Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

All kinds of blessings are in the Catholic feast days and sabbath, but here, Paul is talking about the different days that each person holds sacred.

Why should one keep a day holy if it's useless? You don't keep shabbat just to rest, there are blessings, the feast brings spiritual blessing, so if the feasts or days can't give you that anymore, why keep them?

What is the Catholic interpretation of this verse?

  • 1
    Whether or not a Catholic Doctrinal position would confine itself to as narrow a cherry pick of Scripture as you presented is debatable. When reading scripture, it is productive to look for contextual clues. Have you read the whole Epistle to the Romans? Have you read all of Ch 14? Also, please edit your title, it refers to a different verse. Mar 18, 2016 at 20:18
  • off course I have read The whole Epistel to the Romans.But if I had to add to this complex question,sometimes there will be ,what is called "truth claims or too broad.
    – hhh123
    Mar 18, 2016 at 21:16
  • cherry pick? This is a questions,a major question!All kinds off blessings are in the feast days and sabbath,here Paul is talking about:consider each day,what days you hold sacred.How are we to understand this scripture?
    – hhh123
    Mar 18, 2016 at 21:20
  • This question reflects a lack of research. At the link, read notes 1 and 2 once you have read that page/chapter. Once you have read that, either reformulate or revise the question. In any case, the question is incomplete by the evidence of your comments. Mar 18, 2016 at 21:59
  • 1
    Please take the points and reasons that you mention in your second and third comments and *edit the points into the question to make your intent clear. As written, it is still incomplete without the clarification you add in your comments. Mar 19, 2016 at 22:27

3 Answers 3


According to the Catholic Encyclopedia The sabbath in the New Testament:

St. Paul enumerates the Sabbath among the Jewish observances which are not obligatory on Christians (Colossians 2:16; Galatians 4:9-10; Romans 14:5). The gentile converts held their religious meetings on Sunday (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2) and with the disappearance of the Jewish Christian churches this day was exclusively observed as the Lord's Day.

Catholics interpret Romans 14:5 as meaning that the Bible supports the Roman Church's decision to move God's holy day from the Sabbath to Sunday.

For denominations that don't follow Rome's teachings, the interpretation is quite different though. The entire chapter of Romans 14 talks about one common theme: new Gentile converts and how they should be handled.

New converts are coming from a completely different view of the world. Many of them are Vegetarians, Ascetics, or other sects that believe that physical deprivation improves the soul. It will take some time for them to adjust to the new reality of Christianity, and the current Christians should be careful not to push the process too quickly.

For instance, Vegetarians believe that eating meat is a sin. Christians know that it isn't, but if they try to force meat onto someone that still feels as if it is a sin, they risk causing that convert to leave them. Paul points out that it is not a sin to refrain from eating meat, so there is no point in pushing this aspect of Christianity. Instead, one should stick to the more fundamental beliefs of Christianity, and the converts will eventually accept less important aspects of their new life, such as eating meat without feeling guilty.

Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. -- Romans 14:19-20

Arguing a Vegetarian into eating meat, even though he (incorrectly) feels that it is wrong, might cause him to reject his new relationship with God.

Similarly some converts might have no concept of a special day of the week, while other might think that the day the Romans dedicate to Apollo the Sun God should be treated specially. Eventually the new converts will understand the truth, but forcing them to behave in a way they still feel is wrong is going to do far more harm than good. It is far better to concentrate on teaching the doctrines of salvation first.

  • "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. - Philippians 3:15" +1 May 19, 2022 at 12:37

Perhaps the most concise way to answer this is to share influential commentaries from Doctors of the Church and others whom the Catholic Church draws from. (All bolded text is from me).

St. John Chrysostom — "Here he seems to me to be giving a gentle hint about fasting"

This Doctor of the Church contends that Paul is speaking about fasting, condemning those who fast on some fixed days but not others. Although Paul is more strong in his critique in other books, he suggests that the faith of the Romans was newly developed, and thus he was more gentle in his correction.

Here he seems to me to be giving a gentle hint about fasting. For it is not unlikely that some who fasted were always judging those who did not, or among the observances it is likely that there were some that on fixed days abstained, and on fixed days did not. Whence also he says, Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. And in this way he released those who kept the observances from fear, by saying that the thing was indifferent, and he removed also the quarrelsomeness of those who attacked them, by showing that it was no very desirable (or urgent, περισπούδαστον) task to be always making a trouble about these things. Yet it was not a very desirable task, not in its own nature, but on account of the time chosen, and because they were novices in the faith. For when he is writing to the Colossians, it is with great earnestness that he forbids it, saying, Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the traditions of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8, see p. 4 And again, Let no man judge you in meat or in drink Colossians 2:16, and, let no man beguile you of your reward. Colossians 2:18 And when writing to the Galatians with great precision, he exacts of them Christian spirit and perfectness in this matter. But here he does not use this vehemency, because the faith was lately planted in them. Let us therefore not apply the phrase, Let every man be persuaded in his own mind, to all subjects. For when he is speaking of doctrines, hear what he says, If any one preaches unto you any gospel other than that you have received, let him be accursed , even if it be an angel. And again, I fear lest by any means as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted. 2 Corinthians 11:3 And in writing to the Philippians, he says, Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. Philippians 3:2 But with the Romans, since it was not yet the proper time for setting things of this sort right, Let every man, he says, be fully persuaded in his own mind. For he had been speaking of fasting. It was to clear away the vanity of the others and to release these from fear then, that he said as follows: [the commentary continues with verse 6]

St. Augustine of Hippo — "It it is not about two men here, but of man and of God"

The "Doctor of Grace" suggests that the passage can be read as metaphorical between man who judges differently on different days and God who judges the same every day (although he admits that there are likely more accurate translations).

(Romans 14:5-6) “One, for example, judges on alternate days, another, on the other hand, judges any day.” Leaving aside, for the moment, some possible more accurate consideration, I believe that it is not about two men here, but of man and of God. He who makes judgments every other day is man, because he can judge today one way and tomorrow another; can today condemn one as bad, convicted or confessed, and tomorrow it turns out that it looks good, since it has been corrected. Or the other way around, today he praises one as a good person, and tomorrow he seems a degenerate. But he who judges every day is God, because he knows not only how each one is now, but how he will be day after day. Then: “Everyone is sure of their way of thinking,” says Paul. That is to say, each one arrives in his judgments to where it is allowed to the human understanding, or to each man in particular. The one who thinks one day, he continues, does it for the Lord, that is, what he judges correctly today, he does for the Lord. The one who gives exact judgment only for one day, regarding someone whose fault you see today as evident, is for you to learn that there is never to despair of its correction.

George Leo Haydock - "It is without grounds that some would pretend from hence, that Christians cannot be bound to fast, or abstain from flesh on certain days"

Although not a Doctor of the Church, his commentaries on the Douay-Rheims Bible are enduring. Haydock interprets this passage as focusing on the differences in opinions between those who wanted to keep the Mosaic law regarding days of fasting and those who did not. However, he makes it very clear that this difference does not apply to modern Christians, and that the Catholic Church could still institute these. In other words, Paul's instructions should be narrowly focused on the particular issue at hand.

Between day, &c. Still observing the sabbaths and festivals of the law. Ch.—And another judgeth every day. That is, thinks every day to be taken away, that was to be kept, merely because ordered under the Jewish law. And now since both they who keep days, or do not keep them; and they who eat or who abstain, do these things with a regard to God, and according to their conscience, let no one judge, or condemn the one party, nor the other; in these things, let every man abound in his own sense. It is without grounds that some would pretend from hence, that Christians cannot be bound to fast, or abstain from flesh on certain days. The apostle speaks only of the distinction of meats, called clean and unclean, and of fasts or feasts peculiar to the law of Moses. It does not follow from hence, that the Catholic Church hath not power to command days of fasting, and abstaining, for self-denial or humiliation. Wi.—The apostle here treats only of the subject in hand, viz. the Mosaic distinctions of clean and unclean meats: and in this he allows, for that present time, each one to follow his own private judgment.** S. Chrysostom observes that S. Paul did not wish the weak to be left to their own judgment in this, as in a point of no consequence; but that they should wait for a time. The converts were not immediately prohibited their accustomed practices, but they were tolerated in them for a while, till fully instructed. This we see in many of the converts at Jerusalem, who were still observers of the Mosaic ordinaces; this was tolerated, that the synagogue might be buried with honour. Estius.

  • "For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs." This seems to be something other than a divergence over fasting. I think Chrysostom and Haydock are wrong that this is about eating/abstaining such as in a fast. It sounds more like an omnivore/vegetarian dichotomy with the weak in faith believing vegetarianism is superior and it probably relates to his discourse on meat offered to idols wherein Paul says that the mature know that the idol is nothing. May 19, 2022 at 12:33

When reading Romans or any of the writings of Saint Paul, a Christian can and easily does get confused (see: 2 Peter 3:16) I remember reading the epistles when first investigating the faith as a mature adult and finding in them not the teaching of the Catholic Church but confusion and indeed something that seemed to resemble the teaching of Protestantism.

What I came to realize was that Paul was not addressing the current age, but an age where those who fallowed Christ were coming not from only the Jewish Tradition but from non- Jewish Tradition as well, the meaning of his writing became clear and everything falls into place. The two distinct traditions, Jewish and Non-Jewish, presented a challenge to the early church, when entering into Christ body the Church, differences created much contention between the two factions, Even more so came from those referred to a the circumcision party (GAL 2:2) Or those who were Pharisees (ACTS 15:5) who were not just ordinary Jewish converts, but converts who fallowed taught and judged the Law of Moses. The situation becomes even more distinct when you include Samaritans into the mix; their customs and practices were distinct from the worship done at the Temple.

In Paul’s letters, and especially Romans, Paul is addressing those issues, feast days, circumcision, genealogies, all of the 613 laws of Moses which many believed and rightfully so, that God commanded for his people. The Church, through the teaching authority of the Apostles and Elders are continuously addressing these conflicts in Acts and in the Epistles. Not describing the Protestant Man made Tradition of “Faith Alone” but New Covenant Christianity with adoption of Gentile and not Rabbinic Jewish Christians, which was taboo, into the Israel of God.

Now, when we look at Romans in light of the environment Paul was dealing with, we have the intermingling of various Abrahamic religions, those who are under the Law, and those coming from Pagan background who, by virtue of their specific customs celebrated feasts at different times according to their customs. The Passage is often quoted as referring to things like “The Nature of Baptism” but it does not, it is dealing with how Christians from different Cultures celebrate the Life Death and Resurrection of the Christ and how together as one Church they give all honor and Glory to God through his Son no matter what days they add to the Calendar to Worship.

  • "Church they give all honor and Glory to God through his Son no matter what days they add to the Calendar to Worship."This is off course true,because the same Paul says:everything is created for Jesus.But it sounds like,these days are not so important,there just important if you have faith in them?Sounds like that when I read the verse.
    – hhh123
    Mar 19, 2016 at 17:08

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