So, I have a question about Easter. We’ve all heard people say that Easter is of Pagan origins. But, I was listening to Catholic apologist Steve Ray on Catholic Answers Live today say that Easter is of Pagan origins from the Germans. Steve Ray said the name Easter comes from a Pagan godess named Ēostre (or Ostara)?
However, this conflicts with what I already know from an article on catholic.com. To me this article makes more sense than what Steve Ray said. Here is a quote of the relevant part from an article by James Akin.
"All this is nonsense. Easter is not based on a pagan holiday but on a Jewish one, Passover. Easter originated as the first Sunday following Passover, when Jesus was crucified.
Neither, as some anti-Catholics claim, is the name Easter derived from the pagan goddess Ishtar. As checking the dictionary will reveal, Easter is derived from the Old English word east, which means precisely what it does today. Only a speaker of English or German (where the holiday is called Ostern) could fall for such a claim.
In virtually every other language, the name of Easter is derived from the Jewish word Pesach or “Passover.” Thus in Greek the term for Easter is Pascha; in Latin the term is also Pascha. From there it passed into the Romance languages, and so in Spanish it is Pascua, in Italian Pasqua, in French Paques, and in Portugese Pascoa. It also passed into the non-Romance languages, such as the Germanic languages Dutch, where it is Pasen, and Danish, where it is Paaske."
Like I said what James Akin said makes more sense to me, but I was looking to see if anyone else knew anything about this. Steve Ray kind of threw me for a loop by saying it was of Pagan origin. It sounds like Steve Ray is wrong here but I just wanted to check. Thanks.