1. Dr. Brown,
    Since the topic of hell came up again today, I was wondering something. I remember on your Sept. 3rd show you talked about how you didn’t believe that hell would be with real burning and such. (I think that is what was mentioned. Correct me if I’m wrong please, I don’t want to put words in your mouth.) I would like to understand this a little better please if you could explain why you believe this. I hope it doesn’t sound like I am trying to challenge you on this either. I would just like to learn and hear another perspective. Thanks!

  2. Hello Dr Brown

    Talking of translation issues, i think you did a good job of explaining the minor issues the Bible translations have. Can i ask your opinion about Deut 32:8 this to my knowledge is the only instance where the meaning would change quite a bit depending on which translation you accept. The DDS and the LX differ from the Masoretic text which do you think is best ?

  3. Not only is Hell a place with burning in it, also a place of torment. Where worms that never die crawl on you. No water to quench your thirst. Hell is a pathetic place to be. Hell is a place where you live with Satan and his demons. Satan and his demons have no mercy. (Although Satan isn’t in Hell yet but some demons are there) It is your worse nightmare that never ends. There is nothing good about Hell.

    Matthew 13:50 “furnace of fire…weeping and gnashing of teeth”
    Mark 9:48 “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched”
    Revelation 14:10 “he will be tormented with fire and brimstone”

    The sad thing is, there is no hope of ever getting out. That is why we need Jesus. Jesus prevented us from going to Hell. We need the Lord’s mercy.

    For those who do not know Jesus. Stop fighting against Him. Hell is real. Embrace the Lord. Why wouldn’t you?

    Matthew 10:28
    And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    I pray a lot for those who do not know Jesus. I’ll never stop praying or witnessing or planting seeds for the lost. Never.

  4. I guess God is like a power train. You have yer
    engine, transmission, and yer differential, which is otherwise known as the 3rd member.

  5. I looked up the word power-train in my dictionary
    and saw the word “drive-train”. I looked up the word drive-train and found the word described as a system that transmits an engine’s turning power to the wheels.

    It seems to me that the doctrine of the Trinity is a belief system. I do not believe that it must be everyone’s belief system as they attempt to describe God to others. I believe it may be their belief system.

  6. I read the account of Stephen from Acts 7 concerning which, I’ve heard it said that Stephen prayed to Jesus.

    When I read Acts 7:59 in the KJV, it looks to me like he called upon God and spoke to Jesus, and it seems to me that his calling upon God may have been of different words spoken (whether silently or not) than what he said to the one whom he had seen (Jesus).

    Stephen may have spoken certain words to God the Father, and then said to Jesus, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

    That’s what it looks like to me.

  7. Dr. Brown, How is it that the word “Easter” in Acts 12 is without a doubt 100% illegitimate? Does such reasoning require us to also say that the word Trinity is also illegit?

    One of the ways my dictionary defines Easter is by saying that it is an annual Christian festival celevrating the resurrection of Jesus, held on the first Sunday after the first full moon…

    After the resurrection of Jesus, was the Passover only a celebration of the Lord’s death, God’s offering for us, our substitution for the remission of sins, etc, but without celebration of his resurrection, among the Jews or early Christians?

    I will submit to you that either the word Passover, or the word Easter may be used in Acts 12:4, and that we need not call either word used illegit.

    I submit this for your examination. Please correct me if I am wrong. If I am wrong on this, please do not go easy on me.

  8. Ray,

    We’re talking about a mistranslation occurring in the pages of the Bible. That’s what was illegitimate. The Greek word pascha does not mean “Easter,” plain and simple. It means “Passover.”

    On the other hand, there are plenty of theological terms and phrases we use — such as the “unity” of God — that are not found explicitly in the Bible.


    There are many interpreters who see the references to the flames of hell as being metaphorical, speaking of punishment or torment but not of literal fire.

  9. Hi Dr. Brown, Thank you for sharing your insights. I thought it was interesting that you made reference to the immediate successors of the Apostles when answering the question about the Trinity. I know we regard the writings of these successors, but it seems that it’s only to a certain degree. These successors also wrote things that the early church adhered to before they decided in 386 a.d. which writings were inspired by God. I have a hard time with understanding why we only adhere to some of what they wrote while adhering to other things which they clearly stood against as heresy. Today people don’t seem to have a problem with these heresies, thinking that it’s not that important in light of what ‘they’ think the bible says even though the ones who put the bible together believed differently. An example is the view of the eucharist but many others besides that as well which people divide over today. If the early church was ‘off’ in their views on certain things, then how do you know that the interpretations you are coming to are legitimate if the compilation of scriptures you are basing them on come from a people who did not believe the same way as you. If we are going to believe the bible, then we should believe the interpretation of the people who put together the bible instead of thinking we know better- this only leads to division. I’m not saying you have the wrong interpretation, but I’m saying the interpretation should not come from individual people as this only leads to ruin, division and confusion. Martin Luther did not want the book of James in the bible- if we are not going to believe what the early church believed we might as well pick and chose what books are acceptable and not. Just some thoughts, and it’s not like I don’t see you as a brother or anything. May there be true unity in the Body w/out pretense that the world may see our love for one another.

  10. John — just a quick response. I adhere to the witness of the Scriptures as my sole absolute authority, and when people make false claims, such as the idea that the deity of Jesus dates to the fourth century, I reply by saying, “We not only have the clear biblical statements, but we see how these were interpreted by the disciples of the apostles.”

    As for your broader questions — perhaps I can address those on the air one day. Thanks!

  11. Dr. Brown, Isn’t it possible that born again Christians can speak of the time of Passover and what it means for us because of Christ our Passover, by calling it Easter?

    It seems to me that it happens quite often. Isn’t this what happened in the KJV concerning the use of the word Easter in Acts 12:3?

    I trust that I am not wrong if I do not see the term Easter as an illegitimate word in the KJV rendering of the events that happened as given
    in Acts 12:4 by the KJV and other versions of the Bible that use the word Passover instead.

    I see nothing necessarily wrong with either rendering. Does this make me wrong?

    jj, You ask me if I think the Trinity is optional.

    I believe there are different ways to proclaim the gospel and that some of the ways people do so is to use Trinitarian lingo such as “God the Son”,
    “the second person of the Trinity”, “God in three persons”, and other such phrases which do not appear in scripture. My scripture reference for this belief is Gen 1:1- Rev 22:21.

    I believe we have a lot of liberty in Christ Jesus and part of that liberty we have received is the liberty given to us by the holy spirit of God to decide to not use such phrases which come of the Trinitarian persuasion or dicipline, if we want.

    Dr. Brown, feel free to correct me on this if I am wrong, or agree with me if I am correct on this.

    I may say that God is like a power-train which consists of an engine, transmission, and differential, but one is not required to be a Chevarian, Moparian, or of any other kind of automobilistic descriptions concerning the essence of God.

    Because where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, (II Cor 3:17)I think we should all seek to walk in that liberty which is of God and to desire to not put any unnecessary stumbling blocks before another. (Romans 14:13)

  12. Separation from God is hell? Those on the Lake of Fire – it is written – are being tormented IN THE PRESENCE of the Lamb. I think it is either God’s favoring or anger at you that is the difference.

  13. Daniel — the greatest hell imaginable is to be separated from the presence of God! 2 Thes 1:7, “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.” What could be worse than this?

  14. Ray — it appears you’re missing the point. The term “Easter,” used by Christian translators, pointed to the Church’s celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Greek word pascha referred to the Jewish commemoration of the exodus from Egypt.

    There’s not much more to say on this. It’s a mistranslation and 100% illegitimate in the context of Acts 12. (With that said, as always, time constraints don’t allow me to interact further here.) It was rightly translated by the KJV translators the other 29 times or so it occurred in the NT but wrongly translated in Acts 12, which is why the New King James corrects it to Passover.

    I mean no insult at all when I say that it’s really quite simple and it’s quite black and white. The word Easter should NOT be used at Acts 12:4. It is not Luke wrote or meant to convey.

  15. Oh, but doesn’t it say in Revelation 14:10 that those who take the mark (and I guess, all those who are damned, like them) ….

    “he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and IN THE PRESENCE of the Lamb” ?

    Kind of like you’d want to be with your dad when he is happy with you (because he is going to reward you) but you wouldn’t want to be around your dad when he is angry with you (because he is going to punish you) [Rev 11] ?

  16. The cup of His “‘fiery’ indignation” (typified by the fire Abraham carried when he went to offer up Isaac) was the same cup Christ asked to (if it were possible) pass from Him.

  17. This is the cup of wrath that we who believe in Christ are saved from – and this is the wrath that all who do not believe will partake of. Right or wrong?

    Then, all those who partake of the cup of His Fiery Indignation WILL BE IN HIS PRESENCE.

  18. I see no reason why Easter should not be the word used in Acts 12:4. Perhaps it was translated Easter in Acts 12:4 because this is after the resurrection and also because at the time the KJV was written the term Easter was commonly used by Christians for remembering the events of the Passover which Christ partook of and endured for us.

    I also see how the word Passover can also be used in Acts 12:4.

    Either word seems OK to me.

    I believe I would be wrong to say that the word
    Easter as it is used in Acts 12:4 in the KJV is wrong, or is a poor translation, or that it really should be translated Passover instead. I really don’t see any point as to why one must be preferred over the other, though people may have their personal preference as to which word used they prefer.

  19. Ray – what I’ve written is quite clear, and you have the right to reject the facts but that doesn’t change the facts. It has nothing to do with preference; it has to do with truth. This will be my last post on this subject here.

  20. Actually, the use of the word ‘Easter’ has very beautiful connotations for me, but I’m going to wait until Easter to fully express what I mean for I have lots of scriptures to back me up through which the awesome fabulous power of God will be revealed to everyone as part of the Easter celebration!

  21. Dr Brown

    I think you attributed Debbie’s question to me and missed my question. No big deal, i would be interested in your views on Deut 32:8 though.

  22. Ok Ray

    I can see the usefulness in not using provocative terms to evangelise certain people. But o you believe the God of scripture is triune or do you reject that doctrine ? just want to know were your at my friend.

  23. Dr. Brown, I don’t see truth in what you are saying about the word Easter being an illegitimate translation in Acts 12:4.

    jj, I believe the God of scripture is one as well as the God over all creation, things visible and invisible, is one and that Jesus is his Son who was with him from everlasting. I also believe that the spirit of God which we often refer to as the holy spirit was also with him from eternity.

    I believe that Jesus, God the Father, and the holy spirit all concur, agree, and it can be said that they are one though there is some distinction between them.

    I believe there are times when men do not notice or discern the distinction though there are times when they do.

  24. jj, I’m not even certain that a powertrain is triune. If I was certain that it was, I don’t think it would be my responsibility to try to convince everyone else that it was.

    In short, to answer your question as clearly as I can as to whether or not I believe that God is triune, …not necessarily. I believe that God is one.

    I will say that I don’t much go along with Trinitarian ways of speaking. It seems foreign to me. Sometimes I think our values are different. I’ve noticed that we don’t always dress alike either.

  25. It seems clear to me by post 15 that Dr. Brown is saying in effect that it is not at all possible that the writer of Acts could be referring to the Church’s celevration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, as the time when Herod intended to bring Peter forth to the people (Acts 12:4), but rather, the writer of Acts, clearly intended to convey to the reader that the time that Herod intended to bring Peter forth to the people was after the Passover, not Easter, though these two celebrations were celebrated concurrently.

    I do not believe that the translators who worked to bring about the KJV version of the Bible were
    necessarily wrong to use the word Easter in Acts 12:4, even though they could have used the word Passover instead.

    It is my opinion that either word may be used in that verse of scripture.

    I do not believe that it is necessary to adhere strictly to Jewish tradition when translating the scripture for people who are of diverse backgrounds.

    I believe that either word (Passover or Easter) could have been used by the KJV translators and that they decided on the word Easter here in Acts 12:4, though it might seem a bit out of place or odd to some readers.

    I do not view it as a mistranslation, as the Passover events, or time of the Passover may be referred to as Easter, since the time of Passover may hold the significance of Easter to some.

    I do not believe that translators after Pentecost have to hold strictly to Jewish tradition when translating the scriptures.

    In short, I believe they have the liberty in Christ to use the word Easter as they did in Acts 12:4. They could also have used the word Passover.
    Either word seems to be fine to me. I do not believe it to be a mistranslation for the reasons I have given.

    I’m looking up the word translate in my dictionary right now. The first defintion talks about moving from one place or condition to another. This seems to fit within the context of the book of Acts which works to do that very thing.

  26. Ray

    Thanks for answering me, i know its a difficult issue to talk about and describe to other people.

    If your open to reading about the Trinity in my opinion there is no better man in Church history than Athanasius he wrote a little book called “on the incarnation” it is very easy to read unlike some other Church Fathers, CS-Lewis called it a masterpiece and he knew something about writing himself so i believe.

  27. Ray,
    Dude, you must’ve missed the last post Dr. Michael Brown posted — he will NOT speak another word about it; he has said all that needs to be said! Even *I can see that he has said all that needs to be said, and I am struggling just to understand the basic doctrine of salvation!!

    Dr. Brown,
    I guess this is one of those times that Scripture APPARENTLY contradicts itself – not that it ACTUALLY does. (Paul saying that they will suffer OUTSIDE the presence/John saying they will suffer IN the presence.)

    Just came across another one: Genesis says man and woman are created in His Image; Paul says man is God’s glory but woman is MAN’S glory — oh well!

  28. “I do not believe that it is necessary to adhere strictly to Jewish tradition when translating the scripture for people who are of diverse backgrounds.” – Ray

    Does that mean that some other translator could insert April Fool’s Day there or some other random holiday?
    That policy seems to open too many doors or a can of worms. Why not just keep it simple instead of bending and stretching things that were great already?

    Pretty soon we’ll be inserting our own names where Jesus’ was, to make it more user friendly.

  29. Juan, I believe that discretion will preserve a man (Proverbs 2:11) and that there are some who will make policies as they seek to prevent the kind of problems you mention.

    I’m wondering if God is known as three in one in heaven and if it’s only on earth that he’s seen that way.

    Daniel, Did you ever notice how a wife will
    look at her husband when he’s speaking? So often she will have her eyes fastened on his and won’t take her eyes off of his face while he’s speaking.

  30. Bo, thank you for the article on how the word for Passover in Acts 12:4 was changed to Easter.

    In the article it says that William Tyndale decided that the word Passover should be changed to Easter in Acts 12:4, in 1534.

    I don’t see things the same as William Tyndale.
    I don’t see any reason why the word should have been changed to Easter, rather I do see how men have the liberty to do so, and I think that’s OK.

    I think either word is fine.

  31. Ray,

    I am glad you found it interesting. It would seem to me that keeping our translations as close as possible to the original intent of the author would be the best. Making up our own ideas or using pagan terms for holy days does not seem to be in keeping with the author’s original intent.

    Replacing “YHWH (Yahweh)” with LORD may have human tradition and reasoning behind it, but it does not fully reveal or honor our creator. He put His name in there almost 7000 times…I think He wanted us to know and use it, not replace it with a title that just happens to be the translation of Baal.

    The same with the idea of using “Easter” instead of “Pesakh”/Passover. There is a definite difference between a pagan fertility celebration and a feast of YHWH. Let’s not mix the two celebrations or confuse the two ideas. Holiness requires separating the clean from the unclean and divine revelation from pagan superstition.

    We do not have sanction to change YHWH’s words to whatever we want. We can change His word’s, but we will likely be very disappointed with the end result of doing so.

    “Pesakh/Pascha” does not mean “Easter.” Using these words synonymously is changing the meaning and thus the words of YHWH. Passover is the English equivalent to “Pesakh/Pascha.” Let’s keep it clear and correct.

    Deuteronomy 4
    1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
    2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

    Deuteronomy 12
    32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

    Matthew 5
    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Revelation 22
    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


  32. Bo, it seems to me that the Jewish Passover among believing Jews after the day of Pentecost, was much more than a holiday commemorating the deliverance of the ancied Hebrews from slavery, which my dictionary makes mention of, after the word Passover.

    Though my dictionary doesn’t make mention of Christ’s atonement, sacrifice, substitution, death on the cross, and resurrection, it seems to me that among believing Jews after that day of Pentecost when the holy spirit was given, those things would have been a part of their celebration.

    I suppose we could ask, Was it Herod’s perspective concerning the holiday that is most important and needs to be conveyed most accurately by the translation of the word Passover, or is what’s more important, the perspective the writer of the book of Acts held?

    And, what is the major difference if any, between
    a believing Jew’s perspective of Passover (one who was known to have made the celebration a regular part of his life after the Pentecost of Acts 2) and a believing Christian’s perspective of Easter about mid 1500?

    Maybe there was little if no real difference.

    If so, it seems to me that either the word Passover or Easter can be used in Acts 12:4.

    As far as how God is honored by the use of his name, I consider there are many who will use his name Jehovah and by so doing dishonor him through their manner of speaking, arguments, or manner of life more so than one who might simply call him God.

    jj, About your question to me as to whether or not I believe God is triune, I will say that God is a Spirit, God is love, and God is Holy, and so in that sense I can see why a man who looks at God in that perspective can say that God is triune, or a holy, loving spirit is what God is and those three qualities are what God is. Together they agree in him.

    I believe God is much more that just triune.

  33. Though I didn’t listen to this audio in it’s entirety, I saw the question written, “Why did God make the Devil so powerful?” and found that somewhat intriguing.

    I wonder if a man could list some possible reasons as to why.

    1.To show us that God is more powerful than even the Devil.
    2. Because God loves responsibility and freedom.
    3. Because God loves accountability.
    4. Because he knew that he would work out everything for his purposes in Christ and that it would be for our benefit.
    5. Because the Devil would be a part of his plan for our salvation, education, and perfection.
    6. So God could show his manifold grace to us.
    7. To humble the Devil when he fell and to glorify his Son Jesus for his obedience.
    8. To teach us many things.
    9. To teach us responsibility.
    10. To break us should we need to be broken, in order that he might make us right again.

    If we were to sum up these things and add a few more good reasons and put them in a form such that
    we were to interpret these things with his help, and say that this is the jist of some of this that he might want to say to us, it might look like this:

    I __________________________________________
    __________________________________________, becaue
    __________________________________________, and ______________________________________.

    (fill in the blanks)

    I suppose we could write down what begins to flow, or becomes spontaneous thoughts so that we could read it after it comes to a natural close, and check it for Biblical accuracy. We might also find that we have been encouraged. We might find that we have been filled by his spirit. We might find that we have been given angels’s food, or bread from heaven.

    I think God did it because he loves justice and judgment also. Maybe he did it because he loves to hear our praises.

  34. The word Easter made it into a few Bibles. I’ve never seen the word Trinity or Triune in a Bible.

    If in fact the word Easter is illegit, I wonder about the word Trinity. Is that a legitimate word for God?

    I wonder is God will be known as the triune God by all of his children, or if that is something optional, something only some Christians will refer to him as, something that is done by liberty and not something that is required by God.

    Bo, I thought Jehovah is one name for God. I thought that is the acceptable spelling and pronounciation of Yehweh when translated into another language.

    I thought that the changing of both the spelling and the pronounciation of names is a common thing
    when some names are translated into another language. I might be wrong, but I thought such a thing was quite common.

  35. Bo, is the name Jesus illegit? I don’t think Jesus is the actual spelling and pronunciation of what his name is in Hebrew, but it seems to be OK to me. It seems OK to me that the Son of God is known around the world by that name as well as by his Hebrew name.

    With all the world’s languages, I suppose there may be other renderings of his name, I don’t know.

  36. I’m just back in here for one quick comment, although this should have been clear many posts ago: The Greek word pascha does not and cannot mean “Easter,” just as the English word “car” does not and cannot mean “motorcycle,” despite some similarities between the two vehicles.

    We’re not talking about whether the term Easter should ever be used (as in the discussion as to whether it’s right to use the term Trinity). We’re talking about how to translate a word in the Greek New Testament. Really, it’s quite simple.

  37. It seems to me that a word in a certain language might be translated automobile, vehicle, or car,
    and that a certain word in a certain language that means Passover might be translated properly
    as Passover or Easter.

    I don’t understand why it could not, but I’m just a carpenter and don’t have the understanding of the wise.

  38. Ray,

    Maybe your problem is that you do not know what Passover and Easter were and are. If you do not know what these two drastically different words mean, then you might not see why “Pascha” can only mean Passover and not Easter. Do a history study. Do a study to see what things were and are done and celebrated on these separate days.

    The first thing to consider is that Passover can fall on any day of the week, and Easter is always on a Sunday.(The first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox, to be exact.) Passover is about YHWH’s deliverance of His people. Easter is about a fertility goddesses, eggs and bunnies.

    Even the modern Easter and Passover cannot be equated, let alone the ideas associated with each of these celebrations 2000 years ago. “Pascha” refers to Passover and not Easter.


  39. From my limited seeing-thru-a-glass-dimly understanding, Pascha is the reference to the Jewish Passover feast; whereas Easter is the celebration of an ancient pagan holy day that has something to do with a pagan “deity” after whom the day was named — Ishtar (ergo: Easter, in the English tongue): see the resemblance???
    Ishtar… Easter? Pascha… Pesach? 🙂 🙂 😀

  40. It seems to me that the early believers celebrated Easter and called it Passover.

    It seems to me that the event could be referred to as either.

  41. Bo, it might do you good to see things as they are rather than as things were. I’m not sure how things were in the mid 1500’s but it seems to me that a man who thought that Passover should be translated Easter, likely was not thinking of the significance of pagan ways of the past, but rather as the believing Christian celebration of Passover and the resurrection of Christ was at that time.

    I do not believe that the word that means Passover should have been translated to Easter in Acts 12:4, but rather I perceive that it may be translated that way. I don’t necessarily believe that it is wrong to refer to the events of Passover and the resurrection of Christ as Easter.

    I’m not out to change such ways as I do not see that as a calling of God to do so.

    Doesn’t the scripture teach us to let a man keep a day as he will, as he does so unto the Lord? (Romans 14:6) One might “eat” Passover, and another might partake of “Easter”.

  42. Ray,

    I think that you will find that the church of the 1500’s had a thing called Good Friday (celebrated from about the 4th century), as do we. This would be the closest thing that most believers, then or now, would get to keeping Passover. Easter is on Sunday not on Friday. That the Pagan celebrations and traditions of an apostate church overwhelmed Christianity and affected it adversely form the 2nd and 3rd centuries even until today, does not have any bearing on what the words “Pascha” and “Pesach” mean.

    Neither Good Friday nor Easter was celebrated for at least 150 years by the assemblies of believers in Asia minor. They resisted, as long as possible, the false doctrine of the apostatizing Roman church. The following quote is a response to the strong arming of the Roman bishop Victor’s threat to excommunicate the whole of eastern Christendom for not adopting the man made/pagan traditions.

    Let us see what the earliest followers of Messiah taught their disciples.

    Polycrates in His Epistle to Victor and the Roman Church Concerning the Day of Keeping the Passover wrote:

    “We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead ? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘ We ought to obey God rather than man’…I could mention the bishops who were present, whom I summoned at your desire; whose names, should I write them, would constitute a great multitude. And they, beholding my littleness, gave their consent to the letter, knowing that I did not bear my gray hairs in vain, but had always governed my life by the Lord Jesus” (Eusebius. Church History. Book V, Chapter 24).

    Polycrates lived from 130 to 166 CE. He was 65 when he wrote the above. He asserts that the apostle John continued to keep Passover and taught it to Polycarp. He continued to keep it and passed it on to the bishops and the assemblies of Asia minor. These assemblies continued to obey John and the scripture as to the correct observance of Passover. Polycrates and those assemblies in his region were continuing to do and teach what the Torah says, 135+ years after Messiah’s fulfillment of Passover. Fulfill does not mean abolish. The fulfillment gives us even greater reason to observe YHWH’s feasts.

    These early assemblies of believers did not celebrate Easter or Good Friday…they celebrated Passover according to the biblical reckoning.


  43. I think the word Passover in Acts 12:4 fits just fine.

    It seems to me that the early church fathers kept Easter, and to them it was the Passover.

  44. Ray,

    It is interesting to note that neither the Roman apostates nor the Eastern apostolics thought that Paul’s teaching in Romans 14 meant that it was fine to celebrate a wrong day. The Roman church insisted that the easterners change to the Roman way or be excommunicated, and the Easterners would not change from the way that the scripture and apostles taught.

    Paul’s teaching did not allow for sinful practices, such as pagan holidays and celebrations, to be tolerated. His teaching did not negate the teaching of scripture on which days were commanded to be kept holy to YHWH. His teaching did allow for esteeming days above others on a personal level…such as which days someone would fast in full or in part(only herbs) to YHWH. Of course the paganized Roman church has violated Paul’s teaching on this also, as they command fasting on certain days instead of letting it be up to the individual.


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