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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
    parkersr2g  May 24, 2013

    I respectfully disagree. 🙂

    As you point out, Bethany is on the outskirts of Jerusalem, in the Jerusalem area. But it is still outside of Jerusalem. Luke himself attests to this fact by stating that the disciples “returned to Jerusalem” after the ascension. (Luke 24:52; Acts 1:12). When Jesus took the disciples to the Mount of Olives, he took them out of Jerusalem. That’s why I think Jesus’ instructions not to leave Jerusalem were meant for a future time – after his ascension. To me, the accounts in Luke and Acts by themselves seem to indicate this (independent of what Matthew states).

    At Acts 2:33 Luke recounts Peter’s statement that the disciples were able to receive the spirit from Christ due to the fact that Jesus had been exalted to the right hand of God – i.e. Jesus could only send the spirit after he had ascended to heaven. This also supports the conclusion that his directive to remain in Jerusalem until they received the spirit was meant for after his ascension. There would be no need for them to wait in Jerusalem for the spirit before his ascension, since he could not send the spirit or “helper” to them before then anyhow (John 16:7-14).

    I suspect we may have to agree to disagree.

  2. Avatar
    gavm  May 25, 2013

    william lane craig commonly argues that the greek “on the first day) is not grammatically correct however in Aramaic it makes perfect sense hence he suggest that it is be an old saying suggesting the stories of the resurrection are primitive and developed very early. Hector Avalos disagrees with his translation strongly. do you have an opinion on this?

    • Bart Ehrman
      Bart Ehrman  May 25, 2013

      Sorry — I’m not sure I understaand the argument as you’re setting it out.

      • Avatar
        gavm  May 26, 2013

        sorry i apologies. what i meant is some apologist (that you have locked horns with!) try to date Mark 16:2 (on the first day of the week) as a very early saying. they do this to suggest the idea of jesus rising from the dead on the 3rd day is an early idea. the evidence is that as it is written in greek “kai lian prwi ths mias sabbatwn ercontai epi to mnhmeion anateilantoV tou hliou (from google)” the grammer doesnt really work because it has a cardinal number (on the one day of the week) but in Aramaic it works really well and translates back really smoothly. from this Craig and others are trying to suggest its an old Aramaic saying translated literally into greek.
        hopefully i was a little more clear. thank you again

        • Bart Ehrman
          Bart Ehrman  May 26, 2013

          Yes, I think “the third day” was relatively early. But “early” could be, say, a year after the events….

  3. Avatar
    prestonp  June 20, 2018

    1. On the first day of the week, around dawn, at the shadowy moment when the sunlight was just breaking out at the horizon, Mary Magdalene led a company of women, including Mary the mother of James and Salome, to the tomb (Mt 28:1; Mk 16:1–4; Lk 24:1–3; Jn 20:1–2).

    2. Before their arrival, an earthquake occurred and an angel rolled away the stone sealing the tomb (Mt 28:2–4).

    3. Arriving at the tomb, they noticed that stone was rolled away and the keepers have fled (Mk 16:4; Lk 24:2; Jn 20:1).

    4. As they entered into the sepulchre, they noticed that the Lord’s body was missing (Lk 24:3). Mary Magdalene immediately left to tell Peter and John (Jn 20:2). Did she see the angels? Perhaps; but she had left before the angels said anything.

    5. The rest of the women entered into the sepulchre, and the angels, which were seated near where the Lord laid, stood up and spoke to them (Mt 28:5–7; Mk 16:5–7; Lk 24:4–8).

    6. They left the tomb with a mixture of fear and joy, wanting to go to the disciples to tell them the news (Mt 28:8). But fear apparently overcame them, and for a while they were afraid to tell anyone anything (Mk 16:8).

    7. Peter and John arrived at the tomb running (Lk 24:12a; Jn 20:3–4).

    8. They inspected the tomb and left (Jn 20:5–10; Lk 24:12b).

    9. Mary Magdalene returned to the tomb, where she encountered the angels, and then met the Lord Himself (Jn 20:11–18). She was the first person to meet the Lord (Mk 16:9). She then went again to report to the disciples who must have been grieving at the news that Peter and John brought back (Mk 16:10–11).

    10. The Lord met the other women and encouraged them not to be afraid, but to tell His disciples to meet Him in Galilee (Mt 28:9-10). Pilgrim Covenant Church

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