(My series on “Contradictions in Scripture” has been a very popular one on my website. I have returned to this series multiple times over the years to add new articles and topics. In the intervening years, however, the oldest articles in the series have started to show their age. This article was originally written in the late 1990s. As such, it did not reflect my current writing skills, or even sometimes my current perspective on the contradictions discussed. Therefore, I have gone back to rewrite the earliest articles in the “Contradictions in Scripture” series to update them to my current understanding and writing standards. I will post them at the top of my website for a few weeks. Please enjoy these earliest articles in my “Contradictions” series, rewritten and updated.)
When it comes to records of events in the Bible wherein the details are confusing and seem to contradict, there are few that are more confusing and yet more crucial than the records of the visits to the tomb after Christ’s resurrection. Here again the details among the four gospels differ greatly. Let us consider each of the records of the visits to the tomb in the order we have them in our Bibles. First comes the record of the gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 28:1. Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
8. So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
9. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
Next is the record as contained in the gospel of Mark. Read the rest of this entry »