Resurrection Challenge results
OK. As I promised, I tried the Resurrection Challenge. That’s an effort to harmonize the accounts of the resurrection of Jesus as depicted in the four Gospels, the beginning of Acts, and a short passage in I Cor 15. Of course it’s impossible to harmonize them, so what I’ve done is list each event in the order they occurred and given them numbers to show that order. Where more than one thing happened at one time, or where I couldn’t tell what happened, I added a letter to the number. So for events 1,2,3 the accounts accord OK. Then you hit 4a-d where more than one story comes out of the different accounts. As you’ll see, these differing accounts are usually mutually exclusive. Really and truly these contradictions cannot be reconciled.
Resurrection rectification effort:
1- Some women went to the tomb early Sunday morning. (Mary, Mary, Salome, more?)
2- Before the women got to the tomb, the stone was rolled away. This involved an angel descending, an earthquake happening, and guards being stunned. The guards recovered and ran off.
3- The women arrived at the tomb.
4a – (Matt) The women saw an angel outside the tomb and he told them to go in a see that it was empty.
4b – (Mark) The women saw an angel inside the tomb and he told them it was empty.
4c- (Luke) The women went into the tomb, saw it was empty and then two angels appeared and told them it was empty.
4d – (John) The women saw the empty tomb and nothing else. (That saw “nothing else” is indicated by the fact that in the John account they told the disciples, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” If they’d seen those angels, they would have known at least that no one had taken Jesus, and they’d have known he was risen and said so; which is just what the other accounts say they did.)
5a – (Matt, Luke) The women went to tell the disciples.
5b – (Mark 16:8) The women didn’t tell anyone.
6a – (Matt) Between the tomb and the where disciples were, the women met Jesus.
6b – (Mark) Jesus appeared to Mary and she went to tell the disciples. (Wait a sec. Didn’t verse 8 just say the women told no one?) (Oh. I see. This is an unreliable passage that snuck into the Bible.)
7- (Luke, John) Once the women told the disciples (assuming they did tell them) what happened (whatever that was), Peter and John ran to the tomb, snooped about a little and left.
8- (John) Once Peter and John left, Jesus appeared to Mary. Now supposedly he had already appeared to the women, but maybe Mary had gotten ahead of the others and missed him. But, Mark says Jesus appeared first to Mary. But Paul (I Cor 15:5) says Jesus appeared first to Peter (…and then to the 12, except there were only 11. Guess Paul forgot that and the Holy Spirit didn’t remind him.)
9a – Later that day Jesus appeared to two guys along the road. A little later he appeared to the disciples in the “upper room”, talked with them, then led them to Bethany and ascended to Heaven.
9b – (Matt) The disciples went to a mountain in Galilee to meet Jesus.
9c – (John) Jesus waited a week to show up for Thomas.
9d – (Acts) Jesus hung around for 40 days and showed up before 100’s of people before ascending.