Correcting a Commonly Shared Meme

Correcting a Commonly Shared Meme

By Kelly McDonald, Jr.


There is a specific meme (found above) that has been widely circulated by Sabbath keepers. The problem is it contains many historical inaccuracies. It is important to check our facts before sharing information to the public.  Let’s look at what is true and what is not about the meme.

First of all, Constantine was not a pope. Constantine was Emperor over the Western Roman Empire in 321 AD (and then over the entire Roman Empire in 324).

Secondly, it is TRUE that Constantine received a law on March 7, 321 AD regarding the observance of the day of the sun (what we call Sunday). The decree required people in cities to rest. People in the country, especially farmers, were exempted from this so they could work the fields. Here is a copy of the original decree:

“All judges, city dwellers, skill workers, and the offices of all should honor the venerable day of the sun and rest. However, those placed in the country freely serve the fields of culture, because it often happens that no other better on corn grains or vineyard transplant recommended that lost an important opportunity to benefit from the heavenly provision granted” (Codex Justinian: 3.12.2).

In the Latin, the phrase translated as “venerable day of the sun” is venerabilis dies solis. Constantine’s decision was based upon honoring and esteeming the celestial body we call the sun. There are no records of punishments for those who may have violated this law.

Third, this decree did not ban the True Sabbath. It simply added Sunday as a day of rest for most people.

Fourth, there was not another Sunday law passed eleven years later. Constantine passed two Sunday laws in 321; there are no records of Sunday laws being passed by Roman Emperors until 386 AD (CLICK HERE to learn more about other Sunday Laws in the Roman Empire).

Fifth, there is no evidence that Constantine put Christians to death for honoring the Sabbath. No such command is found in any of his decrees. At the end of his life, he was baptized by an Arian believer. The Arians had Sabbath-keeping tendencies. There is no evidence of anyone being put to death for the Sabbath at this time in European history. Constantine actually protected Sabbath observance (CLICK HERE to read more).

Lastly, the majority of Christians still honored the seventh-day Sabbath into the 400s/500s AD. Here are some primary sources that confirm these details: Chrysostom, Eight homilies against the Jews, 1.5 and Commentary on Galatians 1:7; Augustine, letters 36 and 82; Sozomen, Church History, 7:19; Socrates, Church History, 5:22, 6:8. To read these primary sources, just click the following link: Sabbath Keeping in the 300s/400s AD,

BREAK THROUGH DISCOVERY: Constantine protected Sabbath observance. To read more, click this link.

Thank you for reading and God bless!

Kelly McDonald, Jr.
BSA President

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