ACTS 12:4

Hello. I’m releasing this video because of the textbook style responses I’m getting to my statement of the translated word “easter” in Acts 12:4 of the King James Bible.

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people
(Acts 12:4 KJV)

The word easter, in Acts 12:4, is translated from the word Pascha; which originates from Aramaic. The Strongs lists the translation as both easter or Passover. The problem is, these are two different festivals.

A word can never mean what it never meant. In other words, if it did not mean it in the 1st century of the penning of Acts, it does not mean it now. Yet, because of previous translations, the Strongs Concordance added “easter” to the definition. This is not the only error Strongs made. While Strongs is a really good book for reference to Hebrew and Greek words, they’ve added definitions to words, and even added accent marks to Hebrew words, creating a type of new word that is not in the Hebrew language to this day. The problem comes into when it’s contradictory to the context of Scripture.

Commentaries tell us that Pascha was translated to Passover in all other portions of the King James Bible but it was translated to easter in Acts 12:4. They conclude this was an error.

Coming from the Aramaic word for Passover Pascha can only mean one festival, and can’t mean two different festivals in two different times - one of the pagans and one of the God of Israel.

In earlier Bibles, Pascha was always translated as easter. Tindale knew of the difference between the Jewish Pascha and easter thus created the translated word Passover; in relation to what the festival represents. As time went, the translated word easter for Pascha was used much less: for example - the 1539 Great Bible has easter 15 times, and the 1568 Bishops' Bible only has easter twice (John 11:55; Acts 12:4).

Many still saw the two days as the same, which is probably where the error arises. When one studies the number of people who translated the KJV and how it was done, it’s not hard to understand that this could innocently be included as easter rather than Passover. We see this same type of error in the 1611 version that translated Elijah’s name to Elizeus (Luke 4:27) later changed in the more modern KJV’s. It does not make the KJV any less credible but shows the error that can happen when a people from a different time and culture try to translate words of a people from a far different time and culture. 

Passover is not specifically a 24-hour festival. This comes from knowledge of practicing the feast’s and also Scripture. Leviticus 23:5-6, Numbers 28:16-17, and 2 Chronicles 35:17 all point towards one day; the 14th. Yet, the day kept by the Jews and the day kept by Rome started and ended at two different times. Since the lamb was to be sacrificed on the 14th and eaten on the 15th (Exodus 12:8; Deuteronomy 16:6-7) the festival actually spanned two Jewish days.

Passover day was the High Holy Sabbath day that is treated in the same manner as the weekly Sabbath. Yet, the week-long festival, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is all considered Passover as we read in Ezekiel 45:21 and Luke 22:1. 

“In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, you shall observe the Passover, a feast of seven days; unleavened bread shall be eaten
(Ezekiel 45:21)

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover
(Luke 22:1)

The reason Peter was arrested was that Herod saw it would please the Jews; which was during the days of Unleavened Bread (Acts 12:3). We understand that the feast of Unleavened Bread is Passover. The context of this passage is WHO wrote the book - Luke, a Jew; WHO was arrested - Peter, a Jew; WHO it was to please - the Jews; and WHO the king was to present Peter too - the Jew’s he’s trying to please. Not just this, but the context of the time which the passage makes clear. It does not make clear any gentile holiday, it makes clear Then were the days of unleavened bread (Acts 12:3 KJV); which again, we know to be the week-long festival of Passover; according to Ezekiel and Luke, who wrote this book.

In conclusion, since the word to which easter was translated is from the word Pascha, which was translated Passover all other times of use and comes from the Aramaic word for Passover, that in and of itself should be sufficient to show an error in translation. Yet add in that Acts 12:3 specifically says that it was the days of Unleavened Bread and that the context of the author, Luke, says the Days of Unleavened Bread is a week-long festival called Passover; and we take into consideration that the context surrounding this passage is a Jewish context, being the author, captor, time, people meant to please, and especially the people that Herod is to present Peter too, the proper translation would definitely be Passover. Yes, Herod could care less about Passover, but the “people” Herod would be presenting Peter to was the Jews, and how could he “please” them by interrupting their festival? Thus, Herod needed to wait until that Passover celebration was complete because they would not violate their holiday rituals for this trial.

Some people love the King James translation so much that they can't fathom there being an error in translation. Is there a reason that we can't imagine an error being made in this book? I understand that we see it as "infallible", but infallible does not relate to translation but rather the meaning and purpose of the text. I fully believe that God intended there to be errors and apparent contradictions. I say "apparent" because the contradiction only comes by bad interpretation; many times from a lack of study and merely following of what man teaches with no further examination.

The biggest error we could do is to come to someone full of pride and present an argument with a starting manner of - Your Wrong. As in this case, when people merely follow something they’ve studied on the internet or a teaching they heard a trusted pastor say; and the person does not look at ALL the context, original word and it’s origin, the history of the holiday, the full Bible’s definition of the holiday, and the full context of the story presented, and they come in a prideful way as if THEY know it, this actually shows a foolishness in their pride of wanting to show what they know rather than humbling themselves in wanting to learn.

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,
and discerning if they hold their tongues.
(Proverbs 17:28 NIV)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry
(James 1:19 NIV)

If we don’t want to listen and learn and only want to tell people their wrongs and show them what we know, I believe there is a serious pride issue. The best practice, that I believe we ALL could learn and practice, is coming to a person with humility and asking, “How did you come to that conclusion?” Then entering into a steal sharpening steal from there.

God Bless