Saturday or Sunday?
The Book of Revelation is a Jewish, anti-Roman text that comes to us from the first century. The Jewish Christ acts as the High Priest of the heavenly tabernacle, walking amidst seven golden lampstands (Rev. 1:10-13). He speaks a message of warning and encouragement to seven real assemblies struggling to be loyal to Israel’s God in Christ Jesus while living as residents of an unapologetically pagan Roman Empire.
In one of the visions characteristic of Jewish apocalyptic tradition, John finds himself, “in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10). In view of modern Sabbath-keeping controversies, many Christ-followers wonder whether it was the seventh or the first day of the Israelite week that John had in mind.
It is possible to interpret “the Lord’s Day” as either Sunday or Saturday as many godly people have done. While Sunday (1st day) and the Sabbath Day (7th day) are both possible interpretations, they are equally problematic for several reasons.
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First, while the Sabbath Day does belong to the Lord, it is never called the “Lord’s Day” in the Holy Scriptures. Second, Sunday (the traditional day on which the resurrection of Jesus became public) was never referred to as the “Lord’s Day” either. I believe there is a third option – another possibility that should also be considered.
“The Lord’s Day” is none other than “The Day of the Lord” spoken of by the prophets of Israel (for example in Is. 2:12-22). According to Isaiah, this is the day when justice finally prevails as the God of Israel judges his enemies and rewards his children with peace and prosperity. Therefore, the phrase “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day” does not indicate the day of the week on which John saw his magnificent vision. Instead, it refers to a period in the future (both ours and John’s) when the righteous judgment of God is finally rendered and all of His promises are completely fulfilled.
The Bible can provide us with truth, but it can also be difficult to decipher! Whether you’re looking for some biblical direction, stumped on scriptural questions, or just want to confirm that you’re already on the right track, continue following us for more biblical interpretations.
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