48: Is Easter a Pagan Holiday?
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This episode is a part of the mini-series on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Herein Kenny examines the historical nature and historical evolution of the holiday that we now called Easter Sunday.
There are many contemporary revisionist historians and liberal theologians that would seek to discredit the Christian faith by making claims that the early church did not celebrate the same things we celebrate today, and more importantly, that the early Christians supposedly did not believe the same things we believe today.
However, there is substantial historical evidences that show that the early Christians did indeed believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus and that they celebrated the resurrection each year as an official holiday.
In this episode, Kenny covers the history of the lustful, warring goddess known as Eostre, tracing back to the days of Nimrod in ancient cities such as Babel and Ninevah, and the influence that specific goddess had in ancient Germanic and Old Saxon tribes as well.
Kenny does concede that the word Easter may have pagan roots tied to this ancient goddess, but that the framework and reason for the holiday is clearly and distinctly Christian in nature. Kenny also covers important people related to the conversation such as Polycarp, Victor the Bishop (also known as Pope Victor), Irenaeus, and the Venerable Bede.
Kenny also covers topics related to Easter such as the Council of Nicaea and its impact on Easter, the development of how we calculate the Easter holiday date, the tradition of dying eggs, and even the Easter bunny.
– In Three Days-The History & Traditions of Lent and Easter (EG Lewis)
– Christian History Made Easy (Timothy Paul Jones)
– Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought (Alister E. McGrath)
– Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (Joseph Barber Lightfoot)
Kenneth E. Ortiz (M.Div.) is a professor and recruiter at Bethlehem College and a pastor at Cities Church. He has 15+ years of vocational ministry experience. He’s also a podcaster, author, and Ph.D. student. Kenneth lives in Bloomington, MN with his wife Malaina, they have one daughter.