William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Complete List Of Conclusive Disproofs Of Jesus’ Resurrection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reminder: Tomorrow Is Easter

64 Comments

  1. Complete List Of Conclusive PROOFS Of Jesus’ Resurrection:

    >empty list<

  2. Scroll down….

    Reminder: Tomorrow is Easter.

  3. And when Easter falls on the first of April it will be an even more perfect post.

  4. Then Pope Benedict, in Jesus of Nazareth, I think, makes the most interesting argument for the Resurrection. It is not comprehensible that the 1st century Jew – jettisoning the cult of the temple and the cult of creation, deeply imbedded into a bedouin, persecuted, and exiled people – would worship on Sunday. Something had to have happened on Sunday to completely undo a culture ordered to Saturday. He goes on to argue that this was pre-figured in the 8 candles of the Menorah (8th day = 1st day of the next week or Sunday).

    The problem with idea of conclusive proofs regarding the Resurrection is that the Resurrection as a dogma is not provable qua science. However, science may have no good explanation (hence this blog post) that comports with all of the available evidence. Meaning, the historical facts available to us scientifically point to the incompatibility of any explanation as to why Christ died (or appeared to die) and then was widely understood to have been seen after his death. Further, the failure to produce a body or any kind of historically verifiable remains of Jesus only empirically complicates the matter.

    So long as a scientistic position rules out the possibility of the miraculous (Resurrection), then the failure of “proof” is an a priori judgment no matter the moral certainty available to Christians who believe that the Resurrection is historical fact.

    Fundamentally, the talk of “proof” or “conclusive evidence” quickly devolves into confused back-and-forths that fail to distinguish between induction, deduction, and moral certainty. Moreover, most have no idea that most of what they believe is grounded in induction and probabilistic, moral certainty. Yet, they raise the bar to deduction for any idea that is inconvenient if true (e.g., Resurrection).

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-resurrection-of-jesus

  5. Not Easter, a pagan festival, but Resurrection Sunday. As for proof, it’s the only negative proof I can think of — the body wasn’t there.

  6. Nate Winchester

    March 26, 2016 at 10:24 am

    The problem with idea of conclusive proofs regarding the Resurrection is that the Resurrection as a dogma is not provable qua science.

    Brent, you might greatly enjoy this article. I know it’s one of my favorites.

  7. I confess you got me, I reloaded the page thinking something was wrong.

    Something was right.

  8. Only a tiny fraction of history can be scientifically proven—things like the works of DeVinci (even then we can’t know DeVinci was the author with certainty), etc, because we still have physical evidence. Outside of physical evidence, all of history cannot be proven and it can be rewritten at will. While fascinating, history is more philosophy than science in all area, not just religion. I realize many people are horrified at this reality and will deny it with passion and insistance. However, when the last person to witness an event dies, any hope of accurate verification of the event is gone, if not lost a few witnesses back. Thereafter, it’s all hearsay, whether religion, politics or science.

  9. Briggs,

    You forgot these:

    *
    *
    *

  10. Sheri,
    That’s why the apostles wrote their witness testimony down in a book.

  11. Onde of the best posta ever.

  12. People who require empirical evidence for their religious faith have a very weak faith indeed.

    JMJ

  13. “People who require empirical evidence for their religious faith have a very weak faith indeed.”
    People looking at empirical evidence of a thing are looking at a matter of fact not faith I would say.
    Faith in God is based on evidence of different kinds.
    To believe a thing with no evidence is blind faith.
    JMJ, some people describe their faith as purely an intellectual choice and that is on the basis of the evidence.

  14. Lent is over (noon Holy Saturday, or 7 pm Maundy Thursday), so I can comment. Great Post Briggs, apt and true.
    I was led to the Church after reading “Who moved the Stone?” by Frank Morison…not scientific proof, but convincing enough for an UNBIASED jury. Better proof, as alluded to by Brent, above: how could a bunch of uneducated yahoos (the term is that of 67 year old Irish physician and Hebrew scholar who aided my conversion)–fisherman, women, tax collectors–out argue learned Hebrew scholars and spread the Gospel, endure martyrdom, and all without an army to enforce conversion, unless there was a kernel of truth in what they believed?

  15. HumbleButAccurate

    March 26, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, then they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

    I find this to be instructive in understanding unreasonable skepticism.

    What did Feynman say? The first principle is you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.

    Happy Easter!

  16. Read this, Tom said blankly.

  17. Maybe you can place tomorrow a complete list of conclusive disproofs that I, Jos Hendriks, visited Mars

  18. Bob Kurland,
    And they turned in a matter of 50 days from cowering in fear behind locked doors to refusing to be muzzled from speaking repeatedly in public about what they witnessed. People don’t behave that way unless convinced beyond normal doubts.

    JMJ,
    Faith without some evidence for it is mere fantasizing. As the Apostle tells us, faith itself is the evidence of things not seen. Evidence, not speculation.

  19. John: Books can be altered. (I’m not being nihilist here—just saying there is always some uncertainly in things that occurred in the past. If you read history from various regions, different events are reported and the viewpoints are often very different.)

    JMJ: Very good observation.

    Hans: Really? Wikipedia?

  20. *one of the best post ever

  21. Pedro Erik,

    Yeah and easy to read. Took me less than 5 seconds. Still controversial apparently. A completely blank post generates comment. Must of been what John Cage was attempting to accomplish with 4’33”. This person performed it almost as well as I do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTEFKFiXSx4 He kept looking at his watch like he couldn’t wait until it was over.

  22. Geee, it’s identical with the list of proofs that a scared, knocked-up teenybopper female might be a virgin just because a bunch of drunken desert scribes write that she claimed she was decades later (assuming she even ever existed)….

  23. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 26, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Why do people claim that Easter was a pagan festival? What evidence is there for this? Which pagans are involved? The word “Easter” was used by the Saxons to refer to a goddess, but the sole reference to her is in (iirc) Venerable Bede. Meanwhile, the feast which in fact was based on the Jewish Passover, not anything pagan as that term is generally used, was celebrated in the Near East, Greece, and Rome, far away from lands invaded by the Saxons, and was not called “Easter” anywhere else.

  24. Yes Sheri, I could not explain it simpler.

    If I claim that there is an invisible dragon in my garage, then the burden of proof is on me. Others don’t have to prove that there isn’t a dragon in my garage.

    Now, the christians claim that somebody rose from the dead 2000 years ago. The burden of proof is on the christians.

  25. Why do people claim that Easter was a pagan festival?

    It’s only coincidence that the Resurrection happened and is celebrated in the spring when the Earth revives?

    According to this source: http://www.religioustolerance.org/easter1.htm

    Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos.” 1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: “eastre.”

    Of course, none of these cultures celebrated the arrival of spring. Why would the name have anything to do with whether there was a similar pagan ritual? There probably weren’t many pagan rituals called “Christmas” but that doesn’t mean Christmas wasn’t a substitute.

  26. Hans: You response does not match my question—I asked Wiki? Really?

    You do realize that Christians are not obligated to prove anything to anyone. Everyone is free to believe or not. You’re the one demanding proof. If you want proof of something, religion is not the place to look. Religion is not science and does not demand scientific proof. As to your example, you are free to claim there is an invisible dragon in your garage and I am free to reject the belief. Proof is irrelevant. It’s what you believe. Only if you start torching buildings and blaming it on the dragon are you going to have to provide proof, and even, it’s just proof that you didn’t set the fires, not who did. Your invisible dragon is safe—he can exist as long you want him to. (He can’t provide an alibi—he’s invisible. God can’t provide an alibi, either.)

    Shecky: Your example is the same proof as any other historical event. Same proof as the age of the earth, when dinosaurs lived, that there ever was a Roman Empire (maybe someone made that one up), etc, etc. The majority of historical events are not provable. Many, many are up for interpretation based on whomever is recording the history.

  27. I think St. Thomas Aquinas put it best:
    “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”

  28. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 26, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    @DAV
    Passover, dude. Not some Anglo-Saxon goddess. Which pagan spring festival do you suppose the Jews were celebrating in the ancient Near East?

  29. Where does this infatuation with the idea of “proof” come from. Christians and Christian based atheists read the texts looking for proof of something or other, imagining the only valid forms of evidence are those that can be spelled in words and transferred intact to anyone who reads it. There are other modes of knowledge.

  30. You got it, Bob. Atheists like me do not have faith. That’s why we’re atheists.

    JMJ

  31. Passover, dude

    And what is Passover if not a celebration of the Jews escaping captivity in Egypt? A New Beginning, perhaps? Wouldn’t that make it a Renewal? And it conveniently occurs in the First month of Spring the time of renewal? If Easter is more akin to Passover why then is Easter named after a Teutonic goddess or maybe just the word for Spring and not say, Passover itself or maybe Resurrection??

  32. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 27, 2016 at 12:03 am

    why then is Easter named after a Teutonic goddess

    It isn’t. That’s just your Anglophone prejudice. It is only in English that it picked up that name. Everywhere else the Paschal Feast is known by some variant of Pascha.

    Technically, it falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. There are only 365 days in a year, and most of them are occupied by some feast or other. You should see the old pagan Roman calendar.

    The thing I get a kick out of is the way people who are otherwise very skeptical will swallow these coincidental fables whole and suppose that an association of a day (and it need only be approximately the same day to excite the rubes) is some sort of cause-and-effect relationship. And this without any need to show an actual causal linkage!

  33. Happy Easter Mr. and Mrs William M. Briggs.

  34. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 27, 2016 at 9:57 am

    If I claim that there is an invisible dragon in my garage, then the burden of proof is on me. Others don’t have to prove that there isn’t a dragon in my garage.

    But the proof in that case is straightforward. Dragons are physical beings with particular properties. For one thing, they occupy space and a particular place. More importantly, there is no necessity to the existence of a dragon. It doesn’t have to exist. It is contingent upon (among other things) the existence of Existence Itself; that is, upon “that which all men call God.”

    Now, the christians claim that somebody rose from the dead 2000 years ago. The burden of proof is on the christians.

    It’s not clear what is demanded as “proof” in this case. In one sense, there is no “proof” in natural science or metaphysics; there is only “proof” in mathematics. Granted, a metaphysical proof is more like a mathematical proof than a physical proof. The latter is always based on a finite amount of physical “evidence,” and so can always support more than one explanation of that evidence. Every proof in natural science is, almost by definition, falsifiable and hence tentative. So no scientific proof is ever completely dispositive.

    The same goes for historical proofs. What proof is there that Hannibal ever brought elephants across the Alps or indeed that he ever existed? Especially if we disallow any Roman histories that mention the account as being biased. (We do know that the Romans wiped out Carthage and the needed a reason to do so, so they made up this more or less superhuman opponent to scare the citizens with.) There are no contemporary accounts of Hannibal; no non-Roman accounts that do not derive from the Roman accounts. Indeed, no Roman accounts that do not derive from Livy. The story of Hannibal jibes with fables of the Tragic Hero and is probably simply an example of a Mideastern fable that was adapted to Roman uses. In particular, there is no mention of Hannibal in Carthaginian records.

    Eyewitness accounts of any historical event can be dismissed with a wave of the skeptical hand saying they are “unreliable.” There seems to be no obligation to take this generic comment and show that it is actually true in the case under discussion. In actual fact, some accounts are reliable, some are not, and some are reliable in part, and it would be useful to understand the circumstances of each.

  35. There are only 365 days in a year, and most of them are occupied by some feast or other.

    You are saying the time frame for Passover was chosen because the calendar happened to be free?

    just your Anglophone prejudice.

    Not to mention White Privilege.

  36. JMJ,
    You have no faith?
    You mean you have no faith in God, It’s an important distinction.
    You must have faith in other people?
    If you fly or travel on a train you have faith in the driver or the pilot? You trust the engineers that built your car? What proof do you need?
    None, you have EVIDENCE.
    Evidence is not proof.
    Evidence is information .
    Information varies in quality.
    Faith, even yours, is based on evidence.

  37. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 27, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    You are saying the time frame for Passover was chosen because the calendar happened to be free?

    No, it was chosen because it was the night the Hebrews escaped from Egypt. It wasn’t like they had this feast called ‘Passover’ floating around and were looking for a day to peg it to.

    But no matter what day you pick, there is likely to be some sort of feast for somebody nearby. Anciently, the New Year was celebrated on or around 25 March. This was originally the spring equinox, but had drifted off because the old Roman calendar, which was a solar-lunar mash-up, was not a good match for the solar year. But it was not religiously so. It just made rational sense to begin the new year at that time. (It’s 1 January that’s an odd fish.)

    It’s very likely the celebration of your birthday could be matched up with some Roman feast. But that doesn’t mean your birthday is derived from that feast. ‘Tis an error made by those who confuse correlation with causation.

    just your Anglophone prejudice.

    Not to mention White Privilege.

    Only in the sense that English speakers were originally white. The point is that the Paschal feast cannot be derived from a putative Saxon Eostre because it is only in English that the Pasch is called “Easter.” But it is often the case that Anglo-speakers confuse their own customs and terms with universal truths.

  38. The point is that the Paschal feast cannot be derived from a putative Saxon Eostre because it is only in English that the Pasch is called “Easter.”

    How silly, nobody said it was derived from a pagan festival — it replaced one. Just as Christmas replaced a pagan festival of the winter solstice. So, yes, in at least one part of the world, it started as a pagan festival which mutated into the Christian festival.

    While it may be true that only in English is it called Easter, in Germany it’s called Ostern and apparently has the same derivation as Easter. Something to do with that

    Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [was] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos

    mentioned here: http://www.religioustolerance.org/easter1.htm

  39. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 28, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Dude, the date of Easter was decided on in the Mediterranean world and Near East, not in the lands overrun by German barbarians. One may as well say that our Fourth of July celebration is derived from the Roman festival of Poplifugia. The name means “the flight of the people” and in the festival the priests and people scattered and fled from the sacrifice. Clearly the Americans, who sought to imitate so much of the Roman Republic, reversed this and celebrated the flight of the people to the sacrifice [of their lives, fortune, and sacred honor] for the sake of the republic.

    Similarly, Washington’s Birthday, which marks a symbolic birth of America, is obviously derived from the Roman Terminalia which marked the end of the Roman year, part of a pattern by which the new republic of America emulated the old republic of Rome by a reversal of symbolism.

    The other thing to keep in mind is that the Romans did not celebrate solar or astronomical days as religious festivals. The used such days to mark their calendars, but no more. Hence, the Kalends, Ides, and Nones of a month marked the new, quarter, and half moons of that month, but were in no sense linked to moon-worship. Similarly, the solstices and equinoxes were not occasions for Roman festivals except accidentally. In this, the Romans were rather unlike the Greeks. This may be because the Greek gods were largely personifications of nature while the native Roman gods were genuinely weird.

    In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the celebration of Christmas (25 Dec) never coincided with the festival of Saturnalia (17 Dec). And during imperial times, neither one corresponded with the solstice. The religious festival of Saturnalia was never more than the one day and marked the feast of the agricultural god Saturn, not a sky god. This time of year tended to accumulate such festivals not because one was derived or copied from another or because of the position of the sun, but simply because in Mediterranean agriculture, this was the end of the year. The spring crops were sown; the autumn crops were harvested and stored, the vines manured, and so forth, and so the typical peasant now had (briefly) nothing to do but party hearty. For the same reason, people in northern lands would all start wearing furry clothing, not because one person was imitating another but just because it was getting cold outside.

    The Christians had settled on 25 Dec because it was nine months after the Annunciation (25 Mar), which was the important feast.

  40. It is absolutely true that Easter and Ostern began as pagan festivals apparently to honor a fertility goddess and eventually turned Christian. A direct answer to your question Why do people claim that Easter was a pagan festival. is: Because It Was. All of your jumping up and down about dates and your other equally Sylly babbling won’t change that.

    Just a highlight:
    The other thing to keep in mind is that the Romans did not celebrate solar or astronomical days as religious festivals.

    Whatever do the Romans have to do with Easter and Ostern morphing into the Christian meanng?

    The Christians had settled on 25 Dec because it was nine months after the Annunciation (25 Mar), which was the important feast.

    So? What does this it have to do with replacing local feasts?

    —-

    These along with “Anglophone prejudice” say stay away from the deep end of the pool. When you fall in, you sink like a stone. Er, Dude.

  41. Nate Winchester

    March 28, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    It is absolutely true that Easter and Ostern began as pagan festivals apparently to honor a fertility goddess and eventually turned Christian. A direct answer to your question Why do people claim that Easter was a pagan festival. is: Because It Was. All of your jumping up and down about dates and your other equally Sylly babbling won’t change that.

    Well your repeated insistence otherwise won’t change it the other way either. Ye Olde Stan at least has given viewers several handy searching tools and jumping off points to test his claims. So far you’ve provided… 1 source that’s incredibly light on scholarship (seriously, some of those links are almost a joke) and heavy on the weasel words.

  42. Well your repeated insistence otherwise won’t change it the other way either.
    Well, considering they are names for a goddess what other reason would there be?

    Ye Olde Stan is acting like Sylvain. He has yet to counter that the names weren’t derived from pagan festival names instead runs off babbling about Romans and dates. Guess it works on lesser minds.

    Why do you think the Germans call it Ostern? No particular reason? Or because the name meant something to them?

  43. Sorry, DAV, but YOS has ‘destroyed your arguments’.

  44. Nate Winchester

    March 28, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Well, considering they are names for a goddess what other reason would there be?

    THAT’S BEEN EXACTLY THE POINT YOS has been making! All the OTHER reasons including a general lack of knowledge on your part on ancient languages. REREAD: The point is that the Paschal feast cannot be derived from a putative Saxon Eostre because it is only in English that the Pasch is called “Easter.”

    He has yet to counter that the names weren’t derived from pagan festival names instead runs off babbling about Romans and dates.

    Ok, it’s rather funny that you taunt those of ‘lesser minds’ when you can’t follow a simple logic chain but here goes again. Easter (now follow along) didn’t come from Europe. It started out ELSEWHERE in the world (where it is known as “Pascha” or a variant thereof) then migrated to those European lands.

    Seriously you think a random collection of letters is enough of a coincidence to cry “rip off” while ignoring the far greater coincidence of traveling evangelists and conversion of cultures to a common religion?

  45. Here’s a couple of quotes from Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, vol. 1 (Courier Dover Publications 2004 ISBN 978-0-48643546-6), pp. 289–291 originally published in the mid 1800’s:

    Ostara, Eástre seems to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light.

    and

    Ostara, Eástre seems to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light.

  46. Easter (now follow along) didn’t come from Europe.

    But it did. See the Grimm Mythology quotes.
    What you really meant to say is that the Christian festival started elsewhere and that has absolutely nothing to do with what Easter and Ostern meant to the Teutons. Whatever the origins of the Christian festival are, they have absolutely nothing to do with this. So much for your reasoning.

  47. Hmmm… the second quote from Grimm was to have been:

    This Ostarâ, like the Anglo-Saxon Eástre, must in the heathen religion have denoted a higher being

  48. DAV earlier:

    It is absolutely true that Easter and Ostern began as pagan festivals apparently to honor a fertility goddess and eventually turned Christian.

    DAV later:

    What you really meant to say is that the Christian festival started elsewhere and that has absolutely nothing to do with what Easter and Ostern meant to the Teutons. Whatever the origins of the Christian festival are, they have absolutely nothing to do with this.

    Someone’s walking back their earlier assertion.

  49. Someone’s walking back their earlier assertion.

    No, you are allowing an equivocation between current and past meanings to confuse you. Must be a philosopher thing.

    To make it perfectly clear, the festivals to honor the dawn goddess of fertility using various names eventually were reconfigured to be the Christian meaning. So it can be said that Easter started as a pagan festival. Why you and YOS have a problem with this is beyond me.

    Also, think about this. The Germans who had absolutely no trouble retaining the Latin word Caesar (but with a phonetic spelling of the vulgar pronunciation) decided to name the Christian festival after a goddess and not retain the Latin word? You don’t find this the least bit curious?

  50. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 28, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Whatever do the Romans have to do with Easter and Ostern morphing into the Christian meanng?

    Because the Christians were celebrating Easter round about Passover time long before they ran into any Anglo Saxons. They lived in the Roman Empire, and there was no Roman (nor Greek) festival that corresponds to it. It is derived from Passover because the earliest Christians were Jews. The feast was called the Paschal Feast from the Greek pascha anastasimon where pascha is the Aramaic form of the Hebrew pesach (meaniong “transitus,” “passover”).

    Bede mentions that the term Easter derives from the name of a northern goddess (De temporum ratione, I, v)

    In olden time the English people … calculated their months according to the course of the moon. … The first month, which the Latins call January, is Giuli; … April, Eosturmonath; …

    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 honor 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-honored name of the old observance. Thrimilchi was so called because in that month the cattle were milked three times a day…” etc.

    And that is the only mention of this goddess anywhere. She is unmentioned in the Eddas, in Beowulf, or any other ancient Northern writing. There is no mention that she is a ‘fertility goddess’ nor what sort of rites were performed. For all we know, it is folk etymology like the Romans of Cicero’s time used when trying to figure out the most ancient of their own rites. In any case, it was the name of a time of year, not a repurposing of ancient pagan rites.

    The Sunday after 14 Nisan was the historical day of the Resurrection, so this Sunday became the Christian feast of Easter. Easter was celebrated in Rome and Alexandria on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, and the Roman Church claimed for this observance the authority of Sts. Peter and Paul. The spring equinox in Rome fell on 25 March; in Alexandria on 21 March. At Antioch Easter was kept on the Sunday after the Jewish Passover. None of it related to any hypothetical rites of Eostre way off among the Saxons (or Angles or Britons or whoever supposedly kept her).
    +++
    The other examples I mentioned simply illustrate how easy it is to confuse correlation with causation. Two celebrations may take place at or around the same time of year and have no more connection than that. We can call the NCAA basketball tournament “March Madness” without suggesting a connection between the fannish frenzy and that of the Salic Dancers.

  51. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 28, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    He has yet to counter that the names weren’t derived from pagan festival names

    Oh, just the name now is it? The name of a month, according to Bede, within which Easter season typically falls. No different in principle from a basketball tournament being called “March” Madness. Just because Eostremonath and Mens Martialis were said to derive from gods does not mean some Roman festival “morphed” into the NCAA. Neither does it mean that some rites of the alleged Eostre “morphed” into the Paschal feast.

    If it’s just a matter of etymology, what’s the big deal? January designates Janus, the strange two-faced Roman god who keeps the gates (hence, “janitor”, but “janitor” does not designate a priest of Janus).

  52. No, no, the only person that is depending upon equivocations is yourself, DAV. The festival was not ‘reconfigured’. There was a pagan festival and a Christian festival, both independent of the other and with entirely their own meaning. So, no, it cannot be said that Easter, that is Resurrection Sunday, started as a pagan festival at all, that is to fall into the error of mistaking a name with the thing itself. What occurred is that Pascha was ‘given the name’, Easter, in Anglophone lands, from Eostre; that is all.

    As to the second point, no, not in the least. And I wouldn’t imagine that it was the Franks or Saxons deciding any such thing, but Christian missionaries in Frankish and Saxon lands that adopted the name of an existing pagan festival to ease the transition from paganism to Christianity in those lands.

  53. No mention of the Easter bunny and the eggs? Surely this is an oversight on someone’s part.

  54. Ye Olde Statistician

    March 28, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    How would Grimm have known any such thing, given that the passing mention in Bede of the name of a month and its possible derivation is the one and only attestation of the goddess? Or is he like other fabulists, just spinning out past the evidence. “Must have designated…” Must have? IOW, hypothetical but meant to sound fact-like.
    ++++
    the festivals to honor the dawn goddess of fertility

    We know nothing whatsoever of Eostre, let alone that she was the “dawn goddess of fertility.”

    So it can be said that Easter started as a pagan festival. Why you and YOS have a problem with this is beyond me.

    Ooh! Ooh! I know, I know! It’s because we have the actual history of the development of the Christian feast, it’s linkage to Judaism and the Passover, and the dating controversies of the Patristic era. And none of it, as in not one little bit, has anything to do with any pagan festivals: not the Greek or Roman with which they were familiar nor the Celtic and Germanic which they had yet to encounter.

    The Germans who had absolutely no trouble retaining the Latin word Caesar (but with a phonetic spelling of the vulgar pronunciation)…

    Actually, the hard-c pronunciation and the ah-ee diphthong are classical and derive from a faux-classic revival. The Turkish Sultan also styled himself Qaysar-i-Rum (Caesar of Rome) after the conquest of Constantinople. The vulgar pronunciation — i.e., of the people (vulgus) — in late imperial and medieval times was see-zar.

    …decided to name the Christian festival after a goddess and not retain the Latin word? You don’t find this the least bit curious?

    No more than naming a basketball tourney after the Roman god of war. Or the weekend after a Roman agricultural deity. Or why did the Saxons retain the name of Thor’s Day etc. but celebrate Saturn’s Day?

    The people of England did not “retain” the Latin word Aprilis largely because (unlike the Gauls and Hispanians) the Angles and Saxons did not speak Latin. That is, there was no Latin to retain. Along those lines recall that the Germans of the Lower Rhine, those directly abutting the Empire, did not use the name Ostern but Paisken for the Christian feast.

    They said “Caesar” because it was a Roman office and there was nothing corresponding to it in the Germanic tongues. And when Karl der Grosse re-established (as was supposed) the Western Empire, the German description was “Caesar-like” (kaiserlich) and retained a distinction between ‘imperial’ and merely ‘royal’ thereafter.

  55. Heavens, so even the little I conceded above was too much.

  56. So, your contention is that it is the name of the month and cite Bede as your source while hand waving away Grimm. OK. Took you log enough. How, why and when the Christian celebration came about or why it is called something different elsewhere is still irrelevant and an unnecessary data dump. But thank you, Data. Absence from Beowulf. et. al means little. You are perhaps assuming more importance than deserved. I wouldn’t expect epics such as Beowulf would list every god, goddess or festival.

    Speaking of Easter, I hope the Big Bunny brought you everything on your wish list.

  57. Nate Winchester

    March 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    How, why and when the Christian celebration came about or why it is called something different elsewhere is still irrelevant and an unnecessary data dump.

    So hand waving is fine when you do it but not for others?

    Plus given that the debate WAS about “how, why and when” the celebration came about, you pretty much just conceded!

  58. Heavens, so even the little I conceded above was too much.

    Indeed. [it was, perhaps] Christian missionaries in Frankish and Saxon lands that adopted the name of an existing pagan festival to ease the transition from paganism to Christianity in those lands. is right along the lines of what I’ve been saying. Adopting the name means that festivals with that name began as pagan ones. Nobody has claimed the transition would have necessarily been gradual.

  59. Plus given that the debate WAS about “how, why and when” the celebration came about, you pretty much just conceded!

    Er, no. It was about “Easter” — the word — and whether it was originally then name of a pagan festival. The how, why and where the current English name for the Christian celebration is irrelevant to how the name was previously used. Try to keep up.

    Why do people claim that Easter was a pagan festival? What evidence is there for this? Which pagans are involved? The word “Easter” was used by the Saxons to refer to a goddess …

    And later, this same person says; Oh, just the name now is it?
    How quickly they forget.

  60. Adopting the name means that festivals with that name began as pagan ones.

    Not at all. Again, you’re equivocating between the name and the festival itself. Christians were celebrating Pascha long before they encountered Germanic pagans and converted them. Pascha was not a pagan festival, let alone a Germanic pagan festival.

  61. Not at all. Again, you’re equivocating between the name and the festival itself.

    LOL. So saying X was once Y but is now Z is equivocating . Somehow X, because it is now Z, wasn’t previously Y even though it was once Y? Like, X was once a criminal but is now reformed so X wasn’t previously a criminal? And to claim X was previously a criminal is equivocation? Uh, yeah, sure. Whatever you say.

  62. LOL. So saying X was once Y but is now Z is equivocating . Somehow X, because it is now Z, wasn’t previously Y even though it was once Y? Like, X was once a criminal but is now reformed so X wasn’t previously a criminal? And to claim X was previously a criminal is equivocation? Uh, yeah, sure. Whatever you say.

    LOL, indeed. That is precisely the equivocation. Z was never X or Y. Neither is X a reformed criminal. Whatever the pagans of Germania celebrated it was never the Pascha celebrated by Christians, firstly in the Eastern Mediterranean, and then elsewhere. So to say that pascha was first celebrated by the pagans of Germania and then adopted by Christians, or that the festival was reformed by Christians is simply too silly for words with nothing at all to recommend it. But look, it might make the front cover of Time, next Easter!

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