In my post yesterday I noted something unusual about the doubting tradition in the resurrection narratives (i.e., the tradition that some of the disciples simply didn’t believe that Jesus was raised) – in addition, of course, to the fact that there is such a dominant doubting tradition! (itself a fascinating phenomenon) – which is that there is no word anywhere of the women who discover the tomb doubting, but clear indications (either by implication or by explicit statement) that some or all of the male disciples doubted. This is true of three of our four Gospels.
- Mark 16:8. (This one is by implication only) We are told that the women never tell anyone that they have found the tomb to be empty. So, the disciples are not said to believe and, in fact, so far as we know from this Gospel, no one does come to believe. (Obviously someone did, otherwise we wouldn’t have the Gospel!)
- Luke 24:10-11. The disciples think the tale of women told that Jesus has been raised as he predicted is “idle” and they do not believe it
- John 20:1-10. Peter and the Beloved Disciple do not believe Mary Magdalene that the tomb is empty; they have to see for themselves.
It should be noted that in every instance of doubt, it is the men disciples who doubt; the women (Mary Magdalene and Co.) are never said to doubt. When they see Jesus (e.g., Matthew 28) then know it’s Jesus brought back from the dead. But the men sometimes doubt. Why is that?
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