Sometimes we can misunderstand the intent of God, not through misinterpretation but through expropriation. This happens when Christians through tradition or societal linguistics adopt a phrase, term, or word to mean something other than the intent or meaning God had used it for. When this happens it is hard to use the word as God intended and not get mixed up with the socially adopted meaning. Over time the adopted meaning can co-opt and even displace the meaning God intended. A phrase I believe to be an example of this is ‘Lord’s day’ or ‘day of the Lord’. Most Christians believe the Lord’s day is Sunday, but the Bible consistently refers to Sunday as the first day of the week. Those Christians believe Revelation 1:10 is referring to the day of the week John had his vision, but is it? The time when God takes his wrath out on the rulers of the world and punishes the world for their sins is referred to in 65 different sections of scripture and in various ways including ‘in that day’, ‘the day of the Lord’, ‘for that day belongs to the Lord God of hosts’, ‘the day of his anger’, ‘for the day’, ‘on the day’, ‘day of wrath’, ‘a day of reckoning’, ‘at the last day’, ‘that day’, ‘the day’, ‘day of our lord Jesus Christ’, ‘the son of man is coming’, ‘the Lord’s Day’. The book of Revelation describes the events that will happen in the future when Jesus returns to the earth and begins his reign as King of Kings which all those terms are referring to. The Lord’s day is the day Jesus returns to begin his earthly rule as King of Kings. Verses 1 and 2 tell us the book John wrote was the Revelation of Jesus Christ and what would lead up to his return. John received the vision of what was going to happen from an angel, that is why he was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day. He was seeing the dreadful things that would happen when Jesus returned, he wasn’t telling us the day of the week.
Revelation 1:1-2 King James Version
1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
Revelation 1:10. Easy-to-Read Version
10 On the Lord’s Day, the Spirit took control of me. I heard a loud voice behind me that sounded like a trumpet.
Wanting to find scripture to support the decision to worship on Sunday, early Church fathers expropriated the term Lord’s Day to mean Sunday. Of all the varied references to when Jesus comes to rule Revelation 1:10 is the only time tradition tells us it is referring to a day of the week rather than when Jesus returns. How has church tradition affected your interpretation of the word of God? How can traditions keep you from hearing what God has to say? Do you explore ideas that contradict traditions?