Friday, March 30, 2012

What Is In A Word?

The Greek word translated ‘Easter’ in Acts 12:4 is πασχα, ‘pascha’, whether it is the Jewish Pascha or the Christian Pascha. Never heard of this? 

Someone recently mentioned they would not be using the word ‘Easter’ in reference to the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection. I wondered enough about ‘Why?’ to look up the Greek – which didn’t answer my questions – then to do additional research.  The page that comes very close to explaining the situation in language I can understand comes from KJV Today

That site looked at Koine Greek (of the New Testament) and Greek today:
Before examining the meaning of "Πάσχα" in Koine Greek, one ought to begin by examining it in modern Greek (courtesy of Google Translate):
  • Easter = Πάσχα (Pascha)
  • Passover = εβραϊκό Πάσχα (Hebrew Pascha), Πάσχα των ιουδαίων (Pascha of the Jews)
Frankly, after reading quite a bit, this controversy has no base. For seventy years when I’ve stated that I’ll be celebrating Easter, no one has doubted that I would be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. When the King James translators wrote Easter, no one doubted they meant the resurrection of Jesus.

Of course, we do that every Sunday.  The fact that we meet on the first day of the week goes back to the very day of His resurrection – the celebration of an empty tomb!!

By the way – if you’re looking to give children an example of the empty tomb, consider Resurrection Cookies and Rolls. In addition to being a good teaching tool, they taste good!!

The birth of Jesus is a wondrous tale of miracles. His childhood is so silent, as is His adulthood, until He was 30.  Three years of ministry, travel, crowds, controversy, then betrayal, trial and crucifixion. There, the story changes. There is no tomb to visit. Conspiracy theories abound, but a multitude of witnesses wrote their testimony for us to read today.

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. ... And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matthew 28:1, 5-6 KJV)

Mark expands on the witnesses’ stories:

And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. (Mark 16:11 KJV)

He mentions what appears to have happened on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13):

After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. (Mark 16:12-13 KJV)

So, are we any different? Will we be upbraided?

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. (Mark 16:14 KJV)

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