When I first came to Christ I knew very little about the Bible. I said a simple sinner’s prayer, experienced God’s boundless forgiveness and fell madly in love with Jesus. When I was confronted with the Bible evidence for the seventh-day Sabbath, Jesus’ words, “if you love Me, keep My commandments” sealed the deal. The love factor has made all the difference for this raised Catholic, “born again” in Calvary Chapel, nurtured by a Pentecostal youth group and now a baptized Seventh-day Adventist Christian.

It’s been over 30 years and I am still growing in wisdom and Bible knowledge with God’s love as the final arbiter. Not long ago I got jazzed about the easy to read, modern language Message Bible, until I read its rendition of Revelation 1:10:

“It was Sunday and I was in the Spirit…” (Message Bible).

Not only did it end up on my heresy shelf, but it caused me to do some serious thinking about modern Bible versions, which then led me to compare every version I could find with Revelation 1:10—my new “litmus-test-text” (say that really fast 10 times). The results were shocking. No less than seven post-2000 Bible translations had Sunday as the “Lord’s day” including one Spanish version:

“On the Lord’s day [probably a reference to the “first day of the week, Sunday…]” (Expanded Bible).

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, [c-Sunday]…” (Holman Christian Standard Bible, 2004).

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (the first day of the week), (The Voice, 2011).

“I was in Spirit in the Sunday…” (Wycliffe Bible, 2001 by Terence P. Noble).

“And I was in the spirit on the first [day] of the week…” (The Hebraic-Roots Version, by James Scott Trimm, 2004, 2005).

“Pero un domingo[a] quedé bajo el poder del Espíritu Santo…” (Traducción en Lenguaje Actual (TLA, 2003).

Neither the Greek nor the Bible itself supports the idea that the “Lord’s Day” is Sunday. From Moses, the first Bible author, to Jesus and His final Revelation, God’s word teaches that the Lord’s Day is Saturday, the “seventh-day” Bible “Sabbath” (Exodus 20:10; Mark 2:27-28).

There is a principle involved that reaches beyond our intellectual grasp of truth. It’s about God’s love.

Yet the Sunday/Sabbath issue is not just about a day. There is a principle involved that reaches beyond our intellectual grasp of truth. It’s about God’s love. Do we believe that Jesus is in love with us? Are we in love with Jesus? Have we tasted the passionate power of God’s love to decimate our selfishness? If not, we will, in spirit or ink, re-translate God’s word to justify our own personal practices. The only difference between those who “follow the Lamb wherever He goes” and those who follow Him nine-tenths of the way, will be the love factor (Revelation 14:4). Ultimately we need to be more than right about the truth, we need the “love of the truth.” Amen.

James Rafferty

James has spent more than 30 years preaching the gospel around the world in revival seminars and evangelistic meetings. He and his wife Risë have two adult children, Jeiel and Kierra.