Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Ishtar Bunny

The Encyclopædia Britannica comments: “There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. The sanctity of special times was an idea absent from the minds of the first Christians.”—(1910), Vol. VIII, p. 828.

The Catholic Encyclopedia tells us: “A great many pagan customs, celebrating the return of spring, gravitated to Easter. The egg is the emblem of the germinating life of early spring. . . . The rabbit is a pagan symbol and has always been an emblem of fertility.”—(1913), Vol. V, p. 227.

In the book The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, we read: “What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, . . . as found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. . . . Such is the history of Easter. The popular observances that still attend the period of its celebration amply confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character. The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Pasch or Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now.”—(New York, 1943), pp. 103, 107, 108; compare Jeremiah 7:18.

(Extracted from "Reasoning From the Scriptures", published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)

Jeremiah 7:18 says:  "The sons are picking up sticks of wood, and the fathers are lighting the fire, and the wives are kneading flour dough in order to make sacrificial cakes to the ‘queen of the heavens’; and there is a pouring out of drink offerings to other gods for the purpose of offending me."

So when the Israelites turned to goddess worship it offended the true God, Jehovah.  And the Christian Greek Scriptures tell us that everything written down in the Hebrew Scriptures is for our instruction. We must learn from it.

“ALL the things that were written aforetime were written for our instruction, that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

So we don't celebrate Easter - but we memorialise Jesus'  death as the Bible asks us to do.

The furry fellow in the photo is no Easter/Ishtar bunny - just a fluffy little chap who lives on The Downs. And I hope very much he still does.  Col tells me there were some birds of prey circling.

My blog is nothing but moaning at the moment, as I am suffering this morning from having been out for two hours with young Ronald - note the "young", i.e. his feet and legs work properly - delivering invitations to The Memorial.  We had a lovely time though and talked and talked as we went round.  I did little else but rest my feet when I got back.

I hope to be out again this morning, if I can get the body to work.  Its a grey old day and The Channel is either lost in a sort of sea fret or is so much the same colour as the sky its hard to tell where it starts and ends.

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