Part 2 Preview: Where did “Christianity” get Easter? Disciples were present at Yeshua’s (Jesus’) crucifixion but in ignorance, none were present at His resurrection. Did they miss Easter? What event does the Bible say to commemorate? Don’t read about the 4,000 year long history of Easter unless you are either prepared to quit cold turkey or have a guilty conscience!
“Nobody seems to know precisely the origin of the Easter bunny, except that it can be traced back to pre-Christian fertility lore. It has never had any connection with Christian religious symbolism.” —Priscilla Sawyer and Daniel J. Foley, Easter the World Over, Philadelphia: Chilton Book Company, 1971, p.104
“Little children are usually told that the Easter eggs are brought by the Easter Bunny. Rabbits are part of pre-Christian fertility symbolism because of their reputation to reproduce rapidly.” —Greg Dues, Catholic Customs and Traditions, 1992, p.102
“The Easter Rabbit lays the eggs, for which reason they are hidden in a nest or in the garden. The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility (Simrock, Mythologie, 551).” —Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol.5, article: Easter
“The Easter hare was no ordinary animal, but a sacred companion of the old goddess of spring, Eostre.” —Julian Fox, Easter, Vero Beach: Rourke Enterprises, 1989, p.11
“Like the Easter egg, the Easter hare, now an accepted part of the traditional Easter story, came to Christianity from antiquity. The hare is associated with the moon in the legends of ancient Egypt and other peoples.” —Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol 7. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 1955, p.859
“The hare, the symbol of fertility in ancient Egypt, a symbol that was kept later in Europe, is not found in North America. Its place is taken by the Easter rabbit, the symbol of fertility and periodicity both human and lunar, accredited with laying eggs in nests prepared for it at Easter or with hiding them away for children to find.” —The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th ed. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 1992, p.333
“The white rabbit of Easter, beloved of small Americans, comes hopping down to us from eras when the sun and the moon were gods to men.” (Marguerite Ickis, The Book of Religious Holidays and Celebrations, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1966, p.133)
“The custom of a sunrise service on Easter Sunday can be traced to ancient spring festivals that celebrated the rising sun.” (The New Book of Knowledge, Danbury: Grolier, 1981, p.41)
“Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east. —Holy Scripture, King James Version, Ezekiel 8:15-16)
“Cults of the sun, as we know from many sources, had attained great vogue during the second, third, and fourth centuries. Sun-worshipers indeed formed one of the big groups in that religious world in which Christianity was fighting for a place. Many of them became converts to Christianity.... Worshipers in St. Peter’s turned away from the altar and faced the door so that they could adore the rising sun.” —Gordon J. Laing, Survivals of Roman Religion, p. 192
“A suitable, single example of the pagan influence may be had from an investigation of the Christian custom of turning toward the East, the land of the rising sun, while offering their prayers....” —F.A. Regan, Dies Dominica, P. 196
“Others, with greater regard to good manners, it must be confessed, suppose that the sun is the God of the Christians, because it is a well-known fact that we pray toward the east, or because we make Sunday a day of festivity.” —Tertullian [155-225 AD.], Ad Nationes, i 13, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. III, p. 123
“The Easter Parade which is held after church services in many cultures is another survival from long ago. Before there were courtiers or fashion pages there was a lively superstition, dear to princesses and peasant maidens alike, that a new garment worn at Easter meant good luck throughout the year.” —Marguerite Ickis, The Book of Religious Holidays and Celebrations, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1966, p.133
“For centuries, even in pagan times, it had been the custom to put on new clothes for the spring festival.” —Priscilla Sawyer and Daniel J. Foley, Easter the World Over, Philadelphia: Chilton Book Company, 1971, p.134
Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. 19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? (The KJV Bible)
“The hot-cross bun, for example, is pagan in origin. The Anglo-Saxon savages consumed cakes as a part of the jolity that attended the welcoming of spring. The early missionaries from Rome despaired of breaking them of the habit, and got around the difficulty at last by blessing the cakes, drawing a cross upon them.” -Marguerite Ickis, The Book of Religious Holidays and Celebrations, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1966, p.134
“The ‘buns,’ known too by that identical name, were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens—that is, 1500 years before the Christian era. ‘One species of sacred bread,’ says Bryant, ‘which used to be offered to the gods, was of great antiquity, and called Boun.’ Diogenes Laertius, speaking of this offering being made by Empedocles, describes the chief ingredients of which it was composed, saying, ‘He offered one of the sacred cakes called Boun, which was made of fine flour and honey.’ The prophet Jeremiah takes notice of this kind of offering when he says, ‘The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven.’ The hot cross buns are not now offered, but eaten, on the festival of Astarte; but this leaves no doubt as to whence they have been derived.” —Alexander Hislop, in The Two Babylons (Or The Papal Worship), 1916, Neptune, NJ, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., p.108
“It is quite probable that it [the word bun] has a far older and more interesting origin, as is suggested by an inquiry into the origin of hot cross buns. These cakes, which are now solely associated with the Christian Good Friday, are traceable to the remotest period of pagan history. Cakes were offered by ancient Egyptians to their moon goddess; and these had imprinted on them a pair of horns, symbolic of the ox at the sacrifice of which they were offered on the altar, or of the horned moon goddess, the equivalent of Ishtar [pronounced Easter] of the Assyro-Babylonians. The Greeks offered such sacred cakes to Astarte [Easter] and other divinities. This cake they called bous (ox), in allusion to the ox-symbol marked on it, and from the accusative boun it is suggested that the word ‘bun’ is derived. Like the Greeks, the Romans eat cross-bread at public sacrifices, such bread being usually purchased at the doors of the temple and taken in with them, a custom alluded to by St. Paul in I Cor. x.28. At Herculaneum two small loaves about 5 in. in diameter, and plainly marked with a cross, were found. In the Old Testament are references made in Jer. vii.18-xliv.19, to such sacred bread being offered to the moon goddess. The cross-bread was eaten by the pagan Saxons in honor of Eoster, their goddess of light. The Mexicans and Peruvians are shown to have had a similar custom. The custom, in fact, was practically universal, and the early church adroitly adopted the pagan practice, grafting it on to the Eucharist. The boun with its Greek cross became akin to the Eucharistic bread or cross-marked wafers mentioned in St. Chrysostom’s liturgy. In the medieval church, buns made from the dough for the consecrated Host were to be distributed to the communicants after mass on Easter Sunday. In France and other Catholic countries, such blessed bread is still given in the churches to communicants who have a long journey before they can break their fast.” —Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed., article: “bun”
"Pagan festivals celebrating spring included fire and sunrise celebrations. Both later became part of Easter celebrations.” —The New Book of Knowledge, Danbury: Grolier, 1991, p.44
“... every year, at Beltane (or the 1st of May), a number of men and women assemble at an ancient Druidical circle of stones on her property near Crieff. They light a fire in the centre, each person puts a bit of oat-cake in a shepherd’s bonnet; they all sit down, and draw blindfold a piece from the bonnet. One piece has been previously blackened, and whoever gets that piece has to jump through the fire in the centre of the circle, and pay a forfeit. This is, in fact, a part of the ancient worship of Baal, and the person on whom the lot fell was previously burnt as a sacrifice. Now, the passing through the fire represents that, and the payment of the forfeit redeems the victim. If Baal was thus worshiped in Britain, it will not be difficult to believe that his consort Astarte was also adored by our ancestors, and that from Astarte, whose name in Nineveh was Ishtar, the religious solemnities of April, as now practiced, are called by the name of Easter—that month, among our Pagan ancestors, having been called Easter-monath.” —The Two Babylons (Or The Papal Worship), Alexander Hislop, 1916, Neptune, NJ, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., p.104
“The Easter Eve bonfires predate Christianity and were originally intended to celebrate the arrival of spring.” —Merit Students Encyclopedia, Vol 6, New York: P. F. Collier, 1983, p.167-168
“The Easter Fire is lit on the top of mountains (Easter mountain, Osterberg) and must be kindled from new fire, drawn from wood by friction (nodfyr); this is a custom of pagan origin in vogue all over Europe, signifying the victory of spring over winter. The bishops issued severe edicts against the sacrilegious Easter fires (Conc. Germanicum, a. 742, c.v.; Council of Lestines, a.743, n.15), but did not succeed in abolishing them everywhere. The Church adopted the observance into the Easter ceremonies, referring it to the fiery column in the desert and to the Resurrection of Christ; the new fire on Holy Saturday is drawn from flint, symbolizing the Resurrection of the Light of the World from the tomb closed by a stone (Missale Rom.). In some places a figure was thrown into the Easter fire, symbolizing winter....” —Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol.5, article: Easter
“Fire, once part of the pagan spring festival, is now a Christian Easter symbol.” —The New Book of Knowledge, Danbury: Grolier, 1981, p.41
“Spring fire rites to honor the sun god were forbidden until the year 752 A.D. By that time the pagan fires had changed into Easter fires.” —Edna Barth, Lilies, Rabbits, and Painted Eggs: The Story of the Easter Symbols, New York: Seabury Press, 1970, p.15
“Bonfires on Easter Eve are particularly common in Germany, where they are lighted not only in churchyards but upon hilltops, where the young people gather around and jump over them, dance, and sing Easter hymns. These are remnants of pagan and sacrificial rites in which quantities of tar-soaked barrel staves, branches and roots of trees were burned.” —Priscilla Sawyer and Daniel J. Foley, Easter the World Over, Philadelphia: Chilton Book Company, 1971, p.103
ALL over Europe the peasants have been accustomed from time immemorial to kindle bonfires on certain days of the year, and to dance round or leap over them. Customs of this kind can be traced back on historical evidence to the Middle Ages, and their analogy to similar customs observed in antiquity goes with strong internal evidence to prove that their origin must be sought in a period long prior to the spread of Christianity. —Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). The Golden Bough, 1922
The essentially pagan character of the Easter fire festival appears plainly both from the mode in which it is celebrated by the peasants and from the superstitious beliefs which they associate with it. —Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941). The Golden Bough, 1922
“The word Lent is of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning spring.” —Marguerite Ickis, The Book of Religious Holidays and Celebrations, New York: Dodd, Mead amp; Company, 1966, p.114
“The celebration of Lent has no basis in Scripture, but rather developed from the pagan celebration of Semiramis’s mourning for 40 days over the death of Tammuz (cf. Ezek 8:14) before his alleged resurrection—-another of Satan’s mythical counterfeits.” —John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Corinthians, Chicago: Moody, 1984)>
“‘It ought to be known,’ said Cassianus, the monk of Marseilles, writing in the fifth century, and contrasting the primitive Church with the Church in his day, ‘that the observance of forty days had no existence, so long as the perfection of that primitive Church remained inviolate.’ Whence, then, came this observance? The forty days abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess.” —The Two Babylons (Or The Papal Worship), Alexander Hislop, 1916, Neptune, NJ, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., p.104]
“Sabbats in Modern Witchcraft—Spring Equinox—A solar festival, in which day and night, and the forces of male and female, are in equal balance. The spring equinox, the first day of spring, marks the birth of the infant Sun God and paves the way for the coming lushness of summer. Dionysian rites are performed. The Christian version of the sabbat is Easter. —Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, New York: Facts On File, 1989, p.289
“Witches celebrate eight major festivals or sabbats each year. The sabbat is a religious ceremnoy deriving from ancient European festivals celebrating seasonal and pastoral changes. The first is Yule, 20 or 21 December, celebrating the winter solstice. The next is 1 or 2 February, Oimelc, Imbolc, or Candlemas, at which initiations often take place. 20 or 21 March, Eostre, the vernal equinox, is a fertility festival. 30 April is Beltane.” —Jeffery B. Russell, A History of Witchcraft: Sorcerers, Heretics, and Pagans, London: Thames and Hudson, 1980, p.167
Many sincere folks will be joining in this season’s Easter festivities thinking they are doing the right thing. To the church, I say, please be as gentle and merciful to these people as God has been to you. To those who are just learning the truth about Easter, the choice to reject this relic of paganism and keep the same days that Jesus Himself kept should be weighing on your conscience as the right thing to do after reading these facts.
Jesus never instructed us to commemorate His resurrection but to observe and remember His death. He did this for us so we may share in the Resurrection to Eternal Life made possible only through Him. We must mortify the deeds of the flesh and bury our former selves. The Passover season commemorates His death and the ensuing Feast of Unleavened Bread teaches us to be dead to sin - to put away leaven (sin). Christ’s resurrection is also depicted during this feast on wave-sheaf Sunday depicting when He ascended to the Father. This entire feast encapsulates the entire Gospel story: He died for our sins and was raised for our justification. We should put away this ‘leaven’ called Easter and keep the Feasts that Jesus Himself kept.
We pray that God will grant repentance and forgiveness and that the spirit comforts and encourages you to step out in faith to “be separate” from the world. Reject the holidays of men and learn about the genuine Holydays of God.
For more information see Should I Be Observing the Biblical Holydays? (off site)
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Deuteronomy 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
Don’t let this be said of God’s people today:
Jeremiah 17:23 But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction.
©1998 Truth On The Web Ministries: All the articles originated by Kenneth Hoeck and/or Brian Hoeck may be freely distributed or mirrored as long as presented in their entirety (including this statement), attributed to Truth on The Web, and proper author credit given.
Lent is the time directly following Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) a time of gross debauchery when people ‘get in all their sinning’ in preparation of fasting for Lent. It is clearly a pagan practice to observe Lent. That is not just an opinion. The origin goes back to the pagan beginnings of false gods.
"The word ‘lent’ comes from the old English ‘lencten’, which means ‘Spring’. Created (or adopted) by the Catholic Church around 525, under the guidance of Abbot Dionysus, the Little, Lent is the 40-day period from Ash Wednesday until Easter, that is set aside for fasting and seeking repentance. The observance is not found in the Bible, so it was not recognized by Jesus, the apostles, or the early Christian Church. However, now-a-days, it usually just means ‘giving-up’ something, usually some bad habit, or even just cutting back, in order to please God. This period of abstinence actually originated in Babylon, as a preliminary to the annual day that honored the death and resurrection of Tammuz; and later was observed in Egypt to honor Osiris, the son of Isis, who was the counterpart of Tammuz. According to Babylonian tradition, when Tammuz was killed, his mother cried so much, that he came back to life. The manifestation of this was the rebirth and blooming of all vegetation in the Spring, which came to symbolize his resurrection, and why Tammuz is honored in the Spring.... Ezekiel 8:12-13 talks about the women weeping for Tammuz and this actually refers to what became the 40-day Lenten period.” —Controlled By The Calendar: The Pagan Origins Of Our Major Holidays by David Allen Rivera
Lent leads into Easter and this is how that came about: Queen Ishtar’s son, Tammuz, was killed by a wild boar. Queen Ishtar (‘Easter’) told the people that Tammuz was now ascended to his father, Baal (also known as Nimrod -ref Gen 10:8-9), and that the two of them would be with the worshippers in the sacred candle or lamp flame as Trinity of the Father, Son and Spirit. Ishtar, who was now worshiped as the “Mother of God and Queen of Heaven”, continued to build her mystery religion. The queen told the worshippers that when Tammuz was killed by the wild pig, some of his blood fell on the stump of an evergreen tree, and the stump grew into a full new tree overnight. This made the evergreen tree sacred by the blood of Tammuz. She also proclaimed a forty day period of time of sorrow each year prior to the anniversary of the death of Tammuz. During this time, no meat was to be eaten. Worshippers were to meditate upon the sacred mysteries of Baal and Tammuz, and to make the sign of the “+” [cross] in front of their hearts as they worshiped. They also ate sacred cakes with the marking of a “T” or “+” cross on the top - from whence comes today’s “hot cross buns.”
According to the Catholic Church, Lent is derived from the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness, but it is admitted that the observance of Lent was unknown to the disciples and it did not find its way into the church until several centuries after the time of Christ. It should be noted that the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness preceded the earthly ministry of Jesus, which lasted some three and a half years, and was not connected in any way to His crucifixion or the Passover.
“‘It ought to be known,’ said Cassianus, the monk of Marseilles, writing in the fifth century, and contrasting the primitive Church with the Church in his day, ‘that the observance of forty days had no existence, so long as the perfection of that primitive Church remained inviolate.’ Whence, then, came this observance? The forty days abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess.” —The Two Babylons (Or The Papal Worship, Alexander Hislop, 1916, Neptune, NJ, Loizeaux Brothers, Inc., p.104)
“The celebration of Lent has no basis in Scripture, but rather developed from the pagan celebration of Semiramis’s mourning for 40 days over the death of Tammuz (cf. Ezek 8:14) before his alleged resurrection—-another of Satan’s mythical counterfeits.” —John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 1 Corinthians, Chicago: Moody, 1984
The bible does not leave us without a clue to these abominable practices becoming incorrectly regarded as acceptable worship of the LORD. Ezekiel 8:14-16 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshiped the sun toward the east.
“Note that Lent is a moveable observance, connected to and preceding the festival of Easter. Easter is celebrated on a day specified only by the Roman Catholic Church, and not the Bible, and is fixed based on the sun and the Spring or Vernal equinox.” —Schiefler’s BibleLight
“The reasons for celebrating our [Catholic] 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.” —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 witches of the world observe Imbolc on February 2 it “has its origins in a calving festival celebrated throughout northern Europe. In many cultures of the northern hemisphere, February was a purifactory month, so the rituals of Imbolc also incorporate purifactory elements (most notably bonfires). In the xian calendar this festival was converted to the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin (Mary), marking the end of the traditional 40 day period of ritual impurity following the birth of a child for Jewish women. It was on this day that the candles for the following year were purified (along with the Virgin!) in the western church - thus the name Candlemas. It is probable that the backward extension of Lent as a penitential (therefore purifactory) period had something to do with a survival of the pre-xian Imbolc.” (Pagan Holidays www.sympatico.ca/morgaine/holiday.html —a witchcraft website that is now no longer in service)
Dr. H.A. Ironside’s Lectures on the Book of Revelation (1920: p. 301) wrote: “It is a lamentable fact that Babylon’s principles and practices are rapidly but surely pervading the churches that escaped from Rome at the time of the Reformation. We may see evidences of it in the wide use of high-sounding ecclesiastical titles, once unknown in the reformed churches, in the revival of holy days and church feasts such as Lent, Good Friday, Easter, and Christ’s Mass, or, as it is generally written, Christmas ... some of these festivals ... when they are turned into church festivals, they certainly come under the condemnation of Galatians 4:9-11, where the Holy Spirit warns against the observance of days and months and times and seasons. All of them, and many more that might be added, are Babylonish in their origin, and were at one time linked with the Ashtoreth and Tammuz mystery-worship. It is through Rome that they have come down to us; and we do well to remember that Babylon is a mother, with daughters who are likely to partake of their mother’s characteristics....”
The Catholic Church ‘borrowed’ and ‘Christianized’ this pagan observance along with the smearing of ash on the face that came with the ‘bonfires’ of spring. “Nor was the forty-day fast period used by the heathen omitted in this work of amalgamating Christianity and paganism. This was made the Lenten period preceding the Easter festival, the same as it was the period of fasting preceding the festival in honour of the sun god’s son Tammuz. Of this work of moulding the church after pagan models, Hislop, in “Two Babylons,” speaks as follows:— To conciliate the pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and pagan festivals amalgamated, and by a complicated, but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter in general, to get paganism and Christianity, now far sunk in idolatry, in this as in many other things, to shake hands.” —Taken from Review & Herald, April 8, 1909.
“Preceding the Tammuz festival, the pagans celebrated a fast of forty days. This was a time of lamenting and weeping. Surrounded by these conditions, and receiving into its communion half-pagan converts, the church of the third and fourth centuries became leavened with heathen superstitions. There was developed a marked spirit to cater to the prejudices and customs of their heathen associates, hoping thereby to win the favour of the unconverted, and bring them within the fold of the church.” —Review & Herald, April 8, 1909
Neither a borrower or a LENTer be. Hope this helps you understand that “Lent” is an unbiblical festival that should not be observed by true believers.