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Author Archive -- Pastor Joseph Abrahamson


Pastor Joseph Abrahamson serves Clearwater Lutheran Parish (E.L.S.): a parish of four Confessional Lutheran congregations in very rural Northwestern, Minnesota. He and his wife, Mary, have 10 children. Pastor Abrahamson is a graduate of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, and of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies. He has served on the Faculty/Staff at Bethany Lutheran College teaching Religion, Linguistics, Archaeology, and Self-Defense; and was on Staff at the University of Wisconsin as an Information Processing Consultant (Computer Geek) while doing graduate work in Semitics. Pastor Abrahamson has served Clearwater Lutheran Parish (ELS) for since Dec. 2001.

Redeeming Christian Holy Days: Another Bunny Attacks

A brief note on the misuse of Bodleian Library Manuscript Bodl. 264 Folio 21 This image is now being used to demonstrate pagan origins of the Easter Bunny: An example from California State University-San Marcos The drawing is from Prudence Jones and Nigel Pennick‘s 1995/7 A History of Pagan Europe, a Neopagan revisionist history and polemic against Christianity. In Jones’ and Pennick’s book the image is used as an example to prove that pagan rituals survived even though they were repressed by the church. The image is used in the context of equating Christianity with Nazism in the way it persecuted   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 2

This is a reposting of a pair of articles published last year on the origins of Easter and some Easter traditions. The sources are given so that the reader can better be able to debunk the popular “historical” nonsense about the origins of Easter. The whole series is available at Diatheke Christianity and Paganism. — Second Part: Attacks On The Name and Traditions There are three main things people attack about this Holy Day: They claim that it is pagan because the name Easter is from a pagan goddess. They claim that Easter eggs are a symbol of pagan worship,   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies-Easter 1

This is a reposting of a pair of articles published last year on the origins of Easter and some Easter traditions. The sources are given so that the reader can better be able to debunk the popular “historical” nonsense about the origins of Easter. The whole series is available at Diatheke Christianity and Paganism. — Easter is the English/Germanic name for the Festival of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This particular Feast Day is the heart and center of the whole liturgical practice of the Christian Church Year. Because it is at the center it is under great attack by   More…

Passiontide: Passion Sunday, Palm Sunday, Holy Week

Passiontide (Passionalia) is the historic name for the last two weeks of Lent. From ancient times these two weeks were called “The Great Week” (Μεγάλη Εβδομάδα) and “Passion Week”. It was not only the last week as Holy Week, but the fourteen days from Passion Sunday until Holy Saturday. But is Passion Sunday (Dominica Passionis) the Fifth or the Sixth Sunday of Lent? This is a difference between the One Year Series and the Three Year Series. In the Historic Lectionary the Fifth Sunday in Lent is called Passion Sunday and the Sixth Sunday is called Palm Sunday. The Three   More…

Gutting the Lord’s Prayer: an Example

Sometimes the familiar Scripture we grew up with is given such a bizarre twist that we are caught off guard. People tend to be trusting of something that looks like it is researched and has a seemingly sound explanation. Ironically, the more bizarre the twisting, it seems the more people cling to it. The following is an example of how the Lord’s Prayer was gutted and twisted by something pretending to be a scholarly source. This example demonstrates an attempt to redefine the Lord’s Prayer so that it can serve in Newageism and Neopaganism. I picked up the San Antonio   More…

Luther’s Small Catechism and Lent

Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism has been associated with the season of Lent since the time Luther first published in chart in time for Lent in 1529. In his sermon of March 25, 1529, he says: “This exhortation ought not only to move us older ones, but also the young and the children. Therefore you parents ought to instruct and educate them in the doctrine of the Lord: the Decalog, the Creed, the Prayer, and the Sacraments. Such children ought also to be admitted to the Table that they may be partakers” [of the Lord's Supper]. (W. 30, 1, 233.)   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Ash Wednesday and Lent

Image via Wikipedia Falat Julian Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 cm (detail) So, what are the supposed pagan origins of Ash Wednesday and Lent? There are two aspects of Ash Wednesday and Lent that need to be emphasized. First is the historical nature of the forty days of Lent; the second is the use of ash on Ash Wednesday. To put it plainly: the claim that Ash Wednesday and Lent are based on pagan origins is a relatively new fiction that comes out of several different sources. First is the irresponsible work of Alexander Hislop and those who followed   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Ash Wednesday and Lent

Image via Wikipedia Falat Julian Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 cm (detail) So, what are the supposed pagan origins of Ash Wednesday and Lent? There are two aspects of Ash Wednesday and Lent that need to be emphasized. First is the historical nature of the forty days of Lent; the second is the use of ash on Ash Wednesday. To put it plainly: the claim that Ash Wednesday and Lent are based on pagan origins is a relatively new fiction that comes out of several different sources. First is the irresponsible work of Alexander Hislop and those who followed   More…

Redeeming Holy Days-Candlemas/Presentation

January 31st, 2014 1 comment

Candlemas is February 2nd, forty days after the birth of Christ it is the Festival of the Purification of Mary. The Gospel Lesson for this festival is Luke 2:22-40. Perhaps this particular festival does not loom as large in significance to many Christian readers. Even more unfortunately, it seems to be overlooked in Lutheranism today. The theological importance of Christ’s presentation at the Temple, Mary’s fulfillment of the Law of Purification, the meeting with Simeon and Anna, and the words of Simeon to Mary and the Nunc Dimittis are essential to appreciating the Humiliation of the Son of God when   More…

O Emmanuel: December 23rd, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel Hymn Verse: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel. Latin Text: O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, expectratio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos, Domines, Deus noster. English Translation: O Emmanuel, Our King and Lawgiver, The Desire of the nations, and their Savior: Come and save us, O Lord our God. LSB ”O Antiphons” under Hymn 357 and in Treasury of Daily Prayer p. 1046: O Emmanuel, our king and our Lord, the anointed   More…

O Rex Gentium: December 22nd, The “O Antiphons”

Come, Desire Of Nations Hymn Verse: O Come, Desire of nations, bind All peoples in one heart and mind; Bid Thou our sad divisions cease, And be Thyself our King of Peace. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel. Latin Text: O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti. English Translation: O King of the Gentiles, and their Desire, The Corner-stone, Who madest both one: Come and save man, Whom You have formed out of the dust of the earth. LSB ”O Antiphons” under Hymn 357 and in Treasury of   More…

O Oriens: December 21st, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, Thou Dayspring From On High Hymn Verse: O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high, and cheer us by thy drawing nigh; disperse the gloomy clouds of night and death’s dark shadow put to flight. Latin Text: O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis. English Translation: O Radiant Dawn, splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: Come, shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death. LSB ”O Antiphons” under Hymn 357 and in Treasury of Daily Prayer p. 1039: O Dayspring, splendor of light ever- | lasting: * Come   More…

O Clavis David: December 20th, The “O Antiphons”

O Come, Thou Key of David, Come Hymn Verse: O Come, Thou Key of David, come, And open wide our heav’nly home, Make safe the way that leads on high, And close the path to misery. Latin Text: O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel, qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperuit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis. English Translation O Key of David, O royal Power of Israel, controlling at your will the gate of heaven: Come, break down the prison walls of death for those who dwell in darkness and the   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Christmas and Sol Invictus

December 19th, 2013 4 comments

We are reposting this from Dec 4, 2012:   Did Christianity Steal the Date of Sol Invictus? The claim is that Sol Invictus “Invincible Sun” is a more ancient pagan holiday in Rome celebrated on December 25th. The claim assumes that this pagan holiday was so popular and dangerous that the Christian Church sought to suppress it by establishing the celebration of Christ’s Nativity on December 25th. By doing this, the claim continues, the Christians adopted the pagan day and some of the practices of that pagan festival to make the celebration of Christmas more appealing to pagans. Remember first   More…

O Radix Jesse: December 19th, The “O Antiphons”

December 19th, 2013 3 comments

O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s Stem Hymn Verse: O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem, From ev’ry foe deliver them That trust Thy mighty power to save, And give them vict’ry o’er the grave. Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel. Latin Text: O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare. English Translation: O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; Before You kings will shut their mouths, To You the nations will make their prayer: Come and deliver us,   More…