The True History of Sunday

(Revelation 1:10)

Today, those who support the idea that Sunday was observed by the early Church assume that the “Lord’s Day” in Revelation 1:10 describes Sunday as the day for communion. In fact, however, there is no evidence that the early Church had a special meeting on Sundays.

The phrase “the Lord’s Day” as a weekday is found only in false translations and in false writings attributed to early Christian writers. Socrates Scholasticus, in his 5th-century Church History, said that all the churches in the world observed communion on the Sabbath day, “yet the Christians of Alexandria and Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.”1Socrates Scholasticus. Church History, Book V, repeated by Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, Book VII According to Socrates, even the churches of Alexandria and Rome originally observed communion on the Sabbath day. In the 6th century, Sozomen repeated this claim in his Ecclesiastical History.

We know that in the 2nd century, the Church at Alexandria and some other Egyptian churches observed communion on Saturday night, as described in the Epistle of Barnabas.

The “ancient tradition” of Sunday communion in Rome began after Justin Martyr told the Emperor that the Christians in the cities and in the country observed the Lord’s supper on Sundays.

In A.D. 150, Justin Martyr was living in Rome and wrote to the Emperor, saying, “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world, and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead.”2First Apology, Chapter 67

None of Justin’s statements, however, were true. None of the churches met on Sundays for communion, Jesus did not rise on a Sunday, and this was not the day when God made the world. These were all Saturday events. It seems that Justin Martyr equated the Jewish first day of the week to the Roman day Sunday for the emperor’s convenience.