Writing at Slate, Forrest Wickman examines the etymology and origins of the holiday’s name.
Today is Good Friday, the day on which Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The name may seem counterintuitive to many Christians and nonbelievers, since the day is typically viewed as a solemn one, often observed with fasting and somber processions. Why is Good Friday called Good Friday?
Probably because good used to mean holy. There are a few theories about why Good Friday is called Good Friday, but only one seems to be supported by linguists and by historical evidence.
The first of these theories is that Good Friday is called Good Friday because, Christians believe, there is something very good about it: It is the anniversary, they say, of Jesus suffering and dying for their sins. “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 suggests. Perhaps this logic has helped the name stick–it is certainly how many Christians today understand the name–but it is not where the name originally comes from.
Read the rest of the story at Slate.