Skip to comments.No, Easter Is Not Derived From an Ancient Pagan Holiday
Posted on 04/10/2020 3:01:19 PM PDT by Kaslin
Maybe youve seen the eyebrow-raising claims on the Internet or elsewhere in the media: rather than celebrating Jesus resurrection from the dead and triumph over crucifixion, Easter is really derived from a pagan holiday. Proponents of this theory point to symbols of rebirth and fertility, like eggs and bunnies, that we see at Easter as proof. But the foundation of the claim that Easter is a pagan tradition is the similarity in names: Easter, they say, is the English translation of Eostre, a Germanic goddess of fertility. (Others claim Easter got its name from the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, or the Ethiopian god Ashtar. That they have trouble keeping their story straight should be your first clue the Easter skeptics dont have much in the way of actual evidence)! Others take the theory even further, arguing that the story of Christs crucifixion and resurrection was lifted from ancient mythologyand therefore cant possibly be true.
Its intriguing stuff for people who wish to deny the divinity of Christ. But, much like the fertility myths surrounding Eostre, these claims are more fiction than fact. For starters, the word for Easter in many languagesincluding Spanish (Pascua), French (Pâques), and Romanian (Pa?ti)is derived from the Hebrew word pesach, or Passover. Christians indeed borrowed many of their Easter traditions from another faith, but it was the monotheistic religion of Judaism, not paganism. Moreover, Ronald Nash, a philosophy professor at Reformed Theological Seminary, spent years thoroughly researching ancient mythology and found no evidence for resurrection stories similar to Christs. He did find a few examples of gods who died and then came back to life, but the circumstances bore no resemblance to Jesus execution and resurrection: None of the so-called savior-gods died for someone else...Only Jesus died for sin. The other dying gods tend to die because of accidents or quarrels. Jesus died once and for all, according to the teachings of the New Testament. Other stories involve the god dying every year, corresponding to changing seasons."
As for Easter eggs and bunnies, there is little evidence that modern Christians lifted these symbols from pagans. In the early years of the Church, eating eggs was forbidden during Lent. Therefore, Christians celebrated the end of Lent and the arrival of Easter Sunday by cracking open beautifully painted eggs. And the Easter Bunny didnt appear until sometime in the 1700s, when German immigrants in Pennsylvania introduced him into their Easter celebrations as a special surprise for children.
In sum, Christians borrowed their Pascal celebrations from the Jewish Passover. Easter traditionswhether its Orthodox Christians in Russia painting elaborate eggs or German Catholics delivering gifts to children from the Easter bunnyhave varied according to regional and cultural traditions, and have changed greatly since the early days of the Church. But none of these traditions seem to have roots in paganism. Those who seek to undermine Christianity might tout this theory to make it seem as if believing in Christs resurrection has as much validity as worshipping animals or fertility goddesses. But the next time you hear these dubious claims about Easter and pagan mythology, remember it is just that: a myth.
Isn’t funny, that how one set of myths become somebody else’s truths. Manuscripts written a 70-year generation after the purported events, with no other contemporary manuscripts to dove-tail, including a manuscript steadfast followers call delusions, more celebrated than a man named Gautama.
“For starters, the word for Easter in many languagesincluding Spanish (Pascua), French (Pâques), and Romanian (Pa?ti)is derived from the Hebrew word pesach, or Passover. Christians indeed borrowed many of their Easter traditions from another faith, but it was the monotheistic religion of Judaism, not paganism.”
Christians would be doing the right thing if they focused a lot less on “Easter” and a lot more on Passover.
Like Jesus did.
I call it Resurrection Day.
.... Just curious as to where the name “Easter” came from. I was hoping he was going to explain it in this article.
.... Just curious as to where the name Easter came from. I was hoping he was going to explain it in this article.
.... i read somewhere that it derives from the name Isis or Ishtar.
Ronald Nash, cited in the article, was my professor at Western Kentucky before he went on to RTS.
........... The author states in the first paragraph that there is no actual evidence to back up that claim. All I know is that the name is not Biblical in origin.
People dont want truth. They resist it.
There have been many studious iron minded folks who set out to prove it was not. It has stood the test of time. Yes truth is inconvenient.
Falsity is not it lies to tell you what your itching ears want to hear.
The author states in the first paragraph that there is no actual evidence to back up that claim. All I know is that the name is not Biblical in origin.
...guess ill have to take her word on that. /sarc
the Hebrew word pesach, or Passover”
Let the Bible speak for itself. The author of Acts 12:4 wrote the Greek word “pascha” (Strongs 3957). Anyone can go over to Biblehub.com and see how many different translators translate this word:
And if you want to see the Greek text, you can go to a Greek-English Interlinear like this one:
And there, plain as day on page one of the PDF is “pasca”, a word that would sound far more like “Passover” than “Ishtar”.
Who are you going, to believe, the author or people coming centuries later telling you that the word doesn’t mean what it plainly means?
As Jesus said, the truth will set you free. And speaking of free, Jesus said that the only sign he was Messiah was that he would be three days and three nights in the grave. How do you get three days and three nights out of the conventional Easter narrative. Well, only by redefining the meaning of words, like we hear so much today.
Don’t be afraid of the truth. Just ask yourself, what if the truth is that Jesus was really in the grave three full days and three full nights, exactly and only as the Gospels authors said? Where does that truth lead you?
Who care where it came from originally, from who and what reason. We now use it to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
It also does not matter on what day Jesus Christ was born. We celebrate His birth on December 25 of each year.
It is the remembrance and celebration that is important and irrespective of the date, or time, or who was there, or where He was housed.
Thumbs up to Resurrection Sunday.
The resurrection of Our Savior is not derived from a pagan holiday, but a lot of Easter activities are.
In the painting showing in the article Mary is clutching the rabbit at our feet while somebody else is holding a young Infant Jesus. It looks like Mary might have been trying to protect the rabbit from that rascal which looks like he was asquirmin’ and tryin’ to see just what that critter was all about.
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