Origins of Easter/Palm Sunday/Good Friday
Bible Study – Historical Study Easter/Palm Sunday/Good Friday
This is a particularly important study as we dive into the origins of celebrated holidays, regarding Easter, Palm Sunday and Good Friday. This study will take a comprehensive look at these holidays (holy days) utilizing mostly old books, one new book and two online resources. While all roads seem to lead to Rome regarding the origins of holidays this one is the most important one to understand the origins. While we as Christians remember Resurrection Sunday as the day that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead we must be certain that our practices during this time of the year do not blaspheme the Most High and His Son. So lets begin…
Part One Good Friday?
We are going to start with Good Friday and some common sense. Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday, three days after His death. So going backwards we would go Saturday, Friday, Thursday. If you went to a job interview on a Monday and they told you to come back in three days, which day would you show up? Thursday of course. So why Good Friday?
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1st Corinthians 15:3-4
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Matthew 12:40
“Jewish Christians in the early church continued to celebrate the Passover, regarding Christ as the true Passover lamb. This naturally developed into a commemoration of the death and resurrection of our Lord because he was the true Passover sacrifice. But, while this Pascha or Passover celebration lasted three days, commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I must point out that this Passover celebration was a moveable celebration like Pentecost. It occurred on different days each year. There was NOT a “Good Friday” under this scheme! In fact, another encyclopedia stated this – prior to A.D. 325, Easter was variously celebrated on different days of the week, including Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. So, obviously there was no “Good Friday” before this time, because Easter could be celebrated on any day and from time to time, was celebrated on Friday.”1
“All that changed in 325 A.D. when the Emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea, which issued the Easter Rule, which states that Easter shall be celebrated on Sunday, but did not fix the particular Sunday. It was left to the Bishop of Alexandria to determine the exact Sunday, since that city was regarded as the authority in astrological matters. He was to communicate the results of his determination to other churches. But there was disagreement among the churches about doing it that way. It was not until the 7th century that the Easter matter was settled. Easter was to be on the first Sunday that occurred after the first full moon, on or after the vernal equinox. However, there is still a twist I need to mention here. The “full moon” in the rule is the ecclesiastical full moon, which is defined as the fourteenth day of a tabular lunation, where day one corresponds to the ecclesiastical New Moon. It does not always occur on the same date as the astronomical full moon.”2 “The ecclesiastical “vernal equinox” is always on March 21. Therefore, Easter must be celebrated on a Sunday between the dates of March 22 and April 25.”3
Now while we can make the assumption that Jesus was in fact crucified on a Thursday we need to dig a little deeper into that. “While all cultures work on the basis of a 24-hour day, not all cultures begin and end their day at the same time. There are major differences in the Roman Day, the Jewish Day, and our Modern Day. The Roman Day began at 6:00 A.M. and closed at 6:00 the next morning. The Jewish Day began at sunset and closed at the next sunset (or from about 6:00 P.M. to the next 6:00 P.M.). Our Day begins at midnight and closes at midnight.”4
Now that we have it cleared up that every day did not always start at midnight I am going to go on further and show you that it was likely that Jesus was crucified on a Thursday, but OUR Wednesday. Let’s go over a piece of the Holy Scriptures to enlighten us on this subject.
“And it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.” Mark 15:25
“And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is translated, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mark 15:33-34
“The context of this time delineation is Roman.”5 Thus the third hour would have been 9:00 A.M., which was the same time of the daily sacrifice of the morning. In Mark 15:33 we are told there was darkness over the whole land for three hours, starting at the sixth hour. This would have been from Noon until 3:00 P.M. “The evening sacrifice of the Jews took place at the 9th hour, 3:00 P.M. and was buried before sunset or about 6:00 P.M., which would be their Thursday and still our Wednesday.”6 “The Lord was taken down from the cross and placed in the tomb before sunset, before the beginning of the Sabbath.”7
“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” John 19:31
Here is where it gets somewhat confusing, but we have to deal with the normal weekly Sabbath and the High Sabbaths. “The parenthetical clause is the key to understanding the entire problem. What is true that a normal weekly Sabbath begins on sunset on Friday (about 6 p.m.), did you know that there are seven other “High Sabbaths,” all but one of which are floating Sabbaths? By “floating Sabbaths,” I mean they could occur on any day of the week. Therefore, there could have been two Sabbaths in one week, a high or floating Sabbath and a weekly Sabbath.”8 Here is an example of two Sabbaths in one week.
“Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grainfields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands.” Luke 6:1
“In fact, Christ was crucified on the day before an High Sabbath (floating Sabbath), not the day before the normal Sabbath! Which high Sabbath was it? It was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which was always held on the 15th of Nisan. The first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread was an Holy Convocation or High Sabbath and though always on the 15th of Nisan, that High Sabbath might fall on any day of the week, depending on the year. And, do you know what the day before the Feast of Unleavened Bread was? PASSOVER (emphasis in original) Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us on the day of Passover!”9
Here are some verses about the Feast of Unleavened Bread:
“On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; except for each soul for eating; that only may be done by you.” Exodus 12:16
“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath observance of rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work; it is the Sabbath of Jehovah in all your dwellings. These are the set feasts of Jehovah, holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed seasons: On the fourteenth day of the first month at evening is the Passover unto Jehovah. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread unto Jehovah; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no labor of work.” Leviticus 23:3-7
“And on the fifteenth day of this month is the feast; unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days.” Numbers 28:17
Christ as the Passover sacrifice:
“Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, even as you are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.” 1st Corinthians 5:7
Finishing this up we will go to Matthew:
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from Heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. And the angel answered and said to the women, Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord was lying.” Matthew 28:1-6
The first day of the week is Sunday. We know this because God had commanded Israel to remember the Sabbath (Saturday). For the Lord rested on the seventh day after He created the heavens and the earth. This is proof that Jesus did rise on a Sunday. One can debate whether Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday or Thursday but there can no longer be any debate as to whether it was a Friday. Good Friday doesn’t make sense.
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, and the seventh day is the Sabbath of Jehovah your God. In it you shall not do any work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Jehovah has blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.” Exodus 20:9-11
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quoted comes from the VW-Edition which may be found at http://www.a-voice.org
Part Two Palm Sunday
Though much of this study has to do with the paganism that came about from the Roman Catholic Church we will not be dealing with Ash Wednesday, Lent, Fat Tuesday, etc. Ash Wednesday as well as Fat Tuesday are generally only celebrated by the RCC. This section will be discussing Palm Sunday. First let’s take a look at Palm Sunday from a biblical aspect utilizing the Holy Scriptures.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous and having salvation, lowly, and riding on an ass, even on a colt, the foal of an ass.” Zechariah 9:9
“The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” John 12:12-13
“Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had died, whom He raised from the dead.” John 12:1
This states that the next day Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. Now we are going to take a look at the Romanized version of Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday before Easter.
“Throughout the greater part of Europe, in defect of the palm tree, branches of some other tree, as box, yew, or willow, were blessed by the priests after mass, and distributed among the people, who forthwith carried them in a joyous procession, in memory of the Savior’s triumphant entry into the holy city; after which they were usually burnt, and the ashes laid aside, to be sprinkled on the heads of the congregation on the ensuing Ash Wednesday, with the priest’s blessing.”1 “In the extreme desire manifested under the ancient religion to realize all the particulars of Christ’s passion, it was customary in some places to introduce into the procession a wooden figure of an ass, mounted on wheels, with a wooden human figure riding upon it, to represent the Saviour.”2 There are many more odd things that the RCC did (does) in regard to Palm Sunday a couple of more of which will be noted.
“Crosses of palm were made and blessed by the priests, and sold to the people as safeguards against disease.”3 “It was a saying that he who had not a palm in his hand on Palm Sunday, would have his hand cut off.”4 Now we will get into a bit of information regarding the RCC celebration of Palm Sunday.
“About nine on Palm Sunday morning, St. Peter’s having received a great crowd of people, all in their best attire, one of the papal regiments enters, and forms a clear passage up to the central aisle. Shortly afterwards the ‘noble guard,’ as it is called, of the Pope – a superior body of men – takes its place, and the corps diplomatique and distinguished ecclesiastics arrive, all taking their respective seats in rows in the space behind the high altar, which is draped and fitted up with carpets for the occasion. The Pope’s chief sacristan now brings in an armful of so-called palms, and place them on the altar.”5 “At 9:30 a burst of music is heard from the choir, the soliders present arms, all are on the tiptoe of expectation, and a procession enters from a side chapel near the doorway. All eyes are turned in this direction, and the Pope is seen borne up the centre of the magnificent basilica in his sedia gestatoria. This chair of state is fixed on two long poles covered with red velvet, and the bearers are twelve officials, six before and six behind. They bear the ends of the poles on their shoulders, and walk so steadily as not to cause any uneasy motion. On this occasion, and always keeping in mind that the church is mourning, the Pope is plainly attired, and his mitre is white without ornament.”6 “Descending from his sedia gestatoria, his Holiness, after some intermediate ceremonies and singing, proceeds to bless the palms, which are brought to him from the altar. This blessing is effected by his reading certain prayers, and incensing the palms three times. An embroidered apron is now placed over the Pope’s knees, and the cardinals in turn receive a palm from him, kissing the palm, his right hand, and knee. The bishops kiss the palm which they receive and his right knee; and the mitred abbots and other kiss the palm and his foot. Palms are now more freely distributed by sacristans, till at at length, they reach those among the lay nobility who desire to have one. The ceremony concludes by reading additional prayers, and more particularly, by chanting and singing.”7 “In conclusion, low mass is performed by one of the bishops present, and the Pope, getting into his sedia gestatoria, is carried with the same gravity back to the chapel whence he issued, and which communicates with his residence in the Vatican. The entire ceremonial lasts about three hours, but many, to see it, endure the fatigue of standing five to six hours.”8
As you can clearly see the celebration of Palm Sunday has nothing to do with the true Christian Church. This, like any other catholic mass, is not Christian at all. Rome is filled with pagan and superstitious practices that have invaded our churches and sadly been passed down and practiced by those who claim to know the Lord, and even those who truly do know the Lord. While the Lord may not have made one aware of this yet it is the purpose of this study to allow those who are truly biblical Christians understand and consider how they want to celebrate the Passover, Resurrection Sunday or whatever it may be that you call it.
1. Book of Days, Chambers, 1879
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quoted comes from the VW-Edition which may be found at http://www.a-voice.org
Part Three Easter
Out of the three parts to this study this will be the most eye-opening. This portion of the study will prove beyond a doubt that the origin of Easter is pagan. This is not to undermine the Christian remembering the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whatsoever. Please keep in mind that you will have to decide what you are going to do with this information on your own. You must consider the Holy Scriptures when doing so, of which I will include several verses throughout this study. Personally I have decided to call Easter, Resurrection Sunday and find it most fitting to celebrate it on the Jewish Passover.
“One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully assured in his own mind. He who regards the day, regards it to the Lord; and he who does not regard the day, to the Lord he does not regard it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.” Romans 14:5-6
We are going to start off with a word study. The word we are going to be studying is Easter. According to my old Webster’s dictionary:
Eas’ter, n., a paschal feast, originally a festival in honor of the Goddess of Spring, Eostre, held in April.1
This is the very first definition found in the dictionary and sheds some serious light on the Easter, henceforth ‘Easter,’ except while quoting.
‘Easter’ and the bible:
“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.” Acts 12:4 King James Version
“So when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after Passover.” Acts 12:4 VW-Edition (Source: www.a-voice.org)
Big difference here. The question will obviously arise, if ‘Easter’ is pagan then why is it in the KJV? I challenge you to grab a Strong’s Concordance. Look up the word yourself and see that it is in fact pascha or Passover. The word ‘Easter’ is NOT in the Holy Scriptures. It is not the purpose of this study to compare the KJV accuracy in terms of English translations, nor to demonize the KJV. I fully advocate the use of the KJV, but will not proclaim it to be without error or push KJV only. Personally I mostly use the VW-Edition of the Holy Scriptures, this error explained above being one of the reasons.
At this point we are going to thoroughly study ‘Easter,’ it’s origins and the origins of the rituals that go along with it. We will begin by taking a look at some old reference books, regarding the origins of holidays (holy days), then moving on to some newer references, including a newer book and online resources.
Origins of the name ‘Easter’
“Easter. The Sunday on which Christian Churches commemorate the resurrection of Christ. The name, which is in use only among the English and German speaking peoples, is derived, in all probability, from that of a goddess of the heathen Saxone, Ostara, Osterr, or Eastre. She was the personification of the East, of the morning, of the spring. The month of April was dedicated to her, and was called Eastermonath among the Saxons and Angles, and is still known in Germany as Ostermonat. Her worship struck deep root in Northern Germany, was carried to England by the Saxons, and still survives in some obscure customs in feasts to celebrate the return of the spring.”2
“The name of the feast, according to the Venerable Bede, comes from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess whose festival was celebrated in the spring. Her name was given to the Christian festival in celebration of the Resurrection. Eostre it was who, according to the legend, opened the 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.”3
“The Teutonic name of the church feast of our Lord’s resurrection. Bede gives as the name of fourth month, answering nearly to April, Eostremonath.”4
“The first hint of something amiss is the word “Easter.” Almost any resource material will cite a Teutonic goddess by a similar name, “Eostre” or “Eastre.”
‘Eostre was the deity of both the dawn and spring, and “the pagan symbol of fertility.” At her festival in April, sacred fires were lighted on the hills, especially in the Nordic lands. (At this same season, ancient Romans observed the Feast of the Vernal Equinox.)
-Mamie R. Krythe, All About American Holidays, p. 98’
Further investigation of this Teutonic name traces it back to Ostera, then Astarte, then to Ishtar (once pronounced as we do “Easter”). Since Ishtar, whose alternate name is Semiramis, was the wife of Nimrod, the priest and king of Babylon, we can trace a direct line between the word “Easter” and the origins of pagan religion.
According to legend, when Nimrod died he proceeded to become the sun-god, while Semiramis (Easter) proceeded to have an illegitimate son, Tammuz, whom she claimed was the son of her deified Nimrod. She apparently claimed Tammuz was the promised seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) and demanded worship for both herself as well as Tammuz. With only slight effort one can imagine that the mother soon was worshiped as much or more than her bastard son. Tammuz was later symbolized by a golden calf as the son of the sun-god, Nimrod (Ralph Woodrow, Babylon: Mystery Religion, pp. 9-10; Exod. 32:1-6). Moreover, when we discover where and how the blessed Mother originated, the plot both thickens and worsens!”5
“Furthermore, modern-day Easter falls right after the observance of the forty days of Lent. In ancient Babylon when Tammuz died, the followers of Semiramis joined her in mourning over the death of her son, Tammuz, for forty days.”6 “Some say that the name Easter comes from the name “Eostre” (the Saxon goddess), while others believe that it is derived from the name “Ishtar” or “Astarte” (the Assyrian counterpart for Semiramis). Nonetheless, it is quite evident that in both of these views the origin of the name Easter comes from a pagan diety that can easily be identifiable with the wife of Nimrod.”7
“So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the house of Jehovah; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz.” Ezekiel 8:14
“Under the definition for Easter in Webster’s Dictionary (College Edition) one finds: “originally the anem of pagan vernal festival…Eastre, dawn goddess.” Further reading in an encyclopedia, or most books on the holidays will identify Eastre with the pagan goddess known variously as Eostre, Ishtar, Semeramis (sic), and Astarte. This is the same Babylonian “Queen of Heaven,” whose worship is condemned in the Word of God.”8
“The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes to the Queen of Heaven and to pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger.” Jeremiah 7:18
“And all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great multitude, even all the people who lived in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the Word that you have spoken to us in the name of Jehovah, we will not give heed to you. But we will prepare and do whatever goes forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our rulers, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and were well-off, and saw no evil. But since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything, and have been consumed by the sword and by famine. And the women also said, when we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven, and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make our cakes in her image, and pour out drink offerings to her without our men? Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men and to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, saying: The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, you, and your fathers, your kings, and your rulers, and the people of the land; did not Jehovah remember them, and did it not come into His mind? Yes, so that Jehovah could no longer hold back because of the evil of your doings, because of the abominations which you have done! Therefore your land is a waste, and a wonder, and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is today. Because you have burned incense, and because you have sinned against Jehovah, and have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah, nor walked in His Law, nor in His statutes, nor did you walk in His testimonies, therefore this evil has happened to you, as it is this day. Moreover Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, Hear the Word of Jehovah, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt. Thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying: You and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hands, saying, We will prepare and celebrate our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her. You will arise and carry out your vows, and prepare and celebrate your vows. Therefore hear the Word of Jehovah, all Judah that lives in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by My great name, says Jehovah, that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord Jehovah lives. Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good. And all the men of Judah in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them.” Jeremiah 44:15-27
Counting the Webster’s dictionary we have documented several references proving that the name ‘Easter’ is derived of pagan origin. There should be no doubt that the name ‘Easter’ is indeed pagan and should not be used by Christians.
How ‘Easter’s’ Date Is Determined
“In the early Church Waster was identical in date with the Passover, as in fact the two festivals are identical in their root. But the opposition of the Christians to the Jews led to a change. The records of the Nicean Council of A.D. 325 show that this opposition was most acute. The very call for the Council breathed hostility against the Jews and those Christians who celebrated Easter on the day on which the Jews kept Passover. These Christians were called Quartodecimanians, because they celebrated Easter on the 14th day of Nisan, the first month of the Jewish year. But the opposition to the Quartodecimanians of Asia was more zealous than intelligent; for the artifical day chosen for Easter fell occasionally, as in 1805 and in 1825, on the 14th day of the Jewish Nisan, and the Christian Fathers, while bitterly opposed to the Jews, adopted without hesitation the Jewish mode of reckoning time by lunations. To make the matter worse, these lunations do not tally with the facts of astronomy. The result is that Easter calculations are so extraordinarily difficult as to lead to occasional mistakes, like that of 1818, when Easter was kept on the wrong day.”9
“The Council of Nicaea in 325, decided that the celebration should occur on the same day throughout the church. It was finally decided that the date should be the Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. The date for the equinox was fixed as March 21, and it was provided that if the full moon appeared on that date Easter should be the next Sunday. Consequently Easter moves between March 22 and April 25.”10
In reference to the first quote regarding how ‘Easter’s’ date is determined it should be noted that Christians should not hate their Jewish brothers and sisters, of course that which is quoted is the Roman Catholic Church not the true Church. Though the Jews are in disbelief that Jesus was the Messiah, we do both believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This point of hatred towards the Jews shows a satanic belief system that is passed down throughout the ages and amplified itself with Adolf Hitler, yet continues with the Arab counties to this day, as well as much anti-Sentism that is found all over the world. The Most High picked the Jewish people as His own and this is still true today. We Gentiles did not replace the Jews as many would believe. This study is not going to dwell further on this.
“I say then, have they stumbled that they should come to an end? Let it not be! But through their trespass, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.” Romans 11:11
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who is believing, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16
Origin of ‘Easter’ Eggs and the Bunny that Lays Them
There is candy all of the market in the form of eggs. You have Cadbury eggs, cartons of ‘eggs’, all sorts of candied eggs. Color packets are sold to color hard-boiled eggs before ‘Easter’. Churches often participate in hiding eggs for children to find. Have you ever considered that bunnies do not lay eggs? Of course we know that eggs come from birds, particularly chickens, but how many people have ever considered why a bunny would be portrayed as having laid them? This section is going to focus on that as the ‘Easter’ bunny and eggs play the biggest role in many people’s celebrations, including the White House. Let’s take a look at the origin of these odd customs.
“As the legend continues, an egg of wondrous size fell from heaven one day and landed in the Euphrates River. Some equally wondrous fishes managed to roll the egg to shore, whereupon several doves descended from heaven and incubated the remarkable find. Soon, out popped Ishtar (or Semiramis), the goddess of Easter. The egg eventually became the universal symbol for fertility, and as such can be traced in pagan cultures worldwide.”11 “More significantly, both the egg and its hatchling predate the resurrection of Christ by more than two thousand years, eliminating any possible connection among eggs, Easter, and Jesus.”12
“Eggs have become closely associated with Easter, and are regarded as a symbol of resurrection, for they hold the seeds of life, and represent the revival of fertility upon the earth. However, the egg as a life emblem is much older than Christianity.”13
“Egg painting may have originated in Persia and Egypt centuries ago. When the custom migrated into Europe, possibly by way of the Knights of the Crusades, egg decorating became an elaborate art.”14
“To be perfectly correct, it is the hare, not the rabbit, who should be honored as the most famous secular Easter symbol…Easter is a movable feast dependent for its date on the phase of the moon, and from antiquity the hare has been a symbol for the moon; the rabbit has not. Hares are born with their eyes open, rabbits are born blind; the Egyptian name for the hare was UN, meaning “open” or “to open,” and the full moon watched open-eyed through out the night. According to legend, the hare was thought never to blink or close its eyes.”15
“The egg also came to be regarded as symbolical of the resurrection, as it holds the seed of a new life. But eggs came to be associated with Easter originally because it was forbidden to eat them during Lent and on Easter Sunday they were served.”16 The egg, however, as a symbol of new life is much older than Christianity. And the coloring of it at the spring festival is also of very ancient origin. The Egyptians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans used it in this way. Eggs were eaten during the spring festival from very early times.”17 “The children are told that the rabbit lays the Easter eggs and the eggs are sometimes hidden in the garden for the children to find. This is an adaptation on the pagan custom of regarding the rabbit as an emblem of fertility, that is, on new life.”18
“The connections between Easter and the hare springs from the latter’s connection with the moon. Easter, inasmuch as its date depends upon the moon, is in a sense a lunar holiday. Now, from very ancient times the hare has been a symbol for the moon. There are many reasons for this. A few only need to be given. The hare is a nocturnal animal, and comes out at night to feed. The females carries her young for a month, thus representing the lunar cycle. Both hare and moon were thought to have the power of changing their sex. The new moon was masculine, the waning moon feminine. The superstition about the hare is mentioned by Pliny, Archelaus, and others. It is crystallized in the lines of Beaumont and Fletcher:
‘Hares that yearly sexes change,
Proteus, altering oft and strange,
Hecate with shapes three,
Let his maiden changed be.
Faithless Shepherdess, Act 111’”19
“The practice of using dyed eggs (Easter eggs) and buns (hot cross buns) during this festival was observed in certain pagan festivities of antiquity as well. In different ancient pagan rituals these items were offered up unto false gods. In China dyed or painted eggs are used during a sacred festivals, and the Druids of Britain used an egg as the sacred emblem of their order.”20
So as you can see the bunny and the egg have nothing to do with Christianity. This is yet another ‘christianized’ pagan holiday that the RCC was behind. So while these things may be associated with Christian themes they are not Christian, but pagan. “With the rise of Puritanism in England and its abhorrence of religious ceremonial the Protestants for a long time took no notice of Easter, or any other of the church festivals.”21
“The fragrant, waxy white flower we call the Easter lily is not a spring flower or an American flower at all. A lily growing on islands near Japan was taken to Bermuda and then traveled to the United States to become our most special Easter plant. Flower growers have learned how to make it bloom in time.”22
“Having become symbolic of the season, churches worldwide decorate their altars with these beautiful flowers, and innumerable thousands of them are given away to women at Easter as gifts. Few, however, realize the ancient significance of such gifts! The so-called “Easter lily” has long been revered by pagans by various lands as a holy symbol associated with reproductive organs. It was considered a phallic symbol! One might easily surmise what was being suggested by sending a gift of such nature in ancient times.”23
“Sunrise services are not unrelated to the Easter fires held on the tops of hills in continuation of the New Year fires, a worldwide observance in antiquity. Rites were performed at the vernal equinox welcoming the sun and its great power to bring new life to all growing things.”24
“Speaking of ‘sun’ worship… I’m sure many readers will get riled up at this, like they do at X-mass time when I observe the total pagan nature of the tree with its lights. It has been ‘most precious’ to “Christians” throughout the years… the “Easter Sunrise Service”. The “[c]hurch” celebrates it as a most sacred “Easter” service. ‘Not going to rehash here the pagan-ness of “Easter”, to the queen of heaven, Isis, Ashtoreth, Isthar, Eostre, etc. We have done that in the past, We celebrate the fulfillment of Passover/Firstfruits of Christ’s Death and Resurrection.”25
There are many more things that we could study but the purpose of this study is to allow the Christian to realize the pagan origins of ‘Easter’ and compare what the Holy Scriptures says about such thing, which we will now do.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what agreement has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?” 2nd Corinthians 6:14-15
“Therefore God also gives them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who change the truth of God into the lie, and fear and serve the created things more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 1:24-25
“And even as they do not like to have God in their full true knowledge, God gives them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with every unrighteousness, sexual perversion, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, depravity; whisperers, defamers, haters of God, insolent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do them, but also approve of those who practice them.” Romans 1:28-32
“Adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore purposes to be a friend of the world is shown to be opposing God.” Jacob 4:4
“Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine is like gold or silver or stone, something engraved by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” Acts 17:29-30
“They have not known nor understood; for He has shut their eyes so that they cannot see; and their hearts so that they cannot understand. And no one considers within his heart, nor is there perception nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; indeed, also I have baked bread on its coals; I have roasted flesh and eaten; and shall I make the rest of it into an abomination? Shall I prostrate myself to a piece of wood? He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside, so that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is this not a lie in my right hand?” Isaiah 44:18-20
“Therefore Jehovah said, Whereas this people draw near with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men.” Isaiah 29:13
“Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Christ Jesus were immersed into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through immersion into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be nullified, that we should no longer serve sin.” Romans 6:3-6
“and you are made full in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority. In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in immersion, in which you also were raised with Him through the faith of the working of God, who raised Him out from the dead.” Colossians 2:10-12
1. Webster’s University Dictionary Unabridged, 1942, The World Publishing Company
2. Curiosities of Popular Customs, 1925, Walsh
3. ??? The American Book of Days, 1948, Williams
4. Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, 1875, Smith & Cheetham
5. Pagan Traditions, 2000, Ingraham
9. Curiosities of Popular Customs, 1925, Walsh
10. ??? The American Book of Days, 1948, Williams
11. Pagan Traditions, 2000, Ingraham
13. All About American Holidays, p.103, Krythe
14. Pagan Traditions, 2000, Ingraham
15. Lilies, Rabbits and Painted Eggs, p.51, Barth
16. ??? The American Book of Days, 1948, Williams
19. Curiosities of Popular Customs, 1925, Walsh
21. ??? The American Book of Days, 1948, Williams
22. Lilies, Rabbits and Painted Eggs, p.51, Barth
23. Rabbits, Eggs, and Other Easter Errors, pp.11-12, Tardo
24. Celebrations, p.105, Myers
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quoted comes from the VW-Edition which may be found at http://www.a-voice.org