Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, or Herbert Armstrong?

My thought of the day is about a certain view which I was taught as a devout Armstrongist. This view pops up often when an Adventist of any stripe sets out to defend the doctrine of the mandatory weekly Sabbath. This view is in regards to prophecy.
This idea goes something like this "As Christ often warned in the gospels, there would be false prophets and false doctrines coming, in an attempt to betray believers." The false doctrine, in this case at least, is set up to be Sunday observance. The "true" doctrine, of course, would then be mandatory weekly seventh-day Sabbath observance.
(Mandatory partial Sabbath observance, that is, because the law is never actually followed, it's just insisted that Saturday is the "true" day of worship.)

Is it not true that the prophecies of Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are almost universally interpreted as referring to the time immediately prior to the Second Coming, in Armstrongist and other Adventist circles? Yes it is. As I hinted earlier, that is precisely the way they were taught to me. More specifically I am referring to Matthew 24: 24 and Mark 13: 22.

Is it not true that the official interpretation of the Mark of the Beast (REV. 13: 17; 14: 9, 11; 15: 2; 16: 2; and 20: 4) would be Sunday worship? And that this mark would be given immediately prior to the Second Coming? Yes it is.

Is it not true that the oldest historical document extant all appear to show that "church services" were held on Sunday in the early church? Yes it is.

Is it not true that these ancient documents, often lumped under the name "Early Church Fathers," are castigated and demonized as heretical, false, distorted, full of lies, and many other such accusations, and the reading of these documents is frowned upon by Armstrongists and other Adventist groups alike? Yes it is.

Why mention any of this? Because, here are the facts:
1) Sunday observance is recorded from the first century AD. It is an exceedingly old practice which predates the establishment of the much-maligned Catholic Church.
2) The prophecies used against Sunday observance are interpreted by these groups as being for a time yet future to now. The time has not come yet.
3) If the false doctrines referred to in the prophecy are to arise before the Second Coming, and Sunday has been observed nearly 2,000 years, then according to their own teachings Sunday observance cannot be the thing these prophecies refer to.

It's a pretty simple line of logic to follow, really. If prophecy = new, and Sunday = ancient, then prophecy cannot = Sunday.

I would continue this line of thinking further.

According to their own prophetic interpretation, these teachings (the ones that turn out to be false) are to arise in the "end-times." Do we know of anything that has arisen in this late age? Of course we do! And that would be Adventism.

Around 1840, one William Miller decided that he had figured out the timing of the second coming of Christ. He claimed Christ would return by March 21st, 1844 at the latest. That day came and went. A second date was set at October 22nd, 1844. That day came and went. It would come to be known as "The Great Disappointment." Yet the Millerite faithful muscled on. Soon, Ellen G. White would rise to take over the group, claiming her visions and her teachings were the only truth. She would gather a huge following which eventually took the name "Seventh-Day Adventist Church." The SDA church is the largest seventh-day Sabbath keeping Christian denomination on earth. Her prophecies are held in high regard in that church to this day. But there was one man who would have none of her prophecies; his name was Gilbert Cranmer. Even though Cranmer parted ways a few short years earlier, he officially parted ways with Ellen G. White at the 1963 meeting in Battlecreek, Michigan where the Adventists officially took the name "Seventh-Day Adventist Church." Gilbert Cranmer and a small group went on to form the "General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day)." It was this group, the COG7, that hired and credentialed one Mr. Herbert Armstrong in 1927, electing him to the governmental body known as "the Seventy." This is the very same Herbert Armstrong who went on to found the Radio Church of God in 1934.

HWA based his church on beliefs such as British-Israelism, and a series of prophetic speculations based on Divinely-revealed knowledge. One popular claim of his was that he was the first to preach the "true gospel" in 1,900 years.

OK, so to make a long story short, the main thing we've learned here is that Adventism has popped up recently. In fact, HWA claimed that he was the first person in 1,900 years to teach the "true gospel" and that all other churches since antiquity had been preaching a false one. Now, if that's not something new arising in the end-times, I don't know what is. By definition this was something arising in the end-times because HWA's Adventist ministry preached the imminent return of Christ from the very start; in fact he predicted the return of Christ in 1936. I cannot think of any piece that fits this puzzle better than the ministry of Herbert Armstrong and his current followers.
But the modern imitators of HWA have become even more bold in what they teach. Some have gone so far as to say that HWA was a false prophet and a law-breaker, others say HWA was not the Elijah he claimed to be, but even though they still see HWA as the Apostle of his time and even though they recognize their entire authority and credentials as ministers come from him, they have rearranged what he taught and prophesied as they see fit. Some teach Jesus was created a man, some teach Jesus is Satan's brother, some teach Mohammad is a prophet of God, some teach that all Christians are physical descendants of Israel and that Gentiles were never called (they explain away this blatant error by claiming we simply misunderstand what the word "Gentile" means), and some just plain appear to teach whatever pops into their head at the time. None of it makes sense in any context apart from the self-appointed authority of the wild-eyed prophet who makes the claims.

(II TIM. 3: 13) But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

I would continue this line of thinking even further!

(MAR. 13: 22) For false christs and false prophets will rise....

False prophets are supposed to rise. Do we know of any false prophets? Of course we do! And that would be Herbert W Armstrong and his current imitators.

As we've seen earlier, Herbert Armstrong left the gate breathing out prophecies which were all claimed to be the "absolutely SURE!" and "REAL" and "TRUE MESSAGE FROM GOD" given "on authority of God Almighty." [Emphasis his; not mine.] His crowning failure came in 1972 when a two-decade long series of prophecies, all supposedly culminating in the 1972 escape to "The Place of Safety" in preparation for the Second Coming in 1975, all failed to materialize. (For a great deal more info on this, please see the post "All Systems Are Go!") All total, not a single prophecy HWA ever made has come true.
To this day, his faithful defend him by claiming that he was not a prophet at all. Ahhhh! ABD has demonstrated several times that this is a ploy at best. (And we are not by any means the only ones who have done so.) HWA made multiple date-specific claims about the future, claiming they were given by authority of God Almighty, and even staked his authority on their accuracy in clear reference to Deuteronomy 18: 20-22. He was a false prophet, in a long line of false prophets. No if's, and's or but's.

"JESUS CHRIST chose and appointed me"
-Herbert Armstrong, Pastor General's Report, p. 3, Jan. 31, 1980

OK, so here we have 2 categories met. New teachings arising in the "end-times" and false prophecies.

I would like to continue this line of thinking further still!

(MAT. 24: 24) For false christs and false prophets will rise...

Matthew 24: 24 and Mark 13: 22 both refer to false Christs. Do we know of any false christs? Of course we do! Let's get a closer look at what a false christ is, shall we?

What is a false Christ? The Greek is "pseudochrist." This isn't necessarily a person claiming to be Jesus Christ. These verses don't say "false Jesuses will rise." "Christ" is just the Greek word for "Messiah" which basically means "Savior." A false Christ is someone who isn't Jesus Christ and who holds themselves up as a form of savior to the people. In other words, if Jesus is the Vine, and we are the branches, a false Christ either attempts to replace the vine or attempts to position themselves or their ministry between us and the vine. To put it bluntly, a false christ claims to have the only truth and the only true church. So, a false christ in reality is claiming to be pivotal to your salvation.
Now, do we know of anyone who might fit that description? Yes! For decades, HWA taught that this was the Pope. Well, even though the Vicar of Christ who goes by the title "Holy Father" may appear to fit the description, do we know of anyone else who may also fit? Of course we do! You guessed it - Herbert Armstrong himself.

It was a mainstay of the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert Armstrong that the WCG was the only true church and the only entity on earth for 1,900 years that had the "true gospel". Oh, from time to time a sermon would include a blurb about how God may have hidden some people somewhere on the earth that we didn't know about (perhaps hidden in some mountain range in Russia somewhere), and those would also be His people, but for the most part, we were it. HWA specifically taught, in his book "The Incredible Human Potential", that it was the whole duty of the Christian to support his ministry through tithes and prayers. Excommunication from the WCG meant eternal death, since the WCG was the only path to the Kingdom of God. Only WCG trained and credentialed ministers were qualified to teach "the truth." Only WCG ministers were validated to perform rites such as laying on of hands, annointings for the sick, annointings to office in the church, or baptism. Even such seemingly innocent things as group Bible studies were frowned upon without the presence of a church official. Only WCG leadership was capable of receiving and spending tithes. Their judgments were to be unquestioned. It was accepted as truth that the higher up the hierarchy of church leadership one went, the closer to God they got, so one could only get close to God through one of them. At the apex of it all sat HWA - the Elijah, God's only Apostle, the only true leader of the church on earth.
Herbert Armsrtong's official position, according to legal, state of California court documents filed during the 1979 Receivership, was thus:

"I am the founder, Pastor General, and spiritual and temporal leader of defendant Worldwide Church of God, Inc. (" Worldwide") . In addition, I am chief executive officer, chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the board of trustees of Worldwide and its two related entities, defendants Ambassador College, Inc. ("Ambassador"), and Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, Inc. ("AICF"); together with Worldwide, Ambassador and ASCF will collectively be referred to herein as "the Church".
The Church, which was originally known as the Radio Church of God, was founded by me in the mid-1930's for the purpose of proclaiming "the Gospel throughout the world as a witness of the coming of the Kingdom of God." Matthew 24:14. [Prophet!] I am the appointed Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and, as such, have been both the spiritual and temporal leader of the Church from its inception."
-Herbert Armstrong, Pastor's Report, pp. 28-29, Jan. 8, 1979

Not just temporal, but spiritual and temporal!

"Mr. Armstrong has been the spiritual and temporal leader of the Church since its inception"
-Mike Blackwell, Pastor's Report, p. 3, Jan. 30, 1979

Yes, Jesus founded a church, but not this one! Herbert Armstrong founded the Worldwide Church of God. Ask just about any former Armstrongist and one thing they will note is how very little was preached about Jesus Christ and His work. There was no mention of a "finished work on the cross" at all. Jesus was virtually absent from most sermons, booklets, and even the modern websites! You think I'm exaggerating? Here, read this article "On Following Men" if you need more convincing.

So, we have the founder, Pastor General, and spiritual and temporal leader of the Church since its inception in one man - Herbert Armstrong, not Jesus Christ - who was Divinely appointed to proclaim the soon-coming Kingdom, which was prophecy, thus making him a (false) prophet speaking in the name of God.
We have the modern imitators following suit. For example Ron Weinland who still teaches that if you weren't baptized into Herbert Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God then you will never see the Millenial reign of Christ. In fact, Ron Weinland takes it farther and proclaims - in print - that if you do not join his church and accept him as what amounts to being your master, then you will die horribly in the Great Tribulation before Jesus' return by May 27th, 2012.
These are men who set themselves up as gateways to Christ. They, not Christ, are set up as your path to safety and salvation. They are christs! False ones!

Now, to summarize, we have three things: new teaching, false prophecies, and false messiahs. Sunday observance, which is even found in Revelation 1: 10 (the Greek is specific and in fact refers to Sunday), is not in that list of three things... it must be read into the text. However, all three of these things are demonstrated in Herbert Armstrong and the men who continue what he started.
Yet these ones drive ahead undeterred and teach people to point the finger at mainstream Christianity and say, "these prophecies are about Sunday-keeping." I reject that conclusion.

Current Armstrongists, loved and cherished by God, I am not saying that these prophecies definitely are fulfilled in these men. All we here are saying is that people should take the time to consider what is going on with these men and to prove out these things for themselves, as the Bereans did, rather than avoid the issue. I urge you to pray and to challenge yourself to ask the tough questions. I've made some hefty claims - claims most Armstrongists wouldn't even bother themselves to read because they would shut down the conversation at the start. If you've made it this far, good on you! But I am not claiming that these things are definitely so, I am merely presenting a different perspective to get you to think about points of view. Can you see how there is a possibility that these men may not be what they claim to be? Is there any chance in the world that what I'm saying might be even remotely possible? Might it be too much to ask for you to investigate whether or not these things fit the puzzle more accurately than other things you may have been taught, but perhaps you never thought of it like this before? Is there a possibility that you have been taken by a slick salesman? Then ask the tough questions! The truth is not in any danger of no longer being true simply because you investigate it. If it keeps anyone from stepping into a deeper faith in Christ, in the New Covenant in His blood, then such a one owes it to themselves to investigate the matter.



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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; )
Acts 17:11
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59 comments:

Steve said...

You said, "Sunday observance, which is even found in Revelation 1: 10 (the Greek is specific and in fact refers to Sunday)"

MY COMMENT: Are you sure? Correct me if I'm wrong, but,I looked up the Greek and I didn't see the word "Sunday" there, nor the "first(Gr.-'mia')day of the week". Just wondering if you "proved all things" for this Scripture. I'm not saying that I don't agree with you. I'm just asking for some clarification.

xHWA said...

Sure thing, Steve.

For a lot of clarification, read Constantine vs the Sabbath.

The issue was always about the meaning of this verse. HWA said it means "Day of the Lord" (meaning prophetic) and not "Lord's Day" (meaning Sunday.) Turns out he has no real leg to stand on here. Oddly enough this is a different Greek phrase than the ones translated "Day of the Lord", and this phrase comes with history that we can't simply ignore. The phrase used in Rev. 1: 10 absolutely referred to Sunday, ie the Lord's Day.

Here is a snippet from a Wikipedia article on the issue:

"'Lord's Day' is the English translation of the ancient Greek kyriake hemera, a term that first appears in Christian literature in the latter half of the first century. Within a few decades, however, the term kyriake hemera became ubiquitous in Christianity, so that hemera was ellided. Thus, when a Christian writer referred to the kyriake, his readers understood that Sunday was meant. The first appearance of the term kyriake hemera is in the New Testament, in the Book of Revelation, which was written in the latter decades of the first century. In Rev. 1:10, the author writes, 'I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day.' Most Christian commentators interpret Rev. 1:10 as a reference to Sunday, but some argue that because Revelation contains numerous eschatological visions, kyriake hemera in this passage should be taken as a reference to the end of the world or Judgment Day, which Old Testament prophets often called the Day of the Lord. However, in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, as well as in the original Greek texts of the New Testament, the eschatological judgment day is called hemera tou kyriou, never kyriake hemera. It is possible that when Christians began to call Sunday 'the Lord's Day,' they opted for kyriake hemera because hemera tou kyriou already had acquired its own connotation or meaning due to the Septuagint rendering."
-Wikipedia, "Lord's Day", accessed 2-24-2010, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord's_Day.

I have yet to find a Bible Commentary that disagrees with that WikiPedia article. FOr example, take this section from Albert Barne's Notes on the Bible:

"The term was used generally by the early Christians to denote the first day of the week. It occurs twice in the Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians (about 101 a.d.), who calls the Lord’s day “the queen and prince of all days.” Chrysostom (on Ps. 119) says, “It was called the Lord’s day because the Lord rose from the dead on that day.” Later fathers make a marked distinction between the “Sabbath” and the “Lord’s day”; meaning by the former the Jewish “Sabbath,” or the seventh day of the week, and by the latter the first day of the week, kept holy by Christians. So Theodoret (Fab. Haeret. ii. 1), speaking of the Ebionites, says, “They keep the Sabbath according to the Jewish law, and sanctify the Lord’s day in like manner as we do” (Prof. Stuart). The strong probability is, that the name was given to this day in honor of the Lord Jesus, and because he rose on that day from the dead. No one can doubt that it was an appellation given to the first day of the week"
-Barnes' Notes; Revelation 1: 10

xHWA said...

My main point regarding Lord's Day in Revelation 1: 10 is that HWA cannot simply pop in and declare all translators, historians, people alive at the time, linguists, commentators, and etc are wrong - and simply because he believes it must be anything but Sunday. Yet that is what he does. By fiat and the force of his own authority, he declares the phrase to mean what he declares it to mean, and that is supposed to be that.
For decades I simply accepted this as good enough; I never really looked into it. However, when I look in to things these days, I find again and again that things are not as I was told they are.

Suppose I was to gather together the counter-evidence, explaining why it does not mean Sunday, but rather it should be "Day of the Lord." All I would have is another in a tiring string of discussions about whether or not the first century Gentiles in fact worshiped on Sunday. All circumstantial opinion, and no direct, hard evidence as we have for the "Sunday" definition.

Unfortunately for HWA, the phrase has meaning. It is a euphemism. It has history. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. People used the phrase in other places at that same day and age, quite often in fact, and we know what it means in those other instances. For just one example, Ignatius was John's student; it makes perfect sense that they both use the same phrase in the same way with the same meaning.
To this day the phrase Lord's Day still refers to Sunday.

If we change one, we have to consider changing them all, and that simply cannot be done.

HWA's "Day of the Lord" interpretation must be rejected under the overwhelming weight of evidence to the contrary.

Steve said...

xHWA, thanks for the explanation, but I still don't see how you clarified your statement, "the Greek is specific and in fact refers to Sunday". What Greek are you talking about, and how is it specific and factual? Aren't you just reading into the text something that is not there(eisegesis), instead of using Biblical support to draw out the meaning from the text(exegesis)? Isn't eisegesis regarded as highly subjective? Shouldn't we look at other places in the Bible that refer to the "Day of the Lord" in order to reach a logical conclusion? After all, not only are we to be like the Bereans, but we are to also prove ALL things, and trust NO man.

You also said, "Suppose I was to gather together the counter-evidence, explaining why it does not mean Sunday, but rather it should be "Day of the Lord."

MY COMMENT: That would be the "Berean" thing to do, don't you think? Gather all the evidence.


"All I would have is another in a tiring string of discussions about whether or not the first century Gentiles in fact worshiped on Sunday."

MY COMMENT: And I would ask, where is the proof that they did? I would also ask the sabbatarian, where is the proof that they worshipped on Saturday?


All circumstantial opinion, and no direct, hard evidence as we have for the "Sunday" definition.

MY COMMENT: I have never seen any direct, hard evidence that the first century Gentiles woshipped on a Saturday, nor a Sunday. I don't believe they did either, according to what I read in the Scriptures.
Thanks for your time and patience.

xHWA said...

Steve,

I can give it another go, I suppose.

To clarify my statement "the Greek is specific and in fact refers to Sunday" --
In that statement, I am referring to Revelation chapter 1 and verse 10 only. The ancient Greek phrase in Revelation 1: 10 that is translated into the English phrase "Lord's Day" is the ancient Greek "kyriake hemera."
Kyriake hemera is a well known phrase from the early church. The two Greek words are not separate words that we may treat in any old way, they are a phrase, a phrase that refers to Sunday, and not to the prophetic phrase "Day of the Lord" at all.

But I really suggest you re-read my previous comments again. When you ask "Shouldn't we look at other places in the Bible that refer to the 'Day of the Lord' in order to reach a logical conclusion?" this tells me that you didn't read my response, because I have already pointed out this phrase is not "Day of the Lord." Researching the other places where "Day of the Lord" appears is somewhat like researching the other places where the phrase "apple" appears. They are two different Greek phrases. In fact, the only other place that this specific Greek word translated into the English "Lord" appears is in I Corinthians 11: 20. So that won't be of much help. I suggest you research the phrase.

As for it being eisegesis rather than exigesis, I disagree that it could be eisegesis. The phrase has a well-known meaning. It was widely in use from the late first century, and we have several documents that make use of it. Its definition and proper use is not in question (except by people who do not want it to mean what it is known to mean - which would be eisegesis.) To change the meaning from Lord's Day [ie. Sunday] to Day of the Lord is not exigesis, but a complete redefinition of the phrase, not only in Revelation 1: 10 but in all other places where that phrase is used. This is highly improper to do something like that.

I will refrain from gathering the counter-evidence here because I lived the counter-evidence for 30 years. My readers here have freedom to go to any number of Armsrtongist websites or other material and gather their own counter-evidence if they like. Their position is well represented as it is. I have a feeling none of the readers here need me to do that for them anyway, because if they weren't already aware of HWA's position they probably wouldn't be here in the first place.

xHWA said...

Here is my guess on what you did. Stop me if I'm wrong.
You got out a concordence, looked up Lord's, looked up day, and you don't know how anyone gets Sunday out of that. Right?

A concordence is a great tool. I use mine all the time. But it's not enough.

Lord's day is composed of two words, but this is a phrase, not two independent words. Kind of like barber shop is made of two words, but in proper usage it is a phrase. You can look up barber, and you can look up shop, but haircut and a shave is understood.

So, this phrase Lord's day is used once in the Bible, but many times outside of it. Conveniently, more than once it is used by John's own student. We must take these things into account for a proper understanding of the meaning of the phrase.
If we just throw the meanings of phrases to the wind, Bluetooth, for example, becomes two words referring to dentistry.

Bill said...

The article implies that false teachings, etc. would come about towards the end of this age. It seems a bit preposterous to conclude as a result that no false teachings then would arise with the early churches.

There are indeed plenty of historical sources that show Christians gathering together for communal worship on Sundays. What is at issue, that seems to have been overlooked, is how Christians perceived the day itself.

The argument put forth for esteeming the day is because Jesus was resurrected on that day. To word this as a claim: "Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, therefore we should revere Sunday."

The logic is flawed; a logical fallacy. It is a Non Sequitur. Armstongites used this sort of flawed logic all the time:

"The ten commandments were engraven in stone, indicating their permanence. Therefore we should be keeping the ten commandments."

I have no problem with people worshiping God on Sundays. I have no problem with people worshiping God on any day. Part of Christian liberty is the right to esteem a day, or not esteem a day to God. My concern is the temptation by people to turn Sunday into a day like a sabbath, giving it the attributes of the O.C. sabbath, and insisting Christians treat it like the sabbath, thereby circumventing the Christian law of liberty and faith, bringing people back under bondage to a legalistic system. Yet that is what has happened in many instances.

What then are the implications of "Lord's day" being interpreted as Sunday; the first day of the week?

Sunday worship being sanctioned by Christ to the exclusion of all other days?

So now the nitty gritty here with me. What if I don't buy into this, "Sunday is for worshiping God, and heaven help you if you don't" that is the logical conclusion of the matter?

I wonder then if John didn't use this phrase, only to have it assigned the meaning it has in relation to Sunday after the fact, even as some did with the Greek word "Sabbatismos".

I also consider that what is written in Revelation, and the fact that so much of it is allegorical and figurative language, that anything written there should not be used as a basis for doctrine.

xHWA said...

"The article implies that false teachings, etc. would come about towards the end of this age." -Bill

This article implies it only because HWA taught it.

"It seems a bit preposterous to conclude as a result that no false teachings then would arise with the early churches." -Bill

I agree. Good thing this article doesn't conclude that.
That false teachings did arise is a well established fact. What this article concludes is as plain as I can humanly make it. That since Sunday arose early on, it cannot be the thing that arises at the end.

xHWA said...

"Sunday worship being sanctioned by Christ to the exclusion of all other days?" -Bill

Are you asking me to answer this, or are you referring to something else you read, and are simply asking this rhetorically?
If you are asking this of me, please do me a favor and point out for me what section of the article you're referring to.

"What if I don't buy into this, 'Sunday is for worshiping God, and heaven help you if you don't' that is the logical conclusion of the matter?" -Bill

I don't know what article you read, Bill, but once again, please point out for me anything that even remotely resembles what you're referring to.

xHWA said...

"I have no problem with people worshiping God on Sundays. I have no problem with people worshiping God on any day. Part of Christian liberty is the right to esteem a day, or not esteem a day to God. My concern is the temptation by people to turn Sunday into a day like a sabbath, giving it the attributes of the O.C. sabbath, and insisting Christians treat it like the sabbath, thereby circumventing the Christian law of liberty and faith, bringing people back under bondage to a legalistic system. Yet that is what has happened in many instances."

With this I completely agree.
Not only do I completely agree with that now, I've stated as much often in the past.

xHWA said...

"I wonder then if John didn't use this phrase, only to have it assigned the meaning it has in relation to Sunday after the fact, even as some did with the Greek word "Sabbatismos"." -Bill

This is a possibility. I consider it slight. The reason I consider it slight is because of the usage of the same phrase by Ignatius, John's student. Ignatius uses the same phrase, uses it less than a decade from the time Revelation was supposedly written, and in his usage it clearly refers to Sunday.

But there is that possibility.

xHWA said...

"I also consider that what is written in Revelation, and the fact that so much of it is allegorical and figurative language, that anything written there should not be used as a basis for doctrine." -Bill

Doubtless this is a wise policy. I would agree... that is, if Revelation were the only evidence given.
As for using something in Revelation as corroborating evidence, however, Revelation is in the canon, and I would have a hard time with anyone claiming it to be a bad idea referencing something in it.

xHWA said...

I should clarify something in my last comment. Especially where I said this "...if Revelation were the only evidence given."

What I would like to clarify is that I used Revelation 1: 10 to demonstrate corroborating evidence that Saturday was not, as HWA taught (and is still being taught), the only day of worship sanctioned by the Apostles.

It would appear to me that some might get the mistaken impression that I am saying Sunday was a Sabbath and the replacement for the seventh-day Sabbath, or even a co-Sabbath. I am not saying that in any way, shape, or form.

I have made it abundantly clear over and over again here and elsewhere that Sunday is not a Sabbath. One need only read "Constantine vs the Sabbath" to see this demonstrated.
For the record I believe Christ is the Sabbath rest of the New Covenant, and no day. And that His rest is spiritual rest for the soul, not physical rest for the rear.

But Sunday is undeniably a day, in fact the main day, on which the early Gentile Christians gathered for what we might call "church." Bill backs me up on this in his comment, "There are indeed plenty of historical sources that show Christians gathering together for communal worship on Sundays."

What I claim in this article, in a nutshell, is that this historically undeniable fact that Gentile Christians gathered on Sunday for communal worship since the time of the Apostles, is not a heretical teaching; but even more specifically, it is not the heretical teaching referred to in Matthew 24:24 and Mark 13: 22.

I use Revelation 1: 10 as corroborating evidence for this claim, not for the basis of doctrine, nor to establish a Sunday Sabbath.

If anyone believes the phrase "Lord's Day" as used in Revelation 1: 10 does not refer to Sunday, perhaps it would be best to take that up with the commentators, linguists, historians, and theologians who pretty much universally agree that it does. I am not appealing to authority or popularity here, I am merely saying "bring it up with the experts."

Purple Hymnal said...

"My concern is the temptation by people to turn Sunday into a day like a sabbath, giving it the attributes of the O.C. sabbath..."

The Sunday-keepers don't "rest from all work", though. Just check out any Christian church after services on Sunday, if you don't believe me -- some people even go grocery-shopping/etcetera, and they absolutely don't observe it sundown-to-sundown!

Really, the only way you can tell the Sunday-"keepers" from the rest of the world, is the fact that that's the day they go to church....Nothing Old Testament/Judaic about that....Unless you're talking about Gracie, which is another kettle of (spoiled) fish entirely....

(Do the Sunday-keeping Gracie congregations keep Sunday from Saturday sundown to Sunday sundown now, does anyone know?)

xHWA said...

Crazy at it seems, I have met some Sunday keepers who do treat Sunday like a sabbath.
I disagree with their outlook.

Steve said...

xHWA said..."Kyriake hemera is a well known phrase from the early church. The two Greek words are not separate words that we may treat in any old way, they are a phrase, a phrase that refers to Sunday, and not to the prophetic phrase "Day of the Lord" at all."

MY COMMENT: Please bear with me, xHWA, but isn't this an assumption on your part, and rather dogmatic? The phrase means a "day"..."belonging to the Lord". Do not all days belong to the Lord? Why would Sunday be singled out, or any better than, say, a Monday, or a Tuesday...in this verse?


"I wonder then if John didn't use this phrase, only to have it assigned the meaning it has in relation to Sunday after the fact, even as some did with the Greek word "Sabbatismos"." -Bill

xHWA said..."This is a possibility. I consider it slight. The reason I consider it slight is because of the usage of the same phrase by Ignatius, John's student. Ignatius uses the same phrase, uses it less than a decade from the time Revelation was supposedly written, and in his usage it clearly refers to Sunday."

MY COMMENT: It was not referred to Sunday by the apostle John. Uh...why not? So we should believe Ignatius? I guess claiming to be a student of the apostle John would give him credibility, kinda like Herbert claimed to be inspired by God.


xHWA said..."It would appear to me that some might get the mistaken impression that I am saying Sunday was a Sabbath and the replacement for the seventh-day Sabbath, or even a co-Sabbath. I am not saying that in any way, shape, or form."

MY COMMENT: So, what exactly are you inferring when you say that Rev. 1:10 is SPECIFIC and FACTUAL in reference to meaning Sunday in the Greek? And, are you saying the it IS the Lord's Day, and has replace Saturday? So then, can in other day be "The Lord's Day"? I'm afraid I have a "mistaken impression" that you are trying to push off Sunday as "The Lord's Day".

xHWA said...

"isn't this an assumption on your part, and rather dogmatic? The phrase means a "day"..."belonging to the Lord"." -Steve

It's not an assumption, and it's not on my part. I am not the origin of the idea at all. My multiple statements that "kyriake hemera" refers to Sunday came with references. Please see those references for more information. Because you are assuming that the phrase has no other meaning than that which you assign it. Language doesn't work like that (except possibly for lawyers and politicians.)

I get the feeling that you are specifically attempting to avoid the references, preferring to construct a scenario where I pulled the idea out of thin air, and that words have no meaning.

Look, it's a simple matter of proper Bible hermeneutics - find out the proper meaning of a phrase as used by the people in the time and area of the writing. We must ask ourselves, what did the author mean, and do we find any other examples of this phrase anywhere to help us understand what the author meant? Well, the phrase was widely in use. We have several examples - granted, these are from outside of the Bible, but so is the Dictionary and so is your Concordance - both are outside of the Bible, but you use them. We don't need to have any faith in Ignatius whatsoever to see how he used the phrase. Certainly the phrase was not written in a letter to a community with all sorts of words they would readily understand.... except this phrase. All Christians knew what it meant; that is why he used it. That is why others used it.
Right now, I am writing to you. I am using phrases that I assume you will know what they mean when I write them. Certainly I am not writing in code, or a foreign language, or with jibberish. How can anyone else know what I mean except that they study the meaning of words?

The fact is that Ignatius used the same phrase as John, they were close associates (and Ignatius is not the only one to claim this), they lived in the same area at the same time and spoke the same language. The chances that they both used the phrase "kyriake hemera" in the same place at the same time to the same audience but expected the audience to understand two completely different meanings is beyond what I will accept. It is also beyond what nearly all Bible commentaries, historians, and linguists will accept because it is improper to accept such without extraordinary proof.

Let's consider the alternatives. Are we to believe that Ignatius and many others all used this phrase, and everyone understood it except the Apostle John? Or are we to believe that God inspired the Apostle John to use loaded language? Or are we to expect that John used two separate phrases in the same writing to mean the exact same things - but Ignatius and all others are heretics who knew what John meant yet purposefully distorted the truth?
(I think you believe this third option to be so. However, to prove it, you also must now go outside of the Bible. To even speak about Ignatius, you have gone outside of the Bible text.)

We aren't discussing anything different than, for example, the phrase "apple of my eye." This phrase occurs 5 times in the Old Testament as translated in the Authorized version. Problem is, there is no such phrase in Hebrew. The phrase means something other than what the English translation might lead us modern, English readers to believe. But if we treat the phrase the way you are insisting "Lord's Day" be treated, we look up "apple" we look up "eye" and then we must find apples in peoples' eyes or the Bible is wrong.
Do you still not see what I'm getting at?

xHWA said...

"So, what exactly are you inferring when you say that Rev. 1:10 is SPECIFIC and FACTUAL in reference to meaning Sunday in the Greek?" -Steve

Now I know you aren't reading what I've written.

Steve, you've got to throw me a bone here by at least reading what I've already written. Read my comment from June 16, 2010 10:46 AM.

xHWA said...

One other thing that I've noticed, Steve, is that you keep returning to the theme of "trust no man."
(By that I assume you mean man=human.)

You are a man, should we trust you?
The authors of your concordance are men, should we trust them? The translators of all of your Bibles were men, should we trust them? The authors and reviewers of the Dictionary are men, should we trust them? The people who taught you to speak English are men, should we trust them? Every book in the Bible were written by men, should we trust them?
Then who in the world can you trust?

This notion of "trust no man" can easily be taken to an unhealthy and irrational level. I disagree with the way you appear to employ it. It appears to me that when you wish to stick to something you have no weighty proof for, you simply deny there is any evidence and you say "trust no man." That's an assertion, not evidence.

So, why don't you do me a favor if you would be so kind, now that I've taken the time to explain my position with references several times, and why don't you lay out for us what evidence you have that kyriake hemera does not mean "Lord's Day" in reference to Sunday.

Bill said...

What I am seeing contextually, is that John is making a statement in regards to being in the spirit, ie not the flesh, on the Lord's day. So how do you find yourself in a physical day of the week spiritually?

The argument is put forth that John would have used the Greek phraseology from the Septuagint if he meant the day of the Lord eschatalogically. I beg to differ. Why would he be under such compulsion?

Scripture is full of "land mines" waiting for people to trip over them.

Do we have any evidence of Christians in the first century referring to Sunday or the first day of the week as the "Lord's day" or any variation on that theme? I don't recall any. Citing Ignatius though is after the fact, and even if it were only a decade later, I find it suspect, and I perceive a "creeping legalism" in what he wrote.

Another approach to this is, if this were indeed a Sunday; first day of the week, what purpose was served in mentioning it if it were merely a day of the week? Why would there be a significance to say, I was in a trance and carried in the spirit to a time setting yet future and this happened to me on a Sunday?

Oh well... Regardless of whether the phrase means a Sunday, or whether it is to be taken eschatalogically, my life and beliefs remain unaltered.

xHWA said...

"Do we have any evidence of Christians in the first century referring to Sunday or the first day of the week as the "Lord's day" or any variation on that theme? I don't recall any." -Bill

Didache, chapter 14: "But every Lord's day gather yourselves together"

xHWA said...

"Another approach to this is, if this were indeed a Sunday; first day of the week, what purpose was served in mentioning it if it were merely a day of the week?" -Bill

Perhaps one of those "land mines" you referred to earlier is in intellectualizing too much.

Purple Hymnal said...

"I have met some Sunday keepers who do treat Sunday like a sabbath."

That's...insane...not to mention anti-Semitic! Not as anti-Semitic as "Gawd's Master Plan" or British-Israelism, but still just as insane, IMO.

Purple Hymnal said...

"Didache, chapter 14: 'But every Lord's day gather yourselves together'"

Which specifies neither first nor Sunday, nor does the verse even specify "a week"! Weren't the Didache-followers still largely Judaized at that point? If yes, this might very well be a reference to the lunar cycle...in which case, "the Lord's day" might only have come once a month!

Steve said...

Bill said..."Do we have any evidence of Christians in the first century referring to Sunday or the first day of the week as the "Lord's day" or any variation on that theme? I don't recall any."

MY COMMENT: Good question. No, we don't.


Bill said..."Citing Ignatius though is after the fact, and even if it were only a decade later, I find it suspect, and I perceive a "creeping legalism" in what he wrote."

MY COMMENT: Well said.

Bill said..."Another approach to this is, if this were indeed a Sunday; first day of the week, what purpose was served in mentioning it if it were merely a day of the week? Why would there be a significance to say, I was in a trance and carried in the spirit to a time setting yet future and this happened to me on a Sunday?"

MY COMMENT: More good questions. No, xHWA, I'm not trying to avoid anything that you have stated. What I take exception to is someone trying to push Sunday off on me as if it is "The Lord's Day". It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, just as much as sabbatarians trying to push off on me Saturday as "The Lord's Day".

xHWA said...

"Which specifies neither first nor Sunday, nor does the verse even specify "a week"!" -PH

That's the English translation, PH. ;P
The Greek used here is kyriake hemera. Which is why I referred to it. Used the same phrase at the same time or before John wrote Revelation.

"Weren't the Didache-followers still largely Judaized at that point?" -PH

No. The Didache was the first known attempt at summarizing Christianity. It was written around 90 AD, after the fall of the temple.

"If yes, this might very well be a reference to the lunar cycle...in which case, "the Lord's day" might only have come once a month!" -PH

That would only complicate matters by adding a third possible definition a few short years before it became abundantly clear that the phrase kyriake hemera referrs to Sunday. The rest of the chapter is not quite specific, and could refer to just about any regular church gathering, but given the context of kyriake hemera, the most likely explanation is the weekly gathering.

But what it clearly cannot be referring to is "The Day of the Lord."

xHWA said...

"MY COMMENT: Good question. No, we don't." -Steve

Except that 3 hours before you made this comment, I posted the quote from the Didache, that uses the phrase kyriake hemera, is translated "Lord's Day", and which is generally believed to have been written around 90 AD.

xHWA said...

"What I take exception to is someone trying to push Sunday off on me as if it is "The Lord's Day". It leaves a bad taste in my mouth" -Steve

Who is trying to push anything off on you?
The subject of this post is that Sunday is not heresy, and that Herbert Armstrong far more closely fits the description of Matthew 24: 24 and Mark 13: 22 than Sunday could. The point of this article is not to elevate Sunday, but to demonstrate that Sunday was observed from antiquity and therefore cannot be what rises at the end.
How is that pushing Sunday off on anyone?

I do not regard Sunday any higher than any other day of the week. It would make no sense for anyone to conclude that I am pushing Sunday off on them. I never once said, "You must keep Sunday." Keep Thursday for all I care.

I referenced the phrase kyriake hemera because it is translated "Lord's Day," according to all available (non-Armstrongist) evidence I can find it refers to Sunday, and it is demonstrable that this was the common use of the in that area at that time. And it still is 2,000 years later.
I reference that to show that John was aware of Sunday observance, and if he was aware of it, and even used the phrase himself, without any denunciation whatsoever, then Sunday worship was not a likely candidate for a heresy so foul that it would rate such a response later in Revelation, couched in the phrase "Mark of the Beast." Fact is, Lord's Day is used at the start of the book, but there is still ambiguity as to what the "Mark of the Beast" is. Evidence piled on more evidence that it Sunday observance isn't the heresy being referred to.

Now, if you have evidence that kyriake hemera does not refer to Sunday, then let's hear it. I've always said people are free to disagree with me. So disagree. But please be generous enough to bring more than your opinion.

xHWA said...

Does anyone here have any credible evidence that kyriake hemera should not be translated "Lord's Day" and by extension that it does not refer to Sunday?
I would be interested in reading what you've got.

xHWA said...

Steve,

Just wanted to apologize if I have come across as a jerk here to you. In reading back through my comments, I don't feel that I came across very politely to you. I let something (not what you said) get under my skin and that carried over into my comments to you.

I don't insist that you agree with me. And I'm not trying to push anything off on you. As the disclaimer days, the article is my own opinion.

xHWA said...

Speaking of non sequitur:

"What then are the implications of 'Lord's day' being interpreted as Sunday; the first day of the week?
"Sunday worship being sanctioned by Christ to the exclusion of all other days?" -Bill

So, your conclusion is that since John uses the phrase Lord's Day, therefore the only possible conclusion is that Sunday is the only worship day to the exclusion of all else??

That incredible leap reminds me of something I read once:
"The logic is flawed; a logical fallacy. It is a Non Sequitur. Armstongites used this sort of flawed logic all the time." -Bill

Read Revelation 1: 9-10:

(REV. 1: 9-10) 9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet

John is giving background. He states who he is, states that he is physically on the Isle of Patmos, and states what day it is.

"What I am seeing contextually, is that John is making a statement in regards to being in the spirit, ie not the flesh, on the Lord's day." -Bill

"what purpose was served in mentioning it if it were merely a day of the week?" -Bill

And what purpose would it serve to mention Patmos if it were merely an island? Is there a spiritual isle of Patmos? Is he in one verse describing the litteral, physical isle of Patmos, and then in the next verse - without any indicator whatsoever - he is now speaking symbolically? You aren't concentrating on context, you're reconstructing the context to desperately avoid any semblance of legalism. Which, by the way, I strongly disagree that mentioning a day of the week leads to. John mentions time and place to give substance to the revelation; he never commands anyone worship on the day or in the place. But I digress.

To say that he is physically on the Isle of Patmos, then all of a sudden spiritually in "the Lord's Day" (according to HWA 2,000+ years in the future), and then he receives letters to 7 churches - all of which are previous to the "Day of the Lord" and none of which have anything to do with the "Day of the Lord" - contorts the flow of the writing.
It also forces you to buy into the "7 Eras" teachings.
In addition, it ignores the introductory material in chapter 4.

(REV. 4: 1-2) 1 After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the Spirit...

So, here is John, some unspecified time after he received the letters, receiving another vision of what comes "after this", and now he is in the Spirit again.
Now it starts talking about prophetic material we might recognize as the "Day of the Lord." Yet you would have us at this point 3 chapters too soon.

Pile all of this on top of the fact that your redefinition of the phrase goes against every commentary, Bible dictionary, and almost every translation of the Bible that I could find, while in place of this you only offer "perhaps the definition arose afterwards." Why don't you give us some evidence of your theory, then? If you have some, I will be more than happy to give it the full weight of my attention. If you have any proof that kyriake hemera does not mean Sunday, I would be the first to want to know about it.

Seeker Of Truth said...

"But I am not claiming that these things are definitely so, I am merely presenting a different perspective to get you to think about points of view. Can you see how there is a possibility that these men may not be what they claim to be? Is there any chance in the world that what I'm saying might be even remotely possible?" -xHWA

What I understand you to be saying is that the OWCG taught Sunday to be the mark of the Beast, while you are saying that you see evidence of NC Christians meeting also on Sunday, and therefore what OWCG taught was not factual, that they were/are false teachers, etc.

And I see you are not saying Sunday is the Sabbath, -because Sabbath was part of the OC, the shadow of Christ,- and NC Christians know that Christ is our Sabbath Rest.

To summarize: I understand you to be showing
1. an example of another false teaching of Armstronism.
2. Not claiming Sunday is Sabbath, but merely that NC Christians also met on Sunday.
3. That we aren't required to keep Sunday or Saturday as Sabbath because it was an OC observance and that Christ is our Sabbath Rest.

Steve said...

xHWA said..."Who is trying to push anything off on you?"

MY COMMENT: You are.


xHWA said..."John is giving background. He states who he is, states that he is physically on the Isle of Patmos, and states what day it is."

"What I am seeing contextually, is that John is making a statement in regards to being in the spirit, ie not the flesh, on the Lord's day." -Bill

"what purpose was served in mentioning it if it were merely a day of the week?" -Bill

xHWA said..."And what purpose would it serve to mention Patmos if it were merely an island? Is there a spiritual isle of Patmos? Is he in one verse describing the litteral, physical isle of Patmos, and then in the next verse - without any indicator whatsoever - he is now speaking symbolically? You aren't concentrating on context,"

MY COMMENT: What?! That IS the context. In verse 9, John says that he was on the isle of Patmos(BEFORE being "transferred" in the Spirit). THEN, in verse 10, he was "transferred" IN the Spirit, on(or "IN") the Lord's day. The same Greek word is used and can mean the same..."IN". Before he was "transferred" in the Spirit, he was already on the isle of Patmos.


xHWA said..."you're reconstructing the context to desperately avoid any semblance of legalism. Which, by the way, I strongly disagree that mentioning a day of the week leads to. John mentions time and place to give substance to the revelation; he never commands anyone worship on the day or in the place. But I digress."

MY COMMENT: So, you're not mentioning all of this because you think that the physical sabbath day was changed from Saturday to Sunday, or that you believe the first Gentile Christians were keeping Sunday instead of Saturday, and calling it "The Lord's Day"?


xHWA said..."Does anyone here have any credible evidence that kyriake hemera should not be translated "Lord's Day" and by extension that it does not refer to Sunday?
I would be interested in reading what you've got."

MY COMMENT: It's not really a matter of what we've got. It's a matter of what you DON'T have. Yes, "kyriake hemera" means "Day belonging to the Lord", or the "Lord's day", but it doesn't say anything in that Scripture about being a specific day of the week. Every day of the week belongs to the Lord, right? Why do you want to single out Sunday? Just because all of your commentators, Bible dictionaries, and almost every translation of the Bible that you could find agrees with you? Is that the basis for you believing that Rev. 1:10 is talking about a physical day of the week, specifically Sunday? If that is the case, couldn't Saturday also be called the "Lord's Day"? If not, why not? What difference does it make to you?

Byker Bob said...

This is one of the longer threads. It is interesting, but I'm on a limited time budget, and have only skimmed the comments. So, what I'm about to post, someone else may have posted. Here goes, anyway.

God finished his work in 6 days, and rested on the seventh. Jesus completed his work on earth as a human being, dying on the cross for man's sin, being resurrected, and then "rested" on the first day of the week. In the Biblical sense, "rested" often means "finished".

Following His resurrection, Jesus met with the disciples when? Later on during the first day of the week. The next time He met with them was the following first day of the week, at which time His famous exchange with Thomas occurred. Paul had his churches get together to "break bread" (the Lord's Supper?), and to take up collections for their Jewish brethren on the first day of the week.

Clearly, as much of a pattern for this exists as the pattern which HWA attempted to derive and establish from Jesus' weekly trips to the temple to evangelize and reason with the Jews.

To my recollection, the only time at which followers of Jesus are actually said to have kept the sabbath refers to the Galilean women, who waited until after the sabbath to prepare spices with which they intended to embalm Jesus. Obviously, they had no clue at that time that He would actually be resurrected, and one could make the argument that they had simply returned to Old Covenant practices, much in the same way as Peter returned to fishing.

WCG seemed to be confused as to precisely when Jesus' resurrection occurred. IIRC, they seemed adamant that it had not occurred at sunrise on the first day of the week. But, if it indeed happened any time following the sunset which followed the sabbath, then it did in fact occur on the first day of the week according to Jewish law. One minor point is that it also appears to be about this time in history that man began reckoning a day as beginning at sunrise, rather than sunset the previous evening.

Unfortunately, if you asked most of the people in the Armstrong movement why Christians keep Sunday today, most would make the extremely inaccurate and preposterous statement that Constantine commanded it at the Nicean Council.

BB

Seeker Of Truth said...

Steve, I'm thinking perhaps you have misunderstood xHWA's article.
If you read my comment above, you will see what I understood him to be saying.
Have a blessed day!

Purple Hymnal said...

"I let something (not what you said) get under my skin and that carried over into my comments to you."

That "something" would have been me, unfortunately. Sorry, xhwa (and, by extension, sorry Steve.) Although I still contend what is meant by "the lord's day" is, as Bill puts it...

(I agree with Bill? Isn't that the main requirement for the TRUE ascent of the Apocalypse??) ;-)

"Why would there be a significance to say, 'I was in a trance and carried in the spirit to a time setting yet future and this happened to me on a Sunday?'"

There is no significance, and this, IMO, is the approach the text is actually taking. So, I agree with Bill!

"Is there a spiritual isle of Patmos? Is he in one verse describing the litteral, physical isle of Patmos, and then in the next verse - without any indicator whatsoever - he is now speaking symbolically?"

And what, specifically, does the text lose, if "the isle of Patmos" is symbolic/spiritual as well?
The Revelation is a fascinating text, read in this light. Read through a fundamentalist's viewpoint, or, even worse, flipping back and forth between "It's literal! No, wait, it's symbolic! There, it's literal again!", does not IMO do justice to the text.

Yeah, I know, you don't like the fact that I read the entire text in a symbolic light; but I've gotten more use from the text by reading it in the light of it being a tale of personal, psychological transformation, than I ever got out of it, when I read it through the terrifying lens the Feast films provided!!

xHWA said...

PH,

I'm touched by your apology. But I can't leave you hangin' like that. It wasn't your comment either.

What would it lose if Patmos were symbolic? Not sure. But if the day is treated in one way, perhaps the Isle should be too?

xHWA said...

Seeker... I'm giving you a gold star. You both read and comprehended what I wrote!
I appreciate that so much right now.

Purple Hymnal said...

Thanks, glad to know it wasn't me, and I hope whatever it was, is now resolved.

"But if the day is treated in one way, perhaps the Isle should be too?"

Right, and if (as Bill and I and AFAIK, a pretty significant portion of mainstream Christian groups) consider "the day" as mentioned to not be A day, but a state of mind, then why can't "the Isle of Patmos" be considered a state of mind as well? What does the text really lose from reading it that way, besides the Left Behind garbage?

Think of it this way: Christians often speak of their conversion experiences as "being let out of prison" (even ex-WCG members say the same thing), but they don't (AFAIK) mean they were literally behind penitentiary bars.

The verse "He opened the prisons wide/and saved men from death/where they lay enslaved..." is read metaphorically, and has always been read metaphorically, as far as I am aware.

Likewise, with the book of Revelation, which is absolutely not a mainstay "go-to" book for the vast majority of Christian churches, is mainly viewed as pure allegory, a "vision quest" if you will, of one person only. Which is, incidentally, an entire genre of ancient Middle Eastern literature, of which the Revelation of John is only one book.

Early Christian Writings has several examples of ancient Middle Eastern texts that fall into this same genre.

If you read these other "apocalypses", the first realization that strikes immediately is, all of the events and chronologies in these "apocalypses" are completely different! How is that reconcilable, from a literalist perspective of the texts? It isn't!

Only read each of these "apocalypses" as individual journeys into each author's mind, and the contradictions no longer need to be resolved...nor do the symbolic typologies need to be "matched up" with (urgh I feel ill just typing this) "world news and prophecy".

Which reinforces Steve's point: You can't say the phrase "the Lord's Day" (even in Greek) actually means "Sunday" or "first day", regardless of how the early Roman church translated/enforced it towards that interpretation.

Steve said...

BB said..."Following His resurrection, Jesus met with the disciples when?

MY COMMENT: Uh...for forty days? Acts 1:3.


"Later on during the first day of the week."

MY COMMENT: And, what does that prove, that they were in "church"?

"The next time He met with them was the following first day of the week, at which time His famous exchange with Thomas occurred."

MY COMMENT: And, that means they were meeting for "church"?


"Paul had his churches get together to "break bread" (the Lord's Supper?),"

MY COMMENT: Breaking of bread occurred any day, not just Sunday. or the Lord's Supper. Acts 2:42, 46. These Scriptures tell us that it was done daily. I don't think it was a "church" service.


"and to take up collections for their Jewish brethren on the first day of the week."

MY COMMENT: And, what does this prove, that they were having "church" services on Sunday? It doesn't say that.

BB, you have some good points, but there is not one Scripture that states that the Gentiles had Sunday religious services. On the contrary...Acts 13:42, Acts 18:4. Paul left the Temple("from now on I will go to the Gentiles" v. 6), and entered the house of Titius Justus, whose house "church" was next door to the synagogue. No doubt, there was a gathering of Gentiles there on the sabbath. I don't think you can make a doctrine out of such vague Scriptures that you have given in defense of the Gentiles keeping Sunday, anymore than the Sabbatarian can prove that the Gentiles went to "church" on Saturday.

Purple Hymnal said...

"Breaking of bread occurred any day, not just Sunday. or the Lord's Supper. Acts 2:42, 46. These Scriptures tell us that it was done daily. I don't think it was a "church" service."

Early Christians got together to share food and fellowship with one another (think NTBMO, only more often), and called these "Love Feasts" --- of course, the Romans, in trying to institutionalize the religion into an Empire-spanning form of authoritarian control, took the name literally, and accused people getting together for a meal (Everybody's gotta eat!) of engaging in gross sexual practices --- which is, and was on the part of the Roman dictators, a baldfaced lie.

That's my understanding, at least, based on what Pagels, Ehrman and others have said. Again, no specification as to which "day" these meals were enjoyed on -- precisely because it was not, at that time, a church ritual -- the Romans subverted that, later, and turned it into the pagan mystery plays that we have today.

(Not that there's anything inherently wrong with the fact that they're pagan mystery plays, that reflect the changing cycles of nature throughout the solar year; refusing to acknowledge that fact, and in fact, metaphorically "burning at the stake" those who do recognize that fact, is the problem.)

"No doubt, there was a gathering of Gentiles there on the sabbath."

What's sauce for the goose, Steve; If xhwa can't make the verse say they met on a Sunday, you can't make the verse say they met on a Saturday, either!

What do you think the early Christians would think, knowing that two thousand years after they ate communal meals together, just to enjoy the company of others who would not persecute nor argue with them about their beliefs, if they knew what a simple supper (or breakfast or lunch) had been subverted into, two thousand years later??

Steve said...

Purple Hymnal said..."What's sauce for the goose, Steve; If xhwa can't make the verse say they met on a Sunday, you can't make the verse say they met on a Saturday, either!"

MY COMMENT: You're right, but I was just following the thread. Verse 6 says that Paul departed from there(the synagogue), then entered into the house of Justus. Verse 4 tells us that it was the sabbath, right? I'm not saying that the Gentiles always met on the sabbath, but it seems like they were meeting there at the house of Justus this one time. Whether that crowd at Justus' house was the one mentioned in verse 8, or not, I don't know. Maybe there was no one gathered at the house of Justus but only Justus and Paul.

Purple Hymnal said..."What do you think the early Christians would think, knowing that two thousand years after they ate communal meals together, just to enjoy the company of others who would not persecute nor argue with them about their beliefs, if they knew what a simple supper (or breakfast or lunch) had been subverted into, two thousand years later??"

MY COMMENT: You're right again.

Purple Hymnal said...

"Purple Hymnal said..."What's sauce for the goose, Steve; If xhwa can't make the verse say they met on a Sunday, you can't make the verse say they met on a Saturday, either!"

MY COMMENT: You're right, but I was just following the thread."


Soooooo, do you agree that there's really no point for you to "keep the Sabbath" at all, Steve? Unless you're Jewish, of course, and they really keep the Sabbath, not like we did!

Steve said...

Purple Hymnal said..."Soooooo, do you agree that there's really no point for you to "keep the Sabbath" at all, Steve? Unless you're Jewish, of course, and they really keep the Sabbath, not like we did!"

MY COMMENT: There's no difference between keeping the Saturday sabbath, or keeping the Sunday sabbath. One is just as fallacious as the other in regards to "keeping" them. I assume when you say "keeping", you are talking about the day being "holy". If you're talking about just meeting together on that day, I believe the early Gentile Christians met on the Saturday Jewish sabbath, but also met on other days of the week.

xHWA said...

"There's no difference between keeping the Saturday sabbath, or keeping the Sunday sabbath. One is just as fallacious as the other in regards to "keeping" them." -Steve

I totally agree!
This is exactly what I've been saying for months. The Sabbath is not a day in the New Covenant.
And this is exactly what I said several times above in these comments.

Steve said...

There's no difference between keeping the Saturday sabbath, or keeping the Sunday sabbath. One is just as fallacious as the other in regards to "keeping" them." -Steve

"I totally agree!
This is exactly what I've been saying for months. The Sabbath is not a day in the New Covenant.
And this is exactly what I said several times above in these comments." -xHWA

MY COMMENT: Then, why do you believe that the "Lord's Day", mentioned in Rev. 1:10, refers to Sunday specifically and factually?

xHWA said...

"Then, why do you believe that the "Lord's Day", mentioned in Rev. 1:10, refers to Sunday specifically and factually?" -Steve

Good question.

Short version:
I mention it only to point out that John is aware of "Lord's Day" meaning Sunday, and I point that out only to show that John is not at all opposed to Sunday as HWA told us John was.
But neither was he all for Sunday. If someone (Bill for example) believes that just because I say John was not against Sunday therefore I must be saying John was all for Sunday, well, that's reading into what I wrote and it ignores everything I've written up to this time.

Long version:
I believe that John was benignly stating where and when he had the first vision. Nothing more; nothing less. I believe that John's reference to Patmos in verse 9 gives us the where, and his reference to "Lord's Day" in verse 10 gives us the when. (I don't need to remind you that there were no verses or chapters in the original, so whether one idea is in a different verse is really meaningless. It's the proximity, that the when flows immediately after the where, that intrigues me.)
I do not in any way believe that John was promoting Sunday over other days in any way, shape or form.

I believe that John was describing Sunday in the vernacular of the day. He called it "Lord's Day" because that is what was a common phrase at the time and he knew everyone would understand it. It was Sunday when he had the vision on Patmos. That is all that I believe is being said by John, and that is all I am saying here.

Now, the reason I mention it in this post is because John, having mentioned Sunday, was not denouncing the day any more than he was affirming it. What do I mean by that? I mean that Sunday is neither the "Sabbath" nor is it the "Mark of the Beast." It's neither.
What my post here focussed on was the latter idea - that it is not the Mark of the Beast. It is not the Mark of the Beast as HWA and friends taught us.
I've already gone over and over how it is not the Sabbath.

In my view, Christ is the Sabbath, and not any day. Sunday is a fine day to worship on; so is any other day - even Saturday.

xHWA said...

HWA fed us the line that "Lord's Day" means "Day of the Lord" specifically to force the phrase to mean anything but Sunday. He did that so that he could put Sunday in as the Mark of the Beast. HWA was putting the cart before the horse, forcing the verse to mean whatever he could get it to mean.... so long as it wasn't Sunday.

As I mentioned many times in my earlier comments above, every commentary and dictionary and ancient document (the Didache for one example is likely even older than Revelation) that I have read shows that the phrase "kyriake hymera" means Sunday. Even WikiPedia of all places agrees. OTOH, there is no evidence whatsoever that it means "Day of the Lord." None. Nada. Zip. I have Bill's word on it that it does, and a series of false prophets to boot, but darned near everyone else says otherwise. Thanks, but I'll need more evidence than that.

If we consider the implications of it meaning Sunday, we have John telling us where and when he had the first vision.
If we consider the implications of it meaning Day of the Lord, not only do we have to ignore the use of language, but we have John being in a vision 2,000+ years ahead of his day, writing letters 2,000 years behind his vision. That doesn't even make sense. Now, that's if you believe in the eras nonsense. If you don't, then you have John 2,000 years ahead of his day, writing to God only knows who.

Either way, I prefer the Sunday interpretation. "I was in this place on this day and I had a vision." End of idea.

xHWA said...

Steve,

I am not going to allow your further comments. You can continue to avoid your own study and make baseless claims, but you're going to be doing that somewhere else. I am no longer going to humor you here.

If you so strongly disagree that "kyriake hymera" means Lord's Day, you may 1) display even the slightest evidence whatsoever that isn't simply your opinion, and/or 2) bring it up with the references I've sited many many times (for example Albert Barne's Notes on the Bible) because they would like to disagree with you as well.

The name of this blog is As Bereans Did because we look into the available evidence, consider it rather than outrightly dismiss it and deny its existence, and then we at least attempt to make an informed conclusion. What you've been displaying is the opposite of that.

Andrew Patrick said...

I think that your interpretation of Revelation 1:10 as meaning "Sunday" is a bit strained, and I think you are being a little too reactionary, jumping from one bandwagon to another.

Let's consider some basic facts:

1) This precise instance of this Greek phrase in question is not used anywhere else in the New Testament. Any attempt to use this as an argument cuts both ways, for other writers use different terms for "the day of the Lord" and "the first day of the week."

2) A basic King James translation contains the phrase "day of the LORD" 24 times in the Old Testament, which is a simple combination of the concepts of "day" and LORD."

3) In this same King James translation you will also find the phrase "day of the Lord" five times (Acts 2:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10). These also seem to be a simple combination of the concepts "day" and "Lord."

4) The Greek words underlying these five New Testament uses are G2250 "hemera" and G2962 "kurios"

5) There is only a slight difference between the former five instances and the latter. The word order is reversed and John has used "kuriakos" instead of "kurios."

6) The literal meaning of these words are the same, just as the literal meaning of "Lord's day" and "day of the Lord" is also identical.

7) If we allow the words to speak literally the passage makes perfect sense. Luke, Paul, and Peter all speak of the coming climatic events of the "day of the Lord" and the context of what John describes also takes place on the "day of the Lord"

8) John does not have to use the same phrases and writing style of Luke, Paul, and Peter. In fact, he is well known for having a unique style. He is also unique in his use of the "Word" for the "Son of God."

9) Attempting to read Revelation 1:10 as meaning "Sunday" actually requires a non-literal meaning to be forced on top of the verse.

10) Anyone who were to simply pick up their bible and read it without outside influence would have no clue to think that this meant anything other than what it literally describes, that "great and dreadful day of the Lord"

This interface thinks that I am past an arbitrary 4096 limit, so I will continue with the next post...

Andrew Patrick said...

(continuing from above...)


11) John was physically on the isle of Patmos, but the scene that he describes "in the spirit" is a vision of an entirely different time and place all together. The vision that he describes does not take place "on a Sunday" (even if most theologians from Wycliffe's day thought that Doomsday would happen on a Sunday...)

12) When someone gives a witness account and needs to give a time, one would generally need a better descriptive than the day of the week. If John thought that the day of the week was important, he could have used a non-ambiguous term, such as "the first day of the week." The New Testament uses the term "first day of the week" eight times, including Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2. Neither Luke nor Paul speaks of the first day of the week as being "the Lord's Day"

13) It may be that some people started to use "Lord's Day" to describe the first day of the week at a later date, but there is no evidence that this was the tradition when John wrote Revelation.

14) If you note the way the verse is phrased, John does not pair up "Patmos" with "the Lord's day."

15) Albert Barnes and other commentaries are often mistaken and filled with speculation. They can be useful at times, but they are not a proper authority.

Let's take a moment and actually look at the verse (always a good practice):

Rev 1:10 KJV
(10) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

I think the definition is already given by context. The Lord's day comes with trumpets. Everything else that happens in this vision "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" matches up with everything else that we are told about the coming "day of the LORD."

There is a saying that when the plain reading of scripture makes sense, seek no other sense. It is also a good rule that we should attempt to read the scripture as literally as we can whenever possible.

I think that I agree with Steve's sentiments: that theologians and commentaries have been way too quick to try to proof-text Revelation 1:10 to promote a "First Day Sabbath." The verse requires no such reading, and the literal sense of it is most suitable.

In fact, I would point out that when someone pushes and demands a flawed reading (such as "Sunday") this opens the door for reactionary movements that use this excuse to lunge in the wrong direction.

Reading Revelation 1:10 in its literal sense of "the day of the Lord" does not implement the Law of Moses nor the Judaic Sabbath. The concept of "Sabbath-keeping" can be addressed on its merits well enough without requiring a speculative non-literal reading of a single verse.

I really do not want to carry on a converation on a blog that requires this tiny window, but I would happy to talk with anyone by email.

Take care,
-Andrew

xHWA said...

Let's consider some basic facts:

1) This precise instance of this Greek phrase in question is not used anywhere else in the New Testament. Any attempt to use this as an argument cuts both ways, for other writers use different terms for "the day of the Lord" and "the first day of the week."

I've actually tried to make it plenty obvious in this article and others and in the comments here that there is little to lock up the argument in either direction.
It comes down to etymology and which argument is circumstantially the more convincing.

I find the lack of use in the rest of the New Testament to be irrelevant. Whether it is used or not has no bearing on the actual meaning of the phrases. Kyriake hemera is not the only phrase used only once in the Bible, and those words still have their meaning. There are many Greek words and phrases that never appear in the Bible, yet those also have a meaning. The methodology you suggest is not proper hermeneutically.

2) A basic King James translation contains the phrase "day of the LORD" 24 times in the Old Testament, which is a simple combination of the concepts of "day" and LORD."

I find the number of appearances of "day of the Lord" to be irrelevant. As I pointed out, the two are separate Greek phrases. When we look at the popular usage of these two Greek phrases, etymologically they appear similar but in definition they are completely different in meaning. This is the very definition of "false friend".
Either we accept what you're claiming - that the culture in that time and place used kyriake hemera in the same way as hemera tou kyriou, and there is absolutely no evidence that they did - or we accept that people in that time and place used them differently, and there is much evidence that they did.

3) In this same King James translation you will also find the phrase "day of the Lord" five times (Acts 2:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10). These also seem to be a simple combination of the concepts "day" and "Lord."

In the English this may be so. In the Greek it is not so. Kyriake hemera and hemera tou kyriou do not appear to be simple, interchangeable combinations of "day" and "lord" and are never once used as such. The point you make, that there is only one appearance of kyriake hemera, would demonstrate to me that they are not simple and interchangeable, or more people would have done so.

4) The Greek words underlying these five New Testament uses are G2250 "hemera" and G2962 "kurios"

Correct. The Greek base words are similar, however I argue that the idea behind them are completely different, hence the need for different phrases, and hence why we never see them interchanged in the Bible or elsewhere.

5) There is only a slight difference between the former five instances and the latter. The word order is reversed and John has used "kuriakos" instead of "kurios."

That is not so. There is more than one slight difference in the phrases. For example, "kyriake hemera" has two words while "hemera tou kyriou" has three. I have already discussed the potential differences in idea expressed, and I have referenced the distinct usage of the phrases by other authors.

xHWA said...

6) The literal meaning of these words are the same, just as the literal meaning of "Lord's day" and "day of the Lord" is also identical.

The literal meaning of the words is the same, yes. But what you have not addressed is the meaning of the phrases to those people in that area at that time. I have addressed this several times. And I have kept in mind neither argument is air tight.

7) If we allow the words to speak literally the passage makes perfect sense. Luke, Paul, and Peter all speak of the coming climatic events of the "day of the Lord" and the context of what John describes also takes place on the "day of the Lord"

But what you're doing here is not hermeneutically nor linguistically correct.

8) John does not have to use the same phrases and writing style of Luke, Paul, and Peter. In fact, he is well known for having a unique style. He is also unique in his use of the "Word" for the "Son of God."

Agreed that John does not have to use the same style as the other New Testament authors. However, the Greek word logos appears throughout the NT. John's choice of logos in reference to Jesus is unique, but it was not done in a vacuum. It was a well known phylosophical term and the audience would know precisely what the word entailed and why it was chosen. The author of Hebrews, although not directly linking "logos" and Jesus as John does, still deals with these same ideas.

9) Attempting to read Revelation 1:10 as meaning "Sunday" actually requires a non-literal meaning to be forced on top of the verse.

I disagree. Your statement fails to take into account the accepted understanding of the phrase by the audience John was writing to. I would agree that it actually fits perfectly linguistically and in proper hermeneutics. If you disagree with me on this, you are free to take it up with the multitude of Biblical scholars who agree with me. Let your scholars and mine debate it out.

10) Anyone who were to simply pick up their bible and read it without outside influence would have no clue to think that this meant anything other than what it literally describes, that "great and dreadful day of the Lord"

Perhaps, depending on what area and what time said "anyone" was from. If I gave that phrase to a second-century Greek, he would come to a different conclusion than you have. Given the fact that no early Christian author agrees with what you're claiming, and that includes John's disciples who use this phrase clearly in reference to Sunday, I would say this point holds little water.

xHWA said...

11) John was physically on the isle of Patmos, but the scene that he describes "in the spirit" is a vision of an entirely different time and place all together. The vision that he describes does not take place "on a Sunday" (even if most theologians from Wycliffe's day thought that Doomsday would happen on a Sunday...)

In your predetermined understanding of this verse it does not take place on Sunday. However, for you to claim that it absolurtely does not take place on a Sunday requires more information than either of us possess.

12) When someone gives a witness account and needs to give a time, one would generally need a better descriptive than the day of the week. If John thought that the day of the week was important, he could have used a non-ambiguous term, such as "the first day of the week." The New Testament uses the term "first day of the week" eight times, including Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2. Neither Luke nor Paul speaks of the first day of the week as being "the Lord's Day"

You assume, from a modern understanding influenced by certain viewpoints, that it doesn't make sense to say what John said. Do you have any evidence that his audience in that area and at that time were confused by it? I have evidence that his own disciples knew what it meant. It was one of the most well-known phrases in Greek-speaking Christianity in the following centuries after all.

13) It may be that some people started to use "Lord's Day" to describe the first day of the week at a later date, but there is no evidence that this was the tradition when John wrote Revelation.

Correct. And we've gone over that in full already in the comments above.
However, there is no evidence that kyriake hemera was used to indicate the prophetic Day of the Lord at all, before, duting, or after that time. So I would say this point is less than convincing.

14) If you note the way the verse is phrased, John does not pair up "Patmos" with "the Lord's day."

Are you attempting to claim that Patmos was also spiritual and in vision? Why is it only kyriake hemera that is in vision? Especially given that John was still introducing the book at that point, and the prophetic and "visionary" portion does not start until chapter 4, and nothing resembling the Day of the Lord appears until a separate vision is introduced in chapter 6.

15) Albert Barnes and other commentaries are often mistaken and filled with speculation. They can be useful at times, but they are not a proper authority.

Although I agree with you in this point, attacking the credibility of Barnes does not help your case. Once you've removed the credibility of Barnes, you still have thousands of others who agree with Barnes to attack, and there still is the issue of linguistics. Whether Barnes believes something or not, it doesn't change the fact that "kiriake hemera" is never used as "Day of the Lord."

xHWA said...

Let's take a moment and actually look at the verse (always a good practice):
Rev 1:10 KJV
(10) I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
I think the definition is already given by context. The Lord's day comes with trumpets. Everything else that happens in this vision "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" matches up with everything else that we are told about the coming "day of the LORD."


But you've not given the context. You've given no context at all. You've taken one partial sentence, in English, piled your pre-determined beliefs into it, and declared that it makes sense. I don't argue that it makes sense. It does. I have only argued that it isn't the only thing that makes sense. For us both to say that this makes sense is not the same as saying "Sunday" makes no sense. It also makes sense. But for proper context we must recall that this was written in Greek obviously to a Greek-speaking audience, 1,900 years ago, and there were no chapters or verses. You've just taken a minute portion of the context and not considered the surroundings at all.

There is a saying that when the plain reading of scripture makes sense, seek no other sense. It is also a good rule that we should attempt to read the scripture as literally as we can whenever possible.

I partially disagree with your first statement. I do prefer the plain reading, but I prefer a linguistically and hermeneutically correct plain reading. And one free of bias. And the second section I disagree with completely. Take prophetic language for instance. Much of the prophetic language in the Bible is symbolic and must not be taken literally.

I think that I agree with Steve's sentiments: that theologians and commentaries have been way too quick to try to proof-text Revelation 1:10 to promote a "First Day Sabbath." The verse requires no such reading, and the literal sense of it is most suitable.

And I disagree. The "literal sense" as you say neither favors the prophetic day of the Lord nor the Day of the Lord as Sunday. Your beliefs cause you to assume the "literal sense" favors your interpretation, when in fact it favors neither yours nor mine. The "literal sense" is simply "day" and "Lord". It assumes nor states anything about prophecy. That's the literal sense. What is meant by "day Lord"? That's what we're trying to get to here.

In fact, I would point out that when someone pushes and demands a flawed reading (such as "Sunday") ...

You mean like what you just did there? Pushing "Sunday" as a flawed reading exposes your bias. No one is perfectly unbiased. But I don't accept your implied claim that you are somehow an exeption.

... this opens the door for reactionary movements that use this excuse to lunge in the wrong direction.
Reading Revelation 1:10 in its literal sense of "the day of the Lord" does not implement the Law of Moses nor the Judaic Sabbath. The concept of "Sabbath-keeping" can be addressed on its merits well enough without requiring a speculative non-literal reading of a single verse.

And I've made that point earlier. Glad we agree.
But if interpreting kirake hemera as Sunday, as all other Greek authors do, opens a door for wrong direction, which wrong direction do you propose that is? Especially given that you believe the interpretation does not promote the Sabbath?

Anonymous said...

If Sunday is the mark of the beast, then there is no way one could ever repent nor escape from it. Taking the mark is an irrevocable sin. If we cannot worship God on Sunday, should I do non religious stuff on Sunday? Should I avoid trying to evangelise someone on Sunday? Should I avoid entering the grounds of a church on Sunday? Why? Does the grounds of a churchyard suddenly become defiled on Sunday and then okay again on Monday? Tell me.

@Andrew
You said," Albert Barnes and other commentaries are often mistaken and filled with speculation. They can be useful at times, but they are not a proper authority."

My response: So should we take you, a layman, as an authority over Barnes? Barnes and other commentators are learned men. You are less than a layman. Why should we take you seriously over them?

Andrew Patrick said...

Greetings Anonymous,

It seems that you addressed this to me, so I guess I may respond?

First, a question: In your first question, you spoke of irrevocable sin?" Of a sin for which there is no way one could repent? Pray tell, where did you get this idea from? That seems to be the complete opposite of what John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter preached: the doctrine of repentance from sins.

Second, from the rest of your questions, what exactly is it that you are assuming? I certainly never said anything about not worshiping God on Sunday, avoiding church grounds, or anything of that sort. Nor did I support a statement that "Sunday is the mark of the beast."

"Tell you" you asked?

If we cannot worship God on Sunday, should I... (Irrelevant, false assertion leads question.)

"Should I avoid trying to evangelise someone on Sunday?" [Depends on whether you are fit to evangelize in the first place, I suppose. What did Christ say about the Pharisees that evangelized, and made their converts ten-fold children of hell than themselves?]

Should I avoid entering the grounds of a church on Sunday? [Depends - would it offend your brethren?]

Why? [because it is a thing that can do you no harm, it is neither good or evil in itself. Apply the same scriptures referring to whether it is lawful to eat meat sacrificed unto idols.]

Does the grounds of a churchyard suddenly become defiled on Sunday and then okay again on Monday? [Depends, perhaps? It is what proceeds out of the mouth of men that defiles a place, not the grounds itself.]

Your response is intriguing, though:
"My response: So should we take you, a layman, as an authority over Barnes? Barnes and other commentators are learned men. You are less than a layman. Why should we take you seriously over them?"

Question: What does "less than a layman" mean?

Answer (for you): when Barnes, or any other commentator, can provide SCRIPTURAL support for their conclusion to the question (rather than tradition and collaborative agreement thereof) then they might have a leg to stand on. I have no need of credentials (the apostles were not learned men) but I only need the authority of scripture itself, written by a common Author.

In other words, if you desire the honor of men, believe majority commentary opinion. If you desire the honor of God, pay attention to his Word, and judge his Word by his Word. Judge an answer on its merits and according to scripture, and when it presents an answer, seek not the musings of men.

The bible is filled with the phrase "Day of the Lord" referring to "great and dreadful" and the like... but when it means "Sunday" it uses the term "first day of the week."

There is no evidence within scripture that John is attempting to say that he say a vision on Sunday.

Yet, the entire book of Revelation describes the Day of the Lord. John was caught up into it in a vision. He was in the spirit in the Day of the Lord. That is, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet."

Read the rest of the Bible when it refers to the Lord's day, of what types of events happens in such a day. The scriptural context needs no other interpretation than the scripture itself. Barnes has no scriptural support. It's an easy call.

Oh... and as for my being "less than a layman" ... thanks.

1Co 1:27-29 KJV
(27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
(28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
(29) That no flesh should glory in his presence.

You seemed angry... why? If you want to talk, follow the link and send me mail. I won't bite.

Anonymous said...

@Andrew
Glad you responded. Only the second half of the comment was addressed to you but since you addressed the first half of my comment as well I will go through your responses. If I came across to you as being "angry," I certainly did not mean for that.

"In your first question, you spoke of irrevocable sin?" Of a sin for which there is no way one could repent? Pray tell, where did you get this idea from? That seems to be the complete opposite of what John the Baptist, Jesus, and Peter preached: the doctrine of repentance from sins."-Andrew

Of course there is such a thing as irrevocable and unpardonable sin. First off, unbelief in Jesus is an unpardonable sin. Acts 4:12 Second, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an unpardonable sin. See Matthew 12:32 Taking mark of the beast is also unpardonable. See Revelation 19:20 Those who receive the mark of the beast will not go to heaven, period.

"I have no need of credentials (the apostles were not learned men) but I only need the authority of scripture itself, written by a common Author."-Andrew

So in other words do we take the NWT of the JWs seriously that was done by a spiritist? The NWT was done by men without Greek or Hebrew credentials and it was also a grossly erroneous translation. Who told you credentials aren't necessary? What about the book of mormon? Do we trust that too? If someone did a documentary, wouldn't you refer to the sources they give to see if they are in accordance with verifiable evidences? Do you honestly rely on Scripture devoid of the musings of men? Do you consider Alexander Hislop as an authoritative source? If you honestly can say.....,"Yes, I don't rely on the ramblings of man, including Alexander Hislop and others because they aren't Scripture." .......then I seriously need to give you a handshake for that!

I'm glad that you understand that Scripture for the most part interprets itself and that the Bible is strictly an infallible source. The History channel has a long-standing practice of dismissing the Bible as an accurate historical source. Scripture is totally infallible. Glad we can agree on something. A good day to you. Shalom.

Anon.





Andrew Patrick said...

Response, for Anonymous above:

I think you are misreading those passages about sin.

1) Acts 4:12 does not say that a disbelief in Jesus cannot be forgiven. Remember the parables of the prodigal son, and the two sons and the field. Repentance of sin erases the sin. Disbelief must be replaced with belief.

2) Matthew 12:32 says that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven. Reading the passage, Jesus said that blasphemy against the son of Man (himself in the flesh) would be forgiven. Determine how they differ and you will have your answer. I propose that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the willing rejection of God, the knowing rejection (not subject to possible doubt.)

In other words, absolute rejection of God, refusal to repent. See Psalm 51:17 " the broken and contrite heart... God will not despise." True repentance will never be rejected. Therefore... for the scripture to add up, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit must include an unmistaken rejection of the redeemer.

3) Revelation 19:20 isn't applicable to this subject. It simply says that those who received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image are cast alive into a great fire at Christ's return. That is, they die: that's what happens when someone is thrown into a fire. There is still a resurrection 1000 years later for these just like everyone else.

... as to the second part...

... the JW NWT is not a legitimate bible. It's been hacked, and in many places words added that appear in no Greek manuscript.

But we are not talking about translation credentials here... translation has already been done. We aren't talking about the NWT or the book of Mormon (does not resemble legitimate scripture.)

And the only way commentary entered this discussion was my statement that scripture trumps commentary. I.e. the direct New Testament trumps Albert Barnes, John Gill, and Matthew Henry, even if you could find a place where they all agreed with each other.

Do I honestly rely on scripture devoid of the musings of men? Yes. Try me.

Do I consider Alexander Hislop an authoritative source? In some regard, probably... just as I also consider Gill, Barnes, etc. on their merits. But not to the measure that their supposings contradict scripture.