If the seventh day Sabbath is the true Sabbath, why wasn’t it observed through the ages?

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God kept the knowledge of the seventh day Sabbath through the ages. There have been faithful churches that kept the seventh day Sabbath throughout the ages. Here is a very brief history:

1st Century-Josephus, “There is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the Barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come!” M’Clatchie, “Notes and Queries on China and Japan” (edited by Dennys), Vol 4, Nos 7, 8, p.100.

2nd Century-Early Church, “It is certain that the ancient Sabbath did remain and was observed (together with the celebration of the Lord’s day) by the Christians of the East Church, above three hundred years after our Saviour’s death.” “A Learned Treatise of the Sabbath,” p. 77.

3rd Century-Early Church, “The seventh-day Sabbath was…solemnised by Christ, the Apostles, and primitive Christians, till the Laodicean Council did in manner quite abolish the observations of it.” “Dissertation on the Lord’s Day,” pp. 33, 34.

4th Century-Orient And Most Of World, “The ancient Christians were very careful in the observance of Saturday, or the seventh day…It is plain that all the Oriental churches, and the greatest part of the world, observed the Sabbath as a festival…Athanasius likewise tells us that they held religious assembles on the Sabbath, not because they were infected with Judaism, but to worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, Epiphanius says the same.” “Antiquities of the Christian Church,” Vol.II Book XX, chap. 3, sec.1, 66. 1137,1138.

5th Century-The world, “For although almost all churches throughout The World celebrated the sacred mysteries (the Lord’s Supper) on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Allexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, refuse to do this.” The footnote which accompanies the foregoing quotation explains the use of the word “Sabbath.” It says: “That is, upon the Saturday. It should be observed, that Sunday is never called “the Sabbath’ by the ancient Fathers and historians.” Socrates, “Ecclestical History,” Book 5, chap. 22, p. 289.

6th Century-Scotland, Ireland “We seem to see here an allusion to the custom, observed in the early monastic Church of Ireland, of keeping the day of rest on Saturday, or the Sabbath.” “History of the Catholic Church in Scotland,” Vol.1, p. 86, by Catholic historian Bellesheim.

7th Century-Rome Gregory I (A.D. 590-640) wrote against “Roman citizens (who) forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day.””Nicene and Post- Nicene Fathers,” Second Series, Vol, XIII, p.13, epist.1.

8th Century-India, China, Persia, ETC “Widespread and enduring was the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath among the believers of the Church of the East and the St. Thomas Christians of India, who never were connected with Rome. It also was maintained among those bodies which broke off from Rome after the Council of Chalcedon namely, the Abyssinians, the Jacobites, the Maronites, and the Armenians,” Schaff-Herzog, The New Enclopadia of Religious Knowledge,” art. “Nestorians”; also Realencyclopaedie fur Protestantische Theologie und Kirche,” art. “Nestorianer.”

9th Century-Bulgaria, “Bulgariain the early season of its evangelization had been taught that no work should be performed on the Sabbath.” Responsa Nicolai Papae I and Con-Consulta Bulllllgarorum, Responsum 10, found in Mansi, Sacrorum Concilorum Nova et Amplissima Colectio, Vol.15; p. 406; also Hefele, Conciliengeschicte, Vol.4, sec. 478

10th Century- Church Of The East – Kurdistan, “The Nestorians eat no pork and keep the Sabbath. They believe in neither auricular confession nor purgatory.” Schaff-Herzog, “The New Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge,” art. “Nestorians.”

11th Century-The Greek Church “The observance of Saturday is, as everyone knows, the subject of a bitter dispute between the Greeks and the Latins.” Neale, “A History of the Holy Eastern Church,” Vol 1, p. 731. (Referring to the separation of the Greek Church from the Latin in 1054).

12th Century- Alps, “Robinson gives an account of some of the Waldenses of the Alps, who were called Sabbati, Sabbatati, Insabbatati, but more frequently Inzabbatati. “One says they were so named from the Hebrew word Sabbath, because they kept the Saturday for the Lord’s day.'” General History of the Baptist Denomination, Vol.II, P. 413.

13th Century-France-Council Toulouse, 1229 Canons against Sabbath-keepers: “Canon 3.-The lords of the different districts shall have the villas, houses and woods diligently searched, and the hiding-places of the heretics destroyed.

14th Century- Bohemia, 1310 (Modern Czechoslovakia) “In 1310, two hundred years before Luther’s theses, the Bohemian brethren constituted one fourth of the population of Bohemia, and that they were in touch with the Waldenses who abounded in Austria, Lombardy,. Bohemia, north Germany, Thuringia, Brandenburg, and Moravia. Erasmus pointed out how strictly Bohemian Waldenses kept the seventh day Sabbath.” Armitage, “A History of the Baptists,” p.313; Cox, “The Literature of the Sabbath Question,” vol. 2, pp. 201-202

15th Century-Norway, 1435 (Catholic Provincial Council at Bergin) “We are informed that some people in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed Saturday-keeping. It is severely forbidden-in holy church canon-one and all to observe days excepting those which the holy Pope archbishop, or the bishops command. Saturday-keeping must under no circumstances be permitted hereafter further than the church canon commands. ,Therefore we ccounsel all the friends of God throughout all Norway who want to be obedient towards the holy church to let this evil of Saturday- keeping alone; and the rest we forbid under penalty of sever church punishment to keep Saturday holy.” Dip. Norveg., 7, 397.

16th Century-Sweden, “This zeal for Saturday-keeping continued for a long time: even little things which might strengthen the practice of keeping Saturday were punished.” Bishop Anjou, “Svenska Kirkans Historia after Motetthiers, Upsala.

17th Century-Russian Church “They solemnize Saturday (the old Sabbath). Samuel Purchase- “His Pilgrims.” Vol. I, p. 350.

18th Century- Abyssinia “The Jacobites assembled on the Sabbath day, before the Domical day, in the temple, and kept that day, as do also the Abyssinians as we have seen from the confession of their faith by the Ethiopian king Claudius.” Abundacnus, ‘Historia Jacobatarum,”p.118-9 (18th Century)

19th Century-China “The Taipings when asked why they observed the seventh day Sabbath, replied that it was, first, because the Bible taught it, and, second, because their ancestors observed it as a day of worship.” A Critical History of the Sabbath and the Sunday.

America (Seventh-day Adventists) the Seventh-day Adventists arose and had spread to nearly all the world by the close of the 19th Century to our present day.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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