Monday, April 6, 2009

Is Easter a Biblical word?

Is the word “Easter” a Biblical word? Acts 12:4 in the King James version of the Bible says: "And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people." What is the word translated “Easter” in Acts 12:4? It is the Greek word pas’hah and it means to pass over or spare. It is used 29 times in the King James Bible; 28 times it is translated as ”Passover” and only in verse 4is it translated as Easter. Most translations use “Passover” for pas’hah. This is important because the use of Easter did not develop until centuries after the Counsel of Nicea in 325 AD. The early church did not celebrate “Easter;” it celebrated “Passover.”

In Acts 26:2-5, Paul says: "I think myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews, because you are especially familiar with all customs and controversies of the Jews; therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently. "My manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among my own nation and at Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that according to the strictest party of our religion I have lived as a Pharisee." (RSV)It would seem clear that Paul continued to celebrate Passover and not "Easter."

In Acts 28:17, Paul stated: "After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews; and when they had gathered, he said to them, "Brethren, though I had done nothing against the people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans." (RSV) Again, Passover was clearly a custom of the fathers that Paul had not done anything against.

"Easter" is not a Biblical word; we shall explore the truth of this season over the next few days. Be prepared for a paradigm shift.

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