|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|11-11-2019 10:27 PM|
This Is Where the Word 'Easter' Comes From
From Time Magazine
Why do we use the word Easter to describe the spring’s earliest holiday? There’s more than one theory, but the most interesting intertwines with the tale of a monk known as the Venerable Bede.
A learned man in literature and astrology, Bede worked to improve souls in 7th-century England. The scholar also did a lot of writing, and while he covered topics from spelling to science, he spilled a lot of ink on the question of which day was the right one to celebrate Easter — a contentious topic back in his day.
Should it coincide with the older Jewish celebration of Passover, as some early Christians said it should, meaning it could fall on different days of the week depending on the Jewish calendar? Or must it be on a Sunday, the historic day of Jesus’ resurrection, as other Christians decreed? Which calendar should be used? Catholics said it should be after the spring equinox, but when is the spring equinox anyway? (The calculation that’s been generally settled on today is still complicated.)
Tucked away in Bede’s lengthy analysis is the origin story, just a few lines suggesting what inspired the name of the holiday: a goddess named Eostre, who represents spring and fertility. Pagans had celebrated her in a month that became known as Eosturmonath in Old English, he wrote, which corresponds to what we now call April. And so people started “calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honored name of the old observance.”
It’s a tidy tale, especially since other Easter trappings have similar associations. “The eggs and the bunnies, those are fertility things,” as linguist Gretchen McCulloch points out. Other Christian holiday words have pagan roots, too, like yule and yuletide, which come from the name of an ancient midwinter festival.
But language experts are also quick to say that, so far as they know, no other historical source confirms Bede’s account of the word’s evolution. “Easter is a very old word. It goes back to the earliest varieties of Old English,” says Cliff Sofield, a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary. And it’s hard to know the nitty-gritty details about how any word came to be, especially one people started uttering a millennium ago.
Another theory is that the English word Easter comes from an older German word for east, which comes from an even older Latin word for dawn. In spring, dawns mark the beginning of days that will outlast the nights, and those dawns erupt in the east. So that tale is tidy, too. As Merriam-Webster Editor-at-Large Peter Sokolowski sums it up in an email, “The basic logic seems to have been: ‘Spring > sun > dawn > east.'”
Many European languages, like French, have words for Easter that come directly from the Hebrew word for Passover, the springtime holiday that commemorates the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in Egypt. Though English didn’t go that route, there are still vestiges of the word for Passover in Easter-time things like paschal candles.
Though it has fallen out of use, the word easter has also been used as a totally secular verb meaning “to turn or move to the east.” Easter can also be used as an adjective to describe things that lie toward or nearest to the east. The Italian poet Ludovico Ariosto used the latter version in a line people might want to co-opt for any holiday toasts they’re giving. “The dawning brake,” he wrote 500 years ago, “and all the easter parts were full of light.”
Write to Katy Steinmetz at [email protected].
|11-11-2019 10:23 PM|
The yearly celebration of Jesus' resurrection is the oldest feast of the Christian Church, and the resurrection has been a central belief of the Christian faith from its beginning. As Paul said, if Christ is not risen, our preaching is in vain and we are a people most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:12-14). Of course, every Sunday's worship is a celebration of the risen Lord, but a special day for the resurrection has been part of the life of the church from its early days.
The earliest Christians generally celebrated the resurrection on the 14th of Nisan (our March-April), the date of the Jewish Passover.
Why Is Easter’s Date Different Every Year?
During the first three centuries of the Church, when believers were frequently under persecution, there was little effort to establish uniform observances of the Christian festivals. Some of the Gentile Christians began celebrating Easter in the nearest Sunday to the Passover, since Jesus actually arose on a Sunday. This especially became the case in the western part of the Roman Empire. In Rome itself, different congregations celebrated Easter on different days.
However, when Constantine became emperor and Christianity was no longer illegal, it was possible to consider more carefully the date of Easter. One of the purposes of the Council of Nicea in 325 was to settle that date. Constantine wanted Christianity to be totally separated from Judaism and did not want Easter to be celebrated on the Jewish Passover. The Council of Nicea accordingly required the feast of the resurrection to be celebrated on a Sunday and never on the Jewish Passover. Easter was to be the Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.
Early Church (and Continued) Controversy and Confusion Over the Date
The ruling of the Council of Nicea was not immediately accepted everywhere. It did not sit well for those who had been celebrating the resurrection on the Passover to suddenly be declared heretics. Confusion was also caused by Rome and Alexandria having different dates for fixing the spring equinox, sometimes resulting in different Easter dates.
Eventually, however, the ruling of the Council was accepted by all the church, and the date of Easter was agreed to fall between March 22 and April 25. However, in the 16th century, the Western church accepted the new Gregorian calendar while the Eastern and Russian churches kept the Julian calendar. Because of this, Easter is again celebrated on different dates.
|11-11-2019 10:09 PM|
|11-08-2019 01:00 PM|
DIXIE DUDE. Good post Sir. CHARLIE.
|11-08-2019 12:21 PM|
Originally Posted by williamlayton View Post
|11-08-2019 11:02 AM|
|Dixie Dude||The city of Rome is built on 7 hills. The RC church incorporated many of the false religious festivals into Christianity. Also the Eastern Orthodox church separated from Rome over marriage of pastors and priests and water baptism by immersion. They have not had the problems the RC church has had. The protestant reformation began shortly after the printing press was made and bibles were printed. People began reading them and found the RC church was doing things wrong.|
|11-08-2019 10:41 AM|
This subject has been rehashed by every major and minor, prophet, scholar, preacher since the Crucifiction.
I think that only those that are present at this time will fully see and know. Otherwise, it is an interesting subject. While it may seem that we are near to these days, that has also been said before !
|11-06-2019 07:21 PM|
Originally Posted by Dee View Post
|11-06-2019 06:35 PM|
|Dee||Well, God can use anything at His disposal.|
|11-06-2019 06:32 PM|
Originally Posted by Dee View Post
Also gut feeling -- nature, which include meteors and exploding volcanoes will be what devastates the Earth not war, BUT war will come because of the natural devastation.
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