Everlasting Kingdom: Unraveling the Bible’s Secrets

“The First Day of The Week”—Countdown to Pentecost!

This “Sunday” Only Happens Once A Year!

Constantine Statue Near York UK

Back Next Chapter 8 Preview: You are about to see that “the first Day of the week” is really all about counting Sabbaths to Pentecost! Is it an issue of translation or treachery? This is one issue that absolutely requires looking at a few Greek terms to discern the truth—due to “the tradition of men” influencing the translators. Slight of hand is exposed here. Who is doing the hiding and what is their motive? Hold onto your lexicons. For some readers this will be a rough ride!

Mysteries of the Everlasting Kingdom
INDEX

Colossians 2:8 Be careful not to let anyone make you naked slaves [1] by philosophy [Gr. philosophia] and by empty deceptions and humanly devised rituals—the religious training of the world, rather than conforming with Messiah. —The Gabriel Bible

[1] The Aramaic says “naked”, the Greek refers to “slavery”, with nakedness likely being implied.

For centuries the entire Christian world celebrated the seventh day Sabbath. The Roman Emperor Constantine changed all of that by force—a fact that is easily verified in Roman historical records. Before starting on the actual Greek phrase thought to be about “Sunday”, I’d like to provide a few quotes to set the stage:

Edict of Constantine

“In 321, while yet an unbaptized ‘catechumen’ [‘one who had not yet been initiated into the sacred mysteries’: Catholic Encyclopedia], the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great issued an edict, part of which dealt with the issue of a day of rest:

“On the venerable day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country however persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits because it often happens that another day is not suitable for grain-sowing or vine planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.”

The controversy concerning the Sabbath has many similarities to the Easter/Passover controversy that was “settled” at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. Emperor Constantine controlled the outcome of this notorious conclave. The following quotes reveal Constantine’s mindset. Here is what he said:

“It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded.... Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries ... avoiding all contact with that evil way ... who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them ... a people so utterly depraved.... Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord ... no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews.” —The Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, Theodoret’s Ecclesiastical History, 1.9.

Eusebius, also recorded Constantine’s thoughts in the evolution of the Roman Church as it distanced itself from the “Jewish” Scriptures:

“... it appeared an unworthy thing that in the celebration of this most holy feast we should follow the practice of the Jews, who have impiously defiled their hands with enormous sin, and are, therefore, deservedly afflicted with blindness of soul .... Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way.” —Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Book 3, chapter 18.

The Roman Catholic Church has readily admitted to the switch from Sabbath to Sunday, in every century since the change was made. [Until perhaps February 22, 2007.] That is beyond dispute as well. Here are a couple of quotes. I saw the first one when I was a kid:

“You may search the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.” —James Cardinal Gibbon, The Faith of Our Fathers, chapter 8.

“It is well to remind the Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, and all other Christians, that the Bible does not support them anywhere in their observance of Sunday. Sunday is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church, and those who observe the day observe a commandment of the Catholic Church.” —Priest Brady, in an address at Elizabeth, N.J., March 17, 1903, reported in the Elizabeth, N.J. News of March 18, 1903.

This is important because Yeshua (Jesus) is the “Lord (Master) of the Sabbath”:

Luke 6:5 Then He told them, “The Human Son is Master of the Sabbath.”

It is for this reason that the Protestant world has sought a “reason” for claiming to extract Sunday worship from the Bible. Other articles on this site adequately cover the Sabbath topic, such as Is the Seventh Day the Sabbath—Yes or No?. From this point in the chapter on, the focus will be on the backbone of the “Sunday verses”. The only Bible verses that Sunday Christians have come up with to support their claim has to do with the eight passages that contain the words “the First Day of the Week”.

Protestants almost universally base Sunday worship on their belief that Yeshua was resurrected on the so-called “first day of the week”. But that belief is due to a deliberate mistranslation.

(I began to investigate the meaning of “the first day of the week” after seeing some comments concerning “the First Day of the Week” in Ron Dart’s book: The Thread. Still, this truth is none-the-less very little known, even among Sabbatarians. Ron Dart’s explanation is also found here).

What if it could be proven that the Biblical Greek Translations don’t even mention a synonym for “Sunday” at all. The King James translators were under great pressure not to rock the boat too much. Many men had died at the hands of King Henry the Eighth in their effort to bring us trustworthy Bibles, and so King James 15 rules for his translators) were not taken lightly.

This article is about what the Biblical Greek Translations record. The writers of The Testimony of Yeshua (the so called “New Testament”) as recorded by Father’s chosen writers, were not influenced by what kings would do to them—and indeed what was done to them—for speaking the truth.

Almost every English translation of the Testimony, uses the phrase “first day of the week” eight times. Young’s Literal Translation is actually literal here: “And on the eve of the sabbaths, at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths”. (I suspect that the Aramaic to English translations obscure this as well or that it was altered.) We need to carefully examine all of these references. So first let’s do a quick read thru of the first six, noting the Greek “mian sabbaton”.

Matthew 28:1 After the Sabbaths, as the first of the Sabbaths [Gr. Sabbaton] was dawning, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to see the tomb.

Mark 16:2 Very early in the morning on the first of the Sabbaths [Gr. Sabbaton] , they came to the tomb as the sun was rising.

Mark 16:9 In the morning of the first of the Sabbaths, after He had risen, He appeared first to Mary Magdalena, who He had cast seven demons out of.

Luke 24:1 On the first of the Sabbaths [Sabbaton], at early dawn, while it was still dark [1], they came to the tomb and brought the aromatics they had prepared. There were other women with them.

[1] The Greek omits “while it was still dark”.

John 20:1 On the first of the Sabbaths [Sabbaton], at early dawn, while it was still dark, they came to the tomb and brought the aromatics they had prepared. There were other women with them.

John 20:19 On the evening of the First of the Sabbaths, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jews. Yeshua appeared standing among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

Virtually every English translation renders the Greek words “prote sabbatou”, “mian sabbaton”, “mias sabbaton”, and “mia ton sabbaton” as “first day of the week.” But the KJV translators did leave at least a dimly lit trail for sharp eyes, that there is a problem with the translation—they italicized the word “day”. Whenever they italicized a word, it means that they added the word in question to the text. Usually it is apparent that the italicized word does indeed help the thought to flow better in English. Yet sometimes italicized words should raise a red flag to the reader. This is one such place. The Greek word for “day” (hemera) is nowhere to be found in any of these “Sunday” verses!

This particular Greek phrase has absolutely nothing to do with the weekly occurrence of “Sunday”. We dare not add uninspired words! These words are literally translated as “First Sabbath” (prote sabbatou) and “First of the Sabbaths” (“mian sabbaton”, “mias sabbaton”, and “mia ton sabbaton”).

Because the year of Yeshua’s crucifixion is not recorded in the Bible, the relationship between Passover that year and “first day of the week” is universally considered the key factor in determining not only the day that Yeshua was crucified and resurrected, but also the year. Knowing what “sabbaton” means is critical for any serious investigation of the topic. Is it necessary to question such an obvious phrase? You decide.

Perhaps you were taught that the ancient Greeks didn’t have names for the days of the week—that they counted days i.e. “first day of the week” for Sunday etc. Actually, the Greeks had pagan names for the days of the week, just as the rest of the world does to this very day:

Ancient Greek Days of the Week

Sunday: hemera heliou, “day of the sun”
Monday: hemera selenes “day of the moon”
Tuesday: hemera Areos “day of Ares”
Wednesday: hemera Hermu “day of Hermes” (Woden)
Thursday: hemera Dios “day of Zeus”. (Thor)
Friday: hemera Aphrodites “day of Aphrodite”
Saturday: hemera Khronu “day of Cronus” or (Saturn)

So why does the Bible never use these names? Two answers: First, virtually everything of date worthy importance happened on a Feast Day or a Sabbath. Secondly, why would Elohim (God) acknowledge day names dedicated to pagan gods? (Jewish secular writings apparently did number the days of the week.)

Young’s Literal Translation

Young’s Literal Translation is an unusually accurate version. Notice how he translated these “Sunday” verses:

Matthew 28:1 And on the eve of the sabbaths [sabbaton], the dawn, toward the first of the sabbathsat [mian sabbaton], came Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre YLT

Mark 16:2 And early in the morning of the first of the sabbaths [mias sabbaton], they come unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun.... YLT

Luke 24:1 And on the first of the sabbaths [mia ton sabbaton], at early dawn, they came to the tomb, bearing the spices they made ready, and certain {others} with them.... YLT

John 20:1 And on the first of the sabbaths [mia ton sabbaton], Mary the Magdalene doth come early (there being yet darkness) to the tomb, and she seeth the stone having been taken away out of the tomb.... YLT

John 20:19 It being, therefore, evening, on that day, the first of the sabbaths [mia ton sabbaton], and the doors having been shut where the Disciples were assembled, through fear of the Jews, [Yeshua] came and stood in the midst, and saith to them, ‘Peace to you.... YLT

Mark 16:9 And He, having risen in the morning of the first of the sabbaths [prote sabbatou], did appear first to Mary the Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.... YLT

Young even tried to improve the translation of Mark 16:9 by rendering prote sabbatou as “first of the sabbaths” to “agree with” the other accounts. But notice that the word sabbatou ends with a “u” instead of an “n”. It is the singular form of the word, tho both forms of the word share Strongs #4521. Properly translated “prote sabbatou” would read “First Sabbath,” as noted below:

Mark 16:9 And He, having risen in the morning of the ‘First Sabbath’ [prote sabbatou], did appear ‘first’ [proton] to Mary the Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.... YLT [with Sabbath corrected into the singular]

“When Yeshua Was Risen ....”

There is another assertion that translators make in this verse. Virtually every modern translator says that Yeshua “rose” in the morning—even if they get past which morning is in question. The inspired wording says that He “was risen”, meaning “He was already risen” when they got to the tomb.

Additionally, there was no punctuation in Biblical Greek. Take away nearly two millennia of “sunrise service” tradition and the argument hangs by the omission of a comma!

Notice what Mark 16:9 looks like with a comma in the chronologically correct place:

Mark 16:9 And He having risen, [comma] early in the morning on the first of the Sabbaths, appeared first to Mary Magdalena, who He had cast seven demons out of.

Both the KJV and the YLT have the tense right. Yeshua was ALREADY RISEN when it was discovered that the tomb was empty. The Pharisees asked Yeshua for a sign—proof of His being the Messiah. Yeshua answered that the only sign He would give to prove that He was our Messiah was that He would be “THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39-40). Skeptical? Well, you are in good company; because not one of His Disciples waited near the tomb for His resurrection. And on hearing that He had arisen, three days later, they they were still skeptics! Do you believe Him?

Most modern versions forget all pretense of objectivity and use “rose” instead of “was risen” to arrive at an “Easter sunrise”. Notice above that the Online Bible link shows you the tense of the word “risen”. The number 5631 indicates the aorist tense.

The Encyclopedia Wikipedia does a good job of explaining what the aorist tense means: “It is used to denote action in the past....”

For Yeshua to have been exactly three days and three nights in the grave, He would have to have arisen from the grave at the same the same time of day that He was put in the grave. In fact Yeshua said that the time that He spent in His grave would be the ONLY sign that He would give them that He was indeed the Messiah!

Incidentally, for Yeshua to literally have been in the grave for precisely three days and three nights—logic would dictate that the 72 hour period of time be started precisely as the last ray of the sun had set after sundown. For Him to have been buried an hour or so—before or after—the very beginning of the first night would skew the accounting of the time.

Matthew 12:38-40 Then some of the Torah teachers and Pharisees said to Him, “Master, we want to see a miraculous sign from You.” 39 But He replied, “A wicked and unfaithful people demand a sign, but the only sign they’ll be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 Just as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, in the same manner, the Human Son will be in the inner part of the earth for three days and three nights.

The second problem with the phrase “first day of the week” is the word “week”. It is a real stretch to translate sabbaton as week here. In the KJV “sabbaton” is translated as “sabbath day” 37 times, and “sabbath” 22 times, then there are the eight twisted references where translators try to make “sabbaton” look like the word “week”. Sabbaton is the exact equivalent of the Hebrew word for Sabbath (shabbath). Notice in the Hebrew that Sabbath almost always means the “weekly” sabbath, but also refers to the one annual Sabbath: The Day of Atonements, and in Leviticus 25:2 “the land will not be worked, it’s a Sabbath to Yehovah (‘Jehovah’)” [every seventh year].

It is quite apparent from every account that the women came to the empty tomb on the “First of the Sabbaths.” But what did “First of the Sabbaths” mean to not only Yeshua’s followers, but the entire Jewish community under the Saduccees? At the time the phrase was never questioned because it was well understood and counted out. (Pharisaical Judaism soon afterward stopped counting to Pentecost and fixed the date on Sivan 6. The Catholics began counting to their “Pentecost” from Easter [1] It was the morrow after a particular yearly Sabbath—wave sheaf “Sunday”. “First Sabbaths” or “One Sabbaths” was like the pistol shot at the race tracks that begins the race to Pentecost. From that day we count seven Sabbaths. Here is how the countdown goes:

[1] Concerning how the Catholic Church determines Easter, and hence Pentecost: “The Syrian Christians always held their Easter festival on the Sunday after the Jews kept their Pasch [Passover]. On the other hand at Alexandria, and seemingly throughout the rest of the Roman Empire, the [Roman] Christians calculated the time of Easter for themselves, paying no attention to the Jews [or Yeshua’s Passover]. In this way the date of Easter as kept at Alexandria and Antioch did not always agree; for the Jews, upon whom Antioch depended, adopted very arbitrary methods [meaning they didn’t count from equinoxes] of intercalating embolismic months (see CALENDAR, Bol. II, p. 158) before they celebrated Nisan, the first spring month, on the fourteenth day of which the paschal lamb was killed. In particular we learn that they had become neglectful (or at least the Christians of Rome and Alexandria declared they were neglectful) of the law [an alleged law] that the fourteenth of Nisan must never precede the equinox (see Schwartz, Christliche und judische Ostertafeln, pp. 138 sqq.)”

Leviticus 23:9-16 Then Yehovah told Moses: 10 “Tell the Israelites, “Once you’ve entered the land that I’m giving to you, and harvested its grain, then you must bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the priest. 11 He is to wave the sheaf before Yehovah, so that YOU will be accepted. On the day after the Sabbath the priest will wave it. 12 On the same day you wave the sheaf, you must offer a year old male lamb without any defects as a burnt zebak to Yehovah. 13 The grain offering with it will be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to Yehovah for a pleasant aroma, and the wine offering with it will be a quarter of a hin [quart]. 14 You must not eat bread, or roasted or fresh grain, until the very day you bring this offering of your Elohim. This is a perpetual statute thruout your generations wherever you live. 15 From the day following the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the wave sheaf offering, you’ll count off seven complete Sabbaths. 16 You’ll count fifty days, to the day following the seventh Sabbath. Then you’ll present a fresh grain offering to Yehovah.

There is only one usage in the Biblical Greek translations where the word sabbaton could be argued to imply a week:

Luke 18:12 I fast twice on the sabbath [two meals] and pay tithes on my entire income.’

This usage of the word “Sabbath” above actually implies the entire seven day period ending with the Sabbath.

For argument sake tho, even if “first of the Sabbaths” really meant “first of the weeks”, you still wouldn’t have a phrase that meant “Sunday” because it is plural. It would still indicate a countdown to the “Feast of Weeks” (or Feast of “sevens”) or “Pentecost”, that literally means “the fiftieth day”.

Exodus 34:22 You must celebrate the Feast of Weeks with the firstfruit of the wheat harvest, and the Harvest Feast annually at the end of the agricultural cycle.

Resolve This!

Let’s have another look at Matthew 28:1 with Sabbaths in mind—with the understanding that Sunday is not even mentioned.

Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the “week” [sabbaton], came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. KJV

There seems to be a problem. On the surface it appears that Matthew cannot make up his mind! Was it Sabbath evening (end/sundown) or dawn when the Marys came to the cemetery? He mentioned both!

First let’s check out the word “evening”. While this word only appears in the Bible three times; we see that every usage implies evening. Even so, the lexicon threw in line 1b1 to “account for” the perceived “contradiction” of Matthew 28:1.

The problem isn’t with the word “evening”, so now let’s check out “dawn”. It is used only twice in the Testimony. We just read the first “dawn” rendering, so to be thoro, lets look at the other “would be dawn”. Interestingly, it is also describing the crucifixion time period:

Luke 23:54 It was Preparation Day

[6] [Wednesday], at the twilight of the Sabbath.

[6] Every Biblical usage of the term “Preparation Day” is associated with the Passover, not the weekly Sabbath.

The second reference to Strong’s #2020 is never translated as “dawn”, (tho dusk literally looks like dawn) because it is clearly in reference to sundown rather than dawn! The root word has to do with light appearing. So are the stars coming out in Matthew 28:1, or is the sun rising? Strong’s #2020 alone may not answer that question (but Yeshua rising from the grave without any witnesses present does). Interestingly, Aramaic also has the same situation.

It is apparent that Matthew used one term to describe two distinct periods of day—two “dawns”, as it were, in one day!

It is sometimes difficult to get a good grasp on the meaning of a word when it is used in limited contexts and “dawn” is a good example. It seems that two “dawns” is a reference to one or the other parts of a day:

Genesis 1:5 Elohim called the light “day”, and the darkness He called “night”. There was evening and there was morning, day one.

Apparently Yeshua’s body was only temporarily placed in the tomb, much as bodies are kept in a morgue today, awaiting burial preparations. Putting some spices on a corpse on the Sabbath was considered a “donkey in the ditch” situation. Even the straight laced Talmud permitted a degree of that, with convoluted restrictions, (tho apparently healing on the Sabbath was a “sin”). I have also read that the full treatment of burial spices were not used for three days—just in case the “dead” was really only comatose. Yeshua raised Lazarus after three days, apparently so that there was no doubt that he was quite dead.

We are left with the following facts:

1) Yeshua died late in the afternoon of the Preparation Day and was “buried” at nightfall.

2) Counting forwards three days and three nights means that He was resurrected at twilight, immediately after the Sabbath had ended. The time we now call Saturday night. Yet He was not found to be missing until dawn.

3) I believe it can be proven that Yeshua died on Wednesday, Abib 14, 31 AD as explained in The Mysterious Seventy “Weeks” Prophecy of Daniel

4) The Marys arrived at the tomb “at the dawn, toward the first of the sabbaths [mian sabbaton] ...” YLT.

The question of the day is: What is “first of the sabbaths”, or as some state it, “one of sabbaths”?

Does “in the midst of the week” refer to Yeshua’s Wednesday death? Didn’t Yeshua’s death cut off offerings in the middle of the week?

Animal offerings were not stopped until 70 AD. That is a prototype of the end of the age scenario. Remember that this is the very famous Seventy Weeks Prophecy, where days represent years.

Daniel 9:26-27 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One will be cut off, and will have nothing, and the people of the coming leader will destroy the city and the Temple, and its end will be with a flood, and all the way to the end there will be war, desolation is determined. 27 He’ll make a firm contract with many for one period of seven. Then in the middle of the period of seven he’ll stop the ze’bakim [sacrifices] and the offerings. The desolator will bring loathsome things [or idols] thru a wing of the Temple [JFB commentary], until the predetermined end time, when wrath will be poured out on the awestruck.

So the Destroyer “shall cause the offerings and the offerings to cease”. Two chapters later there is a lengthy story about this destroyer. Again the wording concerns the Destroyer, not Yeshua, who will “stop the offerings and the offerings”:

Daniel 11:31 Armed forces will rise up, and they’ll defile the Temple refuge, and put a stop to the daily burnt zebakim, and they’ll set up an appalling detestable idol [KJV, abomination of desolation].

Years ago, I submitted several of my articles (now chapters) to various evangelists of a sizable Church of God that I was a member of, that incidentally explained this error. One evangelist immediately afterward made the change public at a Feast of Tabernacles site that I happened to be at—but he had not responded to my correspondence. I approached the man after his sermon. I told him who I was, and he immediately turned tail and literally ran away! I also got dishonorable mention (tho not by name) by another evangelist for submitting Satan’s Second Death. So much for that!

The Millennial Sabbath

The Biblical Greek translations don’t have an equivalent to Shabbathown because Passover is mentioned as a “Sabbath” (Sabbaton) that was a “high” (actually: great) day.

Interestingly, there is a special word that actually compares the “millennial Sabbath” to the day when all of Israel should have entered the Promised Land. This special word is used only once, but the vast majority of versions deliberately omit the word “Sabbath” entirely, because they oppose Yeshua’s Sabbath. Sabbath is the unquestioned meaning in both the Aramaic and the Greek:

Hebrews 4:1-11 Since the firm promise of entering His resting place is yet future, we should be afraid, because some of you could find yourselves left behind! 2 We have heard the Good News just as they did, but the message they heard didn’t benefit them because the people who heard it didn’t combine it with faith. 3 But those of us who have believed will enter the resting place. ‘Even tho’ He said, “As I have sworn in My anger, they won’t enter into My resting place” ‘because’ YHVH’s workmanship has existed from the beginning of the world. 4 As he said about the Sabbath, “Aloha rested on the seventh day from all His works.” 5 Here again, He said, “They will never enter My resting place.” 6 So there was a certain place where everyone could have entered, but those who were the first to hear the Good News announcement didn’t enter because they couldn’t be persuaded. 7 So once again He appointed a specific day, after a long period of time. As was previously quoted from David, “Today, if you hear His voice don’t be ‘hard headed.’” 8 Now if Yeshua [1], the son of Nun [Aramaic] had given them rest, He wouldn’t have later spoken of another day. 9 So it is established that the people of YHVH are to celebrate the Sabbath [2]. 10 Anyone who entered His rest [in the wilderness], rested from their own undertakings [works], as YHVH did from His. 11 So let’s strive to enter that resting place, so that we don’t fall dead like the others who weren’t persuaded.

[1] Yeshua and the English “Joshua” are both derived from the Hebrew name “Yehoshua”. The Aramaic here is Yeshua, not Joshua. [2] The Aramaic says “celebravit diem sabbathi”, and the Greek says “apoleipo sabbatismos”. Check the honesty of your English translations here. Years ago, when people might have cared, the older versions tried to sweep this under the carpet and just say “rest”!

The context of Hebrews 4 indicates that Joshua (Yeshua) did not lead the adults of ancient Israel into the Promised Land. That generation died in the wilderness but that another Yeshua will lead us into a new and improved Promised Land when we too are resurrected. The seventh thousand years will be the long awaited millennial Sabbath!

First Sabbath

Johnston Cheney’s unique composite account of the life of Yeshua, plainly explains what the “First Sabbath” is:

“Seven sabbaths were to be counted from the Feast of First-fruits or Passover. Consequently, these came to be known as ‘First Sabbath,’ ‘Second Sabbath’ etc., down to the seventh. And according to Julian Morgenstern, former President of Hebrew University, this practice continued in Galilee till the time of Christ or the Common Era. It is still observed by some groups in Palestine today. Thus, there was an annual date known as ‘First Sabbath,’ just after Passover.” —p. 230, The Greatest Story

There is a “Second Sabbath” mentioned concerning the countdown.

Luke 6:1-2 On the second Sabbath after the first, Yeshua was walking thru the grain fields, and His disciples were picking heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands and eating them. 2 But some of the Pharisees asked them, “Why are you doing what the Torah forbids on the Sabbath” [2]?

[2] This wouldn’t violate any Scriptures, but it would ruffle the feathers of the religious “scholars” who kept inventing rules. This is akin to His healing as many people as possible on the Sabbath, to shame the “scholars” who wouldn’t even ease someone’s suffering on the Sabbath.

Barnes New Testament Notes mentions the second Sabbath in the context of counting to Pentecost, but the details of the counting are skewed. The second Sabbath, or Sabbath 2, would simply be the second Sabbath after the wave sheaf.

The last two “first day of the week” passages (Acts 20:7 and I Corinthians 16:2) are also explained by Sunday keepers as evidence that the early “Church” met every week on Sunday. “Coincidentally”, a look at the last remaining references to “the first day of the week” also show the Unleavened Bread connection counting toward Pentecost!

This is how virtually every version of the Bible translates this passage:

Acts 20:6-7 We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days. 7 On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight. WEB

But if “after” was the correct translation, then there would be a contradiction. If Paul sailed away “after” the days of Unleavened Bread, then he could not have afterward spent time with the Disciples on “the first of the Sabbaths” because that day had just passed.

While the word “meta” usually means “with” (345 times in the KJV) or “after” (88 times), in this particular instance, with the assurance that the Bible never contradicts itself, “meta” means “in the middle of”, or simply “during”:

Online Etymology Dictionary: prefix meaning 1. “after, behind,” 2. “changed, altered,” 3. “higher, beyond,” from Gk. meta (prep.) “in the midst of, among, with, after,” from PIE me- “in the middle” (cf. Goth. miþ, O.E. mið “with, together with, among,” see mid). Notion of “changing places with” probably led to senses “change of place, order, or nature,” which was the principal meaning of the Gk. word when used as a prefix. Third sense, “higher, beyond,” is due to misinterpretation of metaphysics (q.v.) as “transcending physical science.”

So instead of “after”, as it is usually rendered, in this instance “during” would not conflict with “the first of the Sabbaths”.

Acts 20:6-7 We sailed from the Macedonian city of Philippi during the Days of Unleavened Bread and sailed to Troas in five days, where we remained for seven days. 7 Then on the first of the Sabbaths, when we were gathered together, Paul had dialog [Gr. dialegomai] with them, because he was going to leave the next day, and he continued his dialog until midnight.

Once again we have “First of the Sabbaths,” rather than “first day of the week”.

The last alleged “Sunday passage” is in 1 Corinthians 16:

1 Corinthians 16:1-8 Concerning the relief money for the kadishea [saints] in Jerusalem, you should follow the procedure I gave to the assemblies in Galatia. 2 After the first of the Sabbaths everyone should lay aside a stockpile at home for this charitable journey, so that the collecting is finished when I come. 3 Then I’ll send those you choose as being worthy with a letter to carry your bounty to Jerusalem. 4 If it is best that I go as well, I’ll travel with them. 5 I’ll come to you when I travel thru Macedonia since I’m about to pass thru Macedonia. 6 Perhaps I’ll stay with you awhile, or winter with you so that you can accompany me to my destination. 7 I’ve decided not to see you now, just passing thru, because I hope to spend some time with you if YHVH permits me. 8 I’ll remain in Ephesus until Pentecost

Is Paul referring to a weekly “offering” to be collected every Sunday, to support the “church” so that there would be a sizable stash when he arrived, or is this yet another reference to “the first of the Sabbaths”?

Modern translators, supporting the Sunday school of thought begin verse 2 with: “On the first day of the week”. But there are two problems here. The first problem is the word “on”. To choose to translate “kata” as “on” is to invent an unlisted application for the word, however a very common rendering—“after”, makes perfect sense.

The second problem is of course, the “first day of the week”. So “on the first day of the week” is really the day after the first Sabbath during the Days of Unleavened Bread!

The context of I Corinthians 16 above shows Paul’s itinerary. Paul was gathering a “collection for the kadishea” of funds or actual food due to a famine) in Jerusalem. The word “collection” here is a reference to charity—not tithes or offerings:

It is only after wave sheaf “Sunday” following Passover that the new grain harvests could be eaten. So the most logical time of the year to collect grain for the needy would be when the new crop was being harvested and a surplus was undoubtedly known to be available. These instructions to the Corinthians dated the collection time so that it would be completed when Paul arrived. Sunday? No.

Had Yeshua wanted people to think “Sunday” when “first of the Sabbaths” was mentioned, then why do all eight references to it have to do with Unleavened Bread and the arrival of Pentecost?

So the “first day of the week”, as a synonym for every Sunday, is not a Biblical concept!

I suppose that somehow a person could rationalize that “the Lord’s Day” might still mean Sunday from the one instance that the phrase appears:

Revelation 1:10-11 I was in the spirit realm on YHVH’s Day, and I heard a loud voice behind me like a shofar that said, 11 “Write what you are seeing in a document and send it to the seven assemblies: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”

However, Yehovah’s Day is really “the Great and Awesome Day of Yehovah” or “Day of the Lord” mentioned dozens of times in prophecy. And it was a deadly serious prophecy that John was to “write in a book and send to the seven assemblies”! John’s “Lord’s Day” was no Sunday picnic!

“Objection has been taken to the interpretation of ‘the Lord’s Day’ here, because we have (in 1:9) the adjective ‘Lord’s’ instead of the noun (in regimen), ‘of the Lord,’ as in the Hebrew. But what else could it be called in Hebrew [or Aramaic]? Such objectors do not seem to be aware of the fact that there is no adjective for ‘Lord’s’ in Hebrew; and therefore the only way of expressing ‘the Lord’s Day’ is by using the two nouns, ‘the day of the Lord’—which means equally ‘the Lord’s Day’ ([Y]ehovah’s day). It is useless, therefore, to make any objection on this ground; for if a Hebrew wanted to say ‘the Lord’s Day,’ he must say ‘the day of the Lord.’ link

Conclusion:

In truth, the Testimony of Yeshua (or “New Testament”) says absolutely nothing about a “first day of the week”! The really “inconvenient truth” is that the Bible repeatedly mentions “the first of the Sabbaths” with Pentecost in mind. It was never intended to mean Sunday. Fearless translators, century after century, perpetuate the “first day of the week” myth. “Mia ton sabbaton” actually means the day following a particular Sabbath in the year—the first one after Passover. Before the renegade Pharisees overthrew the Levitical Priesthood—the Sadducees—and exchanged the counting of the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) for the fixed date of Sivan the 6th, in the mid first century, “mia ton sabbaton” indicated the day following the Sabbath that immediately followed the Passover— day #1 of the countdown to Pentecost. Ancient Greek literature never used “first of the Sabbaths” to mean “first day of the week”! If you are not absolutely positive about which day Yeshua’s Disciples celebrated the Sabbath on, I would urge you to find out rather than lose out!

The End
Lon Martin, lonwmartin@yahoo.com
5/07
Creative Commons 3.0: “One Right Reserved
 

Chapter 9 is When Are The Biblical Feasts and Festivals—Really?  Chapters

Chapters Articles Intro

Feast Days

Everlasting Kingdom
only search Everlasting Kingdom
 
Minor update January 10, 2013