Is Easter Christian?
Every year millions of Christians celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus christ at what is known as Easter time. The day of the death, the crucifixion of Jesus known as good friday and the day of his resurrection from the dead being Easter Sunday. Easter sunday is also a time when people give Easter eggs as part of this celebration in what is commonly known as a time of rebirth. Eggs symbolising regeneration The season is full of other symbolic such as Easter Bunnies and chicks. A perfectly “Christian” season at face value ….or is it?
I can’t be the only one ,well actually I know i’m not the only one , who has noticed that 3 days and 3 nights do not fit into Friday through Sunday. Unfortunately the vast majority of those who have spotted this little discrepancy in the churches narrative are those that wouldn’t in any way class themselves as christian. I am still unsure as to why most christians have failed to spot this rather obvious issue. Maybe it’s through not actually looking at what the word of God says, maybe it’s through indoctrination, or simply following the crowd or maybe it’s through cognitive dissonance. Like I said I’m not sure although I certainly have my suspicions, a mix of all is the likely candidate. I shall not delve any further into this specific part of the topic here as I have a separate detailed writing explaining the true day of crucifixion called What day did Jesus die? That deals with that question. I also can’t be the only one to notice that Easter seems to jump around all over the place landing somewhere between late March and early May. This however can easily be explained by the fact that the Jewish calendar does not coincide with the Gregorian calendar used by most of the rest of the world. Jesus died at passover and so it would make sense that “Easter” followed this date rather than being on the same date every year according to the gregorian calendar as Passover does not follow this calendar but the Jewish one and so Passover does change its place according to the gregorian calendar on a yearly basis. The date of Easter was chosen at the council of Nicea in 325 AD. It was determined that Easter would fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon that occurred after the spring Equinox.
Problem solved….but not so fast. If Jesus died at Passover and resurrected 3 days later than “Easter Sunday” should be, if we are being biblical, 3 days after the Jewish passover. But this is NOT the case. In fact most years there is between a 5-7 day difference. There have been occasions (since the year 2000) where there has been upto a 26 day difference as in 2005 and 2008. What is even more surprising is that in both of these years Easter was BEFORE the Jewish Passover, 26 days before. In 2005 Easter was on March 27 while the passover wasn’t until April 22nd. In 2008 Easter was March 23rd while the passover was the 18th April. Call me pedantic but I think celebrating the resurrection before the day of death cannot be theologically correct. This also happened in 2016 when Easter was on the 27th March and the Passover was the 21st April where this time there was a mere 25 days difference. In the next 10 years this will again ocurre in both 2024 and in 2027. So we have a “date” issue both with the length of time of Jesus’ death and also with the timing of that death and resurrection. This alone should raise a red flag. All the dates above are for the western church, dates differ when it comes to the eastern orthodox church which normally celebrates easter a week after the western church although this difference changes and can in fact be on the same day but also upto 5 weeks later. Surely another red flag that something is amiss. A true Easter “Sunday” MUST and I stress must ocurre 3 days after passover. There is no way of getting around this. It really matters not if Jesus rose on what we today call a Sunday, Sunday did not exist back in the time of Jesus and neither did the calendar that is in use today. The fact is that although a person’s date of death will not change a persons day of death does. This simply means that if a person dies on the 12th March 2018 the 12th March will always be the DATE that they died. However while this date falls on a Monday it will not fall on a Monday in the year 2019 according to the modern calendar. Therefore to keep celebrating the Easter festival on a Friday and Sunday every year is in itself going to move the DATE of death and resurrection. Of course the argument is often presented that Easter is celebrated at the next available “Lord’s Day” after the passover. As shown this is factually incorrect. The “Lord’s day” is another subject that I won’t go into or it could derail this one,we shall just deal with Easter.
I need to make it very clear I am NOT against the celebration of the death and resurrection of the Lord and saviour Jesus Christ as long as it is the death and resurrection of the Lord and saviour Jesus Christ that is being celebrated. This as already stated would not and never could be a Friday to Sunday and yes i repeat and indeed must repeat because this really is a major point to emphasize it MUST be 3 days after the Passover. If the passover does not have to held on the same week day every year then neither should the subsequent resurrection.
The “idea” behind what easter is supposedly a celebration of, the death and resurrection of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ is not in itself a problem even though nowhere in the Bible is there any mention of anyone actually doing so, not one person in the Bible can be shown to be holding any kind of festival or gathering in celebration or even remembrance to the resurrection. Not one mention of anyone painting an egg, eating a hot cross bun or fasting for 40 days prior to the day of easter. And there is NO mention of an egg laying bunny. There is no Biblical evidence that any of the Apostles kept this tradition. Neither is there one single command to do so. There are no instructions to do so or how indeed to do so. The Bibes instructions regarding what to do at Passover and why Passover is remembered are clear, concise and repeated. The Bibles silence on celebrating “easter” is deafening. If a person wishes to celebrate the day of their Lords resurrection then let them do so as long as it follows the Biblical narrative and they realise that what they do is of themselves and not what they are told or even asked to do. The traditions however are another thing entirely .
Many have claimed that they come from pagan beliefs and have been incorporated into christianity. I myself was one of them.
Bunnies, chicks and eggs have zero to do with the death and resurrection of the Messiah, so where do bunnies,eggs and many of the traditions of Easter come from?
It is stated that the tradition of painting eggs goes back to Babylon and the Goddess Ishtar. It is said that the priests of Ishtar would hold a sunrise service to the goddess on the first “sunday” after the spring equinox where they would impregnate virgins on an alter. Also during the service the children produced from the previous years service would be sacrificed by these priests on the altar and the eggs off Ishtar would be dipped in the blood of these sacrificed children. This is the true reason why eggs have been traditionally painted red by christians and that it does not represent the blood of Jesus at all.
I’m sure just about everyone has read at least one post or heard someone claiming the above “fact” I myself believed it. I’ve personally used it. So when deciding to do this writing about the truth of easter and its pagan traditions I was expecting to find a bucketful of evidence to support this claim. Of course I would find plenty of writings from antiquity that supports the claim. What I actually found or more correctly didn’t find surprised me. In fact shocked me. There simply is none….no evidence thats supports the claim in any way shape or form.
The basis for this claim actually comes from a book written by Alexander Hislop in 1858 called the 2 Babylons. In which he makes a lot of unsubstantiated claims and assumptions. In fact most of what is used as evidence comes from this book and there is NO further evidence for this claim except for ideas and writing based on this book. Circle reasoning at its best.
“Such is the history of Easter. The popular observances that still attend the period of its celebration amply confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character. The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Pasch or Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now.” “
2 Babylons page 96
“The origin of the Pasch eggs is just as clear. The ancient Druids bore an egg, as the sacred emblem of their order. In the Dionysiaca, or mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, one part of the nocturnal ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. The Hindoo fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden colour. The people of Japan make their sacred egg to have been brazen. In China, at this hour, dyed or painted eggs are used on sacred festivals, even as in this country. In ancient times eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples. From Egypt these sacred eggs can be distinctly traced to the banks of the Euphrates. The classic poets are full of the fable of the mystic egg of the Babylonians; and thus its tale is told by Hyginus, the Egyptian, the learned keeper of the Palatine library at Rome, in the time of Augustus, who was skilled in all the wisdom of his native country: “An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, and hatched it, out came Venus, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess”–that is, Astarte. Hence the egg became one of the symbols of Astarte or Easter; and accordingly, in Cyprus, one of the chosen seats of the worship of Venus, or Astarte, the egg of wondrous size was represented on a grand scale. “
It must be pointed out that even if the Egg has been a symbol of the pagans used in their own festivals this in no way offers any evidence that the priests of Ishtar engaged in any such act stated in the claim.
I shall expand more upon Ishtar herself in another writing.
While the “claim” regarding Ishtar’s priests sounds horrifying and very plausible at the same time as we know that child sacrifice did take place as the Bible does depict, there simply is NO historical evidence of the priests engaging in this act. Not ONE single mention in the whole of the writings of antiquity, by anyone.Even Alexander Hislop himself didn’t even claim this evil act. Could there in fact be a less sinister reason why eggs have become a symbol associated with Easter?
The council of Trullo 692 AD Advised people to abstain from eating eggs and cheese during lent as they were produce of animals that were abstained from.
“It seems good therefore that the whole Church of God which is in all the world should follow one rule and keep the fast perfectly, and as they abstain from everything which is killed, so also should they from eggs and cheese, which are the fruit and produce of those animals from which we abstain.”
Thomas Aquinas stated
“Eggs and milk foods are forbidden to those who fast, for as much as they originate from animals that provide us with flesh … Again the Lenten fast is the most solemn of all, both because it is kept in imitation of Christ, and because it disposes us to celebrate devoutly the mysteries of our redemption. For this reason the eating of flesh meat is forbidden in every fast, while the Lenten fast lays a general prohibition even on eggs and milk foods.” (Summa Theologica, II.2. 127)
Although people were already abstaining from eating eggs before this time.
This spoken of by Socrates Scholasticus.
People therefore started to use the eggs to make pancakes on the day before lent to use up any perishables and then used the eggs that had been gathered during lent(seeing hens don’t observe lent) on “Easter” Sunday .
During the 19th century when commercialism took off in a big way the chocolate egg was introduced to be given as a gift on Easter Sunday and became popular through huge campaigns by the chocolate companies wishing to exploit this new revenue stream.
Either way ,whether it be through pagan influences or simply using up eggs before lent, the use of eggs which has nothing to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus would seem to have at least some evidence for a less evil beginning as to how and why they are used today, which cannot be said for the claim regarding Ishtar.
It is said that the name comes from the way that Ishtar is pronounced.This is simply FALSE.Ishtar is pronounced either Ish-Tar or EEsh-Tar. Never Easter.
“Then look at Easter. What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. ”
However we now know through the discovery of the cuneiform tablets from Mesopatamia that were first discovered in the 18th century that the language of the Akkadians was not Chaldean but Sumerian and so this assertion by Hislop although may well have been the understanding at his time of writing has since been shown to have been false
Professor Bruce writes. “We now know that the original language of Babylonian religion, far from being what Hislop and his contemporaries called ‘Chaldee’ (which was really Aramaic), was not a Semitic language at all, not even the Semitic tongue now called Akkadian…but Sumerian, a language with no certain affinity to any other known language.” Sumerian, not Chaldee, was the language of primeval Babylon. Hence Hislop’s “etymological inventiveness which traced words…to ‘Chaldee’ roots,” is irrelevant in establishing linguistic links to Nimrod’s Babylon and Assyria. They are pseudo-science not science. “Hislop’s argument stands in need of radical revision,” Dr. Bruce concludes. It comes as no surprise then that modern Assyriology does not cite Hislop’s Two Babylons; it is a discredited source. “
Another false statement regarding the name Easter is that it comes from a Germanic goddess Ēostre or Ostara
This Comes from a writing The Reckoning of Time, from an 8th Century Monk named Bede.
Bede states that during Ēosturmōnaþ, pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Ēostre’s honor, but that this tradition had died out by his time, replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
However Bede is the only source of such a goddess this simply has no factual historical basis. There is no mention of this goddess in Norse writings. She simply does’t exist outside the writings of Bede.
Osten is the German word for east. Easter derives its name from the Germanic Ēosturmōnaþ was the equivalent of April.
Ēostre or Ostara,simply means east or month of the sun from the east.
What about lent? As already stated earlier there is no scriptural basis on which to state that lent should be observed.
There are a number of different claims made as to where this 40 day fast originated from.
The Catholic church says this 40 days is to represent the 40 days that Jesus was in the wilderness.
Those who believe that this is actually a pagan tradition do not all agree on which pagan tradition this 40 days comes from.
Saint Irenaeus, writing around the year 190, “some think they ought to fast for one day, others for two days, and others even for several, while other reckon forty hours both of day and night to their fast.” He knew nothing of a 40 day fast. Many believe that this 40 days fast is in relation to a “weeping” for Tammuz” claimed to have been in remembrance of his death. After he was killed by a wild boar his mother Semiramis decreed a period of 40 days “weeping” as a memorial to him. Others say that it is one day for each year that Tammuz lived. This “weeping” is mentioned in Ezekiel
Ezekiel 8-14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which wastoward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
I will deal with the truth of this “weeping” in a writing called
Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz.
The myths behind the myth.
Needless to say that the 40 days of lent DO NOT come from the Bible or from Tammuz. They are a Catholic Church decree. It may well actually be based on the assumed 40 days of weeping for Tammuz but that weeping is actually an incorrect understanding in of itself.
What is very evident is that there WAS without any question pagan festivals around the same time as the Jewish Passover. They celebrated the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere .It was to commemorate the rebirth, the newness of life even known as the “resurrection” of life.
The Bible itself reinforces the fact that there was also a pagan festival around the time of the Jewish Passover
“Easter” is mentioned just one time in the KJV Bible. Many believe this to be an error in the translation.
Acts 12-4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
Most modern Bibles reject this translation and use the word Passover. However Passover is incorrect in the context of the passage. Easter which is actually in reference to the pagan festival is indeed the correct translation.
It is impossible for this verse to be referring to the Jewish Passover.
Acts 12-1 1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)
So king Herod took Peter and we are told that THEN were the days of unleavened bread. The days of unleavened bread START on the day of the Jewish Passover. They then last for 8 days. The feast of unleavened bread starts the day after the Passover. While the Passover itself is a day of unleavened bread it is not included in the feast. So the feast of unleavened bread is 7 days and the Passover is also a day of unleavened bread, the DAYS of unleavened bread are 8 in total.
Peter was clearly already in jail during those days of unleavened bread which would mean at least 8 days after the Passover. Peter was held while Herod intended to keep Easter.
Acts 12-4 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
Intended to keep, means that he had not yet kept it, it hasn’t happened yet. Passover had indeed passed over by the time Herod would have kept Easter. KIng Herod was NOT a Jew but a Roman with no affiliation to the Jewish holidays he simply would not have been intending to keep the Jewish Passover that had already finished. There is simply NO way that “Easter” in this passage could be or should be translated as the Passover. Easter also could not have been referring to the Christian tradition as Christianity had not yet infiltrated the Roman Empire at this point. The Easter in this passage was something else.
It shows that the KJV translators associated “Easter” with a pagan festival that wasn’t in celebration of The risen Jesus.
It is referring to the PAGAN festival that as we have already established occurs at around the time of the Jewish Passover.
Therefore “Easter” although probably not as sinister as made out to be certainly a tradition of MEN which the Bible warns about
Colossians 2-8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
it is not a biblical festival therefore it is not from God but men.
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