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I have a translation of the New Testament in my hands, in which Revelation 1:10 is rendered as "I was in the Spirit on Sunday". When I looked up the same verse in some other translations, I saw "I was in the Spirit on the day of the Lord".

Can anyone, please, comment on this? How much is it permissible to render "the day of the Lord" as "Sunday", or vice versa? What about original manuscripts? Do they have the word "Lord" there? Do they have the name of a day of the week there?

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The early christians made a tradition out of meeting on "the first day of the week", which is Sunday, because Saturday is the last day of the week (you can compare this to an American calendar which start the week on a Sunday and ends it on a Saturday.)

Acts 20:7:

On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.

and 1 Cor 16:2:

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

A hint that John saw his revelation on a day when christians used to worship is in Rev 4 where some kind of heavenly worship service is going on (but a more solid evidence is Didaché which I refer to below). It was an ordinary day of work, but it was special because it was the day when the Lord had risen (Mark 16:2).

It's not far fetched to connect this with "the day of the Lord". In the early christian book called Didaché which is "dated by most scholars to the late first or early 2nd century" (Wikipedia) it is also obvious that "the day of the Lord" was the most important day for the christians to meet on:

But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: "In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations." Didaché, ch. 14

Put these two things together, the tradition to meet on "the first day of the week" and the tradition to meet on "the day of the Lord" and I think you have a pretty good case that they both refer to Sunday.

As a side note, it may also be observed that there is another concept in the Bible of "the day of the Lord" (Isiah 13:6, 9; Ez 13:5 etc) which should not be confused with what's going on in Rev 1:10.


As Jon points out in the comments there is another question which deals more with the transit from the Jewish sabbath (Friday night to Saturday) to Sunday as the christian worship day.

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    Welcome to our Biblical Hermeneutics site. Solid answer! Part of the confusion we modern Christians have, is confusing the "Lord's day" with the "Sabbath". They are now very much tied in our minds, but they would have been somewhat distinct in the first few centuries of the church. Now I'm curious how that transition happened. This question has some hints. – Jon Ericson Jul 6 '12 at 15:29
  • Thanks Jon! I've got some help before on other passages by reading some previous answer from the site. So I thought it was about time that I contributed ;) I also made my answer a little more complete by (a) adding a reference to Rev 4 in the beginning of the answer (b) moved up a previous comment about another concept of "the day of the Lord" and (c) added your link to the answer. Hopefully more people would find this answer helpful in the future. – Niclas Nilsson Jul 6 '12 at 19:19
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    And this confusion... I believe most of my congregation (myself included) might use the Swedish term "vilodagen" (day of resting) to refer to Sunday and the term "sabbath" to refer to the Jewish sabbath. But that of course is a cultural thing. – Niclas Nilsson Jul 6 '12 at 19:35
  • I'm so glad you found some help from previous answers. (I'm curious which ones.) Seems like you've learned to contribute from observation, which is excellent. Thanks so much. – Jon Ericson Jul 6 '12 at 20:23
  • The fact that the Jewish day starts at 6pm is an important piece in the puzzle, I think. In Acts 20:9 we read that "On the first day of the week we (the believing community) came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight". A Jewish day starts about 6pm. So to break bread together in the beginning of the first day of the week - Sunday, they would have to gather already at the end of Saturday, around 5.30pm. – Constantthin Jun 4 '18 at 1:55
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Pleasd read Acts 20:7 or 1 Cor. 16:2 using a Greek interlinear, you will find that in Greek it shows the word Saturday or Sabaton and not 1st day or Sunday. The first Christians kept the Sabbath or the 7th day. The translation is a complete lie or misslesding intent.

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The translation of τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ as "Sunday" is reckless and absurd. I recommend tossing it into a Gezina.

Here is the text in question:

Westcott and Hort / [NA27 variants] ἐγενόμην ἐν πνεύματι ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ, καὶ ἤκουσα ὀπίσω μου φωνὴν μεγάλην ὡς σάλπιγγος

The words literally say "the Lord's day". This is not a spanking new "Christian" term but rather an ancient Jewish term repeated and discussed endlessly in both "testaments".

"Sunday" on the other hand is named after the Roman sun-god, which the emperor Constantine also worshiped and minted coins in honor of.

The term "the day of" is a Jewish idiom for "the time of", not just a single day. "The day of the Lord" is the Septuagint version of "the day of YHVH".

There is no "Christian day of worship" established in the scriptures. John was clearly brought by the "spirit" to witness the events of the end of the age.

Update

Malachi reveals that the long promised "day of the Lord" occurred in the first century AD (culminating in the great judgment on Herod's temple and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD):

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Revelation, then is at least partially rooted in the events of 70AD.

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“Day of the Lord” or “Sunday” in Revelation 1:10

Under inspiration John found himself in " The Lord's Day" this does not refer to a particular day of the week, because the events that follow in the prophesies of Revelation happen at a future time, that John saw in his vision.

Includes events like the destruction of the kings of the earth, and the resurrection of the dead, and many other events that we read in the Revelation. Compare also 1 Corinthians 1:8 "Day of our Lord Jesus Christ", Philippians 1:10 and 1:16 "Day of Christ" 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 reads;

1 Corinthians 5:4-5 (NRSV)

" In the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing.[a] When you are assembled, and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord."

  • "The Lord's Day" this does refer to a particular day of the week" - "does" or "doesn't" ? – brilliant Apr 18 '18 at 22:48
  • brilliant, It doesn't refer to a particular day of the week, but a long period of time in which the events mention in Revelation will take place. Like the resurrection of the dead. Please note the bold verses above also refer to the Lord's Day – Ozzie Nicolas Apr 19 '18 at 15:45
  • "...because the events that follow in the prophesies of Revelation happen at a future time, that John saw in his vision" - But isn't it Like John is telling us that one day he was on the isle of Patmos and that it was on the day of the Lord, and that on that day he heard the voice telling him to write something to the seven churches first? I mean all of that was not yet the future events. The real prophecy about the future starts only from Rev 4:1: "Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter" – brilliant Apr 19 '18 at 18:09
  • brilliant . Not from 4:1 but from 1: 3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of the prophecy, and blessed are those who hear and who keep what is written in it; for the time is near".and 1:19 "Now write what you have seen, what is, and what is to take place after this." Note that verse 3 says "Blessed are those who hear and keep what is written in it". – Ozzie Nicolas Apr 19 '18 at 21:06
  • (1) Rev 1:3 is merely an introduction to the whole book. There are no prophecies in 1:3 at all. 1:19 is simply a command by Jesus to John to write "what he had just seen" by that moment (exactly, seven stars and seven lampstands), "what is" (that is, seven churches), and " what is to take place after this" (that is, all other things about the future that would be shown to John in visions soon after Jesus is done telling John what to write to the seven churches). – brilliant Apr 20 '18 at 6:06

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