I Hate Easter!
Dr. Jay Worth Allen
Yes I do! I hate Easter! Not the observance, the Feast, the validity, the authenticity, the honoring of, the celebration of the Lord of Glory being raised from the dead. No! I hate the Noun! I hate the proper noun, Easter! Why? Because that Anglo English noun causes every un-schooled, half-whit-so-called-theologian to come out of the woodwork with overused banal, trite, hackneyed, stock platitudes of: “Easter” is Pagan!" “Easter means Eastre!" “Eastre is the celebration of the Pagan goddess associated with spring.” Yada, yada, yada, don't care, don't care, don't care. When they learn their Greek, Hebrew and Latin, like I had to, then we’ll talk. Until then . . . shut up! These so-called learned men of the Cloth, invariably misinterpret, misread and confuse, verses like, “. . . intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4), insisting that “Easter” is not in the original manuscript. Phooey! Baloney! It is, and I’ll prove it!
Easter, or, as I prefer, Resurrection Day, is the most important Feast in Christianity. In fact, it is the pivot of the Belief and Doctrine of the Christian faith. “. . . if Christ be not raised, you are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). But, “God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by His own power” (1 Corinthians 6:14). This is what we believe. This is what we Celebrate.
In the first century of Christianity, Sunday (a Germanic interpretation of the Latin, dies solis - “day of the sun”) replaced Saturday as the Lord’s Day. The Church, in her early days, celebrated a weekly remembrance of Easter (Pascha - from ecclesiastical Latin, paschalis, from pascha, ‘feast of Passover,’ Resurrection Day, our Anglo, Easter) each Sunday, or First Day of the Week. In fact, this Pascha Feast was so reverenced by the early Eastern Church, they designate their First Day of the Week, Voskreseniye (meaning Resurrection) to weekly commemorate the Lord’s victory over death. In Russia today, Voskreseniye, is still their First Day of the Week. Sadly, in secularized cultures like the United States, Pascha is not celebrated, except once a year in public worship. Pascha (Easter, Resurrection Day), is too religious and too Christian for people who are immersed in the things of this world to pay much attention to the world to come and their life after death, yet that is what Easter is all about . . . to those who believe.
If you read history, you’ll find that Christians who the did most for the present World were those who thought most of the next. Christians have largely ceased to think of Heaven, which why we are becoming so ineffective in the World.
Our English noun, “Easter” is the Latin Pascha, also written “Passover,” or properly, the “Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord.” The Latin Pascha, is a transliteration of Greek, which is itself a transliteration of the Hebrew Pesach, meaning “Passover.” So the original manuscript of the Bible does use the analogous of our English noun “Easter” from the Hebrew, to the Greek, to the Latin, to Middle English, and finally to our Anglo English. The noun “Easter” itself, is from late Middle English: from Old French, from the ecclesiastical Latin Paschalis, from Pascha “feast of Passover,” via Greek and Aramaic, from Hebrew Pesach “Passover,” on to our Anglo English, “Easter.” That’s a long sentence for a short thought, but I won’t hang around and worry about. It’s simple & true. “Easter” is in the original manuscript of the Bible - just not in English. Now, I don’t mean to point a “digitus impudicus” (a finger) at the Easter Feast naysayer, but the rest of the original manuscript of the Bible isn’t written in English either.
So, why doesn’t the Church simply refer to this Easter Feast as “Passover” or “Resurrection Day?” Well . . . because of our Germanic heritage! Not our pagan roots.
The origin of our English noun, Easter, comes from the Germanic name for the month in which the original Christian Easter Feast usually fell, and so, just as the American civic holiday of the Fourth of July has nothing to do with Julius Caesar for whom July was named, neither does Easter have anything to do with the Pagan goddess Eostre, the namesake of the month in which Pascha fell. Coincidence? Yes. Conspiracy? No. Easter (the noun) was developed from the Old English word which refers to Eostur-monath or Easter-month - Eostur-monath was simply the month of the Germanic Calendar in which the celebration of the “Feast of the Resurrection of the Lord” (Easter) was observed. Nothing more, nothing less.
The potential difficulty only exists for speakers of Germanic tongues. Most languages in the world use a cognate form of the Greek/Latin term “Pascha,” and so are free of any Pagan connotations for the name of the Easter Feast. That is, unless someone wants to sell a Christian Easter-Conspiracy Book on TV.
“O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?”
"Veni, Vidi, Vici!" Christ Jesus came, He saw, He conquered! (My transliteration from the Latin.)
I Hate Easter!
Published: 26 April 2011 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.
Published: 21 April 2011 in theFaith Column of The County Journal.
© 1998-2012 dr. jay & miss diana ministries, inc. all rights reserved
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© 2012 dr. jay & miss diana
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