The choice of Sunday as the new day of Christian worship cannot be explained solely on the ground of negative anti-Judaic motivations. For instance, Christians could have achieved the same objective by adopting Friday as a memorial of Christ’s passion. We might say that anti-Judaism created the necessity for substituting a new day of worship for the Sabbath, but it did not determine the specific choice of Sunday. The reasons for the latter must be found elsewhere.
Several significant studies have suggested that Christians may have derived "a psychological orientation" toward Sunday from the sectarian solar calendar used by Qumranites and similar groups, where the annual omer day and day of Pentecost always fell on Sunday. (1) Though allowance must be made for such a possibility, we are at a loss to find any explicit patristic reference associating Easter Sunday or weekly Sunday with this sectarian solar calendar. (2) Moreover, if our thesis is correct that Sunday observance originated in Rome by the beginning of the second century, rather than in Jerusalem in the apostolic period, it seems most unlikely that Christians of pagan background would have derived the date for their annual and/or weekly Sunday festivities from a Jewish sectarian liturgical calendar, especially at a time when new festivals were introduced to evidence separation from Judaism.
The influence of Sun-worship with its "Sun-day," provides a more plausible explanation for the Christian choice of Sunday. The chief objection against this possibility is of chronological nature. W. Rordorf, for instance, argues that
"We can consider the possibility that the origin of the Christian observance of Sunday was influenced by some sun-cult only if a "day of the sun" existed before the Christian observance of Sunday, that is to say if we can prove the existence of the seven-day planetary week in pre-Christian times." (3)

What is the ancient origin of SUN WORSHIP?
He maintains however that "since the earliest evidence for the existence of the planetary week [i.e. our present week, named after seven planets] is to be dated toward the end of the first century A.D.," at a time when "the Christians observance of Sunday was a practice of long standing," any influence of Sun-worship on the origin of Sunday is to be categorically excluded. (4)
There is no question that the existence of the planetary week with its "Sun-day—dies solis" is crucial for determining any influence of Sun-worship on the Christian adoption of Sunday observance, inasmuch as the Sun before the existence of a weekly "Sun-day" was venerated every morning. (5) It is not indispensable however that the planetary week should have originated in pre-Christian times, if Sunday keeping was introduced in the early part of the second century. In fact, if it can be proved that the planetary week was in existence in the Greco-Roman world already in the first century of our era and that the Sun was venerated at that time on Sunday, then the possibility exists that Christians—especially new pagan converts—in their search for a new day of worship to differentiate themselves from the Jews could have been favorably predisposed toward the day of the Sun. The existence of a rich Biblical tradition that associated God and Christ with the power and splendor of the Sun could well have facilitated an amalgamation of ideas. To verify the validity of this hypothesis we shall briefly consider the follow factors:
1. Sun-worship and the planetary week prior to A.D. 150.
2. The reflexes of Sun-worship in Christianity.
3. The day of the Sun and the origin of Sunday.
Sun-Worship and the Planetary Week Prior to A.D. 150

Was Sun-worship known and practiced in ancient Rome in the first century A.D., and if so, to what extent? Gaston H. Halsberghe, in his recent monograph The Cult of Sol Invictus (part of the series on Oriental Religions in the Roman Empire edited by the living authority on the subject, M. J. Vermaseren), presents persuasive texts and arguments indicating that Sun-worship was "one of the oldest components of the Roman religion." (6) According to his well-founded conclusions, the Sun-cult in ancient Rome experienced two phases. Until the end of the first century A.D., the Romans practiced what he calls an "autochthonous [i.e. native or indigenous] Sun-cult," but "starting in the second century A.D., the Eastern Sun-worship began to influence Rome and the rest of the Empire." (7) A sampling of evidences will suffice to make us aware of its existence and importance.

How did Apostle Paul use a pagan altar to reveal the TRUE GOD?
A calendar of the time of Augustus (the Fasti of Philocalus dated before 27 B.C.) beside the date of August 9th reads: "Soli indigiti in colle Quirinali—to the native Sun on Quirinal hill." (8) Scholarly opinion differs on the interpretation of the phrase "native Sun—Sol indiges" which occurs in few ancient Roman texts, inasmuch as the Romans could well have designated the Sun as their national god, though in actuality it was an imported deity. (9) However, even granting that Sol indiges was not really indigenous to the Romans, the fact remains that it was regarded as a Roman god.
After the conquest of Egypt (31 B.C.) Augustus sent two obelisks to Rome and had them "dedicated to the Sun—Soli donum dedit" (10) in the Circus Maximus and in Mars Field to thank the same god for the victory. Tertullian reports that in his time (ca. A.D. 150-230) "the huge Obelisk" in the circus was still "set up in public to the Sun," and that the circus "was chiefly consecrated to the Sun." (11)
Several altars of the first century A.D. have been found dedicated to "the Sun and the Moon—Solis et Lunae." (12) Nero (A.D. 54-68) attributed to the Sun the merit for the discovery of the plot against him and erected the famous "Colossus Neronis at the highest point of the velia, representing the Sun, with the features of Nero and with seven long rays around his head." (13) Hadrian (A.D. 117-138), who identified himself with the Sun in his coins, according to Elius Spartianus (ca. A.D. 300) "dedicated to the Sun" the Colossus Neronis after removing the features of Nero. (14) Tacitus (ca. A.D. 55120) also reports that Vespasian’s (A.D. 69-79) third legion "according to the Syrian custom, greeted the rising sun." (15)
Halsberghe maintains that from the beginning of the second century the Eastern cult of "Sol Invictus—Invincible Sun" penetrated in Rome in two different fashions: privately, through the cult of Sol Invictus Mithra and publicly through that of Sol Invictus Elagabal. (16) While we disagree with the author on the date of the diffusion of Mithraism, since there are significant indications that it had reached Rome already in the first century A.D., (17) the differentiation between the two cults is persuasively demonstrated. Mithraism primarily was a private cult, though it numbered among its adherents magistrates and emperors. Sol Invictus Elagabal, on the other hand, was a popular cult with grandiose temples and during the rule of the young Emperor Elagabalus (A.D. 218-222) was made the official cult of the whole empire.
These diversified forms of Sun-worship, resulting from the penetration of Eastern Sun-cults, substantiate Halsberghe’s conclusion that "from the early part of the second century A.D. the cult of Sol Invictus was dominant in Rome and in other parts of the Empire. " (18) The identification and worship of the Emperor as Sun-god, encouraged by the Eastern theology of the "King-Sun," and by political considerations, undoubtedly contributed to the diffusion of a public Sun-cult. (19)
Planetary week
Since the expansion of the Sun-cult is contemporaneous with the origin of Sunday, is it possible that the former influenced the latter? A causal relationship between the two is conceivable only if the planetary week with its "dies solis - day of the Sun" already existed in the first century A.D. in the Greco-Roman world. Only in this case the predominant Sun-cult could have enhanced the day of the Sun and consequently influenced Christians to adopt it for their weekly worship after reinterpreting its symbolism in the light of the Christian message.
Scholarly opinion differs on the question of the origin of the planetary week. Some view it as a pagan interpretation of the Jewish week while others regard it as a strict pagan astrological invention. (20) D. Waterhouse argues persuasively in favor of an amalgamation of Babylonian, Greek, Egyptian and Jewish ingredients. (21) For the purpose of our research the time of its penetration is more important than the causes of its origin.
The existence and common use of the planetary week already in the first century A.D. are well attested by several testimonies. In the present study we need refer only to few of them. The Roman historian Dio Cassius, who wrote his Roman History between A.D. 200-220, reports that Jerusalem was captured both by Pompey in 63 B.C. and by Gaius Sosius in 37 B.C. "on the day even then called the day of Saturn." (22) That the praxis of naming the days of the week after the planetary deities was already in use before Christ is further corroborated by the contemporary references of Horace (ca. 35 B.C.) to "dies Jovis—Thursday" (23) and of Tibullus (ca. B.C. 29-30) to dies Saturni—Saturday." (24) Dio Cassius himself speaks of the planetary week as "prevailing everywhere" in his time to the extent that among the Romans it was "already an ancestral custom." (25)
Two Sabine calendars found in central Italy in 1795 and a third one which came to light at Cimitele, near Nola in southern Italy, in 1956 (all three dated no later than the time of Tiberius (A.D. 14-37), (26) present in the right column the eight letters from A to H of the eight-day Roman nundinum market week and in the left column the seven letters from A to G, representing the seven-day planetary week. (27) In addition to these calendars should be considered also several so-called "indices nundinarii" (some of them dated in the early empire). (28) These give the name of the towns and the corresponding days of the planetary week (which always starts with Saturday—dies Saturni) on which the market was to be held. In the light of these and other indications, the archeologist Attilio Degrassi at the Third International Congress of Greek and Roman Epigraphy (1957) stated:
"I wish to insist on my conviction that this planetary week... did not become known and commonly used, as generally believed, only in the first half of the first century A.D., but already in the first years of the Augustan era [27 B.C. - A.D. 14]... This is a conclusion that appears inevitable after the discovery of the calendar of Nola." (29)
Subsequent indications of the widespread use of the planetary week in the first century A.D. are impressive. A brief listing of them will suffice for our purpose. A stone calendar found in Puteoli (dated first century A.D.) contains the date and name of three planetary days; "[Mercu]ri—[Wednesday], Jovis—[Thursday], Veneris—E Friday]." (30) Apollonius of Tyana, a renowned wonder-worker, according to his biographer Philostratus (ca. A.D. 170-245) in a trip he took to India between A.D. 40-60, received from Iarchas, an Indian sage, seven rings each named after the "seven stars" and he wore them "in turn on the day of the week which bore its name.’’ (31)
Petronius, a Roman satirist (died ca. A.D. 66) in his novel The Banquet of Trimalchio describes a stick calendar which Trimalchio had affixed on the doorpost with the number of the days on the side and "the likeness of the seven stars" on the other side. A knob was inserted in the respective holes to indicate the date and the day. (32) Sextus Julius Frontinus (ca. A.D. 35103), a Roman soldier and writer, in his work The Stratagems, referring to the fall of Jerusalem of A.D. 70, writes that Vespasian "attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, on which it is forbidden for them to do anything serious and defeated them." (33)
In Pompeii and Herculaneum there have been uncovered not only two series of mural pictures of the seven planetary gods in an excellent state of preservation (34) but also numerous wall-inscriptions and graffiti either listing explicitly the planetary gods of the week or giving the planetary name of the day of a particular date. (35) A two-line mural inscription for instance reads: "the 9th day before the Kalends of June [May 24] the Emperor.. . it was the day of the Sun." (36) Such evidence erases all doubt of the widespread use of the planetary week before A.D. 79, the date of the destruction of Pompeii by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
A pictorial calendar found on the wall of the ruins of the baths of Titus (A.D. 79-81) deserves mention on account of its originality. In a square frame there appear in the upper row the pictures of the seven planetary gods. In the center are the twelve signs of the zodiac representing the months and on the two sides appear the numbers of the days, on the right the days I to XV, and the left, the days XVI to XXX. Beside each of these there are holes where knobs were inserted to indicate the month, the number of the day and the protecting planetary god. Its location in such a public building is indicative of its popular use. (37)
Plutarch (ca. A.D. 46-after 119) the celebrated Greek biographer, in a treatise entitled Symposia, written in question-and-answer form between A.D. 100-125, poses the question: "Why are not the days which have the names of the planets arranged according to the order of the planets but the contrary?" (38) Unfortunately, only the title of this dialogue has been preserved. However, the question per se implies not only that the planetary week was commonly used by the end of the first century, but also that apparently by then most people could not even account for the differences between the current astronomical order of the planets and that of the planetary week. (39)
Numerous testimonies could be cited in support of the wide use of the planetary week in subsequent centuries, but these would be too late to be relevant to our research. (40) The above brief listing of evidence shows conclusively that the planetary week was known and used in ancient Rome at least since the beginning of our Christian era. (41)
The Enhancement of the Day of the Sun
The contemporaneous existence of Sun worship and of the planetary week suggests the possibility that with the development of the former, the day dedicated to the Sun took on greater importance. (42) This is corroborated by the process whereby the primacy and prestige of the day of Saturn was transferred to that of the Sun. In fact, initially the day of the Sun "had nothing to distinguish it from the other days" (43) since it was the second day of the week following Saturn-day which was the first. In time, however, the day of the Sun came to occupy the first and "most venerable" position.
The process which led to the enhancement of Sun-day at the expense of Saturn-day is difficult to trace because of the lack of explicit information regarding what religious customs, if any, were associated with either day. This may be due, partly at least, to the Roman concept of religion as being social, political and external. Religion was viewed, as V. Monachino explains, "as a contract between the State and the gods" rather than as a personal devotion expressed by participation in weekly worship services. (44) The significant official religious ceremonies were attended primarily by aristocrat s and dignitaries who displayed their religiosity merely by fulfilling external rituals.
This is not to belittle the preference the day of the Sun received for social and religious purposes. Constantine in his two constitutions of March 3 and July 3 A.D. 321, by describing the day of the Sun as "venerable— venerabilis" and as "famous for its veneration—veneratione sui celebrem," (45) shows, as aptly noted by Arthur Weigall, "that he was thinking of it as a traditional sun-festival." (46) The veneration of the Sun, however, seemingly did not require pagans to participate on Sunday in special public Sun-worship services. (47) This matter is illuminated by a statement of Tertullian found in his apology To the Pagans (written in A.D. 197). Replying to the taunt that Christians were Sun-worshiper because "they prayed toward the east" and "made Sunday, a day of festivity," he writes:
"What then? Do you do less than this? Do not many among you, with an affectation of sometimes worshiping the heavenly bodies likewise, move your lips in the direction of the sunrise? It is you, at all events, who have even admitted the sun into the calendar of the week; and you have selected its day [Sunday] in preference of the preceding day [Saturday] as the most suitable in the week for either an entire abstinence from bath, or for its postponement until the evening, or for taking rest and for banqueting." (48)
This statement provides significant information: (1) it indicates that at that time both Christians and pagans shared the custom of praying toward the east and of spending Sunday as a feast day; (2) it suggests that the Romans not only had adopted the planetary week, but had also already selected Sunday in the place of Saturn-day as their day of rest and feasting; (3) it mentions the nature of the pagan Sunday keeping, that is, a social festival marked primarily by abstention from bathing, idleness and banqueting.
When did the day of the Sun come to acquire such a festal character in ancient Rome? No certain indications are available to pinpoint the time. Pliny the Elder (died A.D. 79) in his Natural History writes that "in the midst of these planetary gods moves the Sun, whose magnitude and power are the greatest . . . he is glorious and preeminent, all-seeing and all-hearing." (49) Several Mithraea or sanctuaries of the pagan Sun-god Mithra have been found where the Sun occupies a dominant place in the sequence of the planetary gods. In the Mithraea of the Seven Portals and of the Seven Spheres (both excavated at Ostia, the ancient port city of Rome) (50) as well as in the Bononia relief, (51) the Sun occupies either the first or the last or the highest place among the planetary gods. The Epicurean Celsus (ca. A.D. 140-180) similarly describes the famous Mithraic ladder of the seven gates to be ascended by regenerated souls by starting with Saturn and ending with the dominant Sun. (52) This pre-eminence assigned to the dies Solis—Sunday, as F. Cumont notes, "certainly contributed to the general recognition of Sunday as a holiday." (53)

Picture of Political / Cultural CENTER of the Roman Empire
That the day of the Sun enjoyed preeminence already by the middle of the second century is clearly indicated by the famous astrologer Vettius Valens. In his Anthology composed. between A.D. 154 and 174, (54) in explaining how to find the day of the week of any given birth date he explicitly states:"And this is the sequence of the planetary stars in relation to the days of the week: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn." (55) The preeminence of Sunday is also implied in Justin Martyr’s threefold reference to it in his I Apology 67. Why in his brief exposition of the Christian worship did he mention three times "the day of the Sun"? Why did he present the creation of light on the first day as the first reason for the Christian Sunday gathering? Apparently because the day was venerated by the Romans. By associating Christian worship with both the day and the symbolism of the pagan Sun, Justin, as we suggested earlier, aimed at gaining from the Emperor a favorable appraisal of Christianity.
Though not sufficiently explicit to establish the exact time when the day of the Sun emerged as the first and most important day of the week, these few indications do reveal however that it occurred in concomitance with the development of Sun-worship which became widespread beginning from the early part of the second century.
If the day of the Sun, enhanced by the prevailing Sun-cult, did supplant the day of Saturn in the Roman world by the beginning of the second century, one may ask, did Christians, as well expressed by B. Botte, "adapt the day of the Sun to the Christian Sunday as they adapted the natalis invicti [December 25] making it the symbol of the birth of Christ Sun of righteousness"? (56) In other words, could not the Christian adoption of Sunday observance in place of the Sabbath be contemporaneous and related to the emergence of the day of the Sun over that of Saturn in the Roman world? We shall attempt to answer this question first by briefly considering some general reflexes of the Sun-cult in Christian thought and practice and then by focusing on the specific influence of the pagan day of the Sun on the Christian adoption of that day.
Reflexes of Sun-Worship on Christianity
Christians resented and denied the accusation of being Sun-worshipers (and even suffered horrible martyrdoms rather than offer a pinch of incense on the imperial altars), yet as Jacquetta Hawkes well puts it, "with the malicious irony so often apparent in history, even while they fought heroically on one front, their position was infiltrated from another." (57) For instance, while on the one hand, Tertullian strongly refuted the pagan charge that the Christians were Sun-worshipers, (58) on the other hand he chides the Christians at length for celebrating pagan festivals within their own communities. (59) That Christians were not immune to the popular veneration of the Sun and astrological practices is attested by the frequent condemnation of these by the Fathers. (60)
Three significant reflexes of Sun-worship in the Christian liturgy can be seen in the theme of Christ-the-Sun, in the orientation toward the east and in the date of Christmas. These we shall briefly examine, since they shed some light on the possible causal relationship between Sun-worship and the origin of Sunday observance.
In numerous pagan pictorial representations which have come down to us, the Sun or Mithra is portrayed as a man with a disk at the back of his head. (61) It is a known fact that this image of the Sun was used in early Christian art and literature to represent Christ, the true "Sun of righteousness." In the earliest known Christian mosaic (dated ca. A.D. 240) found in the Vatican necropolis below the altar of St. Peter (in the small mausoleum M. or the Iulii), Christ is portrayed as the Sun (Helios) ascending on the quadriga chariot with a flying cloak and a nimbus behind his head from which irradiate seven rays in the form of a T (allusion to the cross?). (62) Thousands of hours have been devoted to drawing the sun-disk with the equal-armed cross behind the head of Christ and (from the fifth century) the heads of other important persons.
The motif of the Sun was used not only by Christian artists to portray Christ but also by Christian teachers to proclaim Him to the pagan masses who were well acquainted with the rich Sun-symbology. Numerous Fathers abstracted and reinterpreted the pagan symbols and beliefs about the Sun and used them apologetically to teach the Christian message. (63) Does not the fact that Christ was early associated in iconography and in literature (if not in actual worship) with the Sol invictus— Invincible Sun, suggest the possibility that even the day of the Sun could readily have been adopted for worshiping Christ, the Sol iustitiae—the Sun of Justice? It would require only a short step to worship Christ-the-Sun, on the day specifically dedicated to the Sun.
Eastward Orientation
The Christian adoption of the East in place of Jerusalem as the new orientation for prayer provides an additional significant indication of the influence of the Sun cult on early Christian worship. The Jews (as indicated by Daniel’s custom and by Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple) (64) considered praying toward Jerusalem to be an obligation which determined the very validity of their prayers. That primitive Christians continued to adhere to such a practice is evidenced by the Judaeo-Christian sect of the Ebionites who, as reported by Irenaeus, "prayed toward Jerusalem as if it were the house of God." (65)
The Fathers advance several reasons for the adoption of the eastward position for prayer. Clement of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 150-215) explains that "prayers are offered while looking toward sunrise in the East" because the Orient represents the birth of light that "dispels the darkness of the night" and because of the orientation of "the ancient temples." (66) For Origen (ca. A.D. 185-254) the East symbolizes the soul that looks to the source of light. (67) Others urged Christians to pray looking toward the East to remind themselves of God’s paradise and/or of Christ’s coming. (68)
Christians who had previously venerated the Sun, facing the necessity of dissociating themselves from the Jews, apparently not only abandoned Jerusalem as the orientation for prayer, but also reverted, unconsciously perhaps, to the direction of sunrise, reinterpreting its meaning in the light of the Christian message. One wonders, was the change of direction for prayer from the Jewish temple to sunrise interrelated also with the change of the worship day from the "Jewish" Sabbath to the day of the Sun? While prayer per se is not a weekly (at least it ought not to be) but a daily religious practice, could not the daily praying toward the Sun have encouraged Christians to worship also weekly on the day of the Sun? Moreover, could not the fact that Christ and His resurrection were associated with the rising sun have easily predisposed Christians to worship the rising "Sun of Justice" on the day of the Sun?
Cultured and well-meaning pagans, according to Tertullian, correlated the Christian praying toward the East with their Sunday observance, presenting both customs as one basic evidence of Christians’ Sun-worship. Tertullian denied the charge, attributing to the pagans the very same customs. Note, however, that both the accusers and the refuter interrelate the two customs, presenting them as one basic indication of Sun-worship. (69) This close nexus between the two customs, admitted even by the pagans, suggests the possibility that Christians could well have adopted them contemporaneously because of the same factors discussed above. This is the conclusion which also F. A. Regan reaches after an extensive analysis of patristic references dealing with the orientation toward the East. He writes:
"A suitable, single example of the pagan influence may be had from an investigation of the Christian custom of turning toward the East, the land of the rising sun, while offering their prayers. ... For in the transition from the observance of the Sabbath to the celebration of the Lord’s day, the primitive Christians not only substituted the first day of the week for the seventh, but they went even further and changed the traditional Jewish practice of facing toward Jerusalem during their daily period of prayer." (70)
The strong attraction exerted by the solar cults on the Christians suggests the possibility therefore that these influenced not only the adoption of the eastward direction for daily prayers but also of the day of the Sun for the weekly worship.


(1) See above p. 119 footnote 88.
(2) J. V. Goudoever, Biblical Calendars, 1959, pp. 161-162, argues for the influence on early Christianity of the old calendar of Enoch and Jubilees, by referring to Anatolius (d. Ca. A.D. 282), Bishop of Laodicea. The Bishop defends the celebration of the Quartodeciman Passover after the vernal equinox by appealing to Jewish authorities such as Philo, Josephus and "the teaching of the Book of Enoch" (cited by Eusebius, HE 7, 32, 14-20). Note however that Anatolius is not defending Easter Sunday but the Quartodeciman Passover. Moreover to justify the celebration of the latter after the vernal equinox, the Bishop does not cite only the Book of Enoch but also several Jewish writers such as Philo, Josephus, Musaeus, Agathobuli who "explaining questions in regard to the Exodus, say that all alike should sacrifice the passover offerings after the vernal equinox, in the middle of the first month" (Eusebius, HE 7, 32, 17). The fact that some of the writers mentioned were not representatives of sectarian Judaism, suggests that the insistence on the celebration of Passover after the vernal equinox was common to both sectarian and normative Judaism.
(3) W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 181; C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, p.33, shares the same view: "To be able to speak of influence [of Sun-worship] on Sunday, one should demonstrate that the day dedicated to the Sun already existed in the earliest times of the Christian community as a fixed day that recurred regularly every week, and that it corresponded exactly to the day after the Sabbath. For this, one should demonstrate the existence of the planetary week before Sunday."
(4) W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 37; note Rordorf’s categorical statement: "If the question is raised whether the origins of the Christian observance of Sunday are in any way connected with the Sunday observance of the Mithras cult, it must be answered with a definite No" (loc. cit.).
(5) Regarding Sun worship in India, Persia, Syria and in the Greek and Roman world, see F. J. Dölger, Sol Salutis, 19252, pp. 20f., 38f.; for Palestine see Realencyklopddie far protestantische Theologie und Kirche, 1863, s.verse "Sonne, bei den Hebräem," by W. Baudissin; Lexikon far Theologie und Kirche, 1964, s.verse "Sonne," by H. Baumann; F. J. Hollis, "The Sun-cult and the Temple at Jerusalem," Myth and Ritual, 1933, pp. 87-110; that the Sun-cult was widespread before Josiah’s reform is well established by passages such as 2Kings 23:11, "[Josiah] removed the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun, at the entrance to the house of the Lord ... and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire"; cf. also Ezekiel 8:16 and Wisdom 16:28: "To make it known that we must rise before the sun to give thee thanks and must pray to thee at the dawning of the light." Philo, De vita contemplativa 3, 27, reports that the Therapeutae prayed at sunrise, seeking for heavenly light.
(6) Gaston H. Halsberghe, The Cult of Sol Invictus, 1972, p. 26. This thesis was proposed earlier by A. von Domaszewski, Abhandlungen zur Romischen Religion, 1909, p. 173.
(7) Gaston H. Halsberghe (footnote 6), pp. 27 and 35.
(8) Fasti of Philocalus, CIL I, 2, 324 or Fasti of Amiternum, CIL IX, 4192. F. Altheim, Italien und Ram, 1941, II, pp. 24-25, provides abundant evidences that Sol Indiges was worshipped in Rome as early as the fourth century B. C. In the oldest calendar the Sun-god is associated with Jupiter. Marcus Terentius Varro (116—ca. 26 B.C.) De re rustica 1, 1,5, reports that the Sun and the Moon were usually invoked immediately after Jupiter and Tellus. Tacitus (ca. A.D. 55-120) mentions that in the Circus there was an old temple dedicated to the Sun (Annales 15, 74, 1; cf. 15,41, 1).
(9) G. Wissowa, Religion und kultus der Ramer, 19122, pp. 31Sf. argues that the expression "indigiti-native" could only have designated the Sun-cult as native when the Eastern Sun-cults arose.
(10) CIL VI, 701; A. Piganiol, Histaire de Rome, 1954, p. 229, holds that Augustus favored the worship of the Sun and "gave priority to the gods of light"; Halsberghe (footnote 6), p. 30, is of the opinion that Augustus did not intend to import to Rome the Egyptian solar god, but rather to give credit for the victory to the ancient Roman Sal: "No single deity of the Roman pantheon could more rightfully claim this glorious victory than the ancient Roman Sal, since it was achieved through his special intervention and protection. The two obelisks which were symbols of the Sun god in Egypt, constitute additional support for this interpretation." Anthony, before Augustus, portrayed the Sun god on his coins and after marrying Cleopatra he renamed the two sons of the queen as Helios and Selene (cf. A. Piganiol, op. cit., p. 239; H. Cohen, Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l’empire rornain, I, p. 44, footnote 73; W. W. Tarn, The Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd ed., X, p. 68; cf. Dio Cassius, Historia 49, 41 and 50, 2, 5, 25. Cicero (106¬43 B.C.) shows the high esteem that cultured Romans had for Sun worship when he describes the Sun as "the lord, chief, and ruler of the other lights, the mind ‘and guiding principle, of such magnitude that he reveals and fills all things with his light" (De republica 6, 17, LCL, p. 271).
(11) Tertullian, De spectaculis 8, AI’.IF III, p. 83; Tacitus (footnote 8) confirms the existence of the temple dedicated to the Sun in the circus.
(12) Cf. CIL I, 327; XIV, 4089; V, 3917; VI, 3719; these texts are discussed by Halsberghe (footnote 6), p. 33.
(13) H. Mattingly, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, 1940 I, pp. 134 and 171; cf. Tacitus, Annales 15, 74.
(14) Elius Spartianus, Hadrianus 19, LCL Scriptores Historiae Augustae I, p. 61; cf. A. Piganiol (footnote 10), pp. 288, 332-333, explains that Hadrian associated himself with the Sun "whose image appears on the last coins"; cf. H. Cohen (footnote 10), II, p. 38, n. 187, 188.
(15) Tacitus, Historiae 3, 24.
(16) Gaston H. Halsberghe (footnote 6), p. 35; cf. A. von Domaszewski (footnote 6), p. 173.
(17) According to Plutarch (A.D. 46-125), Vita Pompeii 24, Mithra was introduced into Rome by the Cilician pirates taken captives by Pompey in 67 B.C. Papinius Statius (d. ca. A.D. 96) in a verse of the The baid speaks of "Mithra, that beneath the rocky Persean cave strains at the reluctant-following horns" (Thebaid I, 718-720, LCL I, p. 393). Turchi Nicola, La Religione di Roma Antica, 1939, p. 273: "The Mithraic religion was made known through the pirates ... but its influence was particularly felt beginning with the first century after Christ"; the same view is expressed by Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, 1956, p. 37; Textes et Monuments, 1896¬1899, I, p. 338: "The propagation of the two religious [i.e., Mithraism and Christianity] was approximately contemporaneous" cf. Enciclopedia Cattolica, 1952, s.verse "Mithra e Mithraismo," by M. J. Vermaseren: "Mithra entered Rome (67 B.C.) with the prisoners of Cilicia ... Its diffusion increased under the Flavii and even more under the Antoninii and Severii."
(18) Gaston H. Halsberghe (footnote 6), p. 44.
(19) This point is well expressed by Franz Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, 1956, p. 101.
(20) E. Schürer, "Die siebentagige Woche im Gebrauch der christlichen Kirche der ersten Jahrhunderte," Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 6 (1905): 18f., advocates that the planetary week developed independently of the Jewish week, primarily as a result of belief in the seven planets. W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 33, argues persuasively "that the planetary week as a whole developed in association with the Jewish week." The diffusion of the Jewish Sabbath in the Greco-Roman world would have attracted astrological belief in the evil influence of the planet Saturn. Subsequently the other planets were attached to the remaining days of the week. F. H. Colson, The Week, 1926, p. 42, maintains that the planetary week is not "a pagan interpretation of the Jewish week" since the order of the planets is not the real one, but an astrological invention developed by the belief that each individual hour of the day was under the control of a planet. This explanation is given by Dio Cassius (ca. A.D. 220) in his Historia 37, 18-19. Distributing the 168 hours of the week to each of the planets according to their scientific order, the first hour of Saturday stands under the protection of Saturn, who assumes the control over the day. The first hour of the second day falls to the Sun, the first hour of the third day to the Moon and so forth. In other words, the planet which controlled the first hour became the protector of the day, dedicated to it. The same explanation is found in the chronographer of A.D. 354 (Chronica minora: Monumenta Gernraniae Hist., auctores antiquissimi, IX, 1892); F. Boll, "Hebdomas," PaulyWissowa VII, col. 2556f. gives detailed proof that the planetary week did not originate in Babylon.
(21) S. D. Waterhouse, "The Introduction of the Planetary Week into the West," The Sabbath in Scripture and History (to be published by Review and Herald): "Thus it came about that the ingredients for the planetary week were brought together; the concept ‘of planetary gods being taken from the Babylonians, the mathematics having been supplied by the Greeks, and the dekans or hours, adopted from the Egyptians. Alexandria, possessing a large, indigenous, and influential Jewish population, was well suited for bringing in a final ingredient, that of the Hebrew weekly cycle."
(22) Dio Cassius, Historia 49, 22, LCL 5, p. 389; cf. Historia 37, 16 and 37, 17; Josephus, Wars of the Jews 1, 7, 3 and Antiquities of the Jews 14, 4, confirms Dio Cassius’ account, saying that the Romans succeeded in capturing the city because they understood that Jews on the Sabbath only acted defensively.
(23) Horace, Satirae 2, 3, 288-290, LCL p. 177, represents a superstitious mother as making this vow: "‘0 Jupiter, who givest and takest away sore affliction,’ cries the mother of a child that for five long months has been ill abed, ‘if the quartan chills leave my child, then on the morning of the day on which thou appointest a fast, he shall stand naked in the Tiber.’" The translator H. R. Fairelough explains: "This would be dies Jovis [the day of Jupiter], corresponding to our Thursday" (loc. cit.); cf. J. Hastings’ Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 1928, s.verse "Sunday"; Ovid (43 B.C.-A.D. 18) refers several times to the seven-day week: "You may begin on the day ... less fit for business, whereon returns the seventh-day feast that the Syrian of Palestine observe" (Ars Anratoria 1, 413-416; cf. 1,75-80; Remedia Amoris 217-220).
(24) In one of his poems, Tibullus explains what excuses he could have found for staying in Rome with his beloved Delia: "Either birds or words of evil omen were my pretexts or that the sacred day of Saturn had held one back" (Carmina 1, 3, 15-18). The day of Saturn was regarded as an unlucky day (dies nefastus) for undertaking important business. Sextus Propertius, a contemporary of Tibullus, speaks, for instance, of "the sign of Saturn that brings woe to one and to all" (Elegies 4, 1, 8 1-86).
(25) Dio Cassius, Historia 37, 18, LCL p. 130: "The dedication of the days to the seven stars which are called planets was established by Egyptians, and it spread also to all men not so very long ago, to state it briefly how it began. At any rate the ancient Greeks knew it in no way, as it appears to me at least. But since it also prevails everywhere among all the others and the Romans themselves ... is already to them an ancestral custom." W. Rordorf, Sunday, pp. 27 and 37, takes Dio Cassius’ statement that the planetary week had come into use "not so very long ago," to mean that it did not exist before "the end of the first century A.D." This conclusion, however, is invalidated first by Dio’s own comment that the planetary week was prevailing everywhere and that the Romans regarded it as an ancestral custom (a new time cycle does not become widespread and ancestral overnight); secondly, by Dio’s mention that already back in 37 B.C., when Jerusalem was captured by Sosius and Herod the Great, the Sabbath "even then was called day of Saturn" (Historia 49, 22). Moreover note that Dio makes the Greeks, not the Romans, the terminus ante quem the planetary week was unknown. We would therefore agree with C. S. Mosna that "the planetary week must have orginated already in the first century B.C." (Storia della domenica, p. 69).
(26) The Sabine calendars have been dated by T. Mommsen between 19 B.C. and A.D. 14, see CIL 12, 220; this date is supported by Attilio Degrassi, "Un Nuovo frammento di calendario Romano e la settimana planetaria dei sette giorni," Atti del Terzo Congresso Internationale de Epigrafia Greca e Latina, Rome, 1957, p. 103; the article is included by the author in his Scritti vari di antichità, 1962, pp. 681-691; Degrassi is of the opinion that even the newly found calendar of Nola "is not later than the time of Tiberius" (p. 101).
(27) That the letters from A to G stand for the seven days of the planetary week, as stated by A. Degrassi (footnote 26), p. 99, "has been recognized long ago." This is proven by the fact that they occur "for the whole year in the manuscript Philocalian Calendar of A.D. 354" (bc. cit.). Herbert Thurston explains the Sabine calendars, saying: "when the Oriental sevenday period, or week, was introduced, in the time of Augustus, the first seven letters of the alphabet were employed in the same way as done for the nundinae, to indicate the days of this new division of time. In fact, fragmentary calendars on marble still survive in which both a cycle of eight letters—A to H— indicating nundinae, and a cycle of seven letters—A to G—indicating weeks, are used side by side (see Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 2nd ed., I, 220. The same peculiarity occurs in the Philocalian Calendar of A.D. 356, ibid., p. 256). This device was imitated by the Christians, and in their calendars the days of the year from 1 January to 31 December were marked with a continuous recurring cycle of seven letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G" (The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911, s.verse "Dominical Letter").
(28) A. Degrassi (footnote 26) pp. 103-104; cf. CIL 12, 218; one has been found in Pompeii and therefore it is prior to A.D. 79, CIL IV, 8863; these calendars are also reproduced by A. Degrassi in his recent edition of Inscriptiones Italiae, 1963, XIII, ns. 49, 52, 53, 55, 56.
(29) A. Degrassi (footnote 26), p. 104, (emphasis supplied).
(30) CIL X, part I, 199 (No. 1605).
(31) Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 3,41, LCL I, pp. 321, 323.
(32) Petronius, Sat yricon 30, LCL, p. 45.
(33) Frontinus, Strategemata 2, 1, 17, LCL, p. 98; Dio Cassius’ account is strikingly similar: "Thus was Jerusalem destroyed on the very day of Saturn, the day which even now the Jews reverence most" (Historia 65,7, LCL, p. 271.
(34) For a good reproduction of the Pompeiian painting of the planetary gods see Erasmo Pistolesi, Real Museo Borbonico, 1836, VII, pp. 116-130, plate 27; cf. "Le Pitture Antiche d’Ercolano," Real Accademia de Archeologia, III, pp. 257-263; H. Roux Ainé, Herculanum et Pompei: recueil général des peintures, bronzes, mosaiques, 1862, pp. 106-109; cf. J. Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 1928, s.verse "Sunday."
(35) CIL I, part 1, 342; CIL IV, part 2, 515, no. 4182; at Herculaneum was found inscribed in Greek upon a wall a list entitled "Day of the Gods" followed by the names of the seven planetary deities in the genitive form, CIL IV, part 2, 582, no. 5202; cf. CIL IV, 712, no. 6779; see E. Schiirer (footnote 20), pp. 27f.; R. L. Odom, Sunday in Roman Paganism, 1944, pp. 88-94.
(36) CIL IV, part 2, 717. no. 6338.
(37) Attilio Degrassi, Inscriptiones Italiae, 1963, XIII, pp. 308-309, plate 56; Troianus Marulli, Sopra un’antica cappella cristiana, scoperta di fresco in Roma nelle terme di Tito, 1813; I. A. Guattani, Meinorie enciclopediche per il 1816, pp. 153f. table 22; Antonius De Romanis, Le Antic/ic catnere esquiline, 1822, pp. 21, 59f.
(38) Plutarch’s Complete Works, III, p. 230.
(39) According to the geocentric system of astronomy of that period, the order of the planets was as follows: Saturn (farthest), Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Moon (nearest). In the planetary week, however, the days are named after the planets in this sequence: Saturn Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Venus; for a discussion, see R.L. Odom (footnote 35), pp. 11-17.
(40) R. L. Odom (footnote 35), pp. 54-124, surveys the evidences for the planetary week till the third century A.D.
(41) This conclusion is shared by several scholars; see F. H. Colson (footnote 20), p. 36: "Reviewing the evidence discussed above, we see that the planetary week was known in some sense in the Empire as early as the destruction of Pompeii and most people will think a century earlier"; B. Botte, "Les Denominations du dimanche dans la tradition chrdtienne," Le Dimanche, Lex Orandi 39, 1965, p. 16: "When Tibullus wrote his Elegy, the use of the planetary week had already entered the customs. But, considering, on the one hand, the absence of any allusion prior to this date and, on the other hand, the abundance of indications beginning from the second century, we clearly see that the change took place toward the beginning of the Christian era"; cf. H. Dumaine, "Dimanche," DACL IV, 911.
(42) F. H. Colson (footnote 20), p. 75, rightly notes: "A religion in which the supreme object of adoration was so closely connected if not identified with the Sun, could hardly fail to pay special reverence to what even non-Mithraists hailed as the Sun’s-day."
(43) W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 35; note that initially the day of the Sun was the second day of the planetary week, following the day of Saturn which was first. This is clearly proved, for instance, by several stone calendars (so-called indices nundinarii) where the days of the week are given horizontally, starting with the day of Saturn; see above footnote 28. In a mural inscription found in Herculaneum the "Days of the Gods" are given in capital Greek letters, starting with "kronou [of Saturn], Heliou [of Sun] .. ." (CIL IV, part 2, 582, no. 5202). A similar list was found in Pompeii written in Latin and beginning with "Saturni [of Saturn]" (CIL IV, part 2, 712, no. 6779). W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 35, rightly stresses this point: "It must, however, be emphasized straight away that in the planetary week Sunday always occupied only the second place in the sequence of days."
(44) V. Monachino, De persecutionibus in imperio Romano saec. I-IV et de polemica pagano-christiana saec. II-III, Gregorian University, 1962,
p. 147.
(45) The text of the first law of March 3, 321 is found in Codex Justinianus III, 12, 3 and that of July 3, 321, in Codex Theodosianus II, 8, 1. Considering the fact that the necessity to legislate on a social custom such as a day of rest, arises when this endangers public welfare (as suggested by the exception made for farmers), it is plausible to suppose that the veneration of the day of the Sun was already a well-rooted tradition.
(46) Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity, 1928, p. 236.
(47) According to Eusebius, The Life of Constantine 4, 18 and 20, Constantine recommended that Christians, including the soldiers, "attend the services of the Church of God." For the pagan soldiers the Emperor prescribed a generic prayer to be recited on Sunday in an open field. (cf. Sozomen, HE 1, 8, 12). This imperial injunction cannot be taken as an example of traditional pagan Sunday worship, since the motivation of the legislation is clearly Christian: "in memory ... of what the Saviour of mankind is recorded to have achieved" (NPNF 2nd, I, p. 544). Moreover it should be noted that the Constantinian law did not prohibit agricultural or private activities but only public. This shows that even at the time of Constantine the pagan observance of Sunday was quite different from the Jewish keeping of the Sabbath.
(48) Tertullian, Ad Nationes 1, 13, ANF III, p. 123. W, Rordorf, Sunday, p. 37, argues that Tertullian does not allude to the day of the Sun but to that of Saturn, since he later speaks of Jewish customs such as the Sabbath which pagans had adopted. Unfortunately Rordorf fails to recognize that Tertullian responds to the charge that Christians are Sun-worshipers, first, by making the pagans themselves guilty of having adopted the day and the veneration of the Sun; and secondly, by showing them how they had deviated from their tradition by adopting even Jewish customs such as the Sabbath. For an analysis of the passage, see my Italian dissertation, pp. 446¬449; F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 35, recognizes that Tertullian refers to Sunday.
(49) Pliny the Elder, Naturalis historia 2, 4, LCL, p. 177.
(50) Samuel Laechli, Mithraism in Ostia, 1967, p. 11, 13, 14, 38-45, 72-73. The Mithraeum of the Seven Doors is dated A.D. 160-170 while that of the Seven Spheres is dated late in the second century. In the former, the Sun’s "door" is the tallest and widest; in the letter, the Sun’s sphere is presumably the last; see Leroy A. Campbell, Mithraic Iconography and Ideology, 1968, pp. 300-307, figs. 19 and 20.
(51) On the Bononia relief the planetary gods are placed on the face of the tauroctone arch and they run counter clockwise from Luna (Monday) at the right, followed by Mars (Tursday) and so on, closing with Sol (Sunday) at the left; see F. Cumont, Textes et Monuments,1886-1889, II, p. 261 and I, p. 119; cf. L.A. Campbell (footnote 50), p. 342.
(52) In Origen, Contra Celsunr 6, 21-22. Celsus lists the planets in the reverse order (Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Moon, Sun) enabling the Sun to occupy a significant seventh position. Note that though the arrangement of the gods of the week-days may vary in Mithraic iconography, the sequential order of the planetary deities is not disrupted and the Sun usually occupies a preeminent position. Priscillian (ca. A.D. 370) provides a slightly different list but always with the Sun at the top (Tractatus 1, 15). In the Brigetio relief, however, the planetary gods follow the regular sequence of the planetary week from Saturn to Venus; see L. A. Campbell (footnote 50) plate XXXIII.
(53) F. Cumont, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, 1912, p. 163; Cumont also comments: "Each day of 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" (The Mysteries of Mithra, 1956, p. 167); cf. Textes (footnote 51) I, p. 119: "The dies Solis was evidently the most sacred of the week for the faithful of Mithra and, like the Christians, they had to keep holy Sunday and not the Sabbath" (cf. also p. 325). A statement from Isidore of Seville (ca. A.D. 560-636) best summarizes the priority Sun worship accorded to the day of the Sun: "The gods have arranged the days of the week, whose names the Romans dedicated to certain stars. The first day they called day of the Sun because it is the ruler of all stars" (Etymologiae 5, 30 PL 82, 216).
(54) The date is established by Otto Neugebauer and Henry B. Van Hoesen, Greek Horoscopes, 1959, p. 177.
(55) Vettius Valens, Anthologiarum 5, 10, ed. G. Kroll, p. 26. Robert L. Odom, "Vettius Valens and the Planetary Week," AUSS 3 (1965): 110-137 provides a penetrating analysis of the calendations used by Vettius Valens and shows convincingly that "Vettius Valens, who undoubtedly was a pagan, used the week of seven days, [and] reckoned the seven-day week as beginning with the day of the Sun (Sunday) and ending with ‘the sabbatical day’ (Sabbath day)" (p. 134); H. Dumaine "Dimanche" DACL IV, 912 defends the same view on the basis of different evidences; cf. W. H. Roscher, "Planeten," Aligeineines Lexikon der griech. und rbm. Mythologie, 1909, col. 2538.
(56) B. Botte (footnote 41), p. 21.
(57) Jacquetta Hawkes, Man and the Sun, 1962, p. 199.
(58) Tertullian strongly rejected the pagan accusation that the Christians’ rejoicing on Sunday was motivated by the worship of the Sun (see Apology 16, 1 and Ad Nationes 1, 13, 1-5, ANF III, p. 31 and p. 122). Similarly Origen regarded Celsus’ likening of Christianity to pagan mystery religions, Mithraism included, as absurd and unworthy of eithei refutation or repetition (see Against Celsus 1, 9 and 6, 22, ANE IV, p. 399-400 and 583).
(59) Tertullian, On Idolatry 14 ANF III, p. 70: "How... wicked to celebrate them [i.e., pagan festivals] among brethren! ... The Saturnalia and New-year and Midwinter’s festivals and Matronalia are frequented—presents come and go—New-year’s gifts—games join their noise—banquets join their din! Oh, better fidelity of the nations to their own sect, which claims no solemnity of the Christians for itself!"
(60) Jack Lindsay, Origin of Astrology, 1972, provides in chapter 20 "Pagan and Christians" (pp. 373-400) a valuable and concise survey of the influence of astrological beliefs on early Christianity. Origen complains that many Christians believed that nothing could happen unless it had been decreed by the stars (Philocalia, 23). H. Dumaine and De Rossi point out that the names of the planetary week used in Christian funerary inscriptions reflect the prevailing superstition, according to which the day mentioned belonged to the protecting star ("Dimanche" DACL IV, 872-875; cf. E. Schiirer (footnote 20), pp. 35-39). The Fathers protested against such beliefs. Philaster, Bishop of Brescia (d. ca. A.D. 397) condemns as heresy the prevailing belief that "the name of the days of the Sun, of the Moon ... had been established by God at the creation of the world. .. . The pagans, that is, the Greeks have set up such names and with the names also the notion that mankind depends from the seven stars" (Liber de haeresibus 113, PL 12, 1257). In a document attributed to Priscillian (ca. A.D. 340-385) anathema is pronounced against those Christians who "in their sacred ceremonies, venerate and acknowledge as gods the Sun, Moon... and all the heavenly host, which are detestable idols worthy of the Gehenna" (Tractatus undecim, CSEL 18, p.14); cf. Martin of Braga, De correctione rusticorum ed. C. W. Barlow, 1950, p. 189; Augustin, In Psalmos 61, 23, CCL 39, p. 792.
(61) A number of examples can be seen in F. Cumont, Textes et monunrents II, p. 202, no. 29; p. 210, no. 38; p. 241, no. 73; p. 290, no. 145; p. 311, no. 169; p. 350, no. 248; p. 434, no. 379.
(62) See E. Kirschbaum, The Tomb of St. Peter and St. Paul, 1959, pp. 3Sf.; P. Testini, Archaelogia Cristiana, 1958, p. 167. The mosaic came to light during the recent excavations (1953-1957) under the altar of St. Peter’s basilica; cf. an artistic reproduction of Christ portrayed as Sol Invictus in F. Cumont (footnote 61), I, p. 123, table no. 6.
(63) Justin, Dialogue 121, ANF I, p. 109 contrasts the devotion of Sun-worshipers with that of the Christians, who on account of the word of Christ who "is more blazing and bright than the might of the sun ... have suffered and still suffer, all kinds of torments rather than deny their faith in Him." In a document attributed to Melito, Bishop of Sardis (d. ca. A.D. 190) a striking parallelism is established between Christ and the sun: "But if the sun with the stars and the moon wash in the ocean, why should not Christ also wash in the Jordan? The king of the heavens and the leader of creation, the sun of the east who both appeared to the dead in Hades and to the living in the world, and this only Sun rose from Heaven" (On Baptism, ed. J. B. Pitra, Analecta Sacra Spicilegio Solesmensi, 1884, 2,5). Clement of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 150-215) elaborates diffusely on the symbol of Christ as true Light and true Sun and applies to Christ a common pagan designation for a heavenly god: "pantepoptes"—the one who looks down on all." Clement skillfully urges the pagans to abandon their rites of divination and be initiated instead into Christ the true Sun and Light (see Protrepticus II, 114, 1, GCS 1,80, 16; Stromateis 7,3,21,6, GCS 3, 15, 28; Paedagogus 3,8,44,1, GCS 1, 262, 7). Origen (ca. A.D. 185-254) manifests the same predilection for the denomination "Sun of Justice": "Christ is the Sun of Justice; if the moon is united, which is the Church, it will be filled by His light" (In Numeros homilia 23, 5, GCS 7, 217, 24; cf. In Leviticum homilia 9, GCS 6, 438, 19). Cyprian (d. A.D. 258) Bishop of Carthage exhorts believers "to pray at sunrise to commemorate the resurrection ... and to pray at the setting of the sun ... for the advent of Christ" (De oratione 35, CSEL 3, 292). Ambrose (A.D. 339-397), Bishop of Milan, to counteract the widespread Sun-cult, frequently contrasts Christ "lumen verum et Sol iustitiae—true light and Sun of justice" with the "Sol iniquitatis—Sun of iniquity" (In Psalmos 118, sermo 19,6 CSEL 62, 425, 4f). A. J. Vermeulen, The Semantic Developntent of Gloria in Early Christian Latin, 1956, p. 170, comments that Christians did not adopt an exclusive apologetic attitude, but "they took a much easier view of certain pagan customs, conventions and images and saw no objection, after ridding them of their pagan content, to adapting them to Christian thought." J. Daniélou, Bible and Liturgy, p. 299, offers a similar observation. Eusebius of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 500) writes: "I know many who worship and pray to the Sun. For at the time the sun is rising they pray and say, ‘Have mercy upon us,’ and not only sun-worshipers and heretics do this, but also Christians, departing from the faith, mingle with heretics" (PG 86, 453). That the problem assumed alarming proportions is indicated by the vigorous attack of Pope Leo the Great (d. A.D. 461) against the veneration of the Sun by many Christians (Sermon 27, In Nativitate Domini, PL 54, 218). F. J. D6lger, Sol Salutis. Gebet und Gesang in christlichen Altertum. Mit besonderer Riicksicht auf die Ostung in Gebet und Liturgie, 1925, provides especially in chapters 20 and 21 an extensive documentation of the influence of Sun-worship on the Christian liturgy.
(64) Daniel 6:11; 2Chronicles 6:34f; cf. Jewish Encyclopedia, 1907, s.verse ‘‘Prayer."
(65) Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 1,26, ANF I, p. 352.
(66) Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7, 7, 43, GCS 3, 32.
(67) Origen, De oratione 32, GCS 2, 400, 23.
(68) Apostolic Constitutions 2, 57, 2 and 14, specific instructions are given to ensure that both the church building and the congregation face the orient. Moreover believers are urged to "pray to God eastward, who ascended to the heaven of heavens to the east; remembering also the ancient situation of paradise in the east.. ." (ANE VII, p. 42); cf. Didascalia 2, 57, 3; Hippolytus, De Antichristo 59, GCS 1, 2, 39-40; Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem (A.D. 315¬386) instructed his baptismal candidates to face first the West, the devil’s domain, and facing that direction, they were to say: "I renounce you Satan" and then after "severing all ancient bonds with hell, the Paradise of God, which is planted in the East is open to you" (Catechesibus 1,9, Monumenta eucharistica, ed. J. Quasten, 2,79). An early Christian Syrian author tells us: "The Apostles therefore established that you should pray toward the east, because ‘as the lightning which lighteneth from the east is seen even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be,’ that by this we may know and understand that He will appear suddenly from the east" (Didascalie d’Addai 2, 1, see F. Dolger (footnote 5) p. 72, n. 3); cf. also Basil, De Spiritu Sancto27, 64, PG 32, 189; Gregory of Nyssa, De oratione Domini 5, PG 44, 1184; Augustine, De sermone Domini in morte 2, 5, 18, PL 34, 1277.
(69) See above footnote 48.
(70) F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 196,


(Part 1)
What are the basic theological motivations advanced by the early Fathers to justify both the choice and the observance of Sunday? Were they developed out of Biblical-apostolic teachings or were they elicited by the existing need to silence opposition coming from Sabbath-keepers? Do the early theological explanations reflect an organic and positive view of Sunday observance or theological uncertainty and polemic? These are questions we shall bear in mind while surveying the theological reasons adduced by the Fathers to justify Sunday worship. Such an analysis hopefully will enable us to test the validity of the conclusions emerging from our study.
The major motives for Sunday observance which appear in the early patristic literature perhaps can be best grouped around three basic headings: Resurrection, Creation and Symbology of the Eighth Day. We shall examine them in this order, bearing in mind that the theological reflections are not static but dynamic, evolving in the course of time.
In chapter 3 we already showed that no indication can be found in the apostolic period of efforts made to institute a weekly or yearly commemoration of the resurrection on Sunday. Nevertheless it is a fact that the resurrection did become the dominant reason for Sunday observance. Augustine (A.D. 354-430) perhaps provides the most explicit enunciation of the resurrection as the reason for the origin of Sunday, when he writes, "The Lord’s day was not declared to the Jews but to the Christians by the resurrection of the Lord and from that event its festivity had its origin." (1) In another epistle the Bishop of Hippo similarly states that "the Lord’s day has been preferred to the Sabbath by the faith of the resurrection." (2) This concise and explicit recognition of the resurrection as the cause of the origin of Sunday observance represents the culmination of long theological reflection.

What did the early church teach AFTER Jesus' resurrection?
Early in the second century the resurrection is not presented as the first or the sole motivation for Sunday observance. Ignatius, we have found, alludes to Christ’s resurrection in his Epistle to the Magnesians, when speaking of the "divine prophets who lived according to Jesus Christ" (8:2). He says that they "attained a new hope, no longer sabbatizing but living according to the Lord’s life, on [or by] which also our life rose up through his death" (9:1). The probative value of the resurrection for Sunday observance is rather negligible in this text, both because the reference to the resurrection of Christ is indirect and because we have shown earlier that Ignatius is not contrasting days but rather ways of life. (3)
In the Epistle of Barnabas (ca. A.D. 135) we found that the resurrection is mentioned by the author as the second of two reasons, important but not dominant. The first reason, which we shall consider subsequently, is eschatological in nature. Sunday, which he designates as the "eighth day," is the prolongation of the Sabbath of the end of time and marks "the beginning of another world" (15:8). The second reason is that Sunday is the day "on which Jesus also (en ha kai) rose from the dead, and having shown himself ascended to heaven" (15:9). The resurrection of Jesus is presented here as an additional justification, presumably because it was not yet viewed as the primary reason for Sunday observance. (4)
In Justin Martyr (ca. A.D. 150) the situation is strikingly similar. Like Barnabas he displays a profound antagonism toward Judaism and the Sabbath. In I Apology Justin, like Barnabas, presents the resurrection as the second of two reasons:
"Sunday, indeed, is the day on which we all hold our common assembly because it is the first day on which God, transforming the darkness and [prime] matter, created the world; and our Saviour Jesus Christ arose from the dead on the same day." (5)
For Justin "the primary motivation for the observance of Sunday," as W. Rordorf admits, "is to commemorate the first day of the creation of the world and only secondarily, in addition, the resurrection of Jesus." (6) It is noteworthy that both Barnabas and Justin who lived at the very time when Sunday worship was rising, present the resurrection as a secondary motivation for Sunday keeping, apparently because initially this was not yet viewed as the fundamental reason. Nevertheless, the resurrection of Christ did emerge as the primary reason for the observance of Sunday. Several liturgical practices were in fact introduced to honor its memory specifically. The Lord’s supper, for instance, writes Cyprian (d. ca. A.D. 258), "though partaken by Christ in the evening.., we celebrate it in the morning on account of the resurrection of the Lord." (7) Similarly, "fasting and kneeling in worship on the Lord’s day," according to Tertullian (ca. A.D. 160-225), were regarded as unlawful." (8) Though he gives no explicit reason for these practices, (9) (undoubtedly well understood by his contemporaries) other Fathers clearly explain that these were designed to aid in remembering Christ’s resurrection. Augustine (A.D. 354-430) for instance, explicitly states that on Sunday "fasting is interrupted and we pray standing, because it is a sign of the resurrection." (10)
It appears therefore that initially Christ’s resurrection was not felt to be the exclusive or the preponderant justification for Sunday worship, but it did emerge rather early as the dominant reason which inspired several liturgical practices. (11) We need, then, to recognize and evaluate the role played by other theological motives as well.
The commemoration of the anniversary of the creation of the world is a justification often adduced by the Fathers for observing Sunday. We noticed above that Justin Martyr in his I Apology 67 presents this as the primary reason for the Christian Sunday gathering:
"Sunday, indeed, is the day on which we hold our common assembly because it is the first day on which God, transforming darkness and prime matter, created the world."

What is the FASCINATING history of Earth's creation?
In our previous discussion of this passage, we concluded that Justin’s allusion to the creation of light on the first day seems to have been suggested by its analogy with the day of the Sun. The statement, however, indicates that even the inauguration of creation on the first day per se was viewed as a valid justification for the Christian weekly gathering. F. A. Regan points out that Justin’s creation motif found in chapter sixty-seven is "evolved from the opening lines of chapter fifty-nine where he unfolds the simple account of the original creation of light and the world." (12) The beginning of creation on the first day of the week is associated by Justin with the resurrection of Christ, apparently because both events occurred on the same day and could be symbolically linked together as rep. resenting the beginning of the old and of the new creation.
Justin’s effort to establish a nexus between creation and resurrection was not an isolated attempt. We noticed earlier the testimonies of Eusebius and Jerome where the two events are explicitly linked together. (13) Ambrose (ca. A.D. 339-397), Bishop of Milan, also echoes this teaching in a hymn of praise to Sunday where he says: "On the first day the blessed Trinity created the world or rather the resurgent Redeemer who conquered death, liberated us." (14) This link between creation and resurrection is found even more explicitly in a sermon of Eusebius of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 500):
"The holy day of Sunday is the commemoration of the Lord. It is called Lord’s (kuriake) because it is the Lord (kurios) of all days. ... It was on this day that the Lord established the foundation of the creation of the world and on the same day He gave to the world the first-fruits of the resurrection.... This day is therefore for us the source of all benefits; the beginning (αρχη) of the creation of the world, the beginning of the resurrection, the beginning of the week. Since this day contains three beginnings, it prefigures the principle of the Trinity." (15)
Additional patristic testimonies could be cited where the inauguration of creation on the first day is presented and defended as a valid justification for the observance of Sunday. (16) This view raises an important question: Why would Christians claim that Sunday commemorated creation, when in the Old Testament and in Jewish thinking this was regarded as an exclusive prerogative of the Sabbath? That this was well understood by early Christians is exemplified by the clear differentiation made between creation and resurrection by those who observed both Saturday and Sunday. In the Apostolic Constitutions (ca. A.D. 380), for instance, Christians are enjoined to keep the Sabbath and the Lord’s day festival:
"The Sabbath on account of creation, and the Lord’s day of the resurrection." (17)
Was perhaps the transference of the commemoration of creation from the Sabbath to Sunday a calculated attempt to deprive the Sabbath of its theological raison d’être? Was the creation motive attributed to Sunday in order to silence Sabbath-keepers who were defending the superiority of the Sabbath on account of its commemoration of the completion of creation? The echo of this controversy reverberates in several testimonies. In the Syriac Didascalia (ca. A.D. 250), for instance, the terms of the dispute are most explicit:
"Cease therefore, beloved brethren, you who from among the people have believed, yet desire still to be tied with bonds, and say that the Sabbath is prior to the first day of the week because the Scripture has said: ‘In six days did God make all things; and on the seventh day he finished all his works, and he sanctified it.

’We ask you now, which is first, Alaf or Tau? For that (day) which is the greater is that which is the beginning of the world, even as the Lord our Saviour said to Moses: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (18)
The issue of the controversy is precise. Jewish converts, some at least, were claiming superiority for the seventh day Sabbath on the ground that the day symbolized the completion of creation. Sunday-keepers, on the other hand, refuted such an argument by arguing that Sunday is superior to the Sabbath inasmuch as being the first day it commemorates the anniversary of creation. This reasoning appears again, though in a more refined theological form, in the treatise On the Sabbath and Circumcision, found among the works of Athanasius (ca. A.D. 296-373), but probably spurious. The author, rather than arguing for the superiority of Sunday by means of the dualism, anniversary versus completion of creation, presents the two days as symbols of two successive creations:
"The Sabbath was the end of the first creation, the Lord’s day was the beginning of the second in which He renewed and restored the old. In the same way as He prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord’s day as being the memorial of the new creation. Indeed, He did not create another one, but He renewed the old and completed what He had begun to do." (19)
Sabbath and Sunday are curiously contrasted here as symbols of the old and new creation. The superiority of Sunday is established by virtue of the nature of the "second creation which has no end," contrary to the first creation commemorated by the Sabbath which "has ended" with Christ. Moreover, since the new creation "renewed and restored the old one," it incorporated the Sabbath and its meaning. By this clever, yet artificial, theological construction, the Sabbath is made a temporary institution "given to the former people [i.e. the Jews], so that they would know the end and the beginning of creation." (20)
This notion of the Sabbath, as announcer of the end of the first and the beginning of the second creation, is totally foreign to the Scriptures. To claim, for instance, that God by resting on the Sabbath "from all His works wishes to say by this that His works need the completion that He Himself has come to bring," (21) is to misconstrue the actual meaning of the divine otiositas —rest. In the creation story God’s Sabbath rest symbolizes specifically the completion and perfection of creation. (22) What caused some Christians to devise such an artificial and unscriptural doctrine of two successive creations? In the light of the existing polemic, reported by documents such as the Didascalia, it would seem that this clever apologetic argument was evoked by the necessity to refute the Sabbath-keepers’claim of the superiority of the Sabbath as memorial of creation. (23)
In the ongoing polemic, the symbology of the first day apparently provided an effective instrument to defend the new day of worship from the attacks of both pagans and Sabbath keeping Christians. To the pagans, Christians could explain that on the day of the Sun they did not venerate the Sun god but rather they celebrated the creation of the light and the rise of the Sun of Righteousness, events which occurred on the first day. To Sabbath-keepers they could show that the first day is superior to the seventh, because the day commemorated the beginning of creation, the anniversary of the new creation and the generation of Christ. These were by no means the sole arguments advanced to justify Sunday observance. The symbology of the eighth day provided another valuable arsenal of apologetic techniques to defend the superiority of Sunday over the Sabbath. These we shall consider now in order to gain additional information on the motivations for the adoption of Sunday.
The Eighth Day
The speculations on the meaning of the first day have already made us aware of how important numerical symbolism was for early Christians. This type of symbolism, alien to modern thought, provided early Christian preachers and theologians with practical and yet profound argumentations that captivated much of the thinking of Christian antiquity. Since the Sabbath was the seventh day of the Jewish week, Sunday could be considered, as stated by Gregory of Nazianzus (A.D. 329-389), as "the first day with reference to those that followed and as the eighth day with regard to those that preceded." (24) The latter designation for Sunday, as we shall discover, was employed far more frequently than the former in the Christian literature of the first five centuries.

What do numbers such as 3, 7, 8, 9 and others represent in the Bible?
The irrationality of an eighth day in a seven day week did not seem to bother the ancients. An explanation is suggested by the prevailing custom, still common in countries like Italy, to reckon a week by counting inclusively from any given day to the same day of the following week. For instance, an Italian will often set an appointment on a Sunday for the following Sunday not by saying, "I will meet you a week from today," but rather "oggi otto—eight days today" since both Sundays are counted. By the same principle the Romans called their eight-day marked cycle "nundinum-ninth day." That this method of inclusive reckoning was used by Christians is indicated by several patristic testimonies. Tertullian (ca. A.D. 160-ca. 225), for instance, writes that pagans celebrated the same festival only once a year, but Christians "every eighth day," meaning every Sunday. (25)
The fact that Sunday could be viewed as the eighth day "with reference to those preceding" (26) does not explain why such a name became so popular a designation for Sunday until about the fifth century. The task of tracing its origin is not an easy one, because, as A. Quacquarelli observes, "the octave [i.e., the eighth] provided the Fathers with material for continuous new reflections." (27)
W. Rordorf proposes that "Sunday came to be associated with the number eight because baptism was administered on Sunday and we know that baptism was early connected with the symbolism associated with the number eight." (28) While it is true that baptism came to be regarded as the fulfillment of the typology of the eighth day of the circumcision and of the eight souls saved from the waters of the flood, this connection, however, is not common in the writings of the Fathers before the fourth century. Eusebius (d. ca. A.D. 340), to our knowledge, is the first to explain explicitly that
"the ogdoad is the Lord’s day of the resurrection of the Saviour when we believe that the cleansing of all our sins took place. It was on that day that children were symbolically circumcised, but that in reality the whole soul which is born of God is purified by baptism." (29)
This theme of the baptismal resurrection, built on the typology of the circumcision and of the story of the flood, occurs again in the fourth century in several texts (30) and it gave rise to the octagonal shape of Christian fonts and baptistries. "At this moment," however, as J. Daniélou points out, "we are very far from its relationship to Sunday." (31) In earlier texts the eighth day of the circumcision and the eight persons saved from the flood are regarded primarily as a prefiguration of the resurrection of Christ on Sunday. Justin Martyr (ca. A.D. 100-ca. 165), for instance, interprets the eight persons of the ark as "symbol of the eighth day, wherein Christ appeared when He rose from the dead, for ever the first in power." (32) Cyprian (c. A.D. 258) flatly rejects the suggestion that children should be baptized on the eighth day in accord with the ancient custom of the circumcision, because, he maintains, "the eighth day, that is to say, the first after the Sabbath, was to be that day on which the Lord would resurrect and vivify us and give to us the spiritual circumcision. " (33) Origen (ca. A.D. 185 - ca. 254) similarly views the eighth day as the symbol of the resurrection of Christ which provided an immediate and global circumcision, namely the baptismal purification of the world. He writes,
"Before the arrival of the eighth day of the Lord Jesus Christ the whole world was impure and uncircumcised. But when the eighth day of the resurrection came, immediately we were cleansed, buried, and raised by the circumcision of Christ." (34)
How BIG was Noah's Ark?
Does the Bible APPROVE of Infant Baptisms?
In these texts the circumcision is not associated with Sunday baptismal ceremony, but rather with the event itself of the resurrection, to which is attributed cleansing power. Moreover, baptism was not administered in the primitive ‘Church exclusively on Sunday. Tertullian (ca. A.D. 160-ca. 225) in his treatise On Baptism, while he recommended Passover and Pentecost as the most suitable times for baptism, also admits that "every day is the Lord’s, every hour, every time is apt for baptism." (35)
More plausible appears the explanation that the "eighth day" became a designation for Sunday as a result of prevailing chiliastic-eschatological speculation on the seven day creation week, sometimes called "cosmic week." In contemporary Jewish apocalyptic literature the duration of the world was commonly subdivided into seven periods (or millennia) of which the seventh generally represented paradise restored. (36) At the end of the seventh period would dawn the eternal new aeon which, though not so designated, could readily be viewed as "the eighth day," since it was the continuation of the seventh.
These speculations were common in Christian circles as well. (37) In the Slavonic Secrets of Enoch, for instance (an apocryphonof the Old Testament interpolated by Jewish Christians toward the end of the first century) we find not only the seven day millennia scheme, (38) but also the first explicit designation of the new aeon as "the eighth day":
"And I appointed the eighth day also, that the eighth day should be the first created after my work and that the first seven should revolve in the form of seven thousand, and that at the beginning of the eighth thousand there should be a time of no-counting, endless, with neither years nor months nor weeks nor days nor hours." (39)
This eschatological symbol of the eighth day as a type of the new eternal world apparently appealed to those Christians who were trying to break away from the Sabbath, since it provided them with a weighty argument to justify their choice and observance of Sunday. In The Epistle of Barnabas (ca. A.D. 135) we find the first instance of this usage. Here the teaching of the Book of Enoch concerning the cosmic week followed by the eighth day is polemically employed to repudiate the Sabbath and to justify Sunday observance. " (40) Barnabas interprets the six days of creation as meaning "that in six thousand years the Lord will bring all things to an end, for a day with him means a thousand years" (15:4). The seventh day, he explains, represents the return of Christ that will put an end to the reign "of the lawless one and judge the ungodly and change the sun and moon and stars, then he will rest well on the seventh day" (15:5). Therefore, he argues, the sanctification of the Sabbath is impossible at the present time, but it will be accomplished in that future age (seventh millennium) "when there is no more disobedience, but all things have been made new by the Lord" (15:6-7). Barnabas then closes making a renewed attempt to disqualify the observance of the Sabbath for the present age and to present instead the "eighth day" as a valid substitution:
"Further he says to them, "Your new moons and Sabbaths I cannot endure." You see what he means: it is not the present Sabbaths that are acceptable to me, but the one that I have made, on which having brought everything to rest, I will make the beginning of an eighth day, that is, the beginning of another world. This is why we also observe the eighth day with rejoicing, on which Jesus also rose from the dead, and having shown himself ascended to heaven." (41)
This cosmic-eschatological symbolism of the eighth day employed by Barnabas to justify the observance of Sunday is constantly reiterated and elaborated by numerous Fathers. This bespeaks a widespread tradition that speculated on the duration of the world by means of the cosmic week. The existence of such speculation could readily have encouraged the choice of the "eighth day" because as symbol of eternity it not only provided a valid justification for Sunday observance, but, in the polemic against Sabbath-keepers, offered also an effective apologetic argument. (42) In fact, as symbol of the eternal new world, the eighth day far surpassed the seventh day which symbolized the kingdom of one thousand years in this transitory world.
Continuation of Sabbath
Some scholars suggest that Sunday was denominated "eighth day" because it originated as a continuation of the Sabbath services which extended into Sunday time. (43) According to Jewish reckoning, the first day of the week began on Saturday evening at sunset. Any worship conducted at that time could readily have been regarded as a continuation of the Sabbath services. Christians who gathered for worship on Saturday night could then have coined the denomination "eighth day," to signify that their worship was the prolongation of that of the Sabbath. Barnabas suggests this possibility. We noticed that he defends the eighth day more as a continuation of the eschatological Sabbath than as a commemoration of the resurrection. The irrationality is striking since Barnabas justifies the observance of the eighth day by the very same eschatological reasons advanced previously to abrogate the Sabbath. This effort does suggest however that the "eighth day" (as implied by the number) was viewed at that time not as a substitution but as an addition to the Sabbath. Note that Barnabas says, "This is why we also (dio kai) observe the eighth day." The adjunctive "also" presupposes that the Sabbath still enjoyed recognition, in spite of the prevailing efforts to invalidate it. (44) It is possible, therefore, that Sunday was initially denominated "eighth day" because, as J. Daniélou realistically explains, the Judaeo-Christians
"who celebrated the Sabbath, the seventh day, as the rest of the Jews, after the Sabbath, they prolonged the Jewish liturgy with the specifically Christian eucharistic cult. This was regarded by the Christian community as the continuation of the Sabbath, that is of the seventh day. It was therefore only natural that they should consider it as eighth day, even though in the calendar it continued to be the first day of the week. And the feelings which Christians had to succeed to Judaism, of which the Sabbath was a symbol, must have contributed to confirm this impression." (45)

Chapter Footnotes

(1) Augustine, Epistula 55, 23, 1, CSEL 34, 194.
(2) Augustine, Epistula 36, 12, 14, CSEL 34, 4.
(3) The passage is discussed above pp. 213f.
(4) In Barnabas, the material cause of the origin of Sunday is the exigency to break with Judaism (see above pp. 218f.) of which the Sabbath was a chief stronghold. The formal cause, on the other hand, is the fact that the eighth day represents eschatologically the beginning of the new world and in the present age it commemorates the risen Christ. The resurrection is not viewed as the first cause but as the second of two reasons.
(5) Justin, I Apology 67, 5-7, Falls, Justin’s Writings, pp. 106-107. These are not the only motivations, since we noticed that in his polemic with Jews and Jewish Christians Justin argues for Sunday observance on the basis of the eighth day of the circumcision and of the eight persons saved from the flood; see above pp. 230-232.
(6) W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 220.
(7) Cyprian, Epistola 63, 15, CSEL 3, 2, 714; Jerome, Commentarius in epistola ad Galatos 4, 10, PL 26, 404-405, extends the symbol of the resurrection to the daily celebration of the Eucharist as well.
(8) Tertullian, De corona 3, 4, ANF III, p. 94.
(9) The reason is suggested by Tertullian in his treatise On Prayer 23, ANE III, p, 689 where he admonishes to stand for prayer on "the day of the Lord’s Resurrection" and "in the period of Pentecost" because both festivities were distinguished "by the same solemnity of exultation."
(10) Augustine, Epistola 55, 28, CSEL 34, 202; cf. Epistola 36, 2, CSEL 34, 32; the same reason is given by Hilary of Poitiers, Praefatio in Psal mum 12, PL 9, 239; Basil, lie Spiritu Sanctu 27, 66, SC p. 236 explains that the standing position during the Sunday service helps to remember the resurrection. However, he comments that the origin of the custom is veiled in mystery; cf. Apostolic Constitutions 2,59, ANF VII, p. 423: "We pray thrice on Sunday standing in memory of Him who arose in three days."
(11) The fact that in the mind of many Fathers Easter Sunday and weekly Sunday were regarded as one basic festival commemorating at different times the same event of the resurrection (see above pp. 204f.) suggests the possibility that both of these originated contemporaneously, possibly in the early part of the second century in Rome (see above pp. 198f.).
(12) F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 86.
(13) See above p. 262.
(14) M. Britt, The Hymns of the Roman Breviary and Missal, 1948, p. 91; Britt attributes the hymn to Pope Gregory the Great while J. Daniélou to Ambrose (Bible and Liturgy, p. 249).
(15) Eusebius of Alexandria, De die Dominico, PA 86, 416.
(16) See, for instance, Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 44 In novam Dominicam, PG 36, 612: "As the first creation began on the Lord’s Day (this is clearly indicated by the fact that the Sabbath falls seven days later, being repose from work), so the second creation began on the same day"; Dionysius of Alexandria, Analecta sacra spicilegio solesmensi 4, ed. J. B. Pitra, 1883, p. 421: "God Himself has instituted Sunday the first day both of creation and also of resurrection: on the day of creation He separated light from darkness and on the day of the resurrection He divided belief from unbelief"; the author known as the Ambrosiaster, Liber quaestionum veteris et novi testamenti 95, 2, CSEL 50, 167, proposes a variation on the same theme: "In fact the world was created on Sunday and since it fell after creation, again it was restored on Sunday......In the same day He both resurrected and created.
(17) Apostolic Constitutions 8, 33, 1, ANF VII, p. 495; cf. ibid. 7, 36, 1, ANF VII, p. 474: "O Lord Almighty, Thou has created the world by Christ, and has appointed the Sabbath in memory thereof, because that on that day Thou hast made us rest from our works, for the meditation upon Thy laws"; Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians 9 (longer version), ANF I, p. 62: "But let every one keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in the meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship or the works of creation of God."
(18) Syriac Didascalia 26, ed. Connolly, p. 233; other interesting arguments are submitted to prove the superiority of Sunday over the Sabbath. For instance, the author argues that when the first day Sunday was made, "the seventh day was yet unknown. ... Which is greater, that which had come into being, and existed, or that which was yet unknown, and of which there was no expectation that it should come to be?" Another argument is drawn from the priority enjoyed by the firstborn in the paternal blessings: "Are your last children blessed, or the firstborn? As the Scripture also saith: Jacob shall be blessed among the firstborn"; the author then argues for the superiority of Sunday by quoting Barnabas 6:13: "Behold, I make the first things as the last and the last as the first" and Matthew 20:16: "The last shall be first, and the first last"; he concludes by referring to the contention that Sunday as the "ogdoad [i. e. eighth day] ... is more than the Sabbath" (Connolly, pp. 234-236). The variety and bizarre nature of these arguments is indicative of an ongoing polemic between Sabbath and Sunday-keepers, as well as of an effort put forth by both sides to defend the superiority of their respective day of worship.
(19) Athanasius, lie sabbatis et circumcisione 4, PG 28, 138 BC.
(20) Loc. cit.
(21) Ibid.
(22) J. Daniélou, "Le Dimanche comme huitième jour," Le Dimanche, Lex Orandi 39, 1965, p. 62: "In the Old Testament... the Seventh Day is the expression of perfection"; Niels-Erik A. Andreasen, The Old Testament Sabbath SBL Diss. Series 7, 1972, p. 196: "We must remind ourselves that it is not the rest (cessation from work) which concludes creation, but it is the concluded creation which occasions both rest and the Sabbath"; on the seventh day as symbol of totality, completion and perfection, see Nicola Negretti, Il Settimo Giorno, Analecta Biblica 55, 1973, pp. 44-45, 57-58.
(23) Another interesting variation of the creation argument is the interpretation of the first day, not as the anniversary of the creation of the world but of the generation of Christ. This idea appears in Clement of Alexandria (ca. A.D. 150-ca. 215) for whom "the seventh day, by banishing evils, prepares the primordial day, our true rest." This first day of creation is allegorically interpreted as "the Word illuminating hidden things," since on that day "He who is the light was brought forth first of all" (Stromateis 6, 16, GCS 2, 501-502); Eusebius elaborates this concept by explaining that on the first day only light was created, since "there was no other creation that would befit the Word" (Commentaria in Psalmos, PG 23, 1173-1176). This concept of the generation of the Word on the first day, which most Christians today would reject as subordinationism, must be regarded as another ingenious attempt to devise a viable theological justification for the observance of the Sabbath.
(24) Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio 44 In novam Dominicam, PG 36, 612C - 613A.
(25) Tertullian, On Idolatry 14, ANF III, p. 70; Syriac Didascalia 26, Connolly, p. 236: "But the Sabbath itself is counted even unto the Sabbath, and it becomes eight [days]; thus an ogdoad is [reached], which is more than the Sabbath, even the first of the week"; it is not clear how the eighth day could be applied to Sunday, when the number is derived by counting from Sabbath to Sabbath; see below p. 290; Justin, Dialogue 41, ANE I, p. 215: "For the first day after the Sabbath, remaining the first of all the days, is called, however, the eighth, according to the number of all the days of the cycle"; cf. Dialogue 138.
(26) See footnote 24.
(27) A. Ouacquarelli, L’Ogdoade Cristiana e i suoi riflessi nella liturgia e nei monumenti, 1973, p. 45.
(28) W. Rordorf, Sunday, p. 277. In the New Testament a typological relationship is established between the circumcision and baptism, but there are no allusions to the significance of the eighth day per se; see Colossians 2:11-13; cf. O. Cullmann, Baptism in the New Testament, 1950, pp. 56ff.
(29) Eusebius, Commentaria in Psalmos 6, PG 23, 120A.
(30) Ambrose, Expositia Psalmi 118, 2:1-3, CSEL 62. 4f., teaches that the eighth day of the circumcision is the symbol of baptism, the spiritual circumcision inaugurated at the first Easter; cf. also De Abraham 2, 11,79, CSEL 32, 631; Gregory of Nyssa, De octava, PA 44, 608-609; Athanasius, lie sabbatis et circumcisione, PG 28, 140C-141B; Chrysostom, De circumcisione, PA 50, 867D.
(31) J. Daniélou (footnote 22) p. 88.
(32) Justin, Dialogue 128, ANE 1, p. 268; cf. Dialogue 41, ANF 1, p. 215: "The command of circumcision, again, bidding them always to circumcise the children on the eighth day, was a type of the true circumcision, by which we are circumcised from deceit and iniquity through Him who rose from the dead on the first day after the Sabbath"; cf. Dialogue 23.
(33) Cyprian, Carthaginense Concilium sub Cypriano tertium 3,3, 1. PL 3, 1053; cf. Epistola 64 CSEL 3, 719.
(34) Origen, Selecta in Psalmos 118, PG 12, 1588.
(35) Tertullian, On Baptism 19, ANE 111, p. 678.
(36) W. Rordorf, Sunday, pp. 48-51, provides a concise summary and an illustrative chart of the prevailing eschatological interpretations of the cosmic week found in late Jewish apocalyptic literature. The eschatological Sabbath, usually viewed as a seventh millennium which would follow the present age (measured in six millennia) was interpreted according to three basic variants: (1) paradise restored, (2) an empty time of silence which would follow the Messianic age and precede the new age and (3) an interim period of the Messiah which marks the anticipation of the new world. These divergent interpretations are indicative of the keen interest in late Judaism and in New Testament times, for eschatological-chiliastic problems. F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 212, comments in this regard: "The Judaic preoccupations with the millennium ... gained a wide following during the New Testament era and the centuries immediately preceding it. The coming of the Messianic age, the so-called ‘days of the Messiah’ with its transition between ‘this world’ and ‘that world to come’ as well as the ‘end of days’ were terms that dotted the vocabulary of the age"; cf. J. L. McKenzie, "The Jewish World in New Testament Times," A Catholic Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, 1953, ed. 738t.; J. Bonsirven, Judaisme Palestinien au temps de Jesus Christ, 1935, pp. 341f.
(37) In the Oriental tradition, as we shall see, the Biblical week was usually interpreted as representing the whole duration of the world in contrast to the eighth day of eternity. In the Western tradition, however, the cosmic week was interpreted historically as representing succession of specific time periods; cf. Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 5, 28, 3; 5, 33, 2; Hippolytus, In Danielein commentarius 4, 23-24; Tertullian, Adversus Marcionem 4, 39; De anima 37, 4; see J. Daniélou, "La typologie mill6nariste de Ia semaine dans le christianisme primitif," Vigiliae christianae, (1948):1-16.
(38) See. J. Quasten, Patrology, 1950, 1, p. 109. The prevailing interpretation of the millennium as a thousand years reign of Christ and of His saints upon the earth, was based upon a misinterpretation of Revelation 20:lf. It was believed that "during this time, intervening before the final end of the world, there would be a superabundance of spiritual peace and harmony ... It can be easily seen how such a theory would fit into a formulation of a Christian world-day-week" (F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 214).
(39) "Enoch 33:7, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, ed. R. H. Charles, 1913, 11, p. 451. This millenarian interpretation of the week possibly derived from another apocryphal work, the Book of Jubilees. Mario Erbetta comments on this regard: "From the fact that Adam did not attain to the age of one thousand years, Jubilees 4:30 concludes that the prophecy of Genesis 2:17 ("In the day that you eat of it you shall die") was effectively fulfilled. It is clear that such way of reasoning must have led, already before the Christian era, to suppose that one day of the world was equivalent to one thousand years. The transition to a world week of 7000 years: 6000 from creation to judg,xnent and 1000 of rest, did not require much acumen" (Oh Apocrifi del Nuovo Testamento, 1969, III, p. 31, footnote 67); cf. F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 215; P. Prigent, Les Testimonia dans le christianisme primitif. L’Èpître de Barnabe I-XVI et ses sources, 1961, pp. 65-71, argues for the presence of the notion of the eighth day already in Jewish apocalyptic.
(40) F. A. Regan, Dies Dominica, p. 215: "The dependency of the author of the Epistle of Barnabas is also quite evident. In the fifteenth chapter, verse four of this work we have an exposition of II Enoch 32:2-33."
(41) Epistle of Barnabas 15:8-9, trans. Edgar J. Goodspeed, The Apostolic Fathers, 1950, p. 41.
(42) Since Jewish Christians belonged to those Jewish apocalyptic circles (see J. Daniélou, footnote 22, p. 71) who attributed great importance to calendric speculations, it is easy to understand why in the controversy between Sabbath-keepers and Sunday-keepers, the latter capitalized on the eschatological value of the eighth day, inasmuch as being a symbol of the eternal new world, Sunday could devaluate the meaning and role of the Sabbath.
(43) J. Daniélou (footnote 22), p. 70; the passage is quoted below, see footnote 45; Jean Gaillard, "Le Dimanche jour sacré" Cahiers de la vie spirituelle 76, 1947, p. 524: "Initially Sunday was a Christian complement of the Sabbath, without any thought of supplanting the traditional sacred day of the Jews"; H. Riesenfeld, "Sabbat et jour du Seigneur," New Testament Essays. Studies in Memory of T. W. Manson, 1958, pp. 210-217, suggests that initially Christians assembled for worship on Saturday evening and later the meeting was shifted to Sunday morning; cf. H. Leclerq, "Dimanche," DACL, col. 1523; C. F. D. Moule, Worship in dig New Testament, 1961, p. 16. It is possible that Saturday evening was reckoned as Sunday time not only by the Jews but by Christians as well. Augustine, for instance, referring to the vigil of Easter Sunday, explicitly states: "Then in the evening as the Sabbath was over, began the night which belongs to the beginning of the Lord’s day, since the Lord consecrated it by the glory of the resurrection. Therefore we celebrate now the solemn memory of that night which belongs to the beginning of the Lord’s day" (S. Guelf. 5, 4, Miscellanea Augustiniana I, p. 460; cf. Epistola 36, 28, CSEL 34, 57). C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, pp. 46, 59, observes that Sabbath evening was "a favorable time" for a Christian gathering, since it followed the rest of the Sabbath and Christians at that time were free to meet.
(44) C. S. Mosna, Storia della domenica, p. 26, perceives in this "the effort which Judaeo-Christians were making to justify their worship"; see above p. 222 for a discussion of the passage.
(45) J. Daniélou (footnote 22), p. 70.