What is Resurrection Sunday? If we use the correct biblical language of "Resurrection Sunday" when speaking to anyone, our co-workers, preaching, teaching, etc. about what the world calls "Easter" it may open doors of witnessing opportunities. Its hard to break a habit, but maybe the Holy Spirit will remind you of this in a conversation this month when we remember the death & resurrection of Christ.

About "Easter" - Some say the name Easter is well-known to be highly pagan in origin. However, this cannot be substantiated! A possible explanation is the English word Easter is of German/Saxon origin and not Babylonian as Alexander Hislop falsely claimed. The German equivalent is Oster. Oster (Ostern being the modern day equivalent) is related to Ost which means the rising of the sun, or simply in English, east. Oster comes from the old Teutonic form of auferstehen / auferstehung, which means resurrection, which in the older Teutonic form comes from two words, Ester meaning first, and stehen meaning to stand. These two words combine to form erstehen which is an old German form of auferstehen, the modern day German word for resurrection.

The name "Easter" is never mentioned in the original Scriptures. However, one English translation of the Bible does use the word erroneously. The King James Version is an example of this in Acts 12:4.

The book of Acts was originally written in the Greek language by the Christian Gentile and physician Luke. The Greek word that the King James Version translates as "Easter" is most certainly not the name "Easter," it is actually the word "Pascha" (Hebrew: Pesach) which means "Passover" - and this is how all accurate translations show it.

It was during an annual Passover celebration that Jesus was killed at Jerusalem. Passover was an annual Jewish religious celebration instituted by God (Leviticus 23:5). It dates from the time of Moses when God delivered the Israelites from bondage in Israel and spared their first-borns when all first-borns in Egypt died (Exodus 12:11f; Numbers 9:2f; Deuteronomy 16:1f; 2 Kings 23:21f).

by Dave Smith, D.Min.
Spring, TX