Deborah~

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Contrary to the myths that are haunting the internet, the word “Easter” has nothing to do with any ancient pagan goddesses, including the most popular claim that Easter is the English name for the ancient Assyrian goddess Ishtar. Notable experts in the field of Assyriology have completely refuted this myth. Addressing the pronunciation of Ishtar as Easter, Jacob Lauinger, associate professor of Assyriology at Johns Hopkins University¹ said: “The equation of Ištar and Easter is crazy … We know very little about how Akkadian (of which Assyrian is a dialect) words and names were pronounced, but it appears that at some point Ištar was pronounced issar.”

And other experts in the field of the history of theology, such as the notable Andrew McGowan, Dean of Yale University’s Berkeley Divinity School², have also refuted this myth: “The Ishtar connection is indeed a modern myth … There is consensus that... ‘Easter’ is derived from the words used in Germanic languages …

The only connection between Easter and Ishtar is that they sound similar. A simple fact check shows these claims to be false: Easter not derived from name of ancient Mesopotamian goddess

The word "Easter" did not exist until the 16th century, when it was coined (invented) by William Tyndale, the man who first translated the Bible from its original Hebrew and Greek languages into English.

Tyndale, an early “reformer” (which movement gave rise to the Protestant Reformation), was persecuted and driven out of England by the church when his request for permission to translate the Scriptures from the original Hebrew and Greek into English were rejected. He fled England and traveled to Hamburg, Germany and joined up with Martin Luther, who had previously translated the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek into German. Tyndale undertook his translation and relied heavily on Luther's work, coining new English words drawn from many of Luther's German words and phrases (German being the "mother tongue" of English), such as Easter, the English equivalent of the German word Oster used by Germanic people even to this day for the observance of the Resurrection– the word "Oster" in turn derives from an old Teutonic root word "Aufstehen" the word for “resurrection." Tyndale used the German “Oster” and coined the new English word “Easter” for the Christian observance of the Resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is observed worldwide, but only by English-speaking peoples is it called "Easter."

Many other English words were similarly coined by Tyndale, relying on the German, such as the word "passover" (to translate the Hebrew pesach and Greek pascha and German passah), “passover” carrying over the “pas” sound from all three original languages but at the same time creating a new English word that gives a theological definition of the event itself, the angel “passed over” the homes of those who were covered by the sign of the blood. (Tyndale was actually quite a brilliant linguist and we, especially we Protestants, owe much to his work). In every instance in the Hebrew and Greek where pesach/pascha were used, Tyndale translated the words as “passover.” Only in one instance does he translate the word “passover” as “Easter,” and that was the post-resurrection passover mentioned in Acts 12:4 recounting the arrest and imprisonment of Peter during the days of Unleavened Bread. In this one instance, Tyndale translated “pascha” as “Easter” rather than “passover,” his intent being to indicate a post-resurrection observance.³

Tyndale coined many other English words to translate the Hebrew and Greek for which there were no equivalent English words, such as “atonement” (at-one-ment) “scapegoat,” “mercy seat,” “shewbread,” and others. Even the name “Jehovah” was coined by Tyndale to translate the Hebrew tetragrammaton, the four consonants YHVH, and adding the vowels from the name “Adonai” thus producing the name “YaHoWaH” rendered in English as “Jehovah.”

The story of Tyndale’s life and his translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek is quite a fascinating story, which you can read here Words “Fitly Spoken”: Tyndale’s English Translation of the Bible | Religious Studies Center. Not only was Tyndale the first to translate the entire Bible from the original languages into English, but he is credited with creating modern English and, further, with translating the Hebrew into poetical English phrases that have become proverbial in the English language.



¹ Jacob Lauinger, Associate Professor, Assyriology, Director of Graduate Studies: Curriculum Vitae Jacob Lauinger | Near Eastern Studies Jacob Lauinger | Johns Hopkins University - Academia.edu

² Andrew McGowan, Dean and President of Yale University, Berkeley Divinity School, Curriculum Vitae Andrew McGowan | Yale Divinity School

³ There is a theological difficulty with translating “passover” as “Easter” in that the Christian passover is not Easter. The Christian passover is the Lord’s Supper. Easter is the Christian observance of the resurrection on the Sunday following the Jewish Passover.
 
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Deborah~

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It is far more important to keep the holy days that God has commanded then to be concerned with whether or not a human tradition has pagan origins.
Those under the New Covenant are not subject to the Old Covenant Law.

And secondly, it is not possible to keep the feasts commanded in the Old Covenant Law, God removed everything He had provided for their observance, in the same generation that he instituted the New Covenant dedicated with the blood of Jesus. (Hebrews 9-10)

In Christ,
Deborah~
 
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Deborah~

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I prefer the name Resurrection Sunday. Whether the word Easter had pagan origins or not, it's clearly been paganized now.
Originally, it was called "the Feast of the Resurrection," but regardless of the name we use, and contrary to the anti-Christian claims, it's the observance of that day in history when Jesus rose from the dead.

In Christ,
Deborah
 
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Soyeong

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Those under the New Covenant are not subject to the Old Covenant Law.
In Matthew 4:15-23, Chris began his ministry with the Gospel message to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, which was a light to the Gentiles, and God's law is how his audience knew what sin is (Romans 3:20), so repenting from our disobedience to it is a central part of the Gospel message. Likewise, Christ set a sinless example of how to walk in obedience to God's law, and as his followers we are told to follow his example (1 Peter 2:21-22) and that those who are in Christ are obligated to walk in the same way he walked (1 John 2:6). In Titus 2:14, Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so becoming zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's law is the way to believe in what he accomplished through the cross (Acts 21:20). The purpose for which Jesus established the New Covenant was not to negate anything that he spent his ministry teaching by word and by example or to negate anything that he accomplished through the cross, but rather the New Covenant still involves following God's law (Jeremiah 31:33). In addition, Paul instructed to continue to observe Passover (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).

And secondly, it is not possible to keep the feasts commanded in the Old Covenant Law, God removed everything He had provided for their observance, in the same generation that he instituted the New Covenant dedicated with the blood of Jesus. (Hebrews 9-10)

In Christ,
Deborah~
The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after God gave them the gift of His law, and while there were many laws that they were faithful obey during that time, there were a number of laws that had the condition "when you enter the land..." that they were not able obey, so when there are aspects of God's feasts that we are not able obey, we should nevertheless be faithful to obey what we are able to obey.

The Didache is not Scripture, but it was taught to early Christians, so for what it is worth:

Didache 6:2 For if you are able to bear all the yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, what you are able that do.
 
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Deborah~

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In Matthew 4:15-23, Chris began his ministry with the Gospel message to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand, which was a light to the Gentiles, and God's law is how his audience knew what sin is (Romans 3:20), so repenting from our disobedience to it is a central part of the Gospel message. Likewise, Christ set a sinless example of how to walk in obedience to God's law, and as his followers we are told to follow his example (1 Peter 2:21-22) and that those who are in Christ are obligated to walk in the same way he walked (1 John 2:6). In Titus 2:14, Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so becoming zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's law is the way to believe in what he accomplished through the cross (Acts 21:20). The purpose for which Jesus established the New Covenant was not to negate anything that he spent his ministry teaching by word and by example or to negate anything that he accomplished through the cross, but rather the New Covenant still involves following God's law (Jeremiah 31:33). In addition, Paul instructed to continue to observe Passover (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).


The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after God gave them the gift of His law, and while there were many laws that they were faithful obey during that time, there were a number of laws that had the condition "when you enter the land..." that they were not able obey, so when there are aspects of God's feasts that we are not able obey, we should nevertheless be faithful to obey what we are able to obey.

The Didache is not Scripture, but it was taught to early Christians, so for what it is worth:

Didache 6:2 For if you are able to bear all the yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, what you are able that do.
When Jesus said we are to follow him, I don’t believe he meant we are to live as a male Jew lived 2000 years ago legally bound to the terms of a covenant that was made with the nation of Israel to prepare them for what they were chosen for, to be that people, separated and made holy according to the flesh, through whom God would bring the Savior, according to the flesh. The Savior has come, that covenant has been fulfilled, and God has taken it away.

Jesus wasn’t sinless because he obeyed the law. Jesus was sinless because he obeyed the Father: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever the Father does, these also do the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain … Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 2:21-3:2)

In Christ,
Deborah
 
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Soyeong

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When Jesus said we are to follow him, I don’t believe he meant we are to live as a male Jew lived 2000 years ago legally bound to the terms of a covenant that was made with the nation of Israel to prepare them for what they were chosen for, to be that people, separated and made holy according to the flesh, through whom God would bring the Savior, according to the flesh. The Savior has come, that covenant has been fulfilled, and God has taken it away.
The goal of disciple was to learn from their Rabbi how to obey the Torah by memorizing their teachings, but learning how to think and act like them, and be essentially becoming an imitations of them, where if we see them, then we also see the one who taught them, which is why Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 to be imitators of him as he is an imitator of Christ, so that is what Christ meant when he invited people to follow Him. Christ set a sinless example of how to walk in obedience to the Torah, and in Matthew 11:28-30, he was inviting people to follow him and to learn from him. Likewise, in Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus commissioned his disciples to make disciples of all nations teaching everything that he taught them. If this was not meant for the nations, then there would be no point in sending the Gospel out to the nations. Our salvation is from sin and it is by the Torah that we have knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20), so if Gentiles don't need to obey it, then Gentiles don't need a Savior. Again, the New Covenant still involves following God's law (Jeremiah 31:33).

Jesus wasn’t sinless because he obeyed the law. Jesus was sinless because he obeyed the Father: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever the Father does, these also do the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)
Discipleship is also connected with sonship, such as in John 5:19, where the son is doing the same thing as their father, and in John 8:39, where Jesus said that if they were children of Abraham, then they would be doing the same works as him.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain … Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 2:21-3:2)

In Christ,
Deborah
In Psalms 119:29, David wanted God to be gracious to him by teaching him to obey His law, so this does not frustrate the grace of God, but rather it is the grace of God. Righteousness is not earned as the result of obeying God's law because it was never given as a means of doing that, but that does not mean that we do not need to obey it for the purposes for which it was given. To describe someone as having a character trait is to describe them as being someone who chooses to take actions that express that trait, so to say that God is righteous is to say that He chooses to take actions that express righteousness, and it would be in accurate to describe God as righteous if He chose not to do that, so righteousness is not earned as the result of obeying God's law, but rather the gift of becoming righteous by grace through faith is the gift of becoming someone who chooses to do what is righteous in obedience to God's law by grace through faith.
 
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Deborah~

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The goal of disciple was to learn from their Rabbi how to obey the Torah
Disciples of Moses, yes. Disciples of Jesus, no. (John 9:28)

so if Gentiles don't need to obey it, then Gentiles don't need a Savior. Again, the New Covenant still involves following God's law
“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon [Gentiles] no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from fornication.” (Acts 15:28-29)

The controversy over whether the Gentiles who were converting to Christ needed to also keep the Law of Moses was settled in the very beginning.
if they were children of Abraham, then they would be doing the same works as him.
Abraham didn't follow the Law of Moses, Abraham lived 600 years before the Law. And it wasn't Abraham's works that made him righteous, it was his faith.
teaching him to obey His law, so this does not frustrate the grace of God,
You just completely contradicted the Scripture: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." To believe that it is "right" to obey the law is the very definition of what it means to frustrate the grace of God. If you can be "right" by keeping the Law, then you don't need God's mercy.
obey it for the purposes for which it was given
The purpose for which the Law of Moses was given was to prepare the God's plan of salvation by cleansing (according to the flesh) a people through the sacrifices and offerings of the law, that through them the Son of God might be born (according to the flesh). This was the purpose for which Israel was chosen and set apart and given the Law, to cleanse them and make them a fit vessel to bear the Son of God.

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:13-14)
Those are some of the most profound words in all of Scripture for it lays out exactly why the law cannot make us righteous and why and how the blood of Christ, and only the blood of Christ can.
becoming righteous by ... someone who chooses to do what is righteous in obedience to God's law
Understand this: there is nothing we can do that can make us one whit righteous. As Isaiah said long ago, all our works are as filthy rags. It is the Spirit of God that makes us righteous, that does the work, dwelling in us and changing and conforming us to the image of Christ. And the life we live bears the fruit of that Holy Presence and Work of God in us. And the fruit of that life-changing work God does in us is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such fruits there is no law."

Again, a work of God in our innermost being that changes our very nature and conforms us to a standard of righteousness that transcends the Law’s behavior modification. The Law could change people's behavior (works of the law) and provided sacrifices for forgiveness when one's behavior violated the commandments, but only the Spirit can change your nature. Which is why Jesus told those who would follow him that our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of those who scrupulously obeyed every little jot and tittle of the Law, or we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

But this thread has gotten completely off topic so why don't we bring it back?
It is far more important to keep the holy days that God has commanded then to be concerned with whether or not a human tradition has pagan origins.

Back to Easter and the feasts of the Law:

You say it is more important to remember the holy days of the Law, than to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. Are you saying that day in history when Jesus died and was raised again to deliver us from sin and death is somehow "less holy" than the day God delivered Israel from Egypt? True, nowhere are we "commanded" to remember the day Jesus saved us, but that's the thing about the New Covenant, it's not about serving God according to commandments, it's about serving God according to love and devotion that doesn't need to be "commanded," it is given freely out of a sense of thanksgiving and wonder at the riches of love and mercy he has poured out on us. I cannot fathom how anyone can profess to apprehend the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus that alone has saved our souls and reconciled us with God, and yet refuse to even give a token nod to the day in history when that great work of salvation was done.

In Christ,
Deborah
 
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Disciples of Moses, yes. Disciples of Jesus, no. (John 9:28)
The same God who gave His law to Moses also sent Jesus, who set a sinless example for us to follow of how to walk in obedience to it, so there is no disagreement.

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon [Gentiles] no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from fornication.” (Acts 15:28-29)

The controversy over whether the Gentiles who were converting to Christ needed to also keep the Law of Moses was settled in the very beginning.
Christ spent his ministry teaching his followers how to obey the Law of Moses by word and by example, so you are interpreting Acts 15 as if they were essentially ruling that Gentiles shouldn't follow Christ and as if the Jerusalem Council had the authority to countermand God. The list in Acts 15:19-21 is either an exhaustive list for mature Gentile believers or it is not, so the moment that you treat it as not being an exhaustive list by saying that there are obviously other laws that Gentiles should obey is the moment that you can no longer treat it as being an exhaustive list to limit which laws Gentiles should follow. Clearly, Gentiles should still obey things like the greatest two commandments, the Ten Commandments, and refrain from things like rape, kidnapping, or favoritism, or things listed in verses like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21, and Titus 3:1-3, so I don't see good grounds for treating it as being exhaustive list for mature believers, but rather as stated, it was a list intended not to make things too difficult for new believers, which they excused by saying that they would continue to learn about how to obey Moses by hearing him taught every Sabbath in the synagogues.

Abraham didn't follow the Law of Moses, Abraham lived 600 years before the Law. And it wasn't Abraham's works that made him righteous, it was his faith.
If the Israelites should be obeying the Law of Moses and they should be doing the same works as Abraham, then the works that Abraham did are the same as the Law of Moses. There are many examples of God's law being given prior to when they were given at Sinai, such as in Genesis 39:9, Joseph knew that it was a sin to commit adultery.

In Acts 3:25-26, Jesus was sent in fulfillment of the promise to bless us by turning us from our wickedness, which is in accordance with spending his ministry spreading the Gospel message (Matthew 4:15-23), which was the Gospel that was made known in advance to Abraham in accordance with the promise (Galatians 3:8), which he spread to those in Haran in accordance with the promise (Genesis 12:1-5), so he taught Gentiles to obey the Law of Moses in accordance with the promise. In Genesis 18:19, Genesis 26:4-5, and Deuteronomy 30:16, the promise was made to Abraham and brought about because he walked in God's way in obedience to His law, he taught his children and those of his household to do that, and because they did that by obeying that Mosaic Law.

The purpose for which the Law of Moses was given was to prepare the God's plan of salvation by cleansing (according to the flesh) a people through the sacrifices and offerings of the law, that through them the Son of God might be born (according to the flesh). This was the purpose for which Israel was chosen and set apart and given the Law, to cleanse them and make them a fit vessel to bear the Son of God.

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? (Hebrews 9:13-14)
Those are some of the most profound words in all of Scripture for it lays out exactly why the law cannot make us righteous and why and how the blood of Christ, and only the blood of Christ can.
In Exodus 33:13, Moses wanted God to be gracious to him by teaching him to walk in His way that he might know Him, and in Matthew 7:23, Jesus said that he would tell those who are workers of lawlessness to depart from him because he never knew them so the goal of the law is to teach us how to know God and Jesus, which is eternal life (John 17:3), and which is why Jesus said that the way to enter eternal life is by obeying God's commandments (Matthew 19:17, Luke 10:25-28). In Romans 10:2-4, knowing Jesus is the goal of the law for righteousness for everyone who has faith. In other words, Jesus is God's word made flesh, so God's word was given to testify about how to know him.

You just completely contradicted the Scripture: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." To believe that it is "right" to obey the law is the very definition of what it means to frustrate the grace of God. If you can be "right" by keeping the Law, then you don't need God's mercy.
I interpret Galatians 2:21 in a way that is in accordance with Psalms 119:29, so I am not contradicting Scripture, but rather you are the one doing that by interpreting Galatians 2:21 in a manner that contradicts Psalms 119:29. The issue is that it is impossible to remove the concept of someone having a character trait from concept of them being someone who chooses to express that character trait, so it is contradictory for someone to be righteous without being someone who chooses to do what is righteous. In Galatians 2:21, it speaks against becoming righteous as the result of doing what is righteous, which I completely agree with, but it is not saying that we can become righteous without also becoming someone who chooses to do what is righteous.

Understand this: there is nothing we can do that can make us one whit righteous. As Isaiah said long ago, all our works are as filthy rags. It is the Spirit of God that makes us righteous, that does the work, dwelling in us and changing and conforming us to the image of Christ. And the life we live bears the fruit of that Holy Presence and Work of God in us. And the fruit of that life-changing work God does in us is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such fruits there is no law."

Again, a work of God in our innermost being that changes our very nature and conforms us to a standard of righteousness that transcends the Law’s behavior modification. The Law could change people's behavior (works of the law) and provided sacrifices for forgiveness when one's behavior violated the commandments, but only the Spirit can change your nature. Which is why Jesus told those who would follow him that our righteousness must exceed the righteousness of those who scrupulously obeyed every little jot and tittle of the Law, or we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)
Righteousness is a character trait of God that is straightforwardly expressed by doing what is righteous and God's law is His instructions for how to express His righteousness, not for how to become righteous. For example, God's law reveals that a way to express His righteousness is by helping the poor, but no amount of helping the poor will ever cause someone to become righteous because the only way to become righteous is by grace through faith. To describe someone as having a character trait is also to describe them as being someone who chooses to take actions that express that character trait, so when God declares us to be righteous, He is also declaring us to be someone who expresses His righteousness through our actions in obedience to His instructions for how to do that found in His law. God does not command filthy rags, but rather the righteous deeds of the saints are like fine white linen (Revelation 19:8).

The Son is the exact image of God's nature (Hebrews 1:3), which he expressed through setting a sinless example of how to walk in obedience to the Mosaic Law, so the way to be in his image by the work of the Spirit is through partaking in his nature through following his example, which is why the Spirit has the role of leading us to obey it (Ezekiel 36:26-27), and why everything listed as works of the flesh that are against the Spirit are also against the Mosaic Law while all of the fruits of the Spirit are aspects of God's nature that are in accordance with it.

But this thread has gotten completely off topic so why don't we bring it back?


Back to Easter and the feasts of the Law:

You say it is more important to remember the holy days of the Law, than to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. Are you saying that day in history when Jesus died and was raised again to deliver us from sin and death is somehow "less holy" than the day God delivered Israel from Egypt? True, nowhere are we "commanded" to remember the day Jesus saved us, but that's the thing about the New Covenant, it's not about serving God according to commandments, it's about serving God according to love and devotion that doesn't need to be "commanded," it is given freely out of a sense of thanksgiving and wonder at the riches of love and mercy he has poured out on us. I cannot fathom how anyone can profess to apprehend the importance of the death and resurrection of Jesus that alone has saved our souls and reconciled us with God, and yet refuse to even give a token nod to the day in history when that great work of salvation was done.

In Christ,
Deborah
In Mark 7:6-9, Jesus said that the Pharisees were hypocrites for setting aside the commands of God in order to establish our own traditions, so while it is good to follow a tradition remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus, it is more important to avoid setting aside any of the commands of God. In Titus 2:14, Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing works, so becoming zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's law is the way to believe in the resurrection (Acts 21:20 while disobeying God's law to honor the resurrection would be like a husband trying to honor his wife by committing adultery. Jesus rose on the Feast of Firstfruits as the firstfruits from the dead, so there is already a day that is rich with relevant symbolism that is in accordance with what God has commanded that we can use to honor the resurrection, so there is absolutely no need whatsoever to set aside any of God's commands in order to do that.

In Jeremiah 31:33, the New Covenant involves God putting the Mosaic Law in our minds and writing it on our hearts, so it baffles me how people can think that the New Covenant is not about serving God according to commandments. If you want, I can link a list of 1,050 things that are commanded in the NT. Everything that God chose to command was specifically commanded to teach us how to love a different aspect of His nature, which is why there are many verses in both the OT and the NT that connect our love for God with our obedience to His commandments. For example, in 1 John 5:3, to love God is to obey His commandments, which are not burdensome. In Matthew 24:12-14, Jesus said that because of lawlessness to love of many will grow cold, so it is incorrect to think of love as being an alternative to obeying God's commandments, especially when God's commandments are His instructions for how to love.
 
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Deborah~

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The same God who gave His law to Moses also sent Jesus, who set a sinless example for us to follow of how to walk in obedience to it, so there is no disagreement.
Again, it wasn’t obedience to the law that made Jesus sinless. If obeying the law could make men sinless, then salvation would have been by the law. It was obedience to the Spirit of God that made Jesus sinless. Every step Jesus took throughout his life, he was following the Spirit, every word he spoke, every parable he uttered, every lesson he taught, every good work he did, every miracle he performed, everything he thought and said and did was in obedience to the Spirit of God. The number one example Jesus set for us is to spend a lot of time in prayer. If the Son of God needed to draw apart and spend time in prayer and communion with the Father, how much more do we? Jesus’ righteousness not only fulfilled the law of Moses, but his righteousness exceeded the Law of Moses, not because he was following the law of Moses but because he was following something better than the Law of Moses, something higher than the Law of Moses, something more Holy than the Law of Moses … he was following God! The God who gave the law is greater than the law He gave.

If we Christians would truly be followers of Christ, we must also likewise have that spiritual connection with the Father, so that we too might walk in the spirit and obey the spirit because it only the Spirit of God dwelling in us that can change our nature and conform not just our behavior to an outward show of righteousness, but can change our hearts and minds, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) That is a work of the Holy Spirit in us, a change that comes from spending time in the presence of the Father and the Son, not something that can be changed by following a law. If following the law could change someone's nature, then 1500 years of Israel following the law would have made some improvement. But the last generation was worse than the first.
There are many examples of God's law being given prior to when they were given at Sinai, such as in Genesis 39:9, Joseph knew that it was a sin to commit adultery

Of course, there was sin in the world even before the Law was given. Adam sinned when the only commandment God had given was to not eat the forbidden fruit.

But the Law of Moses was not simply a global moral standard for right and wrong, which is how too many look at the Law. The Law of Moses was a covenant between God and the nation of Israel which outlined in detail how and where and when they were to worship God, what the consequences would be for obedience to those commandments, and what the consequences would be if they violated even one of those commandments, and thereby broke covenant with God, which they did, time and time and time again.

And then Jesus came, who fulfilled every covenant promise going back to Adam, including that old Mosaic covenant made between God and Israel, both the promises of the blessings of restoration of man’s relationship with God (forfeited by Adam in the fall) for those who obeyed the Gospel and were joined with Christ in a New Covenant; but Jesus also fulfilled the promises of the curse of the law, the judgment and destruction of those of Israel who violated the commandments and broke covenant with God. That judgment and destruction was fulfilled in the last days of the Old Covenant when the nation of Israel was destroyed, millions of Jews were killed, and the Temple and sacrificial system, the whole Mosaic economy, were destroyed, which brought Old Covenant worship to an end.

In this New Covenant age, worshiping and serving God according to the Old Covenant is no longer possible. And it is no longer possible because Jesus removed those things which were necessary for that covenant’s observance (“Behold, I [Jesus] come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second” Hebrews 10:9). Jesus “removed those earthly, shakable things” (the Old Covenant earthly “kingdom of God”) so that the heavenly, unshakable things alone might remain (the New Covenant heavenly “Kingdom of God”). (Hebrews 12:22-28) The reason is, the Law of Moses was never intended to replace restoration of personal communion with and obedience to God Himself. It was figurative and it was preparatory, holding a shadowy promise of better things that would come and preparing a people through whom those things would come. The Law was not the source of those better things, nor was it the path to those better things. The only path to those heavenly things is through the Cross, not through the Law.

the goal of the law is to teach us how to know God and Jesus

The goal of the law is to bring us to Jesus. It is Jesus alone who can bring us to God (“I am the way, the truth, and the life … no one comes to the Father except by me”), and it is only by the communion of the Holy Spirit, whom we receive through Christ, that we can know God because God is spirit, and unless a man is born again, he is spiritually dead and cannot even “see” God’s Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Holy Ghost who “opens the eyes of our understanding that we might understand the Scriptures,” (Luke 25:45 and that includes understanding what the Law and the prophets foretold about Jesus) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of our understanding being enlightened: that we may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward, who believe …’ (Ephesians 1:17-19)

This “knowing” the Father and the Son comes by the revelation of the Holy Ghost, not by the Law. By spending time in the presence of the Father and the Son. The Law shows us the shadows of good things that were to come, earthly shadows of heavenly things, earthly figures and examples of who Christ is and what He would accomplish, earthly types of our spiritual relationship with the Father and the Son. But only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to what all those old earthly things were given to foreshadow: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of any man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him, but He has revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, even the deep things of God … Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14)

Again, to “see” and understand these things, which are spiritual, one must be born again, that is, raised from spiritual death to spiritual life through faith in Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit in one’s heart and soul that raises us up so that we are passed from death to life, life with God, so that we might, in the spirit, enter into the gates of Heaven with thanksgiving and enter the courts of God’s Heavenly Temple with praise, and through the blood of Jesus even stand before the very throne of God that we might make our petitions known in the presence of the Great God of Heaven and Earth.

while it is good to follow a tradition remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus, it is more important to avoid setting aside any of the commands of God.

There is a stark and vital difference between the way God’s people worshipped Him under the Old Covenant versus the way His people worship Him under the New. The Old Covenant laid out in detail the corporate worship of the nation as a whole. Everyone was subject to the exact same commandments, the exact same worship, and exact same service rendered up to God. Under the New Covenant, worship is personal for each and every believer. Not all are called to worship or to serve God in the same way. Each of us have a calling and a gift to equip us for whatever role God has for us to serve him in our own personal lives. Just as no two people experience salvation in exactly the same way (God, who knows us better than we know ourselves, begins with each of us where we are and as we are), so too no two people serve God in exactly the same way. It is a far, far more difficult path to follow, not having a list of do’s and don’t’s to follow but having to rely on the personal guidance of the Spirit of God each step we take every day of our lives. It is humbling and requires a life-long examination of our own hearts and minds and sometimes very difficult subjection of our own feelings and desires to the moving and inspiration of the spirit of God. But at the same time, it is the greatest of all blessings to live in the presence of God and daily receive from His hand everything we need to live a godly life, from the moment-by-moment guidance in what is right and good and holy to the long arc of dreams and desires of a lifetime that in the end, we might live a life that glorifies God.

Some tend to think the Law of Moses is the highest standard that exists for what is right and good, and that if one is not obeying the Law of Moses then one is sinning. But that’s not true. God himself is the highest standard for what is right and good. I have often said that the New Covenant sets the bar for righteousness far, far higher than the Old Covenant did, and the bar the New Covenants sets for what is right and good is far more difficult to follow. As I’m sure any man can testify, it is far easier to “not commit adultery” than it is to “not look upon a woman to lust.” And surely we all can agree that it is far easier to seek “an eye for an eye” than it is to “turn the other cheek.”

So, follow the Law of Moses -or- live in sin ... are not our only two options. Be led by the Spirit of God and live a life of holiness that exceeds the do's and dont's of the law and changes us into a completely new creation wrought by the hand of God.

But back to the subject of New Covenant and Old Covenant feasts.

Again, it is not possible to obey the commandments to observe the feasts of the Law, everything that was required to observe the feasts has passed away, or rather, has been taken away because all the better things the old promised have all come to pass, including the feasts of Moses foreshadowed, and in a way and to a degree that was beyond anything anyone could have hoped or imagined. Many still struggle to believe it.

In Christ,
Deborah ~
 
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Again, it wasn’t obedience to the law that made Jesus sinless. If obeying the law could make men sinless, then salvation would have been by the law. It was obedience to the Spirit of God that made Jesus sinless. Every step Jesus took throughout his life, he was following the Spirit, every word he spoke, every parable he uttered, every lesson he taught, every good work he did, every miracle he performed, everything he thought and said and did was in obedience to the Spirit of God. The number one example Jesus set for us is to spend a lot of time in prayer. If the Son of God needed to draw apart and spend time in prayer and communion with the Father, how much more do we? Jesus’ righteousness not only fulfilled the law of Moses, but his righteousness exceeded the Law of Moses, not because he was following the law of Moses but because he was following something better than the Law of Moses, something higher than the Law of Moses, something more Holy than the Law of Moses … he was following God! The God who gave the law is greater than the law He gave.
Our salvation is from sin (Matthew 1:21) and sin is the transgression of God's law (1 John 3:4), so while we do not earn our salvation as the result of obeying it, living in obedience to it through faith in Jesus is intrinsically part of the concept of him saving us from not living in obedience to it. Furthermore, the fact that sin is the transgression of God's law means that it was perfect obedience to it that made him sinless. In Ezekiel 36:26-27, the Spirit has the role of leading us to obey God's law, so obedience to the Spirit is the same as obeying God's law. The Bible does not say that the righteousness of Jesus exceeded the Law of Moses, but rather he expressed his righteousness through living in obedience to it. In Romans 8:4-7, those who walk in the Spirit are contrasted with those who have minds set on the flesh who refuse to obey God's law. God instructed the Law of Moses and It is impossible to follow Him instead of following what He has instructed. God's law is His instructions for how to spend Tim in his presence. God's law does not change our nature, but rather it is God who changes our nature and us following Christ's example of living in obedience to God's law is what that looks like.

In regard to Israel's redemption cycles, the good kings tended to live for much longer than the evil kings did, which means that even through though they went back and forth over the span of their history and they had more evil kings, they were nevertheless still under a good king for the majority of the time, which is far from showing no signs of improvement. Israel's example of disobedience to God's law should not be used as an example for us to follow, but as an example of what we should avoid doing (1 Corinthians 10:1-13).

Of course, there was sin in the world even before the Law was given. Adam sinned when the only commandment God had given was to not eat the forbidden fruit.

But the Law of Moses was not simply a global moral standard for right and wrong, which is how too many look at the Law. The Law of Moses was a covenant between God and the nation of Israel which outlined in detail how and where and when they were to worship God, what the consequences would be for obedience to those commandments, and what the consequences would be if they violated even one of those commandments, and thereby broke covenant with God, which they did, time and time and time again.

In this New Covenant age, worshiping and serving God according to the Old Covenant is no longer possible. And it is no longer possible because Jesus removed those things which were necessary for that covenant’s observance (“Behold, I [Jesus] come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second” Hebrews 10:9). Jesus “removed those earthly, shakable things” (the Old Covenant earthly “kingdom of God”) so that the heavenly, unshakable things alone might remain (the New Covenant heavenly “Kingdom of God”). (Hebrews 12:22-28) The reason is, the Law of Moses was never intended to replace restoration of personal communion with and obedience to God Himself. It was figurative and it was preparatory, holding a shadowy promise of better things that would come and preparing a people through whom those things would come. The Law was not the source of those better things, nor was it the path to those better things. The only path to those heavenly things is through the Cross, not through the Law.
The Bible often uses the same terms to describe aspects of God's nature as it does to describe aspects of the nature of God's law, such as with it being holy, righteous, and good (Romans 7:12), or with justice, mercy, and faithfulness being weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23), and this is because it is God's instructions for how to act in accordance with those aspect of His nature. The global moral standard of right and wrong is based on what is in accordance or against God's eternal nature. While we are under the New Covenant and not the Mosaic Covenant, we are nevertheless still under the same God with the same nature and therefore the same law for how to act in accordance with His nature (Jeremiah 31:33). For example, the way to worship God by acting in accordance with His righteousness is straightforwardly based on His righteousness, not on a particular covenant, and God's righteousness is eternal, so any instructions that God has ever given for how to act in accordance with His righteousness are eternally valid.

So sin was in the world before the law was given because people were able to act in a way that is against God's nature before they had been instructed laws against doing that. Furthermore, sin being in the world before the law was given means that there were no actions that became righteous or sinful when the law was given, but rather the law revealed what has always been and will always be the way to do that, such as that it will always be a sin to commit adultery no matter how many covenants God makes. So the fact that God's global moral standard was included as part of the Mosaic Covenant does not mean that we are not obligated to obey it.

Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law by spending his ministry teaching us how to correctly obey it by word and by example. In John 8:39, Jesus said that if they were children of Abraham, then they would be doing the same works as him, so the way that the children of Abraham are multiplied through faith in the promise is through having physical descendants, but through teaching people to do the same works that he did in accordance with spreading the Gospel. Likewise, the the Law of Moses was how the children of Abraham knew how to be blessed by walking in God's way, so the way to inherit the promise through faith is again by teaching the nations how to be blessed by obeying the Mosaic Law.
The goal of the law is to bring us to Jesus. It is Jesus alone who can bring us to God (“I am the way, the truth, and the life … no one comes to the Father except by me”), and it is only by the communion of the Holy Spirit, whom we receive through Christ, that we can know God because God is spirit, and unless a man is born again, he is spiritually dead and cannot even “see” God’s Kingdom of Heaven. It is the Holy Ghost who “opens the eyes of our understanding that we might understand the Scriptures,” (Luke 25:45 and that includes understanding what the Law and the prophets foretold about Jesus) that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of our understanding being enlightened: that we may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward, who believe …’ (Ephesians 1:17-19)

This “knowing” the Father and the Son comes by the revelation of the Holy Ghost, not by the Law. By spending time in the presence of the Father and the Son. The Law shows us the shadows of good things that were to come, earthly shadows of heavenly things, earthly figures and examples of who Christ is and what He would accomplish, earthly types of our spiritual relationship with the Father and the Son. But only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to what all those old earthly things were given to foreshadow: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of any man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him, but He has revealed them to us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, even the deep things of God … Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14)
Indeed, the goal of the Mosaic Law is to bring us to Jesus by teaching us how to know him through acting in accordance with His nature. God's law is His way (Isaiah 2:2-3), the truth (Psalms 119:142), and the life (Deuteronomy 32:46-47), and the way to see and know the Father (Exodus 33:13), God's law is God's word and Jesus is God's word made flesh, so he is the embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life, and the way to see and know the Father (John 14:6-7).

In Jeremiah 9:3 and 9:6, they did not know God and refused to know Him because in 9:13, they had forsaken His law, while in 9:24, those who know God know that He delights in practicing steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in all of the earth, so delighting in practicing these and other aspects of God's nature through our obedience to His law is the way to know Him and the way to know Jesus because he is the exact image of God's nature (Hebrews 1:3). Likewise, in 1 John 2:4, those who say that they know Jesus, but don't obey His commands are liars, and in 1 John 3:4-6, those who continue to practice sin in transgression of God's law have neither seen nor known him. So again, along with Exodus 33;13 and Matthew 7:23, the goal of the law is to teach us how to know God and Jesus, which is eternal life (John 17:3). This is not different than knowing God through communion with the Spirit because aspects of God's nature are the fruits of the Spirit, plus the Spirit has the role of leading us to obey God's law. The Father has made His will known through what He has commanded in His law, and in Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said that only those who do the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom of Heaven in contrast with saying that he would tell those who are workers of lawlessness to depart from him because he never knew them, so obedience to God's law is only way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is again the same way as entering the Kingdom of Heaven through communion with the Spirit. In Galatians 5:19-23, everything listed as works of the flesh that are against the Spirit are also against the Mosaic Law while all of the fruits of the Spirit are aspects of God's nature that are in accordance with it. In Romans 7:14, God's law is spiritual.

There is a stark and vital difference between the way God’s people worshipped Him under the Old Covenant versus the way His people worship Him under the New. The Old Covenant laid out in detail the corporate worship of the nation as a whole. Everyone was subject to the exact same commandments, the exact same worship, and exact same service rendered up to God. Under the New Covenant, worship is personal for each and every believer. Not all are called to worship or to serve God in the same way. Each of us have a calling and a gift to equip us for whatever role God has for us to serve him in our own personal lives. Just as no two people experience salvation in exactly the same way (God, who knows us better than we know ourselves, begins with each of us where we are and as we are), so too no two people serve God in exactly the same way. It is a far, far more difficult path to follow, not having a list of do’s and don’t’s to follow but having to rely on the personal guidance of the Spirit of God each step we take every day of our lives. It is humbling and requires a life-long examination of our own hearts and minds and sometimes very difficult subjection of our own feelings and desires to the moving and inspiration of the spirit of God. But at the same time, it is the greatest of all blessings to live in the presence of God and daily receive from His hand everything we need to live a godly life, from the moment-by-moment guidance in what is right and good and holy to the long arc of dreams and desires of a lifetime that in the end, we might live a life that glorifies God.

Some tend to think the Law of Moses is the highest standard that exists for what is right and good, and that if one is not obeying the Law of Moses then one is sinning. But that’s not true. God himself is the highest standard for what is right and good. I have often said that the New Covenant sets the bar for righteousness far, far higher than the Old Covenant did, and the bar the New Covenants sets for what is right and good is far more difficult to follow. As I’m sure any man can testify, it is far easier to “not commit adultery” than it is to “not look upon a woman to lust.” And surely we all can agree that it is far easier to seek “an eye for an eye” than it is to “turn the other cheek.”

So, follow the Law of Moses -or- live in sin ... are not our only two options. Be led by the Spirit of God and live a life of holiness that exceeds the do's and dont's of the law and changes us into a completely new creation wrought by the hand of God.

But back to the subject of New Covenant and Old Covenant feasts.

Again, it is not possible to obey the commandments to observe the feasts of the Law, everything that was required to observe the feasts has passed away, or rather, has been taken away because all the better things the old promised have all come to pass, including the feasts of Moses foreshadowed, and in a way and to a degree that was beyond anything anyone could have hoped or imagined. Many still struggle to believe it.

In Christ,
Deborah ~
The way to worship God is not based on a particular covenant, but rather it is based on acting in accordance with His nature, and His nature is eternal, so any instructions that God has ever given for how to worship Him are eternally valid. I agree that God's nature is the highest standard of what is right and wrong, though His laws are His instructions for how to act in accordance with that standard. In Romans 3:21-22, the only way to become righteous that testified about in the Law and the Prophets is through faith in Jesus, so this is the same standard. I we correctly understand what is being commanded by the 7th and 10th Commandments against adultery and coveting in our hearts, then we won't lust after a woman in our hearts, so again that is the same standard. Likewise, loving our enemy is in accordance with verses like Exodus 23:4-5, Deuteronomy 23:7, Proverbs 24:17-18, and Proverbs 25:21-22.

In Colossians 2:17, God's holy days are foreshadows of what is to come, so we should live in a way that testifies about what is to come by continuing to live in obedience to God's law rather than a way that denies the truth of what is to come.
 
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Contrary to the myths that are haunting the internet, the word “Easter” has nothing to do with any ancient pagan goddesses, including the most popular claim that Easter is the English name for the ancient Assyrian goddess Ishtar. Notable experts in the field of Assyriology have completely refuted this myth. Addressing the pronunciation of Ishtar as Easter, Jacob Lauinger, associate professor of Assyriology at Johns Hopkins University¹ said: “The equation of Ištar and Easter is crazy … We know very little about how Akkadian (of which Assyrian is a dialect) words and names were pronounced, but it appears that at some point Ištar was pronounced issar.”

And other experts in the field of the history of theology, such as the notable Andrew McGowan, Dean of Yale University’s Berkeley Divinity School², have also refuted this myth: “The Ishtar connection is indeed a modern myth … There is consensus that... ‘Easter’ is derived from the words used in Germanic languages …

The only connection between Easter and Ishtar is that they sound similar. A simple fact check shows these claims to be false: Easter not derived from name of ancient Mesopotamian goddess

This is absolutely true; the supposed connection between Easter and Ishtar is nonsensical. It's good to see people correcting this error.

The word "Easter" did not exist until the 16th century, when it was coined (invented) by William Tyndale, the man who first translated the Bible from its original Hebrew and Greek languages into English.

This portion isn't accurate, though. Tyndale did not create the word English Easter, which was used centuries prior to him.

I suppose someone could say that the specific spelling Easter may have only become common in the 16th century. Due to spelling changes and lack of standard spellings, we see a lot of different spellings of it prior to then (actually, this applies to most words). But the word itself, even if spelled differently, was around long before Tyndale. The Oxford English Dictionary, in listing examples of its usage in English going back to the tenth century, includes spellings such as Eastron, Eastrena, Eastran, Estre, Aestre, Ester, Esterne, Eesterne, Astere, and Esterne. The first time "Easter" shows up in its list of examples is from a 1593 work, after which all the examples are spelled Easter , so it seems the spelling got standardized at that point (though I do know the 1568 Bishops' Bible used "Easter). However, Tyndale himself didn't use the Easter spelling in his translation; he used Ester.
 
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But the word itself, even if spelled differently, was around long before Tyndale. The Oxford English Dictionary, in listing examples of its usage in English going back to the tenth century, includes spellings such as Eastron, Eastrena, Eastran, Estre, Aestre, Ester, Esterne, Eesterne, Astere, and Esterne.
I checked the Oxford English Dictionary and did not find an entry like the one you posted. Could you please provide a link to the page so I can verify your information? What I found is this:

“Old English ēastre; of Germanic origin and related to German Ostern and east; perhaps from Ēastre, the name of a goddess associated with spring.” easter noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

The idea that the word Easter was derived from the name of a goddess Eostre comes from only one source, a short passage from the 8th century monk Bede. But there is no other reference anywhere to such a goddess and many scholars doubt Bede’s information, which is why every reputable dictionary and encyclopedia, including Wiki, always note that it is “possible” that the word Easter predates Tyndale’s use, but there is no secondary support for a goddess of that name so most attribute the word Ester (later spelled Easter) to German origin, as the Oxford English Dictionary does in the quote above which I provided a link to.

And the controversy around Bede is even deeper in that Bede never mentioned the word Easter or any variant spelling of Easter, nor did he claim that the word “Easter” was derived from the name of the goddess Eostre. What he actually said was that the month in which the Christian observance of the passover occurred was “Eosturmonath,” and it was that spring month (our April) that was named after the goddess. Bede actually stated that Christians called that month “paschal month,” and that festival “paschal season.” Again, the word “Easter” is nowhere mentioned by Bede.
Tyndale himself didn't use the Easter spelling in his translation; he used Ester.
The first time "Easter" shows up in its list of examples is from a 1593 work
Tyndale’s translattion was first published in 1530. There are 29 occurrences of the word “pascha” in the New Testament, which Tyndale translated 14 times as “ester,” 11 times as “esterlambe,” 1 time as “esterfest,” and 3 times as “paschall lambe.” What illustrates the source of Tyndales English use of “ester” (which later became “Easter”) is the comparison with Luther’s translation.

Martin Luther had completed his German translation of the New Testament in 1522 in which Luther broke with tradition (most translations of the Greek New Testament retained the word “pascha”). Luter instead translated many New Testament occurrences of “pascha” as “ostern, “osterlambe,” and “osterfest.” Tyndale followed suit in his English translation by translating those same passages as “ester,” “esterlamb,” and “esterfest.” There is little doubt for most etymologists that the source of Tyndale’s “ester” is Luther’s “ostern.”

But I find an even deeper issue with Christian scholarship on the Passover/Easter observance, which I commented on in my footnotes in the opening post:

³ There is a theological difficulty with translating “passover” as “Easter” in that the Christian passover is not Easter. The Christian passover is the Lord’s Supper. Easter is the Christian observance of the resurrection on the Sunday following the Jewish Passover.

I believe the later translators, who moved away from Tyndale’s use of “ester” to translate the Jewish Passover, were correct to do so. As I said, the Christian passover is not Easter. The Christian passover (New Covenant fulfillment of the Old Covenant passover) is the Lord’s Supper, Communion, the Eucharist, Mass, all the various terms used to refer to the “supper” of bread and wine that represent the body and blood of Jesus, a “feast” Jesus instituted at the Old Covenant Passover the night before his arrest and crucifixion. And just as Jesus’ one sacrifice has once-and-forever fulfilled every sacrifice of the Old Covenant, so too that one single “feast” or “supper” is the fulfillment of every “feast” of the Old Covenant, the feast of passover, of unleavened bread, of firstfruits, of trumpets, of atonement, and of tabernacles, including the water offering of the 8th day. All of these sacrifices that the people partook of in their annual feasts are all fulfilled in that one feast, the Lord’s Supper, the one and only source of eternal life.
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Easter, however, is the observance of the Resurrection, and was originally called the “feast of the resurrection,” an observance that falls on the Sunday following the Paschal new moon of the spring, the date in history when Jesus rose from the dead following the Old Covenant passover observance which he participated in and at which he instituted the New Covenant passover.

I don’t agree with those who claim the King James Version translators’ use of the word “Easter” only in the Acts passage about Peter’s arrest was an oversight, they were much too learned and careful in their translation to claim anything was an “oversight.” It is more likely they simply left pascha translated as Easter due to it being a post-resurrection occurrence of the word. But again, I believe “pesach/pascha” in Scripture should always be translated “passover” as it is always a reference to the Old Covenant festival with one exception: where Paul explicitly states that “Christ our passover is sacrificed for us,” referring to the New Covenant feast of the Lord’s Supper, the body and blood of Jesus, which is the New Covenant passover.

But continuing to translate the New Testament uses of “pascha” as “passover” (a word which Tyndale also coined to translate both the Hebrew pesach and the Greek pascha into English) would be more theologically correct in that all those Old Covenant observances continued to be observed during the New Testament period and did not pass away until the end of the Old Covenant days when God’s Old Covenant kingdom and temple and ministry, all types and shadows of better things that the New Covenant fulfilled, all was destroyed and Old Covenant worship came to an end.

In Christ,
Deborah~
 
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JSRG

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I checked the Oxford English Dictionary and did not find an entry like the one you posted. Could you please provide a link to the page so I can verify your information? What I found is this:

“Old English ēastre; of Germanic origin and related to German Ostern and east; perhaps from Ēastre, the name of a goddess associated with spring.” easter noun - Definition, pictures, pronunciation and usage notes | Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

My source was this page:

After the definition, it gives a bunch of different examples of the word and its usage throughout the history of English. The earliest examples it lists are the Cleopatra Glossaries ("Phase, eastran"), Ælfric’s De Temporibus Anni ("On sumon geare bið se mona twelf siðon geniwod, fram ðære halgan eastertide oð eft eastron.") and an Old English translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History ("Ic þonne nu [eow] openlice andette.., þæt ic ðas tide Eastrena ecelice healdan wille mid ealre minre ðeode."). These are all from around the tenth century AD.

Unfortunately, the link I offered does require a subscription, so without access to a library that subscribes it'll be at least $30 to view it (it's $30/month or $100/year). If someone doesn't want to pay the money, an earlier version (1933) of the Oxford English Dictionary is available for free on archive.org. It requires an account to access, but registration is free. Here is a direct link to its entry on Easter:

The earliest examples it cites for usage of Easter in English writing are from, according to it, around 890 and 1050 AD.

The idea that the word Easter was derived from the name of a goddess Eostre comes from only one source, a short passage from the 8th century monk Bede. But there is no other reference anywhere to such a goddess and many scholars doubt Bede’s information, which is why every reputable dictionary and encyclopedia, including Wiki, always note that it is “possible” that the word Easter predates Tyndale’s use, but there is no secondary support for a goddess of that name so most attribute the word Ester (later spelled Easter) to German origin, as the Oxford English Dictionary does in the quote above which I provided a link to.

And the controversy around Bede is even deeper in that Bede never mentioned the word Easter or any variant spelling of Easter, nor did he claim that the word “Easter” was derived from the name of the goddess Eostre. What he actually said was that the month in which the Christian observance of the passover occurred was “Eosturmonath,” and it was that spring month (our April) that was named after the goddess. Bede actually stated that Christians called that month “paschal month,” and that festival “paschal season.” Again, the word “Easter” is nowhere mentioned by Bede.

I never said anything at all about Eostre, so I'm a little confused why you're arguing as if I did. Whether or not the word Easter comes directly or indirectly from Eostre wasn't really relevant to what I was saying. That said, I am aware of everything you just said. I'm undecided on the issue... the lack of any proof beyond Bede's brief passing mention is certainly an indication he could have been wrong, and the fact it was a brief mention can easily indicate he didn't look too much into the subject. On the other hand we don't have that much in the way of surviving sources for the gods worshipped in England in the pre-Christianization period to begin with, so the lack of evidence outside of Bede could simply be that the references to Eostre are no longer available. But, certainly, it is far from proven that Easter came at all from any goddess named Eostre. Indeed, even if there was an Eostre, you are correct in that Bede's statement indicates that the word Easter came not directly from Eostre, but from the month that was (according to him) named after Eostre.
 
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Deborah~

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My source was this page:

After the definition, it gives a bunch of different examples of the word and its usage throughout the history of English. The earliest examples it lists are the Cleopatra Glossaries ("Phase, eastran"), Ælfric’s De Temporibus Anni ("On sumon geare bið se mona twelf siðon geniwod, fram ðære halgan eastertide oð eft eastron.") and an Old English translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History ("Ic þonne nu [eow] openlice andette.., þæt ic ðas tide Eastrena ecelice healdan wille mid ealre minre ðeode."). These are all from around the tenth century AD.

Unfortunately, the link I offered does require a subscription, so without access to a library that subscribes it'll be at least $30 to view it (it's $30/month or $100/year). If someone doesn't want to pay the money, an earlier version (1933) of the Oxford English Dictionary is available for free on archive.org. It requires an account to access, but registration is free. Here is a direct link to its entry on Easter:

The earliest examples it cites for usage of Easter in English writing are from, according to it, around 890 and 1050 AD.



I never said anything at all about Eostre, so I'm a little confused why you're arguing as if I did. Whether or not the word Easter comes directly or indirectly from Eostre wasn't really relevant to what I was saying. That said, I am aware of everything you just said. I'm undecided on the issue... the lack of any proof beyond Bede's brief passing mention is certainly an indication he could have been wrong, and the fact it was a brief mention can easily indicate he didn't look too much into the subject. On the other hand we don't have that much in the way of surviving sources for the gods worshipped in England in the pre-Christianization period to begin with, so the lack of evidence outside of Bede could simply be that the references to Eostre are no longer available. But, certainly, it is far from proven that Easter came at all from any goddess named Eostre. Indeed, even if there was an Eostre, you are correct in that Bede's statement indicates that the word Easter came not directly from Eostre, but from the month that was (according to him) named after Eostre.
Thank you for the link. I was able to access it.

My apologies. I didn't mean to imply that you were arguing for a pagan source. I was taking the opportunity to respond to another popular theory (aside from the supposed Easter=Ishtar myth) that cites Bede's brief comment as "evidence" of the pagan origins not just of the word "Easter," but invariably argues that the Christian observance itself is pagan.

I appreciate the link and the information and will revise my view to include the earlier uses of the word in its various forms, although I still maintain that Tyndale's use of "ester" was more likely to have come from Luther's use of "oster" rather than a nod to what may have been conventional usage at the time. Tyndale was a trailblazer in the English language in many respects, and even more so in terms of translating the Bible into English. But then, I also still maintain that "Easter" was a theologically incorrect translation of the word "pascha" anyway.

Again, thank you for the correction.

In Christ,
Deborah ~
 
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Deborah~

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God's law does not change our nature
Amen, and Amen. Now if you could just follow where that truth leads instead of turning aside ...
is God's instructions for how to act in accordance with those aspect of His nature.

the same law for how to act in accordance with His nature

the way to worship God by acting in accordance with His righteousness

how to act in accordance with His righteousness
sin was in the world before the law was given because people were able to act in a way that is against God's nature

law revealed what has always been and will always be the way to do [what is righteous]

the way to inherit the promise through faith is again by teaching the nations how to be blessed by obeying the Mosaic Law.
how to know him through acting in accordance with His nature.

obedience to His law is the way to know Him

obedience to God's law is only way to enter the Kingdom of Heaven,
The way to worship God is not based on a particular covenant, but rather it is based on acting in accordance with His nature,

His laws are His instructions for how to act in accordance with [His nature]
You start out by stating, correctly I believe, that the law does not change our nature. I agree. The Law does not change our selfish, sinful nature before we are saved, or after we are saved.

But then you offer this long discourse in which you argue that if we obey the law, we can “ACT in accordance with God’s nature … we can ACT righteous.”

I tell you again, that is not good enough. “Acting” like God will NOT get you closer to God. It will separate you even further from God. There is only one thing that will get you closer to God, there is only one thing in heaven and earth that will get you into God's kingdom, there is only one thing that allows you to even approach the presence of God, and that is ... the blood of Jesus.

Which brings us to …
God's holy days are foreshadows of what is to come
I believe there is a lot we can learn from the times and seasons of the Old Covenant land and the feasts that God ordained for those under that covenant. The feasts were not simply “holy days.” The feasts were sacrifices, ergo, “feasts” when God’s people came to God’s House and shared a meal with God, a “feast” in which they ate of portions of the sacrifices that were commanded and offered up to God each and every day of the feasts and which He in turn provided for their tables. Passover is not simply a holiday. Passover is a sacrifice: “And thus shall ye eat it … it is the Lord’s passover.” Without a sacrifice, there is no passover.

Under the New Covenant, Christ is our passover. Christ is our sacrifice. Christ is that sacrifice offered up to God, which God has in turn provided to us that we might join with him in a feast of remembrance of the body and the blood of Jesus, today, this day ordained by God, if you will hear His Voice. This what the Old Covenant feast foreshadowed, and this what Christ has fulfilled.

You agree that these Old Covenant things were a shadow of things to come. And you even quoted a small snippet of the Colossians passage, but you took it completely out of context and omitted the most important part … that while the Old Covenant things like the meat and the drink were shadows, "the body” of those things "is Christ:" Jesus is what those things foreshadowed. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths: which are a shadow of things to come; BUT THE BODY IS CHRIST.” The meat and drink is the body and the blood of Jesus. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the passover commandments and those of us who partake of the body and blood of Jesus fulfill every jot and tittle of the Law ... in spirit and in truth.

>>>The law is spiritual.

Then why do you follow the letter and not the spirit? The letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

In Christ,
Deborah~
 
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Soyeong

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Amen, and Amen. Now if you could just follow where that truth leads instead of turning aside ...
I have not turned aside from what I said.

You start out by stating, correctly I believe, that the law does not change our nature. I agree. The Law does not change our selfish, sinful nature before we are saved, or after we are saved.
Indeed, God's law was not given to change our nature, but rather it is God who changes our nature and us following Christ's example of living in obedience to God's law is what that looks like.

But then you offer this long discourse in which you argue that if we obey the law, we can “ACT in accordance with God’s nature … we can ACT righteous.”
In Deuteronomy 30:11-14, it says that God's law is not too difficult to obey, so believing that we can obey it is a matter of trusting God's word. God's law reveals for example that it is in accordance with God's righteous to help the poor, which is something we can obey, and by doing that we drawing closer to God through gaining knowledge of Him.

I tell you again, that is not good enough. “Acting” like God will NOT get you closer to God. It will separate you even further from God. There is only one thing that will get you closer to God, there is only one thing in heaven and earth that will get you into God's kingdom, there is only one thing that allows you to even approach the presence of God, and that is ... the blood of Jesus.
God's word instructed the Israelites how to draw closer to Him, yet you are acting like it is not good enough to follow those instructions, like God lied because they won't get us closer to him, and like God should not be trusted because they will instead separate us even further from Him. In Psalms 40:8, the Father has revealed His will through what He has instructed though His law and in Matthew 7:21, Jesus said that only those who will do the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, yet you are acting like doing the Father's will won't get us into God's Kingdom. Jesus is God's word made flesh because he embodied God's word by living in sinless obedience to it, so it is contradictory to think that we enter God's Kingdom through His word made flesh, but not through His word. In Titus 2:14, Jesus gave himself to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own possession who are zealous for doing good works, so becoming zealous for doing good works in obedience to God's word is the way to enter God's Kingdom through the blood of Jesus.

Which brings us to …

I believe there is a lot we can learn from the times and seasons of the Old Covenant land and the feasts that God ordained for those under that covenant. The feasts were not simply “holy days.” The feasts were sacrifices, ergo, “feasts” when God’s people came to God’s House and shared a meal with God, a “feast” in which they ate of portions of the sacrifices that were commanded and offered up to God each and every day of the feasts and which He in turn provided for their tables. Passover is not simply a holiday. Passover is a sacrifice: “And thus shall ye eat it … it is the Lord’s passover.” Without a sacrifice, there is no passover.

Under the New Covenant, Christ is our passover. Christ is our sacrifice. Christ is that sacrifice offered up to God, which God has in turn provided to us that we might join with him in a feast of remembrance of the body and the blood of Jesus, today, this day ordained by God, if you will hear His Voice. This what the Old Covenant feast foreshadowed, and this what Christ has fulfilled.

You agree that these Old Covenant things were a shadow of things to come. And you even quoted a small snippet of the Colossians passage, but you took it completely out of context and omitted the most important part … that while the Old Covenant things like the meat and the drink were shadows, "the body” of those things "is Christ:" Jesus is what those things foreshadowed. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths: which are a shadow of things to come; BUT THE BODY IS CHRIST.” The meat and drink is the body and the blood of Jesus. This is the spiritual fulfillment of the passover commandments
While I agree that there is a lot that we can learn from God's feasts and that they have important themes that are woven throughout the NT, there is to our detriment to learn things that don't change the way that we act. For example, if someone learned how to act in accordance with God's love in all situations, but that never changed the way that they acted, then was a waste of time for them to learn how to do that, they are living in a way that denies the truth of what they learned, and it holds them accountable for not acting in accordance with what they knew. The fact that God's feasts teach us things that are true means that we should act in a way that testifies about their truth by continuing to observe them rather than a way that denies their truth. In 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Paul spoke in regard to how Passover foreshadowed Jesus by drawing the connection of him being our Passover Lamb, however, instead of concluding that we no longer need to bother with observing Passover, he concluded that we should therefore continue to observe Passover.

The Israelites were given a number of laws while they were wandering the wilderness for 40 years that had the condition "when you enter the land..." so it being the case that there are laws that can't currently be obeyed that does not mean that we should not be faithful to obey the the laws that can be obeyed, which means that the fact that there is no Passover sacrifice does not mean that we should not testify about the truth of what Passover teaches us about Jesus by continuing to observe the other aspects of Passover. The fact that Jesus is our Passover Lamb was just as true under the Mosaic Covenant, but that does not mean that the Israelites shouldn't have obeyed God's commands concerning Passover or that we shouldn't follow Christ's example of fulfilling those commands. The fact that Christ embodied God's commands doe not mean that we shouldn't follow his example, but rather we should seek to be like Him through also embodying God's commands.

and those of us who partake of the body and blood of Jesus fulfill every jot and tittle of the Law ... in spirit and in truth.

>>>The law is spiritual.

Then why do you follow the letter and not the spirit? The letter kills, but the spirit gives life.

In Christ,
Deborah~
I follow the spirit rather than the letter.

2 Corinthians 3:6 who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

In Ezekiel 36:26-27, the Spirit has the role of leading us to obey God's law, and in Psalms 119:142, God's law is truth, so obedience to it is the way to partake in the body and he blood of Jesus and to fulfill every jot and tittle of it in spirit and in truth. In Jeremiah 31:33, the New Covenant still involves following God's law, in Romans 8:4-7, those who walk in the Spirit are contrasted with those who have minds set on the flesh who are enemies of God who refuse to submit to His law, and in Deuteronomy 30:15-20, obedience to God's law brings life and a blessing while disobedience brings death and a curse, so choose life! There are many other verses that support that the New Covenant involves following God's law, that the Spirit has the role of leading us to obey it, and that obedience to it brings life, so 2 Corinthians 3:6 should be interpreted in light of these other verses rather than a way that contradicts them. Furthermore, if following the letter refers to correctly doing what God has instructed and doing that leads to death, then God is misleading us and we should not have faith in Him, so that can't be what following the letter refers to.
 
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Hank77

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Even the name “Jehovah” was coined by Tyndale to translate the Hebrew tetragrammaton, the four consonants YHVH, and adding the vowels from the name “Adonai” thus producing the name “YaHoWaH” rendered in English as “Jehovah.”
I don't agree with this. Yehovah is the true Hebrew name of God as known by the Jews forever.
You may find this interesting, especially at about 8:00.
 
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