Tag: Church History

Church History

The Feast of Passover in the Early Church

The New Testament does not offer us a clear picture of how Passover was observed by the apostolic church. The picture becomes clearer when we come to the second century. Several documents inform us regarding the meaning, manner and time of the observance of the Christian Passover. According to these documents, Christians celebrated Passover at the same time as Jewish Passover, beginning at sundown of Nisan 14 and continuing their vigil until the next morning. For this reason, they are called “Quartodecimans,” the Latin for “fourteeners.”

From Passover to Easter – Ronald L. Dart

Occasionally, when I have said that “Easter” is nowhere mentioned in Bible, someone reminds me of the incident where Herod has arrested Peter and put him in prison, “intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people” (Acts 12:4). The problem is that the Greek word translated “Easter” is the Greek Pascha which, everywhere else it is used in the New Testament, is translated “Passover.” So why, 1600 years later, did the King James translators use Easter instead of Passover here?

The Origin of Easter Sunday – Samuel Bacchiocchi

The historian Eusebius (ca. A.D. 260-340) provides a valuable dossier of documents regarding the controversy which flared up in the second century over the date for the celebration of the Passover.” There were of course two protagonists of the controversy. On the one side, Bishop Victor of Rome (A.D. 189-199) championed the Easter-Sunday custom (i.e., the celebration of the feast on the Sunday usually following the date of the Jewish Passover) and threatened to excommunicate the recalcitrant Christian communities of the province of Asia which refused to follow his instruction.

When did Christians begin to celebrate Easter?

If, after the year 70 AD, Christianity evolved within a Jewish environment that was cult reluctant, how and what did they celebrate? Pharisees and Rabbis structured their time according to the Pharisaic lunar calendar; the Samaritans, like the people of the Dead Sea Scrolls, used the solar one. Those Christians who came from non-Jewish backgrounds brought along their own religious and cultural festivals and liturgical habits, some of which we find gradually introduced into an emerging Christian liturgical directory.