The Word “Easter”

The word ‘Easter” does not come from Ishtar or Astarte! This does not even make linguistic sense since words from those languages do not migrate into English.


Because the English Anglo/Saxon language originally derived from the Germanic, there are many similarities between German and English. Many English writers have referred to the German language as the “Mother Tongue!” 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. “Is the Name Easter of Pagan
Origin?” by Roger Patterson




Another theory:

From the Late Latin name Paschalis, which meant “relating to Easter” from Latin Pascha “Easter”, which was in turn from Hebrew (pesach) “Passover”. Passover is the ancient Hebrew holiday celebrating the liberation from Egypt. Because it coincided closely with the later Christian holiday of Easter, the same Latin word was used for both.   (Source)


Also see this information:

On Bede’s spurious claim about the origin of Easter as a goddess name:


Known Anglo-Saxon deities like Woden and Thor are paralleled in Norse and Germanic pre-Christian religion, but there are no such equivalents to Bede’s Eostre and Hretha, which strengthens the case for them being inventions. Grimm explored the possibility of a German “Ostara” in Deutsche Mythologie, but in the absence of any primary evidence, all he could produce was conjecture……There are no images of Eostre, no carvings, no legends, and no association with hares, rabbits or eggs.  From Adrian Bott, “The Modern Myth of the Easter bunny” in the Guardian


The Easter Eggs

Second point, the Easter eggs:


Christians first began using eggs to celebrate Easter in ancient Mesopotamia, when they dyed eggs red – the color of blood – to symbolize the power of Jesus’ blood to give people new life. In some Orthodox churches, priests still bless red eggs during Paschal (Easter) vigil services on the night before Easter. You and your children can dye an entire group of eggs red rather than a variety of colors, and then discuss how Jesus loves people so much that He was willing to suffer and bleed on the Cross to pay the cost of our sins.  (Source)


Even if eggs were used as a pagan symbol, eggs are originally God’s eggs because He created the chickens that lay the eggs. Eggs are part of the created world, created by God.


The Easter Rabbit

Thirdly, what about that fluffy bunny rabbit? Many sources state that the Easter bunny arrived with German immigrants and a tradition of “an egg-laying hare.” The children “made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests.” From “What’s The Origin of the Easter Bunny?”


Like the eggs, bunnies are part of God’s creation. Even if they have been used as a pagan symbol of fertility by certain groups, the rabbit was originally just a creature made by God and will always be such a creature. Symbols change meaning across time and culture, and many objects and animals have served as symbols for many religions.


There is nothing inherently evil with decorating an egg as part of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, and nothing wrong in pretending the bunny is hiding the eggs (unless you do not like to use these stories, which is a decision by parents) or giving a stuffed bunny to a child.


In fact, seeing colored eggs or stuffed bunnies as evil is actually akin to a pagan worldview where objects have inherent secret meanings and/or are animated by spirits. Ironically, those who label Easter eggs and bunnies as evil are reacting in a pagan manner. See the CANA article on symbols.


Facts, Not Fear

Much of this slandering of Easter traditions is rooted in the works of Alexander Hislop, who has been refuted and debunked. He was wrong! He did not support his statements historically. See CANA article on Alexander Hislop.


Hislop’s influence has led many into myths and untruths. These untruths, along with websites that preach hate and legalism, have been spread by cults, skeptics, and those who have fallen for these fear-based untruths.


FACTS, NOT MYTHS OR FEAR should be the Christian’s watchword.


“But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” 1 Timothy 4:7


Jesus says this of the devil:


“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44b


Christians should not believe lies or spread them. Instead, celebrate the risen Christ and use Easter to tell others about the resurrected Savior.


“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.” Matthew 28:6


“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…” 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4



“Easter — Is It Pagan?” By Ralph Woodrow (who repudiated his earlier work, “Babylon Mystery Religion”


Celebrating with Easter Eggs for Christians


Short Video on History of Easter referring to Chirstian origins of eggs and bunnies


Easter and Passover


How the date for Easter is determined


Hislop’s ‘Babylonian Mystery Religion’ Teaching Exposed and Overturned: The Commendable Intellectual Honesty of Ralph Woodrow


Video exposing Hislop


Apologetics Index
A Profile in Integrity (Ralph Woodrow)


Book Review of “The Two Babylons,” CRI Journal