Sabbath to Sunday
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The Resurrection- Appearances and the Origin of Sunday Observance


Rome and the Origin
of Sunday


Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday

Sun-Worship and the Origin of Sunday

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FROM SABBATH TO SUNDAY:  
A HISTORICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE RISE OF SUNDAY OBSERVANCE IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY 

Chapter 3

THE RESURRECTION-APPEARANCES AND THE

ORIGIN OF SUNDAY OBSERVANCE

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University

The Resurrection

The most common theological motivations presented in recent studies to explain the origin of Sunday-keeping are the resurrection and/or the appearances of Jesus which took place on the first day of the week. C. S. Mosna, for instance, in his recent doctoral dissertation, concludes: "Therefore we can conclude with certainty that the event of the resurrection has determined the choice of Sunday as the day of worship of the first Christian community."1 It is argued, as stated by J. Daniélou, that "what made the Sunday was the synaxis which took place only on the Lordís day... in commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ."2 Right from the very inception of the Church, the apostles allegedly chose the first day of the week on which Christ rose, to commemorate the resurrection on a unique Christian day and by the celebration of the Lordís supper as an expression of genuine Christian worship. 

If, on the one hand, a careful investigation of all the New Testament texts mentioning the resurrection, reveals the incomparable importance of the event,3 on the other hand it does not provide any indication regarding a special day to commemorate it. In fact, as Harold Riesenfeld notes, "in the accounts of the resurrection in the Gospels, there are no sayings which direct that the great event of Christís resurrection should be commemorated on the particular day of the week on which it occurred."4 Moreover, as the same author observes, "the first day of the week, in the writings of the New Testament, is never called ĎDay of the Resurrectioní. This is a term which made its appearance later."5 Therefore "to say that Sunday is observed because Jesus rose on that day," as S. V. McCasland cogently states, "is really a petitio principii, for such a celebration might just as well be monthly or annually and still be an observance of that particular day.6 

Lordís Supper. The very "Lordís Supperókuriakon deipnoní which allegedly gave rise to the "Lordís dayókuriake hemera" by creating the necessity to commemorate the resurrection with a unique Christian worship and on a purely Christian day, was not celebrated, according to the New Testament, on a specificweekly day nor was the rite understood as commemorative of the resurrection. 

It could be argued that Christís death and resurrection cannot be rightly separated since they constitute two acts of the same drama. Nevertheless it is noteworthy that Paul, who claims to transmit what he "received from the Lord" (1 Cor. 11:23), states explicitly that by the eating of the bread and by the drinking of the cup Christians "proclaim the Lordís death till he comes" (1 Cor 11:26).8 It is then not Christís resurrection but rather His sacrifice and parousia which the Lordís Supper is explicitly designed to commemorate.9 

In the same chapter the Apostle takes pains to instruct the Corinthians concerning the manner of celebrating the Lordís Supper, but on the question of the time of the assembly no less than four times he repeats in the same chapter, "when you come togetherósunerkomenon" (1 Cor. 11:18, 20, 33, 34), thus implying indeterminate time and days. If the Lordís Supper was indeed celebrated on Sunday night, Paul could hardly have failed to mention it at least once, since four times he refers to the coming together for its celebration.  

Furthermore, if Sunday were already regarded as the "Lordís day," by mentioning the sacredness of the time in which they gathered, Paul could have strengthened his plea for a more worshipful attitude during the partaking of the Lordís Supper. But, though Paul was familiar with the adjective "Lordísókuriakos" (since he uses it in v. 20 to designate the nature of the supper), he did not apply it to Sunday. In the same epistle in fact, in a passage we shall later discuss, 10 he refers to the day by the Jewish designation "first day of the week" (1 Cor. 16:2). 

The meaning of the Lordís Supper is derived from the Last Supper which Christ celebrated with His disciples. While the Synoptics differ from John in designating the time of its celebration,11 they all agree that Christ ate the Passover with His disciples according to the prevailing custom. On that occasion, however, Christ infused into the rite a new meaning and form.  

It is noteworthy that the dominant motif emphasized by Christ during the institution of the rite is not His resurrection but rather His expiatory death. He attributes to the bread and the wine the symbolic value of His body and blood "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matt. 26 :28; cf. Mark 13 :24; Luke 22 :15, 17, 19). That Christ intended to give not only a new meaning but also a weekly recurrence to the festivity, cannot be inferred from the Gospels, since there are no such allusions. The only appointment in time that Jesus offers to His disciples is "until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Fatherís kingdom" (Matt. 26:29; cf. Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18). 

In the immediate post-New Testament literature, the resurrection is similarly not cited as the primary reason for the celebration of the Lordís Supper or for the observance of Sunday. The Didache, regarded as the most ancient source of ecclesiastical legislation (dated between A.D. 70-150),12 devotes three brief chapters (chs. 9, 10, 14) to the manner of celebrating the Lordís Supper. In the thanksgiving prayer to be offered over the cup and bread, mention is made of life, knowledge, church unity, faith, immortality, creation and food (chs. 9, 10), but no allusion is made to Christís resurrection.  

In Clementís Epistle to the Corinthians, known as "the earliest Christian document that has come down to us outside the New Testament" (dated about A.D. 95),13 our chapters deal with the theme of the resurrection (24-27). The writer, seeking to reassure the Christians of Corinth that "there is to be a resurrection, of which he made the Lord Jesus Christ the first fruits" (24 :1), employs three different and effective symbols: the day-night cycle, the reproductive cycle of the seed (24) and the legend of the phoenix from whose corpse allegedly another bird arose (25).  

The omission of the Lordís Supper and of Sunday worshipóthe most telling symbols of allóis certainly surprising, if indeed, as some hold, the Eucharist was already celebrated on Sunday and had acquired the commemorative value of the resurrection. What more effective way for the Bishop of Rome to reassure the Corinthian Christians of their future resurrection than by reminding them that the Lordís Supper, of which they partook every Sunday, was their most tangible assurance of their own resurrection! Clement, on the contrary, not only omits this rite which later became commemorative of the resurrection, but even speaks of "the sacrifices and services" offered "at the appointed times" in the temple of Jerusalem as "things the Master has commanded us to perform" (40 :2-4).14  

By manifesting such a profound respect for and attachment to Jewish religious services, Clement hardly allows for a radical break with Jewish institutions like the Sabbath and for the adoption of a new day of worship with well defined new theological motivations. On the other hand, a few decades later we find in Ignatius, Barnabas and Justin not only the opposite attitude toward Jewish institutions, but also the first timid references to the resurrection, which is presented as an added or secondary reason for Sunday worship.15 

The secondary role of the resurrection in earlier sources is recognized even by scholars who defend its influence on the origin of Sunday. C. S. Mosna notes, for instance, that while in the fourth century the Fathers established "an explicit link" between the resurrection and Sunday observance, ĎĎin the first three centuries the memory of the resurrection was hardly mentioned."16 

Passover. The observance of the Passover in the primitive Church provides additional indications that initially the event of the resurrection was not explicitly associated with the feast, which apparently was not celebrated on Sunday. The injunction to observe Passover is found in the New Testament only once, in 1 Corinthians 5 :7, 8: "Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ our paschal lamb has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."17  

Note that in this text the celebration of the Passover is explicitly motivated by the fact that Christ, the true paschal lamb, "has been sacrificed." Any reference to the resurrection is absent. The passage, moreover, provides limited support for a literal observance of the festival, because Paul here, as W. D. Davies observes, "is not thinking of a specific Christian Passover day, but of the Christian dispensation as such as a feast."18 This does not necessarily imply that the Christians at that time observed Passover only existentially and not literally.  

The fact that Paul himself spent the days of Unleavened Bread at Philippi (Acts 20:6) and that he "was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost" (Acts 20:16; cf. 1 Cor. 16:8) suggests that the Apostle still respected and regulated his life by the normative liturgical calendar of the temple. Moreover we know from the Quartodecimanís sources (i.e. those who kept Passover on Nisan 14 according to the Jewish reckoning), which apparently represent a direct continuation of the custom of the primitive Church, that the paschal feast was indeed observed by Christians. Its celebration, however, did not take place on Sunday, as we might expect if it was intended to commemorate the actual day on which the resurrection occurred, but rather, as well stated by J. Jeremias, "at the same time as the Jewish Passover, that is, on the night of the 15th of Nisan, and by the date rather than the day."19  

In a passage we shall later examine, Epiphanius (ca. A.D. 315-403) suggests that until A.D. 135 Christians everywhere observed Passover on the Jewish date, namely, on Nisan 15, irrespective of the day of the week20 If our informer is correct, this would mean that prior to that time, no necessity had been felt to institute a Sunday memorial (whether annual or weekly) to honor the resurrection. 

This conclusion is supported indirectly also by the two earliest documents mentioning the Passover celebration, since both emphasize the commemoration of the death rather than of the resurrection of Christ. The Ethiopic version of the apocryphal Epistle of the Apostles (dated ca. A.D. 150) says, "and you therefore celebrate the remembrance of my death, i.e. the passover" (ch. 15). In the Coptic version the passage is basically the same, "And you remember my death. If now the passover takes place..... . ." (ch. 15).21 

The second document, the Sermon on the Passover by Melito,22 Bishop of Sardis (died ca. A.D. 190), provides the most extensive theological interpretation of the meaning of the Passover celebration for the early Christians. The Bishop in a highly rhetorical fashion explains in his sermon how the old Passover has found its fulfillment in Christ. It is significant that the Biblical setting is still the Exodus story (12:11-30) which the author reenacts as in the Jewish Passover haggadah. The recurring theme is "the suffering of the Lord" (v. 58) which the author finds "predicted long in advance" (v. 58) not only by "the sacrifice of the sheep" (vv. 3, 4, 6, 8, 15, 16, 32, 33, 44) but also in many other Old Testament types: 

"This one is the passover of our salvation. 
This is the one who patiently endured many things in many people. 
This is the one who was murdered in Abel, 
and bound as a sacrifice in Isaac, 

and exiled in Jacob,  
and sold in Joseph,  
and exposed in Moses,  
and sacrificed in the lamb,  
and hunted in David,  
and dishonored in the prophets (v. 69).  

This is the lamb that was slain.  
This is the lamb that was silent. 
This is the one who was born of Mary, that beautiful ewe-lamb. 
This is the one who was taken from the flock,  
and was dragged to sacrifice,  
and was killed in the evening,  
and was buried at night; 
the one who was not broken while on the tree,  
who did not see dissolution while in the earth,  
who rose up from the dead 
and who raised up mankind 
from the grave below (v. 71)." 

Though Melito in his sermon makes a few passing references to the resurrection, it is clear from the context that these function as the epilogue of the passion drama of the Passover. The emphasis is indeed on the suffering and death of Jesus which constitute the recurring theme of the sermon and of the celebration.23 This is evidenced also by the very definition of the Passover which the Bishop provides: "What is the Passover? Indeed its name is derived from that eventó 'to celebrate the Passover' (tou paschein) is derived from "to suffer" (tou pathein). Therefore, learn who the sufferer is and who he is who suffers along with the sufferer (v. 46).24 

The resurrection, however, did emerge in time as the dominant reason for the celebration not only of the annual Easter-Sunday, but also of the weekly Sunday. The two festivities, in fact, as we shall later see-, came to be regarded as one basic feast commemorating at different times the same event of the resurrection.25 

It would seem therefore that though the resurrection is frequently mentioned both in the New Testament and in the early patristic literature, no suggestion is given that primitive Christians commemorated the event by a weekly or yearly Sunday service. The very fact that Passover, which later became the annual commemoration of the resurrection held on Easter-Sunday, initially celebrated primarily Christís passion26 and was observed by the fixed date of Nisan 15 rather than on Sunday, 27 makes it untenable to claim that Christís resurrection determined the origin of Sunday worship during the lifetime of the Apostles. 


The Appearances of the Risen Christ

Another similar and yet different explanation for the origin of Sunday observance has been popularized by W. Rordorf in his recent monograph on the origin and early history of Sunday, which has been translated and published in several languages. The author with a brilliant but tortuous argumentation interrelates Christís Last Supper, the meals which the risen Lord consumed with His disciples on Easter Sunday, the breaking of the bread practiced in the earliest community, and the Lordís Supper described in I Corinthians 11:17-34.28 He concludes that all these have their "roots in the Easter meal, when the risen Lord was present in visible form with His disciples, and we can assign a definite point in time to the Easter meal: it happened on Sunday evening!"29  

Moreover, the fact that Christ appeared and ate with the disciples "not only on Easter-Sunday evening, but also on the following Sunday (John 20:26) and perhaps even on other Sundays after that (Acts 10:41)," 30 is interpreted as the setting of a regular pattern for a regular eucharistic celebration on every Sunday night. Therefore Sunday allegedly would derive both its name "Lordís dayókuriake hemera and its eucharistic cult from the "Lordís Supperókuriakon deipnon" which on Easter evening underwent "a second institution" when the risen Lord celebrated the rite anew with His disciples.31 

Is it possible that the meals consumed by the risen Christ with His disciples on the occasions of his various appearances, as Otto Betz puts it, became "the basis for a revolutionary new cult among the earliest Christians"?32 The Gospelís accounts of the event significantly discredit such an hypothesis.The disciples, for instance, had gathered on Easter-Sunday night "within shut doors" (John 20:19) still confused and disbelieving the resurrection (Luke 24 :11), not to celebrate the Lordís Supper, but "for fear of the Jews" (John 20:19).  

John, though he wrote by the end of the first century,33 when allegedly Christians were celebrating the Lordís Supper on Sunday, makes no reference to any meal which Christ took with his disciples on Easter evening. The omission of this detail can hardly be justified if the Easter-meal - was regarded as the crucial starting point of Sunday-keeping. Furthermore, the fact that John does mention a meal which Christ consumed with His disciples on an early week-day morning on the shore of the lake of Galilee (John 21:13), strongly suggests that no particular significance was attributed to Christís Easter-Sunday evening meal.34 

It is hard to believe that the disciples viewed the Easter evening meal as "a second institution of the Lordís Supper," when Luke, the only reporter of the meal, "makes no mention," as C. S. Mosna notes, "of a fractio panis," that is, of a breaking of bread. 35 The disciples, in fact, "gave him [i. e. Christ] a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them" (Luke 24:42-43). There is no mention of bread or of wine, nor of ritual blessing. The disciples did not receive the eucharistic elements from Christ, but "they gave Him a piece of broiled fish" (v. 42). Only Christ ate, why? The answer is explicitly provided by the context (vv. 36-41) where Christ asks not for bread and wine, but for "anything to eat" (v. 41) in order to reassure the disciples of the physical reality of His resurrected body. 36 

The mention of Christís appearance "eight days later" (John 20:26), supposedly the Sunday following His resurrection,37 can hardly suggest a regular pattern of Sunday observance, since John himself explains its reason, namely, the absence of Thomas at the previous appearance (v. 24). Similarly on this occasion John makes no reference to any cultic meal, but simply to Christís tangible demonstration to Thomas of the reality of his bodily resurrection (vv. 26-29). The fact that "eight days later" the disciples were again gathered together is not surprising, since we are told that before Pentecost "they were stayingóhesan katamenontes" (Acts 1:13) together in the upper room and there they met daily for mutual edification (Acts 1:14; 2:1). 

The appearances of Christ do not follow a consistent pattern. The Lord appeared to individuals and to groups not only on Sunday but at different times, places and circumstances. He appeared in fact to single persons such as Cephas and James (1 Cor. 15 :5, 7), to the twelve (vv. 5, 7), and to a group of five hundred persons (v. 6). The meetings occurred, for instance, while gathered within shut doors for fear of the Jews (John 20:19, 26), while traveling on the Emmaus road (Luke 24:13-35) or while fishing on the lake of Galilee (John 21:1-14).  

No consistent pattern can be derived from Christís appearances to justify the institution of a recurring eucharistic celebration on Sunday. In fact, with only two disciples at Emmaus, Christ "took the bread and blessed ; and broke it, and gave it to them" (Luke 24:30). This last instance may sound like the celebration of the Lordís Supper. But in reality it was an ordinary meal around an ordinary table to which Jesus was invited. Christ accepted the hospitality of the two disciples and sat "at the table with them" (Luke 24:30). According to the prevailing custom, the Lord "took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them" (v. 30). This act, as explained by J. Behm, was "simply a customary and necessary part of the preparation for eating together." 38 No wine was served or blessed, since the meal was abruptly interrupted by the recognition of the Lord "in the breaking of the bread" (v. 35; cf. 31). 

To view any meal that Christ partook with the disciples after His resurrection as a "second institution" of the Lordís Supper would conflict also with the pledge Jesus made at the Last Supper; "I tell you I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fatherís kingdom" (Matt. 26:29; cf. Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18). Since all the Synoptics unanimously report Christís promise not to partake again of the sacred elements with His disciples in this present world, they could hardly have viewed any later meal taken with Christ, as a reenactment of the Last Supper, without making their Master guilty of inconsistency or contradictions. 

Lastly, we should note that according to Matthew (28:10) and Mark (16:7) Christís appearances occurred not in Jerusalem (as mentioned by Luke and John) but in Galilee. This suggests that, as S. V. McCasland rightly observes, "the vision may have been as much as ten days later, after the feast of the unleavened bread, as indicated by the closing fragments of the Gospel of Peter. But if the vision at this late date was on sunday it would be scarcely possible to account for the observance of Sunday in such an accidental way."39 

While it may be difficult to explain the discrepancies of the narratives in the Gospels,40 yet the fact that both Matthew and Mark make no reference to any meal or meeting of Christ with his disciples on Easter-Sunday implies that no particular importance was attributed to the meal Christ shared with his disciples on the Sunday night of his resurrection. 

As for Christís appearances, therefore, while on the one hand they greatly reassured the disheartened disciples of the reality of Christís resurrection, they could hardly have suggested on the other hand a recurring weekly commemoration of the resurrection. They occurred at different times, places and circumstances, and in those instances where Christ ate, He partook of ordinary food (like fish), not to institute a eucharistic Sunday worship, but to demonstrate the reality of his bodily resurrection. 


NOTES TO CHAPTER 3

1. C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, p. 44; cf. pp. 15, 20, 25, 27f., 51f., 54f., 77f., 88; P. Massi, La Domenica, p. 43, states categorically: "The resurrection is the only plausible explanation for the origin of Sunday"; P. K. Jewett, Lordís Day, p. 57: "What, it might be asked, specifically motivated the primitive Jewish church to settle upon Sunday as a regular time of assembly? As we have observed before, it must have had something to do with the resurrection which, according to the uniform witness of the Gospels, occurred on the first day of the week"; F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 191: "From the study of the above texts one may reasonably conclude that during the earliest days of the Church there was only one liturgical feast and this feast was the weekly commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ"; cf. Josef A. Jungmann, The Early Liturgy to the Time of Gregory the Great, 1959, pp. 19-21; also The Mass of the Roman Rite, Its Origin and Developnírent 1951, I, p. 15; Bishop Cassien, "Le Jour du Seigneur dans le Nouveau Testament," Le Dimanche, Lex Orandi 39, 1965, p. 30; Y. B. Tremel, "Du Sabbat au Jour du Seigneur," Lu?ni~re et Vie (1962): 441. 

2. J Daniélou, Bible and Liturgy, p. 243; earlier he writes: "The Lordís Day is a purely Christian institution; its origin is to be found solely on the fact of the Resurrection of Christ on the day after the Sabbath" (ibid., p. 242; cf. also p. 222). 

3. The resurrection of Christ is presented in the New Testament as the essence of the apostolic proclamation, faith and hope; cf. Acts 1:22; 2:31; 3:75; 4:2, 10,33; 5:30; 10:40; 13:33-37; 17:18,32; 24:15,21; 26:8; I Cor. 15:11-21; Rom. 10:9; 1:1-4; 8:31-34; 14:9; I Thess. 1:9-10. 

4. H. Riesenfeld, "The Sabbath and the Lordís Day," The Gospel Tradition: Essays by H. Riesenfeld, 1970, p. 124. 

5. H. Riesenfeld, "Sabbat et Jour du Seigneur," in A. J. B. Higgins, ed., N.T. Essays: Studies in Memory of T. W. Manson, 1959, p. 212. 

6. S. V. McCasland, "The Origin of the Lordís Day," JBL 49 (1930): 69; P. Cotton, From Sabbath to Sunday, 1933, p. 79, affirms: "There is nothing in the idea of the Resurrection that would necessarily produce the observance of Sunday as a Day of Worship"; C. W. Dugmore, "Lordís Day and Easter," Neotestamentica et Patristica in honorem sexagenarn 0. Cullmann, 1962, p. 273, raises the question: "Are we right in assuming that Sunday was everywhere observed by Christians from apostolic age onwards as the chief occasion of public prayer, or that it was a day on which the Eucharist was celebrated weekly from the beginning?" His reply is that the commemoration of the resurrection was initially an annual and not a weekly event. He maintains that "It is not until about A.D. 150 that we find any clear and unmistakable reference to a regular meeting of Christians for worship, including the Eucharist, on the Ďday of the Suní (Justin, I Apology 67)" (ibid., p. 280). 

7. Cf. Joseph A. Jungmann, The Early Liturgy, 1959, p. 21; W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 221: "We have, therefore, every reason for assuming that there existed an inner connection between kuriake hemera and kuriakon deipnon.... It seems probable that the whole day on which this ĎLordís Supperí took place received the title the ĎLordís day.í If this is, in fact, the case (and this conclusion is almost irresistible) we can infer that the Pauline Lordís Supper was celebrated on Sunday, since Sunday would not otherwise have received its title the ĎLordís day.í" Rordorf endeavors to reduce even the reference to the "dailyókathíhemera" breaking of bread of Acts 2 :46, to a Sunday evening celebration (ibid., pp. 225-228). He bases his view on three basic arguments: (1) In the Western text the "daily" of Acts 2 :46 is transposed to v. 45, thus allowing a different interpretation; (2) The assembling together for the breaking of bread "was a technical term for the coming together of Christians for their meal of worship"; (3) It would have been impossible for the community to assemble "in its full numerical strength on every evening for the breaking of bread," therefore "the community breaking of bread did not take place daily ... it was celebrated on Sunday evening (ibid., pp. 227, 228). C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, p. 52, rightly rejects Rordorfís interpretation, affirming that "there is no evidence in Acts 2:42-46 and 1 Cor. 11 :20f. to indicate that in the earliest Christian communities already existed the custom of a sole weekly celebration of the Eucharist . . . and even more that this occurred on Sunday night." 0. Betz, in his review of Rordorfís book (JBL (1964): 81-83) attacks fiercely the authorís emphasis on the Sunday evening Eucharist. R. B. Racham, The Acts of the Apostles, 1957, p. 38, emphasizes that Acts 2 :42-46 represents a community meal and not a Lordís Supper. J. Daniélou, Nouvelle Histoire de líÉglise, 1963, I, p. 42: "It is not certain that the Christian gatherings always took place at night. It is very likely that they occurred at different hours." 

8. The allusion to Christís sacrifice is clear also in the Synopticsí account of the Last Supper: Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20. 

9. E. B. Allo, Première épitre aux Corinthiens, 1934, p. 296, well observes regarding the Lordís Supper of I Cor. 11:20: "The idea of the Passion fills all the eucharistic ceremony of Corinth . . . It is in reality an Ďactí which remembers the death of Christ and not simply the union of the faithful in the spirit and worship of the resurrected Christ." 

10. See below pp. 90-91. 

11. According to the Synoptics the Last Supper was celebrated on the night when the Jews ate the Passover (Mark 14:12; Matt. 26:17; Luke 22:7), while according to the Fourth Gospel the Jews celebrated the feast on the following day, the night following the crucifixion (John 18:28; 19:14-31). J. Jeremias, Die Abendmahlsworte Jesu, 19492, p. 34f., defends persuasively the view that the Last Supper was celebrated at the time of the Jewish Passover. Lately it has been suggested that at the time of Christ there existed two Passover traditions: (a) the priestly (normative) circles held it on Nisan 14, a date derived from the well-known but variable lunar calendar, and (b) the Qumran sectarians kept it regularly on Wednesday according to the ancient solar calendar of 364 days advocated in the book of Jubilees. Some scholars have argued that these divergent calendar systems explain the difference in the dating of the Passover between Synoptics and the Fourth Gospel; see B. Lohse, Das Passafest der Quartodecimaner, 1953; J. Van Goudoever, Biblical Calendars, pp. 165, 174, 175; W. Rordorf, "Zum Ursprung des Osterfestes am Sonntag," Theologische Zeitschrift 18 (1962): 167-189; E. Hilgert, "The Jubilees Calendar and the Origin of Sunday Observance," AUSS I (1963): 44-51; A. Jaubert, La date de la Cane, 1957. While the existence of these two divergent calendar systems is a well-established fact, the use of the solar sectarian calendar by primitive Christians is far from certain. There are indications that the Jerusalem Church (see below pp. 142-50) in the first century A.D. followed closely the normative calendar of thetemple. Moreover no adequate explanation has yet been provided for how the Jubileesí calendar kept abreast with the official one of the temple. We know that official Judaism intercalated one month whenever needed to keep the calendar synchronized with the seasons, since the annual feasts were all tied to the agricultural year. But how was the Jubileesí calendar (which was one and one quarter days too short) intercalated to keep in phase with the seasons? No one really knows. The theory that 35 or 49 days were intercalated every 28 or 49 years (cf. R. T. Beckwith, "The Modern Attempt to Reconcile the Qumran Calendar with the True Solar Year," Revue de Qumran 7, 27 [Dec. 1970]: 379-387) is difficult to accept, since that would place the calendar several weeks off the annual seasons. The result would be that the Qumran Passover did not fall within the same week as the official Jewish Passover. How can this be reconciled with the fact that the feasts observed by Christ and the Apostles apparently coincided to a day with the normative calendar of the temple? Furthermore, why should the Synoptics have used the sectarian calendar of Qumran? Did not Luke and Mark, according to tradition, write for Gentile audiences? Was not Matthew a former Roman tax collector? What reasons would they have for using an obscure sectarian calendar? Cf. the cogent arguments presented by William Sanford LaSor, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, 1972, pp. 203-205. 

12. E. Goodspeed, The Apostolic Fathers, 1950, p. 286, proposes that the Latin fragments represent a translation of the original text composed about A.D. 100, and the text published by Bryennius represents an expansion produced about A.D. 150 with the help of an abbreviated form from Barnabas. J. Quasten, Patrology, 1950, I, pp. 36-37, maintains that the manual was produced between A.D. 100 and 150, because the complex nature of the ordinances described (such as baptism by infusion), would require some time for their stabilization. Kirsopp Lake, The Apostolic Fathers, LCL, 1952, I, p. 307, similarly suggests that the "original ĎTeachingí is probably early second century." Jean Paul Audet, La Didache, Instructions des Ap6tres, 1958, p. 219, is of the opinion that the Didache is contemporaneous to the Synoptics, and therefore to be dated between A.D. 50 and 70. 

13. E. J. Goodsped (fn. 12), p. 47. 

14. In chapter 41 Clement reiterates the necessity of respecting "the appointed rules of his ministration" by referring again to the services of the temple: "Not in every place, my brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered or the free-will offerings, or the sin-offerings and trespass-offerings, but only in Jerusalem; and there also the offering is not made in every place, but before the shrine, at the altar" (v. 2; Kirsopp Lake, fn. 12, p. 79). The reference to the temple sacrificial services reflects not only the high esteem in which they were held by some Christians, but also continuance of sacrifice, though in a reduced form, after A.D. 70; cf. K. W. Clark, "Worship in the Jerusalem Temple after A.D. 70," NTS 6 (1959-1960): 269-280; J. R. Brown, The Temple and Sacrifice in Rabbinic Judaism, 1963. 

15. See chapter VII, where the testimonies of these three Fathers are examined. 

16. C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, p. 357; W. Rordorf, Sabbat (texts), p. xvi, in spite of his endeavor to defend an opposite thesis, also admits: "we can indicate with reasons that the justification for Sunday on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus, does not appear until the second century and even then very timidly." 

17. Emphasis supplied; the expression "paschal lamb" alludes to Calvary where Christ died at the time when the lambs were slaughtered at the temple (John 18:28; 19:31); cf. C. Spicq, Ií Épitre aux Corinthiens, 1969, p. 20; E. Hoskyns - F. Davey, The Fourth Gospel, 1947, p. 531. J. Jeremias, "Pasca" TDNT V, p. 900, argues cogently that the casual way in which Paul refers to Christ as "paschal lamb," implied that such a "comparison was already familiar to the Corinthian church." The identification of Christís death with the Passover sacrifice possibly goes back to Jesus Himself, since in the Last supper He compares Himself with the paschal lamb. That the sacrifice of Christ was the core of the rich Passover typology in the primitive church is widely admitted: cf. J. Bonsirven, "Hoc est corpus meum," Biblica 29 (1948): 205-219; A. Walther, Jesus, das Passalamm des Neuen Bundes, 1950, pp. 38-91; A. J. B. Higgins, The Lordís Supper in the NT, 1952, p. 49ff. 

18. W. D. Davies, Christian Origins and Judaism, n. d., p. 75. 

19. J. Jeremias (fn. 17), p. 902. 

20. Epiphanius, Adversus haereses 70, 10, PG 42, 355-356; the text is cited and examined below, see pp. 161-162, 200-203. 

21. The two versions are given in parallel columns in E. Hennecke, New Testament Apocrypha, 1963, 1, p. 199. The date of the composition is discussed on pp. 190-191. Note the same emphasis on the death as found in 1 Cor. 5:7 and 11:26. 

22. The work was first published in Greek with an English translation in 1940 by Campbell Bonner, Melito of Sardes, the Homily on the Passion, with Some Fragments of Ezekiel, Studies and Documents 12, 1940. The present quotations are taken from Gerald F. Hawthorne, "A New English Translation of Melitoís Paschal Homily," in Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, ed., G. F. Hawthorne, 1975, pp. 147-175. 

23. E. Lohse (fn. 11), p. 75, points out that in the Quartodeciman Passover both the death and resurrection were celebrated, since Melito does refer a few times to the resurrection. W. Rordorf (fn. 11), pp. 167-168, also holds that the commemoration of the resurrection was implicit in the Quartodeciman Passover. Such a conclusion is hardly warranted by Melitoís Paschal Homily, since the Bishop presents Christís resurrection primarily in the closing remarks of his sermon (vv. 100 to 105) not to explain the reason for the Passover celebration, but only as the logical epilogue of the passion drama. That Passover was viewed as the commemoration of the sacrifice and suffering of Christ is clearly indicated in Melitoís homily by: (1) the detailed correlation established between the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb and Christ (vv. 1-8); (2) the reiteration of the Old Testament procedure in the selection, sacrifice and consuming of the lamb (vv. 11-16); (3) the description of what happened to the Egyptians who were found without the blood of the sheep (vv. 17-29); (4) the explanation that Israelís safety was due to "the sacrifice of the sheep, the type of the Lord" (vv. 30-33); (5) the explicit and repeated identification of Christ as the Antitype fulfilling the type (vv. 34-45); (6) the categorical definition that Passover "is derived from to suffer" (v. 46); (7) the Old Testament predictions of Christ as a suffering lamb (vv. 57-65); (8) the description of the passion of Christ as of a lamb sacrificed (vv. 66-71); (9) the vituperation of Israel for the murder of the Lord (vv. 72-99). Practically the whole sermon interprets the Jewish Passover in the light of the suffering of Christ. We would therefore concur with J. Jeremias that "in the early Church the resurrection was not an annual festival" and that among the Quartodecimans, Passover "was generally related to the recollection of the passion" (fn. 17, p. 902-903). Tertullian supports this conclusion when he says: "The Passover affords a more than usually solemn day for baptism; when, withal, the Lordís passion, in which we are baptized, was completed" (On Baptism 19 ANF 111, p. 678; cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue, 72). 

24. Irenaeus provides a similar definition: "Of the day of His passion, too, he [Moses] was not ignorant; but foretold Him, after a figurative manner, by the name given to the passover; and at that very festival, which had been proclaimed such a long time previously by Moses, did our Lord suffer, thus fulfilling the passover" (Against heresies 4, 10, 1, ANF 1, p. 473). The explanation that "Passoverópaschaí derives etymologically from to sufferópaschein" is unfounded, since in Hebrew the term "Passoveró pesah" means "passing over," that is, "sparing" and it was used to refer to a whole range of ceremonies related to the Feast. Could not, however, this erroneous definition represent an apologetic argument devised to justify the Christian interpretation of the feast, namely, the commemoration of the suffering of Christ? 

25. See below pp. 204-205. 

26. The expectation of the parousia was also an important meaning of the primitive Christian Passover celebration as indicated by the fast which was broken on the morning of the 15th Nisan (cf. Epistle of the Apostles 15); see J. Jeremias (fn. 17), pp. 902-903. 

27. The question of the origin of Easter-Sunday is discussed below pp. 198-204. 

28. W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 221; P. K. Jewett, Lordís Day, pp. 64-67, adopts and defends Rordorfís view; also P. Massi, La Domenica, p, 40. C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, pp. 52-58, excludes the possibility that Christís appearances influenced the origin of Sunday, but argues that they may have determined the time of the synaxis, namely the evening hour. 

29. W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 233. 

30. Ibid., p. 234. 

31. Ibid., p. 233; Joseph A. Jungmann (fn. 1), p. 21, perceives also a causal relationship between the "Lordís day" and the "Lordís supper;" cf. also Bernard Botte, "Les Dénominations du Dimanche dans Ia tradition chrétienne," Le Dimanche, Lex Orandi 39, 1965, p. 13. 

32. Otto Betz, "Review of W. Rordorf Der Sonntag," in JBL (1964): 

83. Betz rejects such an hypothesis as does C. S. Mosna, though in a milder way (Storia della domenica, pp. 52-58). 

33. The time of the composition of the fourth Gospel is generally placed before the end of the first century, since, according to the tradilion of the early Church, John lived into the reign of Trajan (Irenaeus, Against heresies 2, 25, 5; 3, 3, 4; Clement of Alexandria, cited by Eusebius, TIE 3, 25, 5); cf. Alfred Wikenhauser, New Testament Introduction, 1958, p. 319. 

34. Pacifico Massi, La Domenica, p. 40, speculates that the appearance by the lake of Tiberias reported by John (21 :1-19) also occurred on the first day of the week "since it took place after a day of rest (John 21:1-3)." Granting such an hypothesis, which is not altogether unlikely, it would mean, however, that Peter and several of the disciples went fishing Saturday night (note they spent the night fishing, John 21:3) after having observed the Sabbath. Fishing on Sunday can hardly be regarded as intentional observance of the day. 

35. C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, p. 52. 

36. Acts 10:41 is another significant example, where the eating and 

drinking of Christ with His disciples is presented as the crucial proof that Christ was no phantom. 

37. The expression used in this passage, "after eight days," need not mean Monday, since it was customary to count the days inclusively, as we shall note below (chapter IX) in conjunction with the designation eighth day; cf. R. J. Floody, Scientific Basis of Sabbath and Sunday, 1906, pp. 125-126. 

38. J. Behm, "Klao" TDNT III, p. 728. 

39. S. V. McCasland (fn. 6), p. 69. 

40. The time-schedule of the Gospel of Peter which places the return of the disciples with Peter to the lake of Tiberias after the festival of the unleavened bread (i.e. eight days later) suggests a possible solution to the two divergent accounts; cf. W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 228.


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