I’ve always been curious why we celebrate certain holidays, like Easter and Christmas. They’re not listed in the bible anywhere but right now churches and everyone around me is setting up to celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ on what they call Easter Sunday.
I was raised, led to believe that Easter was a holiday celebrated in the Bible but then in my own studies, I learned that it wasn’t. There’s no story in the bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature known as the Easter Bunny and there’s nothing said about young children painting eggs, hunting eggs, and there’s no mention of Easter baskets, plus we all know that real rabbits don’t lay eggs and then there is the sunrise service and the Friday crucifixion and the Sunday Resurrection. None of it made sense. Jesus said that the sign that he was Messiah would be that he would stay in the grave for three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40). How can we count three days from sundown, Friday to Sunday morning? And why does Easter fall on a different date every year? I had so many questions so I did some research to learn the history behind the Easter holiday and the origins associated with it.
It didn’t take me long to get the facts with so much information available to us (I will have my sources below) but in the end I was truly shocked at what I’d learned but more importantly horrified at that fact that many churches and religious groups\organizations actively celebrate the Easter holiday. I’m just one individual that works hard every day to live right and actively pursue the truth, I’m not a teacher, a preacher a minister or anything of the sort but I would think that those who are would be learning and teaching the truth since God holds them to a higher standard (James 3:1 & Matthew 5:17-19).
According to God’s word, teachers in the church are required to know the history of what they are teaching (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Easter has a history, along with all the other holidays and WOW what a history it is! Why isn’t it being taught and if it is being taught in seminary why is the Church teaching us, encouraging us to celebrate this holiday?
There is a lot of documented historical data out there, right under our noses in dictionaries, encyclopedias, books, on the internet, etc. I mean A LOT. I’m just going to give you a condensed version (as condensed as I can get – this is serious stuff!) of what I’ve learned to make this as short as possible but in all honesty it’s very, very disturbing and it’s really best that everyone do their own research, like I did, seeking the truth for yourself as God instructs us to do. (2 Timothy 2:15, Colossians 2:6-9 & 1 John 1:6)
Easter – The Twisted Truth
I have to start out by saying that in my studies I was surprised first that Easter is even observed as the resurrection of Christ because the Easter holiday is sometimes observed before Passover which is the actual day of Jesus’ death (Luke 22:15-16 & 1 Corinthians 5:7-8) and you can’t have a resurrection without a death first.
The second thing that surprised me was that the observance of Easter is never once commanded in the bible. I found the famous fourteenth edition of the encyclopedia Britannica to say,
“There is no indication of the observance of the Easter Festival in the New Testament”.
Then I found this in the dictionary of Religion and Ethics (Mathews and Smith, pg. 140),
“The celebration of Easter does not appear in the New Testament”.
The actually word ‘Easter’ is printed in the King James Bible. It’s in Acts 12:4 but the word translated Easter is the Greek word Pasha (derived from the Hebrew word Pesach) which means “Passover.” Pasha appears 29 times in the New Testament and 28 of those times the King James translators rendered it correctly as Passover. The term “Pasha” means Passover and can be used to include the entire spring festival of the days of unleavened bread and this is the case in Acts chapter 12.
Many, if not most bible scholars agree that the word Easter in the King James is a mistranslation and should be rendered “Passover” as it is in most all other bible versions. Here’s a quote from one.
“Perhaps there has never been a more absurd translation than in this text in Acts 12:4” Adams Clark Commentary
It amazes me that Easter is celebrated by billion of people all around thinking it is all about Jesus but Easter is never once mentioned in the bible. Shocking but true.
Now Jesus commanded his followers to keep the Passover in remembrance of Him: And when He had taken some bread…He broke it and give it to them saying “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). And in the same way he took the cup after they had eaten saying “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you”, (Luke 22: 20).
To get where it truly all started though you have to go back 2000 years before Jesus was born, in the heathen, world, were there were pagan gods and goddesses for everything. There were gods for the sun, moon, trees, animals, love, etc. There was even a god with the title “unknown god” just in case they needed a god for something (Acts 17:23). Some of these gods were once real human beings, and after their death, they were deified to the status of a god or goddess.
The first god worshipped as the god of the sun was Nimrod (meaning tyrant), the very same Nimrod from the book of Genesis, the sworn enemy of God. He was the great-grandson of Noah and was essentially the king of the world, in his time, with the phenomenal ability to deceive, leading the Sumerians of Babylon to pay tribute to the skies (sun, moon, stars & planets).
Nimrod built the kingdoms of Babel and Nineveh, along with many other cities but he’s most famously known for building the “tower whose top would reach the heavens” which provoked the LORD to come down out of heaven to confuse the language of all involved and scatter them over the face of the earth. This tower is known as the “Tower of Babel” (Genesis 10 & 11).
Nimrod was said to be the most powerful ruler of all time with great armies and along with being known for his rebelliousness towards God, he was also known for his drunkenness, his covetousness’, his strength and his idolatry. Nimrod was eventually killed by his uncle Shem and when he died, it’s said that he was the first human to be deified, by his people, as a god or a sun-god of the west, ruling the universe with the people of his time calling him “Baal,” which means “lord”.
Trees and branches became symbols of Nimrod because Nimrod was “cut down” by Shem, who placed a bounty on his life. A tree stump became a place of honoring him. Thus, the Hebrew Scriptures speak of the pagans going into the “groves”, and bringing a “branch to the nose” (Ezekiel 8:17), and going into the forest and cutting down a tree, decorating it, and propping it up a so that it would not totter. (Jeremiah 10:2-4).
Nimrod’s wife, was still alive at the time of his death. Her name was Semiramis, and she became known as the “Queen of Heaven”.
Babylonian legend states that several years after Nimrod’s death, Semiramis became pregnant declaring that she conceived with her deceased husband through the rays of the sun and nine months later she gave birth on December 25th to a son and named him “Tammuz”, which is Babylonian for “the son who rises”.
Because his late father, Nimrod, had a god-like status baby Tammuz was quickly hailed to be his reincarnation and as he grows into and becomes a man, Tammuz, MARRIES HIS MOTHER and it’s documented that they were known to have a VERY SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP (this immoral act started the tradition of Cupid and Valentines Day).
His mother is not the only thing Tammuz shared with his father, Tammuz also became a mighty hunter on the earth, taking his fathers place ruling the world and ended up getting killed when he was just forty years old by a wild boar on one of his many hunting expeditions.
Because Tammuz was revered as the reincarnated sun-god Nimrod, his death brought great despair upon the people of Babel so they set aside forty days to fast and pray in the spring each year to commemorate the death and deification of Tammuz the son of god, the son of his father. This was to worship him in celebration for every year that he had been alive (Ezekiel 8:13-18). This is where the church gets forty days of fasting before Easter Sunday and where the Catholic original tradition of “Lent” came from. This 40 days DID NOT come from Jesus in the wilderness. This tradition was in place for thousands of years before Jesus was even born and it comes from the 40 days of fasting and praying for Tammus before they celebrated Easter.
After they wept for forty days to commemorate Tammuz, a boar was then killed to get back at the boar that killed Tammuz and they would have a giant feast, eating the ham on the first Sunday after the Spring Equinox (This is where the tradition of eating ham on Easter Sunday came from).
Many years later Semiramis died and as Babylonian legend goes, she was also deified, ascending into the heavens but her husband, Baal, wasn’t ready for her so he sent her back down to earth, in a giant egg, (some reports say at sunrise, on the first Sunday after the vernal equinox [the first day of Spring]), where the egg exploded in the Euphrates River and the first thing Semiramis, now called Ishtar (pronounced Easter), the bare-breasted fertility goddess of the Spring, did was turn a bird into an egg laying rabbit. Yes, I know, it sounds crazy but this truly is not fairytale and is exactly where we get the egg laying rabbit from and where the Easter bunny comes from.
In Eastern Culture back then, eggs were a tremendous symbol of fertility among many of the Gods, they even believed that the earth itself was born of a giant egg so it’s not surprising amongst the scholars that this legend would be that Semiramis would come back down in the form of an egg and would immediately tell the people of the earth that this is a god. Furthermore, the rabbit was looked upon as the most fertile animal on earth and the egg was also viewed as a symbol of fertility and new life. This is why these two symbols were attributed to the new “Queen of Heaven”, Ishtar, the god of fertility or the god of the East or sunrise.
We are told through this Babylonian legend that every spring, the first Sunday after the vernal equinox, they would have what was called “Ishtars Sunday” where they would have a sunrise service and the priest of Ishtar would impregnate young virgin girls at the altar of Baal and during that same service, they would take the babies, now three-month old from the previous year and they would sacrifice those children on the altar to Ishtar and then they would take the eggs of Ishtar and they would dip those eggs in the blood of the young BABIES SACRIFICED. This is where we get sunrise services and where we get the dying of Easter eggs. It has also been said that the tower of Babel was going to be the altar of Baal, used for these practices.
So they would fast, pray and worship Tammuz for forty days, then on the Saturday before Easter they would rest for their sunrise service where they would gather together facing the east, where Ishtar priests would impregnate young virgin girls for the following year and then they would follow that up with killing the babies born of the virgins raped the year before so they could dip eggs from a so called egg laying rabbit in the blood of dead babies as a sacrifice offered to Ishtar, all while watching the sun rise? Wow!
God actually talks of these sunrise services in the bible but he doesn’t say what those who celebrate this holiday would expect. In Ezekiel 8:13-18 the prophet was being shown, in a vision, an important prophecy concerning the sins of God’s people in our time. God is letting us know that sunrise service is serious to Him and he so hates the vile practice that he tell us in Ezekiel 9 that He will ultimately destroy all who persist in it.
Now, like I said this was before the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus which means its roots predate Christianity. The early Christian church never celebrated Easter but instead obeyed Jesus commandment to keep the Passover. In fact, Easter was not attached to Jesus or his resurrection until hundreds of years later by the Roman Catholic Church.
The Bible even tells us that the ancient Israelites began to practice this pagan religious custom and how they filled the land with abominations & violence provoking God to anger. (Ezekiel 8:16-17 & Jeremiah 7:17-18). The “Cakes” offered to the queen here refers to the hot cross bun that go along with the Easter Holiday (Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, pg. 1.7)
What interesting is the name of Ishtar and Baal. These names are all over different artifacts and in the bible:
Semiramis and Nimrod were recognized in:
- Egypt as Isis and Osiris
- Phoenicia as Ashtoreth and Baal (same as you see in scriptures (1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:33, 2 Kings 23:13, Judges 2:13)
- Greece as Aphrodite and Adonis
- Rome as Venus and Cupid (that’s right Valentine’s day and Cupid)
Semiramis was also known by other names:
- The Phoenicians and the Greeks in their language called her Astarte
- The Egyptians called her Isis
- The Phrygia called her Cybele,
- The Greeks called her Artemis
- The Germanic called her Sunna
- The Philistines, in the time of Saul, kept the name Ishtar
- and the Celtics called her Eostra (Judges 10:6)
God warned the Israelites to stay away from Ashtoreth and Baal and the bible warns us to stay away from them also.
Judges 2:13 – And they forsook the Lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
1 Samuel 7:4 – Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the Lord only.
Romans 11:4 – But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
I grew up celebrating Easter and raised my kids celebrating Easter because this is not what Easter has ever meant to me. I thought I was celebrating the resurrection of Jesus but no matter, here is reality: It does not matter how much a person focuses or how sincere they are or how pure their hearts are, what matters is that we worship God the way He has instructed us to worship him. We need to be sure that whatever it is we’re doing, we’re not offending him.
I have to consider Gods own words in Deuteronomy 12:28-32 telling Christians to never mix what is godly with what is pagan or the ungodly and He himself calls Easter Evil in Judges 2:11 -13 saying after delivering His people over and over again, they never learned their lessons Judges 2:19 .
All of this research and my heart goes back to Deuteronomy 12:28-32. God Always commanded that people worship Him exactly as He instructed and so did Christ.
Read more Truths I’ve learned on Kerri Chronicles:
As Said By The Barna Group, The Largest Christian Polling & Review Organization in the World
Halloween & Why I Don’t Celebrate
Sources to Easter research:
The Chambers Encyclopedia it states, “The ancient Persians when they kept the festival of the solar new year, presented each other with colored egg.”
The book The Two Babylons By Alexander Hislop states “From Egypt these sacred eggs can be distinctly traced to the banks of the Euphrates”.
Written in the Encyclopedia Britannica, “The first Christians continued to observe the Jewish festivals though in a new spirit of which those festivals had foreshadowed”.
The Oxford English dictionary defines “Easter” as “The name of a goddess whose festival was celebrated at the vernal equinox…originally known as the dawn goddess, the goddess of fertility.
“The original ‘Mother’ so widely worshipped is believed to be Semiramis who, it is well-known, was worshipped by the Babylonians and other Eastern nations.” The Two Babylons By: Alexander Hislop.
From the Socrates Scholasticus Ecclesiatical History, “Neither the apostles, nor the gospels have anywhere imposed Easter”.
And the Historian Gieseler Roman Catholic Church states: “There is no trace of the yearly Festival of a Resurrection among the Apostolic Church”.
“The reasons for celebrating our major feasts when we do are many and varied. In general, however, it is true that many of them have at least an indirect connection with the pre-Christian [pagan] feasts celebrated about the same time of year — feasts centering around the harvest, the rebirth of the sun at the winter solstice (now Dec. 21, but Dec. 25 in the old Julian calendar), the renewal of nature in spring, and so on.” Source: The New Question Box – Catholic Life for the Nineties, copyright 1988 by John J. Dietzen, M.A., S.T.L., ISBN 0-940518-01-5 (paperback), published by Guildhall Publishers, Peoria Illinois, 61651., page 554.
The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 5, Page 6
Albert Henry Newman, D.D., LL.D, A Manual of Church History, Page 299,
Ethel L. Urlin, Festival, Holy Days, and Saints Days, Page 73,
Hazeltine, Page 53
Englehart, Page 4
and Will Durant, Story of Civilization, Page235, 244-245.