Friday, May 17, 2024

The Lord's Day in Revelation 1:10

The Lord's Day in Revelation 1:10

In his infamous booklet, The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!, Herbert Armstrong wrote: "And so here is the very KEYNOTE verse, sounding the THEME of the whole Revelation! And it is here that most people begin to stumble, and to misunderstand! The theme is THE DAY OF THE LORD. Let us read it: 'I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet' (verse 10). As this is not understood, endless controversy and strife and confusion have come from arguing as to whether the day of the WEEK on which John WROTE this message was Saturday or Sunday. John was NOT referring to any day of the week. The day of the week on which this happened to be written - IF it could have been all written within one day - is not important, and that is not what this verse means at all. It does NOT refer to any day of the week - but to that prophetic period referred to in more than 30 prophecies as 'The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.'" Armstrong made clear which of the three ways which various Christians have interpreted this passage that he subscribed to - the prophetic "Day of the Lord." So, the question is: Was Herbert Armstrong right? OR Does the reference refer to the day on which John received the Revelation? AND If so, can we know if he was referring to Saturday or Sunday?

In the first of six answers to the question "What is 'the Lord's Day' in Revelation 1:10?" on Biblical Hermeneutics, we read:

It's unlikely that John intended the phrase to refer to the 'day of the Lord' as found in the prophets.
While the phrase found in Revelation 1:10 isn't found elsewhere in the New Testament, the phrase "day of the Lord" is found in several places. When the phrase is used elsewhere in the New Testament, the grammar matches that found in the prophets. In 1 Thessalonians 5:2, for instance, the phrase 'day of the Lord' is ἡμέρα κυρίου, where κυρίου (Lord) is in the genitive case. The same is true in 2 Peter 3:10. In the LXX, the phrase 'day of the Lord' always appears with the genitive case. 
In Revelation 1:10, the phrase used is κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ, where κυριακῇ is in the dative case and is being used as an adjective. This doesn't rule out the possibility of it referring to the same thing, but it does make it highly unlikely and puts the proof of burden on those who would claim otherwise. Authors tend to retain phraseology when it carries a heavy theological weight. 
The context also suggests that John does not intend to refer to the eschatological 'day of the Lord' found in the prophets. The phrase in the prophets is accompanied by a dread of expectation and judgement. Yet John's experience, while disturbing, is not shaped after the day of the Lord but after Daniel's experiences with his visions."

This answer is also reinforced by references to the "Day of the Lord" in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the book of Isaiah, we read: "Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!" (Isaiah 13:6, ESV) And, in the ninth verse of the same chapter, "Behold, the day of the Lord comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it." (Isaiah 13:9, ESV) Likewise, in the book of Jeremiah, we read: "That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates." (Jeremiah 46:10, ESV) Also, in the prophet Joel, we read: "Alas for the day! For the day of the Lord is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes." (Joel 1:15, ESV) Likewise, in the book of Amos, we read: "Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light..." (Amos 5:18, ESV) In the prophet Zephaniah, we read: "The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter; the mighty man cries aloud there." (Zephaniah 1:14, ESV) And, finally, in the prophet Zechariah, we read: "Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city." (Zechariah 14:1-2, ESV)

Hence, we see that the "Day of the Lord" referred to a particular event in the Hebrew Scriptures - a terrible time at the end of the age of humankind. Now, while the book of Revelation includes this event within the context of the many predictions that are made there, we can clearly discern that it is NOT the theme of the entire book! In other words, there is a great deal more contained in those pages than the story of the "Day of the Lord."

In one of the supplemental answers on the same website referenced above, we read:

kuriakē(i) (LSJ) (from κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ) is an adjectival form of kurios, 'lord', which could be rendered 'lordly' (on analogy of 'royal' = 'kingly', roughly!). As the adjective "royal" indicates something belonging to the monarch ("the royal palace"), so kuriakos indicates something belonging to the 'lord'...

...Some other early Christian writings use the Rev 1:10 phrase. In Didache 14:1, for example: 
'On the Lord's Day of the Lord come together, break bread and hold Eucharist, after confessing your transgressions that your offering may be pure' 
Which precise day is in mind of these options (first day? Sabbath day? Easter Day?) is not specified. However, one or two of the early Christian apocryphal writings are explicit about which day this is, e.g. Acts of Peter, in the prologue [scroll down to second line of I. THE COPTIC FRAGMENT]: 
'On the first day of the week, that is, on the Lord's day...'

Moreover, as the word "sabbaton" (Sabbath) appears sixty-eight times in the Greek New Testament, it seems very unlikely that John would use the "Lord's Day" to describe the Sabbath. Hence, the notion that this revelation was given to John on a Sunday seems the most plausible and likely conclusion about its usage in Revelation 1:10.

Miller Jones/Lonnie Hendrix


RSK said...

Well, this is sure to break down into a thread of squabbling. So, instead, might I pose several questions here:

- If Rev 1:10 read "I was in the Spirit on the first day of the week, the Lord's day", what would be the ramifications for COGland?
- If John of Patmos was in fact among the Sunday-keeping crowd, what would be the ramifications for COGland? Would it invalidate the book?
- In shorter terms, the commentary quoted above is saying that when the "day of the lord" is referenced elsewhere in the New Testament, a phrase that more closely matches that of the Old Testament prophets is used, one different than that used by John of Patmos. Could John have been referring to something else, and if so, what would the term "on the Lord's Day" mean to his readers?

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

Here's another one:
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Lord's Day, the
Lord's Day, the
The expression "the Lord's day" is found only once in the Bible. In Revelation 1:10 John relates the beginning of his visionary experience to being in the Spirit "on the Lord's Day." The phrase seems to have become more common in the second century a.d., where it is found in such early Christian writings as Ignatius's Epistle to the Magnesians 9:1 (c. a.d. 108), the Didache 14:1 (c. a.d. 100-125), and the Gospel of Peter 9:35; 12:50 (c. a.d. 125-50).

The presence of the adjective kuriakos [kuriakov"] makes the expression grammatically different from the common biblical phrase "the Day of the Lord, " which uses the genitive form of the noun kurios [kuvrio"]. The adjective is found only one other time in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 11:20, where Paul speaks of "the Lord's Supper." Non-Christian parallels suggest that the adjective was used with reference to that which belonged to the Roman emperor; early Christians seem to have used it, perhaps in conscious protest, to refer to that which belonged to Jesus.

The particular "day" that belonged to Jesus seems to have been Sunday, or, by Jewish reckoning, Saturday sundown until Sunday sundown. According to the Gospels, Jesus was raised from the dead on "the first day of the week" ( Matt 28:1 ; Mark 16:2 ; Luke 24:1 ; John 20:1 ), that is, Sunday. New Testament evidence suggests that by the 50s, if not earlier, Christians were attaching special significance to Sunday. In 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 Paul exhorts the church at Corinth to set aside a sum of money "on the first day of every week" for the church at Jerusalem, as the Galatian churches were already doing. Similarly, Luke notes that when Paul arrived at Troas near the end of his third missionary journey, the church gathered together to break bread "on the first day of the week" ( Acts 20:6-7 ). Although the identification is not made explicit, there is therefore good reason to believe that John has Sunday in mind when he mentions "the Lord's Day" in Revelation 1:10. Certainly the second-century Gospel of Peter, which twice speaks of the day of Jesus' resurrection as "the Lord's Day" (9:35; 12:50), makes the connection. Similarly, the Epistle of Barnabas (c. a.d. 130) notes that Christians celebrate Jesus' resurrection of "the eighth day" (15:9; cf. John 20:26 ), or Sunday, which is the day after the seventh day — that is, the Jewish Sabbath (Saturday). Justin Martyr affirms that Jesus was raised on "the day of the Sun" (Apology 67).


Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

How quickly the Lord's Day emerged as a specific day of worship for the early church is not clear. Luke observes that in the period immediately following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost the earliest Christians met "every day" in the temple courts. Whether their breaking of bread in their homes was a daily or weekly occurrence he does not specify, but the former seems more likely ( Acts 2:46 ). Alternately, Paul's comments to the Corinthians concerning the laying aside of money on the first day of the week do not indicate whether this action was connected with a formal gathering of the church ( 1 Cor 16:13 ). Luke's description of the meeting of believers at Troas is the first clear indication of a special gathering as taking place in the evening, by which he probably means Sunday, using Roman reckoning from midnight to midnight, rather than the Jewish system. By the second century the Lord's Day was clearly set apart as a special day for worship. In a letter to the emperor Trajan (c. a.d. 112), the Roman governor Pliny the Younger notes that Christians assembled before daylight "on an appointed day" (Epistle 10:96), undoubtedly Sunday. The Didache specifically exhorts believers to come together on the Lord's Day (14:1), and the Epistle of Barnabas sees it as a special day of celebration (15:9). Indeed, Justin Martyr (c. a.d. 150) gives a detailed account of typical Sunday worship (Apology 67).
A clear picture of how the early Christians celebrated the Lord's Day emerges only gradually. Luke records that the Christians at Troas came together to break bread, which may well denote a meal that included the Lord's Supper (cf. Acts 2:42 ; 1 Cor 11:20-22 ). That Paul spoke (at great length!) to the assembled believers ( Acts 20:7-11 ) implies nothing about their typical practice, since Paul was a special guest and intended to leave the next day. The Didache makes explicit the connection between the breaking of bread and the Lord's Supper on the Lord's Day but says little else concerning the meeting, apart from mentioning the practice of confession of sin (14:1). Pliny mentions two meetings on the "appointed day": the Christians first meet before dawn to sing a hymn to Christ "as to a god" and to affirm certain ethical commitments; then they depart and reassemble for a meal. Not being a Christian himself, Pliny would not have understood the significance of the meal as a setting for the Lord's Supper; for him it was enough that the meal consisted "of ordinary, innocent food" (Epistle 10:96).

The most extensive account of an early Christian Sunday worship service is provided by Justin Martyr (Apology 67, cf. 65). According to Justin, the gathering begins with readings from "the memoirs of the apostles" the Gospels or the writings of the prophets for "as long as time permits." The "president" then delivers a sermon consisting of instruction and exhortation. Next, the congregation rises for prayer, following which the bread and wine are brought in for the Lord's Supper. After prayers and thanksgivings by the president and a congregational "Amen, " the deacons distribute the bread and wine to those who are present (and then carry some to those who are absent). There follows a collection of "what each thinks fit" for the needy, and, apparently, the end of the service.


Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

Noteworthy in these early texts is the lack of identification of Sunday with the Jewish Sabbath. Luke has little to say about early Christian observance of the Sabbath, apart from recording Paul's preaching on the Sabbath in Jewish synagogues ( Acts 13:14 Acts 13:42 Acts 13:44 ; 17:2 ; 18:4 ; 16:13 ), which perhaps says less about Paul's commitment to Sabbath observance than about his missionary strategy. Indeed, Paul has little interest in observing special days as sacred ( Rom 14:5-6 ; Gal 4:9-11 ; Col 2:16 ). Ignatius contrasts observance of the Sabbath with living for the Lord's Day (Magnesians 9:1). The Epistle of Barnabas views the significance of the biblical Sabbath as being a symbol of the future rest established at the return of Jesus (15:1-8; cf. Heb 4:3-11 ). Justin Martyr speaks of the Sabbath in terms of a perpetual turning from sin (Dialogue with Trypho 12). In 321 Constantine proclaimed Sunday to be official day of rest in the Roman Empire (Codex Justinianus 3.12.3), but this does not seem to have been related to any concern with the Jewish Sabbath. By the end of the fourth century, church leaders such as Ambrose and John Chrysostom were making such a connection, defending relaxation from work on Sunday on the basis of the Fourth Commandment and paving the way for later Catholic and Protestant elaboration on Sunday as the Sabbath.
In the early church, then, the Christians began to give a special place to Sunday as the day on which Jesus was raised from the dead. It soon became a fixed day for worship, a celebration of the resurrection centered around the Lord's Supper. As Christianity distanced itself from Judaism, it is not surprising that eventually the church would see its special day in terms of the special day of the Jews, the Sabbath, and would transfer the provisions of the Fourth Commandment to Sunday. Joseph L. Trafton

See also Worship

Anonymous said...

Well. Maybe the day was Pentecost.

RSK said...

Why Pentecost, specifically?

Truth said...

It is funny the things we can get hung up on. Whether or not John meant he was having these visions on a particular day, or was referring to a specific event, is irrelevant. To think one way or the other is not tied to our salvation, rather it is just a point for men who think they are smart, to squabble over. A very nice little trick of Satan.

Anonymous said...


Very convincing argument. I don’t know the answer and this goes to the central issue with the Book of Revelation. First, the writer from the Biblical Hermeneutics website states, “This doesn't rule out the possibility of it referring to the same thing, but it does make it highly unlikely and puts the proof of burden on those who would claim otherwise.” So let me serve the ball back into the writer’s court:

Rev 6:17 and Rev 16:14 both directly reference the prophetic Day of the Lord. Revelation contains a plethora of topics. Maybe John of Patmos is presenting the prophetic Day of the Lord in its larger context – its grand context. The broadness of scope does not necessarily mean that the book is about something else and the prophetic Day of the Lord is only an inclusion. It is also one of the most Judaic books in the New Testament. The author was clearly conversant with the Hebrew Bible at a detailed level. I think this argues for a Judaic lexicon throughout. In brief, I think there is an argument with merit that can be made that John of Patmos is referring to the prophetic Day of the Lord in spite of the atypical phraseology.

Beyond that, the essential problem is the history of the Book of Revelation. I have my doubts about its value to the modern church. It contains some beautiful language. But, still, it barely made it into the canon. And there are other pieces of apocalyptic literature that did not make it into the canon. Elaine Pagels has a good write up of its history in her book titled, “Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation.”

My hermeneutical rule is to never accept a doctrine based solely on language from the Book of Rsevelation. I regard much of its language as ornamental.


DennisCDiehl said...

The Book of Revelation was more likely written in the Summer of 69 or 70 just prior to the fall of Jerusalem and to the Jewish Christians under Roman occupation prior to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by Titus.

The obvious context was the coming of the Messiah to deliver them from the Romans (The Beast) and would do so within 3 1/2 years. It was not to be. The Romans won, again, and Revelation became the swan song of dying Jewish Christianity where the Apostle Paul's teachings, considered heresy by the Jewish Christian community would overtake it in the Gentile version.

It would be completely credible to believe the early Jewish Christians would take Paul as "the false prophet" where both he and Titus were worthy of being cast into the Lake of Fire.

Revelation is a failed first century prophecy given at a time in their history where the return of the militaristic Messiah would have been much anticipated however futile it proved to be. The pacified, pro-Roman Messiah in the form of Gospel Jesus was soon to be rolled out to put the problem of zealot and militant Jews and Christians, a thorn in the side of Rome, to rest.

There were no Christians at this time who would understand any reason for the author to mean "I was in vision on a Sunday". "I was in vision on the Day of the Lord and the victory of the Messiah over the Romans is imminent", is the context of all that follows in the text of Revelation. It was sadly mistaken.


RSK said...

So, if John, hanging around on Patmos, recognized the first day of the week as the "Lord's Day" and assumed his readers knew what that meant, is the book still valid for Sabbatarians?

BP8 said...

Isn't it interesting that Revelation is considered a failed first century prophecy because it didn't fulfill Dennis's interpretation of the obvious context?

Is Dennis the next Dave Pack?

Truth said...


Anonymous said...

"Truth said...

Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 11:32:00"

Who in the hell are you even responding to?

These one-word comments are totally useless. At least learn to use your copy and paste keys on your board.

RSK said...

He was responding to me. On at least some mobile browsers (i havent tried it on Safari), responses are indented under comments, so it's obvious who is being replied to. I've noticed desktop browsers don't always do that for some reason.

Byker Bob said...

To 11:42: Different computers respond in different ways to the comments. My ipad lists the comments in time-date order. My iphone breaks them down into what I describe as "call and response" order.

From my iphone, "Truth" made a comment about people getting sidetracked on days, rather than being focussed on the event, classifying the sidetracking as a deceptive technique of Satan. (Sat. 5:17 AM)

At 9:17, Sat., RSK responded to Truth's comment by asking, hypothetically, if John of Patmos had clearly meant the first day of the week, would Revelation still be deemed valid by sabbatarians.

At 11:32, Truth responded to RSK, that "Absolutely" (it still would)

To paraphrase Proverbs 15:22, In a multitude of computers, purposes are established.

The greater question might be, is a sabbatarian breaking the sabbath by posting comments on "Banned"


RSK said...

Well, if I may strike out part of Dennis' comment, BP8, I think the central point of what he's saying is that the timing of the book's writing coincided with the impending fall of Jerusalem, therefore John was saying "the day of the Lord is here".

My question would be whether John actually had any knowledge of that happening while in exile on Patmos. He may have, he may not. Maybe the "Patmos Daily Times" was covering it. :)

Now granted, the more common dating is held to be much later than 69 or 70.

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

I have learned my lesson about being dogmatic (look how that has turned out for the ACOGs). My point is that the traditional understanding of the "Lord's Day" is more probable and makes more sense than Herbie's take on it. The book of Revelation covers a whole lot of history, and I share Scout's view that almost everything in the book is symbolic. This is a dangerous book to misinterpret (as evidenced by the things that have been said about it over the last two thousand years). It is simply much too simplistic to say that the theme of the book is the prophetic "Day of the Lord" or that it was focused solely on events in the First Century.

RSK said...

Why, exactly, Truth?

Anonymous said...

Another useless post from some obscure webpage that was previously modified (for an error that was committed, I suppose). Easy for Lonnie to pick something out of a hat to shoot down Sabbath observance, even though the Lord testified that He is Lord of the Sabbath, not of Sunday. So you really think He kept everyone including the apostles in the dark about ultimately switching over to Sunday?

So Lonnie is on the evangelical/catholic side when it comes to Sunday observance? I wonder if he ceases from his works on Sunday as God did from His on the Sabbath? (Heb 4:10) People killed over Sunday observance. We go from rebels who hated Sabbath-keeping strictness in the early days to the authorities killing their fellowman for not keeping Sunday.

As for the gospel of Peter, Ignatius to the Magnesians, the Didache and the Barnabas epistle, any references there to the Lord's day are spurious insertions, a lie that billions have fallen for, in order to switch from anything that is Jewish in appearance. For example, Barn 15:9 can be seen to be doctored, falsified, tampered with BECAUSE THE PRECEDING VERSES SUPPORT SABBATH-KEEPING. You build a case on good premises (v1-6) and then all of a sudden you get a left turn (v6-9)? Not happening.

Lots of circumstantial "evidence" from Trafton in the above posts but no proof that the true church was observing Sunday.

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

Lonnie, as has been his practice for almost fifty years, continues to observe the Sabbath. However, he also recognizes that the ACOG narrative about when, why, and how Sunday observance began is wrong. It is clear to me that Sunday observance began in the First Century, and that it was adopted to celebrate Christ's resurrection (and distinguish Christ's disciples from the Jews). I love the Sabbath, but Christians are NOT obligated to observe it! Moreover, I have no trouble worshipping with my brothers and sisters in Christ on the Lord's Day.

RSK said...

Are there earlier versions of those works omitting said interpolations, 1:59?

RSK said...

"It is clear to me that Sunday observance began in the First Century..."

Can you give a rough date? Around when in the first century?

Anonymous said...

*Sunday observance may have begun in the first century but does not distinguish Christ's disciples from the Jews because Christ's disciples do not observe Sunday as opposed to Saturday. *God is to be worshiped in spirit and truth which cannot be done "in Christ" on Sunday if the believer has substituted Sunday for Saturday as the sabbath. *If Jesus was raised from the grave before midnight Saturday night, a distinct possibility, His resurrection was not on Sunday. *The new covenant, an agreement between two or more parties, includes observance of the fourth commandment. *Live healthy adult chickens have feathers.

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...


All four Gospels make clear that Christians associated Christ's resurrection with the first day of the week. Likewise, the fact of Christ's resurrection is celebrated throughout the collection of writings which we refer to as the New Testament. That this event was celebrated in the generic sense of that term is made clear by all of those references within the writings of Christ's early disciples (See Acts 2:24, 32, 3:15, 3:26, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 13:30, 34, 37, 17:31, Romans 4:24-25, 6:4, 9, 7:4, 8:11, 10:9, I Corinthians 15:15-17, II Corinthians 4:14, Galatians 1:1, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 2:12, I Thessalonians 1:10, II Timothy 2:8, I Peter 1:21). So, we get the distinct impression that the fact of Christ's resurrection was very important to these folks.

When did they actually start worshipping on that day? We know that the Church was founded on Pentecost and there are a couple of references to that day as having some significance to the Christians to whom Paul preached. It is also important to remember that most Gentiles didn't have ANY traditions associated with weekly worship prior to this time. Hence, it is logical to assume that Gentile Christians quickly adopted what was already a significant day to Jewish Christians. Moreover, knowing that the Jews were crushed, and the Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 CE, and that Sunday observance was the standard by the early Second Century, it is clear that it must have been the tradition for many years prior. From the available evidence, I think that it would be highly speculative to speak with any more specificity on this subject than this.

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

Matthew 18:20 KJV: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

RSK said...

It would be, but go with me on this. Say, c. 70? The Epistle of Barnabas must at least postdate that year, and the Didache is believed to have been composed somewhere the late first century or very early second, no?

(Asuuming the interpolation commenter above doesnt gave something to offer...)

RSK said...

3:36 - and, therefore, what does John mean by the Lord's Day?

Anonymous said...

Lord’s day

Rev 1:10a I was in the Spirit on [en] the [te] Lord's [kyriake] day [hemera]...

“Since this is the only place in the NT where this expression is used, its identification is difficult” (Alan F. Johnson, Revelation, EBC, Vol.12, p.424).

“Though the language is Greek, the thoughts and idioms are Hebrew... and indeed is called by many “bad Greek” ” (E. W. Bullinger, Revelation, pp.5, 4)

Ex 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:...

"It seems that behind the expression "on the Lord's day" in Rev 1:10 lies the Hebrew phrase, "a day belonging to Yahweh," perhaps an abbreviation of "the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God" (Ex. 20:10)...” (Daniel I. Block, Deuteronomy, NIVAC, p.173).

“Paul uses kyriake as an adjective in 1 Corinthians 11:20 in reference to the "Lord's supper" (kyriakon deipnon). Some feel that John was transported into the future day of the Lord, the prophetic day of God's great judgment and the return of Christ..." (Alan F. Johnson, Revelation, EBC, Vol.12, p.424).

“In Revelation 1:10 we are told that John saw and received this revelation on “the Lord’s Day”...

“The majority of people, being accustomed from their infancy to hear that first day of the week called the Lord’s Day, conclude in their own minds that that day is thus called in Rev 1:10 because that was the name of it. But the contrary is the fact: the day is so called because of this verse.

Jn 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early,

“In the New Testament this day is always called “the first day of the week.” (See Matt 28:1; Mark 16:1, 2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19. Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2). Is it not strange that in this one place a different expression is thought to refer to the same day? And yet, so sure are the commentators that it means Sunday, that some go as far as to say it was “Easter Sunday,” and it is for this reason that Rev 1:10-19 is chosen in the New Lectionary of the Church of England as the 2nd Lesson for Easter Sunday morning” (E.W. Bullinger, Revelation, p.9).

“According to Yechel Lichtenstein’s commentary ... the late second-century writer Irenaeus mentioned a church tradition that the Messiah will return during Pesach and believed that en te kuriake emera refers not to Sunday but to the first day of Pesach” (David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, p.791).

“There is no evidence of any kind that “the first day of the week” was ever called “the Lord’s Day” before the Apocalypse was written. That it should be so called afterward is easily understood, and there can be little doubt that the practice arose form the misinterpretation of these words in Rev 1:10. It is incredible that earliest use of a term can have a meaning which only subsequent usage makes intelligible...” (E. W. Bullinger, Revelation, pp.9-10).

“The major objection to this [the prophetic day of God’s great judgment] is that John does not use the common expression for the eschatological “day of the Lord” (hemera kyrious)” (Alan F. Johnson, Revelation, EBC, Vol.12, p.425).

“Objection has been taken to the interpretation of “the Lord’s Day” here, because we have (in 1:10) the adjective “Lord’s Day instead of the noun (in regimen) “of the Lord,’ as in Hebrew. But what else could it be called in Hebrew? Such objectors do not seem to be aware of the fact that there is no adjective for “Lord’s” in Hebrew; and therefore the only way of expressing “the Lord’s Day is by using the two nouns, “the day of the Lord” — which means “the Lord’s Day” (Jehovah’s day). It is useless, therefore to make any objection on this ground; for if a Hebrew wanted to say “the Lord’s Day,” he must say “the day of the Lord.”

Anonymous said...

Part 2

“In the Greek there are two ways of expressing this (as in modern languages); either by saying literally, as in Hebrew, “the day of the Lord” (using the two nouns); or by using the adjective “Lord’s” instead. It comes to exactly the same thing as to significance; the difference lies only in the emphasis.

“The natural way of qualifying a noun is by using an adjective, as here — (kyriakee) Lord’s and when this is done, the emphasis takes its natural course, and is placed on the noun thus qualified (“day”). But when the emphasis is required to be placed on the word “Lord;”, the noun would be used in the genitive case, “of the Lord.” In the former case (as in Rev 1:10), it would be the Lord’s DAY.” In the latter case it would be The LORD’S day.” The same day is meant in each case, but with a different emphasis.

Rev 1:10a I was in the Spirit on the Lord's-day (hemera) (YLT).

1 Cor 4:3 and to me it is for a very little thing that by you I may be judged, or by man’s Day (hemera), but I do not even judge myself, (LSV).

“By way of illustration and proof, we may call attention to the fact that we have the corresponding expression concerning another “day.” In Luke 17:22 we have “the days of the Son of Man,” where the emphasis must be on “THE SON OF MAN” (as shown by the context). When in 1 Cor 4:3 we have “man’s DAY,” with the emphasis on “day,” making that “day” as being actually present, as it now is. This is so clear from the context that it is actually translated “judgement,” which is exactly what it means. The apostle says — “It is a very small thing, that I should be judged of you, or of man’s DAY.” The emphasis is on day, because the time is which we now live is the time, or “day,” when man is judging” (E. W. Bullinger, Revelation, pp.11-12).

1 Cor 3:13 of each the work shall become manifest, for the day shall declare it, (YLT).
1 Cor 3:13a And the quality of each person's work will be seen when the Day of Christ exposes it. (GNT).

“As A. T. Robertson observed concerning Paul’s dramatic disavowal of concern with “human” judgment: ‘by human day,’ in contrast to the Lord’s Day ... in 3:13. ‘That is the tribunal which the Apostle recognizes; a human tribunal he does not care to satisfy’ ” (Word Pictures in the New Testament ... p.103)” (Marion L. Soards, 1 Corinthians, NIBC, p.90).

Isa 2:11  For the eyes of the Lord are high, but man is low; and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low, and the Lord [kurios] alone shall be exalted in that day. (LXX, Brenton).
“Another day is coming and that is the day when the Lord will be present, and he will be the judge. This is the reason why the adjective ... (antropinee) man’s, is used in 1 Cor 4:3; and this is why ... (kyriakee), Lord’s, is used in Rev 1:10. So far from the adjective being an argument against our conclusion, it is an argument in favour of it. For what is the “DAY of the Lord” or “the LORD’S day”? The first occurrence of the expression (which is the key to its meaning) is in Isa 2:11. It is the day when “the lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted”...

“From all this evidence we feel justified in believing that the Apocalypse consists of a series of visions, which set forth the events connected with “the Revelation of Jesus Christ,” which will take place during “the Lord’s DAY;” the day being so called because it is viewed as being then present; and as it had been called heretofore in prophecy, “the day of the Lord” ” (E. W. Bullinger, Revelation, pp.12-15).

“On the Day of the Lord. If this is what Greek en te kuriake emera means, as I believe it does, Yochanan is reporting the unique experience of having seen God’s final judgment...

Anonymous said...

Part 3

“I think my translation is supported by the context, since the whole book of Revelation is about the Last Judgment, which over an over in the Tanakh is called in Hebrew “yom-YHVH” (the day of Adonai,” “the Day of the Lord”). On the other hand, Ignatius, who claimed to be a disciple of the emissary Yochanan, wrote letters two decades or so after Revelation was written, in which he uses “kuriake” to mean Sunday — as does modern Greek. This only shows how quickly the Jewish roots of the New Testament were forgotten or ignored” (David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, p.791).

“Luke does not perceive paganism as the church’s principal threat; rather, the church’s outreach is substantially weakened by the loss of its connection with the core beliefs and practices of repentant Israel...

“The spiritual crisis as Luke sees it is the possible loss of a distinctively Jewish memory without which the church cannot be the church” (Robert W. Wall, The Acts of the Apostles, NIB, Vol.10, pp.9 & 214).

Ex 20:11 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.

“(Even if “on the Lord’s Day” is correct, Shabbat is not thereby moved from Saturday to Sunday; nor does “the Lord’s Day” replace of abrogate Shabbat (Mt 5:17); nor is Sunday mandatory as a day of worship for Christian or Messianic Jews. On this see Ac 20:7N, 1C 16:2N)” (David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, p.791).

IV Ezra 11:1 Then saw I a dream, and, behold, there came up from the sea an eagle, which had twelve feathered wings, and three heads.

2: And I saw, and, behold, she spread her wings over all the earth, and all the winds of the air blew on her, and were gathered together.

3: And I beheld, and out of her feathers there grew other contrary feathers; and they became little feathers and small.

4: But her heads were at rest: the head in the midst was greater than the other, yet rested it with the residue.

5: Moreover I beheld, and, lo, the eagle flew with her feathers, and reigned upon earth, and over them that dwelt therein.

6: And I saw that all things under heaven were subject unto her, and no man spake against her, no, not one creature upon earth.

“The word “apocalyptic” is derived from the New Testament Apocalypse 1:1 and is applied by modern scholars to a particular type of Jewish writing produced between 200 B.C. and A.D. 100. Most discussions of “apocalyptic” fail to point out that the word is used to describe two different historical phenomena: a genre of literature, and a particular kind of eschatology embodied in this literature” (George Eldon Ladd, The Presence of the Future, Rev. ed., p.77).

“Revelation is not a unique literary or theological work but belongs within a broad stream of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings...

“Not only were Jewish apocalypses circulating in the first century, the early Christians also produced other apocalyptic books which were not included in the canon, such as ... the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Book of Elchasai...

“For many who attempt to interpret Revelation for our day, Revelation and Daniel may represent the only apocalyptic material they have seen. The point of having such a list here [not cited] is to make clear that this was not the case for the first readers of Revelation. They had the advantage of recognizing that the communication from their prophet John was expressed in a language and thought which they were familiar. An excellent exercise for the modern interpreter is to read at least one of the above works; Second Esdras (also called IV Ezra) is readily available in editions of the Bible which include the Apocrypha or Deuter-Canonical books. Revelation will not look the same once one has seen even a small sample of the category of thought which it belongs...” (M. Eugene Boring, Revelation, pp.38-39).

Truth said...

This is the point. If you try and trap me by saying that John recognizes the Lord's Day as Sunday, rather than Sabbath; then we squabble over words, meanings, intent, etc ... This is nothing more than what the Church has done from time and memorial. To your question; without assuming what John meant, the great and terrible day, Sunday, Saturday, whatever; yes the book is absolutely viable for Sabbatarians. Why? The list is long, but here are a couple reasons.

Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

The point is that we don't get hung up on words regardless. The church did this over Pentecost, and are still doing it today. I'm quite convinced that no one has it right because of the fruits born.

Christ died for all mankind.
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by the blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.

If I'm a stock broker, and I give two people a financial tip, a friend and a stranger. Who gets to benefit? The friend only?

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

I received the following comment from CGI's Pastor Mike James:
It's funny that you use these other books of the NT with the phrase and not the uses of the phrase in Revelation. In Revelation 4:2; 17:3; 21:10 we have John "in the spirit" in the midst of a dream or vision. I think the same is true in Revelation 1:10 also. He is told to write what "he sees" in Revelation 1:11...write it in a book. Sounds like all of Revelation is primarily a vision (Revelation 9:17). As far as the "Lord's Day" there is debate on what that means, but since it is only used once in the New Testament and the usage of it as Sunday was not a common occurrence at the time John wrote we can't be too sure. But to say the book of Revelation is not primarily about the Day of the Lord??? Come on Lonnie...
Let's take a look:
Revelation 4:1-6, ESV: After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that had the appearance of an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings[a] and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal.
Yes, the context is a vision OF GOD'S THRONE.
Revelation 17:1-6, ESV: Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.
Yes, this is a vision OF THE GREAT WHORE, drunk with the blood of Christians through the centuries.
Revelation 21:9-14, ESV: Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
Yes, it's a vision OF NEW JERUSALEM (After the Day of the Lord and the Millenium)
Notice that none of these visions has anything to do with the DAY OF THE LORD!
(continued below)

Miller Jones/Lonnie C Hendrix said...

As BP8 pointed out in his commentary (on my blog), Revelation 6:17 refers to "the great day of their wrath." And, Revelation 16:14 refers to the demonic forces that gather the leaders of the earth "for battle on the great day of God the Almighty."
Hence, we have two occasions where John uses this wording to specifically identify the Day of the Lord. So, how likely do you think it would be for him to use the "Lord's Day" to describe the same event?
We should also note that the phrase "Day of the Lord" is used to describe that day in both the Old and New Testaments. Notice these references in the New Testament: Acts 2:20, I Thessalonians 5:2, II Peter 3:10. Thus, it seems far-fetched to me to suggest that John would depart from this phraseology on this one occasion to use a special phrase to describe this day.
Finally, to state that the theme of the book of Revelation is the Day of the Lord ignores a great deal of the subject matter of the book (the story of Christ, the Church, the fall of Jerusalem, the False Babylonian system of this world, the Tribulation, the Millenium, the Great White Throne Judgment, and the New Heavens and New Earth! Thus, while the Day of the Lord certainly is described in the book's pages, we can see that the theme of the book is that God will carry out his plans despite the activities of Satan and humankind.

BP8 said...

After reading 648, is there any doubt the WCG borrowed much from E.W. Bullinger? Ted use to quote The Companion Bible notes all the time in sermons, even giving Bullinger the credit. Although I disagree with certain Bullinger interpretations, he is one of my favorite Bible scholars.

Good post and comments. Both sides were well represented.

RSK said...

No, Truth, there's no "gotcha" moment coming. I'm simply asking these questions because I'm curious what the range of answers would be, that's all.

Truth said...

Well my apologies then.

Truth said...

Sorry that it takes you a complete sentence to understand basics.