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Fuller Account of Resurrection Discrepancies

Here is the bit that follows the part of my chapter 4 where I broke off yesterday, on the Gospels as sources for what happened at the resurrection event, starting with the same sentence I ended with yesterday.

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There are other discrepancies, but this is enough.   I should stress that some of these differences can scarcely be reconciled unless you want to do a lot of imaginative interpretive gymnastics, of the kind fundamentalists love to do, when reading the texts.   For example, what does one do with the fact that the women apparently meet different persons at the tomb?  In Mark it is one man, in Luke it is two men, and in Matthew it is one angel.   The way this discrepancy is sometimes reconciled,by readers who can’t believe there could be a genuine discrepancy in the text, is by saying that the women actually met two angels at the tomb.  Matthew mentions only one of them, but never denies there was a second one; moreover, the angels were in human guise, so Luke claims they were two men; Mark also mistakes the angels as men but mentions only one, not two, without denying there were two.  And so the problem is easily solved!  But it is solved in a very curious way indeed.  This solution is saying, in effect, that what really happened is what is not narrated by any of the Gospels:  for none of them mentions two angels!   This way of interpreting the texts does so by writing a new text that is unlike any of the others, so as to reconcile them to one another.  You are certainly free to write your own Gospel if that’s what you want to do, but I wonder if that is the best way to interpret the Gospels that you already have.

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Forgery and the Gospel of Peter
Resurrection Narratives in the Gospels

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Comments

  1. Avatar
    Adam0685  April 2, 2013

    I wonder if all the disciples actually believed the resurrection. There was certainly reason to doubt (re: doubting Thomas) on the grounds that the messiah was in no way expected to be put to death by the Romans! And by the fact that some of the disciples did not reconize Jesus when he appeared to them after his resurrection in Luke 24:13-35 and so on (it really bewilders me that they didn’t recongize Jesus…how could that be????)

    • Avatar
      Adam0685  April 3, 2013

      You posted your first blog post one year ago, on April 3. I would be interested in knowing how much members there are now and how much money you raised.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 3, 2013

      yes, I’ll be dealing with this in the book! I wonder if they all believed it too….

      • Avatar
        Xeronimo74  April 3, 2013

        That’s an intriguing aspect indeed. Like when they ‘saw’ the ‘resurrected Christ’ on the mountain, yet some doubted. Why would they!? Especially if they had already interacted, even eaten, with him before (according to the other Gospels). Something sounds fishy …

  2. Avatar
    RecoveringCalvinist  April 2, 2013

    Isn’t the earliest resurrection account recorded by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 where he relays that Jesus appeared to 500 persons at one time? That certainly would be a fantastic event worthy of being recorded in the Gospels. I think human nature would suggest that the eleven bugged out of Jerusalem immediately, returning to the relative safety of Galilee.

  3. Avatar
    Wilusa  April 2, 2013

    Hmm. Are you now inclined to reject the “empty tomb” claim because you think the male disciples had left for Galilee right after Jesus’s execution, and women still in Jerusalem several days later wouldn’t have been able to tell them anything?

    I’ve tended to believe in the “empty tomb” because (a) it’s in all the stories I’ve been familiar with, and (b) I’ve read that dignified burial wasn’t common after crucifixions, so it’s an “unexpected” detail. Do we know whether the treatment of crucified bodies varied from place to place? Do we have information specifically on Jerusalem?

    Do you doubt the existence of Joseph of Arimathea because there’s no proof “Arimathea” was an actual place? I used to understand it as another name for Rama, but now I’ve read that’s only a theory.

    Because interest in Jesus’s death and Resurrection predated interest in his birth, I’ve thought it possible the prominent names “Mary” (Magdalene) and “Joseph” (of Arimathea) were copied from the end of the story to the beginning, and bestowed on his parents. Any chance of that?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 4, 2013

      I’ll make some posts with my thoughts on the empty tomb. It’s a little hard to summarize in short order!

  4. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  April 2, 2013

    Wow! Thanks! In my opinion, this is one of the best sections of the book so far. I first discovered the extent of Gospel contradictions when I read Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason” during college and this information really changed by view of Christianity. Your three examples are very helpful including the way apologists try to harmonize these contradictions and the problems with such harmonizing attempts. Of course, you cover a lot of similar contradictions in your book entitled “Jesus Interrupted” which is one of my favorite books. Apologists usually reply in three ways:
    1. They harmonize the discrepancies much as you have described. My NIV Study Bible does this over and over again.
    2. They say that the discrepancies are about incidental details which do not matter.
    3. They say that all four Gospels state that a woman or women came to the tomb and it was empty and that is what matters.
    So, the big question is whether or not these discrepancies are of such magnitude that they mean that the Gospels are not reliable historical sources? They certainly would not seem to be reliable history in today’s world. Do we hold ancient history to our current standards?
    You might take another look at the sentence in Line 5 of the paragraph discussing the third example that starts with “The women are informed ….” I had to read this sentence several times. I think you could just omit this sentence. It gets in the way.
    Finally, I know it is a quote, but I had never heard of the word “narrativing.” You might want to define it with a footnote.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 4, 2013

      I’d say we should hold ancient documents to the standards of their own day, if we want to say that by ancient standards they were good historical sources. But if we want instead to say that they are good historical sources, period, then we’re saying something about how we ourselves would want to use them. And sources like these are not good, by our standards. Which means we can’t trust that what they say is historically accurate, even if the authors can’t be blamed for that.

  5. Avatar
    Dr.Context  April 2, 2013

    The example that I use that ceases the jymnastics is that in one account mary sees Jesus, speaks to him. Another, she is told “he is not here, he has risen. Comforting words. But the biggest contridiction comes in the account a Mary running to the disciples, crying, saying “they have taken his body and we don’t know where they have put him.”. No jymnastics can reconcile this.

  6. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  April 3, 2013

    In 1793, Thomas Paine writing in his “The Age of Reason” (pages 163-167 in my copy), makes almost exactly the same points that you make about the empty tomb events, especially about the discrepancy about which women go to the tomb and the discrepancy about the disciples staying in Jerusalem or going to Galilee.

    • Avatar
      Scott F  April 4, 2013

      It’s simply amazing how little the arguments have changed on both sides over the past 100-200 years.

  7. Avatar
    JoeWallack  April 3, 2013

    “And the earliest accounts suggest that it was in Galilee that they had visions of Jesus alive afterwards (intimated in Mark 14:28”

    I think Raymond Brown would find this statement “fantastic”.

    http://www.errancywiki.com/index.php?title=Mark_14

    14:28 “Howbeit, after I am raised up, I will go before you into Galilee.”

    There is no implication here or surrounding that “they had visions of Jesus alive afterwards”. The literal meaning works fine. Jesus has gone to Galilee as the Young Man said and the Disciples will go there after Jesus does. As you know the underlying verb is intransitive. Another correct prophecy of Jesus but with another ironic fulfillment. The Disciples will go to Galilee after Jesus does, but not because they believe he was resurrected but because they do not believe he was resurrected (they are just going home).

    You had mentioned in an earlier post that you consider the Disciples having visions of a resurrected Jesus a historical fact. The original narrative though has a primary theme that the Disciples never believed Jesus would be resurrected and never witnessed or promoted a resurrected Jesus (the thought that Peter was behind this Gospel primarily to promote belief in a resurrected Jesus is perhaps more amazing than the resurrection). The subsequent Gospels which do want the Disciples to believe, witness and promote a resurrected Jesus, still use “Mark” as a base, suggesting there was nothing else to use. More important than this is that we can be absolutely certain that Jesus was not resurrected. Therefore, we can be certain that the Disciples did not witness a resurrected Jesus. This makes it unlikely that they said they did. This makes it unlikely that they had visions of Jesus. Would claims of visions of dead leaders have even been a known phenomena in 1st century Israel?

    Your claim that the Disciples had visions of a resurrected Jesus is a long way from a historical fact.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 3, 2013

      You’ll clearly need to read my entire argument in the book. In the mean time, if you don’t think the disciples had visions of Jesus (Paul actually claims that he did, and claims that the disciples — some of whom he knew — did!), why do you thnk they came to believe in the resurrection?

  8. Avatar
    natashka  April 3, 2013

    Hey Bart…when you’ve spoken about being agnostic in interviews, I think you’ve always said that the major jumping-the-shark shift happened for you when you were trying to figure out the conundrum of God and suffering (theodicy?), and that biblical discrepancies, like above, were not enough to affect your belief in Christianity or a divine Jesus.
    So…were you yourself performing “imaginative interpretive gymnastics” during the years you knew of so many discrepancies and yet, was still a “believer”? Or did you just not let the discrepancies interfere with what you believed in? Or did you just ignore them? Or…do you still think such discrepancies, as above, wouldn’t or shouldn’t be enough to make someone say, “Oh, man…this was all made up!”

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 3, 2013

      I believed in Christ, and in God, long after I had given up my belief in the Bible. There’s actually no reason that the Bible has to be perfect for God to exist! And so I simply acknowledged that hte biblical writers were fully human — way too human — but that this had no bearing on Christian beliefs, since they shouldn’t be rooted in a belief in the infallibility of the Bible in the first place. (And I noted, at the time, that in the famous creeds of the church — e.g., the Nicene Creed — not a single word was said about the Bible. That should have been a clue to me back in my fundy days — it’s not actually about the Bible!) That’s hard for evangelicals and fundamentalists to acknowledge — and for people who think that Christianity is necessarily tied to the Bible, even if they aren’t believers themselves — but for most of history faith in the infallibility of the Bible was not part of what it meant to be Christian.

      • Avatar
        dikelmm  April 9, 2013

        I understand your point, but isn’t that the position of Catholics? That you need the Church and the Priests and Bishops and Pope to show you “the way” not the Bible per se?

        • Bart Ehrman
          Bart Ehrman  April 9, 2013

          Sorry, I’m not sure what you’re responding to.

          • Avatar
            dikelmm  April 10, 2013

            You said the bible does not have to be accurate for one to be a Christian believer. I wrote “I understand your point, but isn’t that the position of Catholics? That you need the Church and the Priests and Bishops and Pope to show you “the way” not the Bible per se?”

          • Bart Ehrman
            Bart Ehrman  April 10, 2013

            Ah, got it! Yes, Catholics do say that. But almost all Christians over the ages have agreed that the Christian faith is not faith in the Bible but in God, whatever the problems may be posed by the Bible; that’s true of most believers — Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant — until the formation of modern fundamentalist and conservative evangelical thought.

  9. Avatar
    Xeronimo74  April 3, 2013

    Another glaring contradiction exists between John 20 and Mark 16:

    According to John Mary Magdalene went to the tomb alone, when it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been removed. Now if that was true then why would she go to the tomb again with the other women wondering who would remove the stone (as Mark claims)?

  10. talitakum
    talitakum  April 3, 2013

    I agree with you on the fact that gospels accounts in some cases are hopelessly at odds with one another and that such discrepancies cannot be reconciled. This is a relevant point (and a valid provocation) for all those who believe that gospels only narrate true historical facts.
    I think I strongly disagree with you when you say that “They are not the kinds of sources that historians would hope for in determining what actually happened in the past.” At the opposite, I do think they are!

    For all historical figures of the ancient past, *if* we have multiple sources *then* we have discrepancies. This is not a problem for historians. On the contrary, historians hope to have multiple sources rather than a single one, and we often just rely on a single source to reconstruct someone’s life without arguing as much as we do with Jesus. So, if a problem exists with respect to Jesus, is that we have too many sources.. And very close to the events from an historical standpoint !
    As *someone* once said: “Historical sources like that are pretty astounding for an ancient figure of any kind “.
    Do you recognize and accept this statement? 🙂
    So what it can be bad for conservative believers, it turns good for history. But it can’t be bad on both sides, c’mon !! 🙂

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 3, 2013

      Yes, I can see how my two statements might seem to be at odds iwth one another! So, the sources in one sense are astounding. For what other figure from first century Palestine do we have a book-length description of his words and deeds. No one else — not a single person. So it’s amazing that we have four Gospels about Jesus. BUT — and this is a very big BUT — the four Gospels are not the kinds of sources that historians would hope for. It’s amazing we have them, but not amazing enough to satisfy what historians want. What they want are numerous sources (that part’s good) from near the time of the person being described (not so good) that are disinterested (not good at all) and that have not collaborated (partially good) and are not at odds with one another (not good at all). So it’s great that we have so many sources. It would be even greater if they were the kinds of sources we’d want.

      Make sense? (BTW: it is not at all necessary that multiple sources for the same event have discrepancies!)

      • talitakum
        talitakum  April 3, 2013

        Disintersted sources? Josephus? Tacitus? I don’t know any!! 🙂 In my opinion your definition of “What historians want” sounds more like a good wish rather than actual facts. As an example, try to apply your historians’ wish list to the life of Alexander the Great and let me know your conclusions?
        Thank you!! Ciao.

        • Bart Ehrman
          Bart Ehrman  April 4, 2013

          Good point — none of these sources is completely disinterested. Then again, sources never ever can be. But some are more disinterested than others. What Paul tells us about Silvanus or what Josephus tells us about John the Baptist is not disinterested, strictly speaking; but they are much less interested than, say, John is in what he tells us about jesus.

  11. Brad Billips
    Brad Billips  April 3, 2013

    As to the discrepancies with the names of “the twelve” disciples in the gospels, did the early Church fathers ever mention these discrepancies?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 3, 2013

      Yes, but I don’t have the data on the tip of my head. What was typically said (again, I can’t cite passages on cue) is that some of the apostles had two different names — so that Bartholomew in one list was Nathaniel in another list, Levi was Matthew, etc.

  12. Avatar
    stuart  April 3, 2013

    Discrepancies or not, I’m going to finish this chocolate rabbit 🙂

    Will you cover in your book whether Jesus was initially believed to be physically resurrected, or just a spirit of some sort? It seems the gospels can’t decide, as Jesus, post crucifixion, seems to just appear in places (and through locked doors), but then also eats with the disciples. It almost gives the impression that the gospel writer was not sure himself how he wanted to portray the risen Jesus. Was this a question of debate among early Christians?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 3, 2013

      Yup, I’ll be dealing with this! Different early Christians had different ideas about it….

  13. Avatar
    Scott F  April 3, 2013

    Mark 16 is a tough one for apologists who like to claim that the empty tomb is well attested. In Mark’s version the apostles never see it, only the women who either tell no one or (according to the “fake” ending”) or are summarily dismissed as loonies. Ironically, this fits exactly what one would expect if the visions of Jesus started with a single person (in 16:9, it is Mary Magdalene) and then spread slowly through out the community – two in 16:12 and then all the 11 in 16:14.

    How much psychology do intend to address in HJBG?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 3, 2013

      I’ll bring it up some, but very little. I think it’s very hard to psychoanalyze the guy sitting next to you, let alone someone living 2000 years ago in a completely different culture, whom you’ve never met and have just a few texts about….

      • Christopher Sanders
        Christopher Sanders  April 20, 2013

        I definitely agree with your statement that it is hard to psychoanalyze the characters of the gospels but I do have to plead with you that it would be very nice to get some pointers on the kind of situations or people we might be dealing with to end up with visions of Jesus, and what the data supporting those conclusions are.

  14. Avatar
    bobnaumann  April 3, 2013

    To me an even more glaring contradiction is the length of time Jesus remained on earth after the Resurrection. According to Luke and the added verses to Mark, it would appear that Jesus ascended on the same day of his Resurrection. Yet tha same author of Luke writes in Acts that the ascension occurred 40 days after the Rsurrection.

  15. Avatar
    Jacobus  April 4, 2013

    Prof. Ehrman, which of the Gospels seems the most historical? It seems that the evangelist of the Gospel of Mark might have had a sound reason for indicating that the women kept quiet when they feared. If I remember correctly, it was the same Raymond Brown that argued that John is more historical than was initially supposed during the 19th century. Can the earliest known (or maybe written) Gospel tradition really be taken as the nearest to what really happened?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 4, 2013

      Well, they are all problematic, historically; but there is probably more historical material in Mark and Q than, say, in John.

  16. Avatar
    GeorgeWerkema  April 10, 2013

    I am reminded of your three-part debate/blog with Tom Wright following publication of your book, God’s Problem, and Tom’s book, Surprised by Hope. Tom pretty much bases his entire thesis on II Corinthians 15 and suggests that belief in the resurrection is the heart and hope of Christianity. He makes a large statement that cuts to the core of Pauline Christian faith. These “chinks” in your armor, as you call them, are of the nature of nits when cast against that larger understanding. What they spoil is the fundamentalist assertion of the infallibility of scripture, but as I see it, not the core message. Of course, it’s difficult to see any “core message” in some of the bloody stories found in Hebrew scripture. The more pertinent question seems to me to be the difference between the teachings of the early Jewish followers of Jesus and Pauline Christianity. That difference, while understandable historically, is hard if not impossible to reconcile in a theological context.

  17. Christopher Sanders
    Christopher Sanders  April 20, 2013

    Dr. Ehrman, I’m wondering what you would make of these passages; (Matthew 10:10) Jesus instructed them not to take a staff, not to wear sandals. (Mark 6:8-9) Jesus instructed his disciples to wear sandals and take a staff on their journey.

    Is Jesus really telling his disciples not to wear sandals? How are they supposed to walk for miles without shoes? I’ve heard my good friend, pastor Justin Bass, say that, in Matthew, Jesus meant an “extra” sandals and walking stick. Which raises the question; How does one carry an extra walking stick? Do you put it on your back or have a staff in each hand? These passages seem strangely worded.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 22, 2013

      Yeah, that’s a tough one. I’m not sure how he can imagine them gettng on without sandals and a staff. He next says that the workman is worthy of his hire: so maybe he’s saying that the communities that welcome them should provide them with what they need? I have to admit, I haven’t looked at the question at any length….

  18. Avatar
    Xeronimo74  April 26, 2013

    Bart, isn’t the fact that Paul mentions Peter as the first to have witnessed the ‘risen Christ’ definitive evidence that he didn’t know those stories about Mary Magdalene having been the first?

    I mean, ok, women might not have counted for much in patriarchal societies 2000 years ago but if his new BFF, ‘the risen Christ’, deemed Mary M worthy of experiencing the FIRST post-resurrection appearance ever, an event most extraordinaire and a most-distinguished honor, then why would Paul ignore, and actually kind of lie about, this?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  April 26, 2013

      I wouldn’t call it definitive evidence; but I do think it should give one pause, especially since Paul appears to be giving what he takes to be a comprehensive list (since he says that he was the “last” to whom Christ appeared.)

  19. Avatar
    Xeronimo74  May 14, 2013

    Bart, what do you make of this theory that there are two different burial traditions inside the Gospel of John?

    http://quixoticinfidel.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-twice-buried-jesus.html

    The first of those stories would fit your view that Jesus’ corpse was probably ditched in a mass grave. The latter, with Joseph of Arimathea, would have been a later invention.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  May 14, 2013

      Yeah, it’s an interesting option. But there *is* an alternative burial tradition in Acts 13:29 (where it’s not Joseph, but a group of Jews who bury him)

      • Avatar
        Xeronimo74  May 15, 2013

        The apologists would of course argue that this ‘group of Jews’ included JoA and therefore isn’t a contradiction and doesn’t represent an alternative account but in my opinion they’re just stretching things there …

        • Bart Ehrman
          Bart Ehrman  May 15, 2013

          Yeah, it’s like when the teenager’s parents come home after the weekend and ask him if anyone came over, and he says “yeah, one friend did,” when in fact thirty did…. I guess technically he’s telling the truth!

  20. Avatar
    parkersr2g  May 23, 2013

    Dr. Ehrman,
    I am currently reading “Jesus, Interrupted”. First, I want to say that I find your book to be very interesting – thoroughly researched and well written. However, I respectfully disagree with your conclusions on a number of points. (I should mention that my personal research and background lead me to believe the Bible’s message is inspired by God, harmonious, and accurate. But I don’t believe in blind or irrational faith, hence my interest in your book). For instance, your third example in this post (also in your book) says that Matthew and Luke cannot be reconciled with regard to the locations where the resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples. To me, it seems that Matthew and Luke are simply narrating the events and details they want to include in their account, while leaving out the rest. John’s comment at John 21:25 supports this concept. Neither Luke nor Matthew claim to write a full biography, but I don’t see any obvious contradictions. I think this same basic idea applies to several other “discrepancies” you point out in your book, but I would like to address this one since you believe it to be one of the more obvious ones.

    Matthew focuses on the appearance to the disciples at the mountain in Galilee, perhaps because he wants to highlight Jesus’ authoritative command on this occasion to carry on his disciple-making work (As you know, Matthew’s gospel puts a lot of emphasis on Jesus’ preaching and teaching activity). But Matthew 28:16 does not say the disciples went to Galilee immediately after Jesus appeared to the women – it simply says they went to Galilee to the location Jesus had arranged with them. Matthew’s account allows for additional spontaneous appearances to the disciples in Jerusalem before the arranged meeting in Galilee. Nor does Matthew say the appearance in Galilee is the last time the disciples see Jesus before he ascends to heaven. Matthew does not even mention the final ascension – he simply chose to leave that out of his narrative. While in Galilee, Jesus could have told the disciples to return to Jerusalem for the final meeting. (Incidentally, the mountain in Galilee may well have also been the location where Paul later says Jesus appeared to over 500 disciples – perhaps Jesus instructed the 11 disciples to invite others to this gathering in order to appear simultaneously before a large crowd of his followers.)

    Luke, on the other hand, chose to focus solely on the resurrected Jesus’ appearances in (or around) Jerusalem, perhaps to lead right into his narrative in Acts where he describes the birth of the Christian congregation in Jerusalem. The command at Luke 24:49 not to leave Jerusalem until they received the holy spirit was likely meant to be followed after his ascension to heaven, i.e., after Jesus himself actually led them out of Jerusalem to nearby Bethany and then they returned in verse 52. Acts 1:3 Luke says that a period of about 40 days passed between Luke 24:49 and 24:50, during which time Jesus showed himself alive through ‘many proofs’ or appearances. I believe the accounts in Luke and Acts allow for the disciples to have met Jesus in Galilee and then subsequently return to Jerusalem during that 40 day period.

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  May 23, 2013

      The problem is that in Luke on the day that Jesus is raised from the dead, he tells them explicitly not to leave Jerusalem until they are “clothed with power from on high” — i.e. until the spirit comes upon them. They stay in the city. It is during those forty days leading up to Pentecost that Jesus comes among them. He then ascends. They stay in the city until the day of Pentecost, as he told them to do. And they receive the power of the Spirit then on Pentecost (Acts 2), 50 days after Jesus’ death, never having left Jerusalem, as he himself instructed them. So how could Matthew be right that they left Jerusalem and saw Jesus in Galilee before his ascension?

      • Avatar
        parkersr2g  May 23, 2013

        Thank you for your reply Dr. Ehrman.

        It seems to me that both Matthew and Luke tell us that the disciples did in fact leave Jerusalem during the 50 days between the resurrection and Pentecost. Matthew says they left due to Jesus telling them to meet him in Galilee. Luke says they left because Jesus had them follow him to nearby Bethany for his ascension. Therefore, since both writers have Jesus taking them out of Jerusalem before they received the spirit, I’m thinking his directive was meant to apply to the period after they returned to Jerusalem from Bethany. In other words: ‘After I leave for heaven, stay in Jerusalem until I send the spirit upon you that my Father has promised’.

        • Bart Ehrman
          Bart Ehrman  May 24, 2013

          I’m afraid this doesn’t work. Look at the text of Luke more closely and look at the geography. Bethany was on the outskirst of Jerusalem, and going there did not mean leaving the Jerusalem area. Galilee was 120 miles away and took a week to get to. In Luke Jesus tells them to stay in Jerusalem until Pentecost. They do so. In Matthew they are told to Galilee, and do so. I don’t think they can both be right.

          • Avatar
            prestonp  June 19, 2018

            he is talking about a particular appearance he is going to make and at that time all the disciples, 500 of them is what Paul tells us, he appeared to them, over 500 at one time, so Jesus is talking about a general gathering of the disciples. Tell the disciples, not just the 12, get the word out to the whole gang out there and if they will come to this mountain in Galilee I will meet them there. But in the meantime, he can certainly talk to individuals and remind his disciples again—hey guys, lets get on to Galilee now. He does appear that evening.He appears to two on the road to Emmaus, and when they come rushing back then Jesus comes and appears. Jesus has the right to appear at any time.

      • Avatar
        prestonp  June 19, 2018

        So how could Matthew be right that they left Jerusalem and saw Jesus in Galilee before his ascension?

        They don’t do as they are told.

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