From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Yeshua (ישוע, with vowel pointing יֵשׁוּעַ – yēšūă‘ in Hebrew) was a common alternative form of the name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ ("Yehoshua" – Joshua) in later books of the Hebrew Bible and among Jews of the Second Temple period. The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous, from which, through the Latin Iesus, comes the English spelling Jesus.
The Hebrew spelling Yeshua (ישוע) appears in some later books of the Hebrew Bible. Once for Joshua the son of Nun, and 28 times for Joshua the High Priest and other priests called Jeshua – although these same priests are also given the spelling Joshua in 11 further instances in the books of Haggai and Zechariah. It differs from the usual Hebrew Bible spelling of Joshua (יְהוֹשֻׁעַ y'hoshuaʿ), found 218 times in the Hebrew Bible, in the absence of the consonant he ה and placement of the semivowel vav ו after, not before, the consonant shin ש. It also differs from the Hebrew spelling Yeshu (ישו) which is found in Ben Yehuda´s dictionary and used in most secular contexts in Modern Hebrew to refer to Jesus of Nazareth, although the Hebrew spelling Yeshua (ישוע) is generally used in translations of the New Testament into Hebrew and used by Hebrew speaking Christians in Israel. The name Yeshua is also used in Israelite Hebrew historical texts to refer to other Joshuas recorded in Greek texts such as Jesus ben Ananias and Jesus ben Sira.
In English, the name Yeshua is extensively used by followers of Messianic Judaism whereas East Syrian Christian denominations use the name Isho in order to preserve the Aramaic or Syriac name of Jesus.
The Greek transliteration Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous) *jesu-os → [jeˈsus] can stand for both Classical Biblical Hebrew Yehoshua [jəhoˈʃuaʕ] (top two) and Late Biblical Hebrew Yeshua [jeˈʃuaʕ] (bottom). This later form developed within Hebrew (not Aramaic). All three spelling variants occur in the Hebrew Bible, including when referring to the same person. During the Second Temple Period, Jews of Galilee tended to preserve the traditional spelling, keeping the <ו> letter for the [o] in the first syllable, even adding another letter for the [u] in the second syllable. However, Jews of Jerusalem tended to spell the name as they pronounced it, [jeˈʃuaʕ], contracting the spelling to ישוע without the [o] letter. Later, Aramaic references to the Hebrew Bible adopted the contracted phonetic form of this Hebrew name as an Aramaic name.
Yeshua in Hebrew is a verbal derivative from "to rescue", "to deliver". Among the Jews of the Second Temple Period, the Biblical Aramaic/Hebrew name יֵשׁוּעַ Yeshua‘ was common: the Hebrew Bible mentions several individuals with this name – while also using their full name Joshua. This name is a feature of biblical books written in the post-Exilic period (Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles) and was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, though Haggai and Zechariah prefer the spelling Joshua. Strong's Concordance connects the name יֵשׁוּעַ Yeshua`, in the English form Jeshua (as used in multiple instances in Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles), with the verb "to deliver" (or, "to rescue"). It is often translated as "He saves," to conform with Matthew 1:21: "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins".
The name יֵשׁוּעַ "Yeshua" (transliterated in the English Old Testament as Jeshua) is a late form of the Biblical Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ Yehoshua (Joshua), and spelled with a waw in the second syllable. The Late Biblical Hebrew spellings for earlier names often contracted the theophoric element Yeho- to Yo-. Thus יהוחנן Yehochanan contracted to יוחנן Yochanan. However, there is no name (aside from Yehoshua`) in which Yeho- became Ye-.
The name ישוע occurs in the Hebrew of the Old Testament at verses Ezra 2:2, 2:6, 2:36, 2:40, 3:2, 3:8, 3:9, 3:10, 3:18, 4:3, 8:33; Nehemiah 3:19, 7:7, 7:11, 7:39, 7:43, 8:7, 8:17, 9:4, 9:5, 11:26, 12:1, 12:7, 12:8, 12:10, 12:24, 12:26; 1 Chronicles 24:11; and 2 Chronicles 31:15, and also in Aramaic at Ezra 5:2. In Nehemiah 8:17 this name refers to Joshua son of Nun, the successor of Moses, as leader of the Israelites. Note that in earlier English (where adaptations of names of Biblical figures were generally based on the Latin Vulgate forms), Yeshua was generally transcribed identically to "Jesus" in English. It was only when the Protestant Bible translators of ca. 1600 went back to the original languages that a distinction between Jesus and Jeshua appeared in English.
The name Yehoshua has the form of a compound of "Yeho-" and "shua": Yeho- יְהוֹ is another form of יָהו Yahu, a theophoric element standing for the name of God יהוה (the Tetragrammaton YHWH, sometimes transcribed into English as Yahweh), and שׁוּעַ shua‘ is a noun meaning "a cry for help", "a saving cry", that is to say, a shout given when in need of rescue. Together, the name would then literally mean, "YHWH (Yahu) is a saving-cry," that is to say, shout to YHWH [God] when in need of help.
Another explanation for the name Yehoshua is that it comes from the root ישע yod-shin-‘ayin, meaning "to deliver, save, or rescue". According to the Book of Numbers verse 13:16, the name of Joshua son of Nun was originally Hoshea` הוֹשֵעַ, and the name "Yehoshua`" יְהוֹשֻׁעַ is usually spelled the same but with a yod added at the beginning. "Hoshea`" certainly comes from the root ישע, "yasha", yod-shin-`ayin (in the Hif'il form the yod becomes a waw), and not from the word שוע shua` (Jewish Encyclopedia) although ultimately both roots appear to be related.
In the 1st century, Philo of Alexandria, in a Greek exposition, offered this understanding of Moses’s reason for the name change of the biblical hero Jehoshua/Joshua son of Nun from Hoshea [similar to hoshia` meaning "He rescued"] to Yehoshua in commemoration of his salvation: "And Ιησους refers to salvation of the Lord" [Ιησους or Iesous being the Greek form of the name] (Ἰησοῦ δὲ σωτηρία κυρίου) (On the Change of Names 21.121).
Similarly, the Septuagint renders Ben Sira as saying (in the Greek form of the name): "Ιησους the son of Naue [Yehoshua Ben Nun] who according to his name became great unto [the] salvation/deliverance of his chosen ones" (Ἰησοῦς Ναυῆ .. ὃς ἐγένετο κατὰ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ μέγας ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ) (Ben Sira 46:1–2). However, Ben Sira originally wrote in Hebrew in the 2nd century BC, and the only extant Hebrew manuscript for this passage has "in his days" (בימיו), not "according to his name" (which would be כשמו in Hebrew), and thus does not comment on the name Yehoshua as connoting יְּשׁוּעָה "deliverance": "Yehoshua Ben Nun, who was formed to be in his days a great deliverer for his chosen ones" (יהושע בן נון... אשר נוצר להיות בימיו תשועה גדלה לבחיריו). Possibly, the translators understood the phrase "was formed in his days" to refer to being transformed by his name change, and thus has "according to his name" as a paraphrastic translation, or else they were working from a different text.
The distinction between the longer Yehoshua and shorter Yeshua forms does not exist in Greek.
Tal Ilan's lexicon of Second Temple period names on inscriptions in Palestine (2002) includes for "Joshua" 85 examples of Hebrew Yeshua, 15 of Yehoshua, and 48 examples of Iesous in Greek inscriptions," with only one Greek variant as Iesoua. One ossuary of the around twenty known with the name Yeshua, Rahmani No.9, discovered by Ezra Sukenik in 1931, has "Yeshu... Yeshua ben Yosef." The "Yeshu..." may have been scratched out. Two Jewish magical incantation bowls have been discovered both bearing variant spellings of Yeshua.
Apart from the "Yesh.. Yeshua ben Yosef" ossuary, the only other known evidence for the existence of a Yeshu form prior to the material related to Jesus in the Talmud, is a graffito which Joachim Jeremias identified in Bethesda in 1966, but which is now filled in.
Yeshua יֵשוּעַ [jeˈʃuăʕ]. The Hebrew letter Yod י /j/ is vocalized with the Hebrew vowel tsere /e/ (a 'long' e like the first syllable of "neighbor" but not diphthongized) rather than with a shva /ə/ (as Y'shua) or segol /ɛ/ (Yesh-shua). The final letter Ayin ע is /ʕ/ (a rough, guttural sound not found in Greek or English), sometimes transcribed " ` " (Yeshua`). The final [ăʕ] represents the "patach genuvah" ("furtive" patach), indicating that the consonant `ayin is pronounced after the a vowel, and the word's stress is moved to the middle syllable (the characteristics of the furtive patach can be seen in other words, such as רוח [ˈruăħ] 'spirit'). Thus it is pronounced [jeˈʃu.a(ʕ)] in Modern Hebrew, approximately ye-SHEW-ə.
The Hebrew name of the historical Jesus is probably pronounced 'Yeshua', although this is uncertain and depends on the reconstruction of several ancient Hebrew dialects. Talshir suggests, even though Galileans tended to keep the traditional spelling for 'Yehoshua' יהושוע with the letter Vav for /o/, they still pronounced the name similarly to the Judeans, as 'Yeshua' [jeˈʃuaʕ], who tended to spell the name phonetically as ישוע, perhaps reducing the name thus: [jəhoˈʃuaʕ] > [joˈʃuaʕ] > [jeˈʃuaʕ], with the /o/ palatizing (via 'dissimilation') before the /ʃ/.
Qimron describes the general linguistic environment of Hebrew dialects by the time of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The articulation of the /h/ (along with other guttural phonemes /ʔ/, /ħ/, and /ʕ/, as well as approximants /j/ and /w/) weakened significantly. Thus Hebrew pronunciations became less stable when two successive vowels were no longer separated by a consonant /h/. The speakers optionally either reduced the two vowels to a single vowel or oppositely expanded them to emphasize each vowel separately, sometimes forming a furtive glide in between, [w] or [j]. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls spell the Hebrew word ראוי /rɔˈʔui̯/ ('seen') variously, recording both pronunciations: reduced ראו [ro] and expanded ראואי [rɔˈuwi].
The Hebrew name 'Yehoshua' generally reduced to 'Yeshua', but an expanded 'Yehoshua' is possible, especially in Galilee whose traditional orthography possibly reflects this.
Original name for Jesus.
The English name Jesus derives from the Late Latin name Iesus, which transliterates the Koine Greek name Ἰησοῦς Iēsoûs.
In the Septuagint and other Greek-language Jewish texts, such as the writings of Josephus and Philo of Alexandria, Ἰησοῦς Iēsoûs is the standard Koine Greek form used to translate both of the Hebrew names: Yehoshua and Yeshua. Greek Ἰησοῦς or Iēsoûs is also used to represent the name of Joshua son of Nun in the New Testament passages Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8. (It was even used in the Septuagint to translate the name Hoshea in one of the three verses where this referred to Joshua the son of Nun—Deut. 32:44.)
During the second Temple period (beginning 538 BC – 70 AD), Yeshua first became a known form of the name Yehoshua. All occurrences of Yeshua in the Hebrew Bible are in I Chron. 24:11, II Chron. 31:15, Ezra, and Nehemiah where it is transliterated into English as Jeshua. Two of these men (Joshua the son of Nun and Joshua the High Priest) are mentioned in other books of the Hebrew Bible where they are instead called Yehoshua (transliterated into English as Joshua).
The earlier form Yehoshua did not disappear, however, and remained in use as well. In the post-exilic books, Joshua the son of Nun is called both Yeshua bin-Nun (Nehemiah 8:17) and Yehoshua (I Chronicles 7:27). The short form Yeshua was used for Jesus ben Sirach in Hebrew fragments of the Wisdom of Sirach. (Some concern remains over whether these fragments faithfully represent the original Hebrew text or are instead a later translation back into Hebrew. The earlier form Yehoshua saw revived usage from the Hasmonean period onwards, although the name Yeshua is still found in letters from the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132–135 AD).
In the documentary The Lost Tomb of Jesus, archeologist Amos Kloner stated that the name Yeshua was then a popular form of the name Yehoshua and was "one of the common names in the time of the Second Temple." In discussing whether it was remarkable to find a tomb with the name of Jesus (the particular ossuary in question bears the inscription "Yehuda bar Yeshua"), he pointed out that the name had been found 71 times in burial caves from that time period.
Thus, both the full form Yehoshua and the abbreviated form Yeshua were in use during the Gospel period – and in relation to the same person, as in the Hebrew Bible references to Yehoshua/Yeshua son of Nun, and Yehoshua/Yeshua the high priest in the days of Ezra. An argument in favor of the Hebrew reduced form ישוע Yeshua, as opposed to Yehoshua, is the West Syriac dialect in which the pronunciation is Yeshu` /jeʃuʕ/.
East Syriac Ishoʕ.
Yeshuuʕ or Ishoʕ, the Syriac name of Jesus.
Aramaic and (Classical Syriac) render the pronunciation of the same letters as ܝܫܘܥ yeshuuʕ (yešuʕ) /yeʃuʕ/ and ܝܫܘܥ ishoʕ (išoʕ) /iʃoʕ/. The Aramaic Bibles and the Peshitta Syriac preserve these same spellings. Current scholarly consensus posits that the NT texts were translated from the Greek, but this theory is not supported directly at least by the name for Jesus, which is not a simple transliteration of the Greek form as would otherwise be expected, as Greek did not have an "sh" [ʃ] sound, and substituted [s]; and likewise lacked and therefore omitted the final ‘ayin sound [ʕ]. Moreover, Eusebius (early fourth century) reports that Papius (early second century) reports that Jesus's disciple Matthew wrote a gospel "in the Hebrew language". (Note, scholars typically argue the word "Hebrew" in the New Testament refers to Aramaic. But others have attempted to refute this view. See Randall Buth and Chad Pierce, "Ebraisti in Ancient Texts: Does Ἐβραϊστί ever Mean "Aramaic"?" in Buth and Notley, ed., The Language Environment in First Century Judea, Brill, 2014.) The Aramaic of the Peshitta does not distinguish between Joshua and Jesus, and the Lexicon of William Jennings gives the same form ܝܫܘܥ for both names. The Hebrew final letter ayin ע is equivalent to final ܥ in Classical Syriac and East Syriac and West Syriac. It can be argued that the Aramaic speakers who used this name had a continual connection to the Aramaic-speakers in communities founded by the apostles and other students of Jesus, thus independently preserved his historical name Yeshuuʕ and the Eastern dialectical Ishoʕ. Those churches following the East Syrian Rite still preserve the name Ishoʕ.
Yeshua, Yehoshua, and Yeshu in the Talmud.
In the Talmud, only one reference is made to the spelling Yeshua, in verbatim quotation from the Hebrew Bible regarding Jeshua son of Jozadak (elsewhere called Joshua son of Josedech). The Talmud does refer to several people named Yehoshua from before (e.g. Joshua ben Perachyah) and after Jesus (e.g., Joshua ben Hananiah). In references to Jesus in the Talmud, however, where the name occurs, it is rendered Yeshu, which is a name reserved in Aramaic and Hebrew literature from the early medieval period until today, solely for Jesus of Nazareth, not for other Joshuas. Some scholars, such as Maier (1978), regard the two named "Yeshu" texts in the Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a and 107b) to be later amendments, and not original.
Rabbinical commentary on the difference Yeshu/Yeshua.
Yeshua was used as the name for Jesus in late additions to the Yosippon; however, its usage here is a translation back into the Hebrew Yeshua from the Greek.
In general rabbinical sources use Yeshu, and this is the form to which some named references to Jesus in the Talmud as Yeshu occur in some manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud, though some scholars, such as Maier (1978) have argued that the presence of the name Yeshu in these texts is a late interpolation. Some of the Hebrew sources referencing Yeshu include the Toledot Yeshu, Sefer Nestor ha-Komer, Jacob ben Reuben's Milhamoth ha-Shem, Sefer Nizzahon Yashan, Sefer Joseph Hamekane, the works of Ibn Shaprut, Moses ha-Kohen de Tordesillas, and Hasdai Crescas.
The name Yeshu is unknown in archeological sources and inscriptions, except for one ossuary found in Palestine which has an inscription where someone has started to write first Yeshu.. (incorrectly?) and then written Yeshua bar Yehosef beneath it. There are 24 other ossuaries to various Yeshuas and Yehoshuas. None of the others have Yeshu. All other "Joshuas" in the Talmud, rabbinical writings, modern Hebrew, are always Yeshua or Yehoshua. There are no undisputed examples of any Aramaic or Hebrew text where Yeshu refers to anyone else than Jesus.
Some of rabbinical sources comment on the reasons for the missing ayin from Yeshu, as opposed to the Hebrew Bible Yeshua and Yehoshuah. Leon Modena argues that it was Jesus himself who made his disciples remove the ayin, and that therefore they cannot now restore it. (Modena was a 17th-century polemicist and does not have reliable lingusitic evidence for the claim.) A tradition states that the shortening to Yeshu relates to the Y-SH-U of the yimach shemo "may his name be obliterated." Against this David Flusser suggested that the name Yeshu itself was "in no way abusive," but "almost certainly" a Galilean dialect form of Yeshua. But E.Y. Kutscher showed that the `ayin was still pronounced in Galilee, refuting a thesis by Paul Kahle.
Smartphone App Detects Heart Attacks.
A smartphone application developed by researchers at the University of Turku can detect myocardial infarction, commonly known as a heart attack. No extra equipment is required for the app as it utilizes the phone's built-in motion sensors, especially the gyroscope. Therefore, the used technology is largely similar to the app for detecting atrial fibrillation, which the research group announced in August. The myocardial infarction detection app should be available for test use in 2017.
Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death killing over 17.5 million people worldwide in 2012. One of the most well-known diseases belonging to this category is an acute myocardial infarction, i.e. a heart attack.
It is important to detect the heart attack when the first symptoms appear, so that the patient can receive medical care as quickly as possible. However, sometimes people mistakenly assume that the chest pain is transient or caused by a heart burn, which can be fatal.
– Myocardial infarction is caused by a blockage in the coronary artery that supplies oxygen-rich blood to the heart. The part of the heart muscle suffering from the lack of oxygen can be permanently damaged and therefore urgent clinical intervention is very important. The best treatment is a quick coronary angioplasty, says Professor of Cardiology Juhani Airaksinen from the Heart Centre of Turku University Hospital.
Initial Results Are Promising.
The study tested how well a heart attack can be detected using only the data collected with the built-in motion sensors of a smartphone. The study group consisted of 17 infarction patients, who were treated at the Heart Centre of Turku University Hospital. Measurements were taken by placing the smartphone on a patient’s chest for a few minutes while they were laying down and it measured the rotational micro movements of the chest. One recording was taken from each patient during the heart attack and the other after the coronary angioplasty surgery. Next, the researchers compared the two data sets.
– The sensors of the smartphone, such as the gyroscope, are so sensitive that it is able to measure the rotational micro movements of the chest caused by the movement of the heart when the phone is placed on the patient’s chest. When the blood flow to the heart muscle is disturbed, these micro movements in the chest are affected and the phone can sense it, says Project Manager Tero Koivisto from the Technology Research Center (TRC) at the University of Turku.
All iPhones and many Android phones feature a gyroscope. Data processing is carried out automatically and does not need to be interpreted by a person with medical training.
– Before the actual analysis that is based on machine learning, the data is preprocessed and, for example, the data corrupted by excessive movements is removed. After that, the machine learning algorithm we have developed can immediately tell if the patient is having a heart attack, Koivisto describes the method.
In the study, the algorithm detected myocardial infarction with the minimum accuracy of over 70 %. The researchers believe that if the app has recorded the patient’s baseline before the heart attack it should be possible to achieve an accuracy of over 90 %.
App Encourages Patients to Seek Medical Care Faster.
When someone feels acute chest pain, the phone should be placed on their chest in order to start the recording. The data collection phase takes about two minutes. The app analyses the data immediately and gives the result.
– The app is intended to encourage patients to seek medical care faster. Our goal is not to rule out heart attacks, but to give a signal to the patient when a real emergency is at hand, Koivisto describes the intended use of the app.
– In my opinion, this is worth trying, because this kind of a solution could lower the threshold for seeking medical care in a case of acute myocardial infarction. Assessing the symptoms of a heart attack can be sometimes very difficult and the possible additional confirmation given by the app could be extremely necessary, summarises Airaksinen.
The research results were achieved in a New Knowledge and Business from Research Ideas project funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, TEKES.
The research results were published at the third European Congress on eCardiology & eHealth in Berlin on 26-28 October: Tero Koivisto, Olli Lahdenoja, Tero Hurnanen, Mojtaba Jafari Tadi, Eero Lehtonen, Tuija Vasankari, Antti Saraste, Tuomas Kiviniemi, Juhani Airaksinen, Mikko Pänkäälä, “Detecting indications of acute myocardial infarction using smartphone only solution”, European Congress on e-Cardiology & e-Health, 2016.
What’s so ‘Hallowed’ about Halloween?
Creepy goblins, ghosts and demons, witches on brooms, spiders and bats, dead men’s bones, flickering jack-o’-lanterns, black cats, eerie costumes and parties.
What a weird festival this is!
And an increasingly costly and dangerous one, too. Each year following this strange celebration, gruesome accounts surface of the giving of booby-trapped “treats” to children: apples with concealed razor blades, candy bars with hidden needles, cookies containing ground glass, bonbons laced with poisons. This is to say nothing of the cases, reported and unreported, of muggings and molestations that occur on the eve of “All Hallows.”
In addition, there are those incidences of bodily harm inflicted accidentally during the course of Halloween festivities: the automobile driver failing to see the child dressed in black crossing the street at night, the burns from a flammable costume that is ignited by a candle in a jack-o’-lantern.
In many cases, extensive destruction is done to private and public property by vandalism.
Are these instances unrelated to the theme and purpose of this festival?
Is it good?
The Halloween period is big business. It is one of the three top candy-selling seasons of the year. Hundreds of millions of dollars sweeten the cash register tills in exchange for hundreds of millions of pounds of confections.
Greeting card companies, manufacturers and retailers of costumes and decorations take their share of the profits, too. For them it pays well to keep the Halloween “spirit” alive.
But in calculating the price of Halloween, we can’t stop there. We must include the added cost — impossible to calculate — that all of those refined, chemical-laden “treats” ultimately exact in dental and medical bills.
Besides whatever physical harm children may suffer from Halloween, there is an as yet unmeasured damage inflicted on the child’s standard of values. After all, are not children taught by Halloween to beg? Isn’t it an attempt to get something for nothing? And what is “trick or treat” but extortion? “Give me something — or else!”
Impressionable minds cannot fail to see how richly it pays off, and then may expect the same to continue in the days and weeks that follow.
Still, every year millions of people refuse to let these negative aspects stand in the way of their Halloween fun and frolic. Children and adults alike adorn themselves with bizarre and frightening costumes and engage in a hectic night of partying, merrymaking and general mayhem.
But just how did these strange goings-on get started anyway?
The origin of Halloween.
It really is no secret that Halloween has been around for thousands of years. Centuries before the birth of Christ, ancient Druids performed mystical rites and ceremonies in honor of the dead on their “New Year’s Eve” (October 31).
History books and encyclopedias openly describe this pagan origin. Even newspapers, as an item of curiosity, print articles at Halloween time explaining the pagan beginnings and their parallels to today’s customs.
The point is, Halloween is pagan.
Still, most people, particularly those who are parents, will justify Halloween’s observance by saying, in effect, something like this: “So what? So it was started by pagans. We aren’t thinking about pagan gods today. We’re just having fun. And it’s great for the children. What difference does it make where it came from?”
Well, it doesn’t make any difference unless …
Unless you care what The Lord says on the subject! For if you accept the teachings of Jesus Christ and true Christianity, then it does make a great deal of difference. God’s Word, the Bible, as we shall see, has a great deal to say about why you should not be involved with customs such as those centering on Halloween.
Let’s be honest. One only has to look at Halloween costumes and decorations to see that they celebrate death, devils, witches and darkness. True Christianity stands for the exact opposite of these things! Christians are supposed to conduct themselves in a way that exemplifies light and life, not darkness and death.
The diametric contradiction between these two approaches is noted by Ralph Linton in Halloween Through Twenty Centuries: “Among all the festivals which we celebrate today, few have histories stranger than that of Halloween… it commemorates beings and rites with which the church has always been at war.” He then goes on to describe Halloween festivities as customs that were “once forbidden to good Christians.”
Somewhere along the line, these alien pagan customs worked their way into what the world considers Christianity.
G.W. Douglas discloses in The American Book of Days the shocking fact that “the mystic rites and ceremonies with which Halloween was originally observed had their origin among the Druids centuries before the dawn of the Christian era in the celebration on the eve of the festival of Samhain [the lord of the dead — Satan]…. The early [medieval] Christian church adopted the eve and the day following and gave new names to them, as it did with many other Christian observances.”
Writer Dorothy Wood of the Wichita Beacon stated the case clearly: “This ancient night of revelry for the devil and his cohorts has degenerated…. It’s the Christians who are to blame. For centuries, they’ve been grabbing off all the old heathen festivals. The midwinter feast with its greens and feasting and drinking has become Christmas. The wild spring festival has become Easter, and the worshipers of Christ boldly use the old pagan symbols of fertility — chicks and rabbits and eggs. Now they’ve completely taken over Halloween.”
The Lord does not look at this lightly. He does not want His people to borrow pagan customs (Deuteronomy 12:29-31) with their inevitable detriment to the development of spiritual character. He plainly and directly commanded through the prophet Jeremiah, “Learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2, Authorized Version).
Through Moses, The Lord condemned as abominable all that has to do with witchcraft, necromancy (black magic) and other demonic works of darkness (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).
In view of this biblical condemnation, we should want to stay as far away as possible from whatever falls into these categories. Instead, all across the land, children — and adults — dress as witches, demons and other manifestations that honor the “lord of death” on his special night.
People do not seem to realize that Satan and his demons are the enemies of The Lord, while Halloween purposefully honors Satan.
The apostle Paul summed up the proper attitude that true Christians should have and should teach to their children: “For you were once darkness [in the past — before becoming Christians], but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light [not dressed as demons, witches, zombies and other beings of darkness] (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them [by letting your light shine]. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret [let alone to participate in them]” (Ephesians 5:8-12).
Few seem to realize that Halloween and the other religious “Christian” holidays are actually counterfeits that have been subtly introduced to take the place of the Holy Days The Lord instituted. (For a complete explanation of the days The Lord ordained, write for a free copy of our booklet Pagan Holidays — or God’s Holy Days — Which?)
The Holy Days of The Lord are listed in Leviticus 23. These are the days that were observed by Yeshua (real name of Jesus), the apostles and the early New Testament Church. Shortly after the death of the apostles, however, the keeping of these days was discontinued by a developing great counterfeit religious system — a system that ultimately brought in its own sacred days adapted from heathen religions.
It seems that throughout history man has sought to replace that which The Lord originally gave for man’s good with that which is inferior and a corruption of the truth. Halloween is a classic example of such a counterfeit.
Some of the feast days The Lord established (see Leviticus 23:24, 27, 34) fall in the seventh month of the sacred calendar, at a period that varies slightly from year to year but centers on early October. Ancient Israel was ordered to observe these Lord-ordained days. But instead of keeping the feasts of The Lord in the seventh month, King Jeroboam ordained his own feast one month later (I Kings 12:27-33).
This counterfeit festival, in the middle of the eighth month, was approximately equivalent time-wise to Halloween today!
A provable connection? No. But the point is, The Lord rejected the inferior substitute that was made for something He had instituted — and rejected the whole people because they had rejected Him.
There is a lesson in that for us.
What could be better — for children and adults, too — than restoring the observance of God’s Holy Days according to His instructions? Better than Halloween, Christmas, Easter or any of the other humanly devised false substitutes.
During the early part of October, while commercial advertisements begin to prepare people for yet another Halloween, the real Christians observe the Feast of Tabernacles, one of God’s festivals. They enjoy themselves in good, clean fun at some of the most beautiful locations on earth, while rejoicing in light and truth, learning how to give and share — the exact opposite of the “get” mentality of death-oriented Halloween observance — and preparing themselves for the soon-coming world tomorrow.
Once a person properly keeps the days God has commanded, he realizes what cheap, inferior, meaningless substitutes are the religious holidays of the world. If you haven’t yet experienced them, you’re really shortchanging yourself and your children. You’re missing something inestimably good! (By Clayton D. Steep).