Easter in the King James Version of Scripture

Is Easter Pagan?

When the King James Version bible was translated, the title page was printed basically as you find it still today in Cambridge Bibles:


    The King James Bible was "Authorized" to be translated as God's Word for the English-speaking people of the world. God bless you as you study His authorized and preserved words in English, the King James Bible.

    The KJV, sometimes also titled the Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV), is published by Cambridge University Press, and contains the following copyright information: The Authorized (King James) Version of the Bible (the KJV), the rights in which are vested in the Crown in the United Kingdom, is reproduced here by permission of the Crown's patentee, Cambridge University Press.

Wikipedia states the following about the KJV:

    The King James Version (KJV), commonly known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611.

    In January 1604, King James VI and I convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans.

    James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy. The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from Greek, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew and Aramaic text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek and Latin.

    By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version had become effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in Anglican and Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of Scripture for English-speaking scholars. With the development of stereotype printing at the beginning of the 19th century, this version of the Bible became the most widely printed book in history.

Something that Wikipedia does not mention is that the KJV underwent several revisions and the one read today is the 1768 edition. If you will look at the true 1661 KJV you will probably find it very difficult to read.

I would now like to bring your attention back to the title page of the KJV. Please note how the translators capitalized the word His in the sentence right before the word authorized. Why was this done? Was it done to indicate that it was God (as they call Yahuwah) who authorized it? Of course it was! Is there any proof whatsoever that Yahuwah ever authorized the KJV? Of course not! This is a simply blatant deception used by the translators of the KJV to mislead the reader into thinking that the KJV is the only version "authorized" by Yahuwah, when in fact it never was.

Those people who own a King James Version bible, and claim that it is the only "authorized" version of scripture, are correct in that it is the only version of scripture that was "authorized" by King James, however, this does not mean that it is or ever was, "authorized" by Yahuwah.

Unhappily, the KJV has many errors of which this article will touch on briefly, however, the main focus of the article is on the inclusion of the erroneous word Easter in the KJV.

The KJV is an English translation of the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus (Latin for "Received Text") is a collection printed Greek texts that provided the textual base for the vernacular translations of the Reformation Period. This collection of printed Greek texts constituted the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the Greek text into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, and most other Reformation-era "New Testament" translations throughout Western and Central Europe.

One large issue within the KJV is that while it used the Textus Receptus as its base for translation, it disagrees with the Textus Receptus in many instances. Below is a partial list of where the KJV conflicts with the Textus Receptus.

KJV translates... Textus Receptus actually says...
"robbers of churches." Acts 19:37 Every known Greek manuscript has HIEROSULOUS - "robbers of temples"
"Lucifer" Is 14:12 "O Day Star" (Lucifer is a human origin nickname for the Devil in the 1600's refers not to the devil but the king of Babylon)
"Easter" Acts 12:4 "Passover" (Easter very poor choice as it confuses the pagan origin Roman Catholic "Easter" holy day with what the TR clearly says is the Yahudiym Passover!)
"Baptism" (all occurrences) Acts 2:38; 22:16 immersion, because sprinkling was the mode of "baptism" in 1611 CE, they jelly-fished out and transliterated the Greek "baptizo" but refused to translate it.
"Tithes of all I possess" Lk 18:12 "all I acquire" (Not only variant with the TR, but quite wrong. Tithes were never paid on capital, only increase)
"Schoolmaster" Gal 3:24 "attendant" (the law was the one who brought us to the Anointed, not taught us about the Anointed)
"God save the King": 1Sam 10:24, 2Sam 16:16, 1Kings 1:25 "May the king live" ("God" not in TR, but reflects the British culture of the 1600's. Proof that the translators used dynamic equivalents.)
"God Forbid." Ro. 3:4,6,31; 6:2,15; 7:7,13; 9:14; 11:1,11; 1 Co. 6:15; Ga. 2:17; 3:21; 6:14 "may it not be" or "let it not be." (KJV adds the word "God" where it is absent in the TR because it was a common expression in 1600's. Proof that the translators used dynamic equivalents.)
"sweet savour" Lev 6:21; 8:28; 17:6; 23:18 "soothing aroma" (KJV appeals to wrong senses - taste instead of smell in the TR)
"ashes upon his face" 1 Kings 20:38 "bandage over his eyes" (KJV varies from TR by using ashes)
"flagon" 2 Sam 6:19; 1 Chron 16:3; SoS 2:5; Hosea 3:1 These verses contain the word "flagon" which is a fluted cup from which liquid is drunk. However, the Ibriy (Hebrew) word is "ashishah" which has always meant raisins or raisin cakes. This is especially true in Hos 3:1 because raisin cakes were often offered to idols. This is an obvious error in translation.

Further, there are many inconsistencies in translating identical words and phrases in the KJV itself:

  • Rom 4:3, 9, 22; Gal 3:6 Quotes Gen 15:6: KJV translates identical Greek phrases differently in each verse
  • Rom 12:19, Heb 10:30 quotes Deut 32:35: KJV translates identical Greek phrases differently in each verse
  • Heb 3:11; 4:3 quotes Ps 95:11

KJV translates identical Greek phrases differently in each verse

  • 1 Cor 3:17 - KJV translates identical Greek words into: "defile" & "destroy"
  • Mk 15:33, Lk 23:44 - KJV translates identical Greek phrases: "whole land" & "all the earth"
  • Rev 4:4 - KJV translates identical Greek words into: "seats" & "thrones"
  • Mt 25:46 - KJV translates identical Greek words into: "everlasting" & "eternal"
  • Rom 4:3,4,5,6,9,10,11, 22,24 - KJV translates identical Greek verbs: "counted," "reckon," "impute"
  • Rom 7 - KJV translates identical Greek "epithumeo": "lust," "covet," "concupiscence"

Obivously, the King James Version is NOT flawless. For anyone to take the stance that the KJV is flawless, simply reveals that they do not have all of the facts.

Let us now get back to the main focus of this article, which is on the topic of the pagan goddesses name of Easter being included in what is supposed to be Yahuwah's Sacred scripture.

The word or name of Easter is found in the KJV in the book of Acts chapter 12 verse 4.

    Act 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter G3957 to bring him forth to the people. KJV

I have included the Strong's number G3957 for the word which has been translated as Easter in the above verse so we can see what Strong's concordance and dictionary states is the Greek word.

Strong's lists the following information:

    G3957 pa,sca pascha {pas'-khah} Of Chaldee origin (compare [H6453]); the Passover (the meal, the day, the festival or the special sacrifices connected with it): - Easter, Passover. Total KJV occurrences: 29

We see that Strong's lists the Greek word as being {pa,sca} pascha, which is defined as the Passover. Interestingly, we also see the word Easter right next to the word Passover. Then Strong's states that there are 29 total occurrences of the Greek Word in the KJV. But why does Strong list the pagan name of Easter next to the word Passover? Because the KJV uses the word or name Easter once as the definition of the Greek word pascha, therefore, Strong was required to include it.

Below are all 29 verses from the KJV (including Strong's numbers) which use the Greek word pascha, and how it has been translated. Please note that in every instance except one the English word used in the KJV is translated as passover, G3957.

  • Mat 26:2 Ye knowG1492 thatG3754 afterG3326 twoG1417 daysG2250 isG1096 the feast of theG3588 passover,G3957 andG2532 theG3588 SonG5207 of manG444 is betrayedG3860 to be crucified.G4717

  • Mat 26:17 NowG1161 theG3588 firstG4413 day of theG3588 feast of unleavened breadG106 theG3588 disciplesG3101 cameG4334 to Jesus,G2424 sayingG3004 unto him,G846 WhereG4226 wiltG2309 thou that we prepareG2090 for theeG4671 to eatG5315 theG3588 passover?G3957

  • Mat 26:18 AndG1161 heG3588 said,G2036 GoG5217 intoG1519 theG3588 cityG4172 toG4314 such a man,G1170 andG2532 sayG2036 unto him,G846 TheG3588 MasterG1320 saith,G3004 MyG3450 timeG2540 isG2076 at hand;G1451 I will keepG4160 theG3588 passoverG3957 atG4314 thy houseG4571 withG3326 myG3450 disciples.G3101

  • Mat 26:19 AndG2532 theG3588 disciplesG3101 didG4160 asG5613 JesusG2424 had appointedG4929 them;G846 andG2532 they made readyG2090 theG3588 passover.G3957

  • Mar 14:1 AfterG3326 twoG1417 daysG2250 wasG2258 the feast of theG3588 passover,G3957 AndG2532 of unleavened bread:G106 AndG2532 theG3588 chief priestsG749 AndG2532 theG3588 scribesG1122 soughtG2212 howG4459 they might takeG2902 himG846 byG1722 craft,G1388 and put him to death.G615

  • Mar 14:12 AndG2532 theG3588 firstG4413 dayG2250 of unleavened bread,G106 whenG3753 they killedG2380 theG3588 passover,G3957 hisG846 disciplesG3101 saidG3004 unto him,G846 WhereG4226 wiltG2309 thou that we goG565 and prepareG2090 thatG2443 thou mayest eatG5315 theG3588 passover?G3957

  • Mar 14:14 AndG2532 wheresoeverG3699 G1437 he shall go in,G1525 sayG2036 ye to theG3588 goodman of the house,G3617 theG3588 MasterG1320 saith,G3004 WhereG4226 isG2076 theG3588 guestchamber,G2646 whereG3699 I shall eatG5315 theG3588 passoverG3957 withG3326 myG3450 disciples?G3101

  • Mar 14:16 AndG2532 hisG846 disciplesG3101 went forth,G1831 AndG2532 cameG2064 intoG1519 theG3588 city,G4172 AndG2532 foundG2147 asG2531 he had saidG2036 unto them:G846 AndG2532 they made readyG2090 theG3588 passover.G3957

  • Luk 2:41 NowG2532 hisG846 parentsG1118 wentG4198 toG1519 JerusalemG2419 every yearG2596 G2094 at theG3588 feastG1859 of theG3588 passover.G3957

  • Luk 22:1 NowG1161 theG3588 feastG1859 of unleavened breadG106 drew nigh,G1448 which is calledG3004 the Passover.G3957

  • Luk 22:7 ThenG1161 cameG2064 theG3588 dayG2250 of unleavened bread,G106 whenG1722 G3739 theG3588 passoverG3957 mustG1163 be killed.G2380

  • Luk 22:8 AndG2532 he sentG649 PeterG4074 AndG2532 John,G2491 saying,G2036 GoG4198 and prepareG2090 usG2254 theG3588 passover,G3957 thatG2443 we may eat.G5315

  • Luk 22:11 AndG2532 ye shall sayG2046 unto theG3588 goodmanG3617 of theG3588 house,G3614 theG3588 MasterG1320 saithG3004 unto thee,G4671 WhereG4226 isG2076 theG3588 guestchamber,G2646 whereG3699 I shall eatG5315 theG3588 passoverG3957 withG3326 myG3450 disciples?G3101

  • Luk 22:13 AndG1161 they went,G565 and foundG2147 asG2531 he had saidG2046 unto them:G846 AndG2532 they made readyG2090 theG3588 passover.G3957

  • Luk 22:15 AndG2532 he saidG2036 untoG4314 them,G846 With desireG1939 I have esiredG1937 to eatG5315 thisG5124 passoverG3957 withG3326 youG5216 beforeG4253 IG3165 suffer:G3958

  • Joh 2:13 AndG2532 theG3588 Jews'G2453 passoverG3957 wasG2258 at hand,G1451 AndG2532 JesusG2424 went upG305 toG1519 Jerusalem,G2414

  • Joh 2:23 NowG1161 whenG5613 he wasG2258 inG1722 JerusalemG2414 atG1722 theG3588 passover,G3957 inG1722 theG3588 feastG1859 day, manyG4183 believedG4100 inG1519 hisG846 name,G3686 when they sawG2334 theG3588 miraclesG4592 whichG3739 he did.G4160

  • Joh 6:4 AndG1161 theG3588 passover,G3957 a feastG1859 of theG3588 Jews,G2453 wasG2258 nigh.G1451

  • Joh 11:55 AndG1161 theG3588 Jews'G2453 passoverG3957 wasG2258 nigh at hand:G1451 AndG2532 manyG4183 went out of the country upG305 G1537 G3588 G5561 toG1519 JerusalemG2414 beforeG4253 theG3588 passover,G3957 toG2443 purifyG48 themselves.G1438

  • Joh 12:1 ThenG3767 JesusG2424 sixG1803 daysG2250 beforeG4253 theG3588 passoverG3957 cameG2064 toG1519 Bethany,G963 whereG3699 LazarusG2976 wasG2258 which had been dead,G2348 whomG3739 he raisedG1453 fromG1537 the dead.G3498

  • Joh 13:1 NowG1161 beforeG4253 theG3588 feastG1859 of theG3588 passover,G3957 when JesusG2424 knewG1492 thatG3754 hisG846 hourG5610 was comeG2064 thatG2443 he should departG3327 out ofG1537 thisG5127 worldG2889 untoG4314 theG3588 Father,G3962 having lovedG25 his ownG2398 whichG3588 were inG1722 theG3588 world,G2889 he lovedG25 themG846 untoG1519 the end.G5056

  • Joh 18:28 ThenG3767 ledG71 they JesusG2424 fromG575 CaiaphasG2533 untoG1519 theG3588 hall of judgment:G4232 andG1161 it wasG2258 early;G4405 AndG2532 theyG846 themselves wentG1525 notG3756 intoG1519 theG3588 judgment hall,G4232 lestG3363 they should be defiled;G3392 butG235 thatG2443 they might eatG5315 theG3588 passover.G3957

  • Joh 18:39 ButG1161 yeG5213 haveG2076 a custom,G4914 thatG2443 I should releaseG630 unto youG5213 oneG1520 atG1722 theG3588 passover:G3957 willG1014 ye thereforeG3767 that I releaseG630 unto youG5213 theG3588 KingG935 of theG3588 Jews?G2453

  • Joh 19:14 AndG1161 it wasG2258 the preparationG3904 of theG3588 passover,G3957 andG1161 aboutG5616 the sixthG1623 hour:G5610 AndG2532 he saithG3004 unto theG3588 Jews,G2453 BeholdG2396 yourG5216 King!G935

  • Act 12:4 AndG2532 when heG3739 had apprehendedG4084 him, he putG5087 him inG1519 prison,G5438 and deliveredG3860 him to fourG5064 quaternionsG5069 of soldiersG4757 to keepG5442 him;G846 intendingG1014 afterG3326 EasterG3957 to bring him forthG321 G846 to theG3588 people.G2992

  • 1Co 5:7 Purge outG1571 thereforeG3767 theG3588 oldG3820 leaven,G2219 thatG2443 ye may beG5600 a newG3501 lump,G5445 asG2531 ye areG2075 unleavened.G106 ForG1063 evenG2532 ChristG5547 ourG2257 passoverG3957 is sacrificedG2380 forG5228 us:G2257

  • Heb 11:28 Through faithG4102 he keptG4160 theG3588 passover,G3957 AndG2532 theG3588 sprinklingG4378 of blood,G129 lestG3363 he that destroyedG3645 theG3588 firstbornG4416 should touchG2345 them.G846

So why would the KJV use the pagan name of the goddess Easter in Acts 12:4?

According to some so-called "bible scholars" who support the KJV, the use of Easter is due to the preceding verse.

    Act 12:3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)

Because these days were called "the days of unleavened bread," which they insist come AFTER the Passover, they reason that the timing or sequence would be wrong if the word Passover was used in the next verse.

    Act 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter G3957 to bring him forth to the people. KJV

Had these "bible scholars" made the attempt to put this passage in context, they would see that from the Passover all the way to the end of the Festival of Unleavened Bread eight days later was lumped together under the word Passover as shown below.

    MattithYahuw (Matthew) 26:17 Moreover on the first of the Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Yahushua saying to Him, "Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?"

    Markos (Mark) 14:12 And on first day of Unleavened Bread when they killed the Passover, His disciples said to Him, "Where do You want us to go and prepare that You may eat the Passover?"

    Loukas (Luke) 22:1 Moreover the Festival of Unleavened Bread came near, that is called the Passover.

    Luke 22:7-8 Moreover the day of Unleavened Bread came in which it is necessary to sacrifice the Passover. 8 And He sent Keph and Yahuchanan saying, "Go! Prepare the Passover for us that we may eat."

When we open our minds and hearts to Yahuwah and ask for His guidance when reading His Word, He will reveal His truth to us.

Certainly the writers of the Textus Receptus knew of the pagan goddess of spring, and if they had meant that the time of Keph's delivering to the people was to take place during a time of a celebration of a pagan goddess they would have used the name for one of those goddesses, possibly Ashtoreth from ancient Israel, or Astarte from ancient Greece.

A popular theory on the name of the pagan goddess Easter which is used in the KJV, is that the name of Easter was derived from an ancient word for spring: "eastre." Then again, there were many other similar goddesses that were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime as well. Some of their names were:

  • Aphrodite, named Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two places which claimed her birth;
  • Ashtoreth from ancient Israel;
  • Astarte from ancient Greece;
  • Demeter from Mycenae;
  • Hathor from ancient Egypt;
  • Ishtar from Assyria;
  • Kali, from India; and
  • Ostara a Norse Goddess of fertility.

So we see that the writers of the Textus Receptus had many possible choices of pagan goddesses they could have picked from if they actually did not mean Passover when they used the Greek word pascha. When studying Yahuwah's word, we may run across instances where something does not seem to be correct or is confusing, as in the case of the timing of Keph's arrest in Acts 12:3-4. However when we humble ourselves and approach Yahuwah in prayer over such instances He will reveal His truth to us. We must not adhere to the teachings of men, and be willing to open our hearts and our minds to His truth, even when it goes against something we might have thought to be correct for many years.

Craig Timmreck