Recommended Reading List on the Sabbath Topic
This is a collection of Nico’s book recommendations on the somewhat broad topic of the Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, rest, and time…
John Paul II’s encyclical: Dies Domini (On Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy). May 31, 1998. (Available on the Vatican website and other printing sources)
Bacchiocchi, Samuele. Divine Rest for Human Restlessness. Rome, Italy: Pontifical Gregorian University Press, 1980.
This book, written by a Seventh Day Adventist theologian, presents a set of very interesting and thorough observations on the Biblical roots of various Sabbath practices. It is written with a strong “Seventh Day” position on the Sabbath which isn’t necessarily the view of many mainline Christian traditions. While the format and layout of the book doesn’t feel very modern or attractive, the content is quite engaging.
Buchanan, Mark. The Rest of God. Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2006.
In this more recent book, Buchanan invites us to restore our soul by restoring Sabbath in our lives. This fourteen part book creatively offers theological reflection on an aspect of Sabbath and proposes some practical means to engage this reflection in our daily lives.
Dawn, Marva J. Keeping the Sabbath Wholly. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989.
This book, written by an evangelical Lutheran theologian, presents a set of meditations and pragmatic reflections on the practices of keeping the sabbath holy. Her fourfold “Cease, Rest, Embrace, and Feast” pattern lends itself to engaging the Lord’s Day with fresh insight.
Heschel, Abraham Joshua. The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man. New York: Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1951.
This very short book, written by an Orthodox Jewish theologian, is a set of inspiring meditations on the nature of the Sabbath. Written in simple language, the insight that Heschel offers on the Sabbath is profound and moving.
Klingaman, Patrick. Finding Rest When the Work Is Never Done. Colorado Springs: Victor Cook Communications, 2000.
Written by a pastor and business consultant, this book is very practical about ways to take rest in a day and age that ignores the Sabbath. It’s a fairly short book that is easy to read with simple ideas for how to take rest that is meaningful and restorative.
Muller, Wayne. Sabbath. Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest. New York: Bantam Book, 1999.
A pastor and therapist, the author examines in a whimsical way the various images and practices of Sabbath rest. A more popular book that is fairly easy to read with some interesting ideas and suggestions on various Sabbath practices.
Pieper, Josef. Leisure: the Basis of Culture. London: Faber and Faber, 1952.
This short book, written by a Roman Catholic philosopher, presents a modern view of work, culture, and leisure based on a classical Thomistic understanding. This small opus contains some very profound thoughts on the nature of work and the importance of worship that shapes a culture. The book is fairly dense in its content and not easily grasped at first sight, but well worth the effort!
Tonstad, Sigve K. The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2009.
This book, written by an Seventh Day Adventist pastor and medical doctor, is a set of reflections and meditations on the meaning of the seventh day. I personally don’t agree with all of the conclusions he makes, but his reflections are engaging and insightful.
Yang, Yong-Eui. Jesus and the Sabbath in Matthew’s Gospel. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1997.
This book, written by an Evangelical Biblical scholar, is a PhD thesis on the sabbath in the synoptic Gospels. He offers a fairly thorough Scripture study of the various sabbath passages in the Synoptics. This is the most comprehensive academic study of the New Testament passages on the Sabbath which I came across in my thesis work.