Does Colossians 2:16 render the Sabbath irrelevant?

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[UPDATE 12/27/2016 – This article was recently modified to reflect a more accurate and thorough exposition of Colossians 2:16-17]

A friend of mine forwarded me a daily devotional email from Compass International called “Good Morning Lord” (or GML). In the past, I was actually subscribed to the same GML devotional based upon a recommendation from the same friend, but after receiving a couple of questionable emails from them, I decided that I had read enough. It’s not that I simply unsubscribed; I actually sent an inquiry email trying to engage GML in what I thought would be a fruitful dialogue but alas I received no response. Anyway, my friend thought this email would peak my interest since he knows that in our circle, I am a Sabbath-keeping oddity. Boy was he right! My response (in red) to the GML for October 28th 2015 follows:

Good Morning Lord email for October 28, 2015

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Rest from your work one day a week, any day you choose.

ChristPlusZero.org:
The folks at Good Morning Lord (GML hereafter) have in the past had one or two heretical ideas about the bible and this GML “Bible study” on Colossians 2:16 is no exception. Not only is the idea that we can keep the Sabbath any day we choose a heresy, virtually everything that GML has mentioned in this “Bible study” about the Sabbath is in error. Where shall we begin? First of all, persons who wish to teach others about the Bible should strongly consider taking a course in logic before proceeding. The logical blunders in this “Bible study” are many. For instance, the GML Thought For The Day contains an unsustainable hermeneutic which falls under the logical fallacy known as Reductio ad Absurdum. Such an approach to understanding Scripture is irrational because it employs a form of reasoning which fails when applied to similar scenarios within the Bible. For example, if Christians can rest (i.e. observe the Sabbath) “any day [we] choose” despite Scripture clearly and repeatedly telling us that the Sabbath is the 7th day (Genesis 2:2-3, Exodus 16:22-23, Exodus 20:11, Exodus 31:15, Exodus 35:3, Leviticus 23:3), then it follows necessarily that we can also claim Jesus rose from the dead on “any day [we] choose” despite the biblical assertion that Christ actually rose on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). In other words, the rationale behind GML’s Thought For The Day also allows us to redefine a core tenet of the Gospel. How many Christians are willing to live with the consequences of this rationale?
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Christians worship on Sunday because of the Sunday Resurrection and the deliberate Sunday appearances of the resurrected Christ. Really?

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Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.

Table of Contents

  1. The Introduction
  2. Christianity is a Jewish faith
  3. God told the Jews when to worship
  4. God wants Gentile believers to keep the biblical Sabbath
  5. The Scriptures say that New Covenant Sabbath-keepers will receive a better name, a better heritage and much more!
  6. Early Christians assembled on the Sabbath Day
  7. If the Sabbath has truly been abolished then why should the Church still assemble?
  8. The Sabbath law was done away with in the New Covenant but it will soon be mandatory in the New Covenant. Wait, what?
  9. The Sabbath law is a necessary inference of Genesis 2:2-3
  10. The seven-day week betrays the ongoing relevance of the Sabbath
  11. Are there certain commandments in the Mosaic Law which are no longer applicable? If so, what does this mean?
  12. The Law has been “abolished” yet it “remains in effect.” Are you confused? So am I!
  13. According to Hebrews 4:9, there remains an “observance of the Sabbath”
  14. Are those who disregard the Sabbath being disloyal to God?
  15. Exploring the origins of Sunday worship
  16. Hijacking the “Lord’s Day”
  17. Extra-biblical Evidence of Sabbath-keeping Throughout Church History
  18. Constantine, Antisemitism and the persecution of Sabbath-Keepers
  19. Ecclesiastical forgeries and the Roman State Church’s involvement in Sunday Worship
  20. Keeping the Sabbath obligates one to keep the whole law? Really?

The Introduction

This may come as a shock to some, but in all of the Bible, there is no verse which commands Christians to come together for corporate worship on a Sunday. Neither is there a verse which records Christians coming together for routine worship on a Sunday.

There is the oft-cited Acts 20:7 which mentions a Sunday evening Christian gathering (which would actually be Monday in Jewish reckoning) where the apostle Paul preached until midnight, but the purpose of this meeting was for fellowship and dinner, hence the term “breaking bread” which is used therein. Sometimes “breaking bread” can also refer to partaking in Holy Communion a.k.a. the Lord’s Supper (e.g. Matthew 26:26, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Nevertheless, this biblical phrase, on several occasions including this one (see Acts 20:11), only referred to eating a meal (e.g. Lamentations 4:4; Luke 24:30,35; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:11, Acts 27:33-35 etc.). Another verse often cited is 1 Corinthians 16:2 but this verse pertains to private preparation, doesn’t even mention a Christian gathering, and is therefore wholly irrelevant to the matter of corporate worship. Continue reading

The Sabbath In The Law Of Moses – Exodus 20:8-11

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CHAPTER IV: THE SABBATH IN THE LAW OF MOSES – Exodus 20:8-11

The following discussion reviews Chapter IV of Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s “The Sabbath.” In this section of Chapter IV, Dr. Fruchtenbaum exposits Exodus 20:8-11.

Exodus 20:8-11
(8)  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
(9)  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
(10)  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
(11)  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Dr Fruchtenbaum says:
This passage contains the fourth commandment and six observations can be made. The first observation is that God used the word Remember in verse 8, not as a reference back to Genesis 2, but as a reference to its nearest context, Exodus 16. Continue reading

The Sabbath In The Law Of Moses – Exodus 16:23-30

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CHAPTER IV: THE SABBATH IN THE LAW OF MOSES – Exodus 16:23-30

Reviewing Chapter IV of Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s The Sabbath:

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:23-30)

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Is the Sabbath a creation ordinance? Part 1.

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I’m in a bible study where we are going through Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s book entitled “The Sabbath” and in this book Fruchtenbaum comprehensively reviews all verses in the bible dealing with the topic of the Sabbath. It is a thorough book and one that is enlightening and instructive. I would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a resource that gives valuable insight into the bible verses that talk about the Sabbath day. Though having said this, I should inform the reader that I actually disagree with Dr. Fruchtenbaum on the conclusions that he draws in a number of his chapters on the Sabbath. I will spend the next couple of blogs walking through this insightful book and discussing areas in which I disagree and why so as to give potential readers of this book more things to think about.

Regarding whether the Sabbath is a creation ordinance, Dr. Fruchtenbaum states in the prefacing comments to his argument:

Is the Sabbath a creation ordinance? At this point, let us assume that the Sabbath is a creation ordinance. If so, it would mean that it is obligatory for both Jews and Gentiles, since it was given before there was any distinction between Jews and Gentiles, a distinction that only began with Genesis 12, not Genesis 2.

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