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The myth that Easter was a German goddess, or actually Ishtar in disguise, is so profusely integrated into the remembrance of what Jesus did on the cross and His resurrection, that I am hoping it would be helpful to show sources to refute this common error in thinking/teaching.

Historically, the German/Norse/Teutonic/Scandinavian evidence, from where the “story” of Easter allegedly originates – shows that Easter was never worshiped or celebrated as a goddess.  In fact, there is no such goddess recorded anywhere in historical records in either European or Scandinavian cultures.

The name “Easter” is taken from the Spring month of Eostremonath on the German calendar – also known as the Norse/Teutonic/Scandinavian calendar.  In other words, Eostremonath is simply, the name of the Spring month.  It eventually evolved into the English “Easter” as brought to England by the Saxons [ancient Germans].  Easter was used as a convenience and accepted, morphed/coined as the word to indicate the time of year when Christians celebrated the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ >>> because it occurred in the spring. 

According to historical records, spring was not celebrated festively.  That was reserved for summer and winter celebrations.  Neither was Easter evolved from Roman/Green pagan spring festivals.  Although that has been added to the myth as part of the council of Nicea in 325 AD or to Constantine, the word Easter was unheard of until the 8th century AD.  I have noted that some translations of the Council of Nicea include the word “Easter”, but I believe it was added much later [after Bede – 9th century] as a substitute word for pascha, which does not mean Easter, but passover, but to differentiate between the Jewish feast and the resurrection of Christ.

The beginning of the myth, as originated by the Venerable Bede, a Catholic monk, wrote the following:

 From De ratione temporum 15. [approx 700AD] (The reckoning of time, tr. Faith Wallis, Liverpool University Press 1988, pp.53-54)

15.  The English Months

In olden time the English people — for it did not seem fitting to me that I should speak of other people’s observance of the year and yet be silent about my own nation’s — calculated their months according to the course of the moon.  Hence, after the manner of the Greeks and the Romans (the months) take their name from the Moon, for the Moon is called mona and the month monath.

The first month, which the Latins call January, is Giuli; February is called Solmonath; March Hrethmonath; April, Eosturmonath; May, Thrimilchi; June, Litha; July, also Litha; August, Weodmonath; September, Halegmonath; October, Winterfilleth; November, Blodmonath; December, Giuli, the same name by which January is called. …

Nor is it irrelevant if we take the time to translate the names of the other months. … Hrethmonath is named for their goddess Hretha, to whom they sacrificed at this time.  Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month”, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month.  Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.  Thrimilchi was so called because in that month the cattle were milked three times a day…

 

Reiterating, Bede had no historical information on which to base his supposition that Eostre was a goddess.  She cannot be found in any ancient writings or traditions in that entire part of the Norse/German world. 

A professor, Dr Elizabeth Freeman [BA (Hons), MA, PhD (University of Melbourne); Grad. Dip. Ed. (Sec), Grad. Cert.(Rel. Ed.) (Australian Catholic University)], teaches the history of Europe in the early Middle Ages (300-1000AD) and High Middle Ages (1000-1300AD). She also studies medieval Christianity, ancient nuns and monks. She has also written publically, that there was no such creature as a goddess name Eostre. From an article published in 2005 she concludes that the entire myth of Easter was made up – again, based on actual research:

Quote:

The goddess did not exist.

The earliest reference to goddess Ostara or Oestre is by a celebrated medieval intellectual — the monk known as the “venerable Bede”.

Working in north-east England in 730AD, Bede wrote a book about calculating time. Bede identified a pagan spring celebration called Eosturmonath. He said this celebration got its name from a pagan goddess called Oestre for whom they had a feast.

But when modern-day researchers scoured the history books they could find no prior reference to the goddess.

Researchers found many references to the spring celebration Eosturmonath but absolutely no mention of the goddess Bede reckoned the feast was named after. They suspect Bede fabricated the pagan goddess to suit his purposes.

“He has definitely made up that goddess,” Dr Freeman said. “Bede is the first one to mention it. German academics have found no evidence of the spring goddess Oestre anywhere else before Bede.”

Dr Freeman said Bede, who had been a monk since he was seven years old, was revered in an era where very few people were educated.

“Bede was extremely influential and his view has survived until the last 50 years when scholarship developed to the level it could show he was wrong,” she said.

Dr Freeman said Bede and his contemporaries constantly sought to find moral meaning for words and often made up definitions to suit their moral outlook.

http://www.religionnewsblog.com/10716/fur-flies-over-bunny-theory

From another source:

This was [Bede’s] attempted etymology of Easter – which is only called that in English of course. The problem is that as the Goddess in question, Eostre is completely unknown otherwise, … so  this proposed etymology is probably spurious. In the 19th century a German antiquarian invented Ostara, as the German form, using Bede as his source.

Bede admits this idea is his speculation – he is not actually aware of a goddess called Eostre, he just thinks there was one. There is not a single reference to her, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, any of the other writings we have from the period, or from inscriptions. No depiction – no amulets – nothing. Her Germanic version was invented completely in the 19th century, and again has no evidence whatsoever from history or archaeology to back it up.”

http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/eostre-never-existed-why-easter-is-not-a-pagan-holiday/

 

Another one of the most mangled, twisted, and downright ugly views of Easter is this one:

“Semiramis, the queen of heaven, was “born again” as the goddess Easter (Ashtarte) as she emerged from a giant egg that landed in the Euphrates river at sunrise on the “sun” day after the vernal equinox. To proclaim her divine authority, she changed a bird into an egg laying rabbit. As the cult developed, the priests of Easter would impregnate young virgins on the altar of the goddess of fertility at sunrise on Easter Sunday. A year later the priests of Easter would sacrifice those three-month-old babies on the altar at the front of the Sanctuary and dye Easter eggs in the blood of the sacrificed infants. (Michael John Rood, The Mystery of Iniquity, Chapter 8) [see more on the heresies and false teachings of Michael Rood here:  http://www.seekgod.ca/roodbreakup.htm ]

 Everything about that twisted version is completely and categorically false and sensationalized to appeal to people who are convinced Easter is evil and wicked.  Ashtarte is not Easter.  There is no such thing as eggs being dyed in babies’ blood at any time or anywhere in history, nor is there any evidence that priest impregnate virgins on the altar of a fertility goddess at sunrise on “easter sunday”. These things are designed to get people in fear and to hate Christians who are celebrating and remembering was Jesus did for us.  To mangle and pervert the Gospel in such a way is just plain heinous, in this writer’s opinion.

Although there are many articles and etymologies that link Easter/Eostre/Ostara with Ishtar, historically there is no connection.  The Gemanic religious culture [Norse deities] never mentions Eostre or Ostara as a goddess at all.

 Digging into the Germanic/Norse/Teutonic history reveals that Germany was once a Scandinavian Country and therefore, embraced the Norse deities. The main female deities were known as Frigga and Freyja with no mention of Eostre/Ostara. 

 The Columbia Encyclopedia gives a brief overview of the Germanic/Teutonic/Norse religious system:

The Germanic Pantheon

Germanic religion, like most ancient religions, was polytheistic. In early times there were two groups of gods-the Aesir and the Vanir. However, after a war between the rival pantheons (which perhaps reflects a war between two rival tribes), the defeated Vanir were absorbed into the Aesir, and the gods of both were worshiped in a single pantheon. This pantheon, which according to some accounts consisted of 12 principal deities, had Woden (Odin) as its chief god. Other important deities were Tiw (Tyr), Thor (Donar), Balder, Frey, Freyja, and Frigg. The gods dwelled in Asgard, where each deity had his or her own particular abode. The most beautiful of the palaces was Valhalla; there Woden, attended by the Valkyries, gave banquets to the dead heroes. The ancient Nordic gods, however, unlike the gods of most religions, were not immortal. They continually renewed their youth by eating the apples of Idun, but they were doomed, like mortals, to eventual extinction.

The gods were opposed by the giants and demons, representing the destructive and irrational forces of the universe. It was prophesied that at Ragnarok, the doom of the gods, the forces of evil and darkness led by Loki and his brood of monsters, would attack the gods of Asgard. After a ferocious battle, in which most of the gods and giants would be destroyed, the universe would end in a blaze of fire. However, it was also prophesied that from the ashes of the old world a new cosmos would emerge and a new generation of gods and humans would dwell in harmony.

http://www.answers.com/topic/germanic-mythology#ixzz1AlyyV5QZ

Also from this source – no mention of Ostara/Eostre:

The four main deities in Germanic religion and Asatru are:

Odin (Germanic Woden) – god of magic, poetry, riches and the dead; ruler of Valhalla (gave his name to Wednesday)

Thor – sky god who wields a hammer, controls the weather, and protects the law and the community (gave his name to Thursday)

Freyr – fertility god represented with a phallic statue and seen as the founder of the Swedish royal dynasty

Freyja – fertility goddess of love and beauty, sister of Freyr, known by many names (including Frigg, Odin’s wife and patron of families, who gave her name to Friday)

http://www.religionfacts.com/a-z-religion-index/asatru.htm

“According to Norse Mythology – The Myths and Legends of the Nordic Gods by Arthur Cotterell, Freyja is the daughter of the sea god Njord and sister of Freyr. She is an important fertility goddess …”

“Freyja flew over the earth, sprinkling morning dew and summer sunlight behind her. She shook spring flowers from her golden hair and wept tears which turned to gold or to amber at sea.”

“For she [Freyja] was the goddess of lust as well as love, a suitable partner for Odin who was the father of battles.”

“The goddesses were clearly important in northern religion, yet only Frigg and Freyja play any main part in the tales ….”

“Freyja kept up the sacrificing, for she alone lived on after the gods.”

She [Freyja] was regarded as a giving goddess, bringing bounty to the fields, animals and mankind …”

http://www.valkyrietower.com/freyja.html

Some other sources about the Germanic gods and goddesses:

Idun, Ithunn – (Norse mythology) goddess of spring 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Norse+mythology

Iduna/Idun/Iduun – Norse Goddess of eternal youth and spring

http://inanna.virtualave.net/slavic.html

“Idun, also spelled Idunn, or Iduna,  in Norse mythology, the goddess of spring or rejuvenation …”

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/282103/Idun

“In Norse* mythology, Idun (Iduna) was the goddess of spring and rebirth.”

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ho-Iv/Idun.html

Interestingly, the sources above that list numerous Norse gods and goddesses include zero reference to either Eostre or Ostara.

And here again – Eostre/Ostara is missing:

 “Norse Goddesses

Iðunn (Idun, Idunn, Iduna)

Frigg (Frigga)

Freyja (Freya)

Nanna”

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Old_Norse_orthography#Goddesses

 Here are even more links here from historical sources that have written about the Norse /Gemanic/Teutonic religious systems, gods and goddesses, which show that Eostre/Ostara is not mentioned.

http://www.goddesses.com/index_files/AncientGoddesses.htm

http://www.enotes.com/topic/List_of_Germanic_deities_and_heroes

http://wuzzle.org/cave/lovegods.html

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ni-Pa/Norse-Mythology.html

http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/names/godsnorse.htm

 

It’s important to explore Bede’s writings which have come under intense scrutiny as we see in these references:

 

This was [Bede’s] attempted etymology of Easter – which is only called that in English of course. The problem is that as the Goddess in question, Eostre is completely unknown otherwise, … so  this proposed etymology is probably spurious. In the 19th century a German antiquarian invented Ostara, as the German form, using Bede as his source.

Bede admits this idea is his speculation – he is not actually aware of a goddess called Eostre, he just thinks there was one. There is not a single reference to her, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, any of the other writings we have from the period, or from inscriptions. No depiction – no amulets – nothing. Her Germanic version was invented completely in the 19th century, and again has no evidence whatsoever from history or archaeology to back it up.”

http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2009/04/10/eostre-never-existed-why-easter-is-not-a-pagan-holiday/

See this article also:  http://www.celtic-catholic-church.org/oak_tree/easter.html

More info on Bede:

It is equally valid, however, to suggest that the Anglo-Saxon “Estor-monath”simply meant “the month of opening”, or the “month of beginning”, and that Bede mistakenly connected it with a goddess who either never existed at all, or was never associated with a particular season, but merely, like Eos and Aurora, with the Dawn itself.” [The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain; Ronald Hutton; p.180]

http://books.google.com/books?id=0WhvTFmRDCQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=stations+of+the+sun&source=bl&ots=im0AMtfwfD&sig=8-v3klcjmM1HOCB8fgMkvJ-sa50&hl=en&ei=Kr_yTKKeNcGblgfPks3VDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&sqi=2&ved=0CCsQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

“Eostre is a very obscure Goddess, and uniquely Anglo-Saxon Heathen. She is not mentioned at all in the Norse corpus and only fleetingly in the Old English by Bede in De Temporum Rationale.  Her material is so scant that some scholars have speculated she was not a Goddess at all, but that Eostre was merely a name for the holiday.”

http://www.englatheod.org/eostre.htm

“No Norwegian, Icelandic or other Scandinavian primary source mentions ‘Ostara’. In fact, the name ‘Ostara’ isn’t found anywhere in connection with a goddess. ‘Ostara’ is simply the Old High German name for the Christian Festival of Easter. Because the word is cognate with Anglo-Saxon ‘Eostre’, and because we have Bede’s evidence that Eostre was a goddess, Grimm concluded that “This Ostara, like the Anglo-Saxon Eastre, must in the heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the Christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries.” [Jacob Grimm, (trans. James Stallybrass) Teutonic Mythology, Dover Books, reprint of 1883 edition, volume one, p.291]

“All we know from Bede was that she was worshipped sometime in April. Bede also mentions another Anglo-Saxon goddess, Hredhe, who was honoured in March, and for whom the month of March was named. If the heathen Anglo-Saxons actually did worship a goddess at the Vernal Equinox, then according to the only historical evidence we have it would have been Hredhe, not Eostre.”

http://www.manygods.org.uk/articles/essays/Eostre.shtml

The connection of Easter with Ishtar was circulated mostly due to Alexander Hislop.  He has a rather lengthy section on Ishtar that is loaded with speculation.  This is how he begins his article: 

 

“Then look at Easter. What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country.”  [Aexander Hislop, TheTwo Babylons (1858) – Chapter III  Section II – Easter]

In that chapter, he connects Easter with Semiramis [completely false], and includes much conjecture and unsupported information about other goddesses, the definition of their names, and other non-historical opinion that he promotes as “truth”. 

 

Ralph Woodrow, who wrote “The Babylon Mystery Connection” based on Hislop’s “The Two Babylons” and at one time promoted Hislop’s “facts” became aware of the errors, wrote another book “The Babylon Connection?” refuting his original book and Hislop’s.  It took a lot of guts to admit he was wrong!  He makes this comment about Hislop on his website, admitting that most of Hislop’s connections and so-called “information” is neither historical nor accurate – it is sensationalism:

“Hislop, for example, taught that mythological persons like Adonis, Apollo, Bacchus, Cupid, Dagon, Hercules, Janus, Mars, Mithra, Moloch, Orion, Osiris, Pluto, Saturn, Vulcan, Zoraster, and many more, were all Nimrod! He then formed his own “history” of Nimrod! He did the same thing with Nimrod’s wife. So, according to his theory, Nimrod was a big, ugly, deformed black man. His wife, Semiramis—also known as Easter, he says—was a most beautiful white woman with blond hair and blue eyes, a backslider, inventor of soprano singing, the originator of priestly celibacy, the first to whom the unbloody mass was offered! This is not factual history—it is more in the category of tabloid sensationalism.”

http://www.ralphwoodrow.org/books/pages/babylon-mystery.html

In the Hebrew Roots Movement, Hislop’s “facts” were snapped up by CJ Koster [“Come Out of Her My People” – referring to “Babylon”] and by Lew White [Fossilized Customs] which promote the most unglody associations with Christianity and it’s “Babylonian/pagan/Greek roots” further hammering into and spreading the conjecture and opinions to unsuspecting people.  Many others within Hebrew Roots have promoted these writings and then propagated the myths within their own teachings.

Both Bede’s and Hislop’s errors are discussed here, and quoted with permission:

Alexander Hislop, in his book The Two Babylons [1858], mistakenly equated the goddess Eostre with the Babylonian-Assyrian fertility goddess Ishtar, and with the Phoenician fertility goddess Astarte. Questionable etymology and the mistaken research of Hislop has led some to conclude that the festival of Easter is pagan in its name and its origins.

However, the annual spring celebration of the resurrection of Jesus was not even called Easter until centuries after Christians began celebrating it, and etymological authorities (those who study word origins) have cast doubt on Bede’s accuracy.

In a footnote in a circa 1850 edition of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, the translator, Isaac Boyle, suggested that “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 Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Baker Books, 1984) article on Easter, after mentioning Bede’s account, says it is “more likely” that the word Easter “came from a German root for dawn or east (the time and place of the rising sun).” The Oxford English Dictionary relates Easter and the east to a common root meaning dawn or morning. If these are accurate, Easter did not derive from the name of a spring goddess Eastre. Rather, both words came from a root that means “dawn,” or “morning/rising/new light,” or by extension, “resurrection.”

More likely than Bede’s explanation, it seems possible that the resurrection celebration was named Easter because the word described the promise of new light and new life brought to humankind by the new-risen Son.”

http://www.gci.org/jesus/celebrating

Jakob Grimm — of Brothers Grimm fame (1785 – 1863), in his 1835 Deustche Mythologie; further promoted the Easter myth and wrote that Ostarâ,must in heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the Christian teachers tolerated the name, and applit to one of their own grandest anniversaries.” Again, scholars have noted his supposition, with no proof, based on what Bede surmised/made up.   Error begets error and is then promoted over and over again with hyper sensationalism in order to denigrate a title/word given to a Christian spring celebration of Jesus Christ. [see above quotes and footnotes

One other myth associated with Easter is that it is etymologically connected to estrus/oestrus giving it an even more sexual and derogatory meaning.  Easter has nothing to do with estrus as seen here in the etymology dictionary.  Please note that the word only goes back to the 1690s, and the definition of “frenzied passion” and “rut in animals” only goes back to the 1800s. Estrous > 1900. The word “Easter” is much older than that as seem in the various writings already sourced in this article.

estrus

1850, “frenzied passion,” from L. oestrus “frenzy, gadfly,” from Gk. oistros “gadfly, breeze, sting, mad impulse,” perhaps from a PIE *eis, forming words denoting passion (cf. Avestan aešma- “anger,” Lith. aistra “violent passion,” L. ira “anger”). First attested 1890 with specific meaning “rut in animals, heat.” Earliest use (1690s) was for “a gadfly.” Related: Estrous (1900).

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=estrus

Comparing Ostara/Eostre to Ishtar/Ashteroth/Semiramis/Astarte

The German Ostara does not come from nor is she related to Ishtar/Ashteroth/Astarte, etc.

Ishtar has a Semitic word root which may mean “to lead”.  Ostara is a German word that means dawn, rising sun and includes resurrection, which became the Anglo Saxton Eostre/Easter. 

    http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Ishtar

Ishtar is a goddess whose history goes way back to the beginning of civilizations and nations.  She is referred to in the OT as Ashteroth.  She is a Semitic goddess, not a Norse deity.  There is no connection between Ishtar/Astarte and Eostre/Ostara who was not even known until well into the Common Era.  Eostre/Ostara is not listed with the Norse deities of the Germanic/Teutonic culture.

Ishtar is a mother goddess, fertility goddess, the goddess of spring, a storm goddess, a warrior and a goddess of war, a goddess of the hunt, a goddess of love, goddess of marriage and childbirth, goddess of fate and a goddess who is the divine personification of the planet Venus.  She is also an underworld deity.  She is known predominately as the “mother goddess” and is connected to the earth’s fertility.

http://books.google.com/books?id=jEcpkWjYOZQC&pg=PA242&lpg=PA242&dq=ishtar+goddess+spring&source=bl&ots=OtCefQODD0&sig=k4CWOPv7hqFroGlkTUyx2jnsDvM&hl=en&ei=foDYTPjjE8OAlAeznZT9CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CCYQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=ishtar%20goddess%20spring&f=false

 

Here are lists of names that represent Ishtar in other languages and cultures and please note, not one of them refers to Ostata/Eostre – nor is there any reference to bunnies and eggs, or even sacrificing infants and using their blood to dye “Easter eggs”:

 Ishtar – Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, sex and the divine personification of the planet Venus

Ashteroth [found in OT] is the Phoenician/Semitic for Ishtar

Inanna = Sumerian for Ishtar

Astarte = Akkadian for Ishtar

Athtar  = Arabian for Ishtar

Tanith  = Northern African for Ishtar

Mylitta = Babylonian and Assyrian Mythology > The goddess of love and fertility and war; also called Ishtar; the counterpart of Ashtoreth and Astarte.

Ishtar (Istar) – Assyro-Babylonian; Akkadia, Chaldea, Semitic, Sidon, Sumner.

Also known as: Absusu (Sumerian), Abtagigi (She Who Sends Messages of Desire), Agasaya, Ashtart, Ashtoreth, Athar (Arabic), Aya (Babylonian), Banitu (possibly), Belti (Semite), Bisi-Bisi, The Bride, Dilbar (The War-provoking Evening Star), Gamlat (Babylonian), Gumshea, Hanata (Middle Eastern), Inanna (Sumerian), Innini, Irnini (possibly), Kilili (Queen of Harlots), Meni (possibly), Minu-anni, Minu-ullu, Nin-kar-zi-da, Nin-khar-sagga Nin-si-anna, Ninkarrak (Sumerian), Ninkasi, Ninlil (Phoenician), Sharis (possibly an ancient name used by the Armenians), Shaushka (Hittite), Shimti (Akkadian; goddess of fate), The Shrieker, Zanaru (Lady of the Islands), Zib (evening star who stimulates sexual desire).

Ishtar is identified with the Sumerian goddess Inanna and with Astarte of the Phoenicians and the Babylonians.  She has been identified with Ninlil.  Ishtar corresponds to the Chaldean goddess Nintu. Ishtar parallels the ancient Sumerian goddess Anunit in numerous ways. The Hebrew goddess Tamar is equivalent to Ishtar,  The Hittite goddess Shaushka is known as the Hurrian Ishtar.  As Hanata, she is also a warrior.  The Babylonian goddess Gamlat eventually assimilated into Ishtar, as did the Babylonian Aya.  The war goddess Agasya eventually became Ishtar as the sky warrior.  The vegetation goddess Gumshea merged with Ishtar. 

Her titles of Minu-anni and Minu-ullu may link her with the Assyrian god or goddess, Meni.  Compare Ishtar to Isis (Egyptian), and the Inca goddess, Mama Allpa. Ishtar is depicted sometimes naked, with her hands clasping her breasts.  Often she is bedecked in jewelry and has an elaborate hairstyle. She is also shown reclining, wearing a crowned crescent set with a shining stone on her head.  Sometimes she is shown holding her symbol, the eight pointed star.  In her battle stance, she carries a bow and is depicted standing on a chariot drawn by seven lions.  The lion, bull, and dragon are Ishtar’s emblems.  The lion is her sacred animal and perhaps the dove.

 

See also Abtagigi; Allat; Allatu; Anat; Anta; Anu; Arinna; Ashur; Astarte; Asushunamir; Atargatis; Athar; Aya; Belti; Boann (Celtic); Chemosh; Ea; Enki; Enkidu; Ereshkigal; Gilgamesh; Igigi; Inanna; Innini; Khumbaba; Kilili; Namtar; Ninkarrak; Ninkasi; Ninlil; Papsukaal; Ramman; Saltu; Sammuramat; Semiramis; Shamash; Sharis; Sin; Tammuz; Tiamat; Venus; Zerpanitum.

Information taken from:

http://books.google.com/books?id=jEcpkWjYOZQC&pg=PA242&lpg=PA242&dq=ishtar+goddess+spring&source=bl&ots=OtCefQODD0&sig=k4CWOPv7hqFroGlkTUyx2jnsDvM&hl=en&ei=foDYTPjjE8OAlAeznZT9CA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=6&ved=0CCYQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=ishtar%20goddess%20spring&f=false

 

The Relationship between Ishtar, Semiramis, and Tammuz:

Ishtar was the lover/husband of Tammuz

Dumuzi is the Babylonian Tammuz

Semiramis is the wife of Nimrod/Nimnus and the mother of Tammuz

More information on the Greek goddess Aprhodite and her connection to Ishtar:

“Astarte, Semitic goddess of fertility and love. Dominant in ancient Eastern religions, she was the most important goddess of the Phoenicians, corresponding to the Babylonian Ishtar and the Greek Aphrodite, also known as the Great Mother of the Gods.

Aphrodite, in Greek mythology, goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. She was either the daughter of Zeus and Dione, or she emerged from the sea foam. Married to Hephaestus, she loved and had children by other gods and mortals, e.g., Harmonia was fathered by Ares, and Aeneas was the son of Anchises. Aphrodite was awarded the apple of discord by Paris, leading to the Trojan War. Probably of Eastern origin, she was similar in attributes to the goddesses Astarte and Ishtar. The Romans identified her with Venus.

Some have even tried to connect Artemis to Ishtar, but in Greek mythology, she goddess of the hunt. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and the twin sister of Apollo. Artemis is associated with chastity, marriage, children, wildlife, and, as a complement to the sun god Apollo, with the moon. The Romans identified her with Diana.”

Information from:

http://deoxy.org/gaia/goddess.htm

 

In conclusion, and reiterating:  Bede and Grimm are the only sources that connects Easter with a goddess named Eostre/Ostara – which has never been proven or authenticated – and by their own admissions and writings, supposed that she was an ancient German goddess.  The name “Easter” is a simple word “evolved” from the German “Eostre/Ostara”, into the Angle-Saxon culture taken from the names of the German spring months of Eostremonat and Ostaramanouth and traditionally applied to the Christian spring celebration of Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection as the English, Easter.  In other words, there is no pagan connection. Easter was always a Christian celebration, it was never a pagan festival, because there is zero archaeological or ancient literary evidence to support that Easter was ever a goddess or that there were ever festivals in her honor [before the current wiccan/celtic movements] in either Germany or England/The UK/Ireland.

 

 

 

 

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*****  [Please see this recently updated article:  Easter is Not a Goddess

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/easter-is-not-a-goddess/ ]

 

EASTER

For several years I have been thinking of writing a complex series of articles on Easter.  As the years have passed and I have gotten bogged down with life, I decided that perhaps simplicity is more appropriate.  Those who consider Easter to be evil and pagan will probably not be swayed by the facts that oppose their beliefs about it – for they are deeply engrained and thoroughly processed and assimilated all over the net, in books, articles, DVDs, conferences, off the pulpit and promoted on forums.  It has been said that if a lie is told often enough, it becomes the truth … and no truer words would apply to the entire Easter myth.

This author has spent months of study and reading and digging into ancient studies, as well as those in academia that have done the same.  Accurate research can only come when one has no preconceived ideas. Having been part of the entire “Easter is pagan” mind set and on the other side of the fence as well, as a practicing Easter celebrator, I hoped that my searching would lead to the truth, rather than forcing one particular side over the other.  And I pray I have done so, because the last thing I ever want to do is to dishonor the Lord by misjudging and promoting something that is contrary to His Word.

The word “Easter” is not a pagan word.  It’s just a word.  A German word that became anglicized.  Easter is not a goddess, she never was.  It was a myth that was either made up or assumed by the Venerable Bede in 825AD.  His statements have been proven false, but unfortunately, the lie has lived on promoted by the unsuspecting … even the King James Bible, which used the word once in the book of Acts.  The translators were going by tradition as Easter was the accepted term for the death and resurrection of Christ.  The term, Easter, took on a life of its own after Bede announced to the uneducated public that Easter was a goddess and aimed his denigration of it at the church who he accused of celebrating the worship of a goddess with the activities of that time of year during the 9th century.  One might say that he had a rapt audience and was given carte blanche by the Roman Catholic Church for his outlandish statements.  And, as these things happen, it evolved into the term that is currently used for a specific time of year when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ, but Bede was never corrected for his mistake in the process. Instead, Alexander Hislop, Jakob Grimm and Lew White went off on a ridiculous tangent to prove this myth as truth with their inaccurate writings.  So we are stuck with a term that is accepted by all and has been increasingly used as a tool to mock Christians today for their so-called paganism.

Just a note of explanation.  I am not going to post a whole bunch of quotes and links to prove my statements, but I have a ton of them.  It would take pages and pages to show the truth by the resources I have found.  If you truly are interested in the sources, I am more than happy to share them. For this article, I need brevity so people will at least take the time to read this 🙂  Human nature is funny – if you believe something is factual, nothing anyone says will convince you otherwise, regardless if it’s in black and white.  Perhaps I am too cynical, but if someone really wants the truth, they will go after it, not rely on teachers and false information to support their beliefs like I did for so many years to my own detriment …. Because I was more than happy to educate people that Easter is pagan and Christians are really worshiping the goddess Easter/Ostara/Oestre/Asheroth/Ishtar and other such complete nonsense without looking at the facts for myself at that time in my life.

The Origins of Oestre actually come from a month called Oestremonath on the Old Norse/Germanic/Teutonic/Viking calendar. It means dawn or the opening of the month – which refers to spring coming after a long dark, cold winter.  There were no celebrations at that time of year.  Typically, celebrations were held in the summer and in Nov/Dec.  There were no sacrifices to their gods and goddesses at these times.  They were festivals/celebrations of food and fun.  In  Sweden, to this day there is a part of the country which is called Ostaraland – named after the month, not a goddess 🙂

I searched through hundreds of old writings and histories and could find no “Oestra” or “Ostara” that was a goddess.  Germany was once part of Scandinavia and Norse mythology was its religion.  The main goddesses are Freija and Freya.  There is no Eostra or Oestra or Ostara listed anywhere in any histories, not found in any archeology or mythology or writings or poem or traditions or oral traditions linked with Germany or Scandinavia.  This goddess does not and has never has existed anywhere …..

Easter has etymologically been attached to the Christian season for centuries.  It is just a word, a term for Christ’s resurrection.  It is not an evil word, nor is it something that causes people to unknowingly worship a goddess.  It is really not any different than the word “Passover” which William Tyndale, a Catholic man, who translated the Scriptures into English [Tyndale Bible 1500s] for the common man came up with a word to represent Pesach > the Israelite feast of slaying a lamb and painting the doorway with blood.  The angel of the Lord “passed over” keeping their first born safe from death.  Passover is not considered an evil word even though a Catholic man came up with it and it’s used even by those who go on and on about “Easter” being pagan.  The Jews use “Passover” as well.  It is not a bad word …..  Language is just words, words are not evil, they are how we communicate with each other.

There is another despicable lie that is being circulated having to do with eggs being dipped in baby’s blood.  Can I say what a disgusting thing to accuse Christians of?  There is NO, NONE, NADA, historical support for such an evil myth.  And those who keep harping on this at Easter should be more than ashamed of themselves for promoting such a nasty and perverted concept.

Easter eggs, bunnies and chicks are not evil either … and they have NOTHING to do with a goddess.  They were part of tradition in spring type celebrations, heralding the season of spring when new birth is evident in God’s creation.  The eggs were hidden in hare’s nests and the kids went looking for them.  That is how eggs got connected with rabbits.  Grimm made up a myth about Ostara and rabbit laying eggs – which has become listed as a pagan tradition in Messianic circles.  Dying eggs has nothing to do with making Jesus death and resurrection evil and pagan. They are just traditions, not used for worship.  There is nothing wrong with using colored eggs as decorations at a time of year when we remember new life in Christ.  For me, it only emphases HIM, not detracts from Him.  It is a joyous time of year we remember His death on the cross and then His resurrection.  Perhaps those of us who live in the more northern parts of the USA appreciate it due to the long cold winter.  The arrival of spring has always been a special time of year when Easter is recognized in various ways and the crowning of Christ as risen King and Lord is only enhanced by the joy of this holiday.  Shame on people for stealing what the rest of Christianity sees as a time of year to rejoice and sing praises to our Lord for His salvation and eternal life and celebrate with colored eggs, bunnies, baskets and bright colors!  We are NOT worshiping the traditions, we worship the Lord!!!

I have also heard that Easter comes from the word “estra” having to do with the process of reproduction.  Ridiculous.  They are not even from the same root word.  It’s just another disgusting lie associated with Easter to make it more evil and perverted, and not worth the time to discuss it further.

Easter is NOT Ishtar.  Ishtar is a Canaanite goddess that means “to lead”.  Ishtar was a goddess of war and sex.  She has nothing to do with Easter – they are not even remotely connected.  Shame on Alexander Hislop for suggesting such nonsense and for people to promote this horrible lie without checking their facts first.  Easter means “dawn”.  How easy it is to see that it became the word in England applied to what we know as Easter due to Jesus rising at dawn!  Germany took over England around the 5th century so its language assimilated into English, which is how Oestre became Easter.  And that is all there is to it.  No conspiracy, just simple linguistics and language etymology.

One last item – sunrise services are not some pagan invention that Christians are all enamored with.  They became popular because people wanted to worship the Lord early in the morning in remembrance of the Scriptures which tell us that Jesus arose at dawn.  It’s that simple.  To this day, I do not understand why people would come up with such lies and innuendos against those who love the Lord and seek to honor and worship as the Holy Spirit leads them to.  How small minded to point fingers at those who choose to be obedient to the NT texts that encourage them to worship the Lord at all times.

I pray what I have written is edifying and helps with some factual knowledge.  I cannot stop anyone from continuing to push the lies and myths about Easter, but I can at least show some how wrong it is to accuse Christians of something that is nothing more than a myth to denigrate their celebrations of Christ in the spring of the year, commonly known as Easter.   I hope people will stop and think about what they are saying about others who love the Lord with all their hearts, because it is not edifying to the Him in the least.

Another article on Easter that give more information here on my blog is …

https://fortheloveoftruth.wordpress.com/2010/03/26/611/

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