It turns out that the celebration of Easter (Eostre or Ostara) is no Christian holiday after all at least with that name. Easter’s a Germanic Pagan celebration of rebirth (similar to Jesus’ coming back to life) and it’s represented by eggs (rebirth) and bunnies (originally statuettes made of wood).
“Eostre or Ostara (Northumbrian Old English: Eostre; West Saxon Old English: Eastre; Old High German: Ôstara) is a goddess in Germanic paganism who, by way of the Germanic month bearing her name (Northumbrian: E-osturmo-naþ; West Saxon: E-astermo-naþ; Old High German: Ôstarmânoth), is the namesake of the festival of Easter. Eostre is attested by Bede in his 8th-century work De temporum ratione, where Bede states that during E-osturmo-naþ (the equivalent to the month of April) feasts were held in Eostre’s honor among the pagan Anglo-Saxons, but had died out by the time of his writing, replaced by the Christian ‘Paschal month’ (a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus).
By way of linguistic reconstruction, the matter of a Proto-Germanic goddess called Austro has been examined in detail since the foundation of Germanic philology in the 19th century by scholar Jacob Grimm and others. As the Germanic languages descend from Proto-Indo-European (PIE), linguists have traced the name to a Proto-Indo-European goddess of the dawn *Hv(2)ewso’s (Auso’s), from which descends the common Germanic goddess that Eostre and Ostara are held to descend. Scholars have linked the goddess’ name to a variety of Germanic personal names, a series of location names in England, over 150 2nd century BCE Matronae (the matronae Austriahenea) inscriptions discovered in Germany, and have debated whether or not Eostre is an invention of Bede’s, and theories connecting Eostre with records of Germanic Easter customs (including hares and eggs) have been proposed. Eostre and Ostara are sometimes referenced in modern popular culture, and are venerated in some forms of Germanic Neopaganism.”
It’s another proof that Christianity is
- a Jew from the reformed tradition (Nietzsche, Gott ist tot, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft & Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen, 1883 & 1885)
“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
— Nietzsche, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft, Section 125
- and some sort of extension and/or adaptation of Paganism (especially Mithraism).
“Early Christian apologists noted similarities between Mithraic and Christian rituals, but nonetheless took an extremely negative view of Mithraism: they interpreted Mithraic rituals as evil copies of Christian ones. For instance, Tertullian wrote that as a prelude to the Mithraic initiation ceremony, the initiate was given a ritual bath and at the end of the ceremony, received a mark on the forehead. He described these rites as a diabolical counterfeit of the baptism and chrismation of Christians. Justin Martyr contrasted Mithraic initiation communion with the Eucharist:
‘Wherefore also the evil demons in mimicry have handed down that the same thing should be done in the Mysteries of Mithras. For that bread and a cup of water are in these mysteries set before the initiate with certain speeches you either know or can learn.’ — Francis Legge”
All the while, the Pagan celebration of Easter (Eostre or Ostara) has become heavily accepted as part of the secular (not to be confused with atheism; but rather the rejection that a bastardized version of a religion mandates people’s lives including hatred, wars, human right violations and murders) American lifestyle, which has bled into Christianity. The most troublesome part of the bunny-and-egg tradition is that it influences all nations what’ve become Americanized for the past century or so.
We as Christians should celebrate Resurrection Sunday instead — not give it the Pagan name of the celebration of rebirth.
While you digest the above, today’s Lent devotional comes from John 11:1-27, which also refers to the Resurrection of Jesus (the incarnation of God, one of the three representations of the Godhead).
“1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judæa again. 8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. 11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. 17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. 18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. 21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.” (John 11:1-27 KJV)
Are you confused? You’re not the only one.