Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi’s first reason for believing in the validity of Sabbath observance for New Testament Christians is the continuity between the Old and New Testaments. We have discussed this in other posts on this blog.
His second reason is that the Bible alludes, in the New Testament, to the Sabbath as a “creational” ordinance. Those who believe that the Sabbath has been abrogated argue that the Sabbath was created solely for the Jews. In three passages, Bacchiocchi argues that there is no validity to that position. In this post we look at the first of these texts that allude to an edenic origin to the Sabbath.
Sabbath Made for Humanity
The first passage that argues for a creational origin is Mark 2:27. In this passage, Jesus argues against the charge of his breaking the Sabbath by saying that “the Sabbath was made for humanity and not humanity for the Sabbath.”
Bacchicchi notes that the Greek word for “made” (ginomai) refers back to the origin of the Sabbath. In addition, the Greek word for humanity (anthropos) demonstrates that the Lord desired that it would have a human value.
Marriage and Sabbath
In Matthew 18:8, Jesus goes back to the beginning for a reference to argue against corruptions to Marriage. This is shown in Jesus saying “from the beginning it was not so.” Thus both the Sabbath and Marriage can be traced back to Eden. They were both created for humanity’s well being.
Human Well Being Above the Sabbath
Does Jesus’ statement that the Sabbath was made for humanity mean that humanity’s well being is above the Sabbath? Bacchiocchi notes that this question is not a good one because the Sabbath itself was made for the good of humanity. If the Sabbath is turned into a problem then it is not the Sabbath per-se’ but something else that has turned it into a hardship or burden.
Bacchioccchi rightly notes: “The welfare of man is not restricted but guaranteed by the proper observance of the Sabbath” (pg 43). Instead of seeking to do away with the Sabbath because it has supposedly become a liability to Christians, perhaps we should do away with faulty ways of keeping the Sabbath that may be a hardship.
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