New Testament Facts on Easter in Dispute

Yokosuka ChapelThis article originated from Father Dan's Blog

(Chapel in Yokosuka, Japan where I attended and studied the Bible when 15 and 16)

I was going to save this until Sunday but then I started thinking - "Gee, this could be fun to discuss in church, after church at brunch - maybe Friday night during family fun time. . . ." After all, the Bible is the infallible, divinely-inspired word of God, right? The entire Christian religion is based on the resurrection of the Christ - so we know that part of the Good Book will be very accurate! The very crux of the argument for Christianity being the one true religion is that it is the only religion in which the Savior actually rose from the dead to fulfill prophecy- so let's look closer to see if there were any conflicts in the observations recorded in the Holy Book:

Father Dan's Easter Quiz:

1. Who first came to the tomb on Sunday morning? a. one woman (John 20:1) b. two women (Matt. 28:1) c. three women (Mark 16:1) d. more than three women (Luke 23:55-56; 24:1,10)

2. She (they) came a. while it was still dark (Matt. 28:1; John 20:1) b. after the sun had risen (Mark 16:2)

3. The woman (women) came to the tomb a. to anoint the body of Jesus with spices (Mark 16:1-2; Luke 24:1) b. just to look at it (Matt. 28:1; John 20:1)

4. The women had obtained the spices a. on Friday before sunset (Luke 23:54-56; 24:1) a. after sunset on Saturday (Mark 16:1)

5. The first visitor(s) was/were greeted by a. an angel (Matt. 28:2-5) b. a young man (Mark 16:5) c. two men (Luke 24:4) d. no one (John 20:1-2)

6. The greeter(s) a. was sitting on the stone outside the tomb (Matt 28:2) b. was sitting inside the tomb (Mark 16:5) c. were standing inside the tomb (Luke 24:3-4)

7. After finding the tomb empty, the woman/women a. ran to tell the disciples (Matt. 28:7-8; Mark 16:10; Luke 24:9; John 20:2) b. ran away and said nothing to anyone (Mark 16:8)

8. The risen Jesus first appeared to a. Mary Magdalene alone (John 20:14; Mark 16:9) b. Cleopas and another disciple (Luke 24:13,15,18) c. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matt. 28:1,9) d. Cephas (Peter) alone (1 Cor. 15:4-5; Luke 24:34)

9. Jesus first appeared a. somewhere between the tomb and Jerusalem (Matt. 28:8-9) b. Just outside the tomb (John 20:11-14) c. in Galilee - some 80 miles (130 Km) north of Jerusalem (Mark 16:6-7) d. on the road to Emmaus - Miles (11 Km) west of Jerusalem (Luke 24:13-15) e. we are not told where (Mark 16:9; 1 Cor. 15:4-5)

10. The disciples were to see Jesus first a. in Galilee (Mark 16:7; Matt. 28:7,10,16) b. in Jerusalem (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:33,36; John 20:19; Acts 1:4)

11. the disciples were told that they would meet the risen Jesus in Galilee a. by the women, who had been told by an angel of the Lord, then by Jesus himself after the resurrection (Matt. 28:7-10; Mark 16:7) b. by Jesus himself, before the crucifiction (Mark 26:32)

12. The risen Jesus a. wanted to be touched (John 20:27) b. did not want to be touched (John 20:17) c. did not mind being touched (Matt. 28:9-10)

13. Jesus ascended to Heaven a. the same day that he was resurrected (Mark 16:9,19; Luke 24:13,28-36,50-51) b. forty days after the resurrection (Acts 1:3,9) c. we are not told that he ascended to Heaven at all (Matt. 28:10, 16-20; John 21:25; the original Gospel of Mark ends at 16:8)

14. The disciples received the Holy Spirit a. 50 days after the resurrection (Acts 1:3,9) b. in the evening of the same day as the resurrection (John 20:19-22)

15. The risen Jesus a. was recognized by those who saw him (Matt. 28:9; Mark 16:9-10) b. was not always recognizable (Mark 16:12; Luke 24:15-16,31,36-37; John 20:14-15)

16. The risen Jesus a. was physical (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:41-43; John 20:27) b. was not physical (Mark 16:9,12,14; Luke 24:15-16,31,36-37; John 20:19,26; 1 Cor. 15:5-8)

17. The risen Jesus was seen by the disciples a. presumably only once (Matt. 28:16-17) b. first by two of them, later by all eleven (Mark 16:12-14; Luke 24:13-15,33,36-51) c. three times (John 20:19,26; 21:1,14) d. many times (Acts 1:3)

18. When Jesus appeared to the disciples a. there were eleven of them (Matt. 28:16-17; Luke 24:33,36) b. twelve of them (1 Cor. 15:5)

Hey, when has religion ever let facts or figures get in the way of a good quote. If this quiz has in any way shaken your faith, simply open the Bible and pull out sentences at random that make you feel good or (completely out of context) reaffirm any belief you want to hold.

Modern-day Easter is derived from two ancient traditions: one Judeo-Christian and the other Pagan. Both Christians and Pagans have celebrated death and resurrection themes following the Spring Equinox for millennia. Most religious historians believe that many elements of the Christian observance of Easter were derived from earlier Pagan celebrations.

The equinox occurs each year on March 20, 21 or 22. Both Neopagans and Christians continue to celebration religious rituals in the present day. Wiccans and other Neopagans usually hold their celebrations on the day or eve of the equinox. Western Christians wait until the Sunday on or after the next full moon. The Eastern Orthodox churches follow the Julian Calendar, so that their celebration is generally many weeks after that of the Western churches.

The name "Easter" originated with the names of an ancient Goddess and God. The Venerable Bede, (672-735 CE.) a Christian scholar, first asserted in his book De Ratione Temporum that Easter was named after Eostre (a.k.a. Eastre). She was the Great Mother Goddess of the Saxon people in Northern Europe. Similar "Teutonic dawn goddess of fertility [were] known variously as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos." 1 Her name was derived from the ancient word for spring: "eastre." Similar Goddesses were known by other names in ancient cultures around the Mediterranean, and were celebrated in the springtime. Some were:

Aphrodite from Cyprus Astarte, from Phoenicia Demeter, from Mycenae Hathor from Egypt Ishtar from Assyria Kali, from India Ostara, a Norse Goddess of fertility.

But WAIT! Various early church writers, such as Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyons; circa 120 to ?) Justin Martyr (Christian apologist; 100 to 165), Tertullian (Christian theologian; circa 160 to 220 +) concluded that the Pagan/Christian similarities were a Satanic attempt at "diabolical mimicry." Satan was said to have use "plagiarism by anticipation." That is, the Devil replicated the life experiences of Jesus, centuries before his birth. The reason was to confuse the public into thinking that Jesus was merely a copy of previous godmen.

cropped-Sepulveda-Unitarian-Universalist-Society-Onion.jpg (Sepulveda Unitarian Universalist Society structure known as the "Onion" where Liberal Services, weddings, concerts, poetry and book signings, open mike and other activities are held that are non-denominational and children friendly)

Related Images:

Poem Honoring My Brother on His Birthday

(Chip the fisherman, father, and grandfather)


Click to Zoom all Photos that seem too small)

Born Richard J. Lavery III in Morgan Park near Chicago in 1938

On August 14th which later proved to be a very special date


(Chip and Val)

(Val, Lewis, and Chip Chicago 1940)

Husky, muscular, athletic, intelligent and handsome lad

Named after and followed the footsteps of his demanding Dad


( Dad, Paul, Aunt Jane, Val,Chip, Dan Morgan Park 1946) 

 (Dad Annapolis plebe year 1928)

 (Dad Commander Headquarters Support Activity Yokosuka Japan 1955-7)

Loved fishing anytime and lived in places near the sea

Natural leader who could always explain the world to me


As children we would play cards, hide and seek and hike everywhere

We played hard, competitively and no matter what we played fair


He would bait my hook, untangle my line and knew all the fish

Even organized a menu telling Gammie what to put on the dish


Playing the sax with rhythm, riffs, jazz, classical and rock

Glen Miller, Parker, Desmond, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach

Took me to Lyon & Healy music lessons in Chicago by train

Summer Michigan boys scout camps and 3 day canoe trips in rain


Boxing, softball, cowboys and Indians, and piano lessons in Vallejo

Folding newspapers & packing our bikes for our routes in Coronado


Dillon beach, Los Coronados islands or Jenner-by-the-Sea

He'd show the way and teach his little brother a better person to be

Taught me to square away my uniform, shoes and drill at MPMA

Win at monopoly, canasta, chess, pool or other games every day


Yes he’d tease me, call me names and dunk me in the pool

But never had a malicious thought while making me look a fool

He’d tell a joke and break me up with a belly laugh and roar

I would follow his lead whatever he wanted me to do and more


Once on a playground a bully threatened Chip when I was six

I screamed at him to leave Chip alone or I'd give his face a fix


He knew better than to mess with these Lavery boys

Despite our daily battles, as a team we could make much noise


Inseparable from his loving Chihuahua Tico the mascot of YoHi

Who would wander off, bark, ruffle his fur and go eye to eye

(Tico, white husky Chihuahua, YoHi Mascot)


With any animal ten times his size no matter how vicious or mean

A magnificent and loving pet, his coat shimmering white and clean


Long distance track star and halfback at fifteen for CHS

When I saw him in shoulder pads and cleats proudly I said, "Yes"

(Alex's Kamakura Birthday Party 1955, Chip, Bill, Dan top Ken, Alex  Bottom)

(YoHi Varsity Football 1956 Defense, Chip 15, Dan 13)Click to expand

Hard running YoHi fullback who could cut and run through you

Potent stiff arm, dive, rolling block or a mighty bulldoze too

(Tom running, Dan and Chip blocking for YoHi at Yokohama Japan 1956)

(YoHi Offense 1956)


(Chip and Pat, high school sweethearts, first to marry Annapolis class of 1960 at USNA Chapel)

Fell in love with a beautiful gal born on his birthday

Apple of his eye and by her side he would always stay

(Dan and Chip at Annapolis 1959)


To the Naval Academy at Annapolis at only 17 he proudly went

After much refined preparation he was appointed by our president

(Chip at Pensacola Summer Training)


Scientific mind with peerless mathematics and engineering skill

After a Rickover interview a nuclear submarine billet he did fill


First married from the proud class of 1960 he led the way

Love of family, character, and knowledge lit each day


Honest, hard-working family-man who traveled far and wide

Pat, Rick, Bill, Tim, Steve, Chris and their pets always by his side


Until one dark day when fate dealt Chip and us a bitter blow

And took her and her mother to a place some day we will know


She sang silver-toned with angelic voice any musical part

Wonderful mother and companion who was always in his heart


Five happy, healthy, handsome and hearty boys remind us every day

Of  her and her mother's beauty, commitment, and love here to stay


We see this in each wonderful grandchild's life and face

Rick, Bill, Tim, Steve, and Chris's support provided a special place


For Chip to begin a new life and find another soul-mate to share

The future with and build a business from scratch with flare

Linda came into his life at just the right time to help them both

Quell the despair from the unspeakable loss of the one they troth

Melodious voice, warm heart, love for kids, teaching, and Chip

Perfect match to ease them into the golden year's trip


Their boys moving forward steadily since they were born

All in their own way the family heritage they well-adorn

Now another fateful blow from a doctor's shrill report

A new battle against a foe that knows not fair sport


We support you with the love that characterizes your life

Knowing interceding forces will sustain you in your strife


We hope that the enormous resources of our medical world

Will help your life flourish like a bright flag unfurled


Know from your brother this poem is written from the heart

To the best brother I could have been blessed with from the start


(Presented at Richard J. Lavery III’s funeral in Gainesville, Florida, and to him in the hospital )

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At an Old Hand I Sat Today

My wife was cleaning out some papers from her desk and ran across a poem that our eldest son wrote the year his grandmother and grandfather died. It still brings tears to our eyes when we read it. Just wanted to share it. We feel blessed to have such a sensitive and remarkable son.

At an old hand I sat today.

Listen Listened to the winded way

Leaves unfolded in their day

Once needed not let free

Once needed next to me

Once needed bodied lair

Once needed needless care

Grandpa can you hear me

Spoken words miss their goal

Hours, minutes take their toll

Lasting moments now go

Message in your bottle

Sent out at sea,

Find your destination be


Looked into her frightened eyes,

Saw her far and distant skies

Listen, Listened as she spoke

Many times my heart was broke

Many times I have awoke

Many times are many still

Many times enough to kill


Grandma are you grandma still,

Or does the life take that as well

Will you find me out one day

When my hair is light and gray

Hold my hand in lullaby,

Sit here by my side

Whisked away in rising tide.


At an old hand I sit today

 Listen, Listened to these songs

Twitching itching down my throat,

Fiddle fiddled up this note

Broke the candy coated coat

I need them as they pass their ways

Dancing, singing in their days.



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Noon Hike at Halfmoon Bay

pelican soars over waves

Halfmoon Bay huge wave with surfer

Torrents of breeze chilled my face and hands

Dappled brown and white seagull landed

On to old tattered beach table top

Thanked him with mellow words as he stared

Gestured with my two empty hands that

Showed I brought no food for him today

Halfmoon Bay surfer

Sign warned of rip tides, strong currents, and

Dangerous sleeper waves that threatened

Hundreds of swells crushed and churned ocean

Thundered air like hundreds of drummers

Warning all of nature’s wild forces

Small birds skipped and darted with no fear

 Halfmoon Bay beach and surf

Black wet-suited surfer caught huge wave

Broke over him fifty yards from shore

Emerged with surfboard through water wall

Glided down like skier on ice slope

Sped toward shoreline and darted past me

Human seal left sand trail puffs in wake

porpoise 2

Pod of dolphin black fins broke surface

Thirty feet from wet sand that glistened

Found a bench for two a mile away

Hikers and bikers with dogs behind

Stretched their legs and moved into the wind

Clouds circled in wisps over our heads

Halfmoon Bay Map

Hiked back to our car and left for town

Stores for clothes, books, coffee shops, and more

Found a grill for a salad and meal

Smiling dwellers in eclectic town

Fifteen miles from massive traffic jams

Cement, cars, highways, and industry

Halfmoon Bay many surfers

McGrath Beach many least terns and brwon pelican

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(Click to be thrilled with Nature and Life)  

A beautiful short video of Nature's gifts for all to enjoy to make our day wondrous and an opportunity to share with all the people in our lives we love. There is so much negativity in the world it comes as a great pleasure to share this marvelous production. Thanks to Louie Schwartzberg

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