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Question and Answer

Since Jesus was raised from the dead on a Sunday morning, hasn't Sunday become the correct day of worship for Christians?

There are only three New Testament passages which seem to make the case for Sunday worship. But a close examination shows that none of them supports this answer. First, Acts 20:7 describes Paul's farewell meeting with the people of Troas: "On the first day of the week, we assembled to break bread." Although they met on the first day of the week, there is no mention of it being their regular worship time. Also, there is no command to worship on the first day.

Second, Paul tells the Corinthians to put aside money “on the first day of the week” for the offering (1 Cor. 16:2). He wasn’t talking about an offering during Sunday worship or even a public meeting. He used the phrase par heauto (commonly translated “each of you”) literally meaning “by himself, in his home” to encourage the Corinthians not to wait until the end of the week.

Finally, John speaks of being in the Spirit “on the Lord’s Day” (Rev. 1:10). Most likely it means John received his vision on “a day filled with the Lord.” It may also refer to “the day of the Lord,” describing John’s vision in the book of Revelation. What it doesn’t mean is that this day is Sunday.

The New Testament gives a great deal of freedom to choose on which day to worship. The great news is that we are able to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus every day.

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the Bible teacher on Moody Radio’s Open Line, answering listener Bible questions on over 200 stations nationwide across Moody Radio. The son of Holocaust survivors, he was raised in an observant Jewish home in Brooklyn, N.Y. As a high school student, Michael became a follower of Jesus the Messiah and began teaching the Bible almost immediately. He is the author of Understanding the Arab Israeli Conflict and The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic? He is the co-editor of the Moody Bible Commentary, a commentary on the whole Bible by the faculty of Moody Bible Institute. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael is a regular contributor to the Day of Discovery television program and appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons who call and write all the time. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill., and enjoy leading study groups to Israel and hiking with their two collies.

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