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Email Tips: Acts 12:4 and Easter

This "tip" was originally delivered on Saturday, April 7th, 2012 .

Today Passover is observed by those who respect days and deny the resurrection of Jesus.

Those who do believe in the resurrection and respect days observe tomorrow’s Easter as the day of Christ’s resurrection.

It is strange then that those who think we should observe days and that Easter represents Christ’s resurrection would want to change “Easter” in Acts 12:4 to “passover”.

The Bible reveals clearly that Christ did not resurrect on the Passover (Mat 26:19, Luke 22:15). No one claims that he did. Also, Peter was captured after the feast of Passover during the days of unleavened bread, most likely near the day of Christ’s resurrection.

So, of all the Biblical options for Acts 12:4 it cannot possibly be “passover”. Why wouldn’t the day worshippers want it to remain “Easter”?

Most say it should remain “passover” because the underlying Greek word is the same. But that can’t be the real reason since the man who coined the word “passover” used “Easter” in Acts 12:4 in his translation*. Why are they so adamant about changing this verse?

Could it be because they don’t want to reveal that in this case the Greek is inferior* in that a single word must carry two words in English? Could it be that they honor knowledge of a foreign tongue over knowledge of the Bible?

It is not coincidence that understanding Acts 12:4 relies more upon Bible knowledge than knowledge of a foreign tongue.

Study your Bible and you will get more answers than studying an unkown tongue (1 Cor 14:19).

For His glory,

Justin Curtis Johnson
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* William Tyndale coined the word “passover”, and translated Acts 12:4 to say “Easter”.
* A common argument for Greek superiority over English is that there are multiple words in Greek where this is only one word in English that covers the entire semantic range (example). Although this is true for both languages, this does does not require a language to be inferior, since it could merely suggest the presence of polysemy: a situation in which the same word has different, yet related, meanings. The presence of “Easter” in Acts 12:4 represents the polysemous nature of the Greek word pascha.

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This "tip" was originally published in the weekly Grace Ambassadors Update sent free to subscribers.