Monday, October 12, 2009

Rom 14.5 and the Sabbath

Paul is not in favor of Sabbath or Sunday obligations Greek New Testament, 4th Ed., 1861, on Rom 14:5:

“It is an interesting question, what indication is here found of the observance or non-observance of a day of obligation in the apostolic times. The Apostle decides nothing, leaving every man’s own mind to guide him in the point. He classes the observance or non-observance of particular days, with the eating or abstaining from particular meats. In both cases he is concerned with things which he evidently treats as of absolute indifference in themselves. Now the question is, supposing the divine obligation of one day in seven to have been recognized by him in any form, could he have thus spoken? The obvious inference from his strain of arguing is that he knew of no such obligation, but believed all times and days to be, to the Christian strong in faith, alike. I do not see how the passage can be otherwise understood. If any one day in the week were invested with the sacred character of the Sabbath, it would have been wholly impossible for the Apostle to commend or uphold the man who judges all days worthy of equal honor — who as in verse 6 paid no regard to the (any) day. He would have to have visited him with his strongest disapprobation as violating a command of God. I therefore infer that sabbatical obligation to keep any day, whether seventh or first, was not recognized in apostolic times…. The reply commonly furnished to these considerations, that the Apostle was speaking here only of Jewish festivals and therefore cannot refer to Christian ones, is a quibble of the poorest kind, its assertors themselves distinctly maintaining the obligation of one such Jewish festival on Christians” [i.e. by enforcing Sunday as a Sabbath]. Henry Alford, D.D. Dean of Canterbury

No comments: