The Great Easter Verse Hunt
Most Bible-professing Protestants are probably quite shocked to eventually discover that “Easter” isn’t even in the Bible. The word is never found in any of the more modern, dependable, strictly literal translations. It actually only occurs once in the King James Version (Acts 12:4), wherein it is a 1611 substitution – not translation – for the original Greek word, “pascha;” a word which that very same version correctly translates as “Passover,” in every other one of the 28 places wherein it occurs in the N.T.
Additionally, that same text (Acts 12:1-4) states that this was during the “days of unleavened bread” (vs. 3), a Jewish celebration intimately linked with the Passover. King Herod, in an effort to please the Jews (vs. 3), was waiting until after “pascha” to kill the apostle Peter. In his attempts to persecute the Lord’s church and please the antagonistic Jewish leadership, Herod was certainly not delaying Peter’s execution in support of a Christian celebration, but was instead honoring the Jewish celebration of “pascha” (Passover), by waiting until it was over to present Peter to the otherwise-occupied Jewish celebrants of “pascha,” “Passover” – not “Easter.”
Even the New King James translators corrected the older, 1611 version’s “Easter” error, by correctly placing the word “Passover” back in Acts 12:4. Hence, “Easter” is not legitimately ever found in God’s word anywhere, and hence, cannot be religiously celebrated “by faith,” according to those very same scriptures: “So then, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God…for whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 10:17 & 14:23b).
Although one cannot legitimately find “Easter” in the Bible, if one delves into secular history, they will soon find that many of today’s “Easter” celebrations are of pagan origin. As one internet resource reported: “Easter was originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex. …After Constantine decided to Christianize the Empire, Easter was changed to represent Jesus. But at its roots, Easter (which is how you pronounce Ishtar) is all about celebrating fertility and sex.” Hence, the very popular fertility symbols of eggs, bunnies, and yes, what would’ve been the absolute darling of Darwin’s deluded and God-denying evolutionary dreams: the genetically-confused and corrupted crossover critter: the egg-laying bunny. He, which millions of Biblically-unaware Protestants unknowingly purchase, perpetuate, and participate in distributing likenesses of each spring, in what is a lot more of a celebration of an idolatrous, non-existent, pagan fertility false goddess than it is of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, as so very few Protestants are apparently additionally aware, as stated above, the early Constantinic Catholic Church was responsible for seeking to re-create this then-pagan celebration of the false fertility goddess into its own image, centuries after Christ and His apostles lived and delivered God’s divinely-inspired commands as to how we are to remember the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Such Easter/Ishtar facts are easily obtainable from countless encyclopedic resources, but obviously not from God’s Word, as “Easter” and its modern-day celebratory events simply do not exist therein. And if so, where are the “book, chapter, and verse” references wherein Jesus commanded His disciples to have Easter Sunrise services and Easter egg hunts “in remembrance” of Him? Where are the “book, chapter, and verse” references wherein the apostles commanded, or the first century church participated in, such remembrances of His death, burial, and resurrection? No, these modern-day “Easter” festivities are only, simply, truly, and every inch and iota, nothing more than the “doctrines and commandments of men,” which make any religious practice thereof, therefore totally and completely vain and useless before God (Mk. 7:5-13).
Jesus very clearly told His disciples (John 8:31-47), precisely how He wanted them to remember Him instead (Luke 22:14-20); which is exactly what His one New Testament church specifically comes together to do, “on the first day of the week” (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) just as the Scriptures instruct. This, in accordance with Christ’s commandment, simply because they love Him alone, and above everyone, and everything else, on earth (John 14:15-24; Matthew 10:34-39, 22:37).
We must remember that God does not change (Mal. 3:6). We must remember the very first and foremost of His Ten Commandments: “You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:3-6). Do we recall what God did to those such as Jeroboam, who sought to substitute worship he had devised in his own heart for that which the Lord had specifically commanded in His word (See I Kings 12:25-13:10, 33-34)? Do we remember what the Lord did to King Solomon for his idolatry (I Kings 11:4-11), and what He further did to His own people who dragged pagan deities’ worthless and man-made idols and worship into His Holy Temple (See II Chronicles 33:1-11)? Do we remember the Apostle Paul’s experience in Ephesus with the followers of Diana/Artemis, the first-century pagan false goddess of fertility in Acts 19? And so, these examples beg the question: “What is the difference between what people did in those biblical instances, and what those do today who seek to drag the idolatrous and unbiblical man-made traditions originating in the worship of the pagan false goddess ‘Ishtar/Easter/Eastre’ into their churches – even in ignorance (Acts 17:30)?” While there’s nothing any more wrong with giving a child a chocolate bunny to eat than a chocolate likeness of a cartoon character or fairy tale creation, the problem arises when religious organizations seek to attach religious significance to such unscriptural events as Easter, Easter Sunrise Services, and Easter Egg Hunts – a proverbial landslide of which will most likely be announced by the denominations all around us in the local papers this week.
We desperately need to let our Bible-professing Protestant friends and neighbors who claim to want to honor God’s Word, know that “Easter” as they may understand and celebrate it, simply isn’t in the word of God, because it was apparently never in the mind of God for anyone to celebrate as a Christian holiday (II Timothy 3:16-4:4). In fact, “Easter” has absolutely nothing in common with how the Savior Himself exclusively commanded His disciples to specifically remember Him (Luke 22:14-20; 6:46). Instead, “Easter” is ultimately, intimately, purely and exclusively the product of corruptly combined paganism, Catholicism, and commercialism; a vain event invented in minds of mere men (Matthew 15:7-9) instead of in the mind of almighty God.
But please don’t take my word for it – just try to legitimately find “Easter” in God’s Word instead. You’ll find that it’s harder to locate than a real-life, living, breathing, and legitimately egg-laying bunny – or than a sinner being saved, forgiven, and added to Christ’s one New Testament church, simply by saying a prayer and ‘welcoming Jesus into their heart’ in that same Bible. Simply put: ‘Taint there anywhere!’