Did Jesus alter the commandment about observing the sabbath?

Full Question

In a recent This Rock article (“Changing the Sabbath,” December 1993), you stated that Christ used his authority to alter the sabbath in Matthew 12:8, but a footnote in my Confraternity Version of the Bible says he did not alter the commandment, but urged it be interpreted in a more reasonable way. How could he alter one of the Ten Commandments, anyway?


Jesus exercised his sovereign power to abrogate the sabbath law in at least some way. This is why he states, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath” (Mt 12:8). Both “Son of Man” and “Lord” are references to Christ’s sovereign power. The footnote in your Confraternity Version is wrong. Footnotes in Catholic Bibles are not infallible. (See “Dragnet” in the January 1994 issue of This Rock for a place where we caught one such footnote in an outright historical error).

The sabbath command is the only one of the Ten Commandments which can be altered in any way, because only it is a part of the ceremonial law. This is taught by the Roman Catechism issued after the Council of Trent:

The other commandments of the Decalogue are precepts of the natural law, obligatory at all times and unalterable. Hence, after the abrogation of the Law of Moses, all the Commandments contained in the two tables are observed by Christians, not indeed because their observance is commanded by Moses, but because they are in conformity with nature which dictates obedience to them.
This Commandment about the observance of the sabbath, on the other hand, considered as to the time appointed for its fulfillment, is not fixed and unalterable, but susceptible of change and belongs not to the moral, but the ceremonial law. Neither is it a principle of the natural law; we are not instructed by nature to give external worship to God on that day, rather than on any other. And in fact the sabbath was kept holy only from the time of the liberation of the people of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh.
The observance of the sabbath was to be abrogated at the same time as the other Hebrew rites and ceremonies, that is, at the death of Christ. . . . Hence St. Paul, in his epistle to the Galatians, when reproving the observers of the Mosaic rites, says: "You observe days and months and times and years; I am afraid of you lest perhaps I have labored in vain amongst you" (Gal 4:10). And he writes to the same effect to the Colossians (Col 2:16).




  1. James Sams Reply

    Scripture reveals that not one single letter, of God’s Laws, would be done away with, until the completion of all things. Yeshua [Jesus] did not come to abolish God’s Laws, He came in order to fulfill them. Yeshua was the most Torah observant Jew ever…in the Newer [New] Testament, you will find, not only Yeshua observing Torah, His talmidim [disciples] were also still observing all of God’s Commandments, including the Seventh Day Sabbath [Sunset Friday-Sunset Saturday]. Emperor Constantine of Rome changed God’s Sabbaths. Constantine was a Sun Worshipper, prior to his, supposably conversion to Christianity [Christianity started emerging around 325 C.E….before 325 C.E., the faith was known as Messianic Judaism, which still exists today]. Notice! that God’s Calendar is based on the Moon cycles; whereas, Constantine Calendar is based on the Sun, with the day of worship [which he instituted] falling on the first day of the week [Sunday (Sun)]. Constantine hated the Jews; because, they had rebelled against Rome [67 C.E.]; thus, he changed everything that was considered Jewish, including all of God’s Holy Days, which is now referred to as Jewish holidays; Later, the newly emerged [gentile] Church, began instituting man-made holidays and traditions [Easter, Christmas, etc..] which replaced God’s Holy Convocations…Convocations that God commanded Israel to keep forever… as gentiles believers, in the Jewish Messiah, we are drafted into the Olive Tree [Israel]…once drafted in, we share in Israel’s inheritance [which includes all of God’s promises to the nation of Israel].

  2. James Sams Reply

    God is, currently, reuniting His Body [the Church] into ‘One-New-Man’…Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah Yeshua. The Messianic Jewish/Gentile Church began separating in 325 C.E., when Constantine of Rome invited [only] gentile believers to unite with Rome…with a promise that persecutions against gentile believers would cease [persecutions against Jewish people continued…to this very day].. as Bible Prophecies reveal, a vast number of mankind will follow the apostate church into perdition; however, during the Great Tribulation, a large number, that no man could count, will come to their senses; they will realize, finally, that they had been deceived, by the false church [false prophet] and the anti-christ.

  3. James Sams Reply

    The ‘Seventh Day Sabbath’ was instituted during Creation, to remind mankind that God is the Creator; the number Seven [7] conveys deeper meaning…Seven [7] stands for Spiritual Completion; Everything that God commanded, to be written, was written, exactly, for a given purpose; therefore, no part of God’s Scriptures should be altered or changed by man; When we alter or change God’s Word, we destroy the Truth [true meaning] of His Message…one changed word, in a sentence, can change the meaning of the entire sentence; The forth (4th) Commandment is the “only” Commandment that God said “Remember”…Ceremonial Laws, Sacrificial Laws were instituted must later; these Laws shouldn’t be confused with Torah [teachings], nor with any of God’s other 633 Commandments. Ceremonial Laws dealt only with Temple Service; Sacrificial Laws dealt with blood atonement for Sin; Ceremonial Laws aren’t relevant today; because, there is no Temple [one will soon be built]; Sacrificial Laws were ‘fulfilled’ by the shed blood of Yeshua/Jesus; therefore, animal sacrifices are no longer necessary, for the forgiveness of Sin.
    Furthermore, the ‘Seventh Day Sabbath’ gives us an outline of God’s Salvation Plan; Six (6) days [6,000 biblical years] have been allotted mankind, to go his own way…seeking peace, happiness, and a perfect government, apart from God; but, the Seventh Day [7th] represents the 1,000 year reign of Yeshua and the Church on Earth. So!, you see, when we chance what God has put in place, we alter His True Message. All of ‘God’s Holy Days’ have prophetic significance…they give us an outline of God’s Salvation Plan for mankind…Yeshua fulfilled the Spring Holy Days [Passover; Feast of Unleaven Bread; Feast of First Fruits; Pentecost] during His first Coming…when He returns [2nd Coming] He will fulfill the remaining Fall Holy Days [Feast of Trumpet; Day of Atonement; Feast of Tabernacle; Last Great Day]…We should be mindful to allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide us into all understanding…disregarding man’s commentaries attached to Scripture. We should always use more than one translation of the Bible…the best source is the Hebrew Scriptures [written in Hebrew]; but, of course, we can not all read Hebrew; but, we can all sit under someone [God Called] who knows and understand the Hebrew language.

  4. Silvano Reply

    My dear James, may God have pity on your soul and redeeme you. You are believing what the so called “non-denominational” Christians believe and that is so totally wrong. Sunday, a day dedicated to the Sun, hence Sun-day….come on…. don’t you realize that Sunday is an ENGLISH word, of which Costantine had no idea that it existed….English came about around 1400 AD, a merge of three languages: Celtic, German and French…..come on…. Costantine spoke LATIN…. and the day after saturday, the day of SATURN, another planet, was called not Sunday, but Domenica, the DAY OF THE LORD. It is written in the Acts of the apostles. Jesus did not come to change the law, not even a dot, He said…. of course, His purpose of His coming was to fulfill the law, that is that in Him all the prophesies will be fulfilled. Listen, my dear friend…. Jesus, called the Christ, built His church on Saint Peter, believe it or not. Saint Peter received the order to be the Good Shepperd from Jeusus, the Good Shepperd, and Jesus said that His church, built on Saint Peter, the rock, will never ever be beaten by the devil… so, and guess what? The church that Saint Peter started because Jesus wanted so, is the Catholic church and not Costantine…. that is a myth brought up by the protestants, to scorne the Catholic church and you and many others like you fell for it. Wow…. what can I say, but, I promise you to pray Jesus to have mercy for your soul, because regardless if you believe in Him or not, He loves you.


    Well said James Sam you really understand your Holy Bible. It was so good to read what you wrote. It is rare I have the opportunity to read the truth and to see someone who is like minded.

  6. James Sams Reply

    Silvano! Put aside, everything that you think you know, as I did; purchase several different translations of the Bible; read from Genesis to Revelation; allowing the Ruach Ha Kodesh [Holy Spirit] to reveal Truth and Understanding to you. You will be amazed, especially, when you began hearing God…speaking to you.

    1. Silvano Reply

      Dear James, I did all what you did already, and yet I was able, thanks to the Divine Mercy of Jesus, to discern who was talking to me, and God started to talk to me already 6 years ago till today, and I put everything down, filling 30 books each of 100 pages. Nothing that I wrote is against what the Catholic Church says, and they double checked my writing already and found it to be in perfect harmony with the Teaching. James, there are mainly three persons, who you may hear, namely yourself, God and Satan. The Holy Spirit does not talk to you as such, but He infuses His Wisdom and knowledge into you in a split of a second. Having said that, try to understand this, my dear James: if God speaks to me and tells me, that this is the way of understanding His Will and/or His Word and this “new” understanding differs, is not the same, or goes even against the teaching of the Church like in many cases sadly it is with many people, including you, then I, you must ask yourself: Why did the Holy Spirit of God waited so long to tell the truth and has chosen me to talk to? Now, if you really believe that….well, there is something wrong. God spoke to so many people before you and me, to milions of people, and they wrote all these “talks” down in diaries, books, and guess what, they are all congruent, complimentary to each other, similar, never against each other….how can that be? you must ask yuourself, there is only one God and when He talks to people, He says the same thing. Logic? yes, Correct? yes. So how can He tell you something different? So, when people read bibles on their own and they avoid to believe what the Church says, the devil has a very easy prey: he comes to you, tells you all nice things but they are all wrong. You may hear voices, but if you hear voices through your ears, that is a give away that it is the devil and not God. God does not use our senses, but speaks very low into our hearts, Jesus said that in the Gospel of Saint Matthew. When God talks to a person, He may want to say the same thing He said in the previous centuries to other people, only this time He is telling the same thing in a different way, because our time and understanding are different from the past. But the message is still the same, it will never correct a previous message. You know what I mean? So, do listen to the Church, because as Jesus said:”Whoever listens to you (that is the Church), listens to me, and whoever rejects you, rejects me and whoever rejects me rejects also the one who sent me” (Saint Luke 10:16).
      So I will definitely NOT do what you suggest, because you are doing the work of Satan, and I am sure you don’t want to do that. What you are suggesting to me to do, has been done also by Mr. Russel, the founder of the Jehowa’s Witness, and look what came out of it: Jesus is a simple good man, definitely not God. What a rubbish, Devil’s work

  7. James Sams Reply

    Silvano, I only suggested that you study the Scriptures, allowing the Holy Spirit of God to guide you. When we think that we have all Truth [revelations] already, we limit ourselves; the Bible says…”in the end of days, knowledge will increase”… this quote pertains to secular knowledge, as well as biblical knowledge; Before the atom bomb was invented, no one understood how the Earth could be destroyed by man; Before Israel became a nation again [May 14, 1948], no one could predict, correctly, if we were living in the End-of-Days…Yeshua/Jesus foretold…”when the fig tree [Israel] blossoms, know that the end is near….when Jerusalem is back in Jewish hands [six day war–June,1967]…the generation, who witness this event, will not pass away, before the Coming of the ‘Son-of- Man.’ Silvano, knowledge is very important, because, a great deception is ‘Soon Coming’ upon this Earth…even God’s Elect will be deceived, if they are not careful; to study God’s Word; to submitt their Will to His Will; to allow His Holy Spirit to guild them. The information, I have been sharing, that the Catholic Church was not the Original Church Congregation is true; however, that has nothing to do with one’s Salvation…this is not a Salvation Issue. You see! Yeshua was a Jewish Rabbi; His talmidim [disciples] were also Jewish…they didn’t give up their Jewish culture in order to become followers of their Jewish Messiah. If we take time, and study the areas where Yeshua sent His disciples, we will discover that those areas are the locations where God scattered the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’ of Israel…Yeshua commanded His disciples…do not go the way of the gentiles, but rather, go to the Lost Sheep of Israel; later, Shaul/Paul was sent to the Gentile Nations. It is estimated that there were more than one million Messianic Jewish believers in Yeshua, during the first century alone; Presently, there are more than one hundred Messianic Jewish/Gentile Congregations in Israel alone. You see! Israel was blinded in part [not all of Israel was blinded] until the last gentile has been Saved. Yeshua/Jesus was, and still is, the “King-of-the-Jews”…The Faith Yeshua started was Messianic Judaism; as gentiles, we are drafted into the Olive Tree [Israel]…this is factual knowledge, not my interpretation of the Bible; the Bible interprets itself. God commands us to be quit to listen; then go and prove all things, by searching the Scriptures. I know you were taught that the baton was passed from St. Peter to the Pope, but this just isn’t factual. Why is your faith called Judaic/Christianity? Christ is derived from the Hebrew Messiah. When Yeshua returns, He isn’t returning to Rome; rather, He is returning to Israel; His first task will be…destroying, completely, the gentile armies coming up against His Chosen People, Israel. It was Satan who divided the ‘Church of God’ into denominations…not God! However, God is now unifying His Church into ‘One New Man’…Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah Yeshua/Jesus.

  8. Silvano Reply

    After this reply of yours, I will definitely pray for you every single day, my friend. Peace be with you

    1. Eltrion Reply

      It came from an actor wearing Catholic Bishop Costume.
      What a devil disguised as an angel.
      I pity to those who believe such BS.

      1. Annette Reply

        Yes, you are right, the presenter of the reading [Vince Morton] was dressed up as an rc Bishop as the audience was told before he came up to the podium. This has nothing to do with the fact that all the statements he read were published by the rc church. You are welcome to examine this in “the catholic mirror” – why not google it and satisfy your own doubts 🙂

  9. Annette Reply

    Not Jesus, but the Catholic church – this text has been altered in the Catholic bible, but you can look at heaps of different reliable translation of the original text of Daniel 7:25 at http://biblehub.com/daniel/7-25.htm

    1. Eltrion Reply

      What day Jesus rose from dead?
      What day the apostles gathered and broke bread?
      What day Jesus appeared to the gathering of the disciples when Tomas was absent, and what day He reappeared and told Tomas to touch His wounds?

      When you want to observe the Law of Sabbath, literally as it was written, you should also apply the dead penalty upon the tresspasser of that command.
      Did God change the penalty of tresspassing the Law of Sabbath? No.
      Do Jews up until now execute everyone tresspassing that Law?
      Are there any non catholic church who apply the Law of Sabbath also applying the executions to those who broke the rule??

      God also abbrogate the Law of Clean Diet (Kosher) in the NT.
      Oh, by the way, I also found the maker and the user of perfume are also to be executed.
      Male uncircumsized are also to be exterminated.

      Remember Jesus never change those Laws.
      Now, I want to know which community really apply those penalties.
      If your church, who you believed is truer than Catholic Church, applies those penalty, please share the videos here.
      If not, then you just share another hipocrites trully from the devil.

      1. Annette Reply

        Hi Eltrion,

        Wow – you ask lots of questions

        Forgive my confusion, but i’m not sure that you really want all these questions answered, i think perhaps there is something you would like to say, so why not humour me and answer the questions here, so that we can chat about what we agree on so that we don’t spend time bashing our heads together?

        Looking forward to chatting peaceably 🙂

        God bless you

  10. Anthony Reply

    Question for all. I need one word answer for all.
    1) What day is the Sabbath or 7th day?
    2) Is God perfect?
    3) Does God change?
    4) Is Sabbath being kept in heaven?
    5) Will Sabbath be kept when He comes back?

    1. Annette Reply

      1. Saturday
      2. Yes
      3. No
      4. Yes
      5. Yes

  11. brakelite Reply

    Rabanus Maurus (776-856), abbot of Fulda and later archbishop of Mainz, Germany, was rated one of the greatest theologians of his age and probably the most cultured man of his time, and exceptionally learned in patristics. Besides, he was a zealous defender of the papacy and its teachings. In one of his works, he says,

    Pope Sylvester instructed the clergy to keep the feriae. And, indeed, from an old custom he called the first day [of the week] the “Lord’s [day],” on which the light was made in the beginning and also the resurrection of Christ is celebrated.6

    Rabanus Maurus does not mean to say that Sylvester was the first man who referred to the days of the week as feriae or who first started the observance of Sunday among Christians. He means that, according to the testimony of Roman Catholic writers, Sylvester confirmed those practices and made them official insofar as his church was concerned. Hence Rabanus says elsewhere in his writings:

    Pope Sylvester first among the Romans ordered that the names of the days [of the week], which they previously called after the name of their gods, that is, [the day] of the Sun, [the day] of the Moon, [the day] of Mars, [the day] of Mercury, [the day] of Jupiter, [the day] of Venus, [the day] of Saturn, they should call feriae thereafter, that is the first feria, the second feria, the third feria, the fourth feria, the fifth feria, the sixth feria, because that in the beginning of Genesis it is written that God said concerning each day: on the first, “Let there be light:; on the second, “Let there be a firmament”; on the third, “Let the earth bring forth verdure”; etc. But he [Sylvester] ordered [them] to call the Sabbath by the ancient term of the law, [to call] the first feria the “Lord’s day,” because on it the Lord rose [from the dead], Moreover, the same pope decreed that the rest of the Sabbath should be transferred rather to the Lord’s day [Sunday], in order that on that day we should rest from worldly works for the praise of God.7

    Note particularly, he says that “the same pope [Sylvester I] decreed that the rest of the Sabbath should be transferred rather to the Lord’s day [Sunday].”8 According to this statement, he was the first bishop to introduce the idea that the divinely appointed rest of the Sabbath day should be transferred to the first day of the week. This is significant, especially in view of the fact that it was during Sylvester’s pontificate that the emperor of Rome [Constantine] issued the first civil laws compelling men to rest from secular labor on Sunday, and that Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, was the first theologian on record to present arguments, allegedly from the Scriptures, that Christ did transfer the rest of the Sabbath day to Sunday.

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