Etikettarkiv | easter

PASSOVER in the Bible is celebrated as such in most Christian countries – and Easter does not derive from Ishtar

brödPassover is translated ”Easter” – a fact

Each year when it is getting closer to Easter there will always be some native English speakers (I would assume not only Americans) who claim that Christians should not be celebrating this holiday because it is related to paganism (Ishtar) and because Easter bunnies must be involved in the celebration. It is extremely difficult to get them to understand that the Biblical Passover is in fact still called Passover and celebrated as such in most Christian countries. Just because Easter bunnies pop up in America and other English-speaking countries, it does not mean that they do so in all countries. There is no obligation to celebrate the holiday with bunnies, and in fact not even all Americans do. Some call it the Resurrection Day, and that is fine too.

Fortunately there are only a few Americans who believe that English-speaking countries are the center of the world and that the sun revolves around them.

Here are som FACTS about the holiday called Easter in English and Passover elsewhere

  1. The word PASSOVER is found in the Bible. In the KJV the word is found 72 times.
  2. The first time we come across the word it is in relation to the Exodus and the Jewish commemoration of it – where males had to be circumcised before they could participate (Ex. 12:48) and where a proper sacrifice had to be made. Ever since Calvary, the focus of the commemoration has changed from the Exodus to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ – our Passover Lamb – who offered his life for mankind during a Passover holiday. The Jewish Passover was a foreshadowing of the spotless Lamb of God whose blood would cover the sins of those who believe in him, causing God’s judgment to pass over them.
  3. Most Christian countries have continued to have Passover celebrations ever since Calvary, albeit not according to the old Jewish traditions (but with a focus on Calvary). The NAME of this holiday is PASSOVER in most such countries (naturally in their respective language).
  4. Now comes the fact that confuses so many English-speaking Christians: The holiday which is called PASSOVER in most non-English speaking countries, is translated into EASTER in English! We know it is the same holiday because ”Easter” is celebrated at the very same day/weekend as the rest of the Christian world where they call the same holiday ”Passover” (in their respective language). It is therefore not correct to say ”Passover is not Easter”. It is!
  5. The reason for this language difference is due to Tyndale’s choice to use the word ”Ester” in his English Bible translation rather than sticking with the Passover word. John Wycliffe before him (produced the first English Bible in 1382) had translated from the Latin and left the word pascha untranslated and called it pask/paske. The word Ester is Anglo-Saxon and not Babylonian. It was the common word for both Passover and Easter.
  6. Easter/Ester has nothing to do with Astarte (Ishtar in English), and it is not a safe linguistic method to assume that words which might sound alike in the English language are related to each other! You can end up with all sorts of craziness by making such assumptions.
  7.  Just because America and some other countries include Easter bunnies in the holiday, it does not mean that all countries have this pagan element. Sure, there might be other pagan elements involved depending on country, but there is NO OBLIGATION to celebrate the holiday with any such things.
  8. The Bible does not prohibit anyone from celebrating the Passover (Easter) holiday with a focus on the perfect Passover Lamb. Nor does the Bible teach Christians to talk other Christians out of celebrating it.

Even wikipedia says: ”In most European languages the feast called Easter in English is termed by the words for passover in those languages and in the older English versions of the Bible the term Easter was the term used to translate passover.”

Col. 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Each year at the time of the Passover, children ask their parents why they are celebrating it (see Ex. 12:24-27; Deut. 6:20-23) and that continues to be a wonderful fact even today even if Calvary is the focus rather than Exodus (they are intertwined). Children (and adults) will continue to ask questions such as ”Why are we off from school/work today, and why are all the stores closed?”, ”Why do we celebrate Easter?”, ”What is Good Friday and what happened on the first Good Friday?” Why did Jesus die for the world?”, ”Why did he have to suffer on the cross?”, etc. These questions are often the cause of further discussions about the Bible, and if Christians are present they have a great chance to spread the gospel. Also in secular countries JESUS CHRIST is the focus, and Christian communities do not have to pay a dime to let his name be spread around the country through radio, TV, and other news media. This is done totally free of charge.

Believe it or not, but despite that the name of Jesus Christ is spread freely in so many secular countries during Easter, the Ascension day, Pentecost, Christmas, etc, there are Christians (English-speaking) who are not happy about it! They would prefer that most of these days immediately ceased to exist because they are convinced that they are pagan and that God does not like them. Let us assume for a minute that the Christmas celebration was ”pagan” a few hundred years ago (which is not a fact). Would God really be upset if we eliminated this pagan holiday by placing a Christian holiday in its stead? Would he have preferred if we let the pagan holidays be, and if we avoided new Christian celebrations? Where is that verse in the Bible, where God dislikes seeing Christians commemorating the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection, etc?

Or do they perhaps suggest a scenario which is a total utopia, where Christians gather in churches totally free from all falsehood, where Christianity is spreading  like crazy, etc? Is the best way to reach this goal to get rid of Passover (Easter), Christmas, etc? Would that be the great starting point to reach a higher level? Unfortunately it is quite possible that they will get what they want in the near future when we get closer to a world government, and where eliminating all religious holidays will be one step on the way. In that way Jesus Christ will be an even more forgotten name. Let us be thankful for each year that we have our Christian holidays intact.

Another article about Easter.

CONSTANTINE did not start the TRINITY doctrine at the Council of Nicaea

niceaThe First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops in Nicaea initiated by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325, and this was the first effort to reach a consensus in the church concerning some of new teachings that had emerged by this time. Its main accomplishments were settlement of the issue of the nature of Jesus Christ and the observance of the date of Easter.

Doctrines and ideas that Constantine did NOT start

Easter, the biblical canon, worship on a Sunday, worshiping of the sun, the trinity…Constantine did not start any new ideas at the council at Nicaea!

When it comes to Easter many get confused due to this English term and fear that this is a pagan holiday. Some even think that Constantine is guilty of introducing this pagan holiday into church, but that is not the case. The English-speaking countries might use the word ”Easter” for the holiday which is celebrated right after Good Friday, but other countries rather use the word Passover – or the equivalent in their languages. Passover is certainly not a pagan holiday (and it’s of course not a requirement to celebrate this holiday by decorating the house with chickens, hens, rabbits, eggs, etc), and you can read more about this controversy here. The council at Nicaea was used (among other things) to come to a consensus when it comes to selecting a proper date for the celebration of Easter (Passover), but that is not the same thing as introducing a pagan holiday into church.

There is no record of any discussion of the biblical canon at the council. Constantine commissioned fifty Bibles for the Church of Constantinople the year 331, but it’s not certain whether his request was for fifty copies of the entire Old and New Testaments or not. He did not commission any Bibles at the council itself. No historical evidence points to involvement on his part in selecting books for inclusion in commissioned Bibles. (The books that ended up in the Biblical canon were those who had always been regarded as valid testimonies of Jesus Christ, due to the witnesses that wrote them and due to the time when they were written. So it’s not that a group of people gathered together a few hundred years after the death of Jesus and started the book selection by using a blank sheet of paper and voted about it.)

Constantine cannot be blamed for starting the tradition to celebrate Sabbath on Sunday, since the early christians had already started to do this soon after the death of Jesus. See more here.

Constantine did not introduce the idea to perform sun worship rather than son worship. Sun and son might sound similar in English, but that’s certainly not the case in other languages. Constantine did not even speak English, and the council was not held in English.

The council of Nicaea dealt primarily with the issue of the deity of Christ. Over a century earlier the use of the term ”trinity” (Τριάςin Greek; trinitas in Latin) could be found in the writings of Origen (185-254) and Tertullian (160-220), and a general notion of a ”divine three” was expressed in the second century writings of Polycarp, Ignatius, and Justin Martyr. See some quotes below. The concept of the deity of Christ and the trinity can be found in numerous places in the Bible, as well as in the writings of the early church fathers – before the council at Nicaea took place.

It’s unfortunate that some christians get the wrong idea that certain doctrines started at Nicaea just because they were discussed there and just because a consensus was reached. If for instance the concept of the trinity (and/or deity of Christ) had its roots in the council at Nicaea, it shouldn’t have been taught prior to it – and particularly not in the Bible – but we can see that the contrary is the case. If both the Bible and the early church fathers (before the council at Nicaea) teach the same thing, it’s good evidence for that it can be trusted. One new idea which was introduced into church several hundred years after the death of Christ (around the time of Augustine), is the doctrine of the original sin – which only the gnostics taught. Augustine made this doctrine popular also in church, despite that the early church fathers before him fought against this gnostic doctrine. The doctrine of the trinity, however, has always been taught in the Bible and among the first church fathers. You can read more about the evidence for the trinity here.

Arianism (with its Trinitarian controversy) must not be looked upon as an isolated theory by its founder Arius 

The council did triumph over Arianism but confusion in theological terminology was the main reasons for a long drawn out battle. Arius  regarded the Logos (word) as no more than a power of the Father, and he believed that before time began the Father had created the Son by the power of the Word to be His agent in creation. The Son was  therefore not to be identified with the Godhead, and he was only God in a derivative sense. Since there was once a time when he did not exist, he could not be eternal, and he was actually neither proper God (since God the Father was before him and created him) nor proper man (since he was above all men due to his direct creation by God). Arius’ views began to spread among the people and Alexander the Bishop called a meeting of his priests and deacons to discuss the matter. The Bishop insisted on the unity of the Godhead, but Arius continued to argue that since the Son was begotten of the Father then at some point he began to exist.  The argument ended up dividing the church. Athanasius and friends insisted that the Son was as truly God as the Father.

Emperor Constantine was upset by this division so he summoned a conference of all the bishops of the church – but few representatives from the western churches made it to the meeting in Nicaea. There were still around 300 bishops, and the council agreed that Jesus is truly God, so it published a creed stating the Christian faith in a way that condemned Arianism. One account from the meeting is from History of the Church by Socrates Scholasticus (who wrote 100 years after Eusebius). Much of his account consists of direct quotations from Eusebius’s Life of the Constantine and from a letter of the earlier historian – and Eusebius was present at the council. Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia (not to be confused with Eusebius Pamphilus, Bishop of Caesarea) supported the opinion of Arius. These were opposed by Athanasius, a deacon of the Alexandrian church. This creed was agreed to by 318 members, and there were only five who refused to sign – objecting to the term homoousios, “of the same substance”.  The Emperor sent Arius into exile, along with Eusebius and Theognis and their followers. Eusebius and Theognis, however, wrote a declaration that they had changed their opinion and now agreed that the Son and the Father are of the same substance.

Quotes from old church fathers about the deity of Christ and the trinity

Jesus is not only the son of God, but also GOD IN FLESH.

For OUR GOD JESUS CHRIST, was, according to the appointment of God, conceived in the womb by Mary, of the seed of David, but by the Holy Ghost.” (Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 4:9)

”…GOD HIMSELF appearing in the form of a man, for the renewal of eternal life.” (Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 4:13)

”Continue inseparable from JESUS CHRIST OUR GOD.” (Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians 2:4)

”For even OUR GOD; JESUS CHRIST, know that He is in the Father”. (Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans 1:13) 

Brethren, WE OUGHT SO TO THINK OF JESUS CHRIST AS OF GOD : as of the judge of the living and the dead”. (2nd Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians 1:1) 

”For Christ is King, and Priest, and GOD and Lord…” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, 34)

”…He preexisted as the Son of the Creator of things, BEING GOD, and that He was born a man by the Virgin.” (Justin Martyr, Dialogue With Trypho, 48)

”Now may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the eternal High Priest Himself, THE GOD JESUS CHRIST, build you up in the faith…” (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Church at Philippi, 12)

”In order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and GOD, and Savior, and King…” (Irenaeus Against Heresies, 1.10.1)

”But he Jesus is himself in his own right, beyond all men who ever lived, GOD, Lord, and king eternal, and THE INCARNATE WORD, proclaimed by all the prophets, the apostles …The Scriptures would not have borne witness to these things concerning Him, if, like everyone else, He were mere man.” (Irenaeus Against Heresies 3:19.1-2) 

”For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, ‘Let us make man after our image and likeness’”.(Irenaeus Against Heresies, 4:10)

Irenaeus, 115-190 ”The Church, though dispersed throughout the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: …one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father ‘to gather all things in one,’ and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and GOD, and Savior, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, ‘every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess; to him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all…’” (Against Heresies X.l)

Tertullian, 160-225 ”We define that there are two, the Father and the Son, and three with the Holy Spirit, and this number is made by the pattern of salvation… [which] brings about unity in trinity, interrelating the three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  They are three, not in dignity, but in degree, not in substance but in form, not in power but in kind.  They are of one substance and power, because there is one God from whom these degrees, forms and kinds devolve in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (Adv. Prax. 23; PL 2.156-7).

”We have also as a Physician the Lord OUR GOD JESUS THE CHRIST the only-begotten Son and Word, before time began, but who afterwards became also man, of Mary the virgin.  For ‘the Word was made flesh.’ Being incorporeal, He was in the body; being impassible, He was in a passable body; being immortal, He was in a mortal body; being life, He became subject to corruption, that He might free our souls from death and corruption, and heal them, and might restore them to health, when they were diseased with ungodliness and wicked lusts.” (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975 rpt., Vol. 1, p. 52, Ephesians 7.)

Abraham’s meeting with GOD and two angels

abraham 2Justin Martyr, 100-165 AD

” I [Justin] inquired. And Trypho said, ”Certainly; but you have not proved from this that there is another God besides Him who appeared to Abraham, and who also appeared to the other patriarchs and prophets. YOU HAVE PROVED, however, that we [the Jews] were WRONG in believing that the three who were in the tent with Abraham were all angels.” I [Justin] replied again, ”If I could not have proved to you from the Scriptures that ONE OF THOSE THREE IS GOD, because, as I already said, He brings messages to those to whom God the Maker of all things wishes [messages to be brought], then in regard to Him who appeared to Abraham on earth IN HUMAN FORM IN LIKE MANNER AS THE TWO ANGELS who came with Him, and WHO AS GOD EVEN BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD, it were reasonable for you to entertain the same belief as is entertained by THE WHOLE OF YOUR NATION.” ”Assuredly,” he said, ”for up to this moment this has been our [the Jews] belief.” … ”And now have you not perceived, my friends, that one of the three, WHO IS BOTH GOD AND LORD, and ministers to Him who is in the heavens, is Lord of the two angels? For when [the angels] proceeded to Sodom, HE REMAINED BEHIND, and COMMUNED WITH ABRAHAMin the words recorded by Moses; and when He departed after the conversation, Abraham went back to his place. And when he came [to Sodom], the two angels no longer conversed with Lot, but Himself, as the Scripture makes evident; and He is the LORD who received commission from the LORD who [remains] in the heavens, i.e., the Maker of all things, to inflict upon Sodom and Gomorrah the [judgments] which the Scripture describes in these terms: ‘The Lord rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur and fire from the Lord out of heaven.’ ”(Dialogue of Justin Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew, Chapter LVI.—God Who Appeared to Moses is Distinguished from God the Father.)

Irenaeus,  115-190 AD

”Therefore neither would the Lord, nor the Holy Spirit, nor the apostles, have ever named as God, definitely and absolutely, him who was not God, unless he were truly God; nor would they have named any one in his own person Lord, except God the Father ruling over all, and His Son who has received dominion from His Father over all creation, as this passage has it: ”The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at my right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool.” Here the [Scripture] represents to us the Father addressing the Son; He who gave Him the inheritance of the heathen, and subjected to Him all His enemies. Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit has fitly designated them by the title of Lord. And again, referring to the destruction of the Sodomites, the Scripture says, ”Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the LORD out of heaven.” For it here points out that the Son, who had also been talking with Abraham, had received power to judge the Sodomites for their wickedness. And this [text following] does declare the same truth:”Thy throne, O GOD; is for ever and ever; the scepter of Thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity: therefore GOD, Thy God, hath anointed Thee.” Forthe Spirit designates both [of them] BY THE NAME; OF GOD — both Him who is anointed as Son, and Him who does anoint, that is, the Father.” (Irenaeus, Book 3, ch 6)

Tertullian, 160-225 AD

”That is a still grander statement [of Christ’s deity] which you will find expressly made in the Gospel: ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” There was One ”who was,” and there was another ”with whom” He was. But I find in Scripture the name Lord also applied to them Both: ”The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit Thou on my right hand.” And Isaiah says this: ”Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? ” Now he would most certainly have said Thine Arm, if he had not wished us to understand that the Father is Lord, and the Son also is Lord. A much more ancient testimony [of Christ’s deity] we have also in Genesis: ”Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven.” Now, either deny that this is Scripture; or else (let me ask) what sort of man you are, that you do not think words ought to be taken and understood in the sense in which they are written, especially when they are not expressed in allegories and parables, but in determinate and simple declarations?” (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter XIII.

 Ignatius, 30-117 AD

”For Moses, the faithful servant of God, when he said, ”The Lord thy God is one Lord,” and thus proclaimed that there was only one God, did yet forthwith confess also our Lord [Jesus] when he said, ”The Lord [Jesus] rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord.” And again [he confessed a second time our Lord Jesus by saying], ”And God said, Let Us make man after our image: and so God made man, after the image of God made He him.”” (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Antiochians, Chapter II.—The True Doctrine Respecting God and Christ.)

Cyprian, 200-258 AD

”In the Gospel according to John: ”The Father judgeth nothing, but hath given all judgment unto the Son, that all may honour the Son as they honour the Father. He who honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father who hath sent Him.” Also in the seventy-first Psalm: ”O GOD, give the king Thy judgment, and Thy righteousness to the king’s son, to judge Thy people in righteousness.”Also in Genesis: ”And the LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah sulphur, and fire from heaven from the LORD.”” (The Treatises of Cyprian, Treatise XII. Three Books of Testimonies Against the Jews. Third Book., Testimonies., 33. That the Father judgeth nothing, but the Son; and that the Father is not glorified by him by whom the Son is not glorified.)

Novatian, 200–258 AD

”For who does not acknowledge that the person of the Son is second after the Father, when he reads that it was said by the Father, consequently to the Son, ”Let us make man in our image and OUR likeness; ” and that after this it was related, ”And God made man, in the image of God made He him? ”Or when he holds in his hands: ”The LORD rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the LORD from heaven? ” (A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity, Chapter XXVI. Argument.—Moreover, Against the Sabellians He Proves that the Father is One, the Son Another.)

”Therefore the Lord overturned Sodom, that is, GOD overturned Sodom; but in the overturning of Sodom, the LORD rained fire from the LORD. And this Lord was the God seen by Abraham; and this God was the guest of Abraham, certainly seen because He was also touched. But although the Father, being invisible, was assuredly not at that time seen, He who was accustomed to be touched and seen was seen and received to hospitality. BUT THIS THE SON OF GOD,”The LORD rained from the LORD upon Sodom and Gomorrha brimstone and fire.”And this is the Word of God. And THE WORD OF GOD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWLTH AMNG US; AND THIS IS CHRIST. IT WAS NOT THE FATHER, THEN WHO WAS A GUEST WITH ABRAHAM, BUT CHRISTNOR WAS IT THE FATHER WHO WAS SEEN THEN; , BUT THE SON; AND CHRIST WAS SEEN. Rightly, therefore, CHRIST IS BOTH LORD AND GOD, who was not otherwise seen by Abraham, EXCEPT THAT AS GOD THE WORD He was begotten of God the Father before Abraham himself.” (A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity, Chapter XVIII. Argument.—Moreover Also, from the Fact that He Who Was Seen of Abraham is Called God; Which Cannot Be Understood of the Father, Whom No Man Hath Seen at Any Time; But of the Son in the Likeness of an Angel.)

Constitutions of the Holy Apostles

”To Him did Moses bear witness, and said: ”The LORD received fire from the LORD, and rained it down.” HIM DID JACOB SEE AS A MAN, and said: ”I have seen God face to face, and my soul is preserved.”HIM DID ABRAHAM ENTERTAIN, and acknowledge to be the Judge, and HIS LORD.” (Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book V. XX. A Prophetic Prediction Concerning Christ Jesus.)

1 Mos. 1:26 Gud sade: ”Låt oss göra människor till VÅR AVBILD, till att vara lika OSS. De skall råda över fiskarna i havet och över fåglarna under himlen, över boskapsdjuren och över hela jorden och över alla kräldjur som rör sig på jorden.” 27 Och Gud skapade MÄNNISKAN till sin avbild, till GUDS AVBILD skapade han henne, till man och kvinna skapade han dem.image

Epistle of Barnabas, 74 AD

”For the Scripture says concerning US, while He speaks to the SON, ”Let Us make man after Our image, and after Our likeness” (Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter VI.—The Sufferings of Christ, and the New Covenant, Were Announced by the Prophets.)

The Letter of Barnabas 74 AD

”And further, my brethren, if the Lord [Jesus] endured to suffer for our soul, he being the Lord of all the world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, ‘Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness,’ understand how it was that he endured to suffer at the hand of men” (Letter of Barnabas 5)

Justin Martyr, 100-165 AD

Idén att Moses skulle mena att det var änglar som åsyftades med ”till vår avbild”, är en villolära, säger Justin

”In saying, therefore, ‘as one of us, ‘[Moses] has declared that [there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and that they are at least two. For I would not say that the dogma of that heresy which is said to be among you (The Jews had their own heresies which supplied many things to the Christian heresies) is true, or that the teachers of it can prove that [God] spoke to angels, or that the human frame was the workmanship of angels. But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures.” (Dialogue of Justin Martyr, with Trypho, a Jew: Chapter LXII.—The Words ”Let Us Make Man”)

Irenaeus, 115-190 AD

”It was not angels, therefore, who made us, nor who formed us, neither had angels power to make an image of God, nor any one else, except the Word of the Lord, nor any Power remotely distant from the Father of all things. For God did not stand in need of these [beings], in order to the accomplishing of what He had Himself determined with Himself beforehand should be done, as if He did not possess His own hands. For with Him were always present the Word and Wisdom,the Son and the Spirit, by whom and in whom, freely and spontaneously, He made all things, to whom also He speaks, saying, ”Let Us make man after Our image and likeness; ” [Gen. 1:26]” (Against Heresies 4:20:1).

Tertullian,  160-225 AD

”If the number of the Trinity also offends you, as if it were not connected in the simple Unity, I ask you how it is possible for a Being who is merely and absolutely One and Singular, to speak in plural phrase, saying, ”Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness; ” whereas He ought to have said, ”Let me make man in my own image, and after my own likeness,” as being a unique and singular Being?In the following passage, however, ”Behold the man is become as one of us,” He is either deceiving or amusing us in speaking plurally, if He is One only and singular. Or was it to the angels that He spoke, as the Jews interpret the passage, because these also acknowledge not the Son? Or was it because He was at once the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, that He spoke to Himself in plural terms, making Himself plural on that very account? Nay, it was because He had already His Son close at His side, as a second Person, His own Word, and a third Person also, the Spirit in the Word, that He purposely adopted the plural phrase, ”Let us make; ”and, ”in our image; ”and, ”become as one of us.” (Tertullian, Against Praxeas, Chapter XII. Other Quotations from Holy Scripture Adduced in Proof of the Plurality of Persons in the Godhead.)

”Since then he is the image of the Creator (for He, when looking on Christ His Word, who was to become man, said, ”Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness”), how can I possibly have another head but Him whose image I am? For if I am the image of the Creator there is no room in me for another head” (Tertullian, Book V, Elucidations, Chapter VIII.—Man the Image of the Creator, and Christ the Head of the Man.)

”In the first place, because all things were made by the Word of God, and without Him was nothing made. Now the flesh, too, had its existence from the Word of God, because of the principle, that here should be nothing without that Word. ”Let us make man,” said He, before He created him, and added, ”with our hand,” for the sake of his pre-eminence, that so he might not be compared with the rest of creation.” (Tertullian: On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Elucidations, Chapter V.—Some Considerations in Reply Eulogistic of the Flesh. It Was Created by God.)

Origen, 184-254 AD

”it was to Him that God said regarding the creation of man, ”Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” (Origen Against Celsus, Book V, Chapter XXXVII)

Novatian, 200–258 AD

”For who does not acknowledge that the person of the Son is second after the Father, when he reads that it was said by the Father, consequently to the Son, ”Let us make man in our image and our likeness; ” and that after this it was related, ”And God made man, in the image of God made He him? ”Or when he holds in his hands: ”The Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone from the Lord from heaven? ” (A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity, Chapter XXVI. Argument.—Moreover, Against the Sabellians He Proves that the Father is One, the Son Another.)

Constitutions of the Holy Apostles

”the divine Scripture testifies that God said to Christ, His only-begotten, ”Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness. And God made man: after the image of God made He him; male and female made He them.”(Constitutions of the Holy Apostles, Book V., VII)

You can read many more quotes in this article

Easter is not pagan, and it’s PASSOVER in most countries

carry crossGood Friday (”Långfredag” in Swedish = ”Long Friday”) is connected to EASTER, but just because we choose to call one day of the week FRIDAY and the particular Friday connected to Easter ”Good Friday”,  it doesn’t mean that we  celebrate or worship the Norse god Freya by doing so. I feel so much joy to think about EASTER (and Christmas, and Pentecost), and the fact that so many secular countries still maintain an Easter celebration with so much focus on Jesus Christ, despite that our Lord is very much removed from secular homes most of the time. Easter provides a great opportunity to make even atheists think about Jesus Christ – who died on the cross one day for about 2000 years ago – because he is the reason for this particular day whether they like it or not.

After Good Friday we celebrate Påsk which is ”Easter” in English, and Påsk derives from the Hebrew name Pesach (in Greek it’s called Pascha) which means Passover. PASSOVER is something which is Biblical, is it not? Surely then, it’s not a sin to commemorate Jesus Christ through the Passover? The first Passover concerned the passover LAMB which had to shed its blood for the Israelites (who applied the blood on the door post) prior to the departure to the promised land – and it’s a picture/prophesy of Jesus Christ.

Ex. 12:3 Speak 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:4 And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb.Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:6 And 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.7 And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.9 Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.10 And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with fire.11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the Lord’s passover.12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.14 And 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. 

John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

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?

1 Cor. 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Hebr. 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

Every year there will be thousands of children asking their parents questions such as ”Why do we call this day Långfredag?” ”Why do we celebrate Påsk?” ”Why did this Jesus have to die for us on the cross?”, and their parents will try to answer their questions even if they are agnostics! What an excellent way to bring Jesus into our homes! You can even see Jesus-films on TV, and if you listen to the radio you will sooner or later hear someone talking about Påsk and why we celebrate it. This is actually free ”evangelism”poured out right into people’s living rooms, and to me it’s a puzzle why some christians would like to stop all this from happening.

Maybe this is not a big deal in countries like America where it’s still common to be confessing christians and where you talk about Jesus in Church or at home, but over here this particular holiday weekend (together with Christmas and Pentecost) might be the only chance some families have to hear about the gospel.

Every year there will be some well-meaning christians who warn others about Easter because it’s supposedly pagan, but they are confused about the name ”Easter” (it’s not called Easter in most countries) and they don’t seem to think about the negative outcome related to their fight to eliminate Påsk/Passover from people’s homes. Remove this Easter holiday (and Christmas and Pentecost), and Jesus will soon be a very forgotten person for even more people. Is this really what we want? Instead of spending time warning about Easter, try to spend your time spreading the gospel about Jesus Christ! It’s of course no obligation to celebrate Påsk together with decorations of chickens, hens, rabbits, eggs, or whatever the man-made traditions might be.

Easter is allegedly derived from the Babylonian goddess Astarte (equivalent to the Assyrian goddess Ishtar), and this idea comes from an oft-cited 19th-century book, The Two Babylons, by the Scots reverend Alexander Hislop. However, ”Easter” doesn’t derive from paganism.

Do read this article from Christianity Today about the background of Easter and this article from Jonathan Sarfati about yet more details concerning Easter.

Excerpts from the links:

Hislop’s research is very shoddy in many places (Hislop is refuted in A Case Study in Poor Methodology). He tries to see paganism everywhere, on even the flimsiest grounds. In this case, he imagines a connection between Easter and Astarte purely on the basis of sound similarity, with not the slightest trace of linguistic connection or any borrowing. By this spurious method, one could connect the Potomac river with the Greek ποταμός (potamos), although there is no connection between the native American and Greek words. In reality, the word Easter is really Anglo-Saxon (sometimes Ester), not Babylonian. It was the common word for both Passover and Easter.

An example of the word meaning the Jewish Passover comes from a 1563 homily: ‘Easter, a great, and solemne feast among the Jewes.’ Anglo-Saxon itself is a Germanic language, and this is the genuine origin of the term Easter. Germans likewise used the word Oster or Ostern for both Passover and our Easter. E.g. when the Reformer Martin Luther (1483–1546) first translated the Bible into German (1545), he used a number of German words relating to this, such as Osterfest (Passover/Easter), Osterlamm (Passover lamb). E.g. compare Luke 22:1, 7. Even in modern German, the ‘das jüdische Osterfest’ means the Jewish Passover. In turn, this word comes from Ost, or the sunrising, i.e. East. In turn, this is likely to come from the old German word auferstehen / auferstanden / Auferstehung meaning rising from the dead/resurrection. Luther used these words as well, e.g. throughout 1 Corinthians 15. So the pagan derivation of Easter is conspiratorial fantasy. The word is Anglo-Saxon, and derived from the Germanic Oster meaning Passover, and is related to the words for Resurrection.

Tyndale was also responsible for introducing the word ‘Ester’ into the English Bible. John Wycliffe, who produced the first English Bible in 1382, had translated from the Latin, and left the word pascha basically untranslated and called it pask or paske. Luther occasionally did likewise, using the transliterated form passah. For example, in Lev. 23:5, he rendered ‘the LORD’s Passover’ as ‘des Herrn Passah’, and in Ex. 12:27, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord’ was ‘Es ist das Passahopfer des Herrn’. But when Tyndale prepared the new Testament, he followed Luther’s more common practice and used the most common word in his native language. That is, while Luther most often used Oster and its cognates, Tyndale used Ester and its cognates. Note, if the Hislop pagan derivation theory were correct, it would imply that the godly Tyndale and Luther before him were really calling Jesus the ‘Astarte Lamb’ or ‘Ishtar Lamb’.

But when Tyndale translated the Old Testament, he thought that it was anachronistic to use the word Easter for the Jewish feast. This is because, as above, the derivation of Easter comes from the resurrection, which had yet to happen. So Tyndale went back to the root of pesach, i.e. pasach, meaning ‘to pass over’, and coined the new term Passover.

So it is due to Tyndale, not to paganism, that some English Bibles have two different words, Easter and Passover, to translate a single Hebrew/Greek term. As the KJV was essentially the 5th revision of the Tyndale Bible, and retains about 90% of its wording, it keeps this feature. But it more consistently applied Tyndale’s logic to retain Easter only for Acts 12:4, where the Christian resurrection celebration was in view not just the Jewish feast. For all other occurrences, the KJV translators used Tyndale’s new word ‘passover’. But this obscured the traditional meaning of Easter that included the Jewish Passover. Modern translations generally use only one word, Passover, to translate pesach/pascha.