QUESTIONS . . . and ANSWERS

Which day is the Christian Sabbath? Sunday? Or is it Saturday? Did Jesus authorize the change of the Sabbath from the seventh day of the week to the first day? Did His disciples do it?

 

In The Seventh Day, host Hal Holbrook takes viewers back across the centuries to uncover the history of the Sabbath. This five-part documentary video series traces the evidence of ancient records as found in the archives and libraries of international scholarship.

 

The story of the change of the Sabbath is enriched by the testimony of fifty historians and theologians from around the world. Together they provide a careful exposé of the epic battle over the biblical Sabbath.

 

The Seventh Day illuminates the heroic struggle for religious liberty, fought through long centuries of inquisition and repression. It offers a surprising look at history, raising new questions about the rhythm of life here in the 21st century – and beyond.

OVERVIEW

  • Views of human beginnings from Babylonian and Aztec myths as well as from the Bible and the Koran.
  • Darwin’s theory of evolution challenges traditional view of origins.
  • A case against blind chance as a logical explanation of human origins.
  • The Bible’s portrayal of Creation and the Creator.
  • The week and the Sabbath in the structure of human life.
  • The weekly Sabbath in man’s relationship with God.
  • The universal and perpetual purpose for the weekly day of rest.
  • National disaster strikes the “chosen people” due, in part, to their neglect of the Sabbath.
  • Somehow the concept of Sabbath extended into the culture and language of many peoples.
  • Revival of Sabbath observance among the Jews who returned from exile results in heroism and tragedy.

  • A summary view of Roman religions during the time of Jesus.
  • Strict Sabbathkeeping marked the Jews as unique.
  • The Bible protrays Jesus as a revolutionary Sabbathkeeper.
  • Jesus predicted that His followers would be still be keeping the Sabbath at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
  • The two groups shared a view of a personal God and of the weekly Sabbath, but Christians found new meaning in the holy day.
  • Evidence for Christian observance of the seventh-day Sabbath in the first century AD.
  • Second-century Christians in Alexandria and Rome begin observing the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath.
  • Roman sun worship and its link to Christian Sunday observance.
  • Emperor Constantine legalizes Sunday as the weekly day of rest in the Roman Empire.
  • Proof of seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observance into the middle of the fourth century.

  • The religious background to the story of St. Patrick.
  • Once a slave in Ireland, Patrick responds to a divine call and returns to the Emerald Isle as a missionary.
  • Saturday observed as the Sabbath by Celtic Christians.
  • Margaret comes from England, marries King Malcolm, and attempts to reform Sunday observance in Scotland.
  • The Church of Rome promotes the Sabbath (Saturday) fast as an expression of anti-Jewish sentiments.
  • The “Sabbath fast” becomes a key issue in the rivalry between church leaders in Rome and Constantinople.
  • The “letter from heaven” threatens Sunday-breakers.
  • Resistance to church/state authority brings tragedy.
  • An Oxford professor focuses new attention on the Bible as the supreme authority for Christian faith and practice.
  • Wycliffe’s followers take his views throughout England and beyond.
  • The church-state establishment opposes the spread of the Bible and the ideas of Wycliffe and the Lollards.

  • This Sabbathkeeping movement reached the highest levels of Russian society and led to fiery executions in Moscow’s Red Square.
  • Jesuit missionaries succeeded in converting the Emperor to Roman Catholicism, but attempts to quash Sabbath observance resulted in civil war.
  • Civil and religious authorities united to root out “heresy.”
  • Ferdinand and Isabella, the “Catholic Monarchs,” used the Spanish Inquisition to rid their church of Jewish heresies.
  • Inquisitors carried their campaign of religious persecution into the new territories of Portugal’s expanding empire.
  • Protestant Reformers insisted on the authority of the sacred Scriptures, while Catholic leaders defended their church’s stand on Tradition.
  • Persecuted by Protestants and Catholics alike, these radical reformers stood for strict adherence to biblical teachings. Among them were new champions of the Sabbath.
  • While many Puritan preachers insisted on strict observance of Sunday, other prominent Englishmen called for a return to the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments.

  • This nonconformist preacher established the Rhode Island colony on the foundation of freedom of conscience for everybody.
  • A Sabbathkeeping Baptist couple emigrate from England to Rhode Island and help establish the first Seventh Day Baptist congregation in America.
  • Conrad Beisel and his followers establish a Sabbathkeeping community on Pennsylvania’s Cocalico Creek — the Ephrata Cloister.
  • Count Ludwig von Zinzendorf directs the Moravian mission to the North American Indians and inspires his community to keep the seventh-day Sabbath.
  • A Seventh Day Baptist lady shares her Sabbath beliefs with her pastor, and this leads to the establishment of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
  • 19th-century China is shaken by the Taiping Revolution, a huge peasant revolt that is shaped, in part, by bibical principles including observance of the seventh-day Sabbath.
  • In Alaska’s Kobuk River valley a man named Maniilaq learns about “seventh-day resting” from one he calls “the Grandfather.”
  • Deep in the South American rain forest Chief Owkwa learns about the Sabbath from a bright celestial visitor.
  • The Sabbath’s deep cultural roots in various parts of this continent.
  • The secularization of Sunday in 19th-century America leads some political and religious leaders to promote laws that would protect Sunday as the national day of rest and worship.
  • People who observe Saturday rather than Sunday as their weekly day of worship sometimes face financial hardship and legal trouble because of their beliefs.
  • Although still a small minority, seventh-day Sabbathkeepers are increasing in number around the world.
  • Sabbathkeeping theologians respond to critics who contend that observing the seventh-day Sabbath is legalistic or irrelevant for Christians today.
  • Bible prophecy points to the Sabbath as part of God’s plan for a perfect world in the eternal future.

WHAT VIEWERS SAY

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