Christmas extravaganza now a distant memory, churches are
busily gearing up for their next big observance—the
celebration of the Savior’s death and resurrection.
Christmas, Easter is another major celebration featuring an
odd blend of religious, mythical, and profane themes:
chalices and chocolate, crosses and croissants; bonnets and
bunnies, hymns and hams; Son worship and sun worship.
may think it peculiar that Yahweh would require His people
today to eat unleavened bread for a week following the
Passover. Yet they find nothing weird about observing the
Savior’s resurrection by searching church lawns for painted
allegedly laid by rabbits!
It is time to conduct our own search for the scriptural
Easter to see whether there even is one.
One Verse in a Version
fact jumps out immediately. In a careful examination of the
entire Bible we discover that the word “Easter” exists in
only one verse: Acts 12:4. In the King James Version it
after Easter to bring him forth to the people.”
But now notice
how nearly all other versions translate this
very same passage:
“ ... intending to bring him before
the people after Passover,”
The New King James
“ ... intending after the Passover to
bring him out before the people,”
New American Standard
“ ... Herod intended to bring him out
for public trial after the Passover,”
“ ... with the intention of
producing him to the people after Passover,”
“ ... intending after the Passover to
bring him out to the people,”
“ ...intending to bring him out to
the people after the Passover,”
New Revised Standard
Herod’s intention was to deliver Peter to the Jews for
execution after the Passover,”
...intending to bring him out to the people after Passover,”
Modern Language Bible.
meaning to produce him in public after Passover,”
New English Bible.
intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the
The Webster Bible.
purposing after the Passover to bring him forth to the
The Amplified New
“ .. .intending to bring him out to
the people after the Passover,”
The New Berkeley
Version in Modern English
.intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the
In this last
version, “pasch” is simply the near Greek word for the
“Passover” is found 28 times in the King James New
Testament, Easter only once. Clearly a translation anomaly
exists with the KJV.
King James Newberry Reference Bible
in a side column note on Acts 12:4, the word “Easter” in the
King James should have been “Passover” (Newberry includes
the Greek letters for “Pascha”).
it? Easter is the second biggest religious celebration of
the Bible-professing world,
its only scriptural evidence is one erroneously translated
Apostles Not Easter Dye Hards
But that’s not all. You don’t have to hunt long to discover
that no one in the Scriptures ever observed Easter. Rather,
even in the New Testament the Apostolic Assembly continued
with the Biblical Holy Days commanded in Exodus 12 and
Leviticus 23. Our Savior died at Passover as the ultimate
Passover sacrifice, a fact the Apostle Paul clearly explains
in lCorinthians 5:7.
Edition of the
confirms this simple and astounding fact, “There is no
indication of the observances 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 had foreshadowed” (“Easter,”
vol. 8. p. 828).
The commanded Old Testament Feast days were the ONLY annual
observances that the early New Testament Assembly
recognized. This fact should speak volumes to every
Bible-believer today about the importance of honoring those
same observances commanded to Israel.
Achuff, Jr., a retired Episcopal minister, noted what would
happen if Yahshua were to return to earth to observe modern
worship: “He would probably be amazed at what the worshipers
accredited to Him. The accretions from having passed through
several cultures would puzzle this peasant Jew who said He
came ‘to fulfil the Law, not to destroy it’ (Matt. 5:17).
St. Paul too is understood
a whole new light when seen as a Jew who is a member of the
new sect, defending his new understandings of Torah and
relationship with [Yahweh]. Later he calls it the New
Covenant, but the word
(b’rith in the
Hebrew) is meaningless if one does not know the Old
cite Acts 2 as the start of the New Testament Assembly.
they neglect the reason that the Apostles and disciples were
gathered that day. It was in observance of the command in
Leviticus 23 to keep the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost)—one of
the seven annual holy days!
Nowhere can we find a Biblical injunction to observe the
Savior’s resurrection as a special holiday. The command was
and always will be to keep the memorial of His death at
Passover. This being the case, where did “Easter” originate?
Thank the Babylonians
Yahshua told His disciples that the poor we would always
have with us. The same thing can be said of heathen
worship, at least until Yahweh’s righteous Kingdom is
established on earth.
between Easter and paganism is so obvious no one could miss
it. For starters, take the name.
“Easter” even sounds like its namesake—Eastre,
the Saxon deity of dawn, spring, and fertility. One
authority notes, “Easter is a word of Saxon origin and
imparts a goddess of the Saxons, or rather, of the East,
honor of whom sacrifices being annually offered about the
Passover time of the year (spring), the name became
attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival
of the resurrection, which happened at the time of the
Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological,
and Ecclesiastical Literature,
Dictionary of Word Origins”
from Anglo Saxon Eostre,
a pagan goddess whose festival came at the spring
festival was called
Eastron (plural of
Christian festival of the resurrection of [Messiah] has in
most European languages taken the name of the Jewish
Passover (Fr. Paques,
English the pagan word has remained for the Christian
Eastre, the idol was called Ishtar (pronounced by the
Assyrians and Babylonians as we do Easter).
John in Revelation tells us that Babylon is the mother of all false worship, and Revelation
14:8 says that
caused all nations to partake in her spiritual
unfaithfulness. Our society didn’t escape
Babylon’s influence regarding the
Easter observance, either.
Semiramis) was the wife of Nimrod, the priest-king and
founder of Babylon.
She was the first “deified woman” (Alexander Hislop,
The Greeks worshiped her as Aphrodite and the Romans as
Venus, goddess of love.
Queen of Heaven
Jeremiah condemns worship of this heathen queen mother in a
rite that includes a practice remarkably similar to Easter:
“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire,
and the women knead [their] dough, to make cakes to the
queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other
mighty ones, that they may provoke me to anger” (Jer. 7:18).
is the Hebrew kavvan,
a sacrificial cake, which was “used in worship of Ishtar,”
The New Brown, Driver, and Briggs
Hebrew and English Lexicon,
“cakes” survive as today’s hot cross buns—an Easter
tradition on which are marked crosses, the symbol for woman.
In hieroglyphics the cross is a symbol for life. This
ancient queen of heaven was the mother of life, the heathen
in the Easter celebration is the egg. The 1994 winter
Olympics opened with a ceremony featuring a huge egg,
pagan symbol of life.
Mithras, the sun god, supposedly hatched from a cosmic egg.
Pagan mythology says a mystic egg of the Babylonians fell
from heaven into the River Euphrates. Once fish had pushed
it ashore it hatched and out came Astarte—Easter (Venus).
Hence, the egg became a symbol of Astarte or Easter
Two Babylons, p. 109).
The egg soon
figured into Christian Easter worship. According to Hislop,
“A form of prayer was even appointed to be used in
connection with it, Pope Paul V teaching his superstitious
votaries thus to pray at Easter—‘Bless, O
L-rd, we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs,
that it may become a wholesome sustenance into thy servants,
it in remembrance of our L-rd J-sus Chr-st,’” p. 110.
honoring Abraham Lincoln with Bingo parties. Or celebrating
the first moon walk with a fishing derby. It makes as litte
sense to observe the resurrection of the Savior with
chocolate rabbits that lay colored eggs. Tradition has
melded two entirely different observances, intermixed them
to produce the strangest of crossbreeds—not unlike
remembering the Savior’s
Santa Claus, reindeer, and evergreen trees.
why the rabbits, we need to go back again to a more ancient
festival that in the apostate church merged with Passover to
become the Easter hybrid.
Easter is a Christian festival,
it embodies traditions of an ancient time antedating the
rise of Christianity,” says
Funk and Wagnalls Standard Reference
source goes on to describe Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of
spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated “Eastre monath,”
corresponding to April. “Her festival was celebrated on the
day of the vernal equinox, and traditions associated with
the festival survive in the familiar Easter bunny, symbol of
the fertile rabbit, and in the equally familiar colored
Easter eggs originally painted with gay hues to represent
the sunlight of spring” (“Easter,”
Ibid, p. 2940).
In its effort
to join heathen with Bible believer, the early church
accommodated many pagan observances,
common dates on which to merge. Easter and Passover is one
example. Try as they could,
could not detach the pagan dates from the pagan rites and
The Easter sunrise service is common today. But how many
who participate realize the ancient worship they are really
keeping alive—adoration of the sun-god? Ezekiel gives this
sobering account of what Yahweh thinks of this custom
employed in worship of Him:
“Then said he
unto me, Have you seen this, O son of man?
turn yet again, and you shall see
greater abominations than these. And he brought me
into the inner court of Yahweh’s house, and, behold, at the
door of the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the
altar, were about five
and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of
Yahweh, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped
the sun toward the east. Then he said unto me, Have
you seen this, O son of man?
Is it a light thing to the house of Judah
that they commit the abominations which they commit here?
for they have filled
the land with violence, and have returned to provoke
me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.
Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not
spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine
ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them”
the only legitimate and commanded observance in honor of our
Savior’s death. He kept it with His disciples just before He
was impaled, and He said He would observe it again in the
coming Kingdom. What better certification for an observance
can we get? No Scriptural mandate exists for an annual
observance of His resurrection.
one day teach mankind that He is the only true Mighty One.
will learn—through pain of plague,
necessary—that pagan abominations will not be tolerated. And
man will one day discover what True Worship is all about and
what blessings can be his if he will simply be obedient not
to traditions of the world—but to the Word.