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Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday? [ History contradicts this popular notion.]
Christianity Today ^ | Easter 2009 | Anthony McRoy

Posted on 04/16/2017 12:38:42 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o

Was “ Easter” actually borrowed or rather usurped from a pagan celebration? The argument largely rests on the supposed pagan names for the celebration in English and German (“Easter”, “Ostern”). Note, however, that in most other European languages, the celebration’s name is derived from Pascha (Greek), from Pesach, (Hebrew), Passover. Easter is the Christian Passover.

[large snips here and throughout]

The usual argument for the pagan origins of Easter is based on Venerable Bede (673-735), an English monk who wrote:

“ … Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated "Paschal month" and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month.”

Note: the forcible conversion of the Saxons in Europe began under Charlemagne in 772. Christians celebrated an Easter/Passover festival by the second century, if not earlier. Thus the Christian Easter/Passover celebration originated in the Mediterranean basin, not any Germanic pagan festival.

But does the name "Easter" come from the blurring of the Christian celebration with the worship of a English/Germanic fertility goddess named "Eostre"?. In his book, The Stations of the Sun Professor Ronald Hutton (a well-known historian of British paganism and occultism) says there is no evidence outside of Bede for the existence of this ‘goddess.’...

Another problem with Bede's explanation concerns Charlemagne's renaming of the months. Charlemagne was the scourge of Germanic paganism. He forcibly converted them to Christianity and repressed them when they revolted because of this. It seems very unlikely, therefore, that Charlemagne would name a month after a Germanic goddess.

Hutton suggests that Eosturmonath simply meant "the month of opening," which is comparable to the meaning of "April" in Latin. The names of both the Saxon and Latin months were related to spring, the season when the buds open….

(Excerpt) Read more at christianitytoday.com ...


TOPICS: Ecumenism; History; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: arkansas; astarte; asterisk; heathen; ishtar; tummaur; youbetcha
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Since it's Easter, it's time for articles casting aspersions on historic Christianity in WaPo, HuffPo, the New York Grimes, and of course certain dear parties who shall remain unnamed at Free Republic.

I thought this article was concise, historically-accurate, and to the point

I had to cut it down quite a bit to fit into FR's excerpt rules. It would pay you to click the link and read the whole article!

To all:

HE IS RISEN INDEED!


1 posted on 04/16/2017 12:38:42 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Yes and no.

There are aspects of Easter that have snuck in and crept in that have absolutely nothing to do with Christ's resurection or the bible.

One problem I believe is that the incident kicks off during the holiday of Eostre, a saxon goddess of fertility and festivity. That's where we get the word Easter pretty much.

It was all a coincidence.

I told my son that the Easter Bunny was probably jesus' pet. That usually works.

2 posted on 04/16/2017 12:42:43 PM PDT by mainestategop (Don’t Let Freedom Slip Away! After America , There is No Place to Go)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Did the link appear on your screens? And did my excerpt also appear? I seem to a problem viewing it.


3 posted on 04/16/2017 12:42:47 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death- upon those in the tombs bestowing life)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Because rabbits.


4 posted on 04/16/2017 12:43:07 PM PDT by sparklite2 (I'm less interested in the rights I have than the liberties I can take.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
I just love all those parts of the Bible that explain all about how Bunnies lay eggs in honor of the death of Christ. Don't you?
5 posted on 04/16/2017 12:45:41 PM PDT by sourcery (Non Acquiescit: "I do not consent" (Latin))
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To: mainestategop

“Why is it raining, Momma?”
“It rains when Jesus is crying, honey.”
“Why is Jesus crying, Momma?”
“It’s probably something you did.”


6 posted on 04/16/2017 12:46:36 PM PDT by sparklite2 (I'm less interested in the rights I have than the liberties I can take.)
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To: mainestategop
I had problems viewing the excerpts, maybe you did too. You may not have read the part where Professor Ronald Hutton (a well-known historian of British paganism and occultism), in his book, The Stations of the Sun says that this supposed 'goddess' actually appears nowhere in Germanic, Saxon or Norse mythology.

Venerable Bede , a Christian monk, is the ONLY source for this supposed 'goddess,' and Hutton says Bede's overall knowledge of paganism is very dubious.

This is followed up by several other strong arguments against the so-called pagan connection.

If the excerpts are not visible on your screen, the original article historically debunking the "goddess" hypothesis is here:

http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2009/april/was-easter-borrowed-from-pagan-holiday.html

7 posted on 04/16/2017 12:50:59 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death- upon those in the tombs bestowing life)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Oh for the love of Jesus, HE IS RISEN!


8 posted on 04/16/2017 12:54:46 PM PDT by Karliner (Jeremiah29:11,Romans8:28 Isa 17, Damascus has fallen)
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To: sourcery
Bunnies and eggs, I think, are more connected to the Holiday Sales Strategy of Hallmark and Hershey, Inc. than to a hypothetical Anglo-Saxon goddess.

The article wasn't about the bunny and peeps phenomenon. It was about the older question of whether Easter was much earlier (well over than 1000 years ago) conflated with Anglo-Saxon paganism.

The correct answer is: No.

9 posted on 04/16/2017 12:57:27 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death- upon those in the tombs bestowing life)
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To: Karliner
Oh for the love of Jesus,

HE IS RISEN INDEED!


10 posted on 04/16/2017 12:58:39 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death- upon those in the tombs bestowing life)
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To: sparklite2

That’s the way to pile guilt on the kid, mom.


11 posted on 04/16/2017 1:00:57 PM PDT by alloysteel (Some 95% of the personal woe in this world is self-induced.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Does the pope poo in the woods?

The very name is almost a literal phonetic translation of the original Babylonian, celebrated on the same date.

The Bride of Christ should divorce herself from the pagan religions!

We'd be better off celebrating on Passover!

12 posted on 04/16/2017 1:04:34 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (TETELESTI Read em and weep Lucy! Yer times almost up.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Happy Easter!

No neo-pagan excuses needed. If Christians spent half as much time looking for Christ as they do looking for the devil in every celebration, we’d all be better off.


13 posted on 04/16/2017 1:10:24 PM PDT by antidisestablishment ( We few, we happy few, we basket of deplorables)
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To: antidisestablishment

Amen to that!


14 posted on 04/16/2017 1:10:45 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death- upon those in the tombs bestowing life)
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To: rawcatslyentist
I doubt it. Babylonian? I thought it was supposed to be Anglo-Saxon?

Evidence? Link?

15 posted on 04/16/2017 1:12:31 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death- upon those in the tombs bestowing life)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Bunnies and eggs are fertility symbols and VERY DIRECTLY linked to the Anglo-Saxon goddess. And the article is full of beans, because it was well over 1000 years ago Easter was conflated with Anglo-Saxon paganism. Every bunny and egg proves it.


16 posted on 04/16/2017 1:15:40 PM PDT by discostu (Stand up and be counted, for what you are about to receive.)
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To: All

The answer to the question is yes. I don’t care what historian or monk said what. Easter is pagan, Passover is not. The fertility of rabbits in spring matches the fertility rites of pagans. Instead of celebrating a pagan holiday, read the Bible instead. Celebrate Passover if you want to please Him.


17 posted on 04/16/2017 1:18:14 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Beware of strong drink. It may cause you to shoot at tax collectors . . . and miss.)
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To: mainestategop
I told my kids that bunnies, chicks, eggs, and the other stuff around Easter are all symbols of new life in the Spring and through Christ we can have new life eternally.

My son backed off a Methodist Sunday School teacher who was telling kids Easter was a pagan holiday by telling her that he thought even someone with a learning disability would understand that Christ represents a new life for those who believe in Him if you explained things they were familiar with were symbols of new life just like Christ is.

He was seven and his teacher told me about it and said she'd never thought of it like.

I figure the my explanation had worked out Ok.

18 posted on 04/16/2017 1:18:48 PM PDT by Rashputin (Jesus Christ doesn't evacuate His troops, He leads them to victory !!)
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To: sourcery

I just love these threads that ignore real history from the holy prophets of the so called ‘old Testament’. Passover ... final perfect sacrifice .. should be the most high Christian holy day, for the remission of sins ... not a spring orgy with rabbits and eggs doing a fertility dance of Ishtar ... watching the sun rise.

Only the ‘flesh’ body, which Mary bore died, the Spirit of the Son of God never died... To say HE is risen, missed the whole point of what happens when the flesh returns to the dust from which it came and the ‘soul/spirit’ returns to the maker that sent it. After all it was Peter that penned that while in the tomb ..... Christ went back to the ‘spirits’ (souls) back to the time of Noah and offered them salvation first.

But hey some people are dunk on their religions.


19 posted on 04/16/2017 1:19:03 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Mrs. Don-o; zot; Interesting Times; xzins; tired&retired; Salvation; metmom; ebb tide; ...

Thank you for this good article countering the “Easter is pagan related” arguments.


20 posted on 04/16/2017 1:19:12 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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