The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter
By Shaun Willcock
[SRT Note: Studies in Reformed Theology is not connected with The Remnant Publications, receive any revenue from The Remnant Publications, nor should this be construed as necessarily endorsing the conclusions and theological viewpoints of the publishers of The Remnant Publications.
SRT Update: The Remnant Publications contacted SRT to inform us that it was currently out of stock of The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter...and went on to say it didn't expect to be able to even obtain more copies. As requested, the ordering address has been removed from this review.]
The Remnant Publications has acquired a number of copies of The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter, and they are available to our readership while the supply lasts. Published abroad by its author, this is a rather unusual and providential occurrence, as most if not all publications previously offered in The Remnant have been printed by Welsh Tract Publications.
This book is an interesting study of the origin of the pagan practices of Christmas and Easter, a specific discussion for those who are particularly interested in the background of "religious holidays." It is excellent for its intended purpose, that of heightening our awareness of the heathenism underlying these observances.
Brother Willcock does not wander from his subject matter but is straightforward and well organized in his presentation. The book is in two parallel parts (Part One, Christmas, and Part Two, Easter). Each part deals with the pagan origin, the customs, the author's understanding of the biblical accounts of what really happened during the times in question (the birth of Jesus Christ in Part One and His death and resurrection in Part Two), and a concluding chapter under each heading. The book concludes with a final overall summary chapter.
Some readers may consider the author's conclusions speculative in places. Many who are taken up with Christmas trees, dyed eggs, and Easter bunnies will oppose—I think unsuccessfully—this booklet's contents. On the other hand, if you have heard these things controverted, and you have wondered what all the fuss was about, this little treatise will certainly get you started on finding the answer. Readers who are already aware of Babylonian-Roman paganism, as it has been passed down to this present evil age, will find this work is a handy reference.
Because of the nature of its subject, Pagan Festivals... is footnoted for checking the author's historical documentation. There are seventy-nine footnotes in all; over half of them are citations to The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop (Loizeaux Brothers, 1959). From that standpoint, Brother Willcock's book might well be considered an introduction to, or a pocket summary of, Hislop's 330-page work. For those demanding a wider validation, at least nine of his footnotes refer the reader to various editions of Encyclopedia Britannica for verification. In addition to these works and some other secular publications, there are Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Baptist authorities who are also cited.
Willcock's book reveals the origin of the Christmas tree and where it is described in the Bible, what mistletoe and holly really represent, the origin of the Santa Claus myth, the sources of Lent, dyed eggs, and Easter bunnies, among many other facts; it even addresses the one time Easter is mentioned in the Bible and clarifies what the word used there really means.
By offering it to those interested in the subjects, the publishers of The Remnant are of course not endorsing its every word and conclusion. However, for those who want to know more about the pagan background of the two major "holidays" observed in church-ianity today, this little book is a good place to begin.
The Pagan Festivals of Christmas and Easter is 64 pages, paperback. $5.00 postage paid.