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Origin of the Word Easter
Most reference books say that the name “Easter” derived from the Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of Spring. A similar name for the word Easter is derived from the name Ishtar, whom is a pagan goddess of fertility. Ishtar was an ancient fertility deity the most widely worshipped goddess in Babylonian and Assyrian religion. Note: the King James Version Bible places this pagan name in the Bible (Acts 12:4). The translation of the word is pesach which is Passover not Easter. Also note that by the time of Jesus, the Jewish people merged the two feasts together calling them either Passover or Unleavened Bread.
Eggs have through the ages been viewed as a sign of new life and fertility. It is believed that for this reason many ancient cultures, including the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, and Romans, used eggs during their spring festivals (Johnson, David. 2006). There are many practices and customs that have formed around eggs. These practices include boiling, coloring by dyeing, painting the eggs, and even the hunt for the egg. Note I believe this is a great picture in the pagan ritual of the sperm chasing, or seeking, the egg. Remember it all centers around pagan belief of fertility and new life.
The rabbit or hare has also been viewed as a sign of fertility. Stories are told of the bunny being originated in Germany when a bunny laid eggs for children to find. Interesting thought since bunnies do not lay eggs. A Female rabbit is called a doe and when she gives birth (kindling), she gives birth to a litter, or a bunch of rabbits.
Some data I have found says that after their baptisms, early Christians wore white robes all through Easter week to indicate their new lives. Those had already been baptized wore new clothes instead to symbolize their sharing a new life with Christ.
Another practice of pagans was wearing new clothes in the spring season. They were attempting to celebrate the Earth gods clothing the Earth with new greenery (i.e. plants, trees, grass).
What should we do?
I like what one writer said, One might wonder if there is a better way for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the most important of all Christian holy days. In retrospect, it seems obvious that it would have been a better witness to the world if Christians had not attempted to “Christianize” pagan celebrations – adopting the name “Easter” (Ishtar/Semiramis) in remembrance of Christ. Jesus has been obscured by painted eggs and bunnies. Attention has been shifted away from spiritual truth and toward materialism (clothing, products and candies with the wrong symbolism). Stores/Churches merchandise the name of Easter (not “Resurrection Sunday”) and sell goods that have nothing to do with Christ’s death and resurrection. Christians naively use symbols and practices that unknowingly perpetuate ancient anti-Christ traditions – symbolic customs followed by the same religious cults that inspired the destruction of great numbers of Christians and Jews. Is the Devil laughing at us?
Let us get back to the real meaning of this holy-day. Let’s celebrate that Jesus is alive. Jesus is the first from among the dead and we all have a number. Lets wake up on the 1st day of the week and say Happy Resurrection Day, or First Fruits, not pagan Easter.
© 2006 All Rights Reserved. Robert L. Wagner