What does Halloween mean in the Bible? | Frequently asked questions about Christianity (2023)

Halloween is a popular festival that takes place on October 31st every year in many Western countries. Common activities people do on Halloween include trick-or-treating to collect candy from neighbors, donning costumes, and carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns. A common question that Christians and non-Christians ask is what the Bible says about Halloween.

The Bible does not mention Halloween directly, but its name and some of its traditions are rooted in the Roman Catholic Church. Some of its other practices are rooted in Celtic paganism. In Christianity, the historical significance of Halloween is that it precedes All Saints' Day on November 1st.

What is the Christian origin of Halloween? What does the word actually mean? What about All Saints' Day? What does the Bible say about sanctuaries? Why don't some Christians celebrate Halloween? What is trunk or treat? Read on for answers to these and other questions.

What does Halloween mean in the Bible? | Frequently asked questions about Christianity (1)

What is the Christian origin of Halloween?

DieCambridge dictionarydefines "Halloween" as "the evening of October 31st when children wear special clothes, often masks, to hide their faces, and go from house to house asking for candy". [1] Carving pumpkins is also a common way to anticipate the arrival of Halloween.

The word "Halloween"

The origins of the word "Halloween" explain the day's connection to Christianity. But to be clear, activities like trick-or-treating, costume donning, and pumpkin carving don't have itChristianOrigin. Instead, most historians believe they are rooted in harvest festivals in medieval Europe.

However, "Halloween" comes from the expression "All Hallows' Eve". The word "sanctuaries" refers to holy people. It can also describe something being set apart for sacred purposes, like a tag or a name.

SomeBibleReaders may be familiar with this word because the KJV uses it in the first line of the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father who art in heaven,sanctifiedbe thy name” (Matthew 6:9, emphasis added).

The meaning of All Saints

For the reasons outlined above, another name for Halloween is "All Saints Day," which occurs before "All Saints Day" (or "All Saints Day") on November 1st.all saints dayis celebrated in Catholic churches, but only in some Protestant churches, such as some branches of Lutheranism and Methodism.

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All Saints' Day is especially remembered for ChristiansSaintand martyrs who have died. Like Christmas and Easter, Christianity has traditionally held a vigil on the eve before (or the "eve") of an important holiday.

The Bible mentions saints, but not All Saints

The biblical definition of a "saint" is a holy man or woman destined for devotion and service for God. Some modernBibleTranslations use the word "Saint" in their English lyrics.

For example, the ESV translation reads 1 Corinthians 1:2: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, those who are calledSaint…” (emphasis added). The KJV, NKJV and NASB also use the English word “Saints” in the verse. The NIV and NLT translate the same thingGreekword "holy people".

The Greek word translated "saints" or "holy people" is hagios (ἅγιος), meaning "set apart by" or "for."Good. In the New Testament, the word hagios does not refer to a specific group of deceased believers, but to all Christians. In summary, God calls all believers to be holy and set apart to Him.

After Roman Catholicism someChristenare so committed to God that they are "canonized" as models of faithfulness. AfterMerriam-Webster's dictionary, "canonize" in this sense means "declare (a deceased person) an officially recognized saint". [2]

Because of this designationCatholicsusually ask deceased saints through prayer for help and blessings in life.

Protestants emphasize that the Greek word, although translated "saints," does not refer to the church's canonization of specific Christians. Instead, the description applies toatChristians. This disagreement between Catholics andProtestantsintensified during the Reformation.

The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Churchexplains: "The great superstition surrounding the practice in the later Middle Ages had led the Bogomils and Waldensians to attack the practice, and at the Reformation it was strongly opposed, especially by the Zwinglians and Calvinists, because this was not expressly the case in recommended by Scripture." [3]

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What does Halloween mean in the Bible? | Frequently asked questions about Christianity (3)

Why don't some Christians celebrate Halloween?

Some Christians refrain from celebrating Halloween because some of its traditions are rooted in paganism, which is contrary to a biblical worldview. Additionally, some stories, customs, and beliefs associated with Halloween in popular culture contain unsettling elements of evil, terror, and fear.

The Celtic festival, Samhain

Some historians believe that certain Halloween traditions are rooted in the Celtic peoples of medieval Europe. For example, on November 1st, the Celts celebrated a festival called "Samhain" which signaled the end of the autumn harvest and the beginning of the autumn harvestDarknessdes Winters.

Some Celts believed that in the darkest months of the year the invisible veil was lifted between the realms of the living and the dead. In theory,ghostswere more active, haunts more common, and creatures like vampires and zombies interacted with the living.

DuringChristendon't mind eating sweets, dressing up in costumes or pumpkins, some refrain from such activities on October 31 to distance themselves from Celtic traditions.

The evil associated with Halloween

Evil deeds are rarely a part of people's Halloween celebrations in real life, but it is a common theme in stories, legends, and films associated with the day. representations ofHalloweenthe film rarely deals with church Christians or old Celtic festivals.

Instead, themes like murder, torture, fear, and deathSatanismare common. While some of these things are a part of life, Christians want to avoid glorifying them through entertainment.

stem or treat

An alternative to Halloween popular among Christians is called "Trunk or Treat", which also takes place on the evening of October 31st.

In most versions of the event, people park their vehicles at theChurchand open their suitcases, some of which are decorated. When children come by, some in disguise, they say "trick or treat" and the vehicle owner puts candy in their bag.

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SomeChristianFamilies believe suitcases or treats are safer than going door to door in their neighborhood asking for candy. Also, churches do not seek to scare children or include themes such as ghosts or murder in their celebrations. And some churches use the vent for evangelistic purposes, telling children the story of Jesus Christ.

[1] „Halloween“ imCambridge dictionary.
[2] "Canonize" isMerriam-Webster's dictionary.
[3]The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. p. 1227-1228.

Daniel Yesaja Josef

Daniel's seminary degree is Exegetical Theology. He was pastor for 10 years. As a professor he taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. See the About Us page for details.

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