Easter is just around the corner, and,
like many other holidays, its roots may be found in ancient paganism.
The eighth century English monk,
Venerable Bede, popularized the notion that "Easter" is derived from
Eastre, the old Germanic goddess of spring. Others conclude that
"Easter" began with Ishtar, the Assyrian fertility goddess of spring,
or Astarte--the Phoenician or Greek composite of Ishtar and Aphrodite.
The fact that many pagan people used
rabbits and "Easter" eggs as fertility symbols to celebrate the
forces of spring, and that such forces were usually manifested in popular
goddess images, is also indisputable.
The difference between the scenario above
and true Christianity is obvious. When Christians attend Easter sunrise
services they celebrate the meaning and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ancient
spring goddesses are far from the picture.
Furthermore, even if the word
"Easter" originated with a pagan goddess, am I forbidden to exalt the
Lord on an Easter Sunday morning? That would be silly. Every day of the week is
connected to some pagan deity! Monday is "moon's day," Tuesday is
"Tiw's day," Wednesday is "Woden's day," Thursday is
"Thor's day," and so on.