top of page

Easter as a Term for Resurrection Sunday

Acts 12:4 must be a famous, or maybe infamous verse in scripture, because it is the only time the term, “Easter,” amazingly enough appears in the English Bible. It’s somewhat controversial, because it translates the Greek word, pascha, which means, “Passover,” an annual Israelite festival commemorating Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Pascha, 27 times in the New Testament, and this is the only time translated, “Easter.” Yet, the King James translators translated it in this one occasion, “Easter.”

The modern versions translate it, “Passover,” and very often someone will degrade the King James translators for that translation. You may wonder where the term, “Easter,” comes from. William Tyndale was first to translate pascha, “Easter,” in the English Bible in 1525. Easter and the celebration of Easter have entirely Christian origins. The etymological derivation for the word is the German, “Oster,” seen in Tyndale’s translation, because he spells it, “Ester,” very much parallel.

In a footnote to his translation of the work of Eusebius, Christian Cruse wrote: “Our word Easter is of Saxon origin, and of precisely the same import with its German cognate Ostern. The latter is derived from the old Teutonic form of auferstehn, Auferstehung, i. e. resurrection.” Tyndale New Testament, the Geneva Bible, and the King James all translated pascha, “Easter” in Acts 12:4 because the day to which it referred was no longer Old Testament Passover time for Christians. They, like Jesus, would have seen it and continue to see it as a resurrection day, what Christians would know as “Easter,” meaning “resurrection.”

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Paying Taxes

I did Indiana state taxes last week for the first time. For thirty-three years, my taxes were California, followed by one year in Oregon, one year in Utah, and now in Indiana. I am surprised to say

Jesus on the Complete Sufficiency of Scripture

In Luke 16, Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus. At the end of their lives, the rich man goes to Hell. Jesus taught or preached more about Hell than anyone in the Bible. One could call

Palm Sunday and Jesus

Each of the four gospels discusses the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into the city of Jerusalem the Sunday before His death. That great moment fulfilled many truths that the Old Testament prophets


bottom of page