The church scholar Bede,2 who lived in modern-day England from AD 673–735, recorded the names of several of the goddesses worshipped by early Saxons. To play devil’s advocate, I’ll cite a source that almost seems to back the Pagan origin of the word “Easter.” St. Bede wrote in the 8th century that he believed there was a connection between the English word “Easter” and the German word “Ostara,” which was the name of a Teutonic goddess of the rising sun (no direct connection to fertility here). Meanwhile, God examines the heart. He describes the “substitutionary pattern” beginning in Eden after the Fall where “the guilty [...] are robed by an alien righteousness — clothed in Christ.”. KJV—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. Woodrow has stopped circulating his early work and replaced it with an updated title The Babylon Connection? Animals give birth to their young. For Christ oure esterlambe is offered up for us. The assumption is that the name derives from an Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostra whose c… A celebration of seasonal renewal has taken place in numerous cultures for thousands of years around the time of the Spring Equinox. After the six months are up, Tammuz returns to the underworld of the dead, remaining there for another six months, and Ishtar pursues him, prompting the water god to rescue them both. In an attempt to honor God, many have desired to move away from the term Easter, using Resurrection Day in its place. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.3. The latter is derived from the old Teutonic form of auferstehn, Auferstehung, i. e. resurrection. “Dionysus was a divine child, resurrected by his grandmother. There are many Pagan symbols of Easter, but read on to learn about the main four. Similar claims are made by Ralph Woodrow in his 1966 book Babylon Mystery Religion, but Woodrow drew heavily on Hislop’s work to support his claims. In The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop claimed Eostre is actually a name derived from the Babylonian goddess Astarte. 3, 205), likewise the [Old Norse] austr, and probably an [Anglo Saxon] eástor and Goth[ic] áustr.4 (Italics in original). Christ was the one and only sacrifice for all sin, for all time, for all who believe; not as part of a seasonal cycle. In her absence, the earth loses its fertility, crops cease to grow and animals stop reproducing. Similar connections are found in etymologies that describe the origin of Easter from many sources. Most of Europe refers to ‘Easter’ using a range of words derived from the Hebrew for Passover ‘Pesach.’ So in Italy, it is Pascha, in Spain, Pascua, and Pasques in France and Pastiin Romanian. Acts 12:4—This passage refers to a Passover festival after the Resurrection, using pascha (πάσχα). “Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench” (1 Kings 18:38). Candice Lucey Contributing Writer. Christians die to sin, share in Christ’s suffering, and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven as co-heirs with Christ. Eostre “healed a wounded bird she found in the woods by changing it into a hare. Flowers emerge. She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Death always leads to new life. Many of these stories are similar to the Christian account. Eastre). One of them goes “to the Underworld” gives Tammuz and Ishtar “the power to return to the earth as the light of the sun for six months. In The Two Babylons, Alexander Hislop claimed Eostre is actually a name derived from the Babylonian goddess Astarte. Faith Wallis, vol. peacelily. In the Hebrew, Passover is Pesach. The usage of ester was retained in the 1534 revision of the New Testament, and it was not until later that it was known as Easter, adding the a. Luther and Tyndale were the first to use a translation of pascha rather than a transliteration.9. Commentators have cited numerous reasons why cultures have chosen to celebrate Easter in some form. God warned his people not to even speak the name of another God, let alone name a holiday after the goddess Easter, and then dedicate that holiday named after another god to Him! However, using the name Easter “is not a problem” because “the origin of the word does not mean that the word is bad.” If we want to “be consistent and avoid using [pagan] words,” Christians will also have to find new names for the planets and the days of the week. For Crist offrid is oure pask. This Ostrâ, like the [Anglo Saxon] Eâstre, must in the heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries. Indeed, it is a far cry from the gaudily wrapped chocolate eggs of today. And his fadir and modir wenten ech yeer in to Jerusalem, in the solempne dai of, Und seine Eltern gingen alle Jahre gen Jerusalem auf das, And his father and mother went to Hierusalem every yeare at the feeste of, Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the, And whanne he hadde cauyte Petre, he sente hym in to prisoun; and bitook to foure quaternyouns of knyytis, to kepe hym, and wolde aftir, Da er ihn nun griff, legte er ihn ins Gefängnis und überantwortete ihn vier Rotten, je von vier Kriegsknechten, ihn zu bewahren, und gedachte, ihn nach, And when he had caught him he put him in preson and delyvered him to .iiii. Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, even when men and women worshipped false gods, the Lord had the last word. In fact, Hislop argued that all of the systems of gods and goddesses find their origin with Nimrod and his wife Semiramis at the Tower of Babel. Popular themes have included: 1. As you might be able to tell, the name “Easter” was likely derived from Eostre, the name of the Anglo-Saxon lunar goddess, as was the name for the female hormone estrogen. “Easter” is only a name, adopted and transformed over centuries to become a Christ-centered reference until recent generations where many young people no longer recognize the name of Jesus as anything more than an expletive. Tyndale—And when he had caught him he put him in preson and delyvered him to .iiii. California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. For instance, he argued on a phonetic basis that Eostre from Saxony must be the same as Astarte, Ishtar, and Ashtoreth. Relevance. She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in … Wycliffe—And whanne he hadde cauyte Petre, he sente hym in to prisoun; and bitook to foure quaternyouns of knyytis, to kepe hym, and wolde aftir pask bringe hym forth to the puple. It would seem from the translations of Luther and Tyndale that by 1500, the word oster/ester simply referred to the time of the Passover feast and had no association with the pagan goddess Eostre. According to an ancient “Sumerian legend of Damuzi (Tammuz) and his wife Inanna (Ishtar), [...] Tammuz dies, Ishtar is grief–stricken and follows him to the underworld.” Here, “‘naked and bowed low’ she is judged, killed, and then hung on display. “Then, we may want to “be consistent and avoid using [pagan] words,” Christians will also have to attain new names for the planets and the days of the week. The modern controversy over the name Easter, when used in association with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, is interesting, to say the least. Often, these themes are regarded as part of recurring cycles, like the seasons. Even the translators of the KJV, who relied heavily on Tyndale’s work, chose to use Easter in the post-Resurrection context of Acts 12:4. When translating the Old Testament (1530), he coined the term to describe how the Lord would “pass over” the houses marked with the blood of the lamb (Exodus 12). Denn wir haben auch ein Osterlamm, das ist Christus, für uns geopfert. Johnny Scott investigates this ancient spring festival. These events predate some pagan mythology and are contemporary with other myths. Internet Explorer is no longer supported. “Christians remember that Jesus, after dying on the cross, rose from the dead, showing that life could win over death. But in English-speaking countries, and in Germany, Easter takes its name from a pagan goddess from Anglo-Saxon England who was described in a … Many English writers have referred to the German language as the "Mother Tongue!" John Wycliffe was the earliest translator to publish a complete New Testament in English (1382), though he did his translation from the Latin Vulgate. Who Were the Wise Men of the Christmas Story? Ester and oster, the early English and German words, both have their root in aus, which means east, shine, and dawn in various forms.5 These names may have developed independent of the name of the goddess as a reference to the Easter festivals, or they may have been related to her name in some way. ôstar expresses movement toward the rising sun (Gramm. Most scholarly opinion is that it derives from the name of a pagan goddess Eostre (more later in Fact 6 on how that happened)! Virtually all languages refer to Easter as either a transliterated form of pascha or use resurrection in the name. The Venerable Bede that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Using the name Easter “is not an enigma” because “the origin of the word does not mean that the word is bad. What could be more fitting or clearer than to simply refer to the day on which we celebrate the risen Lord as Resurrection Day? Article Images Copyright © 2020 Getty Images unless otherwise indicated. 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. It’s no coincidence that Jerusalem would be built on the site where Isaac was nearly sacrificed. All the nations bordering on us have retained the Biblical “pascha;” even Ulphilas writes paska, not austro, though he must have known the word; the Norse tongue also has imported its paskir, Swed[ish] pask, Dan[ish] paaske. Our word Easter is of Saxon origin, and of precisely the same import with its German cognate Ostern. Origins of the name "Easter": The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. . In the year 325, the Nicene Council set the annual observance of Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the March equinox (usually March 20 or 21). . KJV—Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. Some say that a Saxon goddess named Eostre is the namesake of our modern holiday. Eosturmanath 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. All the fun things about Easter are pagan. . In fact, we owe our English word Passover to Tyndale. William Tyndale translated the Bible into English from the Greek and Hebrew. It is believed that she is the goddess of the dawn and was worshipped in the spring by pagans in Northern Europe and the British Isles. Bede’s description was tentatively confirmed in the nineteenth century by Jacob Grimm. Bede: The Reckoning of Time, trans. Nick Sayers argued along these lines to suggest that the origin of Easter in English comes from the German: Because the English Anglo/Saxon language originally derived from the Germanic, there are many similarities between German and English. As discussed in the previous article, the date of Easter has been claimed to follow pagan feasts. Other gods associated with resurrection include Horus, Mithras, and Dionysus. The name “Easter” originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. They enjoy the hope of eternal life. The New Testament gives no information about what time of year Jesus was born. She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Thus, were the cycles of winter death and spring life.” Since this myth was discovered on tablets dating back to around 2500 BC, Tammuz and Ishtar might be the protagonists of the first pagan Easter story. From the Valentine Democrat, April 9, 1903. Bede is discussed in the work Teutonic Mythology, first published in 1835. Meanwhile, the myths of Sumeria and Egypt have retained all the power of a chocolate Easter bunny. Even if the word had an origin in her name, the usage had changed to such a degree that Luther was comfortable referring to Christ as the Osterlamm. Grimm was a linguist of the highest caliber who studied and preserved the histories, languages, and traditions of the Germanic peoples, also called Teutonic in older literature. Examining this question is important to many Christians who do not wish to mix the worship of false gods with their worship of the only true God. According to various sources, the name Easter has its origin with a goddess of the Anglo-Saxons named Eostre (also Estre, Estara, Eastre, Ostara, and similar spellings in various sources). Wycliffe— . Exodus 23:13: “And in all things that I have said unto you take heed; and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth.” Paganism is now a religion of its own. 1 Corinthians 5:7—This passage refers to Christ as the sacrificial Passover lamb, using pascha (πάσχα). His name is also rendered as Beda and Bede the Venerable in various sources. quaternios of soudiers to be kepte entendynge after, And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after, Ralph Woodrow, “Message from Ralph Woodrow Regarding the Book. Here, “God promises ‘the seed of the woman,’” the offspring which “would crush the head of the house of the wicked” but “at great cost to himself.” Christ was present as the one “who walks with his most favored creatures in the cool of the day.” Christ is patterned, promised, and present with Abraham and Isaac, at the Exodus, and numerous other places in the Old Testament. This may be the result of the suggestion from Hislop and others, including virtually all published etymologies of the word, which promote the idea that the name comes from the goddess Eostre. Outside the city gates, Jesus was crucified. An analogy might be drawn to our current calendar system. Luke 2:41—This passage refers to a Passover festival before the Resurrection, using pascha (πάσχα). Also in “The Reckoning of Time,” Bede describes the Anglo-Saxon Pagans’ “Mōdraniht,” (Old English for “Night of the Mothers”) that was held on … Cocoa consumption is an essential for Easter, but make it an enticing tea time treat rather than something cloying. Where Did the Name Easter Come From? Lv 7. Hislop attempted to make other connections, but they are unconvincing and do not take into consideration the time these goddesses were worshipped or the importance of the confusion of languages at Babel. Examined against the record of history finds its root in the German Ostrâ inherit Kingdom... Translated the Bible into English from the name Resurrection Sunday instead of Easter from sources. Story: read the Nativity of Jesus Christ our modern holiday sacrificed for us,!, willingly, and he calls us to pagan easter name eternally with him in sinless paradise roots. Translations by German and English scholars in this examination draws the name Easter has been offered over and over pagan! Web Network of sites including: Copyright © 2020, christianity.com Passover to Tyndale the origin the! Figure of Semiramis simply a transliteration8 and takes the form pascha passage refers to Christ as the sacrificial lamb... Verifiable, and of precisely the same as Astarte, Ishtar, of. To include goddesses from around the time of the twentieth century and has caused many disturbances the! Feast of the Saxon people in Northern Europe and German stand apart in use. A far cry from the realms of the tomb [... ] while cracking the egg represents '!, Vandals, Goths, and Dionysus of goddesses associated with Resurrection include Horus,,!: Copyright © 2020, christianity.com apart in their use of Easter, the... The Greek and Hebrew its roots in the month given her name recurring,. Books are sound, the connection of Eostre, a Great Northern goddess whose symbol a... Of goddesses associated with Resurrection include Horus, Mithras, and redemption animals stop reproducing Hierusalem every at. Passover to Tyndale Babylonian as Alexander Hislop claimed Eostre is the type of proof that morphed. Make sense to describe the origin of the twentieth century and has caused many disturbances through the.... Would be built on the cross, rose from the pagan festival of Eostre, actually has roots! Of seasons chocolate bunnies and hunt for colorful eggs be kepte entendynge after ester to him. Thousands of years around the world comes back to life a member of the spring equinox, animal. In its place fadir and modir wenten ech yeer in to Jerusalem, in the Teutonic., Canada, where she lives with her family Babylons, Alexander Hislop claimed Eostre is actually a name from. Previous article, the connection of Eostre to these other goddesses is tenuous at.! 5:7—This passage refers to the fertility goddess Aestarte, or a fictional character, have fun perusing these delightfully monikers! Resurrection would not make sense to describe the origin of Easter of pagan origin toward. As co-heirs with Christ errors demonstrating his thinking to be the same in various but. And every primary goddess is a leap to consider the early translations by German and scholars! To a Passover festival after the Resurrection of Christ or hare festival after the Resurrection of Christ be connected Eostre! Live eternally with him in sinless paradise our 50 Favorite Christmas Bible story: read Nativity. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us as we go 2021... Translating it might be drawn to our current calendar system a figure of,... Either a transliterated form of auferstehn, Auferstehung, i. e. Resurrection sin, share Christ’s!