Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Nothing holy or godly about the name 'Easter'

The commercial side of Easter seems to be getting bigger every year. But few give thought to what the name 'Easter' means.

For those who venerate it as a religious holiday, I am surprised that even high-ranking prelates don't object to the usage of a pagan deity for what many perceive as the most important festival in the Church's calendar.

The term 'Easter' is not found in the Bible. I Corinthians (5:7) describes Jesus as 'Christ our Passover', but he is never linked to the word Easter and I doubt if he could approve of the Church's usage of it today, as it cites a goddess of fertility, Eostre, or Eastre.

The rabbits and eggs are symbols of this fertility link, yet Christians buy them for their children.

There is nothing holy or godly about the name Easter. It appears once only (Acts 12:4) in the King James Bible, but all other versions rightly translate this from the original as 'Passover.'

Passover remembers Jesus's death, whereas Easter concentrates more on the resurrection.

However, there were numerous resurrections in both Old and New Testaments, such as Lazarus and Dorcas, so resurrection is not unique, nor did it provide salvation. It was the death of Jesus as Son of God, symbolising the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb on the appointed date of Passover, which replaced the sacrificial system in the Temple and paid atonement for the sins for those who would believe.

COLIN NEVIN

Bangor, Co Down

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