An Ancient Sabbath Keeping King
By Kelly McDonald, Jr.
As we have reviewed in other Sabbath history segments, Arian Christians had Sabbath-keeping tendencies. They were a group who seem to have practiced the commandments of God. Between 341 and 380 AD, an Arian preacher named Ufilas went to the region known as Germany and Poland today. He evangelized the Germanic and Gothic tribes just on the outskirts of the Roman Empire. He converted many Gothic tribes to Arianism. Eventually, 8 of the 10 major tribes including the Visigoths, Burgundians, Vandals, and Lombards would claim some form of Arian belief.
By the mid-400s AD, the Western Roman Empire was overrun by the Gothic/Germanic tribes. Because most of these were Arian, Sabbath keeping was also diffused in the area. Sidonius Apollinaris, who was a writer and Christian of this time period, tells us about one particular Visigothic King, Theodoric, who ruled southern France and Spain from 453-466 AD.
“On ordinary days, his table resembles that of a private person…. What need for me to describe the pomp of the Sabbath?” (Sidonius Appollinarius Book 1, Letter 2, Section 6.)
If you were to read the full context of this quote, Sidonius explains that Theodoric ate like a common man during the week, but on the Sabbath he ate with great pomp. This shows that Sabbath keeping was revered even by kings in this time period.
Kelly McDonald, JR.
BSA President www.biblesabbath.org