IT IS PASCHA - NOT EASTER

     The only time the word EASTER is used in the Bible is only in the King James Version. All modern translations correctly render the Greek word pascha as PASSOVER. Why this blunder by the King James Translators, I do not know. 

     EASTER  as a holiday celebration existed 300 years before Christ was born. “It was originally the spring festival in honor of Eastra or Ostara, the Teutonic goddess of light and spring. As early as the eighth century the name was transferred by the Anglo-Saxons to the Christian festival designed to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. In the A. V. it occurs once, viz., in Acts 12: 4, but is a mistranslation. The original is pascha, the ordinary Greek word for Passover. The R. V. properly employs the word Passover.” See – Illustrated Davis Dictionary of the Bible. 

     This is a much more important subject than a mere dispute about words. If the word in English is EASTER, then we must ask “what word?” Was there some word which, when translated into English, became “Easter”? The plain and simple answer is “NO!” Jesus Christ in His flesh never visited our shores, there were no words written about him in English. He spoke Aramaic, and His words were recorded in Greek, as were the words of of writers like Paul and Peter.  

     There is no equivalent word in the Greek language for EASTER, for one simple but important reason, the word is an Anglo-Saxon word for a pagan festival. The word in its original use is entirely pagan. It has no associations whatsoever with Christ, His death and resurrection, or anything Christian. Is it, therefore, suitable to be used to describe the greatest day in the life of the Church? 

     Pascha is derived from the Jewish word Pesah which means “Passover”. And here is a direct link with the New Testament. In I Corinthians 5:7, “for our paschal (Passover) lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed". According to the Gospel according to John, Christ was crucified at the time the paschal lamb was to have been killed. 

The experience of the Israelites was literally a “Passover”, when they experienced God’s compassion for His people and a great act of protection. Both the crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ took place during the Passover Feast. So for Christians Christ was and is clearly the paschal Lamb of God, the complete fulfillment of all that the Passover had foreshadowed since the first Passover celebrated when the Israelites were liberated from slavery in Egypt.  

     Thankfully we are no longer under law, but under grace.. Under law, God spoke to His people by the prophets. This side of the cross of Christ, God speaks to us by His Son. Hebrews 1:1 - 3. Now we have God's Word and the Holy Spirit as our daily guide. God is not sitting in the heavens with a score card chalking up marks for or against us. We are all imperfect humans. The only thing God is concerned about is: "What have you done with my Son, Jesus Christ?" As brothers and sisters in Christ we cannot go about condemning each other on what we do, how we do it or where we do it. We need to love and edify each other studying the scriptures to see if this preacher, that minister, or that evangelist is proclaiming the truth. If anyone is looking for a perfect church, they will be woefully disappointed. Many years ago I made a statement similar to this, "If I ever find a perfect church, I will do it a favor and stay out, because once I become a part of it, it will no longer be perfect!" We may disagree on days, words, seasons, but one thing is certain, all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can together say "WE BE BRETHREN". 

     One Sunday the pastor at the church of which I am a member in Farmington, MO said, "Anyone can drift into unrighteousness, but no one drifts into righteousness". How true! Everyone becomes righteous when they accept Christ as their savior. We all have to study to gain a closer walk with him. This, my fellow Christian and fellow traveler, is my wish, to help each of us to see the Word of God clearer and walk just a little closer to Him. In the mean time as we all walk the heavenly pathway,  no matter our difference in opinion theologically, WE BE BRETHREN! 

                          

       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don. 

 

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