Why is it called Good Friday and what’s so good about it?


Christians believe Jesus was mocked publicly and crucified on a solemn Friday two thousand years ago. Today, the calamitous day is celebrated as Good Friday.

But what’s so good about that?

>> Read more trending news

One answer is that at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, “good” may have referred to “holy” in Old English, a linguistic theory supported by many language experts.

According to Slate, the Oxford English Dictionary notes the Wednesday before Easter was once called “Good Wednesday.” Today, it’s more commonly known as Holy Wednesday.

And Anatoly Liberman, a University of Minnesota professor who studies the origins of English words, told Slate if we consider the alternative names for Good Friday, such as “Sacred Friday” (romance languages) or “Passion Friday” (Russian), this theory makes a lot of sense.

Another possible reason for its moniker — a theory supported by both linguists and historical evidence — refers to the holiday’s ties to Easter Sunday, which celebrates the resurrection of Christ.

Because Jesus couldn’t have been resurrected without dying, the day of his death is, in a sense, “good.”

“That terrible Friday has been called Good Friday because it led to the Resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death and sin and the celebration of Easter, the very pinnacle of Christian celebrations,” the Huffington Post reported.

A third answer, some believe, is that the “good” in Good Friday was derived from "God” or “God’s Friday” — the way the term “goodbye” comes from a contraction of the phrase “God Be With You.”

Still, not everyone refers to this day as Good Friday. For example, 

The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions that, in the Greek Church, the holiday is known as "the Holy and Great Friday." In German, it's referred to as "Sorrowful Friday."

And as aforementioned, “Sacred Friday” and “Passion Friday” are also used.

In addition, because the holiday is also commemorated with a long fast, Good Friday was also referred to as “Long Friday” by the Anglo-Saxons.

Read more at Slate.com


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Lifestyle

Saved by the bell
Saved by the bell

The 9-year-old girl emerges from the dressing room wearing a T-shirt that says “Rebel.” She peeks tentatively into the mirror, then raises her hands into the air with excitement. “I love it!” she exclaims, then adds, “I feel like I’m at the mall!” Children who visit the Assistance League of Austin’s Operation...
SHOPPING: Fine Goods Market opens on Sept. 1
SHOPPING: Fine Goods Market opens on Sept. 1

The Distillery’s Catelyn Silapachai and The Paper and Craft Pantry’s Pei Sim Caso are holding their fifth Fine Goods Market 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 1. The market will feature goods from 11 boutiques including pillows from Cuco and Clara; clothes and accessories from Two13Vintage; lingerie from Flat Frances; wood and embroidery from Basil and...
Style: Learn the trends at ByGeorge Fashion for Breakfast events
Style: Learn the trends at ByGeorge Fashion for Breakfast events

ByGeorge Owner Larry McGuire and Vice President Cameron Smith will be talking about the trends and Austin style at a free breakfast 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 23, at the 524 N. Lamar Blvd. women’s flagship location. You also can shop the 75 percent off summer sale. Look for another Fashion for Breakfast event when beauty and cosmetic company Trish...
Looking for eclipse viewing glasses? We have a source
Looking for eclipse viewing glasses? We have a source

Warby Parker has been handing out free eclipse-viewing glasses in Warby Parker stores in anticipation of the solar eclipse that is happening Monday. We’re expected to see a partial eclipse starting at about 11:41 a.m. and lasting until 2:39 p.m. Warby Parker also has a music video “Solar Eclipse of the Heart” on its website. Find...
HOME: Celebrate the eclipse with paint colors from Sherwin Williams
HOME: Celebrate the eclipse with paint colors from Sherwin Williams

Oh, yes, Sherwin Williams is celebrating the eclipse that is happening on Monday. Who isn’t? It’s released a nine-color line called “Space Invasion” featuring colors like Eclipse (SW 6166), an olive gray; August Moon (SW 7687), a beige; After Glow (SW 6667), a more yellowy beige; and Black Magic (SW 6991), which is black. Find...
More Stories