Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?
The historical evidence contradicts this popular notion.
Anyone encountering anti-Christian polemics will quickly come up against the accusation that a major festival practiced by Christians across the globe-namely, Easter-was actually borrowed or rather usurped from a pagan celebration. I often encounter this idea among Muslims who claim that later Christians compromised with paganism to dilute the original faith of Jesus.
The argument largely rests on the supposed pagan associations of the English and German names for the celebration (Easter in English and Ostern in German). It is important to note, however, that in most other European languages, the name for the Christian celebration is derived from the Greek word Pascha, which comes from pesach, the Hebrew word for Passover. Easter is the Christian Passover festival.
Read the rest of the essay on the ChristianHistory.net blog.