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                                                           Ryan Van Denburgh

                                                                  Version 2.51


        Methods of time keeping have over the centuries been defined and redefined by many cultures, traditions and empires.  While most of us realize that our Gregorian calendar is a rather recent creation, certain fundamentals of time such as the hour and the week are, because of such ancient use, assumed to be as immortal as the sun itself.  While this paper may question the timing of our Sabbath day, it is in no way intended to subtract from the meaning or significance of the day.  The Sabbath is still just what it always has been, a memorial in time which honors God as our creator (
Exodus 20:11) our Redeemer (Deuteronomy 5:15; Hebrews 4:10), and the One who sets us apart through sanctification (Ezekiel 20:12).  Man-made institutions of time and worship, (such as Sunday observance) honor man and his works in the place of God and subtract from this meaning.  For centuries the Christian church has maintained a false day of worship (the first day of the week). When it was discovered that the biblical day of worship and rest was really the seventh, many moved to a Saturday Sabbath, yet maintained an unbiblical timing of the day (6:00 P.M.- 6:00 P.M.). Ten years later this was discovered and believers began keeping it sundown to sundown.  And now, nearly 160 years after keeping that day from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown comes the question, where in the Bible does it say Saturday is the seventh day?  Is our calendar really biblical? What evidence is there to show that our modern week is indeed in exact coincidence with the biblical week?


        As Seventh-day Adventists, we have always strongly tied the Sabbath to the creation week. In honoring the seven-day “cycle” we say we honor God as Creator.  Honoring God as Creator is important. But to honor Him as Creator, includes not only keeping the week and the Sabbath, but includes keeping these things as He established them to be kept.  Let’s not only look at what God did and draw our conclusions, let’s look at what He said about what He did.  Especially when it comes to the timing of our calendar and Sabbath day.  On day four we read:

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from
                the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.”

Genesis 1:14 AV).

        In this text we see clearly that God establishes “time pieces” in heaven for the demarcation of time or for “signals.”  Of course, we know what the days and years are. 
        Our solar year is based upon the circuit of the earth around the sun, and our month comes from the cycles of the moon (though the two are now no longer synchronized). Our day is timed by the rotation of the earth, as indicated by the sun.  The only piece of time in our calendar not associated with these heavenly time clocks is what we refer to as the “weekly cycle.” From initial appearances nature gives us no indication of a seven-day cycle.  It has been assumed that the seven-day week we have has been passed down to us from creation with no interruption.  But not only can this not be proven, the Bible states something clearly to the contrary.  In fact, the biblical week is kept nothing at all like the modern week. Let’s look at our text again.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from
                the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:”

Genesis 1:14 AV).

Gael Bataman
Originally Entered:        20 February 2008
Latest Update:               20 February 2008

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