Who knows? First, there never has been a direct association of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus with the pagan deity. Article Images Copyright ©, Is Easter Pagan? - Sozomen (circa A.D. 440). Pagan Easter Goddess Ostera. These same German immigrants are credited with bringing in Groundhog Day and Christmas trees. Easter is essentially a pagan festival which is celebrated with cards, gifts and novelty Easter products, because it's fun and the ancient symbolism still works. 10 Easy Ways to Get it Back, 10 Things the Bible Says about the Mark of the Beast, 9 Ways Grandparents Can Share Christmas This Year, Even from Far Away, New Podcast from Dan Darling: "The Characters of Christmas". The Easter season continues until Ascension Thursday, commemorating the 40 days Jesus spent with His disciples before ascending to heaven (Acts 1:3). Therefore, Easter is celebrated each year between March 22 and April 25. I'm not here to defend paganism. If Easter isn't really about Jesus, then what is it about? Prior to confronting his rival in battle, Constantine saw a vision of the cross: About that part of the day when the Sun after passing the meridian begins to decline toward the west, he saw a pillar of light in the heavens, in the form of a cross, on which was inscribed the words, BY THIS CONQUER. Or perhaps anti-Semitic forces wanted to get rid of the Hebrew nature of our Messiah so losing the Hebrew calendar association might have been attractive. This article presents some facts not commonly shared on the subject of Easter, to provide some food for thought for those who love to learn. First we start with the actual command Christ gave us to keep in memory of Him. Winick was able to track down the earliest mentions of this Pagan myth in print, which was in the 19th century, but there’s no trace of it’s apparent ancient origins. So there are no historical facts that can prove any Babylonian connection between these apparently-similar names. The truth is that Easter has nothing whatsoever to do with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to tradition, Ignatius was the child called by Jesus in Matthew 18:2-3. The biggest events are recorded by a calendar date. Christians believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died for our sins on a Roman cross, was buried, and rose to life again “on the first day of the week, very early in the morning” (Luke 24:1). Christianity was an illegal religion in the Roman Empire, subject to persecution since the Christians would not worship the Roman emperor as a god. This arose from some desiring to keep the Feast more in accordance with the custom of the Jews; while others preferred its mode of celebration by Christians in general throughout the world. Rather, it is a religious observance initiated by the Christian Church as a way to commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Similarly, the robins reappear at this time of year, and soon begin laying their eggs. No. He died as the Passover Lamb of God and that happens at dusk on Abib 14 every year. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a 40-day period of fasting, … (VINE’S EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WORDS, pp. But what is the true m Easter is a Christian holiday. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window). This Council condemned the heretic Arius, who taught that Jesus was a creature and not the pre-existent Son of God. Easter Sunday is supposed to be the day Christ was resurrected, but even that part isn’t true either. This Pasch and the pagan festival of Easter were quite distinct, yet they were introduced into the apostate Western religion as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity (this was not instituted by Christ). It was originally a holiday to the fertility goddess Aestarte, or Diana of Ephesus in the book of Acts. Origins of the name "Easter": The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God.The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE), a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Easter Sunday: National holiday: Apr 13: Monday: Easter Monday: National holiday: May 1: Friday: Labor Day / May Day: Private Sector Holiday: May 5: Tuesday: Liberation Day: Observance: May 8: Friday: Great Prayer Day: National holiday: May 21: Thursday: Ascension Day: National holiday: ... We diligently research and continuously update our holiday dates and information. In our climate in Ohio, Easter usually falls when the snow melts and the days warm up. She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. At any rate, Easter bunnies and eggs certainly are cultural accretions that can be easily omitted from Christian worship without discarding the entire Easter celebration. But some argue that Easter is actually a pagan holiday and owes its name to the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eostre. But Bede did not seem troubled by this name, nor did anyone else down through history until fairly recent times. Will I Still Be Married to My Spouse in Heaven? Died on the second Monday of March.” No, of course they don’t. Nearly all other European nations use a variant of the word pascha, which is the New Testament Greek equivalent for the Hebrew word pesach, meaning "Passover." However, if one actually reads a sample of the cited sources, it quickly becomes clear that Hislop misrepresents what the sources actually do teach. Easter, the Pagan Holiday. 325 likes. How about Halloween? Sponsored link. #easter-pagan-holiday. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Is Easter a Pagan Holiday? Ignatius wrote: Let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and plaudits which have no sense in them. Christmas was never a pagan holiday. In this way, Ignatius identifies Sunday worship as a type of weekly Easter celebration, in which the LORD's resurrection is commemorated. Except for the inscribed words, this description sounds suspiciously like an elaborate set of "sun dogs," a very rare parhelic halo phenomenon, a natural occurrence. Why People Think Easter is Pagan. The fingernails of Easter have dug into the skin with found memories of finding Easter eggs or celebrating the resurrection of the Messiah. The name Hadassah comes from the Hebrew root hadas, which refers to the flower myrtle. However, in recent years, there has been an increasing trend among evangelicals to shun Easter as allegedly being derived from a pagan source. In the Old Testament book of Esther, we read of a Jewish girl named Hadassah who became queen of the King of Persia, where she helped save the Jewish people from persecution. Socrates goes on to relate: Now Constantine, the emperor, having thus embraced Christianity, conducted himself as a Christian in his profession, rebuilding the churches, and enriching them with splendid offerings: he also either closed or destroyed the temples of the pagans, and exposed the images which were in them to popular contempt. But today, with all of the information we have available, it is quite easy to see that Easter has no place in a Bible believing household. Indeed, the apostle Paul, in writing of the pagans of his time, says "they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). The Church Fathers lamented that the Jews of that time assisted the Romans in rounding up Christians for execution. It should be noted that, though Ignatius indicates that first-century Christians abide by the Sabbath, he discourages Christians from following Talmudic Jewish practices common in this period that were over and above the law of Moses. It's not hard to understand how illiterate peasant people, living close to nature in pre-industrial Europe, might have developed nominally Christian folklore that associated such seasonal signs with certain religious holidays. Tag collegati: #pagan #pagan+music #pagan-holidays #happy-easter-holiday #are-christmas-and-easter-pagan. But rather than being evidence of insidious Babylonian idolatry, they appear to simply be folklore customs associated with the passage of seasons in temperate climates such as Europe and North America. All rights reserved. And as homeschoolers, shouldn't we teach our children to do the same, to prepare them for a life of service to the LORD? Easter’s pagan roots. Rather, shouldn't we be a people that seek truth and love to learn new things - to "prove all things, hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every appearance of evil" (1 Thess. Therefore, the date of Good Friday keeps changing each year. Many of these urban legends feature Emperor Constantine, who is alleged to have mingled pagan Babylonian practices with pure Christian worship to fashion Easter into a false holiday of Satan rather than a commemoration of Jesus' victory over death and sin. Most of the objection to the traditional English name "Easter" seems quite overblown if you consider other examples. So much for those sunrise services. [The parenthesis are in the KJV, I didn’t put them there.] We’re asked these … Easter is a holiday that was first celebrated by the first Christians as Passover. Easter, also called Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day after his burial following his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. Easter’s pagan roots. He denied that Christ existed in the flesh, asserting that he was an apparition... all of which dogmas are totally at variance with the orthodox faith of the church. Easter, which celebrates the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ, is a holiday actually based on an ancient Pagan ritual. However, this topic is also addressed in another historical source, the Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen: Others, envious at the honor in which Christians were held by the emperor, deemed it necessary to imitate the acts of the ruler; others devoted themselves to an examination of Christianity, and by means of signs, of dreams, or of conferences with bishops and monks, were convinced that it was better to become Christians. (VINE’S EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WORDS, pp. Unlike most holidays, Easter does not fall on the same set date each year. This makes its historical motivation decidedly anti-pagan. This is a clear example of syncretism, where Christian and pagan elements are mingled since a pagan Anglo-Saxon name came to be associated with the Christian feast. The following example was written by Justin Martyr, a second-century Christian: You curse in your synagogues all those who are called from Him Christians; and other nations effectively carry out the curse, putting to death those who simply confess themselves to be Christians. This difference, however, did not interfere with their communion, although their mutual joy was necessarily hindered. Whether a natural or supernatural apparition, Constantine defeated his enemy, thus becoming emperor, for which he gave glory to God and became a Christian. This is the traditional date of the conception of Jesus, and Christmas lands exactly nine months later, on December 25. Quarter holidays for modern pagans are typically Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasadh, and Samhain, a story in and of itself. Notwithstanding, the apostle also instructs us to "not let our good be evil spoken of." Eastre). Some say there is something pagan about basing a calendar system on the annual cycle of the seasons or the phases of the Moon. One can really only speculate. Although a holiday of high religious significance in the Christian faith, many traditions associated with Easter date back to pre-Christian, pagan times. In the books of Moses, we find the month name Abib for the first month (Exodus 13:4, inter alia). 323 likes. This is reported by the first-century Christian writer Ignatius of Antioch, who represents the very early days of the church following the book of Acts. Instead, Christians in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday after the full moon of the vernal equinox on March 21. Troubled by Easter’s pagan associations, they try to detach from those aspects and focus solely on a core religious meaning. “..at Easter, popular customs reflect many ancient pagan survivals connected with spring fertility rites, such as the symbols of the Easter egg and the Easter hare or rabbit.” (Vo. Pagan roots of Easter lie in celebrating the spring equinox, for millennia an important holiday in many religions. Hadassah was given the name Esther, a Persian word that is exactly the same name as Ishtar. In pagan culture, the myrtle flower was associated with the goddess Venus, and so the names Hadassah and Esther are in fact equivalent translations. Please note that if you are under 18, you won't be able to access this site. Easter is a Christian holiday. Christ was crucified on Abib 14 of the Hebrew calendar. March 25 is the traditional feast of the Annunciation, commemorating the angel's announcement to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. Constantine had to make it ILLEGAL to celebrate Passover–meaning that the other 75 percent of assemblies who didn’t get suckered into going to Nicea were still doing so–and the Sabbath–and that … At the Council of Nicaea, it was the gathered bishops themselves, not the emperor, that agreed to adopt Sunday as the Pascha rather than the Jewish time of Passover. In spite of all the nasty things that are usually said, the historical sources portray Emperor Constantine as a hero of the fourth-century Christian church. Take this and share it among yourselves;  for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes. Rabbits are notorious for breeding hence the Easter Bunnies. The sole source of a pagan precursor to the Christian holiday is the Venerable Bede, the eighth century monk and chronicler of England. I'm personally grateful that Jesus, through His resurrection that we celebrate at Easter, made a way for all us pagans to come to Him! Ēostre (Old English: *Ēastre [æːɑstrə] or , Northumbrian dialect Ēastro, Mercian dialect and West Saxon dialect (Old English) Ēostre; Old High German: *Ôstara) is a West Germanic spring goddess. Christmas is preceded by the season of Advent, a season of anticipation and reflection of the coming of the Savior. The pagan people themselves were also made in the image of God, and were not subhuman monsters. Hislop's work appears authoritative on the surface, including numerous footnotes citing various historical sources. Go figure! Fr. Changing the names do not make these festivals Christian! No. Born February 28th, 1902. Constantine ended the centuries of persecution against Christians and is remembered as a great patron and benefactor of the Christian church. 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