Go to Introduction or Study Content

|| Sabbath Studies || Full Sabbath Index || #1. Why Keep Sabbath? || #2. Death, Burial, and Resurrection || #3. Spiritual Fulfilment of Sabbath || #4. Q and A on Sabbath Day || #5. Non Scriptural Q and A || Sabbath Changed to Sunday || #6. Sabbath Summary

#4.22 YOU OBSERVE DAYS, and MONTHS, and TIMES, and YEARS Galatians 4:10

This bible study uses a Greek Unicode font and is printable.

Greek Word Study on 4521 σάββατον sabbaton Sabbath.
Hebrew Word Study on 7676 שַׁבָּת shabbat Sabbath.
Full Sabbath Index || Search this website || Bible Studies Index

8 However then, when you did not know God, you did service to those who by nature are not gods.
9 But now, having known God, or rather having been known by God, how do you turn again to the weak and poor principles, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
10 You observe days, and months, and times, and years.
11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.

Note: Here again we have a scripture that does not mention the Sabbath, being used to prove that the Sabbath has been done away with. This reasoning is not sound. What this scripture refers to depends on what we believe Paul meant by the word "days" (v10) (Gr. ἡμέρας Gtr. hemeras). If we consider the context, there are two possibilities.

(1) In the immediate context (v8-11), it looks as if the Galatians may have gone back to observe "days, months, times, and years" (v10), from their previous religion, when they served false gods (v8). In which case, the days would refer to the days of their previous pagan religion, and would be nothing at all to do with the Sabbath day.

(2) Looking at the broader context of Paul's letter to the Galatians, he is rebuking them for going back under the law of Moses.

(Galatians 2:16) "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."
(Galatians 3:2) "This only would I learn of you, Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"
(Galatians 3:5) "He therefore who ministers to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"
(Galatians 3:10-11) "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."
(Galatians 3:18) "For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."
(Galatians 4:21) "Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?"
(Galatians 5:4) "Christ is become of no effect to you, whoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace."

This is the more obvious interpretation, in which case we must accept that the "days" referred to could be Sabbath days or feast days. If we read these scriptures very carefully, and we see that Paul is talking about "the works of the law" as a means of justification (Galatians 2:16; 3:10-11; 5:4), which has already been dealt with (See #4.04), and being "under the law" (Galatians 4:21 See #4.14). The whole context of the letter to the Galatians, is concerned with urging them to be justified by the faith of Christ, and not trying to be justified by "the works of the law". What was Paul saying then?

(Galatians 4:10) "You observe days, and months, and times, and years in order to be justified,"

The "days" could refer to weekly Sabbaths, "months" to the New moons, "times" to evening and morning, and "years" to the yearly feast days. In which case Paul is against the sacrifices which were made for sin on those days (See #4.24 below), and not against the days. Keeping the days without the sacrifices would never justify anybody under the law, because all have sinned (Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 3:23). Paul himself observed the Sabbath and other Jewish feasts (Acts 17:1-2; 17:10; 18:4; 18:19-21; 20:16), but not as a means of justification.
In conclusion, there is no case here for rejecting the Sabbath day. This bible study refutes the idea that Paul's reference to "Days, months, times, and years" (Galatians 4:10) has cancelled the Sabbath day.

Sabbath Questions and Answers bible quiz  Green tick

If you have benefited from reading this study, then please tell your friends about this website.
If you have a website of your own, consider linking to Logos Apostolic website.
Please copy and paste this link into Facebook and Twitter to all your friends who think that Galatians 4:10 refers to the Sabbath day.

Arrow pointing left  Romans 14:5 Sabbath? || Full Sabbath Index || Top || Bible Studies Index || Sabbath nailed to Cross?  Arrow pointing right