Recently, I have seen two conflicting, yet equally helpful discussions of the use of the word “Easter” to celebrate Resurrection Sunday.
Dr. Tim LeCroy’s post argues that Easter, counter to common pronouncement, is not pagan in origin, but is a reference to the vernal equinox and the change of the sunlight in Spring, this change coming in the East. Tim also sees this as part of God’s design that the Lord should be raised at the vernal equinox, bringing the light to the world. This is more normal to the Bible than you might realize, since the Hebrew festivals are actually set according to things like moons and equinoxes…. Take a read of Tim’s work; it is high quality and worthy of a gander.
Doug Wilson’s CanonWired video takes the usual line of saying the name comes from a Germanic Fertility Goddess, and I don’t fault someone for thinking it is the same as everyone always says it is. (Tim provides good evidence to the contrary). Doug’s argument however, is that paganism is made void and we have seen the victory of Christ over this paganism. He cites Hosea 2.17. I like that Doug takes this approach, and while I favor Tim’s etymology, I know that Tim also values the reasoning that follows Doug’s initial assumption.
So I think both are helpful. And in the vein of etymology, and with the spirit of Doug’s acceptance of the word, Easter, I want to add the following note. Read more…