The truth about Easter is that it is non-scriptural and a pagan celebration. In the time of the apostles there was no Easter service such as we have today; because Easter is a pagan fertility festival in honor of Ishtar (also known as Attis). As long as the ancient Christians stood true to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles the church maintained its purity. But as gentile Christians gained control of the church almost imperceptibly the customs of heathenism found their way into the Christian church in Rome and resulted in an “Easter-Sunday.”
The predominately gentile Christians in the church of Rome not only led to the adoption Easter-Sunday but also to the acceptance of pagan speculations and fertility myths, which are foreign to the Biblical teachings of Jesus and the apostles.
In the fourth century, during the time of Constantine, Christianity became tolerable and this led hordes of gentile Christians with pagan backgrounds into the church. As Constantine put a stop to the persecution against Christians, Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings.
While Paganism seemed to be vanquished, it became the conqueror of the gentile Christians. Since they were not truly converted to Christianity paganism gained control of the Church in Rome which led Christianity to clothe itself with the garments of paganism and eventually resulted in the celebration of the pagan holiday Easter(Sunday). This also led to the abandonment of the holy seventh day Sabbath (Saturday) and in its place was instituted a worship on the day of the pagan Sun god [Sunday worship].
EASTER IS PAGAN
Easter is derived from Eostre, Eastur, Ostara, Ostar. The term was used by ancient Scandinavians to refer to the season of the rising sun. According to Bede (ca. A. D. 673-735), the “Father of English History,” the word “Easter” is derived from Eastre, an Anglo-Saxon spring goddess to whom sacrifices were offered at the vernal equinox or March 21 (The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Grand Rapids, 1978, vol. 2, p. 180).
Eostra/Ostara is the Anglo-Saxon version of Ishtar, the Sumerian goddess of love and war which later evolved into a moon goddess and wife of Baal in ancient Canaan belief. According to Sumerian lore, Ishtar was the wife of the Summerian god, Tammuz. Both are spoken of in the Bible–Tammuz in Ezekiel 8:14 and Ishtar, called Ashtoreth and Queen of Heaven, in Judges 2:13, Judges 10:6, Jeremiah 44:17. During the reign of Emperor Claudius, Easter was made an official holiday. This spring festival was accompanied by licentious practices.
“Attis awoke from his sleep of death, and the joy created by his resurrection burst out in wild merrymaking, wanton masquerades, and luxurious banquets” (Franz Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, pp. 56-57).
Gradually the Christian church in Rome identified with this pagan festival of the Resurrection of the Goddess of Spring. By accepting this apostasy, yet seeking to maintain the support of true Christians, the church in Rome kept Easter and began to celebrate this pagan festival in honor of the “Resurrection of Christ”.
History reveals that it was a decree of the bishop of Rome that brought Easter into the church. About the year 154 A.D., Anticetus, head of the Christian church at Rome, authorized a Sunday festival to correspond with the Attis fertility festival before Constantine in the Second Century.
EASTER BUNNY AND EGGS
The origin of the Easter egg is traced back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Babylon, Phoenicia, and Greece, where the universe is said to have been born from a mighty world egg. The ancient peoples of Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, and China exchanged eggs at their spring fertility festivals. In Babylonia, eggs were presented to the goddess of fertility, Astarte (Eostre).
THE WORD EASTER IN THE BIBLE
“Easter” is inserted into the Bible incorrectly in Acts 12:4 and is a mistranslation in the English language. The original Greek word in the New Testament in Acts 12:4 is “pasca,” which is “Passover,” and that’s how it should be translated into English. The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior is very important, but the event does not provide any indication regarding a special day to commemorate it with the pagan celebration of Easter. There is no commandment of Christ or of the apostles regarding an annual Easter-Sunday celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
We have commands in the New Testament regarding baptism (Matt 28:19-20), the Lord’s Supper (Mark 14:24-25; 1 Cor 11:23-26) and foot-washing (John 13:14-15), but we find no commands or even a suggestion that we should commemorate Christ’s Resurrection on a weekly Sunday or annual Easter-Sunday. This major silence of Easter Sunday in the New Testament is very important since most of its books were written many years after Christ’s death and Resurrection.
The total absence of any such illusions of Easter Sunday indicate that such practices developed and occurred in the post-apostolic period as a result of a departure from the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. The truth the world needs to understand is that the introduction and promotion of Easter-Sunday by the Church of Rome in the second century caused the well-known “Quartodeciman Controversy” which eventually led Bishop Victor of Rome to excommunicate the Asian Christians (about A. D. 191) for refusing to adopt Easter-Sunday. (See From Sabbath to Sunday pp 198-207).
Both the Bible and history reveals to us the fact that the book of Revelation is addressed to the seven churches of Asia Minor who did not observe Easter-Sunday. History also states that Polycrates, Bishop of the province of Asia Minor, convened a council of the church leaders of Asia Minor (about A. D. 191) to discuss the summon received from Bishop Victor of Rome to adopt Easter-Sunday. The unanimous decision of the Asian bishops was to reject Easter-Sunday and to retain the Biblical dating of Passover (See From Sabbath to Sunday pp 198-207).
In the light of these facts, as true faithful Christians, we must stand for truth in the days we are living in and not allow the majority of the apostate churches, that have abandoned the pure teachings from the word of God, to led us into falsehood and corruption.
“The religion which is current in our day is not of the pure and holy character that marked the Christian faith in the days of Christ and His apostles. It is only because of the spirit of compromise with sin, because the great truths of the word of God are so indifferently regarded, because there is so little vital godliness in the church, that Christianity is apparently so popular with the world” (Great Controversy, 48).
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