NASHVILLE (BP) -- Some Christians have expressed chagrin that Easter and April Fools' Day fall on the same date this year. But any moderate emotional energy expended contemplating Easter's date in 2018 pales in comparison to the passion believers brought to dating Easter the first four centuries of church history.
The story of that passion helps explain how Christians have come to calculate Easter's date.
"Why was the date of Easter such a divisive issue?" said Rex Butler, professor of church history and patristics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. "First, the centrality of Jesus' resurrection to the Christian faith made the date of its observance a critical concern. Second, the rituals associated with Easter brought into sharp contrast the differing dates of its observance. Read More