[M & B] Re: Porter-Dugger Debate
- --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
Ernest <ernest77h@...> wrote:
>Possibly first-century, don't forget, and
> Re: [M & B] Re: Porter-Dugger Debate
> The quotations are from a second-century
> document called the Epistle of Barnabas,
> also known as Pseudo-Barnabas...
no later than 132 AD, from internal evidence.
> ...as the author of the epistle was clearlyIt has been suggested that the document is
> not the Barnabas who was associated with
> Paul. No one knows for certain who he was.
a preserved form of an oral tradition that
was not tranferred into written form until
some years later. The writer's apparent lack
of awareness of any written Synoptic Gospels
seems to support this idea.
But thank you for not using words like
"forgery" and "spurious" as so many of your
Sabbatarian brethren are wont to do in their
attempts to distract attention away from the
simple fact that, regardless of its authorship
or the degree to which it is "inspired",
"Pseudo-Barnabas" is a genuine historical
document from the very early years of
the Church that undeniably records first-day
(eighth-day) worship services.
> The Barnabas of the New Testament wasIt would be hard for me to explain how overjoyed
> already a disciple of Christ before he met
> Paul (Acts 11:22-26). Pseudo-Barnabas mentions
> keeping the "eighth day," or day after the
> seventh. The "present Sabbath" he mentions is
> the seventh day, which points to a millennial
> Sabbath--the seventh thousand-year period from
I was when I first happened upon the Epistle of
Barnabas on the internet. Through my own
personal studies I had already figured out, years
before, that Time does some funny things in the
Bible, and that God has never yet "rested" from the
beginning of the Creation until now (something that
is incompatible with my fundamentalist upbringing,
but even when I was a little kid that question of
what happens when God rests bothered me.) To
find what I had arrived at on my own, through the
books of our own Canonical Scriptures, corroborated
in a document from the earliest years of Christianity
gave me a lot of assurance that I was on the right
track with my "studies".
(Don't get me wrong, though; there are some things
in "Barnabas" that are highly doubtful, and I am
not suggesting at all that it should have been
accepted into the Canon. But it *is* a historical
document, and the last part of it contains
commandments for Christians that mirror the first
part of the Didache, which is even earlier than
"Barnabas" and is thought to be a corrupted form
of the teachings of the Apostles themselves. The
Didache also makes reference to assembly on "the
Lord's own day".)
> Apparently, his meaning is that theRather, the millennial Sabbath is the last phase
> millennial Sabbath is the first phase of
> the New Creation, which fully comes about
> after the seventh millennial day.
of this present Creation. The eighth day is the
"beginning" of the New Creation. But let's not
get too hard-wired into this idea of linear Time...
> Pseudo-Barnabas seems to be saying that he andHe certainly says the "present Sabbaths" are
> others observe Sunday with this hope in mind.
> But does he mean that Sunday, not Saturday,
> is the acceptable day in God's sight? I don't
> think that's what he means.
not acceptable to the Lord in the 15th chapter.
He is more explicit in chapter 2, though:
What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices,
saith the Lord. I am full of whole burnt-offerings,
and the fat of lambs and the blood of bulls and of
goats desire not, not though ye should come to be
seen of Me. or who required these things at your
hands? Ye shall continue no more to tread My court.
If ye bring fine flour, it is in vain; incense is
an abomination to Me; your new moons and your
Sabbaths I cannot away with.
These things therefore He annulled, that the new
law of our Lord Jesus Christ, being free from the
yoke of constraint, might have its oblation not
made by human hands.
> In fact, his linking the seventh day withFrom what he says above, I seriously doubt he
> the Millennium may suggest that he and/or
> other Christians were also observing the
> seventh day.
is "observing the seventh day".
> It is known, through other documents, thatCould you provide us with some information about
> some Christian groups observed both days in
> the early centuries, though they recognized
> the distinction between Sabbath and Sunday.
which "other documents" you are referring to?
As far as I have been able to gather, the only
groups who observed both days were the Ebionites
and the Nazarenes, who practiced some form of
hybrid religion -- sort of a "Hail Mary and
Moses too" doctrine where circumcision and other
aspects of the Law of Moses were required. Are
those the "Christian groups" you are talking
From "Barnabas" we can make note of several
1) Sunday worship predated Constantine's (the
so-called "sun-worshipper") edict by at least
190 years. The claim that Rome (as the "Beast")
forced Sunday services (as the "mark of the
Beast") on the world is therefore patently false.
Instead, it seems a little more reasonable to
believe Constantine declared Sunday a day of
worship for Rome because the early Christians
were already worshipping on that day and he, as
a convert, was using his authority to promote
the Faith, which is what secular history says
2) The author of the epistle writes as if he is
neither Jewish nor Romish, referring to Rome
as "their (the Jews') enemies", and nowhere
does he indicate that Rome has been meddling
around with telling the Christians when
or how to worship.
In fact, "Barnabas" gives his own explanation
(and it seems like a good one!) of why the
Christians adopted the first day of the week.
It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Sun.
Instead of Rome, the author more particularly
seems to have a bone to pick with the Jews:
"Ye ought therefore to understand. Moreover I ask
you this one thing besides, as being one of
yourselves and loving you all in particular more
than my own soul, to give heed to yourselves now,
and not to liken yourselves to certain persons who
pile up sin upon sin, saying that our covenant
remains to them also."
3) While the author does link Rome with the
prophecies of Daniel and others, there is no
hint that "keeping the eighth day" has
anything to do with any "mark of the beast".
In fact, Rome's destruction of the Temple is
treated as the fulfillment of the prophecy for
the Jews, not the Christians. From an
eschatological standpoint this is an important
detail. I'm not sure we need to get off very deep
into end-times, but what Rome did to Jerusalem
was a solemn warning for us today. But our "Rome"
-- our "Babylon" -- is somewhat more insidious
than a mere country that can be drawn on a map.
4) The Resurrection is recorded as having occurred
on the first day of the week, just like we have
been led to believe by the Gospels, and not on
the seventh, as some Sabbatarians try to argue.
Once you really start looking into it, it
turns out there is a great deal of evidence out
there beyond the bounds of our own Scriptures that,
when taken with what we know from the Bible, shows
that Sunday has been a day of worship since the
very beginning of the Church.
Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism