Astarte, I mean Ishatar, I mean Easter...

Discussion in 'A Puritan's Mind Updates' started by C. Matthew McMahon, Mar 16, 2008.

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  1. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Here is some historical information on where Easter came from, and its propagation (Eggs, Candy, Bunnies, and other things). :gpl:

    The Wild Boar News Podcast - Easter Edition 2008 WBNP#48
    By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon (3-17-08)

    Easter: The Devil's Holiday
    By Dr. C. Matthew McMahon (3-17-08)​
  2. Josiah

    Josiah Puritan Board Senior

    Thank you very much Dr. McMahon for this podcast, it is very informative. :up:
  3. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    You almost had me going there. Then I saw the citation of Hislop & realised you were joking.:lol::lol:

    I am going to remember this one for the next time we have a late Easter & I can use it as a April Fool joke.

    (you were kidding, right?)
  4. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

  5. jaybird0827

    jaybird0827 PuritanBoard Honor Roll

    Wow - I learned something new. I had not known before that the 4 BC date of the birth of Christ was in any way connected to the "christianizing" of pagan rites. So we're really living in 2012, huh?

    The podcast listed above (Small Groups) was excellent also.
  6. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    The pre-millennialists will have to recalculate everything. :lol:
  7. ServantofGod

    ServantofGod Puritan Board Junior

    Sir, is that printable? I could just copy and paste, but I would like permission first.
  8. Stephen

    Stephen Puritan Board Junior

    No, I do not think Matthew was kidding.
  9. Blueridge Believer

    Blueridge Believer Puritan Board Professor

    Excellent piece brother Matt! :book2:
  10. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    I find your quote from the "5th century" "pagan philosopher" Socrates to be pretty incredible. "...the celebration of the feast of Easter began everywhere more of custom than by any commandment either by Christ or any apostle." Yes, Socrates lived in the 5th centrury...BC! Was he a prophet as well as a philosopher?

    I'm sure the rest of the podcast is equally well researched.
  11. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Scott, there were others who went by the name Socrates, including an early church historian:

    Socrates of Constantinople - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  12. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    I'll fix the typo on Socrates. That was my fault. Yes, should be "BC."

    No, I wasn't kidding. Easter, or Ishtar, or Astarte is definitely not Christian.

    Yes, you can copy it.

    Your welcome!
  13. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Wait Matt! That quote was from the 5th century AD Socrates! The church historian referenced above.
  14. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Sorry, I just don't buy it.

    To make a historical arguement with Hislop as the sole footnoted (!) source is just not credible in my opinion.

    It is on the same level as a dispensationalist claiming to have *refuted* covenant theology and then citing Larkin as the sole source.

    Do any credible church historians at all support Hislop?:2cents:
  15. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I don't know about that, Kevin. I gather Hislop was more of a polemicist than a historian.

    My only concern was with the early church historian Socrates, who chronicled that the Easter celebration was something that just sprang up:

    "The aim of the apostles was not to appoint festival days, but to teach a righteous life and piety. And it seems to me that just as many other customs have been established in individual localities according to usage. So also the feast of Easter came to be observed in each place according to the individual peculiarities of the peoples inasmuch as none of the apostles legislated on the matter."

    Ecclesastical History of Socrates Scholasticus (Schaff edition)

    Book V, Chapter XXII
  16. JonathanHunt

    JonathanHunt Puritan Board Senior

    Another anathaema I will have to live with.
  17. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    True enough, Vic. Local "celebrations' took on much local flavour that has no warrant is scripture. That some local observances have similarities to other folk celebrations common to that people is to be expected. However that is a long way from proving that there is a direct causation.

    An analogous situation would be to assert a deep symbolism to the use of candles in medieval churches. At the same time to ignore other more plausable explanations, such as a need for light prior to electricity. Then make the observation (true as it is) that modern north American families often celebrate b-days with candles on a cake.

    Then you have (in Hislops world) *proof* that modern families are crypto-catholics who secretly use the candles for the mystical purposes previously asserted.

    He has almost zero credibility. To cite him as a source reduces what ever point was being made to the same level. in my opinion.
  18. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    Matt, I have had enough problems keeping my sources straight (particularly when they have the same name), that your mental hiccup is quite understandable and pardonable (particularly after all of the good stuff you have researched and provided on your web site). Victor is correct. Socrates Scholasticus (aka Socrates of Constantinople), a fifth century A.D. person, wrote The Ecclesiastical History, in seven books. His work is contained in Schaff, P. (1997). The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series Vol. II. Socrates, Sozomenus: Church Histories.

    Actually, Socrates mentioned Easter 56 times in his history. His bottom line on the subject is as follows:

  19. SRoper

    SRoper Puritan Board Graduate

    I know, but that Socrates was not a pagan philosopher as Matt said.

    I don't pay attention to the church calendar, so I don't really care about Easter. However, I find the argument against Easter because of its pagan name to be rather poor. It really only works for Germanic languages. In the Romance languages and other languages like Russian, the word they use for Easter is based on the word for Passover.
  20. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritanboard Commissioner

    That's why I called it a mental hiccup. You start your research, take cryptic notes, come back to it later, and under a load of preoccupation, your brain "hiccups." After all the good Matt has done, I'm willing to cut him some slack on a name that, like Madonna, tends to have one predominate association (i.e., I don't mean the mother of Jesus) and one secondary one. After all, let's be honest, Scott, when you caught the "goof," you assumed it was a 5th century B.C. figure instead of the author of Historia Ecclesiastica too.
  21. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    Thanks for the correction on the correction.

    Yes, mental hiccups are part of the fall.
  22. C. Matthew McMahon

    C. Matthew McMahon Christian Preacher

    I'll add a few more things to the article so there are "plenty of footnotes" just so that isn't an "exception" to the realities that lie behind Easter's Romanism.

    The Post Reformation pastors and theologians of the day, following the Reformers, abolished Easter, among other things. In June 1647, England Parliament, headed by the Puritans at Westminster, passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays: “Forasmuch as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter, Whitsuntide, and other festivals, commonly called holy-days, have been heretofore superstitiously used and observed; be it ordained, that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly called holy-days, be no longer observed as festivals; any law, statute, custom, constitution, or canon, to the contrary in anywise not withstanding.” (Daniel Neal, The History of the Puritans (London, 1837; rpt. Minneapolis: Klock , p. 45).
  23. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    Does anyone know if this work was ever translated out of Latin? I know at least one of his works has been translated into Dutch but I'm not sure if this was it. This is a work agains "holy days."

    HOSPINIAN, RUDOLPH. Festa Christianorum, hoc est, De origins, progressu, ceremoniis et ritibusfestorum dierwm Christianorum Liber unus (folio). Tiguri, 1593. [This is a work of considerable learning for its day, written from the standpoint of a Swiss Protestant. A second edition, in which replies are made to the criticisms of Cardinal Bellarmine and Gretser, appeared, also at Zurich, and in folio, in 1612.]
    The work is listed at the link in the bibliography; the author commending the work's scholarship was an Anglican.
  24. Stephen

    Stephen Puritan Board Junior

    I was curious why you object to Hislop's Two Bablyons? Matthew was also using arguments from other sources. Hislop was a minister in the Free Church of Scotland in the 1800's, so he was Reformed not dispensational. His view of the Roman church would be consistent with Knox & Calvin. I read the book years ago, so I do not remember some of his points, but I am not sure why you would discredit his work.
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