It’s a great encouragement as I see many churches now days starting to question the holiday of Easter. Many are starting to rename the observance to “Passion week”, “resurrection day” or even “First Fruits Service”. They are doing this because a majority of the memberships of these churches are starting to ask questions about the traditions and practices concerning Easter. Some uncomfortable questions are being poised to pastors and church leaders and they are having to admit that Easter is in fact a pagan holiday that is not found being observed by the disciples or Paul anywhere in the New Testament.
Here is a portion of a great article posted by the Missouri Based “Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry”. A link to the full article is posted at the bottom or visit their website linked over on the right side of the page.
On an early Sunday morning in April dad gets up and stumbles in the darkness searching for his best suit. He swallows a quick juice and heads off to the church. There he joins 20 of his friends gathered outside. As they look to the eastern sky they become enraptured by the brilliance of the dawning sun. Someone begins to sing a hymn. Others join in, faces glowing as they respond in adoration of the warming rays of the yellow orb.
Back home mother drives the chill from the house as she warms the oven. The smell of baking dough will spread to the bedrooms, beckoning awakening children to join her in making sugary crosses on toasty cakes.
A fat ham roasts in the oven. Dad’s mouth waters as he antici-pates returning home and dining on the ritual offerings he has come to savor each spring. But first one more prayer with hands stretched upward in praise as the vernal sun rises to jumpstart the life-cycle of another new year.
As he heads home he notices many others celebrating the return of spring in groves of trees that line the road.
The year is 500 years before the Messiah. Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah conveyed Yahweh’s disdain for a celebration that not only has survived millennia, but even blossomed into one of the major celebrations of Christianity today—Easter.
Easter takes its name from a deity of the Chaldeans known as Astarte or Ishtar. “Her presence was thought to guarantee fertility, and in her absence the land, humans, and animals could not reproduce,” Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature.
Easter a Phantom Observance
But where in the Bible can we find the word Easter? Only in Acts 12:4 in the King James Version. It is a mistranslation of the Greek Pasch or Passover. Barnes Notes says about the KJV’s changing the term Passover to Easter: “There was never a more absurd or unhappy translation than this. The original is simply after the Passover.”
Here’s how other versions translate Acts 12:4:
New Living Translation:
“… Herod’s intention was to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.”
New King James:
“… intending to bring him before the people after Passover.”
Notice the preceding verse 3 of Acts 12: “These were the days of unleavened bread.” What connection does the Feast of Unleavened Bread have with Easter? None. What does Easter have to do with the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Nothing. But the Passover and Feast of UB have a lot to do with each other. In the law the Feast follows the Pass-over on the 15th of Abib.
The early New Testament believers in Acts were still observing the Old Testament’s Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread! Never did Yahshua the Messiah or His apostles or any of the Jews of their day observe Easter. Easter today is known in other languages by words that link it directly to Passover: French Paques; Italian-Pasqua; Spanish Pascua; Dutch- Pasen. The word for Easter sounds similar in each of these languages. The problem is, it doesn’t sound at all like “Easter” but like the original and Scriptural “Passover.”
Its absence in the ancient manuscripts shows that the Easter celebration was completely missing in New Testament worship. This fact has not escaped even secular sources. The New Werner Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica says, “There is no trace of the celebration of Easter as a Christian festival in the New Testament or in the writings of the apostolic fathers,” vol. VII, p. 531.
It wasn’t until 800 years after Yahshua that an observance of His resurrection was ever called Easter.
Nelsons Illustrated Bible Dictionary says on p. 317, “Easter was originally a pagan festival honoring Eostre, a Teutonic [Germanic] goddess of light and spring. At the time of the vernal equinox, sacrifices were offered in her honor. As early as the 8th century the name was used to designate the annual Christian celebration of the resurrection of Messiah.” The word “Easter” is a renaming and completely unauthorized replacement of the Passover. The Eleventh Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica makes this short and eyeopening statement: “The name Easter (German Ostern) like the names of the days of the week, is a survival from the old Teutonic mythology. According to Bede, it is derived from Eostre or Ostara, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, to whom the month answering to our April, and called Eostur-monath, was dedicated.”
Historically, Easter is the celebration of the ancient queen of heaven, Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. Her beau was the Babylonian Tammuz (Greek Adonis). She is the same goddess worshiped throughout the Near East and Mediterranean worlds almost from the beginning of recorded history. She was variously known as Inanna, Innin, Astarte, Ashtar, the Greek Aphrodite, and the Roman Venus.
They Couldn’t Stick with Scripture
It would be bad enough to keep an arbitrary day named and observed for a pagan deity in honor of the Savior. But the atrocity doesn’t stop there.
The many trappings of the Easter rite sank the participant further into the abyss of idolatry. As the Roman Church grew it encountered heathen nations who held tena-ciously to their idol worship and man-made customs. The Roman church recognized that to amalgamate these peoples into its church-state, it would need to make an easy crossover for them. Rather than forcing the pagans to drop their worship altogether, the church found it expedient to recognize as much as possible their heathen rites in its own ecclesiastical calendar.
This blending of beliefs is explained by James G. Frazer in his book, The Golden Bough: “Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian and 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 inflexible protestantism of the primitive missionaries, with fiery denunciations 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.”
With those carryovers came the inclusion of the idol-rooted customs of eggs, rabbits, hot cross buns, ham dinners, bonfires, lent, and sunrise services all used in pagan worship. Each of these was related either to sun worship, fertility worship of pagan deities and worship of life itself or, as in the custom of eating swine, a snub of the Jews they disdained. Easter hams get their origin from the corn goddess and counterpart to Astarte, Demeter, whose mascot was the pig.
The heathens believed that by eating what represented their god, in this case swine, that they were literally partaking of their god.
What does Yahweh think of those who practice such things each year? Note Isaiah 65:3-5. “A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick;Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine’s flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.”
None of Easter’s traditions can be found in connection with pure worship of the Bible. Not Lent. Not Good Friday. Not Easter itself.
It is no coincidence that Easter involves symbols of eggs and rabbits, historically representing fruitful reproduction. Consider Easter’s bizarre melding of two powerful symbols of fertility — egg-laying rabbits. It’s a powerful example of the whole absurdity of using this observance to celebrate Yahshua’s resurrection.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1909 ed., has the following admission: “A great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring…The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been a symbol of fertility.”
The egg became associated with Astarte or Venus, when she hatched from a giant one that fell from heaven. The egg to the ancient represented the entire universe, which engenders everything. It is round, like the world, and is the universal principle of new life. The mystic egg was venerated in most paganistic nations of the world: Greece, Egypt, Persia, Babylon, India, Japan, and Phoenicia.
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