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The Sabbath Under Crossfire: A Biblical analysis of Recent Sabbath/Sunday Developments

 

 

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Dies Domini is a historical document of enormous significance because the Pope grounds the moral obligation of Sunday observance in the Sabbath Commandment itself, by making Sunday the embodiment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

 

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