Home Uncategorised Those bloody Pagans

Those bloody Pagans

Author

Date

Category

Easter is one of the most popular religious celebrations in the world. But is it biblical? The word Easter appears only once in the King James Version of the Bible (and not at all in most others). In the one place it does appear, the King James translators mistranslated the Greek word for Passover as “Easter.”

If Easter doesn’t come from the Bible, and wasn’t practiced by the apostles and early Church, where did it come from?

Notice it in Acts 12:4: “And when he [King Herod Agrippa I] had apprehended him [the apostle Peter], 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.”

The Greek word translated Easter here is pascha, properly translated everywhere else in the Bible as “Passover.” Referring to this mistranslation, Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible says that “perhaps there never was a more unhappy, not to say absurd, translation than that in our text.”

Think about theses facts for a minute. Easter is such a major religious holiday. Yet nowhere in the Bible—not in the book of Acts, which covers several decades of the history of the early Church, nor in any of the epistles of the New Testament, written over a span of 30 to 40 years after Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection—do we find the apostles or early Christians celebrating anything like Easter.

The Gospels themselves appear to have been written from about a decade after Christ’s death and resurrection to perhaps as much as 60 years later (in the case of John’s Gospel). Yet nowhere do we find a hint of anything remotely resembling an Easter celebration.

If Easter doesn’t come from the Bible, and wasn’t practiced by the apostles and early Church, where did it come from?

Easter’s surprising origins

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, in its entry “Easter,” states:

“The term ‘Easter’ is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch [Passover] held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast … From this Pasch the pagan festival of ‘Easter’ was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity” (W.E. Vine, 1985, emphasis added throughout).

That’s a lot of information packed into one paragraph. Notice what the author, W.E. Vine—a trained classical scholar, theologian, expert in ancient languages and author of several classic Bible helps—tells us:

Easter isn’t a Christian or directly biblical term, but comes from a form of the name Astarte, a Chaldean (Babylonian) goddess known as “the queen of heaven.” (She is mentioned by that title in the Bible in Jeremiah 7:18 and Jeremiah 44:17-19; Jeremiah 44:25 and referred to in 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 5:33 and 2 Kings 23:13 by the Hebrew form of her name, Ashtoreth. So “Easter” is found in the Bible—as part of the pagan religion God condemns!)

Further, early Christians, even after the times of the apostles, continued to observe a variation of the biblical Passover feast (it differed because Jesus introduced new symbolism, as the Bible notes in Matthew 26:26-28 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-28).

And again, Easter was a pagan festival, originating in the worship of other gods, and was introduced much later into an apostate Christianity in a deliberate attempt to make such festivals acceptable. Moreover, Easter was very different from the Old Testament Passover or the Passover of the New Testament as understood and practiced by the early Church based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles.

Easter symbols predate Christ

How does The Catholic Encyclopedia define Easter? “Easter: The English term, according to the [eighth-century monk] Bede, relates to Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity, however, is otherwise unknown …” (1909, Vol. 5, p. 224). Eostre is the ancient European name for the same goddess worshipped by the Babylonians as Astarte or Ishtar, goddess of fertility, whose major celebration was in the spring of the year.

Many credible sources substantiate the fact that Easter became a substitute festival for the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

The subtopic “Easter Eggs” tells us that “the custom [of Easter eggs] may have its origin in paganism, for a great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter” (ibid., p. 227).

The subtopic “Easter Rabbit” states that “the rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility” (ibid.).

Author Greg Dues, in his book Catholic Customs and Traditions, elaborates on the symbolism of eggs in ancient pre-Christian cultures: “The egg has become a popular Easter symbol. Creation myths of many ancient peoples center in a cosmogenic egg from which the universe is born.

“In ancient Egypt and Persia friends exchanged decorated eggs at the spring equinox, the beginning of their New Year. These eggs were a symbol of fertility for them because the coming forth of a live creature from an egg was so surprising to people of ancient times. Christians of the Near East adopted this tradition, and the Easter egg became a religious symbol. It represented the tomb from which Jesus came forth to new life” (1992, p. 101).

The same author also explains that, like eggs, rabbits became associated with Easter because they were powerful symbols of fertility: “Little children are usually told that the Easter eggs are brought by the Easter Bunny. Rabbits are part of pre-Christian fertility symbolism because of their reputation to reproduce rapidly” (p. 102).

What these sources tell us is that human beings replaced the symbolism of the biblical Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread with Easter eggs and Easter rabbits, pagan symbols of fertility. These symbols demean the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Easter substituted for Passover season

But that’s not the entire story. In fact, many credible sources substantiate the fact that Easter became a substitute festival for the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Notice what The Encyclopaedia Britannica says about this transition: “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers . . . The first Christians continued to observe the Jewish festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals foreshadowed . . .

“The Gentile Christians, on the other hand, unfettered by Jewish traditions, identified the first day of the week [Sunday] with the Resurrection, and kept the preceding Friday as the commemoration of the crucifixion, irrespective of the day of the month” (11th edition, p. 828, “Easter”).

Easter, a pagan festival with its pagan fertility symbols, replaced the God-ordained festivals that Jesus Christ, the apostles and the early Church observed. But this didn’t happen immediately. Not until A.D. 325—almost three centuries after Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected—was the matter settled. Regrettably, it wasn’t settled on the basis of biblical truth, but on the basis of anti-Semitism and raw ecclesiastical and imperial power.

As The Encyclopaedia Britannica further explains: “A final settlement of the dispute [over whether and when to keep Easter or Passover] was one among the other reasons which led [the Roman emperor] Constantine to summon the council of Nicaea in 325 . . . The decision of the council was unanimous that Easter was to be kept on Sunday, and on the same Sunday throughout the world, and ‘that none should hereafter follow the blindness of the Jews’ ” (ibid., pp. 828-829).

Those who did choose to “follow the blindness of the Jews”—that is, who continued to keep the biblical festivals kept by Jesus Christ and the apostles rather than the newly “Christianized” pagan Easter festival—were systematically persecuted by the powerful church-state alliance of Constantine ‘s Roman Empire .

Christianity compromised by paganism

British historian Sir James Frazer notes how Easter symbolism and rites, along with other pagan customs and celebrations, entered into the established Roman church:

“Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian with the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental. They mark the compromise which the Church in the hour of its triumph was compelled to make with its vanquished yet still dangerous rivals [the empire’s competing pagan religions].

“The inflexible Protestantism of the primitive missionaries, with their fiery denunciation of heathendom, had been exchanged for the supple policy, the easy tolerance, the comprehensive charity of shrewd ecclesiastics, who clearly perceived that if Christianity was to conquer the world it could do so only by relaxing the too rigid principles of its Founder, by widening a little the narrow gate which leads to salvation” ( The Golden Bough, 1993, p. 361).

In short, to broaden the appeal of the new religion of Christianity in those early centuries, the powerful Roman religious authorities, with the backing of the Roman Empire, simply co-opted the rites and practices of pagan religions, relabeled them as “Christian” and created a new brand of Christianity with customs and teachings far removed from the Church Jesus founded.

The authentic Christianity of the Bible largely disappeared, forced underground by persecution because its followers refused to compromise.

Easter does not accurately represent Jesus Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, though it appears to do so to those who blindly accept religious tradition. In fact, it distorts the truth of the matter. Easter correctly belongs to the Babylonian goddess it is named after—Astarte, also known as Ashtoreth or Ishtar, whose worship is directly and explicitly condemned in the Bible.

The ancient religious practices and fertility symbols associated with her cult existed long before Christ, and regrettably they have largely replaced and obscured the truth of His death and resurrection.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Apparently the crucifixion of Jesus is more accurate to date than his birth. Isn’t Christianity’s strength and enlightenment thanks to some of the factors as mentioned above. It’s inclusivity and modernity?

    0

    0

  2. By all accounts Jesus was a fine fellow. He can pop around here any time to turn some water into wine. ? ?

    0

    0

    • If he could drop in at Chez Warren too, I have in the fridge a tiny piece of very expensive salmon I’d like him to multiply.

      0

      0

    • Nope rol, we personally are enjoying the day along with everyone else. Ate hot x buns for breaky… Probably wrong day but us atheists aren’t bound by Easter traditions. We’ve planted 3 trees so that is a little renewal for the world . This afternoon I shall make a gooey chocolate cake with thick chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream mixture) on top and layered with ganache and raspberry jam in the middle. ? What’s not to enjoy.

      Hope you enjoy whatever your Easter means to you.

      0

      0

      • Bugger, I am a Catholic and spent the whole day chainsawing and burning stuff. Didn’t even get near a hot cross bun! However, glad to have added a bit more CO2 to the atmosphere to prevent the extinction of green life.

        0

        0

  3. It’s a language specific argument so kind of misfires. The term Easter isn’t used in the Latin based languages or Greek .

    0

    0

  4. There’s a slight error in that Holysheet. The earliest the gospels can be accounted for is Mark circa 70AD, which would make it 4 decades later (with John being the latest and suspected to be 95AD). The epistles of Paul appear to have been written circa 50AD, making them the earliest written account of Jesus’ cruxification. I’m using Bart Ehrman as my source.

    0

    0

  5. What a great essay to read, thanks!

    May I add, throw in to the mix, this slight extract from

    http://graal.co.uk/bloodlinelecture.php
    _

    Aspects of the Gospels can actually be followed outside the Bible. Even the crucifixion sentence of Jesus is mentioned in the Annals of Imperial Rome. We can now determine from chronological survey that the Crucifixion took place at the March Passover of AD 33, while the Bethany second marriage anointing was in the week prior to that. We also know that, at that stage, Mary Magdalene was three months pregnant – which means she should have given birth in September of AD 33.

    As for Jesus’ death on the cross, it is perfectly clear this was spiritual death, not physical death, as determined by a three-day excommunication rule that everybody in the 1st century would have understood. In civil and legal terms, Jesus was denounced, scourged and prepared for death by decree. For three days Jesus would have been nominally ‘sick’, with absolute ‘death’ coming on the fourth day. Prior to this he would be entombed (buried alive) in accordance with Jewish Council law – but during the first three days he could be raised or resurrected, as he had predicted would be the case.

    Raisings and resurrections could only be performed by the High Priest or by the Father of the Community. The High Priest at that time was Joseph Caiaphas (the very man who condemned Jesus), therefore the raising had to be performed by the patriarchal Father. There are Gospel accounts of Jesus talking to the Father from the cross, culminating in “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” – and the appointed Father of the day was the Magian apostle Simon Zelotes.

    During that Friday afternoon when Jesus was on the Cross, there was a forward time change, and the Gospels explain that the land fell into darkness for three hours. The Hebrew lunarists made their change during the daytime, but the Nazarene solarists did not make their change until midnight. This explains why, according to the Gospel of Mark (which relates to lunar time), Jesus was crucified at the third hour, but in John (which uses solar time) he was crucified at the sixth hour.

    On that evening the Hebrews began their Sabbath at the old nine o’clock, but the Essenes and Magians still had three hours to go before their Sabbath. During those extra three hours they were able to work with Jesus while others were not allowed to undertake any physical activity. It was for this reason that the women were so astonished when they found the tomb-stone moved at daybreak on the Sunday – not because it was moved, but because it had been moved on the Sabbath.

    And so we come to one of the most misunderstood events in the Bible – the Ascension. And in consideration of this, the births of Jesus and Mary Magdalene’s children become apparent.

    We know from Gospel chronology that the Bethany second-marriage anointing of Jesus by Mary Magdalene was in the week before the Crucifixion (at the time of the March Passover). Also that, at that stage, Mary was three-months pregnant and should, therefore, have given birth six months later in the notional month of September AD 33. The story is taken up in the Acts of the Apostles, which detail for that month the event which we have come to know as the Ascension.

    One thing which the Acts do not do, however, is to call the event the Ascension. This was a tag established by way of a Church doctrine more than three centuries later. What the Bible text actually says is: “And when he had spoken these things … he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight”.

    It then continues, relating that a man in white said to the disciples: “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus … shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go”. Then, a little later in the Acts, it says that heaven must receive Jesus until ‘the times of restitution’.

    Given that this was the very month in which Mary Magdalene’s child was due, is there perhaps some connection between Mary’s confinement and the so-called Ascension? There certainly is, and the connection is made by virtue of the said ‘times of restitution’.

    Not only were there rules to govern the marriage ceremony of a Messianic heir, but so too were there rules to govern the marriage itself. The rules of dynastic wedlock were quite unlike the Jewish family norm, and Messianic parents were formally separated at the birth of a child. Even prior to this, intimacy between a dynastic husband and wife was only allowed in December, so that births of heirs would always fall in the month equivalent to September – the month of Atonement, the holiest month of the calendar.

    From the moment of a dynastic birth, the parents were physically separated – for six years if the child was a boy and for three years if the child was a girl. Their marriage would only be recommenced at designated ‘times of restitution’. Meanwhile, the mother and child would enter the equivalent of a convent and the father would enter the kingdom of heaven. This kingdom was the Essene high monastery at Mird, by the Dead Sea, and the ceremony of entry was conducted by the angelic priests under the supervision of the appointed leader of the pilgrims. In the Old Testament book of Exodus, the Israelite pilgrims were led into the Holy Land by a cloud and, in accordance with this continued Exodus imagery, the priestly leader of the pilgrims was designated with the title Cloud.

    So, if we read the Acts verses as they were intended to be understood, we see that Jesus was taken up by the Cloud (the leader of the pilgrims) to the kingdom of heaven (the high monastery), whereupon the man in white (an angelic priest) said that Jesus would return at the times of restitution (when his earthly marriage was restored).

    If we now look at St Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews we discover that he explains the said Ascension event in some greater detail. Paul tells of how Jesus was admitted to the priesthood of heaven when he actually had no entitlement to that sacred office. He explains that Jesus was born (through his father Joseph) into the Davidic line of Judah – a line which held the right of kingship but had no right to priesthood, for this was the sole prerogative of the family of Levi. However, says Paul, a special dispensation was granted, and that “for the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law”.
    _

    I encourage you to read the whole text – lecture!

    Well, just because it’s an interesting alternative (to the main streams) and will or may or might lead to further reading, which might also be a good thing. Check it out for yourself. As even Buddha reputedly said.
    Even though it may or not have mistakes. I see errors sometimes, and things to think about, in general …

    I would have posted this at Kiwiblog, and still would like to post some specific replies, although only a rare commentator, but haven’t organised those yet, and considering applying for auto moderation, some time …

    Regards to all,

    RdM

    0

    0

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

White supremacists believe in genetic ‘purity’ (Look I found Paddy G)

White supremacists believe in genetic ‘purity’. Science shows no such thing exists By Dennis McNevin: Far-right white supremacist ideology is on the rise in Europe, North America and Australia....

A sensible leader say no to migration pact

ORBÁN REJECTS MIGRATION PACT, SAYS EU WANTS TO ‘MANAGE MIGRATION’ NOT STOP IT VICTORIA FRIEDMAN: The central European Visegrád group has criticised the European Commission’s planned...

Cancel culture. What is it?

The real cancel culture There’s definitely a space where free speech has been curtailed. It’s called the workplace. Steven Parfitt: ‘Cancel culture’ is the latest buzzword in...

Recent comments

howitis on Have Your Say
howitis on Have Your Say
Maggy Wassilieff on Have Your Say
Viking on Have Your Say
Editor on Have Your Say
waikatogirl on Have Your Say
waikatogirl on Have Your Say
Maggy Wassilieff on Have Your Say

The way we all feel about this useless government

Hamilton
overcast clouds
7.9 ° C
9.4 °
7.2 °
86 %
1.8kmh
92 %
Tue
11 °
Wed
14 °
Thu
16 °
Fri
15 °
Sat
16 °
NZD - New Zealand Dollar
USD
1.5171
EUR
1.7755
AUD
1.0805
CAD
1.1338
GBP
1.9495
JPY
0.0144
CNY
0.2225
INR
0.0206