Good Lookin' Out: Perspectives on the Sabbath

The Sabbath is a very important topic in biblical and theological studies. It is a major hermeneutical test case for how one lets biblical theology inform systematic theology. The differences between the theological systems of covenant theology and new covenant theology in many ways revolve around the Sabbath. It is an important topic to think through.

Having said that, I want to recommend Craig Blomberg's chapter in a recently published book called Perspectives on the Sabbath: 4 Views ed. Christopher John Donato. Blomberg advocates the "Fulfillment view." Although he does not use the label, this is the New Covenant view of the Sabbath, and he does a fantastic job interpreting key passages and responding to opposing views. Here is an excerpt from his section on Hebrews:

"Because Jesus fulfilled the Law, and thus fulfilled the Sabbath commands, He, not some day of the week, is what offers the believers rest. We obey the Sabbath commandment of the Decalogue as we spiritually rest in Christ, letting Him bear our heavy burdens, trusting Him for salvation, and committing our lives to Him in service, then remaining faithful in lifelong loyalty to Him rather than committing apostasy."

He then quotes Everett Ferguson as a fitting summary of his view:

"The view that the Sabbath is binding on Christians rests on no explicit text in the NT or early Christian literature. It is surpassingly strange that a supposedly central Christian religious duty depends on the interpretation of an OT text. Rather than seeing a continuing validity of the Sabbath, which was changed from Saturday to Sunday, whether legitimately by the apostles in the first century or illegitimately by the church in the second (or by Constantine in the fourth), it is better to see the Sabbath command as a part of the superseded Mosaic institution and the Lord's Day as a different type of day, a day of assembly and worship."

(For several helpful resources on the Sabbath, see here)