Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You

28 Mar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynist and eugenics enthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Neither Reasonable Nor Scientific

Neither Reasonable Nor Scientific

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were chock-full of smug remarks about how naïve and stupid Christians were, accompanied by pats on the back for all the atheists who smart enough to see through all the religious bullshit and understand how the evil church had slyly appropriated all kinds of pagan traditions.

And you know what? That’s fine, I guess. I’m all for questioning religion and examining the sociological, historical and anthropological reasons that help explain the hows and whys of our lives today. I’m actually super fascinated by that kind of stuff, even if I do think that there’s a way to discuss it without making yourself sound smarter and more enlightened than the people around you.

But you guys? The image above is rife with misinformation. RIFE, I say.

Let’s start from the top:

This is Ishtar …

Okay, great. So far things are fairly accurate. The relief pictured here, known as the Burney Relief (also called the Queen of the Night relief) is widely considered to be an Ancient Babylonian representation of Ishtar (although some scholars believe that the woman depicted might be Lilitu or Ereshkigal). This relief is currently housed in the British Museum in London, but originates from southern Iraq and is nearly 4,000 years old.

… pronounced Easter.

Actually, in modern English we pronounce it the way it looks. A case could be made for pronouncing it Eesh-tar, but I have yet to come across a credible source that gives the original pronunciation as Easter.

Easter is originally the celebration of Ishtar, the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and sex.

Ishtar was the goddess of love, war and sex. These days, thanks to Herodotus, she is especially associated with sacred prostitution* (also known as temple prostitution), which, in the religions of the Ancient Near East, allegedly took on the form of every woman having to, at some point in her life, go to the temple of Ishtar and have sex with the first stranger who offered her money. Once a woman entered the temple of Ishtar for the purpose of sacred prostitution, she was not allowed to leave until she’d done the deed. I can’t imagine that sacred prostitution sex was ever very good sex, but hey, what do I know? Probably some people were pretty into it – I mean, if you can imagine it, someone’s made porn about it, right?

Anyway, the point I am trying to make here is that, yes, Ishtar was associated with fertility and sex. However, her symbols were the lion, the gate and the eight-pointed star; I can’t find any evidence of eggs or rabbits symbolically belonging to her. And Easter has nothing to do with her.

Most scholars believe that Easter gets its name from Eostre or Ostara**, a Germanic pagan goddess. English and German are two of the very few languages that use some variation of the word Easter (or, in German, Ostern) as a name for this holiday. Most other European languages use one form or another of the Latin name for Easter, Pascha, which is derived from the Hebrew Pesach, meaning Passover. In French it’s Pâques, in Italian it’s Pasqua, in Dutch it’s Pasen, in Danish it’s Paaske, in Bulgarian it’s Paskha, and so on and so forth.

In the Christian Bible, Jesus returned to Jerusalem from his forty days in the desert just before Passover. In fact, in the Gospel according to John, Jesus was killed on the day before the first night of Passover, at the time when lambs were traditionally slaughtered for the Passover feast (because Jesus was the Lamb of God, etc. – SYMBOLISM, Y’ALL). There are a few differing accounts of when Jesus actually died, but most Christian texts, philosophers and scholars agree that it was around the time of Passover. Easter is still celebrated the week after Passover, which is why it’s a different day each year, because the Jewish calendar is lunar rather than solar.

Her symbols (like the egg and the bunny) were and still are fertility and sex symbols (or did you actually think eggs and bunnies had anything to do with the resurrection?).

Actually, according to Jacob Grimm’s Deutsche Mythologie, which he wrote after journeying across Germany and recording its oral mythological traditions, the idea of resurrection was part and parcel of celebrating the goddess Ostara:

OstaraEástre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted by the resurrection-day of the christian’s God. Bonfires were lighted at Easter and according to popular belief of long standing, the moment the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, he gives three joyful leaps, he dances for joy … Water drawn on the Easter morning is, like that at Christmas, holy and healing … here also heathen notions seems to have grafted themselves on great christian festivals. Maidens clothed in white, who at Easter, at the season of returning spring, show themselves in clefts of the rock and on mountains, are suggestive of the ancient goddess.”

Spring is a sort of resurrection after all, with the land coming back to life after lying dead and bare during the winter months. To say that ancient peoples thought otherwise is foolish, naïve and downright uninformed. Many, many pagan celebrations centre around the return of light and the rebirth of the land; these ideas are not new themes in the slightest.

And yes, rabbits and eggs are fertility symbols, and they are, in fact, associated with Eostre.

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts

Ostara by Johannes Gehrts

After Constantine decided to Christianize the Empire, Easter was changed to represent Jesus.

Hey! Guess what language Constantine, the Roman Emperor, spoke? Not English, that’s for sure! In fact, when he was alive, English didn’t even exist yet. He would have spoken Latin or Ancient Greek, so would likely have referred to Easter as Pascha or Πάσχα.

But at its roots Easter (which is pronounced Ishtar) was all about celebrating fertility and sex.

Look. Here’s the thing. Our Western Easter traditions incorporate a lot of elements from a bunch of different religious backgrounds. You can’t really say that it’s just about resurrection, or just about spring, or just about fertility and sex. You can’t pick one thread out of a tapestry and say, “Hey, now this particular strand is what this tapestry’s really about.” It doesn’t work that way; very few things in life do.

The fact is that the Ancient Romans were smart when it came to conquering. In their pagan days, they would absorb gods and goddesses from every religion they encountered into their own pantheon; when the Roman Empire became Christian, the Roman Catholic Church continued to do the same thing, in a manner of speaking.

And do you know why that worked so well? Because adaptability is a really, really good trait to have in terms of survival of the fittest (something I wish the present-day Catholic Church would remember). Scratch the surface of just about any Christian holiday, and you’ll find pagan elements, if not a downright pagan theme, underneath.

Know what else? Most Christians know this. Or, at least, most of the Christians that I’m friends with (which is, admittedly, a fairly small sampling). They know that Jesus wasn’t really born on December 25th, and they know that there were never any actual snakes in Ireland, and they know that rabbits and eggs are fertility symbols. But they don’t care, because they realize that religions evolve and change and that that’s actually a good thing, not a bad thing. The fact that many Christian saints are just re-imagined pagan gods and goddesses doesn’t alter their faith one iota; because faith isn’t about reason or sense, it’s about belief.

Look, go ahead and debate religion. Go ahead and tell Christians why what they believe is wrong. That’s totally fine and, in fact, I encourage it. A little debate and critical thinking are good for everyone. But do it intelligently. Get to know the Bible, so you actually know what you’re disagreeing with when you form an argument. Brush up on your theology so that you can explain why it’s so wrong. And have some compassion, for Christ’s sake – be polite and respectful when you enter into a debate, even when the person you’re debating with loses their cool. You want to prove that you’re better, more enlightened than Christians? Great, do it by remaining rational and level-headed in the face of someone who’s willing to stoop to personal attacks. To behave otherwise is to be just as bad as the people you’re debating.

Anyway, I hope you guys have a fantastic long weekend, no matter how you spend it. If your holiday involves chocolate, then I hope you enjoy that. If not, just enjoy the extra day or two off work and the (hopefully) warm weather. No matter what you believe in, I think that we can all agree that the end of winter and the rebirth of spring is worth celebrating.

And also? Richard Dawkins? You need to fact-check yourself before you fact-wreck yourself. Spreading this kind of misinformation to your foundation’s 637,000 fans is just plain irresponsible, especially coming from someone like you. Get with the program, buddy.

ETA: The post now seems to be removed from The Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Science and Reason’s FB page. Thanks Richard! 

ETA Part Deux: Oh. It looks like it was deleted from their timeline but not the photo album. Welp.

*It should be noted that the only actual historical evidence that we have of sacred prostitution comes from Herodotus (I’ve included an excerpt from Herodotus’ Histories below) and no one is really sure how accurate it is. Herodotus is known for making shit up, like giant ants for example. But it makes for an amazing story and people still make the association between Ishtar and sacred prostitution, so I decided to mention it here.

The foulest Babylonian custom is that which compels every woman of the land to sit in the temple of Aphrodite and have intercourse with some stranger once in her life. Many women who are rich and proud and disdain to mingle with the rest, drive to the temple in covered carriages drawn by teams, and stand there with a great retinue of attendants. But most sit down in the sacred plot of Aphrodite, with crowns of cord on their heads; there is a great multitude of women coming and going; passages marked by line run every way through the crowd, by which the men pass and make their choice. Once a woman has taken her place there, she does not go away to her home before some stranger has cast money into her lap, and had intercourse with her outside the temple; but while he casts the money, he must say, “I invite you in the name of Mylitta” (that is the Assyrian name for Aphrodite). It does not matter what sum the money is; the woman will never refuse, for that would be a sin, the money being by this act made sacred. So she follows the first man who casts it and rejects no one. After their intercourse, having discharged her sacred duty to the goddess, she goes away to her home; and thereafter there is no bribe however great that will get her. So then the women that are fair and tall are soon free to depart, but the uncomely have long to wait because they cannot fulfil the law; for some of them remain for three years, or four. There is a custom like this in some parts of Cyprus.

That crack about ugly women was totally unnecessary, Herodotus. I am just saying.

**The first written reference we have for Eostre dates back to the 7th century AD and can be found in Venerable Bede’s Temporum Ratione, in a passage explaining that April was often referred to as Eostremonth:

“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.

Jacob Grimm said that he found further evidence of Eostre and her associations with Easter, eggs and rabbits when researching his Deutsches Mythologie, although he was unable to discover any written records about her.

833 Responses to “Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You”

  1. Loki Darksong April 23, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Of all the many things I would like to say about this rather amusing piece, I only have the moment to ask this question. Since when is a Greek Goddess a Babylonian one? There is quite a large difference between the pantheons.

    • moonwolf23 April 24, 2014 at 12:36 am #

      Dear Loki, take a look at the Pantheons again. Ishtar is a Babylonian Goddess. You will see her in Gilgamesh. You will not see her in the tales of Zeus, Hera, or Persephone decent into Hades.

    • Sinfjotli April 24, 2014 at 9:59 am #

      Greece was influenced by Assyria – evidence of this is the similarity in cosmogony, the likeness of Heracles to Gilgamesh at various points, and – in the present case – the similarities between Ishtar OTOH, & Aphrodite & Artemis OTO. It’s a matter of a very prominent Mesopotamian goddess – she appears to have had more temples than any other deity – having an an effect upon a culture that was well within Assyria’s sphere of influence: Ishtar came to be very important indeed in Assyria.

      Whole books have been written on the subject, like “The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth”. I’ve not read it, but if it’s anything like as good as the author’s book “Indo-European Poetry and Myth”, then it will be very solid academically, and a very good read


    • katkarsecs April 25, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      What Sinfjotli said. Plus to point out that the Greeks, in my estimation at least, were the laziest cultural interpreters of the Ancient world. They traveled, they got to know the locals, and whenever they saw a religious practice or figure they simply said, “oh, this one is vaguely similar to our deity X. Ah, we don’t understand their babble-language, we’ll just call her Aphrodite/Athena/Whatever.” They rarely tried to differentiate deities. They were like that scene in Being John Malkovich: “Hellas Hellas Hellas Hellas…” That was their world. :)

    • Ralph Ellis April 25, 2014 at 6:34 pm #


      I think Easter and the Easter-egg came from the Egyptian Isis.

      In Egyptian Isis was called Ast or Est, from which we derive Ester or Easter (referring to a star or the heavens). And remember that Isis-Est was a fertility goddess, as much as she was the Queen of Heaven.

      And the Easter-egg came from the spelling, because Est was spelt with the easter-egg glyph.


      • Penny Simpson April 27, 2014 at 11:15 am #

        I liked your comment, I’m fed up with this Ishtar = Easter thing….yours sounds linguistically more likely and also especially in terms of symbolism too. Thanks for shedding some more light on the subject.

      • ralfellis June 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

        Thanks, Penny.

        In addition, it is highly likely that the cult of Ast or Est (Isis) spread far and wide. She became Est-ther, Asht-oreth, Isht-ar (Asht-ar), Aphrodite, Venus and then the Madonna and Child (Isis and Horus).

        Like many things, the foundation and root of theology is to be found in Egypt. “Out of Egypt I have called my Son”

        See the books:
        King Jesus
        Jesus, King of Edessa.

    • anish December 29, 2014 at 6:39 am #

      There are some remarkable identities between the descriptions of midle east deities and northern european. Thor and baal are both the main deity, both thunder hurlers, both fight snake like sea monster,and both have the same sacred tree, oak. I would dare say that thor is a phoenician export to europe as t doesnt follow the indo european root for the main deity, which is jupiter(jovi)-zeus-shiva.

    • g March 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      what is the Easter of Acts 12:4? What was celebrated/observed here?
      BIBLE (1) TOPICAL INDEX (11)

      1 Bible results for “Easter.” Showing results 1-1.

      Suggested result
      Acts 12:4 [Full Chapter]
      And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.
      Bible search results

      this is KJV and the “Acts” clearly occurred prior to the murder of Christ. Something was being practiced…..

  2. Juríjri Mountain April 24, 2014 at 12:16 am #

    Fullmoon after Spring-equinox: Because of the springequinox’s position in the EAST of the ‘Circle of Existence’ (e.g. Celtic Crosswheel, Lakota-&Cherokee Hoop of Life), this was also called the ‘Moon of the EAST'; …the christian EASTERN is always at the weekend (fri-, satur- &sunday) after this fullmoon, and it still contents some of the signification of the old celtic celebration — postponed, as usual (see e.g. christmas and winter-solstice) from the original date; that was mindmanipulation during the “colonisation” of celtic Europe by the roman empire with 1600 years of inquisition: de-paganisation, de-rooting from Nature and the Earth, etc..

    That’s past now, we must learn from the fault, and go forward together; “god’s” new name for the next aeon is ‘Oneness-spirit’, a non-personal, purely psycho-logic ‘state of being’, meaning the conscious connection with the “cosmic spirit/ mind”.

    All christian feasts are distorted and postponed Celtic celebrations of their spiritual lunar calendar (Mabon, Lughnasad, Beltane etc.), but still contain much of the original true meaning.

    In the Celtic circle of life (celtic crosswheel), Autumn-equinox was in the West, Wintersolstice was in the North, and Springequinox in the East (German: Osten], from there the name Ostern, very probably literally translated in English, East and Eastern.

    The celtic celebrations were embedded in the nature-given rhythms, thus spring&summer [the bright season] was the time of the “external work” on the fields and in the village [extroverted season], and autumn&winter, called the ‘dark season’, were recognized as the introverted season: it was more cold, the daylight shorter, it snowed at that time in Europe, the people remained in their homes — it was seen as the natural time for the internal work: to recapitulate and to put in order the psycho-logic things in&between the people of the community – so the time for the spiritual rituals [spi-ritual].

    Autumn [the 1st part of the dark season] was full of introspective rituals (to the spirit connecting ceremonies, purificational&cleaning rituals, and also solitary-retreats of some days for to recapitulate), in which the people reflected the passed year on attitudes&behaviours which had been egocentric [to see oneself in the center] or egoistic [to want to have anything].

    From winter-solstice to spring then [2nd part of the dark season] was prepared with the results of that work the “spiritual seed” (or spiritual egg) for the next year [bright season], with the intention to develop more altruistic, less egoistic&-centric behaviour&attitudes, in a way that peace&teamspirit among the humans were fostered.

    What matters the dates, most celtic celebrations relate to moon AND sun (e.g. 2nd newmoon after autumn-equinox, 1st fullmoon after springequinox, etc.), some also to certain star-positions, casually also in combination with a moonphase after.

    A month (correctly a moonth) started with the new-moon.

    Most celtic tribes saw the end of a year at autumn-equinox, and the begin of the year at the 1st new-moon after (life starts with fertilization&pregnancy, assigned to autumn&winter; springtime represents birth, summer growth&life), what makes the single years “elastic”: they have every year another length, as it is natural and usual in lunar calendars; …some solar years (from e.g. a-equinox to a-equinox), to which the lunar calendars always do refer, contain 13 (new)moonths, others only 12.
    The time inbetween an autumn-equinox and the 1st newmoon after (could be 1 day, could be 27 days) was seen as a sort of “zero-days”; those referred to the un-understandibility of the Mother “in the dark of human’s intellect’s capacity to understand” (what the christian church distorted to the dark mother): Her mystery, the nothingness, which could not be understood with the intellect.

    So, during the years with only 12 newmoons from autumn-equinox to autumn-equinox, the “zero-time” was more long, during the years with 13 newmoons more short.

    Basically, as already indicated, the Celts parted the year in 2 halfs, the BRIGHT and the DARK season. But in the circle of life (celtic cross, circle partitioned in 4 quarters), that already results in 4 points, also simbolizing the solstices&equinoxes, the 4 seasons, the 4 directions, the partition of a single day in morning, midday, evening and night, and many other assignments: E.g. the Springequinox as as also the morning are assigned to the East, the Wintersolstice, and also midnight, the moon, and reflection/wisdom, to the north. The sun to the south. Etc., there are thousand of assignments.

    During the dark season (autumn&winter), the mainattention was given to the newmoon, but with the start of the bright season at spring-equinox, the premiss changed from darkness to light [from the yin- to the yang-energy], and the mainattention was given to the fullmoons.

    The Celts did not follow the antagonistic conception of absolutizing good and bad, or black and white — to them, anything was good and bad at the same time, these were 2 sides of the same coin. They had no pairs of gods representing a good force and an evil force. The darkness was the (for the human intellect in the dark laying, not comprehensible) source from which the things came at light, thus it was the in-comprehensible mother from which all birthed.

    Thus they did not see the newmoon as evil and the fullmoon as good, it was only to look at the dark and see appear the things, and with fullmoon, one changed the view-angle and focussed on the single things — by the years, a balanced view on both aspects was naturally cultivated.

    With springtime, the yearly introspective and preparational work (all rituals, exercises and ceremonies) from autumn&winter came to an end, the people had prepared their spiritual seed/ egg for the next year, and the village knew that they face now the bright season, the work in the external fields – until to the next autumn with its harvest-time.

    The time between the spring-equinox and the next fullmoon was depending of the length of the “zero-time” in autumn, different every year (between zero to 27days).

    For the people, these days (between springequinox and 1st fullmoon) were the time to finish now the work at their spiritual seed for this year, and at the point they were now with their transcendation-work, to make the last polishing: At the 1st fullmoon after springequinox, this “spiritual seed” was planted in form of spoken prayers in the sky [distorted christian meaning: Jesus goes into the sky], and also in form of a “be-prayed” egg in the Earth under a tree [from which the christian habit with the painted (perfected) easter-eggs in the garden]:

    Sky is air, and represents on the spiritual level also the human’s mind, intellect [see e.g. also the Tarot, Swords, air, thinking].
    The correct view is that the sky, human’s mind, has to reflect the Earth, or more exact: the correctly alligned way of life on Earth. Human’s mind has to be adapted to the conditions of the Earth and the Nature (nature including the sun, moon and the stars).

    The goal was finally on a practical level not to exaggerate in nothing, to develop humility and compassion, to foster a type of respectful oneness-spirit-mind in the people, not only limited to the humans themselves, but including all beings [altruistic and holistic attitude], thus also the beingnesses of the spiritual level of existence, like the of the already mentioned beingness of the nothingness, or the of the darkness, or the of the light.

    So, what was done at the 1st fullmoon after the springequinox in a big celebration, that was that the people put prayers for the whole into the “sky” (the mind-space): less egoistic and egocentric intentions, more heartful intentions, more sage intentions, wiser intentions, altruistic intentions, oneness-spirited intentions.
    For oneself, they “planted” their over the last autumn&winter prepared “spiritual seed” for the coming bright season, that happened in form of a during the night with that energy beprayed egg. An egg was given to all participators of that ceremony, and charged that night with all th energies that one had developed while the meditations of autumn&winter, and then “planted” in the nature, under a tree, a rock or akin appropriate place.

    The “fruits” of this seed were then “harvested” with the harvest-feast of autumn-equinox in special ceremonies&exercises, in which one reflected in the circle of the village the positive contributions that one had given to the whole community during the year — the personal raising compared to the year before.
    This way, year for year, the harmony of the villages was fostered and grew.

    From where comes the idea to paint and hide eggs – already by themselves a symbol of the birth, also assigned to the East – becomes clear now (in the past, they were, charged with the personal prayers, put in the morning of the ceremony in little holes under a tree); the easter-rabbit is taken from the germanic wintergoddess Skadi, which was also represented in one of her aspects as white rabbit.

    The version with a germanic springtime-goddess with name Ostara is from the Brothers Grimm of the 18th century, based on the church-historian “Venerable Bede” [672-735], an anglosaxon Benedictine monk, who mentions in his textes as root of the word “Eastern” an alledgedly germanic goddess with the name of “Eostrae”.

    Christian Eastern has also nothing to do with Ishtar. Jesus and the old testament may have their roots in elder myths from the palestinian corner and india, but the practical rituals of today’s catholic church are from the celtic culture. in the Celtic culture, where the “sex&fertility”-rituals are in autumn (sex is before the pregnancy, pregnancy is winter).

    It calls Eastern because in the circle of life (celtic cross-wheel), spring-equinox is in the east, and it is the East-(Full)Moon-ritual, “the planting of the spiritual seed that was prepared&perfected over the autumn&winter”. In the precise fullmoonnight after spring-equinox, it was done with a during the night beprayed or charged egg, “planted” under a tree (from there the painted/ perfected egg tradition in the garden), that also symbolized birth. This way, the people every year became better.


    I wish us all a fine celebration for the next fullmoon, and a peaceful, joyful, beautiful, loveful, conscious and also protected spring&summer, may our spiritual seed give good fruits being good medicine for our sisters&brothers, children, elders, ancestors, Mother Earth, and also for ourselves. May every breath be a ceremony, a celebration of existence and love&thankfulness for the life. May our steps, our acts and our words, our thoughts and our emotions always be medicine for the whole.

    • moonwolf23 April 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

      You got your information from Llewellyn didn’t you?

      Better source, bit outdated, but still a better source than whatever tripe you got off of Llewellyn

    • curt russell October 18, 2014 at 1:15 am #

      religion is not about reason or sense? 1 John 4:1
      “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” would you not need reason or sense for that?
      2 Corinthians 13:5 “Keep testing whether you are in the faith; keep proving what you yourselves are.” or perhaps that? you make it seem like it does not matter what you believe but the bibles message is very pointed about how to worship god. I am just saying that you should give the bible a lot more thought then a pretty piece of furniture or jewelery. rather its a way of living. that is why early Christians were killed in masses and oppressed. because the bible is true. would you be interested in learning about what it teaches?

  3. Constantine S Lawrence April 24, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    Sorry Haran. You have gone to lengths trying to prove that Easter is Holy Etc. etc… The truth is the Lord Jesus Christ rose up and it is signified by Resurrection not Easter and what was shared by Umas was absolutely correct. I challenge anyone to disprove what I write here. What has buuny got to do with Resurrection and what has eggs got to do with resurrection? Easter is a pgan festival and as Christian we should celebrate Passover because Jesus became the Passover Lamb for us. My namesake King was drunk with power so much so he mixed up everything as he did to the birth of Christ. Do you know Christ was never born in December but in September. Constantine made a mockery of Christ birth as he did for HIS death and resurrection

    • Aotan April 25, 2014 at 12:49 am #

      You forget that Christianity was not only practiced in the Roman Empire. Christians outside of Rome, who were Christian before the Roman Empire and were not influenced by it, still celebrate all their holidays on the same dates as ‘Roman’ Christians. Ethiopians, Armenians and most importantly of all the Assyrian Church of the East have Christmas, Pascha, etc all at the same times yet Constantine could never have controlled them or told them what to do. They disagree with the ‘Roman’ western Christians on a lot of things but they have never disputed Christmas, Pascha, etc.

      • Presbyter April 25, 2014 at 1:42 am #

        About time that someone noted this.

        [Minor quibble – which Roman Empire? If you are writing about the one that occupied most of the Mediterranean coastlands in much of 1 century BCE and a few centuries after, that was well established by the time Jesus lived; in fact much of the confusion of his disciples was that they thought that he was going to overthrow that empire, and occupy the throne of David, and rule over a restored Israel. If you are referring to the Holy Roman Empire, that didn’t begin to exist until 800 CE, when Karl der Grosse (Charlemagne) was crowned as its 1st Emperor.]

        However, your basic point is correct. Christianity very quickly spread into non-Roman occupied lands in parts of Asia and North Africa, and developed independently of Rome. And yes, they agree on Pascha (Easter) (Christmas is a different issue, as it arrived considerably later in the churches’ (all of them) calendars.) Nevertheless, at the present time, there is disagreement among churches on the dating of both Christmas and Easter. In the case of Christmas churches that run their liturgical calendar on the (older) Julian calendar have Christmas in early January, 6 or 7 (and that will continue to slip), while churches that date their liturgical year on the Gregorian calendar celebrate it on December 25. As for Pascha (Easter), the calculation of “the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the vernal equinox” is generally correct, except that some of the Orthodox Churches add the additional requirement that Easter has to come after the Jewish Passover can make their Easter as much as a month later than that of the Western churches.

        But all of that quibbling over dates (and names) that has preoccupied so many people posting on this post misses the basic point. The dates and names are, for all but fundamentalist Christians (a very small minority) adiaphoral = things indifferent, and not important. What matters and is important is WHAT is being celebrated. When you scrape off the shepherds, angelic choirs, wise men and camels, and all the Hallmark card accretions, what Christians celebrate is that God gave enough of a damn about humanity to become human as a helpless baby, and to live as one of humanity, as a model of what it is to be human. And Easter celebrates that God cared so much that this human Jesus, fully human and fully divine, died a very nasty human death, and after 3 days became present again to his disciples in a way that was both seemingly human, and yet also not. All of the theology about incarnation and resurrection comes from centuries of reflection and deep thought about the meaning of what the followers of Jesus experience and reported.

        In the end, that is what Christians celebrate in Christmas and Easter, and believe happened at Christmas and Easter. Those who think that by demonstrating that the word Easter (in English, and cognately in German, only!) is derived from the name of an ancient goddess, and that Christmas’ date got picked because it was near the winter solstice, they can persuade Christian to abandon their faith obviously have no clue about what Christianity is really about.

      • curt russell October 18, 2014 at 1:21 am #

        there were no Christians until john the baptist started prophesying about Jesus and baptizing people. that was in 28 or 29 ce. well in to the establishment of the roman empire.

  4. Ralph Ellis April 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Actually, Easter and the Easter-egg came from the Egyptian Isis.

    In Egyptian Isis was called Ast or Est, from which we derive Ester or Easter (referring to a star or the heavens). And remember that Isis-Est was a fertility goddess, as much as she was the Queen of Heaven.

    And the Easter-egg came from the spelling, because Est was spelt with the easter-egg glyph. So yes, there are associations with fertility in the symbology of Est (Isis). Oh, and Ishtar (Isht-ar) came from the Egyptian Est (Isis), and not the other way around.


    • Ralph Ellis April 27, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

      Thanks, Penny Simpson (see comment a few posts above).


      Just to clarify this point, Easter is from the Germanic ast-ron meaning ‘dawn’ and a goddess of that name – who was derived from Ast or Est (the Egyptian Isis).

      It was on the dawn of the spring equinox that the stellar observations for the Precession of the Equinox were made, which determined the Great Month we are in. In AD 10 the Great Month of Aries (lamb) ended and the Great Month of Pisces (fish) began. That is why Jesus was born as a Lamb of God (Aries) but became a Fisher on Men (Pisces). Judaism and Nazarene Christianity were all astrological, but the Church covered this up.

      Est (Isis) was the Queen of Heaven, and so it was at the spring equinox that the priesthood looked to the East at Easter, the festival of Est or Isis, and determined the Astrological Age (the Great Month). See Matthew 24:3 (below) – but this verse actually says ‘end of the age’ and not ‘end of the world’. (Gr: aion, meaning ‘age’)

      You might say astrology has nothing to do with Judaism, but you would be wrong. This is the Hamat Teverya zodiac from a synagogue on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, dating from the 1st or 3rd century AD.

      Note that the head of the central Jesus-Helios figure points at the conjunction of Aries and Pisces (or AD 10). Note also that Jesus-Helios is holding a blue spherical Earth in his gravitational grip. The astronomical knowledge of this era was astounding.

      Originally, astrology was the most central element of Judaism and early Nazarene Christianity – which is why the disciples were asking Jesus about the precession of the equinox (the Great Ages or Great Months) in Math 24:3

      “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the Age?” Math 24:3

      In reality, the disciples wanted to know which sign (Great Month) of the precessional zodiac would be dominant at Jesus’ birth and which would be dominant when that Great Month ended. The answer was Aries (lamb) for the birth and Aquarius (water carrier) at the end of Pisces (in about AD 2500).

      See Luke 22:10. The ‘house’ where the water bearer would go, was an astrological house, not a domestic house.

      Ralph Ellis
      See “Cleopatra to Christ” or “King Jesus”

      The 1st century Hamat Teverya zodiac from Tiberias.

      • Ralph Ellis April 28, 2014 at 7:00 am #

        Thinking about it …. it is more likely that ‘Easter’ was derived from Esther, the Jewish Queen of Persia and the Queen of the Stars. Clearly, Esther was an incarnation of Est, the Egyptian Isis. And we know that the Jews venerated Isis as the Queen of Heaven (Queen of the Stars), as that is the central debate in the Book of Jeremiah.

      • moonwolf23 April 28, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

        No, Esther was a Jewish woman, not an incarnation of Isis. http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/esther-midrash-and-aggadah

      • sallyann simp April 28, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

        Really like that amplification using astrological knowledge of the time, makes a lot of sense! Judao-hebreu tradition has a lot in it. I never saw/realised that Esther could be incarnation of Est either (pardon the play on words!). There is so much lost knowledge and too many people willing to just shovel/smusch it all together rather than unpick it and really see how it was all interconnected. Once again, many thanks for your insights.   Penny S

    • Aotan April 30, 2014 at 3:29 am #

      Actually the Egyptians called her something *S*T. They didn’t write vowels (*), so it could’ve been Asat, Osot, Asot, Eset, Iset or any of the other several dozen other combinations of vowels (remember, other languages have different vowels) possible. For convenience, Egyptolists have settled on “Aset” – Ast and Est aren’t even ‘contenders’ for the pronunciation of the name.

      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 5:35 am #

        >>Actually the Egyptians called her something *S*T.


        Both Ast (Isis) and Asar (Osiris) were sometimes spelt with the reed glyph, so we know that the throne glyph was pronounced with an Anglicised ‘Y’ or ‘Ee’. And while pedants will say that the reed glyph is not a vowel, it is still pronounced as an ‘Y’ or ‘Ee’.

        So Ast was pronounced Yst, Ist or Eest, from which the Greeks derived Isis (with a prefixed ‘I’).


    • curt russell October 18, 2014 at 1:29 am #

      when the Israelite adopted pagan gods and started worshiping them, god abandoned them and let the nations run over them. when it got really bad he allowed Babylon to eliminate Jerusalem. when the Israelites worshiped only Jehovah and according to the way he instructed them they were blessed with peace security and their own land which no one could take from them because god protected them. since it is also noted in the bible that god dose not change, would it be perfectly reasonable to conclude that god today hates the idols and images Christians have adopted from pagan roots such as the cross, Easter bunny and the Christmas tree?

  5. Damien A. April 28, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Easter is called Pâques. Coming from the Greek pascha in hebrew pessach which is Passover in english.

    Catholicism has never used the English in the bible days, there is NO way you can use a pagan god and say “ho, the sound is the same so it comes from there” and all your other explanations are plain rubbish.

    • Ralph Ellis April 29, 2014 at 4:02 pm #


      You are comparing apples and pairs – Pessach has nothing to do with Easter (apart from the date). You argument is like saying Christmas and Yule-tide are the same word. Nu-uh.

      The Germanic and English word for Easter quite obviously has a different lineage from Pessach and Passover. As you can see, the English language does know the word ‘Passover’, and it is not the same word as ‘Easter’.

      Easter came from Esther, who was an incarnation of Isis, who was called Est.


      • moonwolf23 April 29, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

        The word Easter comes from the Germanic Goddess Eostre. Easter the holiday comes from the Jewish holiday Pesach.

        face palm. Quit reading ancient alien type bad sources

      • Damien A. April 29, 2014 at 8:16 pm #

        Ralph >>>

        What I am saying is not a scream, just saying that in a friendly way Easter is a Christian thing therefore you cannot use the English etymology to explain it, the Isis stuff has nothing to do with it, let me drop a new theory then:

        Easter as in east, where the sun is reborn everyday therefore Christ is reborn as the sun does at the east >>> Easter , problem solved.

      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 5:19 am #

        >>The word Easter comes from the Germanic Goddess Eostre.
        >>Easter the holiday comes from the Jewish holiday Pesach.

        In which case, you have not discovered the etymology for ‘Easter’, which is what we are looking for ! **facepalm **

      • moonwolf23 April 30, 2014 at 5:27 am #

        Please don’t talk about etymology, as you clearly don’t know what it means. You also show a shocking lack of understanding about the culture of Jews, and Egyptians. You are trying to fit this stuff into a niche that it doesn’t belong and doing an injustice to both.

        It’s already been established that Easter is a Germanic, English word for the holiday that became the Christian Pesach. The root word didn’t come from Isis, who Aoton already told you, you didn’t pronounce right. It didn’t come from Ishtar, as has been demonstrated by the article and many commenter’s.

      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 5:24 am #

        >>Easter as in east, where the sun is reborn everyday therefore
        >>Christ is reborn as the sun does at the was = Easter.

        You are getting there, slowly.

        Jesus was born under the Eastern Star (the Judaic Star Prophesy).

        The Eastern Star = Venus.
        Venus = Aphrodite
        Aphrodite = Ashtoreth
        Ashtoreth = Ast (Est, or Isis).

        As I say, you are getting there.

        And the Etymology is Egypto-Aramaic, not English.


      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 5:37 am #

        >>Easter as in east, where the sun is reborn everyday therefore
        >>Christ is reborn as the sun does at the was = Easter.

        All you need to know, is that it was Mary who was Isis, not Jesus (wrong sex and all that).


      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 10:18 am #

        >>The root word didn’t come from Isis, who Aoton already
        >>told you, you didn’t pronounce right.

        Except that Aoton got the Egyptian pronunciation completely wrong because he/she did not realize that Asar and Ast can be spelt with a reed glyph, which denotes ‘Y’ or ‘Ee’.

        Thus we have the original pronunciation for Isis, and it is either Eest or Yist from whom we derive Easter and the Easter-egg (because her name is spelt with the egg-glyph).

        I think you are 4 km east of Giza (in de-nile).


      • moonwolf23 April 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm #


        And according to this, which she sources, your pronouncing it wrong. I’m not the one in the nile delta of denial. here.

      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

        >>And according to this, your pronouncing it wrong.

        Firstly, it is not .


        Secondly, this Isadora backs up everything I said. The leading prefix is the reed-glyph ‘Ee’, giving Eest (Isis).

        And you can forget the second ‘e’ in her Eeset, because all the subsidiary spellings do not use this so-called “Egyptologist’s spacer” (if in doubt, they add an ‘e’ spacer).

        Thus we have:
        Eest …… which became Ast. Thence:
        Ashtoreth, …… and:
        Eeshtar (Ishtar)

        Notice any secondary ‘e’ here? No. We do not see Ashetoreth or Ishetar.


        So thank you for finding a fairly well written article that backs up what I said. The original pronunciation for Isis was Eest or Ist, with a subsidiary and less popular pronunciation of Ast.

        (Ast with a glottal stop, which I cannot pronounce, no matter how hard I try).


      • moonwolf23 April 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

        Ashtorethis Caananite, and has a different pronunciation. Not to mention, the Goddesses have a markedly different feeling.http://tessdawson.blogspot.com/2012/08/oh-my-goddess-es-identities-of-inanna.html

        Athiratu, feels different then Asherah, I can tell you. Athiratu is Caananite with all that culture. She is more Queen there. Asherah is more Hebrew, and feels like a matriarch Jewish woman and a lot more approachable.(my UPG backed up by William Devers Did God have a wife book, he shows that the Hebrews viewed her differently)

        This is how Innana was viewed.

        They are not Isis.

        You are disrespecting those cultures and you need to knock it off. None of those cultures are Germanic either. Eostre would definately feel a lot different than those Goddess, who at least have somewhat of a similar background. Eostre has a different culture. Eostre comes from the Germanic culture where women were not afraid to pick up a sword and kick butt.

      • moonwolf23 April 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

        You didn’t read the writing then did you. The pronounciation was not what you are saying. The writer clearly said it was “Ees-Ees.” pinches nose. She also goes on to show with greek and coptic.

        Also, Isis was a later version of the Goddess. Aset was the original, but even that is debatable.http://qednofretaset.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/isis-and-aset/ Whereas this devotee disagrees. http://isiopolis.com/2012/01/21/are-isis-iset-the-same-goddess/

        You are ignoring the cultures and the myths. It’s disrespectful as hell. Isis is not the darn easter egg for crying out loud.

      • moonwolf23 April 30, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

        ANd to top it all off, you made me cite Tess Dawson. GROWLS

      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

        >>And according to this, your pronouncing it wrong.

        Firstly, it is { you’re } and not { your }.


        Secondly, this Isadora backs up everything I said. The leading prefix is the reed-glyph ‘Ee’, giving Eest (Isis).

        And you can forget the second ‘e’ in her Eeset, because all the subsidiary spellings do not use this so-called “Egyptologist’s spacer” (if in doubt, they add an ‘e’ spacer).

        Thus we have:
        Eest …… which became Ast. Thence:
        Ashtoreth, …… and:
        Eeshtar (Ishtar)

        Notice any secondary ‘e’ here? No. We do not see Ashetoreth or Ishetar.


        So thank you for finding a fairly well written article that backs up what I said. The original pronunciation for Isis was Eest or Ist, with a subsidiary and less popular pronunciation of Ast.

        (Ast with a glottal stop, which I cannot pronounce, no matter how hard I try).


  6. Ralph Ellis April 29, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

    >>No, Esther was a Jewish woman, not an incarnation of Isis.

    I don’t think you understand.

    The Jews worshipped many deities, and one of the prime goddesses of Israel was the Queen of Heaven. But the QofH is a well-known name for Isis, who was the QofH and therefore the Queen of the Stars.

    The following is an account of the exiles from Jerusalem, who refused to stop worshipping the QofH (i.e. Isis):

    But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. Jeremiah 44:17-18

    The Queen of Sheba was also an incarnation of Isis, because in Egyptian ‘Malka Sheba’ means Queen of the Stars, or Isis.

    The Christians also worshipped Isis and Horus, but they just called them “Madonna and Child” instead:

    So Queen Esther (Princess of Israel and Queen of Persia) was indeed an incarnation of Isis, just as all the Israelite queens were. And we have a good idea that this is true because her name was not Esther.

    She was actually called Hadassah, and thus Esther was merely a title. So her name was really Hadassah Esther, or Hadassah Est, or Hadassah Isis.


    If you want to understand Judaism and Christianity, you have look to Egypt. It is all there – all of it.


    • moonwolf23 April 29, 2014 at 8:08 pm #

      Isis is not Ishtar, those are two seperate Goddesses. The Queen of Heaven that the Jews supposedly worshipped if you read William Dever, would be Asherah, not Ishtar.

    • moonwolf23 April 29, 2014 at 8:13 pm #

      If you want to understand Egypt, than I suggest you actually look at Egyptology. If you can’t go to the Archaeologists, than at least read the Kemetics.

      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 5:29 am #


        Egyptologists and archaeologists will not read the Tanakh, so what would they know about it?

      • moonwolf23 April 30, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

        0.0 Seriously????? They do read it, in the Greek, Hebrew, Coptic and various other languages that they take.

      • ralfellis April 30, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

        >>They do read it, in the Greek, Hebrew, Coptic

        Nonsense. I have debated this subject with many historians, and their knowledge and understanding of the Tanakh and Talmud is the square root of zero.

        One even said that Moses did not marry a Nubian princess. Derrrrrr.

        People like Bill Dever are not qualified to debate the historicity of the Old or New Testaments.


      • moonwolf23 May 1, 2014 at 5:08 am #

        Yeah no. Dever has quoted several Jewish sources when writing his books. He has been able to show his logic without name calling.

        idiot and Moron are words you have resorted to. Then you follow up, with he isn’t qualified to debate the old or new testaments. smh. Not only is he more qualified, he cites his sources, which you have yet to do. He isn’t trying to shove a marble in a small dice sized hole and saying, seee seeee it fits my overly mistranslated holy book. If you have to force the logic to make it fit your preconceived notion, than you really should stop making it fit and try to actually perceive what the message is.

        Don’t even try to argue the Bible hasn’t been mistranslated.

      • Ralph Ellis May 1, 2014 at 9:37 am #

        >>Not only is he more qualified, he cites his sources, which
        >>you have yet to do.

        Here is a historian – Bill Dever – who has ignored the greatest and most prolific historian in Jewish history — Josephus Flavius. And Dever does not even bother to inform his readers that he is deliberately refusing to use the greatest source for Judaean history. (Josephus Flavius – a historian who says that the Jews were the Hyksos pharaohs of Egypt.)

        You only have a few choices here. Either Dever is:

        a. Deliberately deceiving his readers, for some unknown religio-political purpose.

        b. An idiot who has not read ‘Antiquities of the Jews’.

        So which is it – is Dever a deceiver or an idiot? You tell me. My experience with other archaeologists would suggest the latter, but I would be interested to know which applies.


      • moonwolf23 May 1, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

        That historian has issues. One, he wrote in a time where you couldn’t say the whole truth about your politicians until either they were dead or another party was in power, so anything you wrote was tinged with public relations.

        He wasn’t there to witness the stuff. It was second or third hand, or flat out heresay and rumor mongering.

        Seriously I shouldn’t have to spell that out, it’s common sense to anyone who loves history.

        Dever is a humanist who has more respect for Christian apologists than he does for revisionist liberals. You on the other hand have a giant axe to grind. So far you aren’t making yourself more intelligent. But do continue on, trying to bash his character.

      • Ralph Ellis May 1, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

        >>Josephus has issues.

        Now you are just being obtuse. We all know that Josephus was often writing spin.

        However, to write that the Jews were actually Egyptians is hardly orthodox Judaic spin. And this did not benefit his Roman patrons either. Likewise Josephus’ assertion that Abraham had an army at least 30,000 strong.

        Where Josephus strays from the orthodox Judaic script in this manner, is where we can begin to see elements of pure historical truth shining through, for these assertions were certainly of no benefit to himself of the Judaic community.


      • moonwolf23 May 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

        So because Josephus deviates from the Orthodox Jews, it must have a ring of truth? Because historians discount it, they must be grinding a political axe.

        Ok bub. Let me see if I get the ancient Bible right. Abraham, the guy who was going to sacrifice his son Issac until God relented. He had an army of 30 thousand strong???? This Abraham who was a nomadic Shepard? Pray tell, how the hell is he going to feed that many men(ignoring his family and their families?) and continue to feed them for a long while, because they certainly didn’t hit Caanan or the cities for a bit..

        Go read up on military logistics and come back when you get a clue on why that is very hard to do. Especially in an arid environment, like the middle east happens to be.

  7. Ralph Ellis April 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    >>No, Esther was a Jewish woman, not an incarnation of Isis.

    I don’t think you understand – No2.

    Please do bear in mind that the Israelites came from Egypt, and so much of their theology was originally Egyptian. Including the Israelite veneration of the astrological zodiac.

    Indeed, if you look closely at the text of the Torah, it is likely that many of the patriarchs were Hyksos pharaohs of Egypt. And this is not as crazy as it sounds. Josephus Flavius, Judaism’s greatest historian, said exactly this – that the Israelites were the Hyksos pharaohs. And if you look at the records, this does seem likely:

    Yacob was probably Pharaoh Yacoba.
    Abraham was probably Pharaoh Mam-Aybre.
    Ram was probably Pharaoh Ramesses.
    Amminadab was probably Pharaoh Amen-Nesbanebdjed.
    Nahshon was probably Pharaoh Nemneshu.
    Salmon was probably Pharaoh Siamun.
    Boaz was probably Pharaoh B-uasorkon.
    Obed was probably Pharaoh Amenem-Opet.

    And Zion was probably Zoan, the capital city of the Hyksos pharaohs (or Tanis).

    etc: etc:

    Ralph Ellis
    Please see: Solomon, Pharaoh of Egypt.

    • moonwolf23 April 29, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

      Yeah, no. I think you would need to go see better sources. William Dever has written quite a bit on the Jews.

      • Ralph Ellis April 30, 2014 at 5:51 am #

        >> William Dever has written quite a bit on the Jews.

        Yeah, but Denver is an idiot of the first order.

        Here is a professor who has never noticed that:-

        Josephus Flavius says that the Israelites were the Hyksos.
        The history of the Hyksos is the same as the Israelites.
        The Exodus of the Hyksos is the same as the Israelites.

        ** The Hyksos–Israelite Exodus **

        Both were known as shepherds.
        Both wore earrings and curly side-locks of hair
        Both had kings called Jacoba or Yakoba.
        Both were involved in a war with the Theban Egyptians.
        Both experienced storms and darkness (Tempest stele)
        Both experienced an ashfall.
        Both say that 250,000 or 500,000 were ejected from Egypt on a great exodus.
        Both set off from Pi Ramesse (Avaris).
        Both travelled to Jerusalem.
        Both destroyed Jericho.

        So how has Bill Dever never noticed these similarities, even after Josephus Flavius pointed at them and claimed they were one and the same?? As I say, Dever is an idiot.


      • moonwolf23 April 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

        Not academic
        More academic oriented

        Everything I have seen so far, in regards to your theory, is from questionable sources.

      • Ralph Ellis May 1, 2014 at 9:43 am #


        Oh, brilliant.

        So you cite a blog discussion, that says that Bill Dever cannot find evidence for the Exodus in the 13th – 12th centuries BC.

        Well he would not would he ?!? The stupid pratt is looking in the wrong era.

        Josephus Flavius clearly states that the Exodus happened in the 16th century BC (i.e.: it was the Hyksos Exodus, from Pi Ramesse to Jerusalem). And there is PLENTY of evidence for the Hyksos Exodus.

        As I said before, Bill Dever is an idiot, and there is no point quoting idiots as evidence.


    • a burke May 12, 2014 at 1:43 am #

      Lest ye forget (get it? L est?) There have always been 12 tribes and perhaps even 13 if one counts Dinah which brings us the story of a Rabbi and His 13 apostles if you count Mary Magdelene? And Ishtar? She likes her children burnt to a crisp.

      • curt russell October 19, 2014 at 12:44 am #

        there were 13 tribes. the levites were the 13th tribe but they were not given a land inheritance like the others were. they were bestowed as the temple priests and no other blood line could ever replace the levite priesthood.

  8. Jay April 30, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    Here is what is said about Easter in http://incmedia.org/content/easter/ and more about christianity in

  9. Ralph Ellis May 1, 2014 at 10:02 am #

    >>The pronounciation was not what you are saying.
    >>The writer clearly said it was “Ees-Ees.”

    “Ees-Ees” (i.e.: Isis) is the Greek transliteration of Eest, with a standard Greek ‘es’ suffix. Nothing to do with the Egyptian pronunciation.

    If you don’t know that, you are not worth debating with.


  10. Sabrina Matthews May 2, 2014 at 3:57 am #

    You forgot to write, “Bam!” at the end…

    Seriously, nice piece.

  11. James June 13, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    Sorry, but your completely wrong. Who paid you for this blasphemous page?

  12. automacao email marketing June 20, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    Muy bueno tu blog y estoy siguiendo su cargo por un largo tiempo!

  13. Kyalie September 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    As an absolute atheist and big fan of mythologies, I facepalmed hard at the picture. Ishtar pronounced Easter, yeah sure, so it’s Easter in all other languages as well then? Obviously, being a French, my first reaction was “what about Pâques then?”. Plus the only link they could have found between Jesus and Ishtar they happily discarded it: “you didnt think eggs and bunnies had anything to do with resurrection right?”. Stupid asshole, you just said that she was a goddess of fertility! Do you know how spring and fertility are usually represented? By a god dying and being reborned! Persephone, Dionysus, Osiris… And guess what, Ishtar as well when she is imprisoned by her sister!
    But how would they know when it’s obvious they know nothing about how myths and religions have spread…

  14. dave September 12, 2014 at 3:06 am #

    Wow identifying as an atheist, got the set to do that in person? On the local news poll?

    Bet not…

    Thabks for the article OP. I was taught an exact melding.

    Eastara was the goddess of the barbarians of sex and bunnies. Must of been a mixup at seminary. It happens.

    I hope to someday meet a real person who is so eager to claim to be an atheist. I think it would make for a great conversation and maybe a new friend! As they say fortune favors the bold.

  15. 1weaver September 29, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    wow, I am awfully late to this party but I just have to say: I love love LOVE this post. amen to all of it!

  16. Quidinish November 15, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

    But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23,24

    It’s no good celebrating untruth, whether it’s Ishtar, Oestre, Saint Nicholas, or any other false god, worship The True God, Jehovah.

    • ralfellis November 16, 2014 at 7:47 am #

      >>worship The True God, Jehovah

      But that is the trouble. The god of the Torah is actually called Adon. Try reading it in the Hebrew. In other words, this is the Aton, the god of Pharaoh Akhenaton.


      • chrismerc March 21, 2015 at 4:21 am #

        Sorry Ralph incorrect… First of all it is Adonai which means “The Lord” or “My Great Lord”.

        Jehovah was an incorrect translation by a German translator in the 16th century. It is derived from YHVH which is God’s name given to Moses in the Torah.

      • ralfellis March 25, 2015 at 7:57 am #

        >>First of all it is Adonai which means “The Lord”

        Yes, and “The Lord” is a reference to god.
        And the form Adon is used in Jos 3:11, Jos 3:13, Ps 105:21 and Ps 114:7.
        And Adon was derived from the Egyptian Aton or Adon, the god of Pharaoh Akhenaton.


  17. dbp49 November 16, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    Love it all, and as soon as I read the claim of Ishtar, the little voice in my head said, “Eostre is going to be rather upset at these guys, they’ll be lucky if she doesn’t come and reproduce all over their heads or something!” Lol.

  18. Pagan December 13, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Two links that argue for the link between Easter and Ishtar


    • penny December 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

      This is a response to that christian article about linking Easter and Eostre. It refers to the flood as being God’s divine wrath being sent down on the world due to all the wickedness in it. Just maybe, there was severe climate change at that time, whether that is related to the wrath of God, or to cosmic events such as a meteor hitting earth and causing widespread climatic consequences, is debatable at best.

      • ralfellis December 14, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

        >>It refers to the flood as being God’s divine
        >>wrath being sent down on the world

        Only an evil god would kill people.
        God must be the devil.


      • penny December 14, 2014 at 4:02 pm #

        Yeah, it’s enough to make you wonder; we can all get caught in the trap that “God made man in his image”, so are we divine or are we devils??!!, or is the whole thing just totally solipsistic.

  19. Mrrda January 5, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

    The english language is the language of the fallen angels.

    Easter = ishtar. Wordplay is mockery of God, just like every other aspect of european cultures

  20. Bob Ryan March 26, 2015 at 8:21 pm #

    Dear sir, You know not of which you speak.


  1. Is It Easter? | Small Town World - March 29, 2013

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You (bellejarblog.wordpress.com) […]

  2. | FACT CHECK: Easter’s dark side: ISHTAR! | | truthaholics - March 30, 2013

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You (bellejarblog.wordpress.com) […]

  3. » This is Ishtar: Pronounced “Easter” Carpe Scriptura - March 30, 2013

    […] you’re interested in learning a bit more about the Ishtar graphic or the origins of Easter, The Belle Jar blog has a pretty good post covering the […]

  4. Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You | The Asatru Community Blog - March 30, 2013

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You. […]

  5. Merry Eggmass! | The Blog of Baphomet - March 30, 2013

    […] http://bellejarblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/easter-is-not-named-after-ishtar-and-other-truths-i-hav… […]

  6. Mean As Jesus | Chamblee54 - March 30, 2013

    […] let people look at pictures. There is one more quote, and it sort of fits in with this. It is from Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You. If you read the post, you can get the full story. “Look, go ahead and debate religion. Go […]

  7. Between Good Friday and Easter: A Muslim Meditation on Christ and Resurrection | What Would Muhammad Do? - March 31, 2013

    […] Good Friday that I care about has little to do with candy and the Easter Bunny.   I am thoroughly uninterested in “fundamentalist atheists” trying to connect Easter to fertility cults.   No, I care about what Good Friday and Easter have […]

  8. No, kids, Easter is not named after Ishtar… - March 31, 2013

    […] Belle Jar has more history of both pagan and christian and mythology and more: […]

  9. Cue the Semi-Educated, Liberal Attacks on Easter as Pagan - March 31, 2013

    […] that you’ve read this far, I’ll let the Belle Jar blog- who totally debunks the  “pagan” Easter thing making its way on Facebook- lecture […]

  10. Weekly Linkroll | M. Fenn - March 31, 2013

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You If you’re going to make a big deal about how a Christian holiday is really pagan, you might want to get your facts straight, Mr. Dawkins. The Belle Jar sets him straight. […]

  11. Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar ~ Belle Jar | Stop Making Sense - March 31, 2013


  12. A New Easter Tradition | Wild Webmink - March 31, 2013

    […] When the children were small, Easter eggs were a repeat of the excitement of Christmas. But now they are adults, I’ve decided we need a new Easter tradition that’s safer than all that sugar and more authentic than eggs. […]

  13. Follow Up and Response to Easter/Ishtar/Eostre Silliness | The Northern Grove - March 31, 2013

    […] The point was to address the meme going around the internet that states incorrectly that the word Easter derives from Ishtar.  So perhaps it’s my own error in not being more clear. (Incidentally, I am far from the only person taking issue with this meme, by all means read Megan McArdle’s article and the Belle Jar Blog). […]

  14. Spring Fever | Stone of Destiny - April 1, 2013

    […] The “Correcting Misinformation” post, which seeks to fix all the mistakes made by people doing shoddy research and posting […]

  15. Potpourri - April 2, 2013

    […] Oops meant to relay this on Sunday: Apparently Easter is not named after Ishtar, though my atheist Facebook friends would beg to […]

  16. Potpourri « How to Articles - April 2, 2013

    […] Oops meant to relay this on Sunday: Apparently Easter is not named after Ishtar, though my atheist Facebook friends would beg to […]

  17. Radio Freethinker Episode 205 – Nuking Korea Edition « Radio Freethinker - April 3, 2013

    […] http://bellejarblog.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/easter-is-not-named-after-ishtar-and-other-truths-i-hav… […]

  18. Spring is in the air! | moderndayzendaddy - April 3, 2013

    […] vital for the successful propagation of all species, have morphed into today’s easter bunny. Here’s a great blog post on the […]

  19. Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You | Fanny Fae - April 4, 2013

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You. […]

  20. Good FUN | FORESTALL - April 5, 2013

    […] .Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You […]

  21. Is Easter pagan? | Catholicism and Adventism - April 12, 2013

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You […]

  22. Mary Magdalene – High Priestess and Sacred Prostitute | Anunnaki Files - April 14, 2013

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You (bellejarblog.wordpress.com) […]

  23. Myths and Explanations | Blacklight Metaphysics - August 3, 2013

    […] by “educating” ignorant Christians on the “facts” of their religions But other people have taken this travesty of history apart pretty well, and that’s not my goal […]

  24. 2013 In Review: Part 1 | The Belle Jar - December 29, 2013

    […] I also wrote another post that went viral, this time about a meme that I kept seeing pop up claiming that the holiday Easter is named after the ancient Babylonian goddess Ishtar. SPOILER ALERT, EASTER IS NOT NAMED AFTER ISHTAR YOU GUYS. […]

  25. Hail, Saint Isidore of Seville! | The Digital Ambler - April 4, 2014

    […] this time every year now claiming that the holiday Easter comes from the ancient goddess Ishtar (which is completely wrong).  Likewise, for all his studies and scholarship, St. Isidore was limited in only what he could […]

  26. Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You « isobelblackthorn - April 16, 2014

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You. […]

  27. Spiritual misogynists, part 2 | Your god is a fraud - April 18, 2014

    […] ‘sacred’ prostitution, if it existed at all and according to what Herodotus wrote (x), was not really prostitution; prostitution is transactional sex in the secular sense, and the […]

  28. on Ishtar, myopic Anglocentrism and sloppy ‘scepticism’… | Brambonius' blog in english - April 19, 2014

    […] here, here and here for some intelligent reactions to refute the claims of this meme, of which the last one […]

  29. Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You | Information Junkie - April 19, 2014

    […] Easter Is Not Named After Ishtar, And Other Truths I Have To Tell You. […]

  30. Happy Sex Goddess Day! - April 20, 2014

    […] are many theories about the origin of the word “Easter” but among the main contenders is that it comes […]

  31. Disliking Easter and Other Christian Conundrums | Take What You Need - April 20, 2014

    […] the Christian calendar makes no logical sense.  Christmas and Easter are not Christian holidays but pagan holidays dressed in Christian garb.  Trying to say otherwise is rewriting history to suit one’s Christian […]

  32. Defending the Time Lord Goddess | Political Rants - April 20, 2014

    […] Old English has no relationship to the Semitic language, there was of course a huge backlash against Dawkins for his inability to fact check. A lot of them tried to say that we […]

  33. ‘Easter Is A Very Strange Egg’ – Not The Words of Bede | The Metropolitan Monk - April 20, 2014

    […] of today is the erroneous picture of Ishtar that has been floating around and criticisms such as this one. The bandwagon of Christian-bashing by atheists etc was well and truly jumped upon, except for […]

  34. Harehopp | Kniplingsdyret - April 20, 2014

    […] ikke uttales «easter» – det er en temmelig pussig tanke) og påsken er ganske tvilsom. Ishtar er ganske riktig gudinne for fruktbarhet og sex (og er beslektet med Inanna og Astarte), […]

  35. The Ishtar = Easter Meme and Pagan Anti-Semitism | The Mundane Mystic - April 20, 2014

    […] is an awesome breakdown of why this is bullshit over at The Belle Jar, posted last year around this time. You can also read the Snopes page about […]

  36. Not-Cross Buns | Fat Bastard, Black Dog - April 21, 2014

    […] if you are interested in some of the 4000+ year background behind Easter, have a read of this article. It’s an opinion piece, not a peer-reviewed research publication or anything, but it’s […]

  37. Not-Cross Buns | Black Dog's Kitchen - April 21, 2014

    […] if you are interested in some of the 4000+ year background behind Easter, have a read of this article. It’s an opinion piece, not a peer-reviewed research publication or anything, but it’s […]

  38. Ishtar, Eostre, Whatever. It Ain’t All About Jesus. | www.gurukalehuru.com - April 21, 2014

    […] and stuff like that, and the eggs and the rabbit are symbols thereof.  Then, today, I found this, from a site called The Belle […]

  39. Leading Lady Links: Gender Wins, Gender Fails, and Unicorns | Strong {Female} Protagonist - April 21, 2014

    […] to real women, this post from The Belle Jar is important for anyone that still thinks Easter is named after Ishtar. […]

  40. Why IP matters in the occult | Your god is a fraud - April 22, 2014

    […] and probably guilt-tripping women into being sexually available to them – such as the idea of “sacred” or “temple” prostitution. Women and minorities are scared away due to the lack of diversity. Why would they want to […]

  41. You say Easter, they say Ishtar, I say Eostre. | - May 20, 2014

    […] was originally in celebration for the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, that is until I discovered that other bloggers have already done an excellent job doing so. Long story short, Ishtar has nothing to do with […]

  42. Shethinkers 35 – Easter Eggs and Orgies | Secular Shethinkers - May 21, 2014

    […] Myth of Ishtar – You’re Doing It Wrong […]

  43. Skeptics Know Fiction VS Non-Fiction | Parents of Color Seek Newborn to Adopt - July 21, 2014

    […] have nothing against religion and love to partake in Christmas (the lights, the pageantry!) and Easter (egg dying anyone?) when the mood strikes. I do have a problem with it being forced down our […]

  44. Sword of Power & Beyond Prostitution: The Sexual Priestess As Priestess | Your god is a fraud - August 6, 2014

    […] Related: The worship of the Goddess – Whores as the Other – Easter is not named after Ishtar, and other truths I have to tell you […]

  45. That is the Wrong Meme | mobius me - March 2, 2015

    […] Check out these blog posts about the meme in question: http://bellejar.ca/2013/03/28/easter-is-not-named-after-ishtar-and-other-truths-i-have-to-tell-you/ or for a pagan perspective: […]

  46. Happy Ishtar or Happy Easter? | Hidden Truth Behind Goddess of Love, War & Sex | Reckon Talk - March 21, 2015

    […] Source […]

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