ForumsAU.com - Forums in Australia for all people & subjects
ForumsAU.com - Forums in Australia for all people & subjects
Home | Profile | Register | Active Topics | Members | Search | FAQ
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?

 All Forums
 Christianity - Christian
 pottersclub.com articles
 Why we should not Passover Easter
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Send Topic to a Friend
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

kevtherev
Forum Admin

Australia
354 Posts

Posted - 22 Jan 2006 :  22:01:37  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Why we should not Passover Easter

Why we should not Passover Easter

by Nick Sayers

Early English versions

Wycliffe

When the bible was being translated into the Latin language in the fourth century, the translators simply used the same Greek word for Passover which is pascha without creating a new Latin word in its place. In the first major translation of the bible into English, the hand written Wycliffe Bible in 1382, John Wycliffe used basically the same word, pascha. Wycliffe did not translate the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew, but from the fourth century Latin Vulgate. Thus it was a translation of a translation. When he came to the Latin word pascha he translated this Latin word without an English equivalent. The words he used were pask and paske, still a basic form of the untranslated Greek word pascha. When Roman Catholic scholars translated the Douay- Rheims Bible from the Latin Vulgate in the 17th century they used the word pasche, which gave it a more English feel, but was still in essence untranslated.

Wycliffe translated Acts 12:4 this way: And whanne he hadde cauyte Petre, he sente hym in to prisoun; and bitook to foure quaternyouns of knyytis, to kepe hym, and wolde aftir pask bringe hym forth to the puple.

Tyndale

William Tyndale translated and printed in English the New Testament and the first five books of the Old Testament between 1525 and 1535 in Germany and the Low Countries while in exile. He was the first person to ever print an English translation. He worked from the original Greek and Hebrew texts at a time when knowledge of those languages in England was rare. He was educated at Oxford University and later at Cambridge where he also lectured and became skilled in not only Hebrew and Greek, but also Latin, Italian, Spanish, and French with such fluency that Herman Buschius, a friend of Erasmus, stated that: "whichever he spoke you would suppose it his native tongue."

Tyndale was responsible for both Easter and Passover to put into the English Bible. In his 1525 New Testament, Tyndale used the English word Easter to translate the Greek word pascha. This was the first time this Greek word had been translated into English in a bible translation. Many English people celebrated the season around the Passover as Easter. Tyndale used this word not as a pagan festival but as a synonym for the word Passover.

Some modern day scholars conclude that the word Easter has pagan origins, but the facts are that this word is entirely Christian in its entirety. It is not only a synonym for Passover, but also a descriptive word revealing the New Testament fulfilment of the Passover, in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.

The Greek word pascha occurs twenty-nine times in the New Testament, and Tyndale has ester or Easter fourteen times, esterlambe eleven times, esterfest once, and paschall lambe three times. In 1525 Tyndale's New Testament was printed, and then five years later in 1530 he printed the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.

When Tyndale was working on the New Testament, the word Easter/Ester was adequate. But when he started the Old Testament book of Exodus, in 12:11 he discovered the word Easter, which means resurrection (which we will explain), would not be adequate. This problem involved the translating of the Hebrew word pecach, which if translated Easter, means resurrection, would form an anachronism, which is something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred. In other words if he used the English word Easter which describes Christ's resurrection, he would be speaking of an event that had not yet happened.

So Tyndale with his amazing linguistic ability created the word Passover, and used it in all twenty-two places of the Old Testament Pentateuch. The word Passover comes from the idea that God passed over the houses of the Israelites, who had marked their doorposts in obedience to God. This way the children of Israel were spared when God smote the firstborn sons of the Egyptian taskmasters on the eve of the Exodus. The sons of Israel were thus redeemed from the land of sin, Egypt, and redeemed from Pharaoh to serve Jehovah. The Hebrew word pecach was understood by the Israelites at the time to mean skip over or to limp. So Tyndale used two words `pass' and `over' meaning to skip over or limp over, which shortly became the one word Passover in the 1530 Pentateuch, but ester (Easter) remained in Tyndale's revision of the New Testament in 1534. Tyndale translated Acts 12:4 this way in His 1525 version: And when he had caught him, he put him in preson, and delivered him to. iiii. quaternions of soudiers to be kepte, entendinge after ester to bringe him forth to the people.

Luther

Luther was a strong influence on Tyndale's New Testament. Because of persecution Tyndale left England and met with Luther in Germany in 1525. By the end of the year Tyndale had translated the New Testament in English. It is likely that Tyndale's use of "Easter" which as we just saw was a synonym of "Passover", in his NT is indebted to his dependence on Luther's German Bible, which uses "Ostern" in the same way. Luther is his German Translation of 1522 used the German word Ostern the same way that Tyndale used Easter. Because the Anglo/Saxon language is Germanic there are still many similarities between the languages. The English word Easter is of Saxon origin. The word is Oster. This is the same word as Ostern used in the German language today. Oster (basically the same as Ostern) is cognate to Ost which means the rising of the sun, or simply, east. Ostern comes from the old Teutonic form of auferstehen/auferstehung, which means resurrection, which in the older Teutonic form comes from two words, ester meaning first, and stehen meaning to stand. These two words combine to form erstehen which is an old German form of auferstehen, the modern day German word for resurrection. In English the word ester coming from the German oster, morphed into the modern day term easter. This is the same corresponding form of the German oster, which has now become ostern. Here are some examples in modern German: Easter - das Ostern, at Easter an/zu Ostern, on Easter (Day) an Ostern, Happy Easter! Frohe Ostern! Happy Easter! Ein frohes Osterfest! Tyndale with his expertise in the German language knew of the Easter - Oster association. Luther obviously considered Oster as both a synonym for Passover and a phrase used for the resurrection of Christ. In Luther's German New Testament we find Ostern, Osterlamm, Osterfest, Fest, and only once das Passa (Heb. 11.28). In His Old Testament he used the German word Passaopffer, Osterfest, Ostern, and Osterlamm once each. In Exodus 12.11 Luther rendered it Passah with a marginal note referring to the 'Easter Lamb', "Was das Osterlamm bedeutet leret genugsam S. Paulus 1 Cor. 5 da er spricht, unser Osterlamm ist Christus der geopfert ist" ("... our Easter Lamb is Christ who is offered). "Ostern" means "Easter" in current German usage, but Luther's New Testament (1522) consistently uses the word for "Passover" (e.g., at Matt. 26:2--"Ihr wisset, daß nach zwei Tagen Ostern wird . . . .") Even in contemporary German in a certain context, such as the phrase "das jüdische Osterfest" (the Jewish Passover), this word Ostern can be used to translate Passover. Luther also switches terms in the Old Testament, generally using "Passah" for Passover, although not as consistently.

Luther translates Apostelgeschichte (Acts) 12:4 this way: Da er ihn nun griff, legte er ihn ins Gefängnis und überantwortete ihn vier Vierteilen Kriegsknechten, ihn zu bewahren, und gedachte, ihn nach Ostern dem Volk vorzustellen.

Other Early English Translations

The 15 references to "Easter" in the Great Bible were reduced to one in the King James Bible of 1611, and that is the one in Acts 12:4.

Some Examples

The Great bible translates Acts 12:4 this way: And when he had caught hym, he put him in preson also, and delyvered him to. iiii. quaternions of soudiers to be kepte, entendynge after Ester to bringe him forth to the people.

Bishop's Bible (1568):

And when he had caught him, he put him in prison also, and delivered him to foure quaternions of souldiers to be kept, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

The Geneva Bible of 1560 does not use "Easter." Instead it reads:And when he had caught hym, he put hym in prison, and delivered hym to foure quaternions of souldiers to be kept, intendying after the Passover to brying hym forthe to the people.

The King James Version

Until about 1900, English speaking people always associated Easter with the celebration of Passover and the prophetic implications which occurred at Christ's resurrection. The correct etymology of Easter was recognised by the King James Translators who added an important factor to the use of the word Easter. They refined the semantic range of Easter to be translated only once as Easter in Acts 12:4. This was because in every instance up until Acts. 12:4 the word Pascha represented the pre-resurrection Passover. In other words Christ had not yet died as the Passover lamb for the whole world. But in Acts 12:4 it is a post-resurrection Passover. Christ had become the Lamb of God and replaced the old Passover with the new covenant in His blood. Therefore the old Passover was replaced with the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ which is Easter. The above demonstrates that the KJV is not alone when it translates this word here as Easter, so also did the Tyndale Bible, the Bishops and the Great Bibles which preceded the KJV which was borrowed from Martin Luther who also translated this word as Oster, the German word for Easter. In the KJV translators translating this word once, they stand to be the most accurate of all the translations as far as a word for word translation goes in this verse. With the process of time, Passover became an Old Testament word, and Easter became a New Testament word. The only other time Pascha is mentioned in the post-resurrection order is in I Cor. 5:7, "For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." Tyndale's Bible has, "For Christ our Easter lamb is offered up for us." Obviously with the order of Old Testament Passover, and New Testament Easter, this scripture is correctly translated Passover by the KJV translators. For Christ our `fulfilment of the Old Testament' Passover is sacrificed for us. Yet Tyndale is correct in translating Easter lamb in 1 Cor. 5:7 but the significance of Christ fulfilling the Passover sacrifice is slightly weakened through the - Old Testament Passover, and New Testament Easter, mindset created by the KJV translators, although it was a a correct synonym for Passover in Tyndale's day.

It seems strange if not blasphemous that we as bible believing Christians could think that the King James translators would insert the name of a Pagan deity in place of the word Pascha. Imagine if we placed Krishna or Allah in its stead. To think that the world's most famous word for word translation could get it so wrong here is shear ignorance on our behalf. To believe that Tyndale, Cranmer, Martin Luther, Coverdale, Matthews, the Great Bible, and the Bishop's Bible were referring to a pagan God of the spring called Ishtar when they named Christ the easterlamb. It would be like calling Christ the fertility goddess lamb!

Modern Versions

The modern KJV 21st Century Version and the Third Millennium Bible both read "after Easter" in Acts 12:4, while every other modern translation has Passover. While it is correct to translate Pascha as Passover, it is not factual to state that Easter is an erroneous translation of Pascha. In fact Easter is actually a more precise word than Passover because of the order in which it is set. I believe that the word Easter should be resurrected from its current state both in modern translations and in our personal worship. The celebration of Easter should be a time of jubilation. Just as the Jews remembered the Passover, so too should Christians remember Christ at communion. So next time you break the bread and drink the wine at Easter, consider the Passover lamb, and the celebration of Easter, which has been a part of Christianity since the resurrection of Christ.

Nick Sayers

http://www.pottersclub.com/articleshow.asp?art_num=78

nick
Commander

Australia
240 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2006 :  13:05:38  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
Why we should not Passover Easter

By Nick Sayers

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. Acts 12:3-4 KJV

The Dominant strength of English

English has risen to become the dominant world language. Because most Christianized nations use English as their chief means of communication, for English speaking believers, it is crucial to understand the language accurately ourselves, before presenting to foreigners vaguely constructed etymologies, particularly when expounding the word of God. Many cults, which prefer wives fables than the word of God, despise Easter believing it to be a Christianized pagan festival of the spring goddess Ishtar. Many good Christians too, feel obligated to their conscience to reject celebrating Easter because they see it to be based on idolatry and paganism. The traditions which have been added to Easter have not helped either. Most English speaking people associate chocolate eggs and rabbits with Easter as much as the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.

Hebrew Pesach became Greek Pascha

In most languages the word for Easter is exactly the same as the word for Passover, so the relationship between the feast of Passover and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is directly linked. A few examples are; Latin Pascha, French Pâques, Italian Pasqua, and Dutch Pasen. All these words mean both Easter and Passover, only the context formulates the difference. With the exception of English and German, all other European languages do not have a separate word for Easter and Passover, but simply use a single term derived from Pesach, the Hebrew word for Passover.

In one way this is an advantage to the foreign believer who immediately associates Jesus Christ as the Passover Lamb. Whether a believer is reading the New or Old Testament, the association between Christ and the Passover is clearly seen. This was also the case in the original Greek language which uses the word Pascha for Passover and also the resurrection of Christ. This has been the same for 2000 years in Greek. If you look up a modern Greek dictionary it will tell you that Pascha means Easter and Passover. This was also the case in English until Tyndale coined the term Passover. But as we shall see, the English rendition of Easter and Passover in the King James Bible is superior and needs to be exalted into its rightful place in English bible versions and dictionaries again.

This does not conclude that the English is superior to the original Greek, which is Ruckmanism, but in this particular instance there is a special feature in the English translation, which is made clear in the Greek when read in context, but is made especially clear by the scholarship of the KJV translators. Just as useful is how bibles include things like capitalization of deity and having the words of Christ in red, so too did the KJV translators make Passover and Easter easier for the reader to understand.

Latin

When the bible was being translated into the Latin language in the fourth century, when translating the word Pascha, which can mean both Passover and Easter, Jerome simply used the same Greek word without creating a new Latin word in its place, thus the word Pascha was basically un-translated.

Wycliffe

In the first translation of the entire bible into English, the hand written Wycliffe Bible in 1382, John Wycliffe used basically the same un-translated Latin word, Pascha. Wycliffe did not translate the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew, but from the Latin Vulgate. Thus it was a translation of a translation. When he came to the Latin word Pascha he translated this Latin word without an English equivalent. The words he used were Pask and Paske, still a basic type of the Hebrew word Pesach and the Greek Pascha. Later when Roman Catholic scholars translated the Douay- Rheims Bible from the same Latin Vulgate in the 17th century they used the word Pasche, which gave it a more English feel, but was still in essence un-translated.

Wycliffe translated Acts 12:4: And whanne he hadde cauyte Petre, he sente hym in to prisoun; and bitook to foure quaternyouns of knyytis, to kepe hym, and wolde aftir pask bringe hym forth to the puple.

So we can see the English language had the same characteristics as most languages do today concerning the translation of pasha as meaning both Easter and Passover. Then Tyndale gave us a grEaster advantage by using the word Easter in his translation and then also inventing the term Passover. Ultimately this gave us two separate words for two distinct occasions. It must be noted that the term Ester (later Easter) was used much more frequently in common literature to denote the Passover and the celebration of the resurrection than Pask ever was.

Anglo Saxon Roots

The word Easter can be traced back to many old Anglo Saxon manuscripts. It is interesting to see an Anglo Saxon word-list, from J. R. Clarke Hall's A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary:

east - I. adj. east, easterly. II. adv. eastwards, in an easterly direction, in or from the east
eastan - from the east, easterly
eastanwind - east wind
eastcyning - eastern king
eastdael - eastern quarter, the East
easte - the East
eastende - east-end, east quarter
Eastengle - the East Anglians: East Anglia
Easteraefen - Easter-eve
Easterdaeg - Easter-day, Easter Sunday
Easterfaestan - Easter-fast, Lent
Easterfeorm - feast of Easter
Easterfreolsdaeg - the feast day of Passover
Eastergewuna - Easter custom (appears only in the 9th century sermons of Aelfric where he is referring to Christian Easter practices)
Easterlic - belonging to Easter, Paschal
Eastermonath - Easter-month, April
Easterne - east, eastern, oriental
Easterniht - Easter-night
Eastersunnandaeg - Easter Sunday
Eastersymble - Passover (lit. Easter gathering)
Eastertid - Eastertide, Paschal season
Easterthenung - Passover
Easterwucu - Easter Week

So as we can see, the word Easter in Anglo Saxon was used for both the Passover and the celebration of the resurrection and also was very common.


William Tyndale translated and printed the New Testament in English and the first five books of the Old Testament between 1525 and 1535 in Germany and the Low Countries while in exile. He was the first person to ever print an English translation. He worked from the original Greek and Hebrew texts at a time when knowledge of those languages in England was rare. He was educated at Oxford University and later at Cambridge where he also lectured and became skilled in not only Hebrew and Greek, but also Latin, Italian, Spanish, and French with such fluency that Herman Buschius, a friend of Erasmus, stated that: "whichever he spoke you would suppose it his native tongue."

Tyndale was responsible for both Easter and Passover to put into the English Bible. In his 1525 New Testament, Tyndale used the English word Easter to translate the Greek word Pascha, which was formerly transliterated. This was the first time this Greek word had been translated into an English word in a bible translation. It is clear from the Anglo Saxon terms above that English people celebrated the season around the Passover as Easter. Also it must be pointed out that Tyndale used this word as a synonym for the word expressing the Passover and not in association with a pagan festival. Some modern day scholars conclude that the word Easterhas pagan origins, but the facts are that this word is entirely Christian. It not only became a synonym for Passover, but also a descriptive word revealing the New Testament fulfillment of the Passover, in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.

The Greek word Pascha occurs twenty-nine times in the New Testament, and Tyndale has Ester (or Easter) fourteen times, Esterlambe eleven times, Esterfest once, and Paschall Lambe three times. In 1525, Tyndale’s New Testament was printed. Five years later in 1530 he printed the Pentateuch - the first five books of the Old Testament. When Tyndale was working on the New Testament, the word Ester (Easter) was adequate to translate Pascha, but when he started the Old Testament book of Exodus, in 12:11 he discovered the word Easter, which means resurrection was insufficient. This problem involved the translating of the Hebrew word Pecach, which if translated Easter, meaning resurrection, would form an anachronism (from the Greek ana, "against," and chronos, "time"), which is something located at a time when it could not have existed or occurred. Basically, if he used the English word Easter, which describes Christ’s resurrection, in the translation of the Old Testament, he would be speaking of an event that had not yet happened.

The Easter lamb or resurrection lamb was a logical translation in a New Testament setting, but seemed rather odd in the Old Testament. So Tyndale with his amazing linguistic ability formed the word Passover, and used it in all twenty-two places of the Old Testament Pentateuch. The word Passover comes from the idea that God passed over the houses of the Israelites, who had marked their doorposts in obedience to God. This way the children of Israel were spared when God smote the firstborn sons of the Egyptian taskmasters on the eve of the Exodus. The sons of Israel were thus redeemed from the land of sin, Egypt, and redeemed from Pharaoh to serve Jehovah. The Hebrew word Pecach was understood by the Israelites at the time to mean skip over or to limp. So Tyndale used two words pass and over meaning to skip over or limp over, which shortly became the one word Passover in the 1530 Pentateuch, but Ester (Easter) remained in Tyndale’s revision of the New Testament in 1534.

Since the time of Tyndale until the early twentieth century, the term Easter was commonly identified as the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Before Tyndale Easter was the chief word used for the Jewish Passover. The word Easter has illustrated to the Englishman much more than simply the Passover celebration, but through Tyndale’s construction of Passover, the addition of Easter, and later with the King James translators re-applying Easter only once, it gives significant insight into revealing the fulfillment of the Passover in Christ. It exalts Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection above all. Easter to the Englishman not only saw Christ as the Passover lamb but clearly defined the difference in the celebrations, one containing the promise and one fulfilling the promise. One was a type and shadow, and one the conclusion.

Martin Luther

Martin Luther was a strong influence on Tyndale’s New Testament. Because of persecution, Tyndale left England for Germany. It is strongly believed that he met with Luther in Germany in 1525 as much of Tyndale’s beliefs were Lutheran. By the end of the year Tyndale had printed the New Testament in English. It is likely that Tyndale's use of Easter in his New Testament is also indebted to his knowledge of Luther's German translation, which uses "Oster" in the same way. Because the Anglo/Saxon language derives from the Germanic, there are many similarities between German and English. Many English writers have referred to the German language as the "Mother Tongue!" The English word Easter is of German/Saxon origin and not Babylonian as Alexander Hislop falsely claimed. The German equivalent is Oster. Oster (Ostern being the modern day equivalent) is related to Ost which means the rising of the sun, or simply, east. Oster comes from the old Teutonic form of auferstehen / auferstehung, which means resurrection, which in the older Teutonic form comes from two words, Ester meaning first, and stehen meaning to stand. These two words combine to form erstehen which is an old German form of auferstehen, the modern day German word for resurrection.

In English the word Ester coming from the German Oster, morphed into the modern day term Easter. Just as Oster in Luther’s Day has now become Ostern, which are the same words but with different spelling. Tyndale with his expertise in the German language knew of the Ester - Oster association. Luther obviously considered Oster as both a synonym for the Jewish Passover and a phrase used for the resurrection of Christ. In Luther’s German New Testament we find Ostern, Osterlamm, Osterfest, Fest, and only once das Passa (Heb. 11.28). In His Old Testament he used the German word Passaopffer, Osterfest, Ostern, and Osterlamm once each.

In Exodus 12.11 Luther rendered Passah with a marginal note referring to the 'Osterlamm'. Even in contemporary German the phrase "das jüdische Osterfest" (the Jewish Passover) demonstrates that the German Oster can mean both the Jewish and Christian festivals. In fact the meaning of the German word Ostern is today just as the English word Easter was until the KJV translators skillfully put it in it’s correct semantic range, thus separating forever the Old Easter and the New Easter. After 1611 the Old Testament Easter became Passover, as Tyndale had begun to accomplish.

Early English Translations

As we have learned most languages have only one word for both the Jewish Passover and the Resurrection celebration, and that word is usually a transliteration of the Greek Pascha. England was the same until Tyndale invented the word Passover. So before the 1530's, England always used the word Easter for both the Jewish Passover and the Resurrection celebration. Sometimes people used the Latin Pask or Paske, but predominantly Easter.

Here are two non biblical examples of Easter and Passover being synonyms. In the Peterborough Chronicle of 1122 we read: "On this geare waes se king Heanri on Christes maessen on Norhtwic, and on Paxhes he waes on Norhthamtune" (This year King Henry was in Norwich for Christmas and in Northampton for Easter). A 1563 homilist spoke of "Easter, a great, and solemne feast among the Jewes." Pascha vaguely remains an adjective meaning 'Easter', as in "Paschal candle." In Scotland and the North of England, children hunt for "Pasch eggs."

In the 1537 Matthew's Bible which incorporated Tyndale's work on the Pentateuch, used Passeover, but there were references to Ester in the chapter summaries in Leviticus 23, Numbers 9 and Deuteronomy 16. In the 1539 Great Bible used of Tyndale's Passeover in 14 times, while Easter appears 15 times all in the New Testament. In the 1557 version of the Geneva Bible, every place had Passeover except Acts. 12:4. where it had Easter, which was identicleto how the King James Version translated it. In the 1560 version of the Geneva Bible, the word Easter was completely substituted with Passeouer (Passover). In the 1568 Bishop’s Bible, Easter appears twice, in John.11:55 and Acts.12:4. In the 1611 Authorized Version, Easter appears once in Acts.12:4.

The Great bible translates Acts 12:4 this way: And when he had caught hym, he put him in preson also, and delyvered him to. iiii. quaternions of soudiers to be kepte, entendynge after Ester to bringe him forth to the people.

Bishop's Bible of 1568 translates Acts 12:4: And when he had caught him, he put him in prison also, and delivered him to foure quaternions of souldiers to be kept, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

The Geneva Bible of 1560 does not use Easter. Instead it reads: And when he had caught hym, he put hym in prison, and delivered hym to foure quaternions of souldiers to be kept, intendying after the Passover to brying hym forthe to the people.

In this time Easter was going through transition. Sometimes being used as the Jewish feast along with Passover, sometimes being used as the resurrection celebration, and was not clearly defined until the King James Version.

The King James Version

Until Hislop’s myth, English speaking people always associated Easter with the celebration of Passover and the prophetic implications which occurred at Christ’s resurrection. They saw that the Old Testament shadow was the Passover and that the New Testament fulfillment was Christ’s Death, burial, and resurrection. The correct etymology of Easter was recognized by the King James Translators who added an important factor to the use of the word Easter. They refined the semantic range of Easter to be translated only once as Easter in Acts 12:4. This was because in every instance up until Acts. 12:4 the Greek word Pascha represented the pre-resurrection Passover. In other words Christ had not yet died as the Passover lamb for the whole world. But in Acts 12:4 it is a post-resurrection Passover.

In other words, the Greek word Pascha appears 29 times in the Greek New Testament. In 28 of those instances it is referring to the Old Testament Passover. But in Acts 12:4 it is referring to the New Testament celebration which was the Lord’s Supper. Christ had become the Lamb of God and replaced the old Passover with the new covenant in His blood. Therefore the old Passover was replaced with the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ which is Easter. The KJV translates this word here as Easter but so also did the Tyndale Bible, the Bishops and the Great Bibles which preceded the KJV which was borrowed from Martin Luther who also translated this word as Oster, the German word for Easter. Because the KJV translators translated this word once, in Acts 12:4, with the understanding that it was the Christian resurrection celebration being celebrated and not just the Old Passover, it stands to be the most accurate of all the English translations.

After 1611, with the predominance of the KJV and with the process of time, Passover became an Old Testament word, and Easter became a New Testament word. The only other time Pascha is mentioned in the post-resurrection semantic range is in I Cor. 5:7, “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” Tyndale’s Bible has, “For Christ our Easter lamb is offered up for us.” Obviously, with the semantic range of the Old Testament Passover, and the New Testament Easter, this scripture is correctly translated Passover by the KJV translators, as it alludes to the Jewish custom of carefully putting away from their houses all leaven upon the approach of the feast of the Passover, thus making Passover more readable than Easter or Easter lamb in context. A paraphrase would be For Christ our ‘fulfillment of the Old Testament’ Pascha is sacrificed for us. Yet Tyndale is correct in translating Easter lamb but the significance of Christ fulfilling the Passover sacrifice is slightly weakened only by the passage of time through the - Old Testament Passover, and New Testament Easter, mindset created by the KJV translators, although this was a correct synonym for Passover in Tyndale’s day.

Hislops' clumsy scholarship

With this in mind let’s look at what Hislop claimed about the KJV in “The Two Babylon’s”;

“Every one knows that the name "Easter” used in our translation of Acts 12:4, refers not to any Christian festival, but to the Jewish Passover. This is one of the few places in our version where the translators show an undue bias.”

Linguists and true Assyriologists would laugh at the claims made by Hislop’s Pseudo-scholarship. Since it does not hold up under basic scrutiny its claims about Easter must be abandoned.

Alexander Hislop also wrote in his book The Two Babylons:

“Then look at Easter. What 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 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 worship of Bel and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, "the priests of the groves." Some have imagined that the Druidical worship was first introduced by the Phoenicians, who, centuries before the Christian era, traded to the tin-mines of Cornwall. But the unequivocal traces of that worship are found in regions of the British islands where the Phoenicians never penetrated, and it has everywhere left indelible marks of the strong hold which it must have had on the early British mind.” (The Two Babylons p.103. (Chapter III, Section II, Easter.) First published as a pamphlet in 1853 - greatly expanded in 1858)

It must be noted that most cults gravitate warmly to Hislop’s false ideas. While he does offer some sound information about pagan traditions becoming Roman Catholic practice, he fails to recognize that biblical Christian traditions formed from the Word of God and initiated by Jehovah God Himself and have no roots in paganism whatsoever. The Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, etc., were ordained by God who did not need to borrow ideas from Israel’s pagan neighbors.

Hislop’s claims - Based merely on phonetics

Hislop’s whole theory is based merely on phonetics and not on historical verification. His whole argument is based on the false notion that Easter sounds like Ishtar and he therefore concludes that they must be related. Any linguist knows that this type of conclusion is unreasonable. Then without a single shred of evidence Hislop denounces the biblical Christian celebration of “Easter” as pagan because of this phonetic similarity.

Hislop claims that the word Easter is of British origin, he then goes on to theorize that the word somehow became tied to the Hebrew word Ashtoreth which then somehow became attached to the Greek Astarte and which is the same as the Babylonian Ishtar. Hislop performed all these linguistic gymnastics without any understanding at all of the Germanic roots of Easter. While Hislop has absolutely no evidence to support his theory, there is a library of evidence against his theory.

Hislop fails to recognize the relationship between the word Easter and the German Oster. As mentioned earlier Easter is cousin to Oster. The German word derives from erstehung (resurrection), which itself derives from ost (east) and erst (first) in combination. The fact that this essential piece of information is not mentioned even once in Hislop’s book proves without a shadow of a doubt that he did not understand the basic etymology of Easter.

Furthermore Easter was not originally pronounced and spelled Easter but Ester which is more directly from the German ost and erstehung. When Tyndale, who was fluent in German, employed the word in his New Testament he used Ester, not Easter. Eventually throughout the reformation period opf the 1500’s the English word Ester morphed into Easter. This demonstration of the Ester/Oster bond again reinforces the Saxon and Germanic etymology, in preference to some ancient Babylonian goddess. This is plain for all to see and elementary to skilled linguists.

Hislop stated; “But the unequivocal traces of that worship are found in regions of the British islands where the Phoenicians never penetrated, and it has everywhere left indelible marks of the strong hold which it must have had on the early British mind.”

This statement demonstrates that Hislop was surprised that the word Easter is used so frequently in England, concluding that the influence of the Phoenicians must have been much greater than previously thought, thus demonstrating that he knew nothing of the link to the German Oster which all evidence leads to. The etymology of Easter is rather simple, C. F. in 1850 AD pointed out that "Our word EASTER is of Saxon origin and of precisely the same import with its German cognate ostern. The latter is derived from the old Teutonic form of auferstehen / auferstehung, that is - resurrection."

Cruse pointed out, the etymology of Easter is simply traced to the German word for resurrection, not to some fabricated pagan goddess, for which there is not a crumb of evidence. A child could understand how Easter came from Oster, but skilled linguists grapple to decipher Hislop’s confusion, because like evolution, it is an inexhaustible myth, i.e. a wild goose chase!

Jehovah initiated Easter, not pagans

According to scripture, the Hebrews didn't need the intermediary of pagans. Moses states in the book of Exodus that God gave the Passover Feast to the Jews, and that God gave the specific Date upon which the Passover was to be celebrated, the 14th of Nissan (formally Abib). According to the Bible, the Jews did not borrow the Passover Feast or the Passover Date from pagans. According to the Bible, the Jews got both the Feast and the Date of the Feast directly from Jehovah God.

The Easter celebration, which is the Christian fulfillment of the Jewish Passover, occurred on the very same Date as the Jewish Celebration, the 14th of Nissan. According to the Bible, Christians did not copy the Resurrection idea or the Resurrection Date from pagans. According to the Bible, Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ because Jesus Christ actually rose from the dead in fulfillment of the Passover on that day.

“Hislop speculates that the Christian Celebration was not based upon the Jewish Passover, but that Christians somehow deserted the fulfillment of the Jewish Passover and instead celebrated an unknown pagan festival, for which there is not a piece of evidence. In short, Hislop was an arch-heretic with a darkened mind. The account in Exodus and the simple fulfillment of that account in Christian times wasn't good enough for this enemy of the Cross of Christ. Instead, he had to come up with some superstitious intrigue to undermine the whole program that God gave to the Jews in Exodus. And naturally, superstitious Christendom has swallowed the tale. Thus, if you're a Bible believer, you believe the Bible - if you're superstitious, you believe Hislop.” (Verbatim - Scott Jones http://www.lamblion.net)

Ralph Woodrow pointed out that that Hislop theorized that Nimrod, Adonis, Apollo, Attes, Ball-zebub, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Januis, Linus, Lucifer, Mars, Merodach, Thithra, Molock, Narcissus, Oannes, Oden, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Teitan, Typhon, Vulcan, Wodan, and Zoraster were all one and the same god! By mixing myths, Hislop supposed that Semiramis was the wife of Nimrod and was the same as Aphrodite, Artemis, Astarte, Aurora, Bellona, Ceres, Diana, Easter, Irene, Iris, Juno, Mylitta, Proserpine, Rhea, Venus, and Vesta. With these types of generalizations one must seriously consider whether Hislop’s book has any redeeming qualities at all.

King James Translators

Lancelot Andrews, one of the chief translators of the Authorized Version, spoke 15 European languages which at the time the majority of the modern languages of Europe. He had private devotions all written in Greek. He is still regarded as one of the greatest scholars ever!

William Bedwell was an eminent Oriental scholar whose fame for Arabic learning was so great that scholars sought him out for assistance. He was the first person who considerably promoted and revived the study of the Arabic language and literature in Europe. In 1612, he published in quarto an edition of the Epistles of St. John in Arabic with a Latin version. He compiled an Arabic lexicon (dictionary) in three volumes, and also began a Persian dictionary. He was educated in cognate languages and thoroughly conversant in the science of Semitic linguistics, i.e. he knew a great deal about Hebrew’s sister languages - like Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Aramaic, Coptic, etc.

Miles Smith went through the 100 Church Fathers from 100 to 300 A. D. and 200 more who wrote from 300 to 600 A. D. in Greek and Latin and made his own comments on each of them. He was well acquainted with the marginal comments in the Hebrew language. He was fluent in Hebrew also an expert in Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, so that they were almost as familiar as his native tongue. Henry Savile was, famous for his Greek and mathematical learning at a young age. He was Queen Elizabeth’s tutor in Greek and Mathematics. He translated countless ancient works from Latin and Greek his chief work being the first to edit the complete work of Chrysostom, the most famous of the Greek Fathers, in eight large folios. A folio was the size of a large dictionary or encyclopedia.

John Bois had read the entire bible by the age of five in Hebrew! By the age of six years old he wrote Hebrew in a reasonable and stylish character. He was also just as skilled in Greek by his mid teens. He was known to study continually from 4AM to 8 PM – i.e. 16 hours straight. He had a library which contained one of the most complete and costly collections of Greek literature that had ever been made. He left over 30,000 pages of writing when he died, one for each day. He could read the Greek New Testament like he read English.

This is a small portion of the testimonies of the 57 translators who translated the KJV. How sad that in this day and age we trust someone like Hislop who is basically uneducated in linguistics and barely knew any English etymology let alone any Ancient Semitic languages fluently. Many bible critics and translators today who perhaps know how to use a Strong’s or Vines, or took a year or two of Greek or Hebrew at a bible school, have followed in Hislops footsteps. What a shame that believers devote so much time coming against Easter, something that Christ himself instituted, or waste so much time attacking the English bible like it was a common thing.

It also seems strange if not blasphemous that we as bible believing Christians could think that the King James translators would insert the name of a Pagan deity in place of the word Pascha. Imagine if we placed Krishna or Allah in its stead. To think that the world’s most famous word for word translation could get it so wrong here is shear ignorance on our behalf. To believe that Tyndale, Cranmer, Martin Luther, Coverdale, Matthews, the Great Bible, and the Bishop’s Bible, all of the skilled KJV translators were referring to a pagan God of the spring called Ishtar is so absurd that it becomes humorous when examined. If true then Luther and Tyndale named Christ the Easter-lamb, It would be like calling Christ the fertility goddess lamb! Imagine calling Christ the Allah-lamb, or the Buddha-lamb. It is time for Christians to examine Easter in a logical and not follow conspiracy theories, which is usually the practice of cults. Modern biblical criticism, more than anything else, has weakened and almost destroyed the high view of the Bible previously held throughout Christendom.

Modern Versions

The modern KJV 21st Century Version and the Third Millennium Bible both read "after Easter" in Acts 12:4, while every other modern translation has Passover. While it was correct to translate Pascha as Passover in the 16th century, it is not factual to state that Easter is an erroneous translation of Pascha today. I believe that the word Easter should be resurrected (no pun) from its current state in modern translations, dictionaries, and in our personal worship. The celebration of Easter should be a time of jubilation, not a time to talk about myths, fables and wives tales. Just as the Jews remembered the Passover, so too should Christians remember Christ at communion.

So next time you break the bread and drink the wine at Easter, consider the Passover lamb, and the celebration of Easter, which has been a part of Christianity since the resurrection of Christ. The early church never debated whether or not to celebrate Easter but only debated the day to celebrate it on.

The King James translators concluded that the insertion of the words in verse Acts 12:3 “Then were the days of unleavened bread” just before the inclusion of the word Easter was enough evidence to prove that Luke was talking about the Christian Pascha i.e. Easter, the celebration of the resurrection and not the Jewish Pascha, the Passover. The days of unleavened bread were after the feast of Passover and thus the Pascha mentioned here is definitely not the feast, but most likely the Christian Pasha, Easter, i.e. the Resurrection celebration, three days later, as scripture, history, etymology and logic all attest.

Nick Sayers



And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.Acts. 4:33





The word of God is not bound, please feel free to copy or print.

www.waymanmitchell.com www.pottershouse.com
Go to Top of Page

nick
Commander

Australia
240 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2006 :  13:06:18  Show Profile  Email Poster  Reply with Quote
This is my most recent study of Easter. See http://www.easterau.com

www.waymanmitchell.com www.pottershouse.com
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Send Topic to a Friend
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
ForumsAU.com - Forums in Australia for all people & subjects © 2005 to 2018 forumsau.com Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.11 seconds.                        You must Register and Confirm your email, and then log in first before posting! Snitz Forums 2000