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The witness of


The First Century

of Christianity

regarding the Sabbath of the Lord.

J. F. Coltheart. 1954.

Some obvious spelling mistakes in the quotations and their sources have been rectified.

All Scriptures are from the KJV but are modernised for easier reading.
The notes have been inserted by the author.



Matthew 19:16-17

And, behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" And He said to him, "Why call you Me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments."


Fourth Commandment:

Exodus 20:8-11

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labour, and do all your work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.



Luke 4:16

And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.


Matthew 24:20

But pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

Note: Jesus asked His disciples to pray that in the flight from the doomed city of Jerusalem they would not have to flee on the Sabbath day. This flight took place in 70AD (40 years after the cross).

His followers:

Luke 23:56

And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment.



Acts 17:2

And Paul, as his manner was, went in to them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures...


Paul and Gentiles [non-Jews]

Acts 13:42-44

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath...

And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.

Note: Here we find Gentiles in a Gentile city gathering on the Sabbath. It was not a synagogue meeting in verse 44, for it says that almost the whole city came together. Verse 42 says that they asked to hear the message "next Sabbath".

And note this point: The Bible does not say it is the "old Jewish Sabbath that was passed away", but the Spirit of God, writing the book of Acts some thirty years after the Crucifixion, calls it "the next Sabbath".


Revelation 1:10

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day...

Note: (Mark 2:28; Isaiah 58:13; Exodus 20:10, clearly show the Sabbath to be the Lord’s day).



"There is not any city of the Grecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day has not come!"

M’Clatchie, "Notes and Queries on China and Japan" (edited by Dennys), Vol. 4, Nos. 7,8, p.100.


First century Christians:

"Then the spiritual seed of Abraham fled to Pella, on the other side of Jordan, where they found a safe place of refuge, and could serve their Master and keep His Sabbath".

Eusebius’ "Ecclesiastical History" b. 3, chap. 5.



[Philo Judaeus - Greek-speaking Jewish philosopher, the most important representative of Hellenistic [Greek] Judaism.]

Declares the seventh day to be a festival, not of this or of that city, but of the universe.

M’Clatchie, "Notes and Queries", Vol. 4, 99.

J. F. Coltheart. 1954.

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