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The Lord's Day and the Day of the Lord.
Does "the Lord's day" (Rev. 1: 10) refer to the prophetic
"Day of the Lord", or to the "First day of the week"?
pp. 61 - 64
This query concerns the interpretation that Wetstein, Dr. Bullinger, Dr. Maitland,
Dr. Todd and others have put upon Rev. 1: 10, making "the Lord's Day" the prophetic
"Day of the Lord", and containing no reference to "the first day of the week". It is
admitted by all, that there is no Scripture which says "The Lord's day is the first day of
the week", or that teaches:
"Seeing that the Jewish Sabbath has no place in Christian worship, the first day of the
week has taken its place and this day is called The Lord's Day."
The only authority for calling the first day of the week "The Lord's day" is that of the
early Fathers, but there is much in the Fathers that is evidently tradition, and if not
unscriptural, is extra or non-scriptural; much that those who believe that the Lord's day
means Sunday, cannot possibly accept as truth, and so we are forced to consider
Rev. 1: 10 on its own merits.
First of all let us examine the phrase "The Lord's day", and see whether there is any
difference between that expression and "the day of the Lord". In English, there is no
essential difference. If "a wooden house" be assessed for value at a certain figure, it
would be a waste of time lodging an appeal because one chose to describe it as "a house
of wood". The term "Lord's day" and "Day of the Lord" are interchangeable.
In I Cor. 10: and 11: we read "The cup of the Lord", "the Lord's table", "the Lord's
death" and "the body and blood of the Lord". These all translate one and the same Greek
grammatical construction, and as we have said, no one would dream of maintaining that
there could be any difference. The R.V. alters "The Lord's table" to "the table of the
Lord", but retains "the Lord's death", showing that no essential difference can be held to
be intended in the two phrases.
This however is not a full statement of the matter. In the ordinary way, the expression
"The day of the Lord" would be in the Greek He hemera kuriou, but in Rev. 1: 10 the
original reads Te kuriake hemera "The day pertaining to the Lord". Kuriake occurs in but
one other passage, namely, "The Lord's supper" (I Cor. 11: 20). No one would
disassociate the supper that pertains to the Lord, from the table of the Lord, the death of
the Lord, or the cup of the Lord, and yet in the original the phrases vary as indicated
above. It is admitted by all, that there can be no essential difference in the two English
phrases "The Lord's day" and "The day of the Lord". In English it would be but a matter
of emphasizing in the former phrase "The Lord" and in the latter "the day", whereas,
strangely enough, the emphasis would be entirely reversed in the original, "Lord's" being
an adjective throws the emphasis forward on to the word "day".