celebrated the Lord's Supper on each Lord's Day
the Widow With the Two Mites - And if it is only the inward estate of a more and more willing mind, what usurers we are, and what an obligation will He acknowledge and repay!...
Mutatis mutandis, as the Latin lawyers said; making all allowance, that is, for the immense change of dispensation and of all other circumstances, the thirteen temple-chests of our Lord's Day were just the Endowment Funds, and the Augmentation Funds, and the Sustentation Funds of our own land and day
the Man Who Had Not on a Wedding Arment - And, all the morning hours, let your mind go back to that first Lord's Day morning
Manichees - They kept the Lord's Day, observing it as a fast: and they likewise kept Easter and the Pentecost
the Samaritan Who Shewed Mercy - Were ever any of you as full as you could hold of mortal hatred at any enemy of yours? At any enemy of your church or your country? Were you ever in such a diabolical state of mind at any man, or at any race of men, that it would have made you glad to see him lying wounded and half dead? Well, that was the very way that the Jews and the Samaritans felt to one another in our Lord's Day
the Labourer With the Evil Eye - The thief on the cross was the great eleventh-hour labourer of our Lord's Day, and we come into the vineyard with him
Prayer - In post apostolic times, standing on the Lord's Day, and from Easter to Whitsunday, to commemorate His resurrection and ours with Him
Shimei - Had we an elect-enough and a sympathetic-enough audience, this would make a splendid subject for the evening of the Lord's Day
the Ethiopian Eunuch - Like the Scotch and English of our own day, the Jews of our Lord's Day compassed sea and land to make money; but, almost more, to make converts to Moses and Aaron
Resurrection - ...
The Lord's Supper is less connected in its symbolism than baptism, but the early correlation that it was celebrated on the Lord's Day, that is, on the day that Jesus raised from the dead, reveals an early association
Ebionism And Ebionites - To the observance of the Jewish sabbath they added that of the Christian Lord's Day
Sabbath - The seventh day was hallowed at the close of the creation; its sanctity was afterward marked by the withholding of the manna on that day, and the provision of a double supply on the sixth, and that previous to the giving of the law from Sinai: it was then made a part of that great epitome of religious and moral duty, which God wrote with his own finger on tables of stone; it was a part of the public political law of the only people to whom almighty God ever made himself a political Head and Ruler; its observance is connected throughout the prophetic age with the highest promises, its violations with the severest maledictions; it was among the Jews in our Lord's time a day of solemn religious assembling, and was so observed by him; when changed to the first day of the week, it was the day on which the first Christians assembled; it was called, by way of eminence, "the Lord's Day;" and we have inspired authority to say, that both under the Old and New Testament dispensations, it is used as an expressive type of the heavenly and eternal rest
Persecution - About four years afterwards, William Prynn, a barrister, for a book he wrote against the sports on the Lord's Day, was deprived from practising at Lincoln's Inn, degraded from his degree at Oxford, set in the pillory, had his ears cut off, imprisoned for life, and fined five thousand pounds
Innocentius, Bishop of Rome - (7) One Roman custom, that of sending, on the Lord's Day, the Eucharist consecrated by the bishop to the presbyters throughout the city, that all on that day at least may partake of one communion, is not to be observed where it involved carrying the sacrament to great distances
Ambrosius of Milan - Every Lord's Day he preached in the Basilica
Teaching of the Twelve Apostles - directs Christians to come together each Lord's Day to break bread and give thanks having confessed their sins in order that their sacrifice may be pure