Few Biblical doctrines have been under a constant crossfire of controversy
during Christian history as has the Sabbath. A bibliographic survey indicates that since
the sixteenth-century Reformation, over 2000 books, besides countless articles, have been
published on this subject.
In recent times, the controversy has
been rekindled by at least three significant developments: (1) Numerous doctoral
dissertations and articles have been written by Sunday keeping scholars who argue for the
abrogation of the Sabbath in the New Testament and for the apostolic origin of Sunday. (2)
The abandonment of the Sabbath promoted by former Sabbatarian organizations like the
Worldwide Church of God and other independent congregations. These former Sabbatarian
Christians who in the past championed the observance of the Sabbath, now reject the day as
a Mosaic, Old Covenant ordinance, no longer binding upon "New Covenant"
Christians. (3) The newly released Pastoral Letter Dies Domini of Pope John Paul II
that calls for a revival of Sunday observance.
Dies Domini is a historical document of
enormous significance because the Pope grounds the moral obligation of Sunday observance
in the Sabbath Commandment itself, by making Sunday the embodiment and "full
expression" of the Sabbath. By making Sunday observance a moral imperative rooted in
the Decalogue, the Pope calls upon all Christians to "strive to ensure that civil
legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy."
In The Sabbath Under Crossfire, Dr. Samuele
Bacchiocchi examines the recent attacks against the Sabbath within the larger historical
context of the origin and development of the anti-Sabbath theology. An understanding of
how the abrogation view of the Sabbath began and developed through the centuries, is
essential for comprehending why the Sabbath is still under crossfire today.
The book analyzes in a systematic way the most
common arguments used to negate the continuity and validity of the Sabbath for today. With
compelling Biblical reasoning, it unmasks the fallacies of the attempts made to reduce the
Sabbath to a Mosaic institution, fulfilled by Christ and condemned by Paul.
The final chapter, "Rediscovering the Sabbath," offers an
informative update on the rediscovery of the Sabbath by numerous religious groups,
scholars, and church leaders. Most important of all, this book will enrich your
understanding of how the Sabbath can enable you to experience the Savior’s presence,
peace, and rest in your life.
Four of the seven chapters can be accessed by clicking their titles below:
Pope John Paul II and he Sabbath
The Sabbath and the New Covenant
Paul and the Law
Paul and the Sabbath