Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Devotional

I wanted to write a devotional about the origins of "Easter". It would seem most Christians have taken precious little time to research how the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection, the most pivotal aspect of Christ's work on Earth, came to be, and how it became known by the name "Easter". This devotional can serve as a jump-off point for your own invaluable research on the subject. This is Kindergarten level stuff, the hors d'oeuvre before the entree, and I am sure your own study will take you into much deeper waters. So you will need to do the remainder of the homework yourself. But, being the good Christian you are, I am sure that is not an issue. Right?

The Roman Catholic Church was very adamant about “Christianizing” the various pagan cultures surrounding Rome. One of their means of doing this was observe and learn their culture and spiritual traditions. Once there, they would contrive a means of amalgamating their various pagan observances with some aspect of Christianity as to assist with the understanding of the Christian principle. This is the case with Christmas as well as Easter. All the extraneous, non-religious, aspects of Christmas are crossed over from the pagan aspects, mostly surrounding the beliefs of Father Christmas, Father Time, or who those familiar with mythology will identify as “Kronos”. This is why Christmas was located around December 25, very close proximity to the Winter Solstice. All the extraneous Christmas observances, like Christmas trees, decorations, and gift giving, are derivatives of the pagan aspects of the holiday.

Easter, on the other hand, has an even more curious origin than Christmas. The pagan cultures they were amalgamating with celebrated the Spring Equinox. As it were, this is when the Jews typically celebrated their Passover, which as we know, was when Christ was crucified and resurrected.

Ēostre, with the icons of Easter.
The unfortunate aspect is that, in the amalgamation of a pagan feast with a Christian observance, the name of the pagan deity which symbolized the pagan observance was retained. Her name was Ēostre, which is the transliterated name of the Germanic pagan goddess, whose symbols pervade our Easter observances. The word “Easter” is a variation of the same name. This goddess was, among other things, a fertility goddess, who utilized symbols such as rabbits, eggs, fresh green grass, birds, budding trees, and lilies. Other variations of the name include Austron and Ostara. Ostara is the name recognized by various New Age disciplines, and you will find this pagan goddess of extreme importance with those who practice naturalistic forms of witchcraft, like Wicca.

A most disturbing association of "Easter" is that this goddess is also regarded by some as the same goddess known in Akkadian, Babylonian, and Sumerian mythologies as "Ishtar". Believe me when I say that Ishtar was bad news. She was a goddess of war, sex, and all things nocturnal. She demanded human blood sacrifice, and some of the most well-known, and most effective, means of human torture were devised by her followers. Being a goddess of night, she was sometimes associated with a Gnostic and Kabbalistic deity of Jewish folklore known as Lilith, who manifests herself as an  owl ( a nocturnal creature ), who, according to legend, attempted to seduce Adam before Eve's creation. Another legend has her as Adam’s companion before Eve was created, but refused to yield to Adam as her husband. She is mentioned once in the Old Testament in  Isaiah 34:14, which is translated as "screech owl" in the King James Version. Lilith is keyed to Strong's H3917.

Both Lilith and Ishtar, being the same goddess, has her roots traced all the way back to the pseudopigraphical book of Enoch, when the Watchers descended upon Mt. Hermon to have sex with, and bear children with, human women, an act that is also recorded in Genesis 6:1-4. In the King James Version, the Watchers were called "bene ha Elohim" (H1121 and H430) and is translated as "sons of God". These fallen angels manifested themselves as "gods", and theological scholars refer to this pantheon as "The Divine Council". You can do further study at The Divine Council. The progeny of these gods and human women, were giants, and are actually called "Nephilim" (H5303) and were considered to be the "fallen ones". These watchers are actually the fallen angels, and who Evangelical Christians commonly believe are demons. This unholy union between the Heavenly and the Earthly was Satan's attempt to corrupt the seed of men, from whom Christ was destined to appear. The genetic imperfection, though preserved in Christ's lineage, somehow passed through the flood, mostly likely through Ham or his wife, and created the antediluvian giants that are more common in Scripture, like Goliath, or Og of Bashan. Some legends even equate Nimrod with Gilgamesh of Sumerian Mythology, who had both celestial and terrestrial parents, who built whole cities, including the city of Uruk, in honor of Ishtar. Nimrod was a Gibborim, according to Scripture, which is keyed to Strong’s H1368, and is translated as “mighty one” in the King James Version. Other ancient cultures regarded Gibborim as a subset of the Nephilim, and believed Nimrod to be just that, a giant offspring of a fallen angel and human female. Some mythologies, like Greek Mythology, regard this offspring as “demi-gods”.

In Enoch, upon descending upon Mt. Hermon, Ishtar’s original name was Azazel. And she was actually a he. HE became transgendered as to better accommodate being a deity that represented sex. She taught women the art of seduction, including the use of make-up and the embroidering of hair. She also taught mankind metallurgy, or how to manipulate metals, which is required to manufacture the machinations of warfare, like swords and shields. She (or he) was, after all, a goddess of war.

And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all colouring tinctures."

(1 Enoch 8:1-2)

That is the background of the name “Easter” and who ancient history regards her to be. Regarding the inclusion of "Easter" in the King James Version, it is as follows.

The New Testament was originally written in Greek, as opposed to the Old Testament being written in Hebrew. All English versions, including the King James Version, are translations from either the original languages, as they have been preserved, and from previous English translations and other translations, to reflect the changes in languages as they mature.

For example, two indispensable resources the King James translators used were St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate translation, as well as previous English translations, such as the Bishop’s Bible and the Great Bible. The King James Version itself was translated in 1611 with some minor revisions in the 18th century. The most noticeable of these revisions was the complete removal of the Apocrypha, the books that was between the Testaments that liturgical denominations still use.

In the New Testament, there is the Greek word "Pascha". You may have even heard Jews refer to the "Paschal Feast" or the "Paschal Sacrifice". This word appears 29 times in the King James Version of the Bible. In 28 of those occurrences, “Pascha” is translated correctly as "Passover". This word is keyed to Strong's G3957. Those occurrences are as follows.

Matthew 26:2, 26:17, 26:18, 26:19, Mark 14:1, 14:12, 14:14, 14:16, Luke 2:41, 22:1, 22:7, 22:8, 22:11, 22:13, John 2:13, 2:23, 6:4, 11:55, 12:1, 18:28, 18:39, 19:14, 1st Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:28

However, in Acts 12:4, the King James translators wrongly translated the word "Pascha" as "Easter". It should be noted that most of the newer English translations have corrected Acts 12:4 to say “Passover” instead of “Easter”.

The most troubling aspect in all this is that the Jewish feast of Passover is the feast that has direct correlation to Christ's atonement on the cross. Striking the blood on the doorposts is a corollary to being "washed in the blood of the lamb" or "applying the blood to your own heart". Eating the lamb, including the organs and entrails (purtenance), correlates to Christ's command to eat of His own flesh (John 6:51). It is quite sad and troubling that the Church has allowed the inertia of time and tradition to justify calling the day of our Lord’s resurrection by the name of a pagan goddess. Even Churches that do not condone the pagan symbols, like eggs, baskets, and rabbits, still insist on calling this day "Easter", probably never realizing they are using the name of a Pagan goddess, just because it is falsely translated as such in the King James Version of the Bible. It probably is hateful in the ears of our Lord to see His Passover commemorated with the name of another god.  In my opinion, we should abandon the name “Easter” altogether, and start calling this day, “Resurrection Day”, “Atonement Day”, “Reconciliation Day”, or “Salvation Day”.

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