Medieval Christian adoption of Jewish Sabbath

Ilana Ben-Ezra's picture

Dear fellow medievalists, 


I am wondering if anybody has any information - primary or secondary sources are both welcomed - on Christian observance of the Sabbath on Saturday, instead of Sunday.  I am in the process of writing about Raymond de Penaforte's (d. 1275) Summa de Paenitentia and he includes an interesting case warning Christians against observing the Jewish sabbath.  This can obviously be a purely polemical reference and spritual admonishment, but I am wondering if there is any possibility that he was responding to actual Christian practices, since his work was a penitential handbook meant to guide the laity.  If anybody has any information on this topic, it would be much appreciated. 



Ilana Ben-Ezra

I would be extremely interested in this question as well. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries Iberian missionaries were distressed about the observance of the Saturday sabbath in the Orthodox Ethiopian church. It was among the Judaizing heresies they railed against. I was not aware, however, that Saturday observance had come up much earlier in Raymond de Penaforte’s Summa, well before Ethiopians and Europeans had much contact. Of course, there had long been an important Ethiopian presence in Jerusalem.

Thanks to any of you who can expand on this topic.
Marcia Kupfer