Friday, April 3, 2015
Is the Name “Easter” of Pagan Origin?
“Contrary to suggesting a connection to a Saxon goddess, some have suggested Easter finds its root in the German word for resurrection—auferstehung. In a footnote to his translation of the work of Eusebius, Christian F. Cruse defended the usage of the word Easter:
Our English word Passover, happily, in sound and sense, almost corresponds to the Hebrew [pesach], of which is a translation. Exod. Xii. 27. The Greek pascha, formed from the Hebrew, is the name of the Jewish festival, applied invariably in the primitive church to designate the festival of the Lord’s resurrection, which took place at the time of the passover. 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. The name Easter is undoubtedly preferable to pascha or passover, but the latter was the primitive name.”