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Why do all the other translations translate the Greek word "pascha" to
"passover" yet the KJV translates it as "Easter"?

First of all, I am against bunnies, eggs, sunrise services, and any other
tradition that we cannot find in the Bible. This is not a defense of celebrating
the pagan/Catholic holiday of modern day Easter.

This information comes from Will Kinney's article on Easter:

"In Acts 12:4 we are told of Peter being taken prisoner by

Herod. "Then were the days of unleavened bread. And when
he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered
him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending
after EASTER to bring him forth to the people."
There are two very different views among King James Bible
believers concerning the meaning and significance of the
word Easter as found in Acts 12:4.
One view is that Easter was in fact the name of the Anglo-
Saxon pagan goddess of spring and that Herod was waiting
till after this pagan holiday was over before he was going to
have Peter killed. There are however many serious problems
with this view. Number one is the fact that the pagan
goddess was named Eoestre or Eastre or some say Ishtar or
Astarte (all different gods and goddesses), but the name is
not Easter.
The King James Bible translators did not have some sort of a
collective "senior moment", and though they translated the
Greek word paska as Passover some 28 times, suddenly they
had some sort of a memory slip and make it Easter this one
time in Acts 12:4. And they also knew how to spell English
words correctly. There is no way that they really meant to
say Eostre instead of Easter.
If the King James Bible had read: "intending after Ishtar" or
"intending after Eoestre", they might have a case for their
argument. But it clearly does not read that way. It says:
"intending after EASTER to bring him forth to the people."
Let's look at it from the Greek side of things. The Greek word
used here is clearly or paska. There is NO way on
God's green earth that the Greek word can possibly
mean anything remotely like "Eoestre" or "Ishtar". The King
James Bible translators were not morons. They knew exactly
what this word means and it means EASTER, particularly
when it applies to the yearly celebration of the Resurrection
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that is what they wrote.
The second major problem with this view is that Herod was
an Edomite and probably a Roman citizen, but by no stretch
of the imagination was he an Anglo-Saxon.
The term Anglo-Saxon designates the population in Britain
partly descended from the Germanic tribes who migrated
from Europe and settled the south and east of the island
beginning in the early 5th century, and the period after their
initial settlement through their creation of the English nation
up to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon era denotes
the period of English history between about 550 and 1066.
The term can be used for the language, also known as Old
English, that was spoken and written by the Anglo-Saxons in
England (and parts of south-eastern Scotland) between at
least the mid-5th century and the mid-12th century, after
which it is known as Middle English.
So it would be more than a little difficult to have a
Roman/Edomite king in the first century celebrating an
Anglo-Saxon pagan goddess who was never acknowledged
among the Romans and in fact did not even exist until some
4 to 5 centuries later. About the only thing the term Easter
and the Anglo-Saxon Eoestre could possibly have in common
is that they are both derived from the Middle English word
"east" meaning simply the East. Aside from that, it's a theory
totally devoid of and contrary to all known historical facts.
Tyndale also translated several N.T. passages as "the
Easterlamb" instead of "the Passover lamb". Clearly he
was not referring to some mythical pagan goddess
called Eostre. If people would actually do some research
on the Eostre thingy, and not just believe what men like
Hislop have said, there is a lot of doubt that such a
thing even existed or was practiced.
1 Corinthians 5:7
Tyndale 1534 - Pourge therfore the olde leven that ye maye be newe
dowe as ye are swete breed. For Christ OURE ESTERLAMBE is offered vp for
Coverdale 1535 - Pourge out therfore the olde leuen, that ye maye be new dowe,
like as ye are swete bred. For we also haue an EASTER LAMBE, which is Christ,
that is offred for vs.
Matthews Bible 1549 - For Christ oure EASTERLAMBE is offered vp for vs.
There is NO way on earth that the underlying Greek
word paska can even remotely be translated as Eostre
or Ashteroth. It has nothing at all to do with these
things. Never did; never will. I think it was out of some
misguided attempt to try to defend the KJB's "Easter"
that some over active imaginations came up with this
Eostre thing as a possible explanation. But it is entirely
wrong at every level. Had it said Eostre and not Easter,
they may have had a point of some kind. But it doesn't
say that, does it. No, the KJB and previous English
bibles say Easter, and even in places where it wasn't
correct to do so - like when they place Easter in the
place of Passover. But here in Acts 12:4 it makes sense,
because it is the only post resurrection mention of the
paska, which for the Christian is now Easter.

The English monk Bede is the only source that is referenced to say that
Eostre was an old pagan goddess:

"The most widely accepted theory of the origin of the term is that it is derived
from the name of an Old English goddess mentioned by the 7th to 8th-
century English monk Bede, who wrote that osturmna (Old English 'Month
of ostre', translated in Bede's time as "Paschal month") was an English
month, corresponding to April, which he says "was once called after a
goddess of theirs named ostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in
that month"
" ostre is attested solely by Bede in his 8th-century work The Reckoning of
Time, where Bede states that during osturmna (the equivalent of April),
pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in ostre's honor, but that this tradition
had died out by his time, replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a
celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.

...debate has occurred among some scholars about whether or not the
goddess was an invention of Bede."

All that is known about the old Saxon goddess Eostre is derived from the
following passage in Bede:

From De ratione temporum 15. (The reckoning of time, tr. Faith Wallis,
Liverpool University Press 1988, pp.53-54)

15. The English Months

"In olden time the English people -- for it did not seem fitting to me that I
should speak of other people's observance of the year and yet be silent about
my own nation's -- calculated their months according to the course of the
moon. Hence, after the manner of the Greeks and the Romans (the months)
take their name from the Moon, for the Moon is called mona and the month

The first month, which the Latins call January, is Giuli; February is called
Solmonath; March Hrethmonath; April, Eosturmonath; May, Thrimilchi; June,
Litha; July, also Litha; August, Weodmonath; September, Halegmonath;
October, Winterfilleth; November, Blodmonath; December, Giuli, the same
name by which January is called. ...

Nor is it irrelevant if we take the time to translate the names of the other
months. ... Hrethmonath is named for their goddess Hretha, to whom they
sacrificed at this time. Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated
"Paschal month", and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named
Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they
designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by
the time-honoured name of the old observance. Thrimilchi was so called
because in that month the cattle were milked three times a day..."

Who was Bede?

"Bede (672/3 26 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, Venerable Bede, and
Bede the Venerable was an English monk at the monastery of St. Peter and
its companion monastery of St. Paul in the Kingdom of Northumbria of the
Angles (contemporarily MonkwearmouthJarrow Abbey in Tyne and Wear,
England). He is well known as an author and scholar, and his most famous
work, Ecclesiastical History of the English People gained him the title "The
Father of English History".

In 1899, Pope Leo XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church; he is the
only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation"


"There is no evidence for cult being paid to Bede in England in the 8th
century. One reason for this may be that he died on the feast day of
Augustine of Canterbury. Later, when he was venerated in England, he
was either commemorated after Augustine on 26 May, or his feast was
moved to 27 May. However, he was venerated outside England, mainly
through the efforts of Boniface and Alcuin, both of whom promoted
the cult on the Continent. "

What about Ostara?

Derived from a reconstruction produced by linguist Jacob Grimm of an Old

High German form of the Old English goddess name ostre, Ostara marks the
vernal equinox in some modern Pagan traditions.

Jacob Grimm and the Creation of Ostara

Jacob Grimm, one of "The Brothers Grimm" was a linguistic researcher as well
as an avid fan of folk literature. In 1835 Grimm noted that a series of ancient
Germanic feast days were called by a plural name similar to the name Eostre.
Grimm took this to mean that Bede was correct in his 725AD report that the
Saxons once worshiped a goddess named Eostre. That was a big step in itself,
since there was no other ancient evidence of Eostre, or another goddess
Bede mentioned, Hrede.

Saxon and "Old High German" shared much vocabulary, although most of the
word endings were different, and some of the vowels had "shifted." Keenly
aware of the most common differences, Grimm went looking for other
evidence that a Teutonic or Germanic goddess similar to Eostre had left
traces in the German language. Based on a few traces he found, Grimm then
hypothesized that if there were a Germanic goddess similar to Eostre, her
name would be spelled "Ostara." (Pardon me for omitting the little accents,
but they look funny on some people's computers.)

Grimm and his contemporaries also hypothesized that Eostre (and by

extension, Ostara) would probably have been a spring fertility goddess. After

Eostre's name is related to the Saxon word for East so she might have
been associated with dawn or the coming of light in general.

If Bede was correct, and the Saxon equivalent of April was named after her,
her worship probably focused on the spring.

Most western European pre-Christian goddesses were fertility goddess,

especially the spring goddesses.

Frankly, that reasoning so far makes sense. By the mid-1800s, based on

those hypotheses, a number of "reference works" defined Eostre as a Saxon
spring fertility goddess, as though even that were established fact (it's a good
guess, but not established fact).

But things started to get out of hand when Grimm went on to propose that
virtually every kind of spring celebration ever popular in northern Europe
must have started out as a form of pagan worship, either of the Saxon Eostre
or some unknown equivalent (like the hypothetical Ostara). Grimm even
hypothesized that Ostara-worship was so important to the ancient German-
speaking peoples that the church deliberately chose the name "Ostara" for its
Easter ("Ostern") celebrations - in spite of the fact that, before 1835, no one
had ever heard of Ostara.

To give Grimm credit, he may have been hoping to spur further research that
would either support or refute his suppositions. But he was writing during an
age of romantics and transcendentalists. Instead of examining Grimm's
hypotheses, other writers of his generation treated them as facts and went
on to build a whole new mythology based on them.

Here's a test for anything you think you know about Ostara - try to find one
reference, anywhere, to this goddess anywhere in the world earlier than 1835
- the year Grimm invented her name and people started inventing things
about her.
The second view, and the one being increasingly
accepted among King James Bible believers who have
done a little more research into this matter, is that it
really means Easter as Christians all over the world in
many languages understand the word - a yearly
celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ."

Lancelot Andrewes, a KJV translator, names many people in church history

who celebrated the feast of Easter with unleavened bread(no bunnies and

Tertullian had this custom. Many places in him. Only one I cite, in the fourteenth
chapter, de jejunio quod si omnem in totum devotionem dierum erasit Apostolus, cur
Pascha celebramus annuo cicrulo? 'If it were the Apostle's mind to raze out all devout
observing of days quite, how comes it to pass, we celebrate Easter yearly, at the circle
of the year turning about?'"
Polycarp then kept Easter. Now Polycarp had lived and conversed with the Apostles, was
made a bishop by them. Bishop of Smyrna-Irenus and Tertullian say it directly;... and
Polycarp, as saith Irenus, kept Easter with St. John, and with the rest of the
Apostles, totidem verbis." - Lancelot Andrewes -
The Greek word translated as Easter is pascha. Some say the
word should only be translated as Passover and not Easter.
The KJV is not alone in translating this word as Easter. The
Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Cranmer's bible (The Great
Bible) 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, Bishop's Bible 1568, the
Geneva Bible 1557 edition - all preceding the King James
Martin Luther also translated this word as Easter in 1545, and the German Luther version
of 1912 also reads Easter (Ostern). The German word for Passover is a completely
different word. In German today they express Happy Easter by saying "Frohe Ostern".
Why would this word become Easter for the English speaking
people? The word pascha is translated all other times in the
KJB as passover, referring to the annual Jewish feast of
offering a lamb to God to commemorate their deliverance
out of slavery in Egypt.
Yet after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, this word is used
only three times, once here in Acts 12:4, once in 1
Corinthians 5:7, where we are told, "For even Christ our
passover is sacrificed for us." Tyndale's Bible actually says,
"For Christ our Easter lamb is offered up for us." And once
again in Hebrews 11:28 where the King James Bible says
regarding Moses: "Through faith he kept the passover"
(referring of course to the time of the exodus) and where
Tyndale's N.T. says: "Through faith he ordained the Easter
The only time the word is used in the New Testament
referring to a Post-Resurrection time line is in Acts 12:4
where the King James Bible correctly has translated this
Greek word as Easter."
It makes no sense at all to believe that Tyndale, Martin
Luther, Cranmer, Coverdale, Matthews, the Great Bible, and
the Bishop's Bible were referring to a pagan deity of the
spring called Eastre or Ishtar when they called Christ the
It is likewise grammatically absurd to think Easter refers to a
pagan deity in Acts 12:4 where it says, "intending after
Easter to bring him forth unto the people". Try substituting
another name there and see how it sounds; like "intending
after Buddha to bring him forth", or "intending after Krishna
to bring him forth to the people. "
Believers who say that Easter was a pagan holiday use the
argument that Passover occurred before the days of
unleavened bread, and so the Passover had already taken
place. However in Luke 22:1 we see that the entire feast of 7
days was collectively called the Passover. "Now the feast of
unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover."
The term Passover may also refer to the entire week,
including the 7 days of unleavened bread after the lamb was
slain every year.
We also see the same thing in Matthew 26:17-19: "Now THE
disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou
that we prepare for thee to eat THE PASSOVER? ...I will keep
the passover at thy house with my disciples....and they
made ready the passover."
This is also confirmed in Ezekiel 45:21 - "In the first month,
in the fourteenth day of the month, ye shall have the
passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be
The KJB is actually the most accurate translation, in that it
uses the word "passover" BEFORE the death and resurrection
of Christ and then "Easter" the only time the word occurs in
the book of Acts AFTER His resurrection.
Some say the word Easter comes from the name of the
goddess Ishtar or Eastre. The truth is found in any good
dictionary that both Eastre and Easter come from the word
East, but they are not related to each other in meaning. The
sun rises in the east, to bring the light of a new day, and we
are told concerning Christ in Malachi 4:2, "But unto you that
fear my name shall the SUN of righteousness arise with
healing in his wings."
I also disagree with the idea that it was Herod who wanted to
wait till after an alleged celebration of a pagan deity called
Ishtar or Astarte. There is no historical evidence that Herod
or anyone else in Jerusalem celebrated Ishtar at this time."
"Herod had executed James and because it pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter also
intending to execute him. He arrested Peter sometime after the day of Passover during the
days of unleavened bread. It is important to remember that both the Jewish and Christian
Pascha celebrations were going on in Jerusalem at the same time. Herod would have had
no reason to wait until the Passover ended to bring Peter forth as some suggest. Jesus was
brought forth to the people during the Passover and the Jews eagerly demanded Him to
be crucified. Furthermore, there is no link between the word pascha and any pagan God
form any era. Herod may or may not have worshipped Ishtar but there is no legitimate
justification for translating pascha as the name of any pagan God, the link simply does
not exist.
Herod planned to bring Peter forth to the people after Easter (The Christian Pascha).
Herod decided to wait until after the Christian Pascha (Easter) because of the tradition of
releasing one Jewish prisoner during the Passover week. According to Mark 15:6 the
tradition was that the Roman governor always released one Jewish prisoner during the
Passover week. Furthermore, the prisoner to be released would be chosen by the people.
This tradition is recorded in Matthew 27:17 where it says, Therefore when they were
gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas,
or Jesus which is called Christ? Pilate honored the request of the Jews and sent Jesus to
be crucified. Likewise, Herod was obliged to release one condemned man from among
those being brought forth to be executed. Herod could not take the chance of bringing
Peter out to be executed because of the increased number of Jewish Christians in
Jerusalem celebrating Christian Pascha. Until the Christian Pascha ended Jerusalem
would be populated by an exaggerated number of Christian pilgrims who had come to
town to celebrate. Herod planned to wait until the Christian pilgrims had left Jerusalem
and returned home so there would be no chance that the crowd would demand Peters
release. Thus it was the Christian pascha (Easter) which Herod was waiting to pass, not
the Passover. It is my contention that the translators of the KJV rightly discerned this
context and properly chose Easter, the only English word they could have used to
distinguish between the Jewish and Christian Paschas." - Brian Evans, pastor at
Oakwood Baptist Church - Will Kinney's article