Church of God, New World Ministries

Difficult Scriptures

Acts 20:7 - Does this say it was Paul's custom to observe Sunday?
  1. First of all, this scripture does not say Paul observed Sunday as a day of worship. If this were an example for us today, we would be starting the services on Saturday night Ė not on Sunday morning. Verse 7 shows Paul preached to them until midnight. Also services would have to continue till dawn (verse 11).

  2. Next, we need to realize that the breaking of bread was not a religious service, but merely the eating of a meal. Acts 27:33-38 proves this. Notice Paulís situation. He was a Roman prisoner in the midst of many Gentiles on board a ship (Acts 27:1-2). Obviously Paul was not holding a religious service. The men ate for their health (verses 33-34).

  3. Acts 20:3 does not describe a regular service. Notice the context. Paul was en route from Greece to Jerusalem (Acts 20:2-3, 16). Since he did not know when he would see the brethren again, he wanted to teach them as much as possible. The people were more than willing to listen. So, after the Sabbath Paul remained behind teaching the brethren, while his ship sailed around the peninsula (verse 13). He remained talking with them till midnight and continued after a short meal until daybreak (verse 11). Then after Paul had stayed as long as he could, he left them to walk across the peninsula to meet the boat (verses 13-14). He worked on that Sunday by taking this long walk of some 19 miles!

  4. There is nothing in the above scripture to indicate it was Paulís custom to observe Sunday. In fact, all through the book of Acts we see it was Paulís custom to observe the Sabbath (Acts 17:2; 13:14-15; 42-44).
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