Changing the Week?
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Summary: Is Saturday the true seventh day?

The Sabbath, and the week both started in Genesis 1, and it has been preserved throughout history. God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks until the close of time. It consisted of seven literal days. Six days were used for the work of creation; and on the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man.

In the law given from Sinai, God points back to His own example: "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." Exodus 20:8-11.

The Bible tells us to keep the seventh day holy. However, that law of God was written thousands of years ago, and Jesus' examples of Sabbath-keeping came over two millennia ago. Has the weekly calendar changed since then?

Source: David Westerfield. Labeled for commercial reuse.

How can we be sure that the modern seventh day—Saturday—is still the day God intends for our Sabbath?

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, "The week is a period of seven days…It has been employed from time immemorial in almost all eastern countries."i Our seventh day has always been Saturday, even though there have been some adjustments to the calendar.

Calendar Adjustments

Many words for the seventh day reflect the Sabbath.

The Julian calendar, instituted in 46 BC by Julius Caesar, was the calendar in place in the time of Jesus. The Jews numbered the days of the week, but gave the seventh day the name Shabat, which means "Sabbath rest." In many languages, the word for Saturday still reflects these origins.

A small change came to the Julian calendar when Augustus Caesar decided that he wanted to name a month after himself. He chose the eighth month, and added to it a day from February in order to give it the full 31 days. The weekly cycle was not affected by this change to the month of August.ii

After Augustus' adjustments, there were no changes to the calendar until 1582, when the Gregorian calendar was introduced. This calendar is still in effect today.iii

Pope Gregory established this calendar to correct an error that had caused the Julian calendar to become more inaccurate every year. In fact, every 128 years the calendar was becoming an extra day out of sync with the equinoxes and solstices.

Gregory omitted ten days from the calendar by decreeing that the day after Thursday, October 4, 1582, would be Friday, October 15, 1582. This change brought the calendar back in sync, but did not affect the order of the days of the week.iv

Assurance and Obedience

Letter regarding continuity of the weekly cycle, US Naval Observatory (Washington DC: March 12, 1932)....

This is what the US Naval Observatory has to say about the order of the week:

We have had occasion to investigate the results of the works of specialists in chronology and we have never found one of them that has ever had the slightest doubt about the continuity of the weekly cycle since long before the Christian era.v

God set apart the seventh-day Sabbath during the Creation week. He reinforced the Sabbath in the time of Moses (Exodus 16) and made Sabbath-keeping the Fourth Commandment. Throughout history the Jewish people have kept the seventh day holy, and Jesus and his followers celebrated it as well.

The order of the week has not changed, nor has the joy that comes when we obey God and spend the seventh day with Him.

What about Lunar Sabbaths?



i. Encyclopedia Britannica 11th edition volume 4: 988.

ii. S. Berkowitz, " Is our modern Saturday the Sabbath? A History of Calendar Change,"

iii. "The Change from the Julian to the Gregorian Calendar," (© 1997-2009).

iv. Ibid.

v. Letter regarding continuity of the weekly cycle, US Naval Observatory (Washington DC: March 12, 1932) as quoted in "Has the Calendar been changed?" Sabbath & Antichrist Truth Revealed