Sunday, April 24, 2011
He is risen indeed!
I think this is a very appropriate day to expose some gross errors about this day. Is the date of Easter of pagan origins, and is the name “Easter” pagan? To both questions, the answer is a hearty “NO!”
Many, many years ago I read that the name “Easter” was a variation of the name for a Pagan fertility goddess, and that the date of Easter was made to align with pagan spring fertility celebrations. Well, I already knew that the date of Easter was based on the date of the Jewish Passover, but that fertility goddess thing really made sense to me. After all, the comparisons to the names Ishtar, Ashtoreth, etc certainly looked like that’s where the name came from.
Many, many years later, and many, many authors later, I’m still reading how Easter is an Anglicized version of Ishtar, etc. Over the years we have refused to use the word “Easter,” and instead celebrated “Resurrection Day.”
I know two books used in the many writings/books I have read were Babylon Mystery Religion and The Two Babylons, the former book citing the latter as its source. I bought the former in 1994, while the latter was given to me about 10 years later. By the time I read Alexander Hislop’s The Two Babylons, I had been studying apologetics for a long time, including the Roman Catholic Church - the object of Hislop’s book - and recognized there were problems with many of his claims. But I never gave another thought to the claim about the origin of the name of Easter, and have actually been propagating that story as late as a couple weeks ago!
Well, the wonderful ministry Answers in Genesis put out a couple articles this week examining the source of the date of Easter and the origin of its name. The first article didn’t give me any new data (as noted, I already was aware of the date origin), but the second one was a real eye-opener!
It seems the best explanation of the word “Easter” has nothing to do with the names of pagan goddesses, but is instead based on the German word for "resurrection"!
If you are still being told that the Romanist church made the date of Easter to make the pagans happy, or that the name of Easter was chosen by the Roman church also to give succor to the pagans, I suggest you review the two articles by AIG. And get rid of your Alexander Hislop book!