This is the only verse in the Authorized or King James Version of the Bible where the word Easter is mentioned. However, as any authority of the Greek language knows, it is a flagrant mistranslation! The original Greek word here is pascha, meaning "Passover." In every other place in the New Testament where pascha is used, it is always translated "Passover." Examples of this can be found in Matthew 26:2, 17-19; Mark 14:12; and I Corinthians 5:7. Virtually all other translations of the Bible correctly render pascha as "Passover" in Acts 12:4.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, "There is no indication of the observance of the Easter festival in the New Testament, or in the writings of the apostolic Fathers. . . . The first Christians continued to observe the Jewish festivals [that is, God's—Leviticus 23:1-2], though in a new spirit, as commemoration of events which those festivals had foreshadowed" ("Easter," 11th edition).

Another reason why "Easter Sunday" could not have been celebrated by the early Christian Church may be found in the fact that Christ was not resurrected on a Sunday morning. The only sign Christ gave to prove He was the Messiah was the length of time, following His death, that He would be buried—a period of three days and three nights, or 72 hours (Matthew 12:39-40; Mark 8:31). He fulfilled that sign "as he said" (Matthew 28:6). But according to the Easter tradition, Christ was crucified Friday afternoon and resurrected Sunday morning—a period of only a day and a half, or 36 hours!

Since Christ did fulfill His sign, the Good Friday-Easter Sunday tradition is just that—a tradition and not a fact! If you have not read the facts that prove Jesus was crucified and buried on a Wednesday, and rose from the dead 72 hours later—late Saturday afternoon—see "After Three Days" and The Resurrection Was Not on Sunday!

And what about the various customs and traditions associated with Easter? Most assume that the customs of this religious holiday came from "Christian" origins. Easter and its customs date long before the resurrection of Jesus. Similar ceremonies were observed nearly 2,000 years before the beginning of the Christian era! "Easter" is actually a slightly changed English spelling of the name of the ancient Assyrian goddess Ishtar. It was pronounced by the Assyrians as we pronounce "Easter" today. The traditions associated with Easter, such as colored eggs, the Easter bunny, and sunrise services, are pre-Christian and pagan in origin!