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Dan Barker's Easter Challenge

Harmony of the 4 Gospels on the Resurrection Account

Dan Barker's Easter Challenge For Christians


Dan Barker, many years ago issues a challenge to Christians to take the 4 gospels and build a reasonable narrative of them. Presumably, he feels it is difficult, when in fact, the 4 gospels harmonize nicely without adding any commentary at all.The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book: Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20-21. Also read Acts 1:3-12 and Paul's tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3-8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened.

Since the gospels do not always give precise times of day, it is permissible to make educated guesses. The narrative does not have to pretend to present a perfect picture--it only needs to give at least one plausible account of all of the facts. Additional explanation of the narrative may be set apart in parentheses. The important condition to the challenge, however, is that not one single biblical detail be omitted. Fair enough?

His premise is that the gospels contradict and cannot be reconciled. Here is a Harmony of the Easter Story

Matthew Mark Luke John
Mat 27:57 Now when it was evening, Mar 15:42 Now when evening had already come, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joh 19:38 After this,
there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. Mar 15:43 Joseph of Arimathea, a highly regarded member of the council, who was himself looking forward to the kingdom of God, Luk 23:50 Now there was a man named Joseph who was a member of the council, a good and righteous man. Luk 23:51 (He had not consented to their plan and action.) He was from the Judean town of Arimathea, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus (but secretly, because he feared the Jewish leaders ),
Mat 27:58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Luk 23:52 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus.
Mar 15:44 Pilate was surprised that he was already dead. He called the centurion and asked him if he had been dead for some time.
Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Mar 15:45 When Pilate was informed by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. Pilate gave him permission,
Mar 15:46 After Joseph bought a linen cloth
Mat 27:59 Joseph took the body, and took down the body, Luk 23:53 Then he took it down, so he went and took the body away.
Joh 19:39 Nicodemus, the man who had previously come to Jesus at night, accompanied Joseph, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about seventy-five pounds.
wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, he wrapped it in the linen wrapped it in a linen cloth, Joh 19:40 Then they took Jesus' body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices, in strips of linen cloth according to Jewish burial customs. Joh 19:41 Now at the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. Joh 19:42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was nearby,
Mat 27:60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock. and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock. and placed it in a tomb cut out of the rock, where no one had yet been buried. they placed Jesus' body there.
Then he rolled a great stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. Then he rolled a stone across the entrance of the tomb.
Luk 23:54 It was the day of preparation and the Sabbath was beginning.
Mat 27:61 (Now Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there, opposite the tomb.) Mar 15:47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was placed. Luk 23:55 The women who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.
Luk 23:56 Then they returned and prepared aromatic spices and perfumes.
On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Mat 27:62 The next day (which is after the day of preparation) the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate Mat 27:63 and said, "Sir, we remember that while that deceiver was still alive he said, 'After three days I will rise again.' Mat 27:64 So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body and say to the people, 'He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first." Mat 27:65 Pilate said to them, "Take a guard of soldiers. Go and make it as secure as you can." Mat 27:66 So they went with the soldiers of the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.
Mat 28:1 Now after the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mar 16:1 When the Sabbath was over, Luk 24:1 Now on the first day of the week, at early dawn, Joh 20:1 Now very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark,
Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene, Mary Magdalene
and the other Mary Mary the mother of James,
and Salome
the women
went to look at the tomb. bought aromatic spices so that they might go and anoint him. Mar 16:2 And very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. went to the tomb, taking the aromatic spices they had prepared. came to the tomb
Mar 16:3 They had been asking each other, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"
Mat 28:2 Suddenly there was a severe earthquake,
for an angel of the Lord descending from heaven came and rolled away the stone and sat on it.
Mat 28:3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
Mat 28:4 The guards were shaken and became like dead men because they were so afraid of him.
Mar 16:4 But when they looked up,
they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled back. Luk 24:2 They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb, and saw that the stone had been moved away from the entrance.
Mar 16:5 Then as they went into the tomb, Luk 24:3 but when they went in,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Luk 24:4 While they were perplexed about this,
they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side suddenly two men stood beside them in dazzling attire.
; and they were alarmed. Luk 24:5 The women were terribly frightened and bowed their faces to the ground,
Mat 28:5 But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; Mar 16:6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed.
but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?
I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.
Mat 28:6 He is not here, Luk 24:6 He is not here,
for he has been raised, just as he said. He has been raised! He is not here. but has been raised!
Come and see the place where he was lying. Look, there is the place where they laid him.
Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, Luk 24:7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again."
Mat 28:7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, Mar 16:7 But go, tell his disciples, even Peter,
'He has been raised from the dead.
He is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there.' Listen, I have told you!" that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you."
Mat 28:8 So they left the tomb quickly, Mar 16:8 Then they went out and ran from the tomb,
with fear and great joy, for terror and bewilderment had seized them.
And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
Luk 24:8 Then the women remembered his words,
and ran to tell his disciples.
Luk 24:9 and when they returned from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven Joh 20:2 So she went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved
and to all the rest.
Luk 24:10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them
who told these things to the apostles. and told them, "They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"
Luk 24:11 But these words seemed like pure nonsense to them, and they did not believe them.
Luk 24:12 But Peter Joh 20:3 Then Peter
and the other disciple
got up and ran to the tomb. set out to go to the tomb.
Joh 20:4 The two were running together, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first.
Joh 20:5 He bent down and saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, but he did not go in.
Joh 20:6 Then Simon Peter, who had been following him, arrived and went right into the tomb.
He bent down and saw only the strips of linen cloth; He saw the strips of linen cloth lying there, Joh 20:7 and the face cloth, which had been around Jesus' head, not lying with the strips of linen cloth but rolled up in a place by itself.
Joh 20:8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, came in, and he saw and believed.
Joh 20:9 (For they did not yet understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.)
then he went home, wondering what had happened. Joh 20:10 So the disciples went back to their homes.
Joh 20:11 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent down and looked into the tomb.
Joh 20:12 And she saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus' body had been lying, one at the head and one at the feet. Joh 20:13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" Mary replied, "They have taken my Lord away, and I do not know where they have put him!"
Joh 20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there,20 but she did not know that it was Jesus. Joh 20:15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?"
Because she thought he was the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him."
Mar 16:9 [[Early on the first day of the week, after he arose, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had driven out seven demons.
Mat 28:9 But Jesus met them, saying, "Greetings!" Joh 20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni" (which means Teacher).
They came to him, held on to his feet and worshiped him.
Mat 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, Joh 20:17 Jesus replied,
"Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father.
"Do not be afraid.
Go and tell my brothers Go to my brothers
to go to Galilee. They will see me there."
and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' "
Mar 16:10 She went out and told those who were with him, while they were mourning and weeping. Joh 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and informed the disciples, "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them what Jesus had said to her.
Mar 16:11 And when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe.
Mat 28:11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. Mat 28:12 After they had assembled with the elders and formed a plan, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, Mat 28:13 telling them, "You are to say, 'His disciples came at night and stole his body while we were asleep.' Mat 28:14 If this matter is heard before the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." Mat 28:15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story is told among the Jews to this day.
Mar 16:12 After this he appeared in a different form to two of them while they were on their way to the country. Luk 24:13 Now that very day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.
Luk 24:14 They were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. Luk 24:15 While they were talking and debating these things, Jesus himself approached and began to accompany them Luk 24:16 (but their eyes were kept from recognizing him). Luk 24:17 Then he said to them, "What are these matters you are discussing so intently as you walk along?" And they stood still, looking sad. Luk 24:18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who doesn't know the things that have happened there in these days?" Luk 24:19 He said to them, "What things?" "The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene," they replied, "a man who, with his powerful deeds and words, proved to be a prophet before God and all the people; Luk 24:20 and how our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be condemned to death, and crucified him. Luk 24:21 But we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. Not only this, but it is now the third day since these things happened. Luk 24:22 Furthermore, some women of our group amazed us. They were at the tomb early this morning, Luk 24:23 and when they did not find his body, they came back and said they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Luk 24:24 Then some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him." Luk 24:25 So he said to them, "You foolish people — how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Luk 24:26 Wasn't it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and enter into his glory?" Luk 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things written about himself in all the scriptures. Luk 24:28 So they approached the village where they were going. He acted as though he wanted to go farther, Luk 24:29 but they urged him, "Stay with us, because it is getting toward evening and the day is almost done." So he went in to stay with them. Luk 24:30 When he had taken his place at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Luk 24:31 At this point their eyes were opened and they recognized him. Then he vanished out of their sight. Luk 24:32 They said to each other, "Didn't our hearts burn within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?"
Mar 16:13 They went back Luk 24:33 So they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem.
and told the rest They found the eleven and those with them gathered together Luk 24:34 and saying, "The Lord has really risen, and has appeared to Simon!" Luk 24:35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.
, but they did not believe them.
Joh 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the disciples had gathered together and locked the doors of the place because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.
Luk 24:36 While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."
Luk 24:37 But they were startled and terrified, thinking they saw a ghost.
Luk 24:38 Then he said to them, "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
Luk 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; it's me! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones like you see I have." Luk 24:40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. Joh 20:20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Joh 20:21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. Just as the Father has sent me, I also send you." Joh 20:22 And after he said this, he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Joh 20:23 If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained."
Joh 20:24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. Joh 20:25 The other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he replied, "Unless I see the wounds from the nails in his hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe it!"
Joh 20:26 Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them.
Mar 16:14 Then he appeared to the eleven themselves, Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
Joh 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and examine my hands. Extend your hand and put it into my side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe." Joh 20:28 Thomas replied to him, "My Lord and my God!"
Luk 24:41 And while they still could not believe it (because of their joy) and were amazed, he said to them, "Do you have anything here to eat?"
Luk 24:42 So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, Luk 24:43 and he took it and ate it in front of them.
while they were eating, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen him resurrected.
Joh 20:30 Now Jesus performed many other miraculous signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not recorded in this book. Joh 20:31 But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Joh 20:29 Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed."
Mat 28:16 So the eleven disciples went to Galilee
Joh 21:1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias. Now this is how he did so. Joh 21:2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael (who was from Cana in Galilee), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples of his were together. Joh 21:3 Simon Peter told them, "I am going fishing." "We will go with you," they replied. They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Joh 21:4 When it was already very early morning, Jesus stood on the beach, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Joh 21:5 So Jesus said to them, "Children, you don't have any fish, do you?" They replied, "No." Joh 21:6 He told them, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they threw the net, and were not able to pull it in because of the large number of fish. Joh 21:7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" So Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, tucked in his outer garment (for he had nothing on underneath it), and plunged into the sea. Joh 21:8 Meanwhile the other disciples came with the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from land, only about a hundred yards. Joh 21:9 When they got out on the beach, they saw a charcoal fire ready with a fish placed on it, and bread.

Joh 21:10 Jesus said, "Bring some of the fish you have just now caught." Joh 21:11 So Simon Peter went aboard and pulled the net to shore. It was full of large fish, one hundred fifty-three, but although there were so many, the net was not torn. Joh 21:12 "Come, have breakfast," Jesus said. But none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they knew it was the Lord. Joh 21:13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
Joh 21:14 This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. Joh 21:15 Then when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?" He replied, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you." Jesus told him, "Feed my lambs." Joh 21:16 Jesus said a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He replied, "Yes, Lord, you know I love you." Jesus told him, "Shepherd my sheep." Joh 21:17 Jesus said a third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that Jesus asked him a third time, "Do you love me?" and said, "Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you." Jesus replied, "Feed my sheep. Joh 21:18 I tell you the solemn truth, when you were young, you tied your clothes around you and went wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will tie you up and bring you where you do not want to go."
Joh 21:19 (Now Jesus said this to indicate clearly by what kind of death Peter was going to glorify God.) After he said this, Jesus told Peter, "Follow me." Joh 21:20 Peter and the Disciple Jesus Loved Peter turned around and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them. (This was the disciple who had leaned back against Jesus' chest at the meal and asked, "Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you?") Joh 21:21 So when Peter saw him, he asked Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" Joh 21:22 Jesus replied, "If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours? You follow me!" Joh 21:23 So the saying circulated among the brothers and sisters that this disciple was not going to die. But Jesus did not say to him that he was not going to die, but rather, "If I want him to live until I come back, what concern is that of yours?" Joh 21:24 This is the disciple who testifies about these things and has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true. Joh 21:25 There are many other things that Jesus did. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
to the mountain Jesus had designated.
Mat 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted.
Mat 28:18 Then Jesus came up and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Mat 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Mar 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Mar 16:16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned.
Mat 28:20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Mar 16:17 These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; Mar 16:18 they will pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be well."
Luk 24:44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled."
Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures, Luk 24:46 and said to them, "Thus it stands written that the Christ would suffer and would rise from the dead on the third day, Luk 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luk 24:48 You are witnesses of these things. Luk 24:49 And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. But stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."
Luk 24:50 Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them.
Mar 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Luk 24:51 Now during the blessing he departed and was taken up into heaven.
Mar 16:20 They went out and proclaimed everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through the accompanying signs.]] Luk 24:52 So they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, Luk 24:53 and were continually in the temple courts blessing God.

What time did the women visit the tomb? Matthew: "as it began to dawn" (28:1) Mark: "very early in the morning . . . at the rising of the sun" (16:2, KJV); "when the sun had risen" (NRSV); "just after sunrise" (NIV) Luke: "very early in the morning" (24:1, KJV) "at early dawn" (NRSV) John: "when it was yet dark" (20:1)

These are all the same time. At dawn, when the sun is rising, it is very early in the morning and still dark. I am confused what the problem is with this one.

Who were the women? Matthew: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (28:1) Mark: Mary Magdalene, the mother of James, and Salome (16:1) Luke: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women (24:10) John: Mary Magdalene (20:1)

Mary, another Mary, the mother of James, and Salome. It is possible that other women were present that are not mentioned, would not be familiar to the audience, or are simply not important. Each author mentioned the names of the women that he felt were important. None say Mary, but not Salome or Mary only.

What was their purpose? Matthew: to see the tomb (28:1) Mark: had already seen the tomb (15:47), brought spices (16:1) Luke: had already seen the tomb (23:55), brought spices (24:1) John: the body had already been spiced before they arrived (19:39,40)

The purpose was to anoint the body with the spices they brought. Matt 28:1 coincides with Mark 16:1 and Luke 24:1, Mark 15:47 and Luke 23:55 are from an earlier event as you can see in the table above. The prior existence of spices is irrelevant. They brought their own spices. It is as if to say that they could not have brought flowers to the grave because the grave site had already been flowered.

Was the tomb open when they arrived? Matthew: No (28:2) Mark: Yes (16:4) Luke: Yes (24:2) John: Yes (20:1)

The question is mis-leading as none of the gospels say the tomb was open non-chalantly, they all elude to surprise that the tomb was open.

In Mark 16:3: they asked who will roll away the stone Matthew 28:2-4: an Angel suddenly rolled away the stone Mark 16:4, Luke 24:2, John 20:1: they looked up and saw it was moved.

Who was at the tomb when they arrived? Matthew: One angel (28:2-7) Mark: One young man (16:5) Luke: Two men (24:4) John: Two angels (20:12)

It is mis-leading to suggest that the man in Mark was not intended to be supernatural. He was in the empty tomb of a resurrected Jesus wearing white. Two angels were present, only one spoke. It is not at all odd that this story relayed to the authors of the gospels would include a primary angel that accompanied by another. Mark focuses on the one that spoke, Luke on the fact that their were actually two.

Where were these messengers situated? Matthew: Angel sitting on the stone (28:2) Mark: Young man sitting inside, on the right (16:5) Luke: Two men standing inside (24:4) John: Two angels sitting on each end of the bed (20:12)

The episode involves descending, rolling away the stone, some combination of standing, and some combination of sitting.

What did the messenger(s) say? Matthew: "Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead: and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you." (28:5-7) Mark: "Be not afrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you." (16:6-7) Luke: "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again." (24:5-7) John: "Woman, why weepest thou?" (20:13)

Generally speaking, what they said was in this order:

Do not to be afraid , look at the place he was laid , remember how he told you he would be crucified, and rise on the 3rd day , Go! tell Peter and the disciples that he was raised , He is going ahead of you in Galilee

The event where Mary stood weeping is a separate event that occurred after the disciples cam to the tomb.

Did the women tell what happened? Matthew: Yes (28:8) Mark: No. "Neither said they any thing to any man." (16:8) Luke: Yes. "And they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest." (24:9, 22-24) John: Yes (20:18)

Mark leaves off at this point in the story and tells us no more. However, since Mark is telling the story, I think it would be strange to assume that Mark is telling us that the story ends there. He is largely writing to people who are living in the results of the story including eye-witnesses. The notion that his intention was to indicate the women kept the secret is a silly one.

The women experienced an initial fright, then remembered his words (Luke 24:8) and ran to tell the disciples. Mark cannot be considered in events that do not fall in the span of his story.

When Mary returned from the tomb, did she know Jesus had been resurrected? Matthew: Yes (28:7-8) Mark: Yes (16:10,11) Luke: Yes (24:6-9,23) John: No (20:2)

As you can see from the time table above, John's account of Mary staying back at the tomb weeping is after the disciples came to the tomb. John is the only account of this event and the question is errant in it's conclusions.

She was told that Jesus resurrected but was skeptical and not able to believe it. Jesus appeared to her for this reason.

When did Mary first see Jesus? Matthew: Before she returned to the disciples (28:9) Mark: Before she returned to the disciples (16:9,10) John: After she returned to the disciples (20:2,14)

The time table above illustrates that the question is in error. Matthew and Mark do not ever say that Mary met Jesus and John rightly says that they met after the disciples came to the tomb.

Could Jesus be touched after the resurrection? Matthew: Yes (28:9) John: No (20:17), Yes (20:27)

The question is mis-leading. Nowhere is it stated that Jesus could not physically be touched.

In Matt 28:9, the women held on to his feet and worshipped him and Matthew excludes Jesus response that is included in John "Do not touch me". It is inserted into the text by the question that somehow Jesus was ethereal and could not be touched. Later, Jesus asked to be touched by Thomas as evidence of his wounds.

The reason that Jesus did not want to be touched is a good question and multiple theories exist but not knowing why Jesus would or would not want to be touched certainly does not lend itself to a lack of harmonization.

After the women, to whom did Jesus first appear? Matthew: Eleven disciples (28:16) Mark: Two disciples in the country, later to eleven (16:12,14) Luke: Two disciples in Emmaus, later to eleven (24:13,36) John: Ten disciples (Judas and Thomas were absent) (20:19, 24) Paul: First to Cephas (Peter), then to the twelve. (Twelve? Judas was dead). (I Corinthians 15:5)

The mistake here is inserting the numbers on the assumption that the disciples is the 12 apostles. The disciples included the apostles but other followers were also disciples. the two men on the road were most likely not one of the apostles - as they would have recognized him easier.

Mary , Mary Magdalene , Two un-named disciples , The disciples (unenumerated) , Thomas , Again, disciples and Thomas

Paul simply compresses the events and excludes the events with the women. He is making a case for the resurrection and not including their testimony. When mentioning the 12, he promotes Peter due to his position. Remember, Jesus met the disciples which is a wider subset than just the 12 apostles. The replacement of Judas was among the disciples and is one the 12 mentioned by Paul. Paul goes on to confirm this by next mentioning the 500 other followers (1 Cor 15:6) and finally James, the brother of Jesus.

Where did Jesus first appear to the disciples?
Matthew: On a mountain in Galilee (60-100 miles away) (28:16-17) Mark: To two in the country, to eleven "as they sat at meat" (16:12,14) Luke: In Emmaus (about seven miles away) at evening, to the rest in a room in Jerusalem later that night. (24:31, 36) John: In a room, at evening (20:19)

Two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12) They went back to Jerusalem to tell the others (Mark 16:13, Luke 24:33) The rest in a place they gathered and locked the doors (in the evening) (John 20:19)

Matthew skipped all the events prior to the ascension. It is also very interesting that we are now reconciling the long ending of Mark where the results of the women telling are being played out.

Did the disciples believe the two men?
Mark: No (16:13) Luke: Yes (24:34--it is the group speaking here, not the two)

This question is a result of simply not reading the text. Mark says they did not believe (Mar 16:13) and Luke blanks out the fact that they did not believe while the two men were talking. As you can see from the timetable above, there are multiple times when Jesus appeared to them met with varying degrees of repeated disbelief.

What happened at the appearance?
Matthew: Disciples worshipped, some doubted, "Go preach." (28:17-20) Mark: Jesus reprimanded them, said "Go preach" (16:14-19) Luke: Christ incognito, vanishing act, materialized out of thin air, reprimand, supper (24:13-51) John: Passed through solid door, disciples happy, Jesus blesses them, no reprimand (21:19-23)

They worshipped him (Matt 28:17) He gave the commission and taught them other things (Matt 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-18, Luke 24:44-49) He led them to Bethany (Luke 24:50) He ascended (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51) They starting proclaiming (Mar 16:20, Luke 24:52 - 53)

Did Jesus stay on earth for a while?
Mark: No (16:19) Compare 16:14 with John 20:19 to show that this was all done on Sunday Luke: No (24:50-52) It all happened on Sunday John: Yes, at least eight days (20:26, 21:1-22) Acts: Yes, at least forty days (1:3)

Matthew and Mark blank the extended presence of Jesus and the time that Jesus lingered in Galilee before the ascension. Matthew simply says they went to Galilee (Matt 28:16). there is no reason to assume this does not mean they went home and Jesus again revealed himself (John 21:1).

Where did the ascension take place?
Matthew: No ascension. Book ends on mountain in Galilee Mark: In or near Jerusalem, after supper (16:19) Luke: In Bethany, very close to Jerusalem, after supper (24:50-51) John: No ascension Paul: No ascension Acts: Ascended from Mount of Olives (1:9-12) ''

Matthew does not mention the ascension but ends with the teaching in Galilee.

Traveling back to Jerusalem, Jesus led them toward Bethany (Luke 24:50) which is on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. He ascended on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12).

Luke is a Greek and did not reference the Mount of Olives but the name of the town on the eastern slope of the town. It is the same reason that I tell you I live in Detroit of yopu do not know the area but tell you I live by the IKEA if you do know the area.
Categories: Apologetics
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