The Great Controversy describes Constantine as making Sunday a public festival.

In the early part of the fourth century the emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire.

In her early writings we twice see that it was the Pope that changed the day.

But the Pope had changed it from the seventh to the first day of the week; for he was to change times and laws.
The pope has changed the day of rest from the seventh to the first day.

Since Constantine was never pope these 3 passages can not be speaking of the same person.

Who do the Seventh Day Adventists say changed the Sabbath day?


4 Answers 4


Seventh day adventist would argue that the sabbath has not been changed to Sunday.

However what you are referring to is when in history did the change creep into doctrine. The information you have is correct, first Constantine made the decree for the festivals on Sunday. This made it easier for christians to simply follow along without fear of persecution.

The pope did eventually make Sunday a day of rest at some point in the future. (I don't have the date) but many christians already were gathering on that day.

  • Follow this link biblelight.net/sylvester-I.htm To find which pope made it official and feel free to edit in quotes from Rabanus Mauros writings that are found there about pope Sylvester
    – 007
    Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 15:14

There is no question of controversy about this:

  • No one claims that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday.
  • Everyone admits that the official day of rest was moved from the Sabbath to Sunday.
  • There's nothing specific to the SDA church in this issue, other than that they believe humans do not have authority to change God's laws.

Here are a few quotations from Wikipedia (many many more can be found elsewhere):

Protestant churches admit that Sunday as a day of rest is non-biblical:

Lutheran church historian Augustus Neander states "The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance". — Sabbath in Christianity - Wikipedia

The Catholic church claims that it moved the day of rest to Sunday:

Cardinal James Gibbons affirmed Sunday observances as one of the examples of the Roman Catholic Church's sufficiency as guide:

Now the Scriptures alone do not contain all the truths which a Christian is bound to believe, nor do they explicitly enjoin all the duties which he is obliged to practice. Not to mention other examples, is not every Christian obliged to sanctify Sunday and to abstain on that day from unnecessary servile work? Is not the observance of this law among the most prominent of our sacred duties? But you may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify.
— Faith of Our Fathers, Cardinal Gibbons, p. 72

Sabbath in Christianity - Wikipedia

In fact, the Catholic church takes pride in having moved it, using it to prove that, despite claiming sola scriptura, Protestant churches actually accept the authority of Rome.

"Question: Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept? "Answer: Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her — she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority." — Stephen Keenan, A Doctrinal Catechism 3rd ed., p. 174.

"Question: Which is the Sabbath day? "Answer: Saturday is the Sabbath day. "Question: Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? "Answer. We observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic Church transferred the solemnity from Saturday to Sunday." — Peter Geiermann, C.S.S.R., The Converts Catechism of Catholic Doctrine (1957), p. 50.

History records that the day of rest was established as Sunday during the 2nd and 3rd centuries:

The 2nd and 3rd centuries solidified the early church's emphasis upon Sunday worship and its rejection of a Jewish (Mosaic Law-based) observation of the Sabbath and manner of rest. Christian practice of following Sabbath after the manner of the Hebrews declined, prompting Tertullian to note "to [us] Sabbaths are strange" and unobserved. Even as late as the 4th century, Judaizing was still sometimes a problem within the Church, but by this time it was repudiated strongly as heresy.

Sunday was another work day in the Roman Empire. On March 7, 321, however, Roman Emperor Constantine I issued a civil decree making Sunday a day of rest from labor, stating: All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable day of the sun. Country people, however, may freely attend to the cultivation of the fields, because it frequently happens that no other days are better adapted for planting the grain in the furrows or the vines in trenches. So that the advantage given by heavenly providence may not for the occasion of a short time perish. — Sabbath in Christianity - Wikipedia

A very long list of quotations on this topic can be found in Roman Catholic and Protestant Confessions About Sunday


Your question is very unclear and a bit of a misnomer. Hope this will explain, and answer what you are trying to ask.
It seems that what you mean is "Who changed the official day of worship from Saturday to Sunday? Am I right.

First of all- The 7th Day Adventists worship on Saturday - Thus the name 7th day Adventists. One of the things that makes them unique is their opposition to the Catholic Church trying to make this change.

The Sabbath is Saturday- the 7th day and has always been and always will be. Sunday is not the Sabbath - it is a complete misnomer. It came because the Catholic church blamed the Jews for the crucifixion and there is a long and well-documented disdain for everything Jewish, and one Pope even banned circumcision. The Bible doesn't say anywhere that Jesus rose on the First day - Sunday. It says that the women came to the tomb while it was still dark and he had risen.

But their reasoning is that he rose on Sunday, - so they changed the day of worshipping from Saturday to Sunday, but they never changed the Sabbath. God ordained the Sabbath and no one can change that.

People for centuries have mistakenly referred to Sunday as the Sabbath, because that is the day that Protestant worship and many stores in England were closed on this day, and this custom was brought to the New World with the Pilgrims who came from Holland.

  • ”It came because the Catholic church blamed the Jews for the crucifixion and there is a long and well-documented disdain for everything Jewish, and one Pope even banned circumcision.” What are your sources, please?
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 8:24


Constantine was considered to be pope and emperor.

  • 2
    This Pope Constantine lived in the eighth century. The Emperor Constantine referred to by the OP lived in the fourth century. Commented Dec 31, 2017 at 15:52

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