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#4.26 WHAT IS "THE LORD'S DAY" (Revelation 1:10)? SABBATH OR SUNDAY?
This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and is printable.
|Greek - Revelation 1:10 - English|
|ἐγενόμην ἐν πνεύματι ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ, καὶ ἤκουσα ὀπίσω μου φωνὴν μεγάλην ὡς σάλπιγγος||10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day1, and heard behind me the great voice, as of a trumpet,|
Note: There are many who believe that "the Lord's day,"
(Revelation 1:10) refers to the day that Jesus rose from the dead, paraphrased as "the first day of the week" (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; 16:9;
Luke 24:1; John 20:1), and thus taken to be Sunday. Even though there is not even one scripture to support the idea that
"the Lord's day" is Sunday, this still seems to be the most common interpretation. This study has shown that Jesus didn't rise on
Sunday anyway, although he did appear to his disciples on that day.
There are others who believe that it refers to the Sabbath, and they can use scripture to support their case. God himself instituted the Sabbath by sanctifying the seventh day for his own rest after creation (Genesis 2:2-3). After that God sometimes calls the Sabbath, "the Sabbath of the LORD" (Leviticus 23:3, 38), "the Sabbath of the LORD your God" (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14), "the holy Sabbath" (Exodus 16:23), "my holy day" (Isaiah 58:13), and "my Sabbaths" (Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 19:3, 19:30; 26:2; Isaiah 56:4; Ezekiel 20:12; 20:13; 20:16; 20:20; 20:21; 20:24; 22:8; 22:26; 23:38; 44:24), thus making it his day. Jesus declared himself to be "Lord of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5), so making this his day.
Yet others believe that "the Lord's day" refers to the day of the second coming of Christ, John seeing into the future in his vision, to the day when Jesus returns.
While according to the English translation, the Sabbath seems to be the most acceptable interpretation at first sight, none of them has real credibility according to the original Greek text. That translated "on the Lord's day," is in the Greek text ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ (Gtr. en te Kuriake hemera), and the whole meaning depends on the translation of the one word "kuriake", which has been translated "Lord's".
(1) To be correctly translated "Lord's" or "of the Lord" the Greek
word(s) should be in the genitive case, which is the possessive case, showing to whom it belongs. In almost every other case where the word "Lord's"
appears in the New Testament, it is correctly put in the genitive case, most referring to Jesus or God.
κυρίου, (Gtr. kuriou) (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:11; Luke 2:26; 1 Corinthians 7:22; 10:21).
τοῦ κυρίου, (Gtr. tou kuriou) (Romans 14:8; 1 Corinthians 10:26; 10:28; 11:26; 11:29; Galatians 1:19).
There are three referring to people (Matthew 25:18; Luke 12:47; 16:5).
Apart from these there are three others, two in the accusative case (1 Peter 2:13; 1 Corinthians 11:20), and one dative case (Revelation 1:10). That translated "the Lord's sake" (1 Peter 2:13), διὰ τὸν κύριον (Gtr. dia ton kurion), is the accusative case and literally means "because of the Lord". This use of the word "Lord's" here is brought about by a rephrasing of the actual translation, and is therefore not worth considering here. What we are left with are two others (1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 1:10), neither of which should be translated "Lord's" because they are not in the genitive case.
(2) Now examine the word "Kuriake" (Revelation 1:10). If this referred to Jesus it would have to be masculine gender, as it is in every other case where it refers to him, because Jesus (Gr. ἰησοῦς, Gtr. Yesous) is masculine in Greek. However, here it is not only dative case instead of genitive, but also feminine gender instead of masculine! This should destroy any notion that "kuriake" refers to Jesus.
(3) Lastly we need to look at the construction of the Greek sentence, as the order of the words is significant. If this meant "the Lord's day", even referring to a female Lord, it would usually be in the order τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ κυρίου (Gtr. te hemera tou kuriou) "the day of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14); but it isn't. Instead "Kuriakē" is inserted between the noun "hemera" and its article "tē", thus exactly following the correct grammatical construction for an adjective in the "Attributive Intermediate Position".
76. When a noun with the Article is qualified by an attributive adjective, the adjective generally stands between the Article and the noun.
The wise man, ὁ σοφὸς ἀνὴρ
Such a position of the adjective with reference to the Article and the noun is called the attributive position.
H.P.V. Nunn, A SHORT SYNTAX OF NEW TESTAMENT GREEK p60
7.21Where an adjective is used with an article and noun, the adjective goes either (a) between the article and the
noun ... described as the Attributive Intermediate Position ...
(a) Attributive Intermediate Position
Mt 27:53 (L7/5):
εἰσῆλθον εἰς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν,
they entered the holy city
Ward Powers LEARN TO READ THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT p85
This shows that in this case "Kuriake" is an adjective rather than a noun. This being so it should agree with its noun "hēmera" in both case and gender, and it does. Both are dative case, and both are feminine, confirming that this is simply an adjective describing the day, and is nothing at all to do with Jesus. John was in the Spirit on a lordly day. Just as a Lord is a man above other men, John saw this as a lordly day; a day above other days. The same reasoning applies to κυριακὸν δεῖπνον (Gtr. kuriakon deipnon), translated "the Lord's supper" (1 Corinthians 11:20), where "kuriakon" is also an adjective. It is in the accusative case, neuter in gender, and following the rules of Greek grammar for an adjective, it completely agrees with its noun "deipnon", which means "supper". Together they mean "a lordly supper", and "kuriakon" is the wrong case and wrong gender to be correctly rendered "Lord's". This bible study proves that the Lord's day (Revelation 1:10) is definitely not referring to Sunday, and cannot be used in any way as an argument against observing the Sabbath day.
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