Why Does the Roman Church Insist on the Eighth Day of the Week?
By H. Schwab

I've done some study and historical research into why the Vatican has continually stressed the issue that it worships on the 8th Day (Sunday).  Its now clear to me that using obscure reasons such as "the 8th Day of circumcision", etc was just a smoke screen to confuse and throw any investigators "off the scent" and cover-up the real reason. 

Below is my conclusion based on the historical facts... 
Why do the large Christian denominations state that they worship on the 8th Day ?   Even the Pope recently reiterated that fact.  This is very unusual, considering that they embrace Sunday...the 1st Day of the week. 
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 24, 2006 - a translation of Benedict XVI's address:
It is what is also emphasized by the Second Vatican Council's constitution on the sacred liturgy, which affirms:
"The Church, by an apostolic tradition, which has its origin in the same day of the resurrection of Christ, celebrates
the paschal mystery every EIGHT DAYS, on the day that is called with reason 'day of the Lord' or Sunday".
("Sacrosanctum Concilium," No. 106).                                      http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=3224 
Barnabas of Alexandria in 130 AD wrote:
"We keep the eighth day [Sunday] with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead"
(Epistle of Barnabas 15:6–8).                                                

The christian philosopher Justin Martyr (100 - 165 A.D.) wrote:  

"Now, sirs," I said, "it is possible for us to show how the eighth day possessed a certain mysterious import, which the seventh day did not possess, and which was promulgated by God through these rites".      (Dialogue. Chapter XXIV).

"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, and [yet] remains the first".                                          (Dialogue. Chapter XLI).  

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Paragraph 2174
Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week".  Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation.  Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day
(he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday. 
So why did the early Catholic Church continually stress the observance of the 8th Day ?  The historian Will Durant wrote in his eleven-volume work The Story of Civilization that "Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it" (Vol. 5, p.595).
Not only did that early church appease the pagan converts by adopting many of their annual pagan holidays and assigning them new christian symbolism, but the church also appeased those converts by convincing them that it was carrying forward the traditional Roman 8th Day of the Empire's 8 day week. 
Very few realize that the ancient Roman Empire kept a totally different weekly cycle.
In his work Saturnalia (1:16:34) the Roman philosopher Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius (395-423 AD) extensively discussed the Roman calendar. The Republic week consisted of seven working days followed by a "market day" called the Nunindae.  This 8 day weekly cycle was marked as A to H on their calendars.
On the 8th Day..."Market Day", the country people would come to the city and enjoy a day of festivity.  Around 44 AD the
7-day week slowly began to creep into the Empire, and the 8-day Roman week coexisted with the modern sabbatical week until emperor Constantine officially replaced it in 321 AD.
By continuing the 7-day count into the following week, the church could also call the 1st-Day of the week the 8th Day (a very clever trick).
The church was perpetuating the 8th Day pagan tradition precisely at a time in history during which the correct Hebrew 7-Day week was creeping into the Roman Republic. To this day the church still insist that Sunday is also the 8th Day.
One problem remained
One problem remained...that of the 7th Day Jewish Sabbath.  With some additional slight of hand they "associated" the
7th Day Sabbath with other physical rituals such as "circumcision", and then declared that ALL of these were now obsolete.  They did not mention that, unlike the physical rituals, the Sabbath was part of the 10 Commandments.
Justin Martyr (100 - 165 A.D.): 
"But if we do not admit this, we shall be liable to fall into foolish opinion, as if it were not the same God who existed in the times of Enoch and all the rest, who neither were circumcised after the flesh, nor observed Sabbaths, nor any other rites, seeing that Moses enjoined such observances... For if there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now".
(Dialogue With Trypho the Jew).
Tertullian (200 A.D.):
"Let him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day ... teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the Sabbath or practiced circumcision, and were thus rendered "friends of God"...since God originated Adam uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, consequently his offspring also, Abel, offering him sacrifices, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, was by him [God] commended...Noah also, uncircumcised—yes, and unobservant of the Sabbath—God freed from the deluge. For Enoch too, most righteous man, uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath, he translated from this world, who did not first taste death in order that, being a candidate for eternal life, he might show us that we also may, without the burden of the law of Moses, please God".             
"It follows, accordingly, that, in so far as the abolition of carnal circumcision and of the old law is demonstrated as having been consummated at its specific times, so also the observance of the Sabbath is demonstrated to have been temporary".                                     (An Answer to the Jews)
John Chrysostom (347 - 407 A.D.):

"The rite of circumcision was venerable in the Jews’ account, forasmuch as the law itself gave way thereto, and the Sabbath was less esteemed than circumcision.  For that circumcision might be performed, the Sabbath was broken; but that the Sabbath might be kept, circumcision was never broken; and mark, I pray, the dispensation of God. This is found to be even more solemn than the Sabbath, as not being omitted at certain times. When then it is done away, much more is the Sabbath".           (Homilies on Philippians 10). .

Articles of related interest may be:

Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord's Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.
Another Look at Ignatius Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal?
Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians.
Justin Martyr: Saint, Heretic, or Apostate? Justin is considered one of the first Christian theologians and scholars. But did he support a Gnostic version of Christianity? Do you know what he taught about souls going to heaven upon death?
The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians.

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Schwab HE. Why Does the Roman Church Insist on the Eighth Day of the Week? www.cogwriter.com (c) 2006