It strikes me, sometimes, how much hyperpreterism necessarily, by its core, gives support to or concedes the point of Jehovah’s Witnesses on a point of doctrine which even the heretical preterists agree is heretical that being, the bodily resurrection of Christ. What exactly do I mean? Most hyperpreterists confess (at least on the face of it, though according to the Apostle Paul, they do not) the bodily resurrection of Christ. I presume that the majority of them would also concede the theological necessity of the actual bodily resurrection of Christ, not merely the scriptural support. For example, there are some things which Scripture simply speaks of, but make no theological imperative for things to be so, in other words, they could have been otherwise without losing any scriptural doctrinal ground. The bodily resurrection is not one of those doctrines. Not only is it factually taught, it is doctrinally necessary for Christ to have been bodily raised to have completed our redemption. I presume that most hyperpreterists would concede that point. What is amazing is that they do not see, however, what follows inexorably from that, i.e., our bodily resurrection is just as theologically necessary. One follows from the other. That is exactly the Apostle Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians 15 - without the bodily resurrection of believers, there is no redemption. And that is why hyperpreterism is, at its heart, in addition to its many shades of other heresies, both foundational and/or peripheral, another Gospel. Which is no Gospel at all.
This was a very interesting discussion on TheologyWeb located here. The premise dealt with the rejection of holidays such as Easter by Jehovah’s Witnesses because of early pagan associations. Thus Hamster posted this challenge:
The Nickel’s Satanic Origin
As you all know, because Easter comes from the pagan “Eoaster,” a fertility demon, JWs do not celebrate this holiday.
I also urge JWs to give up use of the nickel, when is etymologically related to Satan:
From Etymology Online:
Nickel — 1755, coined in 1754 by Swed. mineralogist Axel von Cronstedt (1722-65) from shortening of Swed. kopparnickel “copper-colored ore” (from which it was first obtained), a half-translation of Ger. Kupfernickel, lit. “copper demon,” from Kupfer (see copper) + Nickel “demon, goblin, rascal” (a pet form of masc. proper name Nikolaus, cf. Eng. Old Nick “the devil;”
Take this into consideration the next time you accept “Nickels” into your coin purses.
Please also note that Pecans are also pagan in origin:
1712, paccan “the pecan tree,” or a related hickory, from Fr. pacane, from Algonquian (cf. Cree pakan “hard-shelled nut,” Ojibway pagan, Abnaki pagann).
After which a discussion ensued about Easter with Hamster explaining that any former pagan associations have been redeemed by Christian meanings. The JW opponent “Dynasty” rejoined with this comment:
First of all, the fact that you deny it’s dark origin’s on the simple grounds of ‘it has been reformed’ really does beggar belief and really is an unacceptable and feeble excuse.
What did Hamster say?
[S]ome false brothers ha[ve] infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.
One wonders when I denied the ‘dark origins’ of Easter. Or should I say, the festival called “Easter” Which, thousands of years ago, to people with worldviews completely unfamilliar to those of us today, celebrated in a fashion that is completely divorced in context and meaning from the fashion it’s celebrated today.
What I denied is that the festival “Easter” which was celebrated in many ways in pre-Christian Europe has any bearing on the mostly innocuous holiday celebrated by people today.
To say that the “Easter” celebrated by 21st century Americans must be abolished because of the “Easter” celebrated by pagans in the ancient world is absolutely absurd and speaks to the painfully superficial thinking that you and your mafia of Pharisees wish to saddle on the Free people of Christ.
Hamster, since you are such an “authority” on the subject of easter…
Well, I wouldn’t say I’m as authoritative as, say, a bunch of heretical recreants who publish a magazine for their artless and simple followers, but we aim to please!
Give me a single Biblical scripture which validates the celebration of Easter
Don’t need to. “Easter,” to Americans, is a collection of activities which mostly includes:
1. Eating candy shaped like domesticated animals - Motive: Savoring the sweetness of chocolate, or other sweet treat.
Presence of Sin: Little. There is a risk over over-indulgence, but over-indulging is not prerequisite for this activity.
2. Painting an egg with the purpose of making it look cute, or pretty. - Motive: Making the Object more Aesthetic (favorable to the eye)
Presence of Sin: It is not Sinful to paint things for the purpose of making them pretty. Thus, there is no sin.
3a. Playing a game of “hide and seek” with the colored eggs - Motive: Entertaining Children
Presence of Sin: It is not sinful to hide things from children for the purpose of entertaining them.
3b. Pretending an Anthropomorphic Rabbit Hid Colored Eggs - Motive: Entertaining Children.
Presence of Sin: It is not sinful to create games about imaginary anthropomorphic rabbits (who are assigned no deeper significance) for the purpose of entertaining children. It may be pointed out that the Rabbit or Hare was used as a symbol in pagan religions, but this is as irrelevent as pointing out that the sun was used as well. If the sun is used in a pre-Judaic religion, does that mean that the Jews are pagan because they later use the Sun to describe God?
None of these things violate any principal of God. These activities are purely innocuous and contain no deeper significance to the participants. While these activities, like any other innocent activities, may be sinful if they distract a person from God, they are not sinful on the grounds of their so-called pagan nature.
“Easter” is etymologically related to some pagan cults and religions that existed thousands of years ago which no one is aware of anymore. Pointing out this etymological connection is as irrelevent as pointing out the etymological connection between “Nickel” and “Satan.”
Give evidence that the 1st century Christians, the true Christians…
The Fallacious Line of Reasoning here:
1. If something is acceptable, it was practiced by the First Century Christians
2. X was not practiced by the First Century Christians
3. Therefore X is not acceptable.
The problem with this line of reasoning is painfully obvious.
Other such activities which were not practiced by the First Century Christians include Studying Science, Reading, and Speaking English.
Would Jesus Christ . . . celebrate a Pagan festival - - [?]
Yet another fallacy.
It’s called begging the question. The pagan-ness of 21st century Easter is assumed in order to prove the pagan-ness of 21st century Easter. The “Easter” of the 21st century is no more pagan than “Nickel” is “Pertaining to Satan.”
The apostle Paul warned Christians of infiltrations like these—-
In order to apply either passage you would have to prove that common 21st century Easter traditions are pagan. Which is what you’re trying to prove. In other words, you’re begging the question again and hoping that no one will notice.
At this Point Dynasty cites several examples of behaviors and customs from thousands of years ago.
1.”Easter” is etymologically related to some pagan cults and reliigons that existed thousands of years ago which no one is aware of anymore. Pointing out this etymological connection is as irrelevent as pointing out the etymological connection between “Nickel” and “Satan.
2. It doesn’t matter if certain terms and practices originally had a pagan connotation. What matters is how they are being used.
Examples of Pagan beliefs being re-adapted for the New Testament:
1. Gehenna. -Robertson’s Word Pictures: Gehenna is the Valley of Hinnom where the fire burned continually. Here idolatrous Jews once offered their children to Molech (2Ki_23:10).
The New Testament uses Gehenna, a pagan sacrificial altar, to communicate Christian truths.
2. Hades - Wikipedia: Roman mythology, an entrance to the underworld located at Avernus, a crater near Cumae, was the route Aeneas used to descend to the Underworld. By synecdoche, “Avernus” could be substituted for the underworld as a whole. The Inferi Dii were the Roman gods of the underworld.
The New Testament uses and re-adapts Pagan beliefs about Hades to communicate Christian truths.
3. Tartarus -Wikipedia: In Greek mythology, Tartarus, or Tartaros, is both a deity and a place in the underworld - even lower than Hades. In ancient orphic sources and in the mystery schools Tartaros is also the unbounded first-existing “thing” from which the Light and the cosmos is born.
Yet another example of the New Testament re-adapting Pagan beliefs in order to communicate Christian truths.
4. Daimonion (Demon) - Wikipedia: For Greeks and Romans, daemons (”replete with knowledge”, “divine power”, “fate” or “god”) were not necessarily evil. Socrates claimed to have a daimon that warned him and gave him advice but never coerced him into following it. He claimed that his daimon exhibited greater accuracy than any of the forms of divination practised at the time. The Hellenistic Greeks divided daemons into good and evil categories: eudaemons (also called calodaemons) and cacodaemons, respectively. Eudaemons resembled the modern idea of the guardian angel (see eudaimonia). They watched over ordinary mortals to help keep them out of trouble. A comparable Roman genius accompanied a person or protected and haunted a place (genius loci).
And Lo, a Pharisee, hearing that these nefarious pagan concepts had been adapted/reformed to teach Christian truths emerged from the crowd, shouting angry epithets at the New Testament authors:
“[T]he fact that you deny [these terms'] dark origin[s] on the simple grounds of ‘it has been reformed’ really does beggar belief and really is an unacceptable and feeble excuse[!]”
He tore his garment and screamed at the heavens:
“daemon, tartaroo, hades, etc. are terms and beliefs which have evolved from vile, disgusting pagan customs and practices! How can you say that using them to communicate Christian truths are ‘no big deal!’
The true children of God do not need the go-ahead from a pagan festival, terms, and beliefs in order to communicate Godly truths! Moses did not wait for some foreign/pagan term to arrive before he ministered to the Israelites, did he? Additionally, there is no claus in the Bible that I am aware of which states that an act of goodwill has to accompanied by a “reformed” pagan ritual, term, or belief. Therefore, if it is good enough for Moses, it is good enough for me.!
And the Pharisee turned into a dove and flew into the arms of Johova.