I did not write this, I found it here: http://www.gnmagazine.org/booklets/hh/easterbiblicaltruth.asp . It just helped me a lot and thought it may help you as well. God bless you.
Easter: Masking a Biblical Truth
In contrast to the general public, which considers Christmas the most important Christian holiday, many theologians regard Easter as the preeminent celebration because it commemorates Jesus' resurrection. As with Christmas, the Easter celebration—rabbits, Easter-egg hunts and sunrise services—have nothing to do with the biblical record of Christ's rising from the dead.
Where, then, did these practices originate?
The Encyclopaedia Britannica tells us: "As at Christmas, so also at Easter, popular customs reflect many ancient pagan survivals—in this instance, connected with spring fertility rites, such as the symbols of the Easter egg and the Easter hare or rabbit" (15th edition, Macropaedia, Vol. IV, p. 605, "Church Year").
The word Easter appears once in the King James Version of the Bible, in Acts 12:4, where it is a mistranslation. Reputable scholars and reference works point out that the word Easter in this verse comes from the Greek word pascha, meaning Passover. Modern translations correctly translate this word "Passover."
Notice what Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words says about Easter: "... Pascha ... mistranslated 'Easter' in Acts 12:4, KJV, denotes the Passover ... The term 'Easter' is not of Christian origin. It is another form of Astarte, one of the titles of the Chaldean goddess, the queen of heaven. The festival of Pasch [Passover] held by Christians in post-apostolic times was a continuation of the Jewish feast ... From this Pasch the pagan festival of 'Easter' was quite distinct and was introduced into the apostate Western religion, as part of the attempt to adapt pagan festivals to Christianity" (1985, p. 192, "Easter").
Easter's ancient history
The roots of the Easter celebration date long before Jesus Christ's life, death and resurrection. Various Easter customs can be traced back to ancient spring celebrations surrounding Astarte, the goddess of spring and fertility. Francis Weiser, professor of philosophy at Boston College, provides these facts:
"The origin of the Easter egg is based on the fertility lore of the Indo-European races ... The Easter bunny had its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. Hare and rabbit were the most fertile animals our forefathers knew, serving as symbols of abundant new life in the spring season" (Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, 1958, pp. 233, 236). (For more information about these symbols, see "Fertility Symbols: Beneath the Dignity of God" ).
Fertility rites and customs were incorporated into religious practices early in history. After Adam and Eve rejected God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), humanity looked for other explanations for life. Forces of nature and seasons that could not be controlled began to be viewed as gods, goddesses and supernatural powers to be worshiped and feared. Man soon created his own gods, contradicting God's instruction against idolatry (Exodus 20:3-6; Deuteronomy 5:7-10).
"The pagan nations made statues or images to represent the powers which they worshiped. Most of these idols were in the form of animals or men. But sometimes these idols represented celestial powers like the sun, moon, and stars, forces of nature, like the sea and the rain; or life forces, like death and truth ...
"In time an elaborate system of beliefs in such natural forces was developed into mythology. Each civilization and culture had its own mythological structure, but these structures were often quite similar. The names of the gods may have been different, but their functions and actions were often the same. The most prominent myth to cross cultural lines was that of the fertility cycle. Many pagan cultures believed that the god of fertility died each year during the winter but was reborn each year in the spring. The details differed among cultures, but the main idea was the same" (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, 1986, published on PC Study Bible CD, 1992-96, "Gods, Pagan").
In pagan mythology the sun represented life. The sun supposedly died around the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. (As discussed earlier, the date set for Christmas celebrations is rooted in this myth.) Complementing the rebirth of the sun were spring fertility rites, whose surviving symbols thread their way throughout Easter celebrations.
In addition to rabbits and eggs, another popular Easter custom had pre-Christian origins. "Also popular among Europeans and Americans on Easter is ham, because the pig was considered a symbol of luck in pre-Christian European culture" (The Encyclopedia of Religion, 1987, p. 558, "Easter").
Sex rites and rituals
Ancient fertility rites revolved around gross sexual immorality and perversion. References to these rites are referred to throughout the Bible under a variety of names and descriptions.
The Babylonian and Assyrian fertility goddess was Ishtar, whose name may well have been the origin of the word Easter.
Ishtar symbolized Mother Earth in the natural cycles of fertility on earth. Many myths grew up around this female deity. She was the goddess of love, and the practice of ritual prostitution became widespread in the fertility cult dedicated to her name.
"Temples to Ishtar had many priestesses, or sacred prostitutes, who symbolically acted out the fertility rites of the cycle of nature. Ishtar has been identified with the Phoenician Astarte, the Semitic Ashtoreth, and the Sumerian Inanna. Strong similarities also exist between Ishtar and the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Aphrodite, and the Roman Venus.
"Associated with Ishtar was the young god Tammuz, considered both divine and mortal ... In Babylonian mythology Tammuz died annually and was reborn year after year, representing the yearly cycle of the seasons and the crops. This pagan belief later was identified with the pagan gods Baal and Anat in Canaan" (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, "Gods, Pagan"). (For more details, see "The Resurrection Connection").Throughout the Old Testament, God expressed His anger with His people when they served these false gods (Judges 2:13-14; 10:6-7; 1 Kings 11:5-11; Ezekiel 8:14-18).
Easter unknown in early Church
The New Testament does not mention an Easter celebration. Early Christians had nothing to do with Easter. Instead, they kept the Passover, instituted by God centuries earlier at the time of the Exodus (Exodus 12:13-14; Leviticus 23:5). Jesus Christ personally kept this festival (Matthew 26:17-18) and gave it a clearer meaning under the New Covenant with His institution of the symbols of bread and wine (verses 26-29). He is the Lamb of God, offered as the true Passover sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7).
Jesus told His followers to continue this observance in remembrance of Him and His death (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). Soon, however, pressure to replace Passover with popular Easter customs began to build. This movement was the basis for much contention over the next three centuries.
Notice how the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes this period: "The earliest Christians celebrated the Lord's Passover at the same time as the Jews, during the night of the first full moon of the first month of spring (Nisan 14-15). By the middle of the 2nd century, most churches had transferred this celebration to the Sunday after the Jewish feast. But certain churches of Asia Minor clung to the older custom, for which they were denounced as 'judaizing' (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book V, chapters 23-25). The first ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 decreed that all churches should observe the feast together on a Sunday" (15th edition, Macropaedia,Vol. IV, pp. 604-605, "Church Year").
"After long and fierce controversies over its date (which is governed by the lunar calendar), the date for Easter set by the Council of Nicaea in 325 is the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the spring equinox. Easter became the centre of a fixed liturgical structure of times and festivals in the church year" (ibid., p. 499, "Christianity").
Pressure against the Passover
Why did Easter replace the Passover?
Though Easter was clearly pagan in origin, Christian leaders of the first two centuries after Christ's crucifixion employed the same philosophy in establishing the new holiday that they later applied to Christmas. Believing that people are free to select their own times and customs of worship, they went about gradually replacing the biblically commanded Passover with their humanly devised celebration of Easter.
Prejudice also seems to have been a major factor in their decision to make these changes. According to R.K. Bishop: "The early development of the celebration of Easter and the attendant calendar disputes were largely a result of Christianity's attempt to emancipate itself from Judaism. Sunday had already replaced the Jewish sabbath early in the second century, and despite efforts in Asia Minor to maintain the Jewish passover date of 14 Nisan for Easter (hence the name Quartodecimans), the Council of Nicaea adopted the annual Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21)" (Elwell's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 1984, published on The New Bible Library CD, 1993, "Easter").
Before A.D. 70, Christianity was "regarded by the Roman government and by the people at large as a branch of the Jewish religion" (Jesse Lyman Hurlbut, The Story of the Christ
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