Subject: The truth about Easter and the day Christ died.

Go to here (which is further down on this page but linked for your convenience) to find the resources showing Easter is a pagan celebration and NOT the Passover celebration

Myth:  Easter is the same as Passover

Truth: Easter, the Roman pagan celebration of Eostre, occurred a good week after the Passover Lamb was crucified.   John 4:24 God is a spirit and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. We present the truth here.

Roman Catholicism has dictated the dates of many Christian events they invented and distorted the meanings of others. Christians who ought to know better continue to celebrate Good Friday without ever questioning why. The fact is that Christ was not crucified on Friday at all, nor did he rise on Sunday morning as Christians have been taught by Roman Catholics to believe.

Yet in spite of the truth, we continue to cling to the traditions of men and in so doing, miss the tremendous type and symbol contained in the historical accuracy of the Passover. This paper will attempt to correct error while pointing to the Lamb of God as Savior. "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matt 12:40) According to tradition, Jesus died on the cross at 3:00 p.m. on Friday and raised very early Sunday morning. Many have wondered how three days and three nights can be compressed into such a short time span, especially since Christ was so clear in His statement in Matthew 12:40 .  Most Christians simply ignore the obvious problem and hold the traditional view.  Most commentators argue that ancient Jews reckoned a fraction of a day as a whole day; so they say that a very small part of Friday, all of Saturday, and a small part of Sunday can be figured this way. Jesus, however, was clearly stating that He would remain in the grave exactly the same length of time that Jonah spent in the whale's belly.

The solution to the problem is clear: Nowhere in the Bible does is say or imply that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday. It is said that Jesus was crucified on "the day before the Sabbath" (Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath,)The Jewish weekly Sabbath came on Saturday, commencing at sunset the evening before. But what we forget is that the Jews had other Sabbaths beside the weekly Sabbath. For example, the first day of the Passover week, no matter what day that may be, was always a Sabbath   (Exodus 12:16; Lev 23:7; Num 28:16-18).  

Knowing this, ask whether the Sabbath immediately following Christ's crucifixion was the weekly Sabbath (Saturday) or the Passover Sabbath, falling on the 15th of Nisan, which came on Thursday the year that Christ died. Even though history should cause us to consider that our tradition is wrong, our first hint that something is missing from our tradition is the wonderful symbolism expressed in the Passover lamb. It was not accidental that Christ died during Passover. The Bible Itself tells us clearly when Jesus died. John tells us plainly that the day on which Jesus was tried and crucified as "the preparation of the Passover" (John 19:14). Christ then was not tried and crucified before the weekly Sabbath (Friday), but the day before the Passover Sabbath, in that year falling on Thursday. Therefore, the only conclusion we can make is that Christ was crucified on Wednesday.     John makes this fact crystal clear. John's Gospel was written later than other accounts and seems to clarify (for obvious reasons) areas that may lead to possible error. One false impression that we have accepted by our ignorance of Biblical truth is that Jesus ate the Passover at the regular time of the Passover. To correct this false impression, John clearly states that Jesus ate it the evening before and that He Himself died on the cross at the very moment that the Passover lambs were being killed "between the two evenings" on the 14th Nisan (Exodus 12:6). God's real Paschal Lamb--Jesus--of  Whom  all other paschal lambs offered through the centuries were only types, was therefore slain at the very time appointed of God. He would not therefore eat the Passover Lamb on the Passover day, for He WAS the Passover Lamb on that day. 

Everything about the Passover Lamb was a picture of Jesus:
1. He was a Lamb without spot or blemish (Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall
be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:)  

2. He was chosen on the 10th day of Nisan (Exodus 12:3  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:), for it was on the 10th day of the month, the preceding Saturday, that the triumphal entry into Jerusalem was made, and not on "Palm Sunday" as tradition suggests.  This fact is made abundantly clear since Jesus came from Jericho to Bethany six days before the Passover (John 12:1  Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.) and that would be six days before Thursday, which would have been Friday that He made the trip from Jericho to Bethany. If the Roman Catholic Palm Sunday is historically correct, it would mean that Jesus made the trip on Saturday (six days before Friday) in violation of the Law(Exodus 16:29) which was interpreted to allow Jews to travel no more than 2,000 cubits on the Sabbath. Bethany however, was a Sabbath's Day Journey from Jerusalem (Acts 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey.   

Compare Luke 24:50  And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.)     Jesus entered Jerusalem on "the next day" (John 12:12  On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, and following verses).   It was also the same day that Judas went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matt 26:6-16; Mark 14:3-11). That evening (Friday night) Jesus and His disciples at dinner at Simon the leper's house. That same night (now Saturday, 10th Nisan--remember that the next day begins at sunset) Judas sold Jesus.

 This was an exact fulfillment of prophecy in
Zechariah 11:12  And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.  Exodus 12:3-6  Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:  And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.  Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.  

3. Jesus was killed on the 14th Nisan between the evens, just before the beginning of the 15th Nisan as sundown (Exodus 12:6  And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening.)   We ought to accept what the Bible says: Jesus was not crucified on the Passover day but on "the preparation of the Passover,"  and that he was to be three days and three nights in the grave, and as "the preparation of the Passover" that year would be Wednesday and His resurrection early on the first day of the week, this allows exactly three days and three nights in the grave.       

It seems inarguably correct that Jesus died around sunset time on Wednesday.  It seems inarguably correct that exactly 72 hours later, exactly three days and three nights, at the beginning of the first day of the week (Saturday at sunset), He arose from the grave.  When the women came just before dawn on Sunday morning, they found the grave already empty.  There is no need to fumble with fractions of days or to twist our Lord's words to mean something other than what He said. The statements of Jesus were literally true. Three days and three nights His body was dead and lay in the sepulcher. He Himself however went into Paradise and declared that the perfect sacrifice had been made and then led the Old Testament saints out of that place and into the presence of God (1 Peter 3:18-19  For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:  By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;) If we take exactly what the Bible teaches, we see perfectly the marvelous fulfillment of prophecy and Old Testament typology.  On the other hand, if we accept the Roman Catholic tradition, we rob Christ of essential glory.  In fact, the traditional Good Friday/Easter Morning tradition not only robs Christ, it also neglects the clear teaching of God's Word, thus placing it beneath the traditions of men; a thing Jesus condemned  (Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.) Some object to this explanation by the Sunday morning statement of those in  Luke 24:21 (But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done) by stating that if the crucifixion took place on Wednesday, Sunday would be the fourth day since these things were done.    The explanation is that "these things" mentioned by the men on the road to Emmaus were concluded on Thursday (Wednesday night). The first day since Thursday would be Friday, the second day, Saturday, and the third day would be Sunday, the first day of the week.   This objection supports the facts.  On the other hand, there is no way that "three days since" could be reckoned if Christ died on Friday.  Some of the Scriptures that prove the facts are:   Matthew 12:40  For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth Matthew 26:61  And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.  Matthew 27:40  And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.     

Matthew 27:63  Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.  Mark 8:31  And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.  Mark 9:31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.

     Mark 10:34  And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.     

Mark 14:58  We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.     

Mark 15:29-30  And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,  Save thyself, and come down from the cross.     

Luke 24:21  But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.     
John 2:19-22 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple,
and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.  When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.  

In conclusion:  There is absolutely nothing in favor of a Friday Crucifixion or any verses whatsoever to support it. On the other hand, everything Scripture offers on the time of our Lord's Crucifixion points to Wednesday.    

You may ask, "So What?"   The answer comes when we understand the wonderful picture of the Lamb of God and how He became our Passover. There is nothing in Roman Catholic tradition that can possibly compare with the truth of God's Word.      

I urge you to distribute this truth and teach it. I urge you to leave behind the traditions of men which hide the Glory of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
N. Olson, Pastor  Freedom Church    Wolverine, MI

This passage proves Easter and the Passover were NOT at the same time; and that Easter, a Pagan Roman celebration, FOLLOWED Passover.

This is a very wide spread myth among the professing 'christian' community. People say when they celebrate Easter, they are celebrating Jesus' resurrection. But are they? In Exodus Chapter 12 we read about the Jewish celebration of Passover:

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: (Exo 12:1-3)

And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. (Exo 12:6,7)

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. (Exo 12:13)

Here we recognize the prophecy of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world.

After passover, there was another week long event called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We read of this still in Exodus Chapter 12:

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land. Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.(Exo 12:18-20)

As we can see this feast continued until several days after the passover was finished.

Now, let's turn to Acts Chapter 12. Here we read of Herod's persecution and Peter's arrest:

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (THEN WERE THE DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD) And when he had apprehended him, 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. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him (Acts 12:1-5, emphasis mine)

Let's examine these scriptures carefully. It says that Herod sought after Peter during the days of unleavened bread, which we already know takes place AFTER Passover. He put Peter in prison, but did not want to kill him till AFTER EASTER. Easter hadn't happened yet when Peter was arrested! Passover was already OVER!

Another point is that we only read of HEROD putting Peter in prison until Easter was over. We don't read of any CHRISTIANS observing Easter. Herod was NOT a Christian, people! He was ROMAN; that is, a PAGAN! He was NOT waiting for a CHRISTIAN holiday to be over, but a PAGAN holiday!

Ask yourself this, people. Why do you celebrate a 'holiday' in Jesus' name that had NOTHING to do with Jesus OR Passover (as scripture clearly shows) and was celebrated by a pagan man who murdered an apostle and fully intended to murder another one? Consider these things carefully and pray about them. Let us all make certain, with fear and trembling, that we worship in spirit and truth.

The resources
I offer for your edification the following  series of quotes & notes regarding the pagan holiday of Easter that has been painted with a veneer of Christianity ( a veritable wolf in sheep's clothing indeed) which deceives many of the world. 

Each year in the springtime, the mainstream Christian world celebrates a  holiday called "Easter." Many assume that this holiday originated with  the resurrection of Jesus Christ but as the information provided here will demonstrate that this spring tradition of men is actually older and far less 'holy' than one would imagine. The following quotes have been derived from several valid and even scholarly sources. The  purpose is to unveil the truth about the origins of this spring  'Christianized' pagan holiday. When you have read these through and  discern the truth it is our hope that you will remain convicted and follow His lead  away from non-biblical holidays. The crux of the  matter is not so much the hidden meanings of the symbols and story but  one of how your heart is before your Creator. Do you decide what days to observe or does God? The bible tells us that a little leaven leavens the whole lump and with that seasonally-correct truth in mind ... Come, let us reason together.

The True Origin and History of Easter - from many sources

"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 and the Feast of Unleavens] was a  continuation of the Jewish [that is, God's] 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, Merrill F. Unger, William White Jr.  Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, article: Easter, p.192)

"About the end of the sixth century, the first decisive attempt was made to enforce the observance of the new calendar. It was in Britain that the first attempt was made in this way; and here the attempt met with vigorous resistance. The difference, in point of time, betweet the Christian Pasch, as observed in Britain by the native Christians, and the Pagan Easter enforced by Rome, at the time of its enforcement, was a whole month; and it was only by violence and bloodshed, at last, that the Festival of the Anglo-Saxon or Chaldean goddess came to supersede that which had been held in honour of Christ." [The Two Babylons (Or The Papal Worship), Alexander Hislop, 1916, Neptune, NJ, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., p.107]

"When Christians first spread across Europe, believers in the new faith changed many of the older rites and ceremonies, adapting them to fit with the life and teaching of Jesus. They did not try to stop people from having a great spring festival for their old pagan goddess, Eostre." (Julian Fox, Easter, Vero Beach: Rourke Enterprises, 1989, p.11)

"There is no warrant in Scripture for the observance of Christmas and Easter as holydays, rather the contrary...and such observance is  contrary to the principles of the Reformed faith, conducive to  ill-worship, and not in harmony with the simplicity of the Gospel of  Jesus Christ. " (Morton H. Smith, How is the Gold Become Dim, Jackson, Mississippi: Steering Committee for a Continuing Presbyterian Church, etc., 1973, p.98)

"Before Christ was born the people living in northern Europe had a goddess called Eostre, the goddess of the spring. Every year, in spring the people had a festival for her. The name of our spring festival, Easter, comes from the name Eostre." (The Easter Book, Milan: Macdonald Educational, 1980, p.5)

"The name of a feast, according to the Venerable Bede, comes from Eostre, A Teutonic goddess whose festival was celebrated in the spring. The name was given to the Christian festival in celebration of the resurrected Eostre, it was who, according to the legend, opened portals of Valhalla to receive Baldur, called the white god because of his purity and also the sun god because his brow supplied light to mankind. It was Baldur who, after he had been murdered by Utgard Loki, the enemy of goodness and truth, spent half the year in Valhalla and the other half with the pale goddess of the lower regions. As the festival of Eostre was a celebration of the renewal of life in the spring it was easy to make it a celebration of the resurrection from the death of Jesus. There is no doubt that the church in its early days adopted the old pagan customs and gave a Christian meaning to them." (George William Douglas, The American Book of Days, article: Easter)

Early Christians celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the first month and a study of the dates on which Easter is celebrated will reveal that the celebration of Easter is not observed in accordance with the prescribed time for the observance of Passover. After much debate, the Nicaean council of 325 A.D. decreed that 'Easter' should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the vernal equinox. Why was so much debate necessary if 'Easter' was a tradition passed down from the Apostles? The answer is that it was not an Apostolic institution, but, an invention of man! They had to make up some rules. History records that spring festivals in honor of the pagan fertility goddesses and the events associated with them were celebrated at the same time as 'Easter'. In the year 399 A.D. the Theodosian Code attempted to remove the pagan connotation from those events and banned their observance. 

"Satan, the great counterfeiter, worked through the 'mystery of iniquity' to introduce a counterfeit Sabbath to take the place of the true Sabbath of God. Sunday stands side by side with Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Whitsun day, Corpus Christi, Assumption Day, All Souls' Day, Christmas Day, and a host of other ecclesiastical feast days too numerous to mention. This array of Roman catholic feasts and fast days are all man made. None of them bears the divine credentials of the Author of the Inspired Word." (M. E. Walsh)

"Just as many Christian customs and similar observance had their origin in pre-Christian times, so, too some of the popular traditions of.... Easter dates back to ancient nature rites... The origin of the Easter egg is based on the fertility lore of the Indo-European races...The Easter bunny had its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. Hare and rabbit were the most fertile animals our forefathers knew, serving as symbols of ... new life in the spring season." (Jesuit author Francis X. Weiser, The Easter Book, pp.15,181,&188)

"When we reflect how often the [Roman Catholic] Church has skilfully contrived to plant the seeds of of the new faith on the old stock of paganism, we may surmise that the Easter celebration of the dead and risen Christ was grafted upon the similar celebration of the dead and risen Adonis, which, as we have seen reason to believe, was celebrated in Syria at the same season." (Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, New York : Macmillan Company, 1951, p .401)

"There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times [i.e., aside from the Holy Days appointed by God] was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians, who continued to observe the Jewish [i.e., God's] festivals, though in a new spirit, as commemorations of events which those festivals had foreshadowed. Thus the Passover, with a new conception added to it of Christ, as the true Paschal Lamb and the firstfruits from the dead, continued to be observed, and became the Christian Easter. The name Easter (Ger. Ostern), like the names of the days of the week, is a survival from the old Teutonic mythology. According to Bede (De Temp. Rat. c.xv.) 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. This month, Bede says, was the same as mensis pashalis, 'when the old festival was observed with the gladness of a new solemnity.' The name of the festival in other languages (as Fr. paques; Ital. pasqua; Span. pascua; Dan. paaske; Dutch paasch; Welsh pasg) is derived from the Lat. pascha and the Gr. pascha. These in turn come from the Chaldee or Aramaean form pascha', of the Hebrew name of the Passover festival pesach..." (Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 11th edition, vol. 8, p. 828, article: "Easter")  "In ancient Anglo-Saxon myth, Ostara is the personification of the rising sun. In that capacity she is associated with the spring and is considered to be a fertility goddess. She is the friend of all children, and to amuse them, she changed her pet bird into a rabbit. This rabbit brought forth brightly colored eggs, which the goddess gave to the children as gifts. From her name and rites the festival of Easter is derived. Ostara is identical to the Greek Eos and the Roman Aurora." (Encyclopedia Mythica, article: Ostara)

 Mythology: The chief Babylonian and Assyrian goddess,  associated with love, fertility, and war, being the counterpart to the  Phoenician Astarte. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000) 

Tammuz: ancient nature deity worshiped in Babylonia. A god of  agriculture and flocks, he personified the creative powers of spring. He  was loved by the fertility goddess Ishtar, who, according to one legend,  was so grief-stricken at his death that she contrived to enter the  underworld to get him back. According to another legend, she killed him and later restored him to life. These legends and his festival, commemorating the yearly death and rebirth of vegetation, corresponded  to the festivals of the Phoenician and Greek Adonis and of the Phrygian Attis. The Sumerian name of Tammuz was Dumuzi. In the Bible his disappearance is mourned by the women of Jerusalem (Ezek. 8.14).(The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

"EASTER (AV Acts 12:4), An anachronistic mistranslation of the Gk.  pascha (RSV, NEB, "Passover"), in which the AV followed such earlier  versions as Tyndale and Coverdale. The Acts passage refers to the  seven-day Passover festival (including the Feast of Unleavened Bread).  It is reasonably certain that the NT contains no reference to a yearly  celebration of the resurrection of Christ." (International Standard  Bible Encyclopedia, edited by Geoffrey Bromiley, Vol 2 of 4, p.6, article: Easter)

"The term Easter was derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'Eostre,' the name of the goddess of spring. In her honor sacrifices were offered at the time  of the vernal equinox. By the 8th century the term came to be applied to  the anniversary of Christ's resurrection." (International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, edited by Geoffrey Bromiley, Vol 2 of 4, p.6, article: Easter)

In primitive agricultural societies natural phenomena, such as rainfall,  the fecundity of the earth, and the regeneration of nature were  frequently personified. One of the most important pagan myths was the  search of the earth goddess for her lost (or dead) child or lover (e.g.,  Isis and Osiris, Ishtar and Tammuz, Demeter and Persephone). This myth,  symbolizing the birth, death, and reappearance of vegetation, when acted  out in a sacred drama, was the fertility rite par excellence.(The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

Attis, in Phrygian religion, vegetation god. ...Like Adonis, Attis came  to be worshiped as a god of vegetation, responsible for the death and  rebirth of plant life. Each year at the beginning of spring his  resurrection was celebrated in a festival. In Roman religion he became a  powerful celestial deity. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001)

"The festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of  Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival  from that now observed in the Romish [and Protestant] Church, and at  that time was not known by any such name as Easter. It was called Pasch,  or the Passover, and though not of Apostolic institution [It was instituted by God and by Jesus--Lev 23; Matt 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25;  Luke 22:7-20; I Cor 11:23-30], was very early observed by many  professing Christians in commemoration of the death and resurrection of  Christ [It is a memorial of His death, not His resurrection--I Cor 11:26]. That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish [i.e., God's] Passover, when Christ was crucified .... That festival was  not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent" (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, p.104)

"The name Easter comes from Eostre, an ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess,  originally of the dawn. In pagan times an annual spring festival was  held in her honor." (Compton's Encyclopedia and Fact-Index. Vol 7. Chicago: Compton's Learning Company, 1987, p.41)=20

"Easter. [Gk. pascha, from Heb. pesah] The Passover ..., and so  translated in every passage except the KJV: 'intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people' [Acts 12:4]. In the earlier English versions Easter had been frequently used as the translation of pascha. 

At the last revision [1611 A.V.] Passover was substituted in all passages but this...The word Easter is of Saxon origin, the name is eastra, the goddess of spring in whose honor sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. By the eighth century Anglo-Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ's resurrection." (New Unger's Bible Dictionary, article: "Easter")"

It is called Easter in the English, from the goddess Eostre, worshipped by the Saxons with peculiar ceremonies in the month of April." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol II, Edinburgh: A. Bell & C. Macfarquhar, 1768, p.464)

"The English word Easter is derived from the names 'Eostre' - 'Eastre' - 'Astarte' or 'Ashtaroth'. Astarte was introduced into the British Isles by the Druids and is just another name for Beltis or Ishtar of the Chaldeans and Babylonians. The book of Judges records that 'the children of Israel did evil the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, ...and forsook the LORD, and served not Him.' Easter is just another name for Ashteroth 'The Queen of Heaven.' Easter was not considered a 'Christian' festival until the fourth century. 

The pagan festival of Easter originated as the worship of the sun goddess, the Babylonian Queen of Heaven who was later worshipped under many names including Ishtar, Cybele, Idaea Mater (the Great Mother), or Astarte for whom the celebration of Easter is named. Easter is not another name for the Feast of Passover and is not celebrated at the Biblically prescribed time for Passover. This pagan festival was supposedly 'Christianized' several hundred years after Christ." (Richard Rives, Too Long in the Sun)

"EASTER: This is from Anglo-Saxon Eostre, a pagan goddess whose festival came at the spring equinox." (Joseph T. Shipley, Dictionary of Word Origins, New York: Philosophical Library, MCMXLV, p.131)

"The word Easter comes from the Old English word eostre, the name of a  dawn-goddess worshipped in the Spring." (Oxford Junior Encyclopaedia, London: Odhams, 1957, p.123)

"When Christianity conquered Rome: the ecclesiastical structure of the pagan church, the title and the vestments of the pontifex maximus, the worship of the Great Mother goddess and a multitude of comforting divinities, the sense of super sensible presences everywhere, the joy or solemnity of old festivals, and the pageantry of immemorial ceremony, passed like maternal blood into the new religion,--and captive Rome conquered her conqueror. The reins and skills of government were handed down by a dying empire to a virile papacy." (Will Durant, Caesar and Christ, p. 672)

"The {Roman Catholic] church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen. She took the pagan, Roman Pantheon, temple of all the gods, and made it sacred to all the martyrs; so it stands to this day. She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday. She took the pagan Easter and made it the feast we celebrate during this season. Sunday and Easter day are, if we consider their derivation, much the same. In truth, all Sundays are Sundays only because they are a weekly, partial recurrence of Easter day. The pagan Sunday was, in a manner, an unconscious preparation for Easter day." (Willliam L. Gildea, D.D., Paschale Gaudium, in The Catholic World, Vol. LVIII., No. 348., March, 1894, published in New York by The Office of The Catholic World., pp.808-809)=


"Vernal Mysteries (spring heathen rites) like those of Tammuz, and Osiris and Adonis flourished in the Mediterranean world and farther north and east there were others. Some of their rites and symbols were carried forward into Easter customs. Many of them have survived into our own day, unchanged yet subtly altered in their new surroundings to bear a 'Christian'significance." (Christina Hole, Easter and its Customs)"...Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon name of a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility, to whom was dedicated a month corresponding to April. Her festival was celebrated on the day of the vernal equinox; traditions associated with the festival survive in the Easter rabbit, a symbol of fertility, and in colored easter eggs, originally painted with bright colors to represent the sunlight of spring, and used in Easter-egg rolling contests or given as gifts." (Funk and Wagnall's Encyclopedia, article: Easter)

"EASTER: from Old English eastre, name of a spring goddess." (The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition, Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1995)

"The pagan festival held at the vernal equinox to honor Eastre, the goddess of dawn, was called Eastre in Old English. Since the Christian festival celebrating Christ's resurrection fell at about the same time, the pagan name was borrowed for it when Christianity was introduced to England, the name later being changed slightly to Easter. " (Robert Hendrickson, The Facts on File Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, New York: Facts on File, 1987, p.177)

"EASTER: West Germanic name of a pagan spring festival." (Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary, Springfield: G. & C. Merriam Company, 1976)

"The English word Easter comes from the goddess Eastre, whose festival was celebrated at the vernal equinox, and who presided over the fertility of man and animals." (Betty Nickerson, Celebrate the Sun, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1969, p.38)

"The story of Easter is not simply a Christian story. Not only is the very name "Easter" the name of an ancient and non-Christian deity; the season itself has also, from time immemorial, been the occasion of rites and observances having to do with the mystery of death and resurrection among peoples differing widely in race and religion." (Alan W. Watts, Easter: its Story and Meaning)

"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. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similar Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [were] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." (Larry Boemler, Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. 18, Number 3, 1992-May/June, article: "Asherah and Easter")

"Eostre: Saxon and Neo-Pagan goddess of fertility and springtime whom the holiday Easter was originally named after." (Gerina Dunwich, The Concise Lexicon of the Occult, New York: Citadel Press, 1990 p.54)=20

"EASTER: de Temp. Rat. XV. derives the word from Eostre (Northumb. spelling astre), the name of a goddess whose festival was celebrated at the vernal equinox; her name...shows that she was originally the dawn-goddess." (The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989)

"Astarte: a Phoenician goddess of fertility and sexual love who corresponds to the Babylonian and Assyrian goddess Ishtar and who became identified with the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Aphrodite, and others." (Oxford Dictionary of English)

"Ishtar: ancient fertility deity, the most widely worshiped goddess in Babylonian and Assyrian religion. Ishtar was important as a mother goddess, goddess of love, and goddess of war. Her cult spread throughout W Asia, and she became identified with various other earth goddesses (see GREAT MOTHER OF THE GODS). Great Mother of the Gods: in ancient Middle Eastern religion (and later in Greece, Rome, and W Asia), mother goddess, the great symbol of the earth's fertility. As the creative force in nature, she was worshiped under many names, including ASTARTE (Syria), CERES (Rome), CYBELE (Phrygia), DEMETER (Greece), ISHTAR (Babylon), and ISIS (Egypt). The later forms of her cult involved the worship of a male deity (her son or lover, e.g., ADONIS, OSIRIS), whose death and resurrection symbolized the regenerative power of the earth." (  )

When we reflect how often the Church has skilfully contrived to plant the seeds of the new faith on the old stock of paganism, we may surmise that the Easter celebration of the dead and risen Christ was grafted upon a similar celebration of the dead and risen Adonis, which, as we have seen reason to believe, was celebrated in Syria at the same season. ( Sir James George Frazer (1854). The Golden Bough. 1922.) 

"Thus much already laid down may seem a sufficient treatise to prove that the celebration of the feast of Easter began everywhere more of custom than by any commandment either of Christ or any apostle." (Socrates, Hist Ecclesiates., lib. v. cap. 22)

"As with the other Christian holidays, there was also a holiday in ancient times that was celebrated at about the same time. In this case, it was the celebration of the vernal equinox-the tribute to the goddess of spring, Eastre. Eastre was an Anglo-Saxon goddess who is reputed to have opened the gates of Valhalla for the slain sun god, Baldrun, thereby bringing light to man. Easter also refers to the rising of the sun in the east." (Carole Potter, Encyclopedia of Superstition, London: Michael O'Mara Books, 1983, p.69)

"Then look at Easter. When means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. That name, as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar." [The Two Babylons (Or The Papal Worship), Alexander Hislop, 1916, Neptune, NJ, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., p.103]


"Many of the customs associated with Easter are derived from various spring fertility rites of the pagan religions which Christianity supplanted." (Encyclopedia International, China: Lexicon Publications, 1973, p.190)

"Easter is connected in many ways with early pagan rituals that accompanied the arrival of spring." (Merit Students Encyclopedia, New York: P. F. Collier, 1983, p.167-168)

"Both of these festivals [Easter and Christmas] have roots in old pagan rituals that they have superceeded." (G. MacGregor, Dictionary of Religion and Philosophy, New York: Paragon House, 1991, p.207)=20

"Even though it [Easter] has stood for over fifteen hundred years as the symbol of the resurrection of Jesus to members of the Christian Church, it is not entirely a Christian festival. Its origins go far back into pagan rites and customs." (Charlotte Adams, Easter Idea Book, New York: M. Barrows and Company, 1954, p.11)

"Many of the customs associated with Easter originate in pagan celebrations of spring." (New Standard Encyclopedia, Vol 6. Chicago: Standard Educational, 1991,pE-25-E-27)

"There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the [so-called] apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the mind of the first Christians." (The Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., Vol VIII, Cambridge: The University Press, 1910, p.828)

"Around the Christian observance of Easter as the climax of the liturgical drama of Holy Week and Good Friday, folk customs have collected, many of which have been handed down from the ancient ceremonial and symbolism of European and Middle Eastern pagan spring festivals brought into relation with the resurrection theme." (The New Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1992. p.333)

"About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill ...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection." (EASTER: ITS ORIGINS AND MEANINGS by The Religious Tolerance Organization Web site

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