Which day is Sabbath?

NZ, Texas

I was searching the web for some information and came across your web-site and was blessed by
your determination to follow Yahweh with NO compromise. It is hard to find such bold
determination to do what is absolutely right these days. It is for this reason that I choose to write
you. You see, one year ago right after Sukkot, Yahweh moved me to another location because of
my determination to absolutely follow after his ways. Once here, I found myself learning more and
more of Yahweh’s commands and what it meant to be absolutely obedient to HIM and to HIM
alone. This took me totally out of the traditional ways of the “Messianic” Hebrew lifestyle. I no
longer do many of the traditional things because of the convictions brought to me though the
Torah. Just after x-mas last year a friend posed a question to me and to the people where I was
staying. “How do you know that the Sabbath is on s-a-t?” So, brethren I ask you, how do you know
that the Sabbath is on s-a-t day? Without using tradition, can you show me how it is that you know
when Shabbat is? Yahweh has blessed me and many others with some scriptural knowledge that
can answer those questions. The common factor here is that it is only those that are as
determined as you are that will ever see these things in the scriptures. Please understand that it is
in the love of Y’shua our Messiah that I write to you. I do not intend for these words to cause
anything more than conviction to Yahweh.

COMMENTS:

Thanks for your letter and for sharing some thoughts on the difference between truth and tradition.
I tend to agree with you on the issue of the unreliability of tradition. It seems to me, however, that
in certain areas we have no other choice than following “tradition” or “the light that history sheds
on the truth of Yahweh’s Word”. To mention one example, apart from the Sabbath issue: We have
no other choice than accepting that the preserved, so-called “original” manuscripts of the New
Covenant Scriptures are a true reflection of the genuine words and actions of the Messiah and his
apostles. The fact that these manuscripts were written between 150 and 500 years AFTER the
actual words of the Messiah were spoken and the actual letters of the apostles were written,
means that today’s preserved documents are nothing more than the product of a church tradition
of hundreds of years.

In certain cases we KNOW without any doubt that the original text has been tampered with. One
example of this is Mattityahu (Matthew) 28:19. The preserved “traditional” text wants us to believe
that this text should read: “Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Taking a good look at history, however, specifically
the writings of the well known historian of the third century, Eusebius, reveal that the older text that
he knew, was considerably different from the one that was influenced by later tradition and handed
over to us. Eusebius refers to Mattityahu 28:19 more than 15 times in his writings and it seems
quite clear that this was the text that he knew: “Go and make disciples of all the nations IN MY
NAME and teach them …” Nothing about “baptism” (of course baptism is mentioned in many other
verses of the New Covenant Scriptures and does not HAVE to be backed up by this verse) and
nothing about “the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. The preserved writings of
this reliable historian are much older than the majority of the manuscripts on which the New
Covenant Scriptures are based and should not be ignored in determining the correct version of the
original Scriptures.

As far as I am concerned, in cases like this we need to be honest enough to admit that the
traditional version of the original scriptures is “wrong”, and change our understanding and practice
accordingly. What about the rest of the New Covenant Scriptures? Those parts of Scripture where
we simply have no other evidence than what is contained in the preserved manuscripts? We have
no choice – we have to accept what tradition has handed over to us (at least until more light and
greater knowledge is forthcoming).

I would like to treat the Sabbath issue in exactly the same manner. Surely, tradition has played a
major part in what day of the week we consider to be the true Sabbath. I have put many hours of
study into this subject myself and have looked into many different proposals of people who are
serious about the truth. One of these is the proposal that originally a lunar cycle was followed, not
only for determining the beginning of each month but also for determining the first, second, third,
etc. days of the week. However, a careful study of Scriptures, in my view, does not provide ample
proof that this proposal is based on actual fact. It also seems very likely that the method used
today to determine which day is the true Sabbath was the same method used in, and continued
since the time of the Messiah. The fact that He (the Messiah) did not question the day of the week
the majority of people believed to be the Sabbath, and went to the synagogue the same day as the
rest of the Jewish and Messianic believers, is a fair indication that we, too, needn’t question it.
This is the “light” that we have on this issue, at this time. If you have something to share that may
help us (and others, believing the things we do) to leave behind a little bit more of tradition, and
embrace a little bit more of the truth, we would be most delighted to hear again from you.
May the favour of Yahweh be upon you as you study his Word.