The Origin of Easter

    Except for Acts 12:4 in the King James Version, the religious holiday known as Easter is not mentioned in the Bible. That lone KJV citing should have been translated "Passover," as it is on every other occurrence.
    The debate of the origin of Easter has a long and passionate history. One side argues that as the church grew it adopted and "Christianized" pagan festivals. So the pagan feast honoring “Eastre” was reassigned as a festival honoring Jesus' resurrection. The other side argues that only the name adopted to commemorate Jesus’ resurrection, "Easter," has pagan roots.
    Setting all the arguments aside two things become clear.
    First, there is no mention of "Easter" until the middle part of the second Christian century. That date is the crucial point for anyone seeking, as we do, to restore New Testament Christianity. There is no scriptural support for observing any specific date in our calendar year as a religious holiday. Christ never intimated nor authorized that His followers observe either the date of His birth or death. Easter as a religious holiday in the spring of each year can only be supported or adopted by human authority, not divine.
    Secondly, it is important for us to consider the fact that when the subject of Easter did emerge years after the close of the New Testament scriptures, it immediately became a source of division. Church leaders could not arrive at a universally acceptable decision of when they should observe Easter. Why? Because such an observance was never called for in the Bible. Jesus did ask His followers to commemorate His death in the
one-time act of Christian baptism (as the new believer reenacts and symbolically participates in His death, burial and resurrection) and weekly as the church assembles to partake of the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).

David Bragg


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