Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Sabbath

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Sabbath, The. A day of rest, not usually at fixed periods, was common among all peoples above the level of the Australians and the Melanesians. The Jews seem to have borrowed their Sabbath from the Babylonian's, who had a seven-day week, as all admit, though they did not suspend work on the seventh day, and it was considered unlucky. As, however, their festival at the full moon was called Sabattu, it can hardly be doubted that the Jews adopted the name from them during the Exile. The Moslem follow the Jews in regard to the Sabbath, but are not compelled to abstain from work except during the hours of service. The claim of some apologists that Christianity, which changed the day of rest to "the Sun's Day" in honour of Christ, conferred a great boon on the poor workers of Rome by bringing them one day's rest in seven, reflects their abysmal ignorance of Roman history. By the fourth century the Romans had a day's holiday, with free entertainments, on more than half the days of the year. [See Workers.] They successfully resisted Constantine's attempt to introduce Sunday.

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Scanning, HTML Rae West. First upload 2012-04-13