Where did the concept of an Easter egg and bunny originate?
What is the significance of Easter for Mormons?
By Paul S. Taylor (of Films for Christ)
The name “Easter” has its roots in ancient polytheistic religions (paganism). On this, all scholars agree. This name is never used in the original Scriptures, nor is it ever associated biblically with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For these reasons, we prefer to use the term “Resurrection Sunday” rather than “Easter” when referring to the annual Christian remembrance of Christ’s resurrection.
Most reference books say that the name “Easter” derived from the Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of Spring. Although this relationship exists, in reality, the origin of the name and the goddess are far more ancient – going all the way back to the Tower of Babel. The origin begins not long after the biblical Flood.
The Flood was a divine judgment sent on mankind after evil had become all pervasive and all people everywhere were totally unresponsive to God. The Bible says that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5, NKJV). It is not difficult to imagine that life must have been almost unbearable at this time in history. God gave humankind a second chance by preserving the righteous man Noah and his family (a total of 8 people).
After the Flood, Noah had a talented, but evil, great-grandson named Nimrod (Genesis 10:6-10) who rebelled greatly against God. The Bible says that he was “a mighty one.” Jewish tradition indicates that Nimrod was a tyrant “who made all of the people rebellious against God.” It is evident from history that Nimrod was not only a political leader, but also the lead priest of a form of occultic worship.
King Nimrod, Queen Semiramis (Easter), and Tammuz (the “reincarnated” Nimrod)
Nimrod built and organized major cities. The Bible notes that these included Babel, Asshur, Nineveh and Calah (Genesis 10:10-12). If you know anything about ancient history, the mention of these places may send shivers up your spine. For these were cities of great, almost unimaginable practices and perversion.
When Nimrod eventually died, the Babylonian mystery religion in which he figured prominently continued on. His wife Queen Semiramis saw to that. Once he was dead, she deified him as the Sun-god. In various cultures he later became known as Baal, the Great Life Giver, the god of fire, Baalim, Bel, Molech, etc.
“Later, when this adulterous and idolatrous woman gave birth to an illegitimate son, she claimed that this son, Tammuz by name, was Nimrod reborn.” Semiramis “claimed that her son was supernaturally conceived [no human father] and that he was the promised seed, the ‘savior’” – promised by God in Genesis 3:15. “However, not only was the child worshipped, but the woman, the MOTHER, was also worshipped as much (or more) than the son!” Nimrod deified as the god of the sun and father of creation. Semiramis became the goddess of the moon, fertility, etc.
“In the old fables of the Mystery cults, their ‘savior’ Tammuz, was worshipped with various rites at the Spring season. According to the legends, after he was slain [killed by a wild boar], he went into the underworld. But through the weeping of his mother… he mystically revived in the springing forth of the vegetation – in Spring! Each year a spring festival dramatically represented this supposed ‘resurrection’ from the underworld.
Thus, a terrible false religion developed with its sun and moon worship, priests, astrology, demonic worship, worship of stars associated with their gods, idolatry, mysterious rites, human sacrifice, and more. Frankly, the practices which went on were so horrible that it is not fitting to speak of them here.
It was at Nimrod’s city of Babel that a towering structure was first built in defiance of God as part of their Satanic religion. Archaeological evidence indicates that this was a spectacular pyramid-shaped structure (ziggurat). The Bible tells us that at this time there was only one language in the world and that most of the world’s population centered in this area and participated in this religion. It was evident to God that all mankind would soon degenerate into a level of evil that would parallel that of the pre-Flood world. For humanity’s sake, something had to be done to slow and frustrate this organization of an evil one world, tyrannical government.
God confused their language, so that they could not understand each other (Genesis 11:7). (This is the ultimate source of the world’s many languages.) As a result, many people moved away from the area in groups according to their particular new language. Most, if not all, of these people carried their evil Sun-God-based religion with them. They continued to worship the stars and practice all the other ungodly rituals of their religion. Some also continued to build pyramids reminiscent of the Tower of Babel as part of this mystery religion. Today, we can still find remnants of these throughout the world (e.g., Iraq, South America, Central America, Egypt, Burma).
Babel was the origin of an idolatrous system that swept the world. The Bible says of her, “Babylon… the nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged” (Jeremiah 51:7). The Bible often speaks of the Satanic religions which came from her. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus “witnessed the Mystery religion and its rites in numerous countries and mentions how Babylon was the primeval source from which ALL systems of idolatry flowed.” Austen Layard said, “we have the united testimony of sacred and profane history that idolatry originated in the area of Babylonia – the most ancient of religious systems.”
Basically, almost every vile, profane and idolatrous practice you can think of originated at Babel with Queen Semiramis, the Mother Goddess and Nimrod. As the people scattered from Babel with their different languages, they, of course, used different names for Nimrod (Tammuz) and Semiramis. Some called the Mother Goddess “ISHTAR” (originally pronounced “Easter”). In other lands, she was called Eostre, Astarte, Ostera, and Eastre. Other names for Semiramis, the Mother Goddess include: Wife of Baal, Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth, and Queen of Heaven. The Mother goddess was frequently worshipped as the goddess of fertility – and as a sort of Mother Nature and goddess of Spring and sexual love and birth. She was also worshipped as a mediator between god and man. Sexual orgies and temple prostitutes were often used in her worship and in attempting to gain her favor.
The Easter Rabbit or Hare
The rabbit is well known as a sexual symbol of fertility. In various parts of the world, religions which developed from Babel also associate the rabbit with periodicity, both human and lunar (Egypt, China, etc.). As you may remember, the Mother Goddess Semiramis (Easter) is associated with the Moon. In other words, the Easter bunny symbolizes the Mother Goddess. Annual Spring time fertility rituals are associated worship of the Mother Goddess and Tammuz, the reincarnation of her husband Nimrod.
The Easter Egg
Most children and families who color or hide Easter eggs as part of their Resurrection Sunday tradition have no knowledge of the origin of these traditions. Easter egg activities have become a part of Western culture. Many would be surprised and even dismayed to learn where the traditions originated.
“The egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians. They believed an old fable about an egg of wondrous size which was supposed to have fallen from heaven into the Euphrates River. From this marvelous egg – according to the ancient story – the Goddess Astarte (Easter) [Semiramis], was hatched. And so the egg came to symbolize the Goddess Easter.”
The idea of a mystic egg spread from Babylon to many parts of the world. In Rome, the mystic egg preceded processions in honor of the Mother Goddess Roman. The egg was part of the sacred ceremonies of the Mysteries of Bacchus. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem. In Northern Europe, China and Japan the eggs were colored for their sacred festivals.
The egg was also a symbol of fertility; Semiramis (Easter) was the goddess of Fertility. The Easter egg is a symbol of the pagan Mother Goddess, and it even bears one of her names.
Summary and Conclusion
“Easter” is simply one of the names of a woman who mightily deceived the world and whose religion has caused untold suffering and misery. She was clearly an enemy of Christianity, and her son Tammuz was an anti-Christ, a false messiah that ultimately deceived millions.
If you are Christian, it is not difficult to discern the bizarre deception and confusion that Satan has successfully orchestrated. For example, notice the embarrassing irony in these traditions which are practiced innocently by most people. They are repeated year after year, because they have become traditional and their origin is unknown to many.
+ On the day commemorating Christ’s resurrection, Americans hunt decorated eggs and pretend the Easter rabbit hid them. The same ritual is practiced at some Christian churches.
+ “In Lancashire [England] on Easter eve boys and men have been in the habit of touring the towns and villages as ‘Pace-eggers’ begging for eggs before performing the ‘Pace-Egging’ or Pasch (i.e., Easter) play.”
+ In Greece each person in a group bangs his red EASTER EGG [not knowing that it is symbol of the Goddess] against the eggs of all the others present in turn, saying ‘Christ is risen,’ and receives the reply ‘He is risen indeed.'”
The seductive symbols of ancient ungodly religions inspired by Satan have been incorporated into people’s everyday lives, even to this day – continuing to obscure the truth of God.
One might wonder if there is a better way for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the most important of all Christian holy days. In retrospect, it seems obvious that it would have been a better witness to the world if Christians had not attempted to “Christianize” pagan celebrations – adopting the name “Easter” (Ishtar/Semiramis) in remembrance of Christ. Jesus has been obscured by painted eggs and bunnies. Attention has been shifted away from spiritual truth and toward materialism (clothing, products and candies with the wrong symbolism). Stores merchandise the name of Easter (not “Resurrection Sunday”) and sell goods that have nothing to do with Christ’s death and resurrection. Christians naively use symbols and practices that unknowingly perpetuate ancient anti-Christ traditions – symbolic customs followed by the same religious cults that inspired the destruction of great numbers of Christians and Jews. Is the Devil laughing at us?
Many church bodies recognize the problem and make every effort to keep the focus of Resurrection Sunday totally on Jesus Christ and the Good News that He brought.
What is the significance of Easter for Mormons?
answered by a former leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Most temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) perform pageants. Some, such as the temple where I live in Mesa, Arizona, choose to annually perform a beautiful “Easter” pageant. Mormons and Christians do not share the same understanding of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. In years past, the pageant was performed depicting events in accordance with Mormon teachings. Apparently, in more recent years, when LDS leaders realized that this was offending Christians, they began presenting the Christian view of Easter. The main purpose after all seems to be to draw non-Mormons. During this show, one may find the grounds teeming with Mormon missionaries. They use this performance to get visitors to fill out a card which results in later home visits from missionaries. The non-LDS person rarely knows that the pageant is used for that purpose.
CELEBRATION OF RESURRECTION SUNDAY
Resurrection Sunday itself is pretty much a non-event for Mormons. Although this religious holiday is mentioned among Mormons, I know of none that actually celebrate it in a major way. Most use the time to either view the annual LDS conference televised from Salt Lake, Utah, or discuss the conference or prepare for it.
The Mormon’s concept of Jesus is different than the Bible’s. When their Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane, he shed there his blood for the transgression of sins. The LDS Church does not accept the biblical idea that Christ’s blood was shed on the cross to wash away our sins – present, past and future. Mormons fail to realize that the empty cross is for Christians the symbol of their salvation and the fulfillment of God’s promise.
Under the Mormon system of theology, one must in effect, earn their way into heaven. In the LDS Articles of Faith, Mormon apostle James Talmadge states that since your “sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements – ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the [LDS] Gospel.'” [James Talmadge*, Articles of Faith, p. 87.] “Christ’s atonement makes it possible to be saved from sin if we do our part,” says Elder Boyd K. Packer, an apostle of the LDS Church. Doing “our part” refers a need to work out our own salvation. This is in disagreement with the New Testament’s teaching of grace (See Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:21-25; Romans 5; Titus 3:5; Luke 18:10-14, Romans 4:5, Galatians 3 and 5:4). According to the Bible one cannot work their way to Heaven. Salvation is by faith alone – acceptance of God’s gift of salvation and reliance on Christ’s promise of what will happen after our earthly death. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).
The Bible says…
For by grace you have been saved
through faith, and that not of yourselves;
it is the gift of God, not of works,
lest anyone should boast.
Mormons believe that Christ’s resurrection is their personal guarantee that they and everyone else will also be resurrected. But where they go after death is determined by the number of works they perform in this life and whether they are good Mormons.
When Mormons are asked, “If you were to die at this very moment, where would you go?” If they are honest, they will reply, “Well, I hope that I’ve done enough good works that I can progress to the highest heaven, the Celestial Kingdom.” Mormons believe that there is a “paradise” or spirit world where all humans go after death. In this spirit world, there are supposedly Mormon missionaries who give you one more chance to accept or reject the message of Mormonism. If you accept, then you are baptized by proxy into the church here on earth. This is known as baptism for the dead. Those that have accepted LDS teachings go to one of the Mormon heavens (Celestial, Terrestrial or Telestial), depending on their earthly works.
Author: Jim Robertson, Concerned Christians. Editor: Paul S. Taylor, Eden Communications.
* Although there are “13 Articles of Faith” in the LDS religion, there is also a book written on the subject called Articles of Faith by the late LDS apostle Dr. James E. Talmage, first published by Deseret Book Co. (the LDS religion’s publishing company) in 1899. Mr. Talmage served in the LDS religion as an apostle between December 7, 1911 and his death on July 27, 1933. His book is considered to be an LDS classic. The quote can actually be found in chapter 4, at the top of p. 79 of “Articles of Faith.” (Bob Betts, Concerned Christians)
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REFERENCES AND FOOTNOTES
1. Genesis 10:8 and 1 Chronicles 1:10 – “…Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth” (NKJV).
2. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 9, p. 309, as cited by Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion (Riverside, California: Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., 1966).
3. Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion (Riverside, California: Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., 1966), p. 9; and Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons (New York: Loizeaux Brothers).
4. Woodrow, Ibid., p. 9.; In his reincarnated form (Nimrod/Tammuz), has been known as Horus (Egypt), Attis (Italy), Crishna or Iswara (India), Deoius (Asia Minor), Janus (Rome), etc.
5. Woodrow, Ibid., p. 9.
6. “The resurrection of Tammuz [Nimrod] through Ishtar’s grief [Semiramis] was dramatically represented annually in order to insure the success of the crops and the fertility of the people… Each year men and women had to grieve with Ishtar over the death of Tammuz and celebrate the god’s return, in order to win anew her favor and her benefits!” [Homer W. Smith, Man and His Gods, p. 86, as cited by Woodrow, p. 157.]
7. Ibid., p. 10; Herodotus’ History, Book 2, p. 109, as cited by Woodrow.
8. Woodrow, Ibid., p. 11; Austen Henry Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains.
9. Woodrow Ibid., p. 152.
10. The names Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth, and Queen of Heaven where used for Semiramis by the Israelites and the ungodly peoples around them, see Judges 2:13, Jeremiah 44:17-19, etc. Other names for Semiramis include Astarte (Cyprus), Diana (Ephesus and throughout Asia Minor), Cybele (Asia Minor), Isis (Egypt), Aphrodite, Ceres (Greece), Venus or Fortuna (Romans), Shingmoo (China), Disa (Scandanavia), Nutria (Etruscans), Virgo-Paritura (Druids), Isi or Indrani or Devaki (India).
11. Woodrow, Ibid., pp. 152-153.
12. James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, Vol. 12, 3rd Edition (1907-15, reissued 1935-36 and 1955); Maria Leach, editor, Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Vol. 1 (1949).
13. Ibid., p. 155.
14. This mystery religion of Babylon is well-known to still be alive in the world today in various forms. Many of its elements are even present in the New Age movement (reincarnation, astrology, channeling, claims of mysterious powers, and more).
15. Edwin Oliver James, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 7 (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1967), p. 867.]
16. James, Ibid.