Seventh-Day Adventists/Circumcision and the Sabbath


Dear Sal:
Since circumcision is a requirement in order to keep the Sabbath unless SDAs practice ritual circumcision they should not be keeping the Sabbath. Is that right? Also Gentiles were never to keep the Sabbath. The rabbis knew this fact. The Jewish Encyclopedia quotes the rabbis as saying "A Gentile observing the Sabbath deserves death." Also "The Sabbath is a sign between God and Israel alone." These two quotes make it very clear that Gentiles/Christians are not supposed to be keeping the Jewish Sabbath. Why do SDA still keep it?
Thanks, Karl

Dear Brother Karl:

Yes, it is true that circumcision was a prerequisite to Sabbath keeping under the Old Covenant inasmuch as Sabbath-keeping was the remembrance sign of the Old Covenant  and circumcision was the entrance sign into the Old Covenant.  "And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law" (Galatians 5:3 NASB). Therefore, all males had to be circumcised in order to observe the sign of the Old Covenant.

It is also true that many rabbis did believed that the uncircumcised who attempted to observe the 7th day Sabbath should be put to death. However, this belief that the uncircumcised were to be put to death is not biblically true because uncircumcised Gentiles living under the authority of Israelites were commanded to observe the Sabbath.  "But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns" (Exodus 20:10 NIV; cf. Deuteronomy 5:14). The other statement your quoted form the Jewish Encyclopedia, "The Sabbath is a sign between God and Israel alone" is completely biblical.

12 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you. 14 Therefore you are to observe the sabbath, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death. 16 So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.’ 17 It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.” 18 When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:12-18 NASB).

I believe that sabbatarians would say that the circumcision requirement is done away with in the New Covenant, but the obligation to observe the Sabbath remains. The circumcision requirement being done away with is biblical.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all" (Galatians 5:1-2 NIV; cf. Acts 15:5, 10; Galatians 6:15).

The obligation for Christians to observe the Sabbath is completely unbiblical. No where do we find a New Covenant command for Christians to observe the 7th day Sabbath. There is no evidence that Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles (cf. Romans 11:13; Galatians 2:8), ever taught them to observe the Sabbath and how to do so properly. There is no evidence that any Christian was ever condemned for violating the Sabbath. In fact there is no evidence that Gentiles were ever condemned for not keeping the Sabbath. The bottom line is that the Sabbath was never meant to be observed by anyone other than the Israelites and then only while under the Old Covenant.

God Bless You,
Brother Sal  

Seventh-Day Adventists

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I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember : "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.


I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.

M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

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