Acts 12:4 - Easter Explained

Updated: Sep 18


Thought for the day: When a religious custom is enforced by government edict, that is a sure sign that it is not Christian. It is the very thing Paul was concerned about in his letter to the Galatians.


It is anti-Christian to have a council of men deciding by popular vote what is and what is not Christian doctrine. True Christians rest on the authority of God's infallible Word not the votes of fallible men. While the Council of Nicea issued edicts that offered correct biblical interpretation, that was the cover for the adoption of heathen ideology. For example: the council correctly condemned the error in Arianism, but instituted the celebration of Easter Sunday.



The Council of Nicaea was the first council in the history of the Christian church that was intended to address the entire body of believers. It was convened by the emperor Constantine to resolve the controversy of Arianism, a doctrine that held that Christ was not divine but was a created being.

Arianism was an influential heresy denying the divinity of Christ, originating with the Alexandrian priest Arius ( c. 250– c. 336). Arianism maintained that the Son of God was created by the Father and was therefore neither co-eternal with the Father, nor con-substantial.


The Easter Sunday edict by the Council of Nicea implicitly makes Jesus out to be a liar and a fraud. To suggest that Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday after his supposed crucifixion on Friday, means that Jesus' prophecy of rising from the dead after 3 days and 3 nights did not come true.

Jesus prophesied: "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:40 AV) Between Friday and Saturday are only parts of two days, plus one full day, and only two nights. To say Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose from the dead on Sunday is to deny that Jesus is God, because His prophecy of raising from the dead after 3 days and 3 nights would not have been fulfilled with a Friday burial and a Sunday resurrection.


To add insult to injury, the council of Nicea put the heathen title of "Easter" on the celebration of Jesus' resurrection. Easter is a word derived from the adoration and worship of the pagan queen of heaven "Astarte" or "Ishtar". Hislop states: "What means the term 'Easter' itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean (i.e. Babylonian) origin on its very forehead."

Easter was and is a pagan Spring festival which involved fertility symbols such as eggs and rabbits (allegedly - some argue this is not true). Easter has nothing at all to do with Passover or with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Calling Easter a holiday of the resurrection of Christ is mixing a heathen festival with Christian history." That much a lot of us have heard. Let's keep looking into this....

Easter Sunday is a spiritual seduction whereby people have been convinced to follow the tradition of a Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection, instead of a Biblical account of a Wednesday crucifixion and Saturday resurrection. The false doctrine of a Sunday resurrection misinterprets what took place when the disciples arrived at the tomb on the day after the Sabbath. Jesus had already risen by that time. In fact, the disciples found the tomb empty and an angel told them that Jesus had already risen (Mark 16:1-6). Jesus fulfilled His prophecy that He would rise from the dead exactly 3 days and 3 nights after His burial (Matthew 12:40, 20:19). Christ had risen from the dead late on the Sabbath day before the disciples arrived at the tomb.

One of the favorite attacks by the new Bible version advocates is to claim that the word "Easter" in Acts 12:4 is an example of a mistranslation by the King James translators. They assert that the word pascha should be translated "Passover", not "Easter". Acts 12:4 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV) 4 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.

Acts 12:4 New King James Version (NKJV) 4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four [a]squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.

Bible scholars begin their argument on the right foot, BUT, then stumble on man's wisdom. They correctly note that Easter was and is a pagan spring festival. They correctly assert that Easter has nothing at all to do with Passover or with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because Easter is in fact a Pagan holiday, the new Bible versions translate the Greek word 'pascha' in Acts 12:4 as "Passover", thinking that 'God could not possibly mean to refer to a pagan holiday in His Holy Scriptures.

In Acts 12:4, however, God is not using the word 'pascha' to describe a Christian or Jewish holiday, He is describing the intentions of Herod. Herod intended to wait until the Easter pagan holiday was over before he brought Peter out before the people.


The explanation?

While Passover is one of the possible English translations for pascha, that translation in the context of Acts 12:4 is simply wrong. The more accurate translation is in fact 'Easter', which is the translation found in the KJV. Pascha is a word of Chaldean origin and means either Passover or the pagan festival of Easter. Modern scholars assume that pascha must be translated 'Passover' in Acts 12:4 based solely on the fact that pascha means Passover in all other Biblical passages where it appears. How do we know that the modern scholars are wrong? Herod intended on keeping custody of Peter until after Pascha, per Acts 12:4. Pascha in that passage must mean 'Easter' because Passover had already taken place when Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread. The fourteenth day of the first month of the Jewish calendar is the Passover (Leviticus 23:4-5, Exodus 12:17-18). Passover is immediately followed by the seven days of unleavened bread (Leviticus 23:6-7, Exodus 12:15-16). Because Passover is memorialized with unleavened bread, it and the seven day feast of unleavened bread are both referred to as the feast of unleavened bread (Matthew 26:17, Mark 14:1 and 14:12, Luke 22:1-7, Leviticus 23:6, Exodus 12:17-20). Combining the Passover with the feast of unleavened bread we get eight days of unleavened bread that span from the fourteenth day (Passover) until the 21st day of the first month in the Jewish calendar (Genesis 12:18). In Acts 12:1-4, we see that Peter was taken into custody during the days of unleavened bread that follow Passover, Passover had already taken place. Because Passover had already taken place by that time, it makes no sense for the passage to say that Herod intended to hold Peter until after Passover. The pagan holiday Easter, on the other hand, followed Passover and had not yet occurred.

The KJV translation of the original Greek word 'Pascha', as Easter, is correct. King Herod was a Jew steeped in the Judaic/Babylonian customs of celebrating Easter. Herod intended on holding Peter until after the pagan holiday of 'Easter' that he observed himself.

The history and how these customs made their way in goes wayyyyy back. Nutshell version: Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, conquered the city of Jerusalem and brought the Jews and the treasures of the city back to Babylon. (2 Kings 24:10-16). Ezekiel describes the corruption by the Jewish religious leaders who were adopting the heathen practices of the Babylonian religion. Ezekiel wrote during his captivity in Babylon (Ezekiel 16:15-37).


Notice that 'Egypt' and 'Chaldea' (Babylon) are two of the nations with which Jerusalem had fornicated with; which are the very sources of the heathen practices in the Talmud and Kabbalah (where a lot of Jewish philosophy comes from - they are not just the "Old Testament" followers). This paragraph is important because it helps one to realize how the pagan traditions made their way into Jewish traditions and one wouldn't be shocked Herod was holding Peter until after EASTER - the Pagan holiday. Look how high we today hold this pagan tradition? People freak out if you try to say anything about their traditions. Yikes. Don't shoot the messenger! Just sharing what I've come across because some of this was new information for me. If you've made it this far, here is a little bit more on the Crucifixion and Passover that I found interesting.


Wednesday Jesus was crucified on Passover, which was the 4th day of the week, Wednesday (Matthew 26:2, John 13:1, John 18:28,39). That is why the day Jesus Christ was crucified is referred to as the "preparation of the Passover" and not the "preparation FOR the Passover". The Passover was the preparation day for the unleavened bread sabbath that always follows the Passover. "And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour: and he say unto the Jews, Behold your King!" John 19:14 The day Jesus was crucified was the preparation day before the sabbath (Mark 15:42), which is why many believe it was the sixth day of the week, Friday. What many do not realize is that there were many other Sabbaths throughout the year in addition to the weekly Sabbath. That would mean that there would be many occasions when there would be two sabbath days during some weeks. The week of Jesus' crucifixion was one of those weeks with two sabbaths. We know this to be true because the Bible states that Christ was crucified the day before the "high sabbath" and not the day before the weekly sabbath (John 19:31). Thursday The next day after Jesus' crucifixion was a high sabbath, it was the first day of the seven day feast of unleavened bread and the 5th day of the week, Thursday (John 19:31). Friday The next day, (the 6th day of the week, Friday), the women brought the spices (Mark 16:1) and prepared the spices for Jesus' body (Luke 23:56). The women prepared the spices and ointments before the sabbath (Luke 23:53-24:3 in the Authorized Version), but they did not buy the spices until after the sabbath (Mark 16:1-6 AV). How can one prepare the spices before they are purchased? It would not be possible unless there were two sabbaths. The women prepared the spices before the weekly Sabbath but had purchased them after the unleavened bread sabbath. Those passages point to a Wednesday crucifixion with the unleavened bread sabbath the next day, Thursday, and Christ rising from the dead exactly 3 days and 3 nights later on the weekly Sabbath, Saturday! Whoo! That's a handful to type! The women would have both purchased the spices and prepared them on Friday, which would have been been before the weekly Sabbath on Saturday and after the unleavened bread Sabbath, which was on Thursday. The tomb was found empty on the first day of the week, he did not rise from the dead on Sunday.

Saturday The women rested on the 7th day, Saturday, which was the weekly Sabbath (Luke 23:56). Early the first day of the week, Sunday, they came to the tomb to find it empty and saw an angel who announced that Jesus had already risen (Mark 16:1-6). Just as Jesus prophesied, He rose from the dead precisely 3 days and 3 nights after His burial. While the tomb was found empty on the first day of the week, Sunday, He rose from the dead on the evening of the 7th day, Saturday. To hold that Jesus was crucified and was buried on the 6th day of the week (Friday) and rose from the dead on the first day of the week (Sunday) would be to say Jesus was wrong about His prophecy, because He prophesied that he would be in the tomb 3 days and 3 nights (Matt 12:40). That’s why what days we celebrate is important. The span between the evening of Friday and the early morning of Sunday is not 3 days and 3 nights. However, a Wednesday burial with a Saturday resurrection is exactly 3 days and 3 nights and can be verified by the above mentioned facts.

I guess it's important to mention at some time here that it was the Roman Catholic Church that decided to change times and laws by changing the Sabbath day, or day or rest, from the last day of the week (Saturday) to the first day of the week (Sunday). Maybe I should have pointed that out in the beginning....eeeee. That little change sure has caused some confusion! Snippet from wiki: "Sunday was another work day in the Roman Empire. On March 7, 321, however, Roman Emperor Constantine I issued a civil decree making Sunday a day of rest from labor, stating: All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon the venerable day of the sun." Hmmm....sound like sun worship?! I digress! This is long enough already! Ha! -So I guess my next question is, what excuses do we give to celebrate Easter as we do, believers? Have we hi-jacked a holiday? -Is it ok? -Is it "legalism" to think it's wrong and not want to participate? -Do you find any information presented here to be incorrect? Refuting/rebuking in love is welcome. I know there’s some refutations online about all the Ishtar business. It took us a long time to get here. Being "ok" with everything and making excuses. I've been doing it a long time and continue to do it on certain matters. So I'm not on no high horse, for sure (sad I have to point that out, but those of us who try to share information get accused of this all.the.time.)

This was one of the best explanations of Easter I've seen, personally. So I just wanted to share. Holidays are something I've personally felt convicted about for a couple years now. I'm sure there are others who feel the same, but can't figure out why they "feel" it's wrong.

I don't think we celebrated any holidays last year and it was.....very freeing. I take that back. We did go to a Halloween party of a dear friend....so yeah. It's a struggle. But I have peace because Christ gives me that! He knows our struggles and will continue to work on us. Ephesian 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." Most of the above commentary are excerpts taken from the book: "Solving the Mystery of Babylon the Great" by Edward Hendrie


Above all, rejoice! Because He is Alive!
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