[b-greek] Re: Easter at Acts 12:4 - Astarte ?

From: Dave Washburn (dwashbur@nyx.net)
Date: Tue Apr 17 2001 - 09:18:03 EDT

> At Acts 12:4 the KJV translates PASXA as "Easter". I read some research many
> years ago that linked the English word "Easter" with the name of the Goddess
> Astarte (Greek Aphrodite). The customs are strongly similar -- the rites of
> Springs and Astarte/ Aphrodite had as her symbols the egg and the hare but I
> am unable to find a direct connection between the names Easter and Astarte.
> I was wondering if someone knew of some insightful research on the subject
> while staying focused on the language issue.

The KJV is a mistranslation; PASXA means "Passover." The
purported connections between the word Easter and Astarte are
unconvincing IMO.

> I found the following quote under "Easter" in Britannica at
> http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?eu=32347&tocid=0
> "The English name Easter is of uncertain origin; the Anglo-Saxon priest
> Venerable Bede in the 8th century derived it from the Anglo-Saxon spring
> goddess Eostre."
> And in The Westminster Dictionary of the Bible: 'Easter was "originally the
> spring festival in honor of the Teutonic goddess of light and spring known
> in Anglo-Saxon as Eastre.'

This entry was likely also based on what Bede says. However, the
most reliable dictionaries I've been able to consult say the word
itself derives from an Old German word (later applied to the
goddess as a name) meaning "sunrise."

And suppose the English word did derive from the name of a
Teutonic goddess; so what? That has nothing at all to do with its
meaning in 21st century English. This whole idea, so popular in
some legalistic Christian circles, is nothing more than majoring on
minors. It also has nothing to do with b-Greek...

I'd be glad to discuss this with you further off-list if you want.
Dave Washburn
"You just keep thinking, Butch. That's what you're good at."

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