When did the writer of the Book of The Revelation have his experience? Verse 10 of Chapter 1 is under discussion. Does the Lord’s Day mean the first day of the week, or does it mean something else? Some Christians use this verse to support the belief that the seventh-day Sabbath has been replaced by the first day of the week, commonly referred to as the Lord’s Day. It is further believed by many that Jesus, Himself, made the change. Is this a correct assumption?
This comparative essay quotes this verse from a number of versions. Following the listing, I evaluate the interpretations and try to clarify what is meant by the Lord’s Day.
- AB – Amplified Bible
- CEV – Contemporary English Version
- CJB – Complete Jewish Bible
- CLNT – Concordant Literal New Testament
- CNT – Cassirer New Testament
- EBR – The Emphasized Bible
- HBME – The Holy Bible in Modern English
- KLNT – Kleist-Lilly New Testament
- KTC – Knox Translation
- LB – Living Bible
- LBP – Lamsa Bible
- MSNT – The Modern Speech New Testament
- NNT – Noli New Testament
- NSNT – Norlie’s Simplified New Testament
- NWT – New World Translation
- ONT – The Original New Testament
- PRS – Phillips Revised Student Edition
- SISR – The Scriptures (ISR)
- TCNT – The Twentieth Century New Testament
- TM – The Message
- WAS – Worrell New Testament
- WET – Wuest Expanded Translation
- WTNT – William Tindale Newe Testament
Revelation 1: 10
AB – I was in the Spirit – rapt in His power – on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice like the calling of a war trumpet, … .
CEV – On the Lord’s day the Spirit took control of me, and behind me I heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet.
Footnote: Lord’s day: Sunday, the day when Jesus was raised from death, and when many Christians worship.
CJB – I came to be, in the Spirit, on the Day of the Lord; and I heard behind me a loud voice, like a trumpet, … .
CLNT – I came to be, in spirit, in the Lord’s day, and I hear behind me a voice, loud as a trumpet, saying, … .
CNT – There it was that, on the Lord’s Day, the Spirit took possession of me, and what I heard was a powerful voice, like the call of a trumpet, … .
EBR – I came to be in Spirit in the Lord’s Day, and heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, … .
HBME – I became inspired on the Lord’s day; and I heard a loud voice behind me, resembling a trumpet-blast, saying, ….
LB – It was the Lord’s Day and I was worshiping, when suddenly I heard a loud voice behind me, a voice that sounded like a trumpet blast, … .
LBP – The Spirit of prophecy came upon me on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a great voice, as a trumpet, saying, … .
KLNT – I found myself in prophetic ecstacy on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a voice as resounding as a trumpet.
KTC – And there, on the Lord’s day, I fell into a trance, and heard behind me a voice, loud as the call of a trumpet, which said, … .
MSNT – In the Spirit I found myself present on the day of the Lord, and I heard behind me a loud voice which resembled the blast of a trumpet.
Footnote: The day of the Lord, i.e. either the time of the Redeemer’s Parousia or return to the earth, or else the interval that was to elapse before the coming of that time. That was the Seer’s standpoint. In The Teaching of the Apostles, xiv, we read, “Every Lord’s [day] of the Lord come together and break bread.” Otherwise we have no reason to suppose that Sunday had yet received its present name of “the Lord’s day.”
NNT – On Sunday, I fell into a trance and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me, … .
NSNT – On the Lord’s day, I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me, a great voice, like the blast of a trumpet.
NWT – By inspiration I came to be in the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a strong voice like that of a trumpet, … .
Footnote: [in the Lord’s day]. See 1 Corinthians 1: 8 and 1 Corinthians 5: 5.
ONT – I became ecstatic on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet horn, saying, … .
Footnote: [trumpet horn]. The shofar (ram’s horn trumpet), cf. Ezekiel 3: 12.
PRS – On the Lord’s day I knew myself inspired by the Spirit, and I heard from behind me a voice loud as a trumpet-call, saying, … .
SISR – I came to be in the Spirit on the Day of Yahweh, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as a trumpet, … .
Footnote: [The Day of Yahweh]. The prophetic Day, so called in at least 30 places, and referred to in 300 similar terms.
TCNT – I fell into a trance on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, like the blast of a trumpet.
TM – It was Sunday and I was in the Spirit, praying. I heard a loud voice behind me, trumpet-clear and piercing: … .
WAS – I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day; and I heard behind me a voice as of a trumpet, … .
Footnote: In the Spirit: under the power of the Spirit, and in a condition to receive a revelation.
Footnote: On the Lord’s day: or the first day of sabbaths, the day on which Christ rose from the dead, and the day on which the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost.
Footnote: A great voice: the voice of Jesus, (v. 13).
WET – I entered into a different experience in the sphere of the Spirit [His absolute control] on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a voice, a great one, like a trumpet, saying, … .
WTNT – I was in the Spirit on a Sunday, and heard behind me, a great voice, as it had been of a trump saying, … .
The Bible Almanac: (page 539)
We do know that the early Christians held their services on Sunday, the first day of the week. They called this “the Lord’s Day” because it was the day that Christ rose from the dead.
Come Out of Her, My People: (page 121)
The weekly day of rest was transferred from the Sabbath to the Sun-day, the first day of the week, by the newly fused (merged, mixed, or compromised) Church in the year 336 C.E. (or 364 C.E.), at the Council of Laodicea.
Halley’s Bible Handbook: (page 691)
“The Lord’s Day” (1: 10), evidently was the “First Day of the Week” (Acts 20: 7; 1 Corinthians 16: 2): the Day on which Christians met for worship, in commemoration of the Lord’s Resurrection. As the Seventh Day had been kept in commemoration of Creation, the First Day was set aside to keep forever fresh in men’s minds the Story of Jesus’ Resurrection from the Dead: the Most Momentous Day of All History: the One Event that gives Meaning to human life.
Smith’s Bible Dictionary: (page 363)
The Lord’s day: the weekly festival of our Lord’s resurrection, and identified with “the first day of the week,” or “Sunday,” of every age of the Church. Scripture says very little concerning this day; but that little seems to indicate that the divinely-inspired apostles, by their practice and by their precepts, marked the first day of the week as a day for meeting together to break bread, for communicating and receiving instructions, for laying up offerings in store for charitable purposes, for occupation in holy thought and prayer.
Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: (page 542)
For the first three centuries of the Christian era the first day of the week was never confounded with the “sabbath;” the confusion of the Jewish and Christian institutions was due to declension from apostolic teaching.
Another way of writing The Lord’s Day is The Day of the Lord. From an English grammatical standpoint of the translation, both are in the genitive (possessive) case and express the same meaning.
There are numerous Scriptural references to the Day of the Lord (Isaiah 2: 12-18; 13: 9; Jeremiah 46: 10; Joel 1: 15, 16; 2 Peter 3: 10). All speak of a day in which Yahweh brings destruction on the earth. It is not a quiet day of worship on the first day of the week. Read the whole Book of The Revelation. The writer has described a time of destruction. There is reference to the voice sounding like a trumpet in the passage under discussion. This is consistent with subsequent references in this book (4: 1; 8: 13; and 9: 14). John was taken in the Spirit to a great day of the future.
Two passages which are used along with the one being discussed to prove that the seventh-day Sabbath had been replaced by Sunday (the first day of the week) are Acts 20: 7 and 1 Corinthians 16: 2. Use of these, however, shows a lack of knowledge and understanding of Jewish custom. The Sabbath had not been changed to the first day of the week by Jesus. Note that Matthew 28: 1 and Hebrews 4: 9 indicate that the Sabbath was still being kept. However, both references have been mistranslated in many versions of the Scriptures. Hebrews 4 also refers to the Sabbath being kept in the future.
The first day of the week begins following the closing of the Sabbath at sundown on Saturday. Candles are used in this closing ceremony. This accounts for the lights at that meeting. Following the ceremony, it is customary to have a meal. Thus, the people had met together on the first day of the week to break bread. After this and during the night, Paul preached to the people. He did not preach all afternoon and evening on Sunday and through the early hours of Monday until morning.
Since the people, as well as Paul, were strict about observing the Sabbath, they would not be collecting money on that day. Thus, the direction was given to collect on the first day of the week, which could be on Sunday evening after the closing ceremony or all day on Monday. It was unlike the Christian churches of today that collect on the day of worship, which happens to be the first day of the week.
The first day of the week was not officially known as the Lord’s Day until the time of the Council of Laodicea when the council ratified a change in custom which was already well established. The “Christian” church of the day made the change.
In conclusion, it does not matter on which day of the week that John saw his vision. It could have been any day. The important point, which has been missed by many translators and commentators, is that John was taken in the Spirit to be shown what the Day of the Lord would be like so that he could provide a warning to all people.