...not-so-plain Easter

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by robycop3, Dec 9, 2004.

  1. robycop3

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    Jul 31, 2000
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    After "speaking" with Dr. Bob, about my not wanting to dig up the dead, but still wishing to discuss the matter with Ralph, I figured it's time to hopefully lay to rest the "Easter-Passover" controversy to rest on this board again. It seems to pop up roughly every 6 months, SO-O-o-o...

    Plain Ol'Ralph:(To Bro.James) Oh, ok, since Herod was referring to his concept of the period of time known as Easter, the Word of God is now wrong? Not!

    Ralph, LUKE wrote Acts, not Herod. Herod didn't refer to ANYTHING in this Scripture...Luke recorded some of his ACTS, and not his words. The word pascha in 12:4 was written by LUKE. There's NOT ONE WORD of Herod's in Acts.

    And each reference you've given? Better look a little closer at the Greek, friend.

    I believe Bro. James certainly HAS done just that...and like myself and every other bro & sis here who's looked up the word pascha or asked someone proficient in Koine Greek, he's seen that in Luke's time it meant PASSOVER and nothing else. Easter didn't exist in Luke's time. Was Luke referring to Ishtar? Certainly not. If he was, he'd've written ISHTAR, PALLAS ATHENE, QUEEN OF HEAVEN, EOSTRE, or one of the other names for Ishtar. PASCHA WAS NEVER A NAME FOR ISHTAR! Pascha is the Greek form of the Hebrew pesach, which means PASSOVER and nothing else. Pesach was the name GOD gave the Passover observancein Exodus 12 & at the time Asherah/Ishtar was unknown to Israel.

    Besides, Peter was out of prison before the Passover. LEARN something!!

    Verse 12:3 plainly says these events occurred during the days of unleavened bread. This was DURING Passover.

    With Dr. Bob's permission, I shall now post a little study I did about the Easter/Passover thingy:

    Time to put the "Easter" issue in Acts 12:4 in the KJV to rest once and for all. It is at best an anomaly, at worst a careless error, but in any case, incorrect.

    First, Luke wrote Acts no earlier than AD 62, as Paul was sent to Rome in 60 AD and Luke mentions Paul's ministering for 2 years while under house arrest in Rome, and as the results of Paul's hearing before Caesar aren't mentioned, it wasn't written too long after that time, either...almost certainly it was written before AD 68, the end of Nero's reign. It's important to establish the approximate date of the writing of Acts because Easter did not exist any earlier than C.155 AD and certainly didn't exist when Acts was written.

    The theory that Luke was referring to a feast of Ishtar that Herod was observing is pure imagination. There's not a shred of Scriptural nor secular historical evidence that Herod or anyone else in that area worshipped Ishtar at that time. Besides that, Ishtar was then known as PALLAS ATHENE among the Greeks and the QUEEN OF HEAVEN among the Jews. The Greek word 'pascha' was NEVER a name for Ishtar or any ceremony associated with it.

    Everywhere else the Greek word 'pascha' appears in Scripture, it's translated 'Passover'. This word is the Greek form of the Hebrew 'pesach', which means'Passover' and nothing else. There's simply no valid reason for the AV translators to have rendered this word 'Easter' in this one case.(Tyndale coined the word "Passover" in the 1530s when he made his translation of the New testament. Most earlier English translations simply said, "paska, paschal, pask",etc. or left the word untranslated.)

    But is this enough to establish that Easter in the KJV's Acts 12:4 is wrong. No. So, let's let the KJV itself uncover its own goof.

    First, let's see God's rules He gave when He established Passover.(I shall leave out verses not pertinent to this study.)(The month referred to is Nisan in the Jewish calendar, their first month of the year, roughly corresponding to April on the Gregorian calendar.)

    Exodus 12: 1And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying 2This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. 3Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: 6And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. 14And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. 15Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses: for whosoever eateth leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel. 16And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you. 17And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. 18In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even.

    Here, God establishes the exact dates, starting time, and ending time for the entire observance...and in V.18,He establishes that the people are to eat only unleavened bread from the time of the paschal meal until the end of the observance. (It's a gimme that the people could eat other foods long as they were unleavened also, as the LAMB certainly isn't bread!)Please keep in mind the time of the first holy convocation in V.16 as I'll be referring to it later.

    Next...Did Passover consist ONLY of the paschal meal, with the rest of the week, the days of Unleavened Bread, being considered a separate observance? NOT ACCORDING TO GOD! Here's what God said to Ezekiel.(His writings began in the 30th year of the Jews' exile in Babylon.)

    Ezekiel 45:21 In the first month, in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the passover(Hebrew pesach), a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten.

    I don't believe God could have been any plainer. According to Him, the ENTIRE WEEK of unleavened bread is Passover, NOT just the paschal meal. And it is GOD'S Passover, not Israel's! God could have called it anything He chose, and He chose pesach/pascha. And He established its beginning and ending times, and the specific acts within the observance to be performed by the people, as He chose, as He set forth to Moses, whose writings of these commands of God became our Exodus 12.

    We see this command obeyed in the New Testament, although many Jews by then had begun to come to Jerusalem to observe the paschal meal, instead of observing it in their homes. Obviously God permitted this because Joseph & Mary, & JESUS HIMSELF followed that practice.

    The New Testament Scriptures clearly establish that Passover and the days of unleavened bread are synonymous:

    Matthew 26:17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
    Mark 14:1
    After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death.
    Mark 14:12 And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the passover?
    Luke 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.

    Luke was a gentile, but remember, a gentile could observe passover long as he/she followed the same rules as the Israelis did. Definitely, Luke observed the paschal meal with Jesus. Now, how did the Jews who arrested Jesus that night view the entire observation? Remember, those Jews were highly-legalistic men who believed Jesus was rebelling against the law as given to Moses. They were so absorbed with this that they missed all the prophecies about Messiah that Jesus fulfilled. They saw the gnat but missed the camel. Let's see:

    John 18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.

    Now we know Jesus had eaten the paschal meal the previous evening before he was arrested & taken before Annas & Caiaphas. After He was seen by Caiaphas, the events of the above verse occurred. Knowing the paschal meal had already happened, to what was John referring when he said, "eat the passover"? Why, the special meals consisting entirely of unleavened bread and other unleavened foods, of course. He had hearkened to God when He had said the ENTIRE WEEK was Passover.

    Now, there are some who say there were TWO DATES for observing the paschal meal, and that John was referring to the second one in Ch. 18 & 19, but this is entirely without foundation & entirely against God's commands in Exodus 12. Remember, John had eaten the paschal meal with JESUS the evening previous to the events about which he wrote in Ch.18-19 and he knew exactly what the correct time for the paschal meal was. And those legalistic Jews who'd arrested Jesus certainly wouldn't have observed Passover contrary to God's commands! They knew not to defile themselves by not entering a gentile govt. building, so it's a gimme that they knew all the other Passover commands.

    Even the Roman Pilate believe this! Pilate also knew the paschal meal was over. However, he said:

    John 18:39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

    So even Pilate called the whole observance Passover!

    Did John contradict himself when he wrote:
    John 19:14 "And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!"?

    Of course not. This is simply more proof that Passover consists of the ENTIRE WEEK OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. But for what part of Passover were the Jews preparing? Why, the HOLY CONVOCATION DECREED BY GOD IN EXODUS 12:16, OF COURSE! This convocation was a HIGH SABBATH(John 19:31), in which all the rules of the regular weekly Sabbath were observed, plus the special rules for that particular holy day. Therefore on Preparation Day the Jews were doing all the mundane work ahead of time that they could. They washed all their clothes and themselves, thoroughly cleaned their homes, prepared their meals for the next day as far as they could, made sure to have enough fuels for the next day, etc.(Feel free to ask any Jew what a High Sabbath is.A High Sabbath is any special Holy Day, whether it falls upon a regular weekly Sabbath day or not.)

    I believe the Scriptures as found in the KJV establish beyond a doubt that the entire week of unleavened bread is Passover. GOD HIMSELF said as much to Ezekiel, and the Jews were following this decree in the time of Jesus, Luke, and John. IT WAS GOD WHO ESTABLISHED PASSOVER TO BEGIN WITH, AND WHO DECREED THE WHOLE WEEK OF UNLEAVENED BREAD TO BE PASSOVER!

    This brings us to the actual boo-boo in Acts 12. Here's Verse 3: And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

    Plainly, the events of Acts 12:1-19 occurred during a Passover week. In the KJV, the words "then were the days" do NOT mean the days of UB FOLLOWED the events narrated in these verses. Please check the GREEK to see it was DURING these days. The sentence could easily have read, "The days of unleavened bread were then." At any rate, the days of unleavened bread here referenced were PASSOVER.

    Therefore Verse 4 has to be referring to PASSOVER, as the events took place during the days of unleavened bread, which was Passover, Easter didn't then exist, & the Greek word pascha then meant ONLY Passover & nothing else. Rendering 'pascha' as 'Easter' here is clearly incorrect. Everywhere else 'pascha' appears in the Greek, the AV men(and every translator who followed) rendered it "Passover". If Luke had been referring to anything else, he would have used another word or words besides 'pascha'.

    Conclusion:"Easter" in the KJV's Acts 12:4 is incorrect.

    As always, I encourage everyone to read the verses surrounding those which I quoted, and to verify the history which I stated from any good encyclopedia.

    In Christ,

    Cranston P. Roby

    <edited to remove member name from title>

    [ December 09, 2004, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
  2. AVL1984

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    Mar 28, 2002
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    Good info, Roby. Thanks. Hope it works, but, you know how some are.

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