I have agreed to have this written debate in order to prepare Mr. Bacchiocchi and myself for our oral debate which will be conducted at some time in the future. I will make two affirmative presentations in defense of the first day of the week. Bacchiocchi will respond in the negative. Following this, Mr. Bacchiocchi will make two affirmative presentations in defense of the seventh day of the week.
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I have agreed to have this written debate in order to prepare Mr. Bacchiocchi and myself for our oral debate which will be conducted at some time in the future. I will make two affirmative presentations in defense of the first day of the week. Bacchiocchi will respond in the negative. Following this, Mr. Bacchiocchi will make two affirmative presentations in defense of the seventh day of the week. At that time I will respond twice in the negative.
Jesus nailed the old law to the cross Col. Bacchiocchi will be wasting his time if he attempts to go outside the New Testament for proof of Sabbath day worship. He and I both agreed in the signing of our names that we would debate what the "New Testament teaches. By "the first day of the week" I mean the day which we commonly call "Sunday.
This is not to say that the church cannot come together at other times. This simply means that the church is commanded either by direct command, example, or implication to come together upon the first day of the week for worship. I do not believe Sunday was ever a "Christian Sabbath" as some denominational preachers have taught.
I do not contend that God "changed" the "Sabbath" from the seventh day to the first day. The first day was not a Sabbath day to begin with. It is simply the day of worship appointed by God. Allow me now to make very clear what the issue is NOT in this debate. The issue is not whether Jesus observed the Sabbath. I agree that He did.
However, He lived under the old law. The issue is not whether Paul preached on the Sabbath. Showing that someone preached on a particular day does not prove that this is the day which God wants His people to assemble for worship. The issue is not whether the Jews of Old Testament times observed the Sabbath. I agree that they did. The issue is not whether we are under "law" today. My first argument in defense of the first day of the week is found in 1 Cor.
We note here that the Corinthians were commanded to give upon the "first day of the week. Do you think if Mr. Bacchiocchi could find a passage which says that Christians were told to take a collection upon the Sabbath day that he would use it as an argument in proof of Sabbath day worship? You know that he would.
Sam, please tell us if you would do this. The apostle Paul, however, tells Christians that they were to give upon the "first day of the week. Bacchiocchi a few questions at this point. First, is giving to the church a religious service?
Second, could giving be done on any day of the week? If yes, then why did Paul specifically give orders for it to be done on the "first day of the week"? We should notice further that this command was an "order" of Paul. Paul had also given this same command to the churches of Galatia This was not an isolated command only for the church at Corinth. Paul commanded "all that in every place who call upon the name of Jesus Christ" that they should give upon the first day of the week. He further said that the things which he "wrote" were the commandments of God 1 Cor.
Once again, suppose Dr. Bacchiocchi could find a New Testament passage which read like this: "Upon the seventh day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him, that there be no collections when I come. And he would be right! But there is only one day in which the New Testament commands Christians to give, and that day is the "first day of the week.
Do follow these instructions? Upon which day of the week do Sabbatarians give to their church? According to the Seventh-Day Adventist "church manual" it is done on the seventh day of the week p. By what authority, Sam, does the Seventh Day church do this? Is there some passage I have overlooked which commands offerings to be made upon the seventh day? He knows that there is not. Yes, Mr. Bacchiocchi, we are commanded to give; but your group has missed it by six days! Your group gives upon the last day of the week; Paul said to give upon the "first day of the week.
I agree. But get this good: If the offering is a part of the worship and if the offering took place upon the first day of the week, then worship also took place upon the first day of the week. Which will he deny? Will he deny that the offering was made on the first day of the week, and thus deny the inspired pen of Paul? Or will he deny his own church manual? We wait eagerly to see.
Bacchiocchi may say about this since I have not had the opportunity to examine his work on this subject. He may say that Paul is not discussing a public offering which took place when the church assembled. Some believe Paul is commanding a laying by in store which took place at home. I will deal with this extensively when or if he makes this argument. I will only say this at this time: Paul said he wanted them to give so that there would be no collections when he came.
Paul is obviously talking about an offering which was collected in one central treasury. In summary, Paul gave "orders" that a collection should be made upon the first day of every week 1 Cor. Offerings are a part of worship itself. Since offerings are a part of worship and since offerings took place on the first day of the week, worship also is to take place on the first day of the week.
My proposition has been established. I invite any private comments from any readers. I also invite any and all Seventh-Day contenders to meet me in public debate on this vital subject. Bacchiocchi has graciously agreed to do so in the near future. On my part I promise to do so and I hope you will do the same. Recently I have been involved in a dialogue with thousands of former members and ministers of the Worldwide Church of God who have challenged me to reconsider my views on the ancient Feasts of Israel.
I accepted their challenge and after a year of diligent study, I changed my views. I have come to realize that though the sacrificial aspects of the annual Holy Days terminated at the Cross, their typological and eschatological function still remains and is relevant for us today.
I cite this example simply to show that I am willing to reconsider my views, when I am convicted by the witness of the Scripture. I trust that you are willing to do the same.
You have impressed me as a sincere student of the Word of God. This gives me reason to hope that you also, like many other clergymen, after having examined all the relevant Biblical and historical data, will come to accept the continuity, validity, and value of the Sabbath commandment for NT Christians. After these introductory remarks, I will briefly respond to the two major propositions of your essay. You wrote: " Jesus nailed the old law to the cross Col.
Like many others, you seem to believe that before the Cross there was Judaism, the law, and the Sabbath. After the Cross there is Christianity, grace, and Sundaykeeping. This theological construct is based on fantasy rather than facts. Recent research has shown that Christianity began as a continuation of Judaism and not as a radical break away from Judaism.
The thousands of Jews who accepted Jesus of Nazareth as their expected Messiah, did not abandon the law in general and the Sabbath in particular. It is hard to believe that if they were zealous in the observance of the law, they would have pioneered the abondonment of the Sabbath commandment and the adoption of Sundaykeeping. This is one of the three complimentary Sabbath books I mailed you last week. I would be glad to e-mail this chapter to anyone interested.
To support your view that the old law, which included the Sabbath, was nailed to the Cross, you refer to Col What you are doing is nothing new. In spite of its popularity, this interpretation of Col has recently been rejected by practically all the scholars who have closely examined the passage.
This is why I was urging you to read some of the scholarly literature produced even by Sundaykeeping scholars, before beginning this debate. It would have made unnecessary for me to discuss mistaken interpretations which have been largely put to rest. In spite of its antiquity and popularity, the view that Paul teaches in Col that the law was nailed to the Cross, is totally unfounded for at least two reasons.
First, because as E.
Books by Samuele Bacchiocchi
Biography Bacchiocchi was born in Rome , Italy on 20 January Bacchiocchi moved with his wife Anna to Kuyera , Shashamane district , Ethiopia, where he lectured in Bible and history. He was the first non-Catholic to be admitted since its beginning in the 16th century. He was awarded a gold medal by Pope Paul VI for the distinction of summa cum laude Latin for "with highest praise". He served as professor of theology and church history. He regularly presented seminars worldwide, and has written many books and articles on biblical topics.
Endtime Issues - Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.
Bacchiocchi moved with his wife Anna to Kuyera , Shashamane district , Ethiopia, where he lectured in Bible and history. He was the first non-Catholic to be admitted since its establishment in the 16th century. Bacchiocchi taught in the religion department of Andrews University from till his retirement in He taught theology and church history. He regularly presented seminars worldwide, and wrote many self-published books and articles on biblical topics. He was married to Anna Gandin Bacchiocchi. They had three children.