worship characterized many of the early religions. In the Old World
it was important in ancient cultures, such as those of Babylon,
Egypt, Persia, North India, Greece, Rome. In the the New World it was
important in the agricultural southeast and southwest of the United
States, and in the cultures of Mexico, Central American, and the
with sun worship, the observance of the first day of the week, the
sun-day, played an important role in the pagan world. The North
British Review called Sunday "The wild solar holiday of all
times," and Constantine, in his famous Sunday edict, styled it
"the venerable day of the sun."
the sun-god, whose proper name was Marduk, was the patrol god of the
Babylonians. To him they dedicated the first day of the week. Their
calendar was adjusted in such a way that the first day of every month
was also the first day of the week.
is clear that the first day of every month was originally a day of
rest and fasting."--Langdon, Babylonian Menlogies and Semitic
Calendars, p. 86.
ancient Egypt the sun-cult originated at Heliopolis. The early
sun-god of the ancient Egyptians was Re, and later Osiris, who came
to be also the god of the dead and of the resurrection.
(day of the sun) as the name of the first day of the week is derived
from Egyptian astrology." --Catholic Encyclopedia, Art. Sunday.
day in the week, the planet to which the day was sacred was invoked
in a fixed spot in the crypt; and Sunday, over which the sun
presided, was especially holy." --Cumont, The Mysteries of
Mithra, p. 167.
the Hindus, every Sunday was a holy day. One author writes:
different days enjoy degrees of veneration according to certain
qualities which [the Hindus] attribute to [the days of the week].
They distinguish, for example, the Sunday, because it is the day of
the sun and the beginning of the week." --Albiruni's India, II,
is reported to have been of solar descent, as were the Incas of Peru
and are the present royal house of Japan (whose ancestress is stated
to have been the sun-goddess Amaterasu)." --E. Royston Pike,
Encyclopecia of Religion, Art. Sun Worship.
most ancient Germans being pagans, and having appropriated their
first day of the week to the peculiar adoration to the sun, whereof,
that day doth yet in our English tongue retain the name of
Sunday." --Verstegan, Antiquities, p. 10.
Sparta on the first day of every month the king made a sacrificial
offering to Apollon [or Appollo], the sun-god, and the same practice
was carried on at Athens." --Cook, Zeus, II, p. 237.
first day of the week was the Mithraic Sunday before it was the
Christian, and December 25 was Mithra's birthday." --E. Royston
Pike, Encyclopedia of Religion, Art. Mithraism.
popular worship of Mithra [the "Invincible Sun-god"]
became so pre-eminent in the Roman Empire in the days of Constantine,
that he decreed "The Venerable Day of the Sun" to be the
weekly rest day of the Empire.
authority points out the influence of Mithraism on Christianity, saying:
[Mithraism] had so much acceptance that it was able to impose on the
Christian world its own Sun-day in place of the Sabbath, its Sun's
birthday, 25th December, as the birthday of Jesus." --G. Murray,
Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge, pp. 73, 74.
another author says: "The early Christians had at first adopted
the Jewish seven-day week, with its numbered week days, but by the
close of the third century A.D. this began to give way to the
planetary week; and in the fourth and fifth centuries the pagan
designations became generally accepted in the western half of Christendom.
these same centuries the spread of Oriental solar worships,
especially that of Mithra, in the Roman world, had already led to the
substitution by the pagans of dies Solis (Sun-day) for dies Saturni
(Saturday), as the first day of the planetary week...Thus gradually a
pagan institution was engrafted on Christianity." --Hutton
Webster, Rest Days, pp. 220, 221.
to popular belief, there is not the slightest indication in the
Bible that Sunday observance may have originated with Christ or the apostles.
of Sunday Observance pamphlet was printed and distributed by Fortress Books in Roanoke, Virginia.
Related Topics: Abomination of Desolation
Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14