Talk:Easter/Archive 7

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Archive 6 Archive 7 Archive 8

No history section?

This article is laughable; it almost reads like a Hallmark marketing promo. Well done wiki-elites for letting this one article slide. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.229.248.119 (talk) 18:50, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

You're not alone with this criticism, as the talk page makes it clear. However, under threat of being blocked, it has been made clear that not even a {{NPOV}} tag is to be allowed on the article space until Easter is over, regardless of the various threads here discussing how un-neutral the article is. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:54, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
User:Bloodofox, you are trying to fuse the Ēostre with the ancient Christian celebration of Pascha, as it is known by most non-English speaking Christians. That term itself is derived from Passover. If history is to be added it should focus on this (see reference). The source states:

The English word for the feast of the resurrection, Easter, differs from the feast's name in other regions. In other regions the term is "Pascha," which is derived from the word for "Passover." The word "Easter" might come from an Anglo-Saxon spring goddess. This is probably because the festival of Easter overlapped some pagan holiday in ancient England. While some have used this fact to say celebrating Easter is pagan, the fact is that only the name comes from a pagan source, probably stemming from popular usage.

The source also indicates that Easter/Pascha was celebrated by the Early Church, long before Christianity even arrived in Europe. Thanks, AnupamTalk 20:15, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
First, I am trying to do no such thing. Secondly, your source is not a reliable source and not acceptable here. Please stick to academic works. To be sure, indeed, the history of Pascha needs to be covered just as much as its importation and synthesis with Eostre-monath, as modern Easter is in fact the combination of the two as much as Yule and Christmas came to intermingle in the English-speaking world. :bloodofox: (talk) 20:19, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Is it your contention that members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of the USA do not exist?Dogface (talk) 22:32, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
What? :bloodofox: (talk) 23:33, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

No NPOV Tag Allowed on Article on Threat of Block

Administrator Kim Dent-Brown (talk · contribs) has been very vocal on this talk page that he will block users who add an {{npov}} tag to this article before Easter is over. Seriously. However, just about every user on this talk page has expressed concern that this article does not reflect the secular element of this holiday. In fact, the word "secular" (i.e. non-religious) appears only a single time on this article. Consensus that this article is therefore not neutral is strong, and Kim above even acknowledges this. I have previously presented some quality academic references covering this very subject, and there many others out there to be handled in turn. A few of these references:

Now, I ask, is it this acceptable administrator conduct—to decide that they will block users who add a tag to the article reflecting the state of the talk page? This is the first time I've ever seen an administrator decide that they have this ability—to block users for adding an appropriate tag because they have decided that it is inappropriate to have on the article on the day of the holiday—and I think it requires some discussion here. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:03, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

This article will not be improved by an NPOV template, still less by spending ages deciding whether or not one should be added. Divert this energy to improving the article and to discussing a compromise so that both sides of this can contribute to an improved article. That means stopping trying to prove others wrong, and starting trying to devise text on which you can all agree. If you insist on an NPOV template and really think it will help the article, slap one on after the main page link has gone in less than 24 hours. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 12:09, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Sweeping the neutrality issues that this article has under the carpet (on threat of block no less) on the day that it gets the most visibility only hinders it from attracting more collaborating editors outside of the usual suspects on this talk page. You are hindering the collaborative process of this page and attempting to make the article look as if it has less problems than it does. :bloodofox: (talk) 12:29, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
You WP:BATTLEGROUND attitude is not helping one whit. No-one objects to adding more material on secular aspects of celebrations and their history - preferably giving a world wide view of various traditions. But you should not confuse omissions with POV issues. Weakness in certain areas does not necessarily imply that the article is slanted to a POV. If there were no information on - say - Russian traditions, this would not make the article "anti-Russian". That would only be the case if they had been deliberately excluded for some ideological reason. If they are not there just because no-one's added them yet, there is no POV issue; and there is no point in creating drama by adding POV tags. What other editors have objected to is your attempt to argue that Easter was somehow originally a Germanic pagan festivity, or that neo-pagans have "revived" this "original" celebration. That's a fringe POV, and it is you who brought it to the article. By saying now that you just want to add material on secular celebrations, you are changing your story. That's not a POV issue, it's about filling gaps and adding useful content. BTW, I don't think generic popular encyclopedias of folklore are "quality" academic sources. Such general literature often repeats out of date material. Paul B (talk) 12:43, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Here we go again. Paul, I've quite clearly commented on Germanic paganism on this article for years now. In fact, at some point I even remember adding the English and German etymology (mostly) as it still stands to this article. Indeed, I am the primary author of Ēostre and around 50 GA articles on related subject matter. I've said absolutely nothing "fringe" on the subject matter, and I challenge you to find it if I have (but I suggest you prepare yourself). Easter or its ancestral word Ēostre, as in the heathen deity and subsequent festivals in honor thereof from which the German and English Christian Paschal season takes its name, did indeed originate in the pre-Christian stratum, and much debate has waged since the 19th century as to whether or not various customs now considered secular or cultural originate from pre-Christian practices or not (of which I am generally skeptical, but there's much to say here). You're surely well aware of this by now.
As to how to approach the revival of pre-Christian veneration of the goddess from which the current Christian and secular holiday takes its name in English and German is yet another matter, and remains pretty thorny due to evidently spotty academic coverage and the semantics of Easter and Ēostre in modern and Old English. The secular issue is a third separate issue. The issue of this this article not reflecting the major secular aspects in favor of an entirely Christian approach is obviously not neutral. Further, I'll note that I am simply one of numerous editors over the years to raise these issues, and it has been discussed here previously how there are a variety of "Easters" due to this; Christian, secular, and the pre-Christian. How to handle these three "Easters" has been a constant thorn in the side of this article. But, as another editor has noted above, it seems that this article has swung way in the direction of the Christian at the expense of all else.
Further, specialized academic handbooks and encyclopedias are perfectly acceptable sources and often the best way to get an opinion of "general" approaches in their fields. As my time is now up on this (much of it was spent yesterday on an inappropriate block made by Kim above and subsequently quickly lifted) I'll leave you to decided what to do with these aspects of the article. This is exactly why such tags are necessary; some of us have very limited time on Wikipedia, often just enough time to the attention of others to issues or to improve specifically targeted articles. :bloodofox: (talk) 13:04, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Wow... why can't we just change the name to Pascha as it is a more accurate term, then Bloodofox can better learn the subject!75.73.114.111 (talk) 22:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Issues with "In the Early Church" Section

I'm somewhat confused by the second paragraph in this section which currently appears as: "Direct evidence for the Easter festival begins to appear in the mid-second century. Perhaps the earliest extant primary source referencing Easter is a mid-second-century Paschal homily attributed to Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one [40]". Part of the confusion is the use of the term "Easter" when such a holiday with this name was certainly not celebrated in the second century. Also, the citation listed is a homily called "On the Passover" which doesn't seem to have anything to do with Easter. I would suggest that we remove the excerpt above until it can be rewritten or there is a better source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.102.153.10 (talk) 20:20, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

"Clipping the Church is not a "common" custom

Should this practice be moved as it indicates it is significantly more widespread that it really is. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.215.1.112 (talk) 01:31, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't see the problem here. According to Oxford Reference, it's a "A widespread but relatively under-researched custom." --FutureTrillionaire (talk) 01:41, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

Pagan aspects

I did my Master's dissertation on the correlation between Pagan and Christian folklore. If someone could provide access to one of the (overpriced) academic journal subscription services, I would be happy to point out a variety of sources that state the fact that, in the early Christian Church, its leaders used Pagan holidays reworked for their purposes. By "their purposes" I am referring to the top-down patriarchal organization of society as opposed to the more gender neutral (even matriarchal leaning) and egalitarian tenancies of Paganism (as well as other pre-state based vehicles of social control. The Academic world does not question these facts, and facts are supposed to be what Wikipedia is about. What it is not supposed to be about is a particular religion or methodology's self-rationalization through ignorance or disregard for Academic consensus in favor of superstition and strict dependence on one book that has been thoroughly debunked by academics. Posimosh (talk) 17:28, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

The burden of evidence lies with the person who wishes to make the change.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 18:21, 31 March 2013 (UTC)

A new, dubious etymology for Easter: "In Albis"

I'm concerned about this edit by User:Futuretrillionaire today. The source he cites (some edition of a Brittanica I'd never seen before) does contain the sentence "There is now widespread consensus that the word derives from the Christian designation of Easter week as in albis, a Latin phrase that was understood as the plural of alba (“dawn”) and became eostarum in Old High German, the precursor of the modern German and English term." This does not match anything I've ever read about the etymology of English "Easter", and the transformation of "in albis" to "eostarum" doesn't sit well with the historical linguistics I studied in college. Can anybody shed some light on this? -Ben (talk) 02:48, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

The academic edition is the same for as the normal one, except it is free for university students. Britannica is realible source. I don't see any reason to doubt it.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 02:52, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
This isn't accurate for two reasons. First, transparent heathen names were used all over the place, from toponyms, to royal genealogies, to personal names, the days of the week, etc. etc. Second, this mysterious "widespread consensus" is misinformation. Such recent scholarly works as West's Indo-European Myth and Culture (2007; see, for example, pages 217-218) and Shaw's Pagan Goddesses in the Early Germanic World: Eostre, Hreda and the Cult of Matrons (2011) paint very different pictures. The etymological dictionary cited states it as simple fact. Works on Indo-European myth routinely cite Eostre as an example of the IE dawn goddess. In other words, the entry is demonstrably wrong and outside of modern academic discourse. Unfortunately, this isn't unique among general audience encyclopedia entries. There are some truly dreadful Norse mythology-related entries floating around. :bloodofox: (talk) 03:06, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
West's book cites Bede for the part about Eostre leading to Easter. Britannica counters Bede's claim by saying that "Given the determination with which Christians combated all forms of paganism, this appears a rather dubious presumption." The guy who wrote the Britannica article is a Professor of History and Religion at Duke University, sounds like "modern academic discourse" to me.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 03:21, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Sounds like he probably should have been doing some digging around or something else has influenced him. The West I mentioned previously is Martin Litchfield West. On page 227 of his previously mentioned work he writes "The plainest example of the Dawn goddess’s becoming attached to a single festival, and that in the spring, is that of the Anglo-Saxon Eostre and her postulated German counterpart Ôstara, who have given us Easter and the Ostertage. Our source does not connect Eostre with dawn, but that is undoubtedly the meaning of her name." See also page 148 of the Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. See also, for example, p. 2021 in the Appendix 1 ("Indo-European Roots") of the 4th edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, entry aus-. And there's a small mountain more where that came from. So much for "consensus"; the source is flatly wrong. :bloodofox: (talk) 03:27, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Different sources have different theories. You provided two sources that support one theory. However, you have not provided a source that says that there is consensus in the academic world supporting that theory. As a compromise, I suggest that we mention both theories in the article, and attribute who supports what.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 03:42, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
I've just supplied several sources discussing Eostre and the Indo-European dawn goddess. I can keep piling them on as necessary. I'm all for compromise, but the encyclopedia entry you've mentioned is unacceptably incorrect; it promotes a very questionable, certainly fringe theory and then makes a claim about "consensus" that can only be described as demonstrably wrong. This probably just falls under WP:FRINGE. :bloodofox: (talk) 03:47, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
We're also now in the situation with the main article on Easter saying something different to the newly broken-off article Names of Easter. Given that the latter has been hammered out between many editors over several years (when it was part of the main article), I suggest we stay with it until we have evidence of this new wide-spread consensus. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 08:33, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Let me see if I understand Brittanica's argument correctly, as I mis-interpreted it the first time around. The idea is that you have in albis, which describes liturgical colors. This is re-interpreted as alba meaning 'dawn' (as well as 'white'). alba/'dawn' is then loan-translated as a Germanic word for 'dawn', yielding "eostarum". Is that a fair description, or do I have that wrong? (I'm not trying to argue about whether Brittanica's theory is correct, nor complaining about not having seen secondary sources -- just trying to understand the theory as written.) -Ben (talk) 04:28, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
Agree withe Beeswax that the consensus at Names of Easter ought to be our guide. Let the main contending theories be mentioned here without cluttering it up to much. A "Main" direction to Names of Easter would be appropriate. Laurel Lodged (talk)

I think the way it is right now is a good compromise. Both views are presented, but the "In Albis" theory is treated as a minority view.--FutureTrillionaire (talk) 23:21, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Excellent. I am glad that we could agree. :) :bloodofox: (talk) 02:54, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Just checked the Oxford English Dictionary and it has this to say about the etymology of the word Easter:
"Bede ( De Temporum Ratione 15. 9: see quot. below) derives the word < Eostre (a Northumbrian spelling; also Eastre in a variant reading), according to him, the name of a goddess whose festival was celebrated by the pagan Anglo-Saxons around the time of the vernal equinox (presumably in origin a goddess of the dawn, as the name is to be derived from the same Germanic base as east adv.: see above). This explanation is not confirmed by any other source, and the goddess has been suspected by some scholars to be an invention of Bede's. However, it seems unlikely that Bede would have invented a fictitious pagan festival in order to account for a Christian one."
The OED's discussion does not mention the postulated in albis etymology and nicely connects Eostre through East to dawn. Its comment about Bede and paganism seems a reasonable response to West's comment about Bede's presumed reluctance to discuss pagan festivals. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 21:20, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
I recently did a check of the online concordance of the Latin text of Bede's De temporum ratione (The Reckoning of Time), which was the classic early medieval textbook on computing the date of Easter. I found Bede used the noun-form paschae 65 times, pascha 60 times, the adjective-form paschalis 43 times, with a total of 210 appearances of various forms of the root pascha-. He used the term Eosturmonath twice and the name of the goddes Eostre once as the source of the name of that month, all in the context of chapter xv De mensibus anglorum / The English Months. Bede's says that "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." (tr. Wallis).
In sum, in Latin texts of English provenance, the accepted term for Easter was Pascha, but Bede indicates Old English terminology was to use some form of the term Eostre. In any event, there was a clear conceptual distinction between the old observance and the Paschal season.
A useful source to check further into Old English terminology would be Ælfric's De Temporibus Anni, which discusses Easter reckoning in Old English. I don't have a copy conveniently accessible. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 19:24, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
Just looked briefly at Byrhtferth's Manual, and found he used the term Pasca to denote the Hebrew passover, and after describing the Hebrew custom of eating lamb, unleavened bread, and raw lettuce, went on to describe keeping Cristes Eastron (Christ's Easter) eating unleavened bread "then thou wilt eat thy Easter (Eastrun) with Green lettuce with bitterness". For Byrhtferth's English students around the year 1000, Pascha seems to be the term for passover, Eastron for Easter, but Byrhtferth presented parallels between the two related rituals. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 20:50, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

Please Move Re-Enactment of Stations of the Cross Image to Western Christianity Section

Would you please move the image of the re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross from the Eastern Christianity to the Western Christianity section.

Because it is exceptionally rare for Eastern Christians to affirm the stations of the Cross as the Roman Catholics do, and because Eastern Christians have rites which obviate the need for such reenactments, the use of the image is inaccurate.

According to the Stations of the Cross wikipedia page, the tradition of the stations emerged "in 1342 (post-Great Schism)" and furthermore: ""As part of a process of de-Latinization, the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church eliminated the devotion of the Stations of the Cross"". Some Western Rite Orthodox are given permission to "use post-Schism devotional materials," but even so, the practice is considered by Eastern Christians as "Western". Finally, staged reenactments are obviated by existing Good Friday services which use a painted Icon symbolically to reenact the Crucifixion (Wikipedia's entry on Good Friday explains the Eastern Christian reenactment: "Good Friday: in Eastern Christianity", similar explanations can be found offsite, here: "Great and Holy Friday".

In case a replacement image is sought: the Icon which is used during the Eastern Christian reenactment of Good Friday is already uploaded to Wikipedia to illustrate the above mentioned Good Friday entry, see here: ("File:Agias Triados frescos cross.jpg").

Done (removed entirely, as not strictly an Easter image). Esoglou (talk) 11:26, 29 April 2013 (UTC)

Easter being the third day after the crucifixion?

I have had this query for a long time now and must ask to clarify the following part in the first sentence of the article: "the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion". Wouldn't the third day after his crucifixion on a Friday be a Monday? Like shouldn't the first day after the crucifixion on a Friday be the Saturday? Because otherwise it's essentially saying the first day after the crucifixion on a Friday is a Friday? I can understand Easter on a Sunday being the third day of the entire event, but I have also heard Jesus resurrecting "three days and three nights" after his crucifixion. At any rate, I just don't understand why Easter is described as the third day after the crucifixion in the article. 122.58.137.66 (talk) 04:50, 30 March 2013 (UTC

Placing the resurrection on Sunday reflects the Hebrew inclusive counting method, under which the day on which something happened was counted as Day 1. Also, under Hebrew conventions a day started at sunset. So if Jesus was crucified on the Friday afternoon, then the first day ended at sunset on the Friday; the second day started at sunset on the Friday and ended at sunset on the Saturday; and the third day started on the Saturday at sunset and ended on the Sunday at sunset. Biblical scholars commonly belive that the resurrection was on the Sunday before sunrise - ie partway through the third day, by Hebrew reckoning.Haporth (talk) 09:20, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
But partway through the third day would mean the resurrection occurred on the third day, but not third day after the crucifixion. It may just be semantics, but I just feel there's a little confusion regarding the preposition used in the article. 122.58.137.66 (talk) 18:21, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

The Gospels are our source for the history of the Resurrection. St. Mark, the earliest, reports (15:42) that Jesus was buried on "the evening of the day of preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath"---the Sabbath is Saturday, so Jesus was buried on Friday evening before sunset. St. Mark continues (16:1 ff) that the women, who wanted to annoint Jesus' Body waited until the Sabbath was over, because they were observant Jews and "when the Sabbath was past" they went to do so "and very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun was risen" Since Saturday, the Sabbath, is the Seventh Day (Sabbath means seventh), Sunday, the day after Saturday, is by definition the "first day of the week". Mark also continues in 16:9, "Now when he arose early on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene..." The Bible does not prescribe three 24 hour periods for the Resurrection, just that Jesus was in the tomb on parts of three days. 108.73.44.193 (talk) 21:46, 31 March 2013 (UTC)Pastor R.

This corroborates with what Haporth said above, as well as what I understand to be the sequence of events as written in the Bible. The only thing I don't feel at all clear is the choice of the preposition "after" in the first sentence of the article, which I think should have been written as "third day of his crucifixion". By saying the Resurrection occurred on the third day after the crucifixion, which happened on the Friday afternoon, it reads as though that the Resurrection happened on the following Monday. Because when one reads something like the first day after an event, it means the next day. Even if we follow the Jewish way of counting the start of the day at sunset in this case, the Resurrection still occurred on the second day after the crucifixion. It happened on the third of the entire event, but it's the second day after the crucifixion (which happened on the first day). It may sound a trivial point, but I think by saying it happened on the third day after the crucifixion people may be confused that the Resurrection has occurred on the Monday.118.93.34.181 (talk) 10:34, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

I fianlly found what you were talking about and agree. I think that it is just a poor choice of wording and should be corrected to more clearly reflect the scriptural idea that it was "on" the third day, not "3 days after"----that is confusing, especially to someone who is not closely acquainted with the thinking.108.73.44.193 (talk) 16:47, 1 April 2013 (UTC)Pastor R

Of course, the main problem is that "Orthodox Christianity" has ignored the Gospel of John, as well as the Mosaic Law, in determining what day Jesus was crucified. The reality is that John 19:31, which EXPLICITLY states that the next day was a HIGH Sabbath...one of the SPECIAL Sabbaths held throughout the year, in conjunction with the Feasts. It was A Sabbath, not THE Sabbath, which mainstream Christianity has utterly ignored for 1700 years. The reality is that Jesus was crucified on WEDNESDAY, NOT Friday, and Thursday was the High Sabbath, Friday was the normal Preparation Day, and Saturday was THE Sabbath. That clears up the contradiction between Mark and Luke, wherein they BOUGHT spices AFTER the Sabbath was over, then PREPARED those spices before the Sabbath.

So why is "Orthodox Christianity" so married to "Good Friday"? Pride, rebellion, stubbornness, worthless tradition. "This is how we've always done it", despite the fact that the Gospel witnesses tell a DIFFERENT story. This whole Hebrew nonsense of "part days being a day" is rationalization that doesn't work. 208.127.20.37 (talk) 21:28, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Why is Ishtar/Asherah/Ashtoreth completely ignored?

Why is the clear pagan name and festival celebrating Ishtar/Asherah/Ashtoreth, from which the name "Easter" is properly derived, completely ignored in this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.127.20.37 (talk) 21:41, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Because the word "easter" (in a Germanic language) was not derived from the name of a Sumerian goddess. Please review the talk page archives where this theory, derived from a mid-19th Century anti-catholic polemic, has been discussed at length more than once. Beeswaxcandle (talk) 22:37, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Grammatical Correction Required

The following sentence should be edited:

Christians of Jewish origin were the first to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Since the date of the resurrection was close the timing of Passover, they likely celebrated the resurrection as a new facet of the Passover festival.[17]

It should read:

Christians of Jewish origin were the first to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Since the date of the resurrection was close to the timing of Passover, they likely celebrated the resurrection as a new facet of the Passover festival.[17]

notice the addition of the preposition "to" betwen "close" and "the". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vaughn007 (talkcontribs) 16:11, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

I've fixed it. Thanks for the tip. HiLo48 (talk) 07:22, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Without heading

Eusebius quotes a letter sent from Polycrates in his book, " History of the church" they are refusing to follow the church of Romeos view of celebrating Passover on Sunday instead of Nissan 14.Here is what Eusebius records that Polycrates wrote,

We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord's coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. AndPolycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead ? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ' We ought to obey God rather than man'...I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book V, Chapter XXIV, Verses 2-7 . Translated by A. Cushman McGiffert. Digireads.com Publishing, Stilwell (KS), 2005, p. 114). I think your whole article needs to be re written . — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.85.117.199 (talkcontribs)

This article does address that question. Easter controverse does so more fully. Esoglou (talk) 07:28, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 8 January 2014

Historically, Western churches used the Gregorian Calendar to calculate the date of Easter and Eastern Orthodox churches used the Julian Calendar. This was partly why the dates were seldom the same.

Easter and its related holidays do not fall on a fixed date in either the Gregorian or Julian calendars, making them movable holidays. The dates, instead, are based on a lunar calendar very similar to the Hebrew Calendar.

While some Eastern Orthodox Churches not only maintain the date of Easter based on the Julian Calendar which was in use during the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., they also use the actual, astronomical full moon and the actual vernal equinox as observed along the meridian of Jerusalem. This complicates the matter, due to the inaccuracy of the Julian calendar, and the 13 days that have accrued since A.D. 325. This means, in order to stay in line with the originally established (325 A.D.) vernal equinox, Orthodox Easter cannot be celebrated before April 3 (present day Gregorian calendar), which was March 21 in A.D. 325.

Additionally, in keeping with the rule established by the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea, the Eastern Orthodox Church adhered to the tradition that Easter must always fall after the Jewish Passover, since the resurrection of Christ happened after the celebration of Passover. Eventually the Orthodox Church came up with an alternative to calculating Easter based on the Gregorian calendar and Passover, and developed a 19-year cycle, as opposed to the Western Church 84-year cycle.

Since the days of early church history, determining the precise date of Easter has been a matter for continued argument. For one, the followers of Christ neglected to record the exact date of Jesus' resurrection. From then on the matter grew increasingly complex


165.228.76.197 (talk) 05:04, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made.

It is impossible to implement the request. "Historically", Western churches used the Julian calendar, it's now that they use the Gregorian. The Eastern Orthodox Churches do not use the actual astronomical full moon and the actual vernal equinox. The actual full moon, as can be seen by looking at it, does not fall on the date where the Julian calculations place it. Other claims too are inaccurate and, what is certainly no less important for Wikipedia, they are supported by no citation of a reliable source. Esoglou (talk) 08:44, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 21 February 2014

I find:

"The date of Easter therefore varies between 22 March and 25 April."

Please add "inclusive" at the end of that sentence, because Easter can fall on March 22 and on April 25. (It was March 22 in 1818 but that won't happen again until 2285. It was April 25 in 1943 and will be on that day again in 2038. Check list of Easter dates.)

128.63.16.20 (talk) 20:30, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Question: How about: "The date of Easter can be on any date from 22 March until 25 April."? — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 20:47, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
 Done - the phrase in the Date section was already "between 22 March and 25 April inclusive", which initially confused me - it is just the lead that needed altering and it seems sensible to use the same phraseology. Arjayay (talk) 14:25, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Ronald Hutton & Hans Hillerbrand

Hello folks. There's been an exchange between myself and another user on the article space regarding citing Ronald Hutton's Stations of the Sun and Hans Hillerbrand's Encyclopedia Brittanica article as minority views against the generally accepted etymology. The problem is primarily this; neither Hutton nor Hillerbrand have the historical linguistics background necessary make a call like this and should not be cited when discussing this etymology. The Encyclopedia Brittanica article is also problematic beyond this. Right now, "generally accepted" is wording that implies that there is some dissent, but that this is the majority view. Isn't that enough for a summary? :bloodofox: (talk) 19:51, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Unless you are saying this minority view doesn't exist, the objection is invalid. The material I restored was changed to specifically say it was a minority view, and to attribute it to the scholar who reported it. This is a comprehensive encyclopedia. If there's a better source for the view, suggest and add it, rather than simply deleting an attributed view. μηδείς (talk) 20:56, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
Please read WP:UNDUE. Here we're essentially giving a minority position equal footing to the majority. And these are scholars, sure, but they're not linguists, and this section is about an etymology. It's an inappropriate citation, especially the Brittania source. The section is a summary where we don't need to go into any real depth. All of this is handled far more extensively at Ēostre. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:32, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
I'd be reluctant to dismiss Hutton's generally solid historical work, just because he isn't a specialist in etymology. Although I'm not convinced by his discussion of Easter, he does present a serious minority view which should be restored. SteveMcCluskey (talk) 13:03, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
The issue isn't that "he isn't a specialist in etymology", the issue is that he doesn't seem to have a historical linguistics background. He's therefore a poor source for historical linguistics, which is a major problem. Historical linguistics, as a field of linguistics, is not something that can be approached simply with a background in history. He's also generally a poor source regarding Germanic paganism, and certainly a poor source when it comes to Indo-European studies. Hutton is still mentioned here, but there's really no reason for it. :bloodofox: (talk) 02:58, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Having again looked over the cited section of Hutton's Stations of the Sun, it's exactly as I recall it being. We can do better than that. The section we have right now is well referenced to authorities on the topic. Hutton appeared at the time to be unaware of some key evidence on the matter, such as the matronae Austriahenea and important comparative stuff. I've gone ahead and removed it on these grounds.There's no reason to give equal footing to Hutton's overview. If people want more information, they can always go to Ēostre. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:41, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Where's Secular Easter?

Like Christmas, and especially in America, Easter can be quite secular. Many families celebrate Easter with a gift basket of candy and an Easter egg hunt, totally devoid of mention of anything Christian. We really need a section on this. Right now the article has nothing whatsoever on it. :bloodofox: (talk) 04:48, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

So the last paragraph of the lede is "nothing"? There was a section on "secular" Easter customs a couple of years back, but discussions and multiple to and fro edits caused the decision to split it to a separate article at which point I added a hatnote pointing to the new article. I see the hatnote has been generalised since then. Would a second hatnote for Easter customs work? Beeswaxcandle (talk) 05:14, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
"Additional customs that have become associated with Easter and are observed by both Christians and some non-Christians include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny, and Easter parades." is next to nothing. Essentially, in its current state—whether intentionally or not—the current article whitewashes the secular element of the holiday out in favor of a purely Christian article, which is not at all the reality of the situation nowadays. In fact, in many mainstream cases, a Christian element is completely missing but it's still very much Easter. I think the article needs a sizable section discussing what Easter is in parts of the west rather than treating the article with a purely Christian lens. :bloodofox: (talk) 06:59, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I tend to agree with bloodofox. In most western nations, Easter is MORE a secular holiday period than a religious one. To have our primary article concentrate on the religious aspects is not delivering an accurate picture of Easter. HiLo48 (talk) 07:06, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Agreed with others here that the secular element of Easter needs to be expanded... the Christmas article does a pretty good job of addressing that holiday's situation, but I'd certainly concede that Christmas is much more popular amongst secular people and is more widespread into non-western non-Christian societies as such than Easter. I'll do a hunt (pun intended?) for some sources about secular celebration and try to incorporate some sourced changes into the intro and/or body, but the hard part with Easter is that the secular elements of celebration are not as widespread as those of Christmas, AFAIK, and we need the article to reflect Easter as a worldwide celebration without being geographically biased. If I make any significant edits that are disagreed with, please respond here and we can discuss further. If anyone else here wants to dedicate themselves to expanding this as well, particularly before Easter arrives, it'd be a good project to undertake. Crumpled Fire (talk) 14:20, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 March 2014

This page needs to be edited because it contains information which is completely false. Easter is NOT a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. The Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament is called the Resurrection celebration or the anniversary of the Resurrection. It has nothing to do with Easter, which is a pagan holiday celebrating and worshipping the pagan Teutonic goddess Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of springtime, fertility, and motherhood. This pagan celebration has as its fertility symbol a hare in Europe and a bunny rabbit in North America, because of their rapid fertility rate, symbolized by the Easter egg. However, this is also a wrong symbol to associate together with a hare or a rabbit because they do not lay eggs. They are viviporous (like humans) not oviporous. The females have eggs, but they carry them inside their bodies full term until their water breaks and then the offspring emerges. So hares and bunny rabbits do not lay eggs! What is said in this article about the Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary should be listed under another article entitled "Resurrection celebration" or "anniversary celebration of the resurrection". Somebody who was very confused about these two completely separate events and festivals has mixed them together as though they were one festival or holiday. They are instead two completely separate festivals or holidays with completely separate origins and are celebrated by different groups of people. Easter is a pagan celebration which is observed by pagans and those who hold to ancient and classical mythology of polytheism. Christians, on the other hand, do not celebrate nor worship pagan idols nor the gods or goddesses of mythological polytheism. Instead, they celebrate and worship the risen Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, whose resurrection is celebrated annually on the anniversary of it in the spring. These two fetivals and holidays should not be confused as they have in this article. Kerryyarbrough (talk) 00:30, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. — {{U|Technical 13}} (tec) 01:20, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
There are ample sources which describe Easter as a Christian holiday. Like Christmas, it now has heavily secular elements. --NeilN talk to me 01:22, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Starting a FAQ

Each year around this time we get the same questions regarding the etymology, origins and history of Easter, and many of us spent time hunting down previous discussions in the archives to point people to. I've added a FAQ template, and will be filling it with some of the headers I've proposed in the past, including the four mentioned in [1] as well as "This article doesn't match what I read on ReligiousTolerance.org". -Ben (talk) 13:53, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Looks like I'm nearly incapable of figuring out the FAQ template syntax. Any help would be appreciated. -Ben (talk) 14:13, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
You're not alone. {{FAQ row}} is either broken or needlessly convoluted, so I just bypassed it. No such user (talk) 06:52, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Paul's quote source

The article is protected, therefore could somebody please add the source to Paul's quote from the etymology secion ("Christ our Pascha has been sacrificed for us"). It's from 1 Cor. 5:6-8. The wording is different in different translations, people may want to check it out. Also, is there a consensus on Wikipedia which translation should be used? 37.144.73.59 (talk) 08:55, 13 April 2014 (UTC), Alexander

I have edited the section in view of your observations. There is no consensus about which Bible version to use in Wikipedia, nor is there any need for it. If a bibleverse link is given to any English version of a verse, you get to a page on which there is a link to "all English translations" included in BibleGateway. Esoglou (talk) 14:04, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 18 April 2014

There is no reliable source quoted for the Ishtar origin of the word Easter. There's only a link to http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org/tracts/tract1.html. Please remove that or produce a reputable quote. Deroude (talk) 12:01, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

:Done -Ben (talk) 12:32, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
marking template as done by Ben Cannolis (talk) 13:17, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

Christian dogmatics - vs. a full scholarly review of other-cultural roots of Easter: Eostre, Ishtar, Eos/Dawn, Vernal Equinox

As a Culture Studies PhD with some particular interests in this area, I am offended greatly by this article. Which seems clearly written by a religious dogmatist.

This article clearly to be sure announces its aim: this is an account it tells us, of the "Christian" celebration. But clearly it has left out dozens of other-cultural predecessors, the larger anthropological/mythic context, and them dozens of historical traditions that lead up to this holiday.

This is NOT a scholarly article; it is an exercise in church dogmatics, that asserts no other origin for this typical spring celebration than God, or Jahweh.

We need a few ANE historians and cultural anthropologists, to fill this account out. By looking at results from many other cultures in this area. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.111.98.158 (talk) 13:59, 9 March 2014 (UTC)

Seriously. This article is the biggest load of bull I've seen here, and I remember the Ellen White wars. Good luck. These dogmatists will give you hell before they give you neutral tone. --75.185.43.139 (talk) 23:22, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
La-dee-da. If you're such an awe-inspiring scholar, FIX IT and cite things with appropriate sources. Wikipedia is designed to permit this instead of only allowing empty, pointless whining.Dogface (talk) 20:33, 15 April 2014 (UTC)

So make an article about it's predecessors. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 122.1.124.211 (talk) 00:43, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

The point being made is sound - SOMEONE with the appropriate knowledge and time needs to rewrite this pretty awful and biased article. Me, I'm just here because it's Easter.. ;-) The most blatant clue to the bias is in the first sentence: "Easter"... "is a festival and holiday commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead", when clearly the very word "Easter" refers to a pre-Christian festival (as explained under etymology), and most of the things that most people in the English speaking world associate with Easter (eggs, bunnies etc), have far more to do with a fertility festival than they do with the Christian one.Spiridens (talk) 11:34, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
Made some changes yesterday that were immediately reverted by a Christian loony. This is the problem with wikipedia - it will always have an undeclared agenda set by 1) well-organised special interest groups (such as religions) 2) the dominant cultural assumptions of the west, particularly the United States where most users are based. I give up on it, it's a joke. Perhaps someone else has time to fight the god squad here and create a decent non-biased article about Easter. I have better things to do.Spiridens (talk) 08:14, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, some of the Christians here don't behave in a very Christian way. I'm not sure what they feel their mission is. Lying for Jesus? Have a look at Systemic bias, and see if that helps lead you (and Wikipedia) on a healing path. HiLo48 (talk) 08:54, 19 April 2014 (UTC)

Easter - History

I can't believe that, with all the information available, some people are still attempting to downplay or even deny the obvious Jewish and pre-Christian ('pagan') roots of the European celebration of Easter. It didn't spring from the earth fully formed in AD 50 and maintain that form unchanged until today, yet that is definitely the tone of some people's writing. I have looked through a number of Easter-related Wikipedia pages, and it seems to me that this is a problem common to most of them. Heavenlyblue (talk) 23:33, 18 April 2014 (UTC)

There are definitely some Christians here who cannot handle the possibility that anything associated with their god is wrong, and will fight in very un-Christians ways against any such suggestions, but there are also some very reasonable Christian editors, who will discuss rationally. We are also bound by Wikipedia rules, whereby well-sourced material must be considered. So don't give up. Keep it civil, and well-sourced. HiLo48 (talk) 23:42, 18 April 2014 (UTC)
The Easter festival obviously did not spring from the earth fully formed in AD 50, but within a few decades it developed from the Jewish Passover festival (whatever that may have developed from, and this is a matter of conjecture) into something with a completely changed focus and not at all identical with the Jewish Passover. It does not seem to have developed from any "pagan" festival. Esoglou (talk) 12:46, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
Really Obvious that Easter has Pagan roots, along with a lot of other Christian holidays. The name its self comes from a Eostre, a fertility Goddess. The Egg is a symbol of fertility, so is the Easter bunny. In a lot of areas if the Christians could not stop the Pagans from celebrating their holiday they incorporated those holidays into their own. Renaming a tradition Christian does not make it so. DarkMystik1 (talk) 19:51, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
I find it hard to believe that those who in the second century were celebrating the feast (and disputing whether to hold it on the same date as the Jewish feast or on the following Sunday) were influenced by the fact that, centuries later, some Germanic tribes would call it by a name that some would link to a goddess, or that they were influenced by the fact that, again centuries later, people would associate eggs and bunnies with it. But it seems that others, God bless them, do hold that idea or something like it. Esoglou (talk) 07:48, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
The Eostre article claims that Bede is the first written recording of the word 600 years after the first written mention of Pascha. The pagan roots of Christmas, in stark contrast, have substantial support for a pagan origin. I would be very much interested in a Latin source that describes pagan spring festivals before the 8th century that would indicate some sort of connection. The people who argue for a pagan origin of Easter usually cite modern sources for the idea, but where did this idea come from? Is there any indication before Bede that makes this theory more than speculation? 69.116.158.191 (talk) 13:15, 20 April 2014 (UTC)
I have seen television series that link the timing of Easter to pre-Christian change of season, start of harvest season, and Spring equinox celebrations. I find it odd that this article makes no mention of that. It can't be that hard to source? Wikipedia should represent a neutral point of view (NPOV): "representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic." dissolvetalk 15:14, 20 April 2014 (UTC)

"Donahoe's magazine" -- reliable source?

This edit by User:Hazhk quotes an 1881 popular magazine as its source. Can we find a better source? Being suspicious of Mesopotamian origins for anything Easter-related, it stuck out at me. -Ben (talk) 13:33, 24 April 2014 (UTC)

The article Easter egg gives for the same statement not only that unreliable (I would think) source but also a 2004 book by Church Publishing, Inc. that seems to be a Wikipedia-reliable source.
The information, if correct, is difficult to harmonize with the idea that Easter is really a spring festival in honour of an Indoeuropean goddess call Eostre or Ostara, with whom eggs and bunnies were associated. Which is harder to believe? Esoglou (talk) 14:26, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
One might not ordinarily consider "an 1881 popular magazine" to be a reliable source, but if it correctly and reliably reports something, it would seem to be reliable, at least in the one case. I would agree a verification from another source is in order (the 2004 book?).
It's not surprising that it may be difficult to harmonize the relationship of Easter to Ostara, since that whole idea is bogus from the start. The name may be derived, but pretty much only in English and German. It's "Pascha", or some derivation of it, almost everywhere else (even in the Scots dialect), and clearly the festival is Christian, and about the resurrection of Christ. The name derivation for "Easter" antedates Old German and falls into the earliest categories for "Old English" - from old Frisian really, a form of Anglian (the Angles were a clan related to the Saxons). Our only known reference is from the writings of Bede in his book on computus, written in the Northumbrian dialect, a form of early 8th century Saxon present in what is now Yorkshire. And in that reference, Bede tells of a spring festival for a Saxon goddess already defunct in its observation (at least in Northumbria, which had again been Christianized). There are no other written sources for the word, the goddess, or the festival. Old German comes later because there are no written sources in Germany as early as Bede. That only began in the century following Bede. The red-dyed eggs were a very early Christian tradition still celebrated throughout Orthodoxy, its presence clear in the history of the Byzantine empire. If you need one, perhaps I can track down a reliable Orthodox source. Let someone reconcile that to Eostre if they want to try. Bunnies: I don't know where they came from (except other bunnies) or what they're supposed to symbolize in Christianity, but they're more localized, much more recent, and much more tenuously connected with the religion (if at all). Today, they're much more closely associated with corporations peddling candy. Evensteven (talk) 18:57, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I have just had a long discussion at Names of Easter and on Reliable Sources/Noticeboard with someone who was insisting that the Eostre/Ostara hypothesis is fact and who was deleting information about other theories on the ground that authors cited for matters other than linguistics were not linguists. That explains my mentioning the theory and perhaps giving a false impression that I have faith in it. Esoglou (talk) 19:36, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
That'd be me. And actually historical linguistics shows that she's a reflex of the commonly attested Indo-European dawn goddess. And it's wrong to say the theonym was limited to Bede; there are the groups of Matronae connected to her name (which it seems the in albis theory proposer wasn't aware of—they had just been found when the theory was published), various personal names, and various toponyms that are to be considered. Sure, as with most etymologies, there have been alternatives. These alternatives have been largely ignored in the Anglosphere—so much so that they're often not even mentioned or outright rejected in general audience works on the topic—but the issue wasn't that there are alternative etymologies. The issue was, as I see it, Esoglou using unreliable/inappropriate sources. The magazine being discussed here is also an unreliable/inappropriate source.
I'll be returning when time opens up, as I have many more references to bring to the table with Ēostre. There's been much criticism of the attempt to deny Bede's attestation (Bede is demonstratively correct in various other areas discussing paganism—cf. Mōdraniht— when he's not launching attacks on it; Anglo-Saxon paganism still very much existed during Bede's time) and the comparative evidence, of which there is plenty. This curious attempt to reject comparative linguistics, a generally trustable (Christian!) medieval source, and even the archaeological record likely has something to do with a particular, Christian approach to academia and pre-Christian religion, which it appears that you're sympathetic to. That's OK; we can still work together, but it's good to know what is informing your editing decision. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:56, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
I didn't take it that you had any faith in the theory, Esoglou, just a mention as you say. Bloodofox, I'm not denying the linguistics or the theonym either, nor the existence of Anglo-Saxon paganism in Bede's time. Northumbria was pretty well Christianized in his time, though. Northern Germany, however, was not, and it didn't have any writing until it became Christianized, within about a century after. And that coincides with the first development of Old German. A lot of Old English postdates Bede too; he was on the early end, and the commonality of language on the island developed with gradual unification of its rule. But the whole lot of that is not relevant to the Christian festival of Pascha, which had already existed for over 700 years, originating in Jerusalem, celebrated in the island under the jurisdiction of the church in Rome (who called it Pascha). If you're trying to imply that Easter was a pagan festival that supplanted Pascha in England, you have a much bigger job to do than applying etymologies. Evensteven (talk) 23:27, 24 April 2014 (UTC)
This is a common misperception. The Germanic peoples had an indigenous alphabet; the runic alphabet; see, for example, the Bryggen inscriptions. Anyway, that's beside the point. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "Old German", probably Old Low German/Old Saxon given the region, but that's also beside the point. More on to the point: Christianity didn't pop up out of a vacuum and, as much as its bureaucracy tried to fight it, syncretism was rampant. There are many "easter"s now; there's an entirely secular Easter (which this article currently all but totally ignores) and then there are the various flavors the Christian reflex of Pascha comes in and their multitude of traditions (probably all built on or over a pre-existing foundation). Anyway, many Indo-European branches show explicitly have such a dawn goddess, and they far predate Christianity, and therefore various activities involving her recognition may as well. It would not be in the slightest bit strange if eggs, hares, or other notions of fertility were involved in this, as they're clearly straightforwardly associated with spring/the return of the sun (compare, for example, the Roman Floralia). That said, obviously Christianity brought with it Pascha, but it's unclear what it met and mingled with in there region—pre-Anglo-Saxon migration, post-Anglo-Saxon, and/or during the migration of Norse to the island. This topic really hasn't seen the degree of modern study that it deserves. As we see with Yule/Christmas, ancient traditions can sometimes have a habit of dying hard. :bloodofox: (talk) 00:13, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
You seem to have the misconception that only linguists understand a language, and also that pre-dating is more significant than it is. I don't deny the mingling of cultures either, as Christianity spread into new regions. It has always been a Christian practice to bless and incorporate local traditions insofar as they are compatible with Christianity itself. That doesn't imply that it accepted or incorporated pagan rites. But creating a fire around which the community could celebrate Christmas, using the local convention of the Yule log, sure. The Yule log had one context in paganism, another in Christianity. Contexts also shift with time; we don't build our Christmas fires outside these days, and the communities tend to be simply families now. Your whole tone and approach are designed to be critical in some way, to imply a corruption of Christianity or the like. But the problem is that you aren't speaking Christian; to you it's a language, a context, a faith, and a way of life that are foreign, and you don't know how to translate. In this realm, it is the Christians who understand better. Science itself is not at odds with the Christian faith (though there are some who would say so). But scientists may or may not have understanding of Christianity, and that's not their expertise. All scientific evidence requires interpretation, and scientists themselves do not interpret everything the same way, just as Christians don't. I am Orthodox Christian. It may surprise you to find out just how very unconventional that can sound in the west. As for eggs, it is hardly a surprise how they are connected to life. Why do you think they were associated with fertility in paganism? Why are you surprised that they are symbolic of life in Christianity? And why do you think that the earthly and physical are unrelated to the spiritual? At Pascha, the eggs symbolize the Christian life, with God, made possible in the physical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They do not symbolize the same thing as you will find in a pagan fertility belief. But the Church never had to accept the pagan belief in order to use the egg as a well-suited symbol, and doesn't care who first thought of using it as a symbol. It used the Sun in the same way at Christmas as a symbol for the Son of God whose birth is celebrated then - certainly not original, but also not inappropriate. This is not Orthodox doctrine exactly, but it goes against no Orthodox doctrine, and in fact it is related to the Incarnation of Christ. Good luck figuring that out unless you're willing to do some extensive exploration of the practice of Orthodoxy as well as its theology. Some other Christians may object, but not Orthodoxy. The whole huge controversy about this stuff in the west just stems from argumentativeness about points that don't matter. That leaves you with your criticisms of the Church, for what they're worth. Is that satisfying? Evensteven (talk) 01:55, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
What I'm hoping for in my request--to put my cards on the table--is a reliable source on the origin of the modern practices related to Easter Eggs as understood by the English-language wikipedia audience. I think that most of us are very willing to accept totally independent origins for the word "Easter", the ecclesiastical history of the Christian religious feast Easter, individual relgious or secular pratices observed during Easter, as well as perspectives from comparative religion or comparative theology, even when those may contradict each other. (For example, I'd love to see the Easter<Ishtar theory covered from the perspective of the history of 19th-century sectarian controversy--in which it was important enough to leave echoes to this day--while seeing it denied as anything having to do with the actual origin of or [pre-19th-century] history of Easter.)
I am not clear on the earlist attestation of "Easter Eggs" as a term, and am skeptical (without any contrary facts) that the 17th-century papal quote wasn't a 19th-century fabrication. I'd love to see firmer substantiation of that quote, and don't feel like the quoted source leaves us any breadcrumbs, as it doesn't cite any sources itself. --Ben (talk) 02:59, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
I can sympathize with your intent, but "the English-language wikipedia audience" are worldwide, and "modern practices related to Easter Eggs" seem to have multiplied with ever-increasing complexity, often ever-more divergent from anything religious. I'm just not sure how many sources and how much article space would be required to cover it. As to the term "Easter Eggs", I'm afraid I haven't a clue. I only know the practice of using eggs symbolically at Pascha is very old, but not when or where they came to be called "Easter Eggs". Maybe there's a reliable source that reports on "firsts", in a country that uses "Easter", of course. But the ones I've tried don't even get close. Evensteven (talk) 06:25, 25 April 2014 (UTC)
To Ben: Properly speaking, it isn't a "papal quote". It is just one of the prayers of blessing in the Roman Ritual, prayers with a longer history than that of the 1610 book. I have put in Easter egg (which is not on my watchlist) a more modern translation of the prayer. I think that on this Easter page there should be no more than the briefest mention of Easter eggs. Esoglou (talk) 11:08, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

The etymology of Pascha

This is obviously Aramaic, not Hebrew. Why does Wikipedia in various languages stubbornly say that it is Hebrew? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Omegsi1 (talkcontribs) 14:40, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Try the wiktionary[2]. It shows the progression from Hebrew to Aramaic to Greek and finally to Latin. I suppose you could insert the Aramaic between the Greek and Hebrew, but the word isn't Aramaic in origin. 69.116.158.191 (talk) 15:07, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps Omedgsi1 was objecting to the expression "through Aramaic from Hebrew", rather than "from Aramaic", which is in fact what it the Greek word was derived from directly. It is derived from Hebrew only if we rightly or wrongly suppose that the Aramaic word was derived from the Hebrew word and was not a parallel development. I think there is no harm in responding to the complaint by rewording as I have now done. Esoglou (talk) 15:44, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

The word is plainly Aramaic, and unless I missed something, whatever Wiktionary has, Wikipedia in various languages says that it is Hebrew. Of course, this is a detail, and of course the Aramaic word may have been a calque on the Hebrew, but it plainly is not Hebrew. The source moreover that is repeatedly cited in Wikipedia for it being Hebrew is a survey of European history by a well-known historian (though one much criticized precisely for numerous errors of detail, and not any respectable source on Semitic languages and etymology. In short, this is a minor but I submit striking example of how Wikipedia recycles published errors. The word anyway is Aramaic, and I hope no one disputes this. It may be that its usage was influenced by Hebrew. But it wears its Aramaic origin on its face: it is NOT a Hebrew loanword in Aramaic, which is what "through Aramaic from Hebrew" would tend to suggest. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.247.243.1 (talk) 16:42, 21 April 2014 (UTC) So I just sits and waits to see if anyone authorized to edit this page--since of course I am not--will ever change this error. Just saying... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.247.243.1 (talk) 12:37, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Is it OK now? Esoglou (talk) 13:38, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

92.247.243.1, no objection about Aramaic origins (I don't know personally if they're right, but wouldn't be surprised to find they are). Still, the etymologies are now getting pretty weighty for the lead sentence and paragraph, and actually they are not the critical point. This level of detail might better go later. Much more central is 1 Cor 5:7: "Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us". That's why the words for Passover are connected to the Greek and Latin "Pascha". Pascha is not just the day of celebration of Christ's resurrection. Pascha is Christ Himself, the one who died. In Judaism, the "Pascal" lamb was sacrificed in order to celebrate Passover, and in Christianity, Christ's sacrifice, and at the time of Passover too, leads Christians out of a life of subjugation to sin and towards the promised land of God's Heavenly Kingdom. In Orthodox language, the Jewish Passover is the representative "type", and the Christian Passover is its fulfillment in the New Covenant. The etymologies are reflective of the religious meaning, not the cause of the religious meaning. Evensteven (talk) 03:14, 25 April 2014 (UTC)

I find it interesting that nonsense gets put in Wikipedia, and stays there for a very long time, and when someone (in this case me) challenges it, people either ignore this or say it does not matter. If it did not matter, then the false Hebrew "etymology" also should not have mattered and should not have been there. Yet at the time this nonsense was inserted, as the record shows, no one said that it did not matter. This goes to the very heart of whether Wikipedia can actually serve to correct commonly repeated errors or whether it is simply supposed to canonize them. Obviously, anyway, there are many people who do care about when Jews stopped speaking Hebrew and switched to Aramaic, and whether Jesus and his disciples spoke one or the other. Millions of people apparently, maybe even billions. And the possibility that some Jewish terms were borrowed from Hebrew in the Western Roman Empire but from Aramaic in the Eastern seems like something that may one day even merit a Wikipedia article of its own. But the basic point that I think we have just seen is a kind of attempt to control opinion by first making it impossible for someone like to correct such a flagrant error at all, and then, when a someone with a proper status in the Wikipedia food chain does correct it because I called it to their attention, to claim that it does not matter. Is THIS what Wikipedia is supposed to be about? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 92.247.243.1 (talk) 18:09, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

In spite of your disappointment at learning how imperfect other editors are, do keep up your effort to help. Just an hour after you had made your first observation, I responded to it. I mistakenly thought you were referring to a single instance of the error you spoke of, and did not realize that the article had the mistake twice. Only when on the following day you renewed your complaint was it realized that more had to be done. And it was done, again within one hour of your renewed complaint. Haukurth got in before me. Esoglou (talk) 19:09, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
92, I'd like to echo Esoglou's sentiments. I hope you haven't misinterpreted my comments as being opposed to the changes you suggested. I see that at one point I made the additional point that the etymology details were becoming too weighty for the lead sentence and paragraph, which are supposed to be highly summary in nature, not detailed. But my suggestion was that the material be moved to a later (unspecified) section of the article, which would allow that detail to be explored more fully. I never intended to suggest that an inaccuracy should persist or go uncorrected, nor that nobody cared about etymology. But articles are structured in ways that benefit the accumulation of understanding, so the issues I was stressing were a matter of presentation (which I understand here), not content (I know nothing as regards Hebrew or Aramaic). I have, however, said that the etymology was not central to the religious meaning of Pascha, because that meaning is of a theological nature attached to Passover, wherever the words came from. That does not dismiss etymology; it simply puts it in perspective. Evensteven (talk) 03:43, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Etymology —> Names of Easter

Recently the section on Etymology has been acquiring increasing amounts of technical minutiae. These would be more appropriate in the main article on the Names of Easter. Before I dive in and boldly delete the new material, I suggest those involved would be better equipped to move it properly to the main article. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 20:42, 22 August 2014 (UTC)

I agree that it's quite far from the scope of this article, and needs some etymological work even for the names article. Word origins are one thing; word meanings are another. The distinction is confused in the material as it stands. Evensteven (talk) 21:37, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
As this is English Wikipedia, the English word needs some special explanation, and it has a relevant and connected history to the Christian event that preceded it and potentially some sort of custom holdover, just like Yule and Christmas. The problem was balance; what is not a particularly common theory received a ton of coverage, whereas the most common explanation had a simple blurb. :bloodofox: (talk) 05:10, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Agreed. Balance is a key, with lesser weight here than in the names article. Custom holdover is not always so easy to know, and must be reliably sourced, but an etymology section is not the right place for that material. That distinction is the one that is confused here. Evensteven (talk) 06:33, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes, Bloodofox is right in saying that the English word needs some special explanation, especially in view of the contrasting interpretations that have been discussed, for and against, since 1835. It deserves an article on its own. In this more general article it is enough to refer the reader to it: "On the origin of the name "Easter" and its other names, see Names of Easter." Esoglou (talk) 06:44, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
There is no point in arguing here the exclusion (by a negative rather than a positive cherry-picking) of mention of the disagreement among scholars about the Ostara goddess hypothesis. The present arrangement is clearly inappropriate, whereby treatment of the names and their origins is in some respects more elaborate here than in what is supposed to be the main article on the topic. Evidence for or against a particular view is more fittingly given in the main article. Esoglou (talk) 19:11, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Yes. On both points, that would be my approach too. Evensteven (talk) 20:06, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Easter egg traditions

I am not opposing Bloodofox's sources in reverting the latest edit, only desiring that the article remain in its prior state until the nature of changes should be decided by discussion. Evensteven (talk) 19:16, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

I intend no offense towards you with my reverts and (due to the nature of the format) terse comments, but I strongly oppose the use of a 19th century magazine with a dubious claim over the works of modern folklorists. The simple solution is to find a better source discussing the matter appropriately. :bloodofox: (talk) 19:22, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Nor do I intend offense, and agree about the insufficiency of the short edit summaries - hence the discussion. The magazine does in fact describe the Christian tradition, old and non-scholastic though it be. The claim that it is a Christian tradition is by no means dubious. Modern folklorists can, of course, be added. The origins of practices are a separate question, though.
The west tends to have forgotten that as the Church spread to new lands, it was a commonplace for it to accept whatever was compatible with Christianity into the life of the new Christian community. It preserved the faith and religious practices diligently, but many religious festivals and celebrations were followed immediately by continuations of celebrations among the members of the community. Those celebrations were not themselves religious rites, but were social functions among Christians and (it may be supposed) some non-Christians. The interactions and practices naturally included elements of the culture into which the Church had come. Such practices as were adaptable/adoptable for inclusion in the life of Christians were not opposed in such functions. So undoubtedly there were many things that had origins elsewhere, but were used (or reformed) for the Christian life in those communities. This attitude and openness continues to this day within the Orthodox Church. It has been a living practice through centuries, which is what Orthodox tradition is, a thing very familiar in the east, but coming to bear in the many other locations where Orthodoxy is spreading. American Thanksgiving is being rapidly adopted into Orthodox Churches throughout the United States. In many parishes, the adaptation goes so far as to modify the religious Nativity fast on that day to permit fish, or even meat (such as turkey). Official uniformity is not yet prescribed, as it is a development which is being given time, also a part of the attitude.
It would be good to see folklorists who understand the nature of this historical and present-day function of the Church present their research. There is room for examination of the breadth and fullness of background that is brought to bear on the formation of scholarly ideas, and this is rather new in western circles. Evensteven (talk) 20:02, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
One matter I dropped in the last message: the source you removed from the article, along with its description. WP:RS requires that sources be reliable, not necessarily scholarly. In particular, it also mentions that "deciding which sources are appropriate depends on context". This source is not self-published, but a magazine. Nor is it biased or opinionated, nor non-neutral. It reports, as a news source would, except that the context does not require eyewitness testimony or the like. Rather, it is summary, a summary of a tradition. I myself can testify that the same tradition is alive and well today and known generally to the Orthodox, certainly my own priest, from whom I have heard many of the same details personally. I realize my testimony is not sufficient to establish the matter on WP, but I have said before that the old magazine is reliable, and this is why I said so. If there is another source that says it is not so, then let that be presented here. But in the mean time, this source should not be rejected or removed. Time can be allowed to find other sources as well, if needed, but there is no contrary evidence at present. Evidence as to the origin of the tradition is also not applicable directly, since it is not contradictory material, but rather supplementary. On this basis, I will restore the removed source and text shortly, on the bases of yet-insufficient challenge and preservation of the article as it stood for a long time until a challenge can be upheld by consensus. By default, relevant material needs to stay. Evensteven (talk) 21:09, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
For what the source—a 19th century magazine found on Google Books—is cited as saying, it doesn't hold up in the face of modern academia. The tradition is obviously alive and well, but its origins are far more obscure than the magazine would have one believe ("The custom of the Easter egg originated in the early Christian community of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion"). Scholarship has come a long way since the 19th century, and this wasn't even an academic source then. Let's stick to the experts please. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:24, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
Ah - origins. Ok, it did word it that way; my oversight. The rest is so clearly the tradition alone. Even so, the source may be correctly reporting the tradition of the origin. However, I would remove that phrase because, as you suggest, what we might want in the article when describing origins ought to be more academic. I suspect that the magazine writer was simply trying to inform as to where the earliest Christian adoption of egg dyeing occurred. And even then I agree the source might be outdated. But it is reliable as to the tradition it reports, and it need not have done scholarly historical research to report on that, because the tradition has remained alive over centuries and has been currently available throughout all that time. Do you have a scholarly source that can pinpoint not only the origins of egg-dyeing but its adoption by Christians (when and where)? If so, that would seem to be a most useful contribution. Until we have more for the tradition, I'll restore that much. Evensteven (talk) 21:58, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
No problem, it happens. I'd have to go digging for some sources but from my experience, it's usually hard to say when these customs 'start' due to the rarity of sources on such folk traditions. Unfortunately it's usually only when it first pops up—often just vaguely mentioned off-handed—that we get any information on it, and then there's the risk of assuming that it was an innovation at that time rather than just a long-lived tradition that wasn't mentioned on record or vice versa. Such is the limitation of the written record, I suppose. However, it seems to me that the egg as a symbol of the spring time might even be a universal given its obvious symbolism for the season (return of the sun/renewal)—chances are that such a symbol could develop independently in numerous places at numerous times or even simply stretch back into time immemorial. :bloodofox: (talk) 22:19, 1 September 2014 (UTC)
[edit conflict] I'd be surprised if the egg wasn't used as a symbol all over the place, in various ways. Its relation to life and life's inception is direct, and springtime associations are only a short step. Like the sun, light, and illumination, and in a step, revelation or awareness. Easy to grasp. Agreed too on the limitations of the written record, which is why I sometimes press the issue of closer examination of oral transmission as well. It's harder for us to feel comfortable today when we don't have a physical object to hold onto, but if we neglect all the possibilities, especially in the face of thin-enough evidence, then we also risk casting aside sources that can also throw light on our interpretation of written text. We can only use and examine what we have; sift it all.
I've done a restoration in the article now. I note now that the "origins" mention was not in the source, which proves that much more reliable for it, I think. It was the wording of a WP editor, unsupported by the source, probably not closely examined before even by the author. I've reduced mention of Mesopotamia to possible early existence of the Christian tradition there, as an indicator, but left a citation needed for that particular item since I think it needs better backing. Evensteven (talk) 22:51, 1 September 2014 (UTC)