Is Easter (Pascha) a Pagan Holiday?

Many of us have read articles or seen memes floating around the internet that attempt to tie the celebration of Christ’s resurrection to some form of paganism.  It seems to me that these rumors are perpetuated by a lack of knowledge regarding ancient Christianity, history, linguistics, and paganism.

THE ORIGIN OF THE NAMES

First of all, according to all ancient accounts of which I’m aware, Jesus Christ was crucified during the time of the Jewish Passover, which in Hebrew is called Pesach, and in Aramaic Pascha.  The timing of the Jewish festival is tied to the cycle of the moon, but always lands somewhere in the spring.  Christians from the most ancient times have seen Jesus’ death and resurrection as the fulfillment of the Passover holiday and have therefore kept the transliterated name for Passover, which is usually a derivative of the word “Pascha.”  Continue reading Is Easter (Pascha) a Pagan Holiday?