My friend Ernie Carrasco posted this on his blog, and because it is timely, I thought I’d repost it.
War on the Easter Bunny
… when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, [they] took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (John 12:12-13)
Recently there has been a big uproar in the conservative media about the “war on Easter.” Bill O’Reilly, who believes the Bible is allegorical, “lambasted President Obama and the White House for empowering ‘secular progressives’ to pressure school districts around the country to decide not to use terms like ‘Easter bunny’ and ‘Easter egg’” (from MediaMatters). My question is, what do the “Easter bunny” and “Easter eggs” have to do with Easter anyway? The bunny and eggs are pagan fertility symbols that were used to celebrate the vernal equinox and the beginning of new life – not in a spiritual sense, but simply the time when trees bud, green returns to plant life, the time for planting of new crops, etc. Even the name “Easter” is a derivative of the fertility goddess Ishtar (Babylonian), Astarte (Phoenician), or Ashtoreth (Canaanite). So, the White House wants to stop Easter egg hunts or remove these symbols from public schools – so what! Christians should not be offended by this. More offensive is the expulsion of God and His Word from the public schools. That boat has sailed never to return to port again. The outcry and outrage should have been sounded four decades ago, and now we are whining about the Easter bunny and Easter eggs!
As we enter this Holy Week, Christians should reject paganism in all its forms. “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Aw, what’s the harm in taking the kids out for an Easter egg hunt? Well, what does that teach them about Christ’s death on the cross, His three days in the tomb and His victorious resurrection? Instead of “Easter Sunday,” why not start calling it “Resurrection Sunday”? Instead of Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, why not celebrate what Christ has done to save us? Now, that really is a big deal!
On Sunday morning, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt (Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-38; John 12:12-15). That in itself is miraculous! Matthew, citing Zechariah 9:9, says that the donkey was a “foal” – really too young yet to bear a heavy burden – and yet this little donkey carried our Lord without complaint. Zechariah had prophesied this presentation of the King of kings, and within a few short days the King would be rejected and crucified as a common criminal. But then came Sunday! And soon, He will return as a conquering king, riding upon a white steed (Revelation 19:11-16) – no longer a Lamb to be slaughtered, but a Lion to conquer His enemies and rule with a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15).
So, kill the Easter bunny. It is of absolutely no value. We have a greater truth to defend and a greater message of hope to share!
Over the last century there has been a lot of controversy over the inclusion of the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4
(3b) (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
The problem here comes from the assumption of modern “Christians” that Easter is a Christian celebration. The truth is that many Christians did not celebrate Easter until the council of Nicaea banned the Christian celebration of Passover in 325 AD. During the writing of the New Testament Easter was unknown as a Christian celebration. It was not until many pagans began entering the Church, that Easter and Passover became confused.
The problem the translators had was what to do with the Greek word “Pascha”. In Greek this word can be translated as either Passover, or Easter. It depends on the context. The context is actually set out for us in verse 3 “Then were the days of unleavened bread.”
The days of unleavened bread actually occur in the week following Passover, and thus Passover was already over when Herod put Peter in Jail. So what was Herod waiting for, to put Peter to death? The only celebration left was Easter, which always comes around the same time as Passover.
Easter is not, and never was, Christian. Herod, in spite of being the king of Israel, was actually an Edomite, an Arab descended from Jacob’s brother Esau. Herod was a pagan, from a family of pagans, who had no regard for the celebrations of either the Jews or the Christians.
Easter, however, was not known as a Christian celebration at the time, since the Christians were still celebrating Passover with the Jews. Herod was celebrating the pagan Easter, not Passover.
So we know that the KJV inclusion of “Easter” in Acts 12:4 is the correct translation, and all translations which use the word “Passover” here, are in error.
For further information see http://www.chick.com/reading/books/158/158_02.asp
Dear Ernest please check this out http://hipandthigh.blogspot.co.uk/2006/04/king-james-only-easter-bunny-trail.html
Hi Dan I agree with you on nearly all of what you write but I didn’t realise you were a KJO and on that issue we disagree. The link I posted above was meant for you not Ernest so please read and let me know your thoughts.
In addition to my notes, below, I thought it would be good to bring Scripture to bear on the subject. Your criticism, and that of the article you linked to, are in error because of the explanation given in John 19;
“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.” John 19:31
The days of unleavened bread were not “high days”. Only the Passover itself was, and though the whole 8 days is often called “Passover” the high holy day is the Passover proper. This was why the Jews wanted Jesus’ body off of the cross for the Passover, but had He been crucified on the other days, the days of unleavened bread, they would have left Him up there.
If you study the law of Passover in the Old Testament, you will find that Passover itself, was declared to be a special Sabbath, even if it occurred on another day of the week, and was considered a “high holy day”. This is the sense of what is being said in John 19:31, and it clearly differentiates that day from the days of unleavened bread.
16 And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. 17 And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten. 18 In the first day shall be an holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work therein: Numbers 28:16
No doubt it was to this verse that the KJV translators went to understand what was going on in Acts 12:4. This is consistent with the teaching of the entire bible; Our modern translators have been infected by a disease from Rome. You shouldn’t listen to them.
In that article you linked to, he also speaks about “Oestre” being a Saxon goddess. No doubt this is true, but he fails to mention that anthropologists have noted that paganism is the same the world over. In the tribes who have never had contact with the west they have the same mother-goddess worship as pagan Rome. This mother-goddess has many different names, among them Semiramis, Isis, Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Ishtar, and Rome’s Mary. It is all the same goddess.
What the ancient pagans did, when they were forced to come into the Catholic church, by Constantine, is they saw the similarities between their Mother-goddess cult, and the biblical story, and they attributed the Mother-goddess to Mary, the mother of Christ. This is why the Passover crucifiction story was changed to the story of Semiramis and Tammuz, and this is why it took on the name of the Mother-goddess “Easter”.
This is why Easter is not, and never was, Christian.
Hi Dan sorry to keep posting you links but I think this link has all the questions that for me prove the KJV is not perfect and therefore not word for word inspired althought it is a very good translation it does have errors like Easter. http://www.bible.ca/b-kjv-only.htm#questions
The reason I believe the KJV translators included the word Easter here instead of Passover is simply a lack of the Hebraic understanding of things. They saw that it said in the TR “this was during the days of unleavened bread” and not understanding that the whole feast was collectively known as this they reasoned that the Greek word Pascha could not mean Passover here because Passover must be over for unleavened bread to have begun and so they reasoned it had to refer to the Pagan feast that Herod would have kept Easter. One other thing you say that the translators translated the word Pascha as Passover in all other instances where it occurred. My question is if it meant Passover in all other occurrences how could it have changed its meaning here? It did in fact mean passover for the Word of God even tells us this in Luke 22:1.
I am not sending this for us get into some argument I won’t post anything else because I love the work your doing and believe that much of what you say makes perfect sense.
Shalom God bless
Thanks for writing. I hope I didn’t give you the impression that I think the KJV is inspired. I don’t. If it has any inspiration it is a secondary inspiration, being an accurate translation of the original.
My own impression is that Erasmus, and the KJV translators, did in actuality, what Westcott and Hort claimed to do. They weeded out errors that had crept into the text, and essentially restored it to its original condition. I think they made a few mistakes, such as their use of Lucifer in Isaiah 14, or transliterating Cherubims instead of using either Cherubs, or Cherubim. I do, however, think that none of the KJV errors are serious. No essential doctrine is harmed in any way.
The term “infallible” means “totally truthful” and in this sense I think it could be applied to the KJV. You can trust it with your life, and if you can’t what bible could be trusted?
For every minor error, in the KJV, I could point out a dozen major errors in the NASB, the NIV, or the NKJV.
What Westcott and Hort claimed, was that they were restoring the original text, but what they did in fact was to compile a text that contains all the errors that have crept into the text over the last 2,000 years. Another amazing thing, is that there are many cases where the Critical Text reads like the Textus Receptus, and the modern translators have actually twisted it in some way. I can’t think of a specific example at the moment, but I could find some if required.
I read the NIV exclusively for some 12 years, and before that I used the Living Bible. My wife’s grandparents gave us a KJV one time, and I was offended! “That isn’t my English” was my thought! It was only after doing some research that I decided to use the KJV. It turns out that the KJV reading level is, in most cases, actually at a lower grade level than most of the modern versions!
I recommend the “Defined King James Bible” from The Bible for Today. What they have done is to give definitions for the English words that have become archaic, and occasionally have added the definition of what the Greek or Hebrew means.
I also found that, as I was learning other languages like French, German, or Czech, that they all use the plural form of “you” as well as the singular (thee, thou, thine, or ty, die, or dine). It turns out that almost every language uses these forms of “you” except modern English, and modern English speakers still want to differentiate between the singular and the plural. Have you ever heard someone say “how are yous guys?”
There is a sense that English was a more pure language, and closer to the Greek and Hebrew, 400 years ago than it is now. In fact I have heard linguists call modern English a “whore” of a language! (A secular linguist on CBC radio, some years ago)
As for an English version that is as accurate as the KJV? I am waiting for someone to do a translation based on the TR, and the Ben Chayyim text, who uses a literal translation technique, avoiding paraphrase as much as possible. Those are my simple requirements, and I’m still waiting!
Once I get fluent in Hebrew maybe I’ll do my own translation! 😉
Thanks for your kind response.
Thanks for talking the time to reply Dan and yes I agree with you that the KJ is probably the most faithful translation out there and I to am waiting on someone to do a faithful translation in modern English.
KJO is a big umbrella. I am certainly NOT a Ruckmanite, and nor do I think the AV is perfect. It is the best we have in the English language. On this I am certain. I have some disagreements with the AV translators in the places where they used paraphrase (12 places), and this would mean I have more disagreements with the NASB, the NKJV, and the NIV. The Message is a piece of garbage which is not worth the paper it is written on.
There are other translations that translated “pascha” as Easter, including the Geneva bible. The AV translated “pascha” as Passover in every other instance, so it is obvious they knew both translations of the word. They obviously knew there was a different context in its use in Acts 12. Ask a Greek today what “pascha” means and he will tell you “Easter”.
If anything they were ahead of their time.
I have very little regard for modern “scholarship” especially the modern translators. Any person who uses the Critical Text is not one who can be trusted. I have studied the lives and writings of Westcott and Hort, and certainly cannot accept them as scholars. The bible they foisted on the unsuspecting world is a fraud.
I will read your article, but you know where I am coming from, up front.
As you might imagine, I have several problems with the article you referenced.
The first one is his arrogant attitude which comes across immediately. In spite of this I did read the whole article. Such arrogance is apparent in the writings of men like Westcott and Hort, as well as most modern “scholars” the most recent that comes to mind being James White.
Interestingly, in a rebuttal of James Whites “The King James Only Controversy” has this to say about the men who originated the Critical Text.
“WESTCOTT AND HORT
Westcott and Hort were Anglican priests and closet Catholics who lived in England in the 19th century (1800s). It was the same time in which there was a movement within the Anglican clergy to reunite with the Pope, led notably by Cardinal Newman, an Anglican priest turned Roman Catholic prelate.
The beliefs and agenda of Westcott and Hort can be gleaned by reading their personal correspondence preserved in their biographies. While they were deciding what does and does not belong in their revision of the Greek New Testament, they were involved in:
Worship of the Virgin (Mariolatry).
Necromancy (spiritualism – calling up the dead in séances).
Speaking with ghosts (devils).
The Bible forbids all three activities. Worship of the Virgin violates both the First and Second of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). Necromancy, witchcraft, and consulting with familiar spirits are forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:10-12. ” ( http://www.tulipgems.com/WhichBible5.htm )
By the way, this is an excellent article, evidently written by a Calvinist. While I have some serious disagreements with Calvinism, I know a well written article when I see it. Check it out http://www.tulipgems.com/WhichBible5.htm
Back to the article you recommended;
He failed to mention the numerous times the Geneva bible translators translated “pascha” as “Easter”, and the fact that the King James translators changed them all to Passover, except the one in Acts 12. He is obviously ignorant of the fact that the AV translators compared other translations when doing their work. Why would they change all instances of the Geneva translations use of Easter, to Passover except one? Was it a mistake as Fred Butler maintains, or did they have good reason to do it?
He examines several of the arguments put together and then dismisses them, concluding that Herod was secular! I am sorry, but I doubt that Herod was secular. The Romans were pagans to the core, and Herod owed his throne to Rome. Herod also built the city of Teberias, as a Greek city, complete with Greek “statues”. He was also responsible for Helenizing Israel to a great extent. No, there is no doubt that Herod was a pagan, but was he a pagan who cared what the Jews thought?
Would the Jews care if Herod killed someone they considered a heretic, and very dangerous? Someone who was turning Hundreds of Jews into Christians? Would they object if he Killed Peter right there and then? I don’t think so. In verse 3 Herod actually arrested Peter BECAUSE it pleased the Jews.
The reason Jesus was taken down from the cross was because of the (special Passover) Sabbath, NOT because of the days of unleavened bread.
The answer that makes the most sense, is that Herod was preoccupied with his own celebration, and didn’t want to interrupt the festivities with an execution.
I am more interested in what the bible actually says than the KJV only controversy. Having said that I find I must post, again, from the article I quoted above. First let me say that I am aware of Gail Riplinger’s problems. If I have to be pigeonholed, I would prefer to throw in my lot with Dr. Donald Waite, and David Cloud. The King James is the most accurate bible we have. It is infallible, meaning “totally truthful”, and I don’t think there are any errors that affect any essential doctrine. This cannot be said about the modern versions. There is not one modern version that can compare with the AV, not one!
From the article above, take a quick look at the major manuscripts that the Critical Text is based on;
The Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus disagree with each other over 3,000 times in the Gospels alone!!! The Sinaiticus was found on a trash pile in St. Catherine’s Monastery, near Mt. Sinai, in 1844.
It contains nearly all of the New Testament, but it adds the Shepherd of Hermes and the Epistle of Barnabas (contrary to Revelation 22:18). On nearly every page of the manuscript there are corrections and revisions, done by ten different people.
Even worse, the Shepherd of Hermes and the Epistle of Barnabas include commands to do things God has forbidden in His Word, including:
Take the name of the beast.
Give up to the beast.
Form a One-World Government.
Kill those not receiving his name.
Worship female virgins.
Receive another spirit.
Avoid marriage and permit fornication.
Abstain from fasting.
Here we see Satan going beyond questioning and misquoting God’s Word. Here he is advancing to his third tactic. He is flatly contradicting God’s Word.
No wonder U.S. News and World Report magazine, in its 11-8-93 issue reveals plans by Canon Seminar scholars for a radical revision of the New Testament that will replace the Book of Revelation with Other writings …[previously] dismissed by church leaders as unauthentic or heretical.” http://www.tulipgems.com/WhichBible5.htm
No doubt this is where the whole thing is going. Which bible will be the one the Antichrist uses, and promotes? Which bible will the Harlot Church use to put the Beast on the throne? It certainly will not be the KJV, and for this reason I will stick with it!
Thanks for your reply Dan. I agree the modern bibles for the most part have major corruptions in them. You have made some very good points there and I will have to take more time to study them. Although the king James is a excellant Bible I do not enjoy reading the old English it just makes so much hard going for me. I use the ESV. Can you recommend any English version that is free from corruptions?