- Kevin Hall
Thank the KJV for Easter.
To fully understand Christianity and New Testament worship, it is important to recognize that we are no longer under the regulations stipulated in Law of Moses. The Law was instituted by God for the children of Israel to give them the ordinances necessary to obey and worship Him. And it remained in effect until Jesus brought in the Law of Christ. Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Other passages that explain this fulfillment of the old law: Gal. 3:24-25, “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” Heb. 8:7, “For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.” Eph. 2:15-16, “by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.” Being no longer under the Old Law, we are not to keep its ordinances nor its observances or celebrations. Col. 2:13-17 says, “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” This would include the Passover, since it was an observance under the Old Law, which has been ‘nailed to the cross’. Most people would agree that Christians are not to keep the Passover. However, many of those same people would think it proper to celebrate Easter. In reality, Easter is the Passover. The Greek word ‘Pascha’ is translated as ‘Passover’ some 29 times in the New Testament. And it refers to the celebration under the Old Law of the time when the Israelites came out of bondage in Egypt. But the old King James version of the bible renders this word ‘Pascha’ one time as ‘Easter’. (See below) Acts 12:3-4 King James Version And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (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 New American Standard Bible When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. Now it was during the days of Unleavened Bread When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people All major subsequent translations (including the New King James, American and New American Standard, New International Version, English Standard Version and even Young’s Literal Translation) properly render the word in Acts 12:4 as ‘Passover’. In the context it is clear that the celebration of the Passover is being referenced because of the mention in v.3 of ‘the days of unleavened bread’, synonymous with the Passover (cf. Luke 22:1 – Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching). As to why the King James translators rendered this word only one time as Easter, here is an explanation from Wikipedia: The most widely accepted theory of the origin of the term (Easter) is that it is derived from the name of a goddess mentioned by the 7th to 8th-century English monk Bede, who wrote that Ēosturmōnaþ (Old English ‘Month of Ēostre’, 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 Ēostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month”. However, it is possible that Bede was only speculating about the origin of the term since there is no firm evidence that such a goddess actually existed. So the King James translators seem to have used a term that referred to the month of April, when the Passover typically falls, instead of just rendering it ‘Passover’ as they did the other 28 times the word appears. While this error has given rise to the celebration of Easter, there is another reason why such a celebration is a misunderstanding of New Testament teachings. The New Testament speaks of only one memorial service a Christian is to engage in; that is the Lord’s supper. 1 Cor. 11:26 says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” In context, Paul is reminding the Corinthian brethren how to properly commune in the Lord’s supper. It was to be done when ‘you come together as a church’ (v.18) or ‘meet together’ (v.20). From other passages like Acts 20:7 and 1 Cor. 16:2, we see the church coming together on the first day of the week, which is our Sunday. Notice that they were not coming together to worship on the Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, which is our Saturday. Again, the Sabbath was a holy day under the Old Law. Also notice that only the first day of the week was specified. We can rightly infer that the Lord’s supper is to be taken every first day of the week, since no other interval was specified or implied. To properly remember the death and resurrection of our Lord, Christians should come together every first day of the week and engage in the Lord’s supper. This is the authorized way in which we proclaim His death. Easter is a man-made holiday, brought about by an erroneous translation and perpetuated by a misunderstanding of the dissolution of the Old Law. “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near” (Heb. 10:1).