ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my personal virtual library, where i collect information, which leads in my view to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation of the origin of the physical Universe, life, biodiversity


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Evidence of the resurrection

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1Evidence of the resurrection Empty Evidence of the resurrection Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:46 pm

Otangelo


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Evidence of the resurrection

https://reasonandscience.catsboard.com/t1764-evidence-of-the-resurrection

Titus Flavius Josephus, Roman secular historian form the 1st century writes in Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII:
3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, (9) those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; (10) as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

For two thousand years the historicity of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection has been challenged on many grounds. But no one has ever produced evidence of the kind that brought President Nixon down—“a smoking gun,” that is, evidence that could contradict the biblical account. Is that not evidence of its veracity? Can you think of any other event in history that has been so thoroughly examined, has not been disproved, and yet some still disbelieve it? The consistent eyewitness testimony of the apostles and earliest believers to the reality of Jesus' bodily resurrection, given among those hostile to the claims of Jesus, clearly points to the resurrection as a historical reality.
Chuck Colson (from, The Faith: What Christians Believe, Why They Believe It, and Why It Matters)

The disciples had nothing to gain by lying and starting a new religion. They faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyr's deaths. In light of this, they could never have sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie. The disciples were not fools and Paul was a cool-headed intellectual of the first rank. There would have been several opportunities over three to four decades of ministry to reconsider and renounce a lie. - J.P. Moreland

The real issue of the resurrection deals with its evidence. This evidence consists of the testimony of many people who stated that they had seen Jesus after His crucifixion and death. The same people who testified of the resurrection of Christ also gave up their social and economic security and put their lives on the line in order proclaim that Jesus had risen. Does it make any sense at all to say that they knew Jesus did not rise from the dead and had concocted an elaborate plan in order to deceive a great many people into believing that Jesus had risen? Why would they do that?  Does it also make any sense that they would continue in this lie while being persecuted, ostracized from family and friends, beaten, imprisoned, and finally killed for what they believed?  It makes more sense to believe that their actions were consistent with their teaching. In other words, they taught about self-sacrifice, dedication to truth, love, peace, etc., and they based it all on the risen Lord.  It was based upon the truth that they had seen.

“The Gospels were written in such temporal and geographical proximity to the events they record that it would have been almost impossible to fabricate events. Anyone who cared to could have checked out the accuracy of what they reported. The fact that the disciples were able to proclaim the resurrection in Jerusalem in the face of their enemies a few weeks after the crucifixion shows that what they proclaimed was true, for they could never have proclaimed the resurrection under such circumstances had it not occurred.

The Gospels could not have been corrupted without a great outcry on the part of orthodox Christians. Against the idea that there could have been a deliberate falsifying of the text, no one could have corrupted all the manuscripts. Moreover, there is no precise time when the falsification could have occurred, since, as we have seen, the New Testament books are cited by the church fathers in regular and close succession. The text could not have been falsified before all external testimony, since then the apostles were still alive and could repudiate any such tampering with the Gospels.

The miracles of Jesus were witnessed by hundreds of people, friends and enemies alike; that the apostles had the ability to testify accurately to what they saw; that the apostles were of such doubtless honesty and sincerity as to place them above suspicion of fraud; that the apostles, though of low estate, nevertheless had comfort and life itself to lose in proclaiming the gospel; and that the events to which they testified took place in the civilized part of the world under the Roman Empire, in Jerusalem, the capital city of the Jewish nation. Thus, there is no reason to doubt the apostles’ testimony concerning the miracles and resurrection of Jesus. It would have been impossible for so many to conspire together to perpetrate such a hoax. And what was there to gain by lying? They could expect neither honor, nor wealth, nor worldly profit, nor fame, nor even the successful propagation of their doctrine. Moreover, they had been raised in a religion that was vastly different from the one they preached. Especially foreign to them was the idea of the death and resurrection of the Jewish Messiah. This militates against their concocting this idea. The Jewish laws against deceit and false testimony were very severe, which fact would act as a deterrent to fraud.

Suppose that no resurrection or miracles occurred: how then could a dozen men, poor, coarse, and apprehensive, turn the world upside down? If Jesus did not rise from the dead, declares Ditton, then either we must believe that a small, unlearned band of deceivers overcame the powers of the world and preached an incredible doctrine over the face of the whole earth, which in turn received this fiction as the sacred truth of God; or else, if they were not deceivers, but enthusiasts, we must believe that these extremists, carried along by the impetus of extravagant fancy, managed to spread a falsity that not only common folk, but statesmen and philosophers as well, embraced as the sober truth. Because such a scenario is simply unbelievable, the message of the apostles, which gave birth to Christianity, must be true.

Belief in Jesus’ resurrection flourished in the very city where Jesus had been publicly crucified. If the people of Jerusalem thought that Jesus’ body was in the tomb, few would have been prepared to believe such nonsense as that Jesus had been raised from the dead. And, even if they had so believed, the Jewish authorities would have exposed the whole affair simply by pointing to Jesus’ tomb or perhaps even exhuming the body as decisive proof that Jesus had not been raised.

Three great, independently established facts—the empty tomb, the resurrection appearances, and the origin of the Christian faith—all point to the same marvelous conclusion: that God raised Jesus from the dead.”
― William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics

If you can disprove Jesus' resurrection, you will single-handedly be responsible for destroying Christianity. 
Craig Hazen

More: 
https://www.facebook.com/notes/vera-plechash/historical-and-textual-evidence-for-the-resurrection-of-jesus/10152654616884056



Last edited by Otangelo on Mon Jan 10, 2022 8:47 am; edited 7 times in total

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2Evidence of the resurrection Empty Re: Evidence of the resurrection Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:41 am

Otangelo


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The Martyrdom of the Apostles

http://www.bibleprobe.com/apostles.htm

Some atheists have suggested that the disciples, during the decades following His death, simply invented their accounts of Jesus. These Bible critics say that the disciples, in an attempt to enhance His authority, then published the story that Jesus claimed to be God and was resurrected. Any fair-minded reader should consider the historical evidence.

First, the apostles were continually threatened and pressured to deny their Lord during their ministry; especially as they faced torture and martyrdom. However, none of these men who spent time with Jesus chose to save their lives by denying their faith in Him.

Evidence of the resurrection YR8yYWP

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3Evidence of the resurrection Empty Re: Evidence of the resurrection Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:51 am

Otangelo


Admin

The site of Jesus tomb

Evidence of the resurrection OP8xKNW

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4Evidence of the resurrection Empty Re: Evidence of the resurrection Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:38 pm

Otangelo


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The Resurrection of Christ-Alternative explanations fail!



0
What about some of the more recent attempts to explain away Christ’s resurrection?  Were the resurrection accounts legends that grew up around an ordinary man?  Did He not really die on the cross, as put forth in the book The Jesus Papers?  Was the tomb of Jesus actually found?
 
Let’s look at the facts:
Not legends
 

  • Early eyewitness testimony based on appearances is basis for the origin of the belief in the resurrection, not later legends arising.[sup][1][/sup]

  • There is no parallel historical case for legends developing so quickly after the events themselves.[sup][2][/sup]

  • Legends and stories would not have convinced persecutor Paul or skeptic James. Instead they would have suspected some sort of fraud.[sup][3][/sup]

  • Legends don’t explain the empty tomb.

  • Resurrection narratives do not contain the embellishments characteristic of later second-century documents. For example, one later Gnostic fabrication has a giant Jesus and a talking cross emerging from His grave.[sup][4][/sup]

  • There is evidence in the text that the disciples intended to convey real history.[sup][5][/sup][vl1]


The Jesus PapersThis was a popular book by Michael Baigent that claimed Jesus never died but was somehow resuscitated after being crucified. This idea is a wornout theory that should have been buried long ago.

  • The alleged papyrus documents are gone, and there is no translation or other authentication of them. Most likely they never existed. Dr. Craig Evans comments: “No papyrus buried in the ground in Jerusalem will survive two thousand years, period. . .Any archaeologist will tell you that. So there’s nothing to this.”[sup][6][/sup]

  • How would a severely injured, half-dead Jesus convince the disciples He was the risen Lord of glory? Most likely they would have wanted to take Him to a doctor.

  • The Romans were expert executioners; they knew a dead man when they saw one.

  • Baigent’s use of the Greek word soma to exclusively represent a living body is totally wrong.[sup][7][/sup]

  • Physicians and historians who have studied crucifixion have concluded that a person could almost never survive it, even in the unlikely event the Romans somehow took someone down from the cross alive.

  • Almost all scholars reject the Jesus Papers theory.[sup][8][/sup]


 
The Jesus tomb: There was a tomb, an ossuary or “bone box,” found  in Jerusalem in 1980 which reportedly had the names of a Joseph, Mary, Mariamne Mara (whom they took for Mary Magdalene) and a “Jesus son of Joseph.”A film documentary was made in 2007 by James Cameron and Simcha Jacobovici suggesting it was the family tomb of Jesus. But practically no serious scholars give this idea any credibility because:

  • All the names inscribed in this tomb were very common. According to Licona,[sup][9][/sup] Mary was the most common woman’s name in Jerusalem, and Joseph was the second most common man’s name. One out of every eleven men was named Jesus. Licona spells out the implications of this: “As Cameron’s documentary said, finding the names of John, Paul and George is no big deal, but when you add Ringo to the pool, you may have something. The problem, of course, is that when you really examine things, there’s no equivalent of ‘Ringo’ in the Talpiot tomb.”[10]


 

  • According to calculations by physicist Randy Ingermanson, one out of every seventynine males in Jerusalem was Jesus, son of Joseph. Hershel Shanks and Ben Witherington III estimate that during the ninetyyear period in which ossuaries were used―from 20 B.C. to 70 A.D.―there were about eighty thousand males in Jerusalem. That means there were approximately a thousand men named Jesus who had a father named Joseph.”[sup][11][/sup] He goes on to say that even if all the other names found are taken into account approximately eleven men would still be in Jerusalem that fit this exact profile.

  • Furthermore, this does not take into account the fact that there is absolutely no credible evidence Jesus was ever married and much evidence He was single.[sup][12][/sup]

  • Also, the tomb may have included extended family members as well as immediate family. So the Mary or “Mariamne Mara” who was in the tomb could have been an aunt, cousin, etc.

  • DNA tests supposedly showed that “Jesus” and “Mariamne” were not related, and so it was automatically assumed they were married. But this is jumping to quite an unwarranted conclusion! She may have been married to one of several other men in the ossuary, or to none of them, since nothing there indicates who her husband was.[sup][13][/sup] Also, the ossuaries often held more than one skeleton, making it difficult to match up the names with the bones.[sup][14][/sup]

  • Lee Strobel quotes historian Paul Maier: “This is merely naked hype, baseless sensationalism, and nothing less than a media fraud.”[sup][15][/sup]


 
Again, “natural” explanations for the events of the resurrection require greater faith to believe than the resurrection itself; thus, the resurrection is as sure a fact as any history can be. And this is the fact Jesus used to prove He is who He claims to be, and so it follows that what He says about the authority of Scripture is absolutely true.




[1] Strobel, The Case for Christ, 298-299.
[2] McDowell, More Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 210-213.
[3] Habermas and Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, 84-89.
[4] Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus, 44-45.
[5] Habermas and Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus, 87-89.
[6] Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus, interview with Dr. Craig Evans, 53.
[7] Ibid., 135, interview with Michael Licona.
[8] Ibid., 135.
[9] Ibid., 148-149.
[10] Ibid., 148-149.
[11] Ibid., 148-149.
[12] Ibid., 149-150.
[13] http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/04/04/so-called-jesus-tomb.
[14] Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus, 151.
[15] Ibid., 151.

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5Evidence of the resurrection Empty Re: Evidence of the resurrection Mon Apr 10, 2023 6:42 am

Otangelo


Admin

Contradictions in the Resurrection narratives ?

What time did the women visit the tomb?

The Gospel of Matthew states that "After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb" (Matthew 28:1, NIV). This account suggests that the women visited the tomb early in the morning, after the Sabbath day had ended.

The Gospel of Mark also indicates that "When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body" (Mark 16:1, NIV). This account also implies that the women visited the tomb after the Sabbath had ended, and they had purchased spices to anoint Jesus' body.

On the other hand, the Gospel of Luke seems to suggest a different timing. It states that "On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb" (Luke 24:1, NIV). This account appears to indicate that the women visited the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week, possibly before the sunrise.

Lastly, the Gospel of John provides a slightly different perspective. It states that "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb" (John 20:1, NIV). This account suggests that Mary Magdalene visited the tomb while it was still dark, on the first day of the week.

The differences in timing among the Gospel accounts can be reconciled by considering the possibility that the women visited the tomb multiple times, at different times of the day, and that the Gospel writers may have focused on different aspects of the events. It's also worth noting that the Gospel writers may have used different cultural or linguistic conventions in describing time, and that the accounts were not meant to be precise chronological records, but rather testimonies of the resurrection event and its significance. Scholars and theologians have proposed various harmonizations and explanations for these differences, and ultimately, the focus of the Gospel accounts is not on the exact timing of the women's visit to the tomb, but on the central message of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is a cornerstone of Christian faith.

Was the tomb open, or closed?

According to the Gospel accounts, the state of the tomb of Jesus at the time of the women's visitation is described differently in different Gospels, and there appears to be some discrepancy or contradiction in this regard.

The Gospel of Matthew states that "There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it" (Matthew 28:2, NIV). This account implies that the tomb was initially closed with a stone, which was rolled away by the angel, allowing the women to see inside.

The Gospel of Mark also mentions that "They [the women] saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away" (Mark 16:4, NIV). This account suggests that the tomb was open, with the stone rolled away, when the women arrived.

The Gospel of Luke does not specifically mention the state of the tomb being open or closed at the time of the women's visit, but it does mention that the women "found the stone rolled away from the tomb" (Luke 24:2, NIV), which implies that the tomb was open.

The Gospel of John provides a different perspective. It states that Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb and "saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance" (John 20:1, NIV). This account also suggests that the tomb was open, with the stone removed.

While there may be differences in the details provided by the Gospel writers, it's important to note that these accounts were written by different authors, with different perspectives, purposes, and audiences. It's also possible that the Gospel writers were focusing on different aspects of the events, and that the accounts were not meant to provide a precise, chronological description of the state of the tomb. Various harmonizations and explanations have been proposed by scholars and theologians to reconcile these differences. Nonetheless, the central message of the Gospel accounts is that Jesus' tomb was found empty, signifying the resurrection of Jesus, which is a key doctrine of Christian faith.

Who was in the tomb?

According to the Gospel accounts, when the women visited the tomb of Jesus, they did not find anyone inside the tomb. The Gospel of Matthew mentions that an angel of the Lord was present outside the tomb and spoke to the women (Matthew 28:5-7). The Gospel of Mark mentions that the women entered the tomb and found a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side (Mark 16:5). The Gospel of Luke mentions that two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside the women (Luke 24:4). The Gospel of John does not mention anyone being inside the tomb when Mary Magdalene visited (John 20:1-2).

The identities of the individuals described in the Gospel accounts as being present at the tomb vary among the Gospel writers, and there may be differences in their descriptions of the events. It's important to note that the Gospel accounts were written by different authors with different perspectives and purposes, and they may have chosen to emphasize different aspects of the events.

The angels were inside or outside of the tomb?

The Gospel accounts differ in their descriptions of where the angels were in relation to the tomb of Jesus.

In the Gospel of Matthew, the angel of the Lord is mentioned as being outside the tomb, sitting on the stone that had been rolled away from the entrance (Matthew 28:2-7).
In the Gospel of Mark, the young man dressed in a white robe is mentioned as being inside the tomb, sitting on the right side (Mark 16:5).
In the Gospel of Luke, two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning are mentioned as standing beside the women, but it does not specifically mention whether they were inside or outside the tomb (Luke 24:4).
The Gospel of John does not mention any angels being present at the tomb when Mary Magdalene visited (John 20:1-2).

It's important to note that the Gospel accounts were written by different authors with different perspectives and purposes, and they may have chosen to emphasize different aspects of the events.  The differences in the descriptions of the angels' location do not necessarily represent contradictions, but rather different perspectives of the Gospel writers.

Were the angels seating, or standing ?

The Gospel accounts do not specifically mention whether the angels were seated or standing.

In the Gospel of Matthew, the angel of the Lord is mentioned as sitting on the stone that had been rolled away from the entrance of the tomb (Matthew 28:2-7).
In the Gospel of Mark, the young man dressed in a white robe is mentioned as sitting on the right side inside the tomb (Mark 16:5).
In the Gospel of Luke, the two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning are mentioned as standing beside the women, but it does not specify whether they were inside or outside the tomb (Luke 24:4).
The Gospel of John does not mention any angels being present at the tomb when Mary Magdalene visited (John 20:1-2).

The Gospel accounts provide varying details about the angels, and they do not always provide complete descriptions of their physical posture.  The absence of specific details about the angels' posture does not necessarily imply contradictions, but rather differences in emphasis and perspective among the Gospel writers.

Did Maria Magdalene recognize Jesus?

According to the Gospel accounts, Mary Magdalene did not immediately recognize Jesus after his resurrection.

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary near the tomb, and they recognized him and worshiped him (Matthew 28:9).
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, but she did not recognize him until he spoke to her (Mark 16:9-11).
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus appeared to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, but they did not recognize him until he broke bread with them (Luke 24:13-35). There is no mention of Jesus appearing specifically to Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of Luke.

In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene initially did not recognize Jesus at the tomb, but thought he was the gardener. It was only when Jesus called her by name, "Mary," that she recognized him (John 20:11-18).
So, according to the Gospel accounts, Mary Magdalene did not immediately recognize Jesus after his resurrection, but rather had moments of confusion or lack of recognition until Jesus revealed himself to her in some way, such as speaking to her or calling her by name. The details may vary slightly among the Gospel accounts, but they all emphasize that Mary Magdalene eventually recognized Jesus after his resurrection.

Contradictions in the Resurrection narratives

The Gospel accounts, with varying views,
Tell of the tomb where Jesus they did lose.
But contradictions, subtle and clear,
In the details of the resurrection appear.

The women, they went to the tomb with care,
But when they went, it's not so clear.
Matthew and Mark, they both agree
The Sabbath day had come to be.
When it was over, they went to the tomb,
To find the stone rolled from the room.

But Luke and John, they tell a tale,
Of women who set out without fail,
While it was dark or very early,
To the tomb, so sad and burly.
Did they go at dawn or before the light?
The Gospel writers do not unite.

And what of the state of the tomb that day?
Was it open or closed, did it convey
The stone rolled back or still in place?
The Gospel accounts don't show a face
Of agreement in this detail,
As Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John unveil
Different views of the empty grave,
Which in their accounts they try to pave.

Matthew and Mark, they both agree,
The stone was rolled, the tomb was free
Of barrier, and the women saw
An angel outside, without a flaw.
But Luke and John, they do not state
The stone was rolled, a different fate
May have befallen the tomb that day,
As women arrived without delay.

And who was inside the tomb, if any?
The Gospel writers do not agree on many.
Matthew says an angel outside was there,
Mark says a young man, a different air.
Luke mentions two men with gleaming clothes,
John says nothing of any foes
Or friends inside the tomb that day,
Where Jesus' body once did lay.

These contradictions, though they abound,
Do not discredit the truths profound
Of Jesus' resurrection, the central theme
Of Christian faith, a glorious gleam
Of hope and victory over death,
A miracle that took Jesus' breath.
Though Gospel accounts may differ in part,
The resurrection lives in every heart.

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6Evidence of the resurrection Empty Re: Evidence of the resurrection Sat Apr 15, 2023 5:11 am

Otangelo


Admin

What are the main reasons that corroborate and confirm the resurrection of Jesus?

 
The empty tomb: The fact that the tomb of Jesus was found empty by his followers is often cited as evidence of the resurrection. This is mentioned in all four of the gospels and is not disputed by scholars. However, it is important to note that an empty tomb by itself is not necessarily proof of a resurrection, as there are other possible explanations for why the tomb might have been empty.
 
The post-resurrection appearances: According to the gospels, Jesus appeared to his followers on multiple occasions after his death, and these appearances are often cited as evidence of his resurrection. These appearances are mentioned in all four gospels and in some of the letters of Paul. However, some scholars have questioned the reliability of these accounts, noting that they were written decades after the events they describe and may have been influenced by legendary or mythological elements.
 
The transformation of the disciples: The fact that the disciples went from being fearful and disillusioned after the crucifixion to being bold and confident in their message of the risen Christ is often cited as evidence of the resurrection. This transformation is mentioned in the gospels and is not disputed by scholars. However, some have suggested that the disciples may have been influenced by group psychology or other factors that can lead to changes in behavior.
 
The growth of the early church: The fact that the early Christian church grew rapidly in the decades following the crucifixion is often cited as evidence of the resurrection. This growth is seen as evidence that the early Christians were convinced of the truth of their message and were willing to suffer and even die for it. However, it is important to note that there are other possible explanations for the growth of the early church, such as the appeal of Christianity's message or the social and cultural conditions of the time.
 
The conversion of skeptics: The fact that several early skeptics and opponents of Christianity, such as Paul and James, reportedly became believers in the wake of the resurrection is often seen as evidence that something significant happened to convince them.
 
The growth of the early Christian movement: The fact that the early Christian movement grew rapidly and spread throughout the Mediterranean world is seen by some as evidence that the resurrection story was believed by a significant number of people and had a powerful impact on their lives.
 

What are the main objections that Jesus indeed rose from the dead?

 
Lack of empirical evidence: Skeptics argue that there is no empirical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. They claim that the only evidence we have is the testimony of the disciples, which cannot be verified.
 
Response: It's important to recognize that historical events cannot always be confirmed through empirical evidence in the way that scientific experiments can. However, this doesn't mean that we cannot assess the historical evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. The evidence for the resurrection comes from a variety of sources, including the testimony of the disciples, the early Christian church, and non-Christian sources such as Roman historians. While this evidence cannot be empirically verified, it can be evaluated based on its reliability, consistency, and coherence. Additionally, we can examine the evidence for alternative explanations of the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection, such as the conspiracy theory or the swoon theory, and assess their plausibility in light of the available evidence. It is important to recognize that there is significant historical evidence for the resurrection and that dismissing it solely on the basis of a lack of empirical evidence may not be a fair assessment of the available evidence.
 
Hallucination hypothesis: Some skeptics argue that the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus were not real, but were instead hallucinations experienced by the disciples.
 
Response: Group hallucinations are extremely rare: While it's possible for an individual to experience a hallucination, the idea that an entire group of people could have the same hallucination is highly unlikely. Hallucinations are typically a symptom of an individual's mental or physical state, and it's not clear how such a state could be shared by a group of people.
 
The appearances were experienced by different people in different contexts: The post-resurrection appearances were not limited to just the disciples, but were also experienced by individuals like Mary Magdalene, the women at the tomb, and Saul (who later became the apostle Paul). These appearances occurred in a variety of contexts, including indoors, outdoors, in groups, and in private.
 
The appearances were physical and tangible: The gospel accounts describe the post-resurrection appearances as physical and tangible experiences. For example, Jesus ate food with his disciples and allowed them to touch his wounds. This is not consistent with the idea of a hallucination, which is an entirely subjective experience.
 
The disciples were initially skeptical: The gospel accounts suggest that the disciples were initially skeptical of the resurrection, and it was only after experiencing the appearances of Jesus that they became convinced of its reality. This suggests that they were not simply projecting their own beliefs onto their experiences.
 
Conspiracy theory: Some have argued that the story of the resurrection was a deliberate fabrication by the disciples, who wanted to create a new religion and gain power and influence.
 
Response: The disciples had nothing to gain from perpetuating a lie: The disciples were not wealthy or powerful individuals who stood to gain from creating a new religion. On the contrary, they were largely poor and marginalized, and faced persecution and even death for their beliefs. This makes it unlikely that they would have risked everything to perpetuate a lie.
 
The accounts of the resurrection were not written with an eye towards gaining power: The gospel accounts of the resurrection do not read like propaganda designed to gain followers or influence. Rather, they describe the events in a straightforward and matter-of-fact way, without attempting to appeal to the emotions or manipulate the reader.
 
The early Christian community was diverse and decentralized: The early Christian community was not a monolithic entity with a single hierarchy or leadership structure. Rather, it was a diverse and decentralized movement that spanned different regions and cultures. This makes it unlikely that the story of the resurrection was a deliberate fabrication by a small group of individuals.
 
The empty tomb: The fact that the tomb was empty on the third day after Jesus' death is difficult to explain if the story of the resurrection was a deliberate fabrication. If the disciples had invented the story, they could have simply pointed to the body in the tomb as proof that Jesus had not risen from the dead.
 
Swoon theory: This theory suggests that Jesus did not actually die on the cross, but instead was only unconscious. According to this theory, he was later revived and escaped from the tomb.
 
Response: Crucifixion was a brutal and deadly form of execution: Crucifixion was a particularly brutal and painful form of execution, and it was designed to kill the victim slowly and agonizingly. It is unlikely that Jesus would have survived the ordeal, particularly given the severity of his injuries, which included being whipped, beaten, and pierced with a spear.
 
The Roman soldiers were experts in execution: The Roman soldiers who conducted the crucifixion were experts in their field, and they were trained to ensure that the victim was dead before removing the body from the cross. If Jesus had only been unconscious, it is unlikely that the soldiers would have failed to notice this fact.
 
The medical evidence supports the idea of death: The medical evidence, based on the gospel accounts, supports the idea that Jesus died on the cross. For example, John's gospel describes the release of blood and water from Jesus' side when a soldier pierced him with a spear, which is consistent with a post-mortem wound.
 
The empty tomb does not support the swoon theory: The fact that the tomb was empty on the third day after Jesus' death is difficult to explain if he had only been unconscious. If he had escaped from the tomb, it is unlikely that he would have been able to remove the large stone that covered the entrance or evade the guards stationed outside.
 
Naturalistic explanations: Some skeptics argue that there may be naturalistic explanations for the events surrounding Jesus' death and resurrection. For example, they may argue that the body was stolen or that the tomb was empty due to a mistake or misunderstanding.
 
Response: The tomb was heavily guarded: It is unlikely that the body could have been stolen from the tomb, given that it was heavily guarded by Roman soldiers. If someone had attempted to steal the body, they would have had to overcome the guards and move a heavy stone that covered the entrance to the tomb.
 
The empty tomb was discovered by women: In the culture of the time, the testimony of women was not highly valued or trusted. If the story of the empty tomb had been fabricated, it is unlikely that the disciples would have made women the primary witnesses to the event.
 
The disciples were transformed by their experiences: The disciples went from being a frightened and disillusioned group of followers after Jesus' death to becoming bold and courageous preachers of the gospel. It is difficult to explain this transformation if they had simply been mistaken or deceived about the resurrection.
 
The appearance of Jesus to his disciples: According to the gospel accounts, Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. These appearances were not just subjective experiences or visions, but were tangible and physical, with Jesus eating and speaking with his disciples.

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7Evidence of the resurrection Empty Re: Evidence of the resurrection Sun Dec 10, 2023 6:04 am

Otangelo


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Understanding the Apostles' Belief in the Resurrection in the Gospel of John


HE SAW AND BELIEVED! (John 20.1-10)

What is so important about the “grave clothes” in John’s Gospel that they become the focal point of the empty tomb on the morning of the Resurrection? Specifically, four verses (vv. 5-8 ) are focused on the “linen wrappings” (τὰ ὀθόνια) and the “face cloth” (σουδάριον). Due to the plural noun, “linen wrappings,” found here in the account of the Fourth Gospel, John Calvin rejected the idea that the Shroud of Turin might actually be the authentic burial “cloth” of Jesus. But the plural noun here should not cause a problem a)

Of note, it was something about the burial linens that gave birth to faith in the Resurrection for “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (the likely author of that Gospel)! Whereas Paul wrote that “faith comes by hearing,” for that disciple faith came by seeing: “He saw and believed” (v. 8 ). [Traditionally that disciple has been identified with being the apostle John. So, we will go with that understanding hereafter.]

There is a progression of intensity that builds regarding the funeral linens. This is evidenced in the original Greek by four different words the writer uses for “looking” and “seeing.” Emphasis should be placed on the verb “lying” (κείμενα), as it occurs three times in verses 5-7. In addition, how one interprets the perfect tense of the verb “rolled up” or “folded up” (ἐντετυλιγμένον) in verse 7 will be critical to one’s conclusion about the passage. Furthermore, the reader is teased by the lack of an object for the verb (εἶδεν) in verse 8: “He saw and believed!” What exactly did John see? All we are told is that it had to do with how the linens were “lying” and the “face cloth” folded up apart
from the other linens. Clues for what John is saying are found both before and after this passage. This story should be understood within the larger context of John’s Gospel, especially with regards to the stories that immediately follow in chapter twenty. First, we are intended to understand that, contrary to what Mary had concluded from her initial visit to the empty tomb, the corpse of Jesus had not been stolen! Second, John is telling us that no one had unwrapped the linens to set Jesus free! His glorious, resurrected body miraculously dematerialized and passed right through the burial garment, leaving it intact but without a corpse. It is interesting how this understanding of the passage is supported both by the Letter of Hebrews and by the one unconventional, scientific explanation for how the image was formed on the cloth! Finally, the Shroud—with its miraculous image of Jesus’ wounds of
crucifixion—is in the background to the subsequent story regarding “Doubting Thomas.” But one should not think that viewing the image will grant some special blessing beyond a stronger faith. Jesus informs us that
faith apart from seeing is blessed (20.29).

The passage from the Gospel of John (20:6-8 ) depicts a pivotal moment in the narrative of Jesus' resurrection. In this context, three different verbs are used to describe the faith of the apostles, providing a deeper understanding of how and why they believed.

See (Greek: θεωρέω - theōréō): It would be pronounced in English phonetically as "theh-o-REH-o." The accent is on the second to last syllable, which is common in Greek words.
When Peter enters the tomb, he sees the linens and the burial cloth. This verb implies careful and reflective observation. It's not just looking, but contemplating or examining attentively. The faith that arises from "seeing" in this context is a faith based on the observation of physical evidence. For Peter, seeing the linens and the burial cloth awakened the possibility of the resurrection, but he does not yet arrive at a full understanding of it.
See and Believe (Greek: ὁράω - horáō and πιστεύω - pisteúō): The Greek words "ὁράω" (horáō) and "πιστεύω" (pisteúō) would be pronounced in English as:
"ὁράω" (horáō): hoh-RAH-oh, with the accent on the second syllable.

"πιστεύω" (pisteúō): pis-TEV-oh, with the accent on the second syllable as well.

The other disciple, traditionally identified as John, also "sees" but additionally "believes." Here, "seeing" (horáō) has a slightly different nuance; it's perceiving with the eyes but also with understanding. The faith that arises here is more intuitive and spiritual. John's "seeing" is accompanied by an inner understanding that leads him to "believe" (pisteúō) in the resurrection. In this case, faith is not solely dependent on physical evidence but also on a spiritual and personal understanding.

In the Gospel of John, the evidence that led to the other disciple, traditionally identified as John, to "see and believe" was his observation of the empty tomb and the burial linens. When John and Peter ran to the tomb after Mary Magdalene's report of its emptiness, John reached the tomb first but did not enter. Instead, he stooped and looked in, seeing the linen wrappings lying there. Peter then arrived and went into the tomb, observing the linen wrappings and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linens but rolled up in a place by itself. After Peter's inspection, John also entered the tomb. The Gospel notes that he saw and believed. The significance of this moment is not just in seeing the empty tomb but in understanding what it signified. The arrangement of the linens and the absence of Jesus' body suggested not a grave robbery (as robbers would not have left the linens neatly arranged) but a resurrection.

Linen Wrappings Left Behind: The linen wrappings that had been used to cover Jesus' body were still present in the tomb. In the context of a grave robbery, it would be unusual for robbers to take the time to unwrap the body and leave the linens behind. Typically, grave robbers would be in a hurry and would not bother with such details; their primary objective would be to take valuable items quickly, including potentially the linens themselves if they were of any worth.

The Neatness of the Linens: The Gospel mentions that the linen wrappings were lying there. This detail suggests an orderly, undisturbed scene rather than the disarray one might expect if someone had hastily unwrapped and removed the body.

The Separate Cloth: Most significantly, the Gospel notes that the cloth that had been placed over Jesus' head was not just left behind, but was folded up (or rolled up in some translations) and placed separately from the linen wrappings. This detail adds to the orderly and deliberate appearance of the scene. It implies that the body was not taken away in haste or with disregard.

The combination of these details—the presence of the linens, their orderly arrangement, and the separate placement of the head cloth—suggests a scenario that goes beyond human intervention, particularly a rushed or covert removal of the body. To the disciples, this scene likely indicated something extraordinary and aligned with Jesus' predictions of his resurrection. It was this realization, upon seeing and understanding the arrangement of the linens, that led to belief, particularly in the case of John, as he interpreted these signs in the context of Jesus' teachings. This understanding, combined with their knowledge of Jesus' teachings and prophecies about his resurrection, led to a belief that transcended mere physical observation. John's faith was prompted by what he saw, but it was also an intuitive recognition and spiritual understanding of the significance of the empty tomb and its implications about Jesus' resurrection.

Believe without Seeing: The concept of "believing without seeing" as emphasized by John in John 20:29.

John 20: 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

This phrase conveys the essence of faith that is not contingent upon empirical evidence or physical observation. The word for this kind of faith in Greek is "πίστις" (pistis), which translates to "faith" or "belief" in English, signifying trust, confidence, and conviction in something without the need for visible proof.

This is a faith that does not depend on physical or visual proofs but on internal trust and conviction. It represents the faith of future believers who will not have the opportunity to see the physical proofs of Jesus' resurrection.
These different verbs and approaches to faith in the Gospel of John reflect a progression in understanding and accepting Jesus’ resurrection. It begins with a faith based on physical observation and moves towards a deeper, internal faith, ultimately culminating in a faith that transcends the need for physical proofs. Each verb reflects a different stage in the journey towards the comprehension and acceptance of the resurrection as the cornerstone of Christian faith.

a) because:  
(1) all three synoptic Gospels mention the single cloth (σινδών);
(2) the plural noun could simply be referring to other “funeral linens” that were involved in the burial process—such as a head band, a face cloth, and thin strips used to wrap the feet and upper body once the corpse had been placed inside the long, single cloth (σινδών); and
(3) Luke uses the same plural noun (τὰ ὀθόνια), “funeral linens,” in his account of the Resurrection (24.12) after earlier speaking of the singular burial cloth (σινδών) or shroud (23.53). One theory is that τὰ ὀθόνια refers to all the
funeral linens minus the Shroud. The majority view, though, is that this plural noun in Luke 23.53 is intended to include all the funeral or “linen wrappings” used in the burial process. Apparently τὰ ὀθόνια refers collectively to several cloths of various sizes. John uses a different word, κειρία, in describing the grave clothes of Lazarus (11.44). Carson describes that earlier burial in this manner: “The corpse was customarily laid on a sheet of linen, wide enough to envelop the body completely and more than twice the length of the corpse. The body was so placed on the sheet that the feet were at one end, and then the sheet was drawn over the head and back down to the feet. The feet were bound at the ankles, and the arms were tied to the body with linen strips…. Jesus’ body was apparently prepared for burial in the same way (cf. 19.40; 20.5, 7).” D. A. Carson, The Gospel according to John. Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1991) 418-19
b)  Larry Stalley: Are There Veiled References to the Shroud of Turin In the New Testament? 2020 https://www.shroud.com/pdfs/anc-stalley-pap.pdf

"Why John 'saw and believed'

Marinelli (1996): A comparison between what is observed in the Shroud and the narration of the Gospels can be useful. The Synoptic Gospels speak of a linen cloth used to wrap the body of Jesus, mentioned using the term sindon, a smooth fabric. As for the particular 'fold' or 'band' mentioned by John, the interpretations are varied: it could be wide (and not tight) bands; or perhaps it was the funeral shroud itself.

Giuseppe Ghiberti, professor of New Testament philology at the University of Turin, insists, noting the importance of recognizing the translation differences between the Gospels. According to the Synoptics, it is said that Jesus was wrapped in a shroud; instead, John, who was more attentive to details, speaks of the soudarion, which was not on the face, but folded in a separate place (folded, not in disorder, but in a unique position, extraordinary, exceptional, as if by the law of gravity)" (Jn 20:5-7).

The translation of Gian Zaninotto, professor of Greek, is similar: "The data from the shroud (parakyptō), source (not tied around as if it had been left by someone), suggests that Simon Peter entered (not to enter). Therefore, where Simon Peter saw that the others had followed, they did not go inside; but he (theorēi) did see the linen (oi othonia keimena) and the sudarium, that was on his head, was not placed with the linen cloths, but folded separately in a place (still in the tomb). John, however, saw and believed... children not yet weaned from the Scriptures, which he should rise from the dead" (Jn 20:8-9). "Thanks be to perfection — writes Ghiberti — it is a known law of Scripture, a sacred law that he surpassed in front of the dead, because he was possible and lawful in the comparisons of the mother, for his resurrection in Jesus: the liberation from death and the triumph over the condition of the burial garments are symbols of his conversation with the Father and resumption of his function as revealer."

Perls comments: "When Peter and John entered the tomb, the position of the sudarium of Oviedo and the shroud would have evaporated; moreover, the band and the sudarium were heard. The body on the right is now only the body of the crucified."

The resurrection of Jesus, but also the burial clothes left behind in the depths, at the moment of resurrection. The imprint of the face and the data from the bandages, preparing to rise, suggest that Jesus was not simply wrapped, but folded over.

The study emphasizes the presence in the tomb of four traces of the resurrection: the first two correspond to the position of the face and the bandages, and the next two correspond to the double fold of the sudarium. "These data from the bandages (othonia) — concludes Perls — attest, without possibility of doubt, to the body of Jesus arisen, and not to another explanation. Therefore, John entered, saw and believed."1

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8Evidence of the resurrection Empty Re: Evidence of the resurrection Wed Apr 10, 2024 10:08 am

Otangelo


Admin

Resurrection Challenge
https://sites.google.com/view/resurrectionchallenge/home?fbclid=IwAR21yi5hHPrmUdJXHzKzMPBJ08dI9OMuJvrYcNmzULPitA2n4AAmE510Y0s_aem_ATUS3jLlgfws1ysLyHqXFbLGM00aWA7BTZGfu8Wz6nwN7JLqPl-mi4Mq5TdaW3iqvuEuS-NHieid7sFWr0InnHXp

The primary reason for the apparent contradictions in the gospel accounts of Jesus' resurrection and post-resurrection appearances is the distinct perspectives, literary styles, and theological emphases of the different authors. The four gospel writers – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – were not aiming to provide a perfectly harmonized, chronological record of events. Instead, each writer had their own unique approach, narrative priorities, and theological purposes in mind when recounting these pivotal events surrounding Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.

Some key reasons for the variations and apparent contradictions include:

1. Selective emphasis: Each gospel writer chose to highlight different aspects of the same events, focusing on details or perspectives that aligned with their specific narrative goals or theological messages.
2. Complementary perspectives: Rather than contradicting each other, the gospel accounts often provide complementary perspectives on the same underlying events, offering varying levels of detail or emphasizing different facets of the same occurrence.
3. Literary conventions: The writers employed different literary techniques, such as compression of events, condensation of details, or symbolic representations, which could contribute to apparent discrepancies in the accounts.
4. Oral tradition: The gospels were likely based on oral traditions and eyewitness accounts that were later compiled and edited, which could lead to variations in the retelling of events.
5. Distinct audiences: Each gospel was written for a specific audience, influencing the selection and presentation of details to resonate with their particular cultural or theological context.
6. Theological interpretation: The gospel writers were not merely chronicling historical events but also interpreting them through the lens of their theological understanding and beliefs about Jesus' identity and mission.

By recognizing these factors, the apparent contradictions in the gospel accounts can be understood as variations in perspective, emphasis, and interpretation, rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the historical events themselves. The differences do not necessarily undermine the core message of Jesus' resurrection and post-resurrection appearances but rather reflect the distinct literary and theological approaches of the gospel writers.


Who visited the tomb?

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)

The differences in the accounts of who visited the tomb can be reconciled as follows:

1. The gospels are not necessarily providing exhaustive lists, but rather highlighting the key figures among the group of women who went to the tomb. It's likely that various women went to the tomb at different times or in small groups.

2. The writers may have chosen to emphasize certain individuals based on their particular theological or narrative purposes. For example, John's focus on Mary Magdalene could be to underline her role as the first witness of the risen Christ.

3. The variations in the names mentioned do not necessarily indicate contradictions. The women may have had multiple names or titles (e.g., "the other Mary" could refer to the mother of James). The writers may have used different names or designations for the same individuals.

4. The gospels present complementary perspectives, each highlighting different aspects of the event without intending to provide an exhaustive list. Taken together, the accounts give a more comprehensive picture of the women who went to the tomb.

By understanding the distinctive perspectives and purposes of each gospel writer, the apparent contradictions in the lists of women can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and focus rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.

Were there guards at the tomb?

Matthew: yes

What time did the women visit the tomb?

Matthew: "as it began to dawn" (28:1 NASB)
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 KJV)

The apparent contradictions regarding the presence of guards at the tomb and the timing of the women's visit can be reconciled as follows:

Guards at the Tomb:

- Matthew is the only gospel writer who mentions the presence of guards at the tomb. This does not necessarily contradict the other accounts, as Matthew may be providing additional historical details that the other writers did not focus on.

- The other gospels do not explicitly deny the presence of guards, they simply do not mention them. Silence on a detail in one account does not mean it contradicts an affirmation of that detail in another account.

Timing of the Women's Visit:

- The slight variations in the descriptions of the timing, such as "as it began to dawn," "very early in the morning," and "when it was yet dark," can be understood as referring to the same general timeframe - the early morning hours around sunrise.

- The gospel writers likely used slightly different phrasing to describe the same events, reflecting their distinct perspectives and literary styles, without intending to present contradictory information.

- The overall picture conveyed by the accounts is that the women visited the tomb very early in the morning, around the time the sun was rising. The minor differences in wording do not negate this shared basic understanding.

By recognizing the complementary nature of the gospel accounts and the distinct perspectives of the writers, these apparent contradictions can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and details rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.


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 apparent contradictions regarding the purpose of the women's visit to the tomb can be reconciled as follows:

1. Matthew's account simply states that the women went "to see the tomb" (28:1). This does not necessarily contradict the other accounts, as it could be a general statement about their motivation, without excluding other potential purposes.

2. Mark and Luke indicate that the women had already seen the tomb previously (Mark 15:47, Luke 23:55) and that they brought spices (Mark 16:1, Luke 24:1). This suggests their purpose was to anoint or further prepare Jesus' body.

3. John's account provides the additional detail that the body had already been spiced before the women arrived (19:39-40). This does not contradict the other gospels, but rather provides complementary information about the prior preparation of the body.

4. The differences in emphasis do not constitute contradictions. The gospel writers may have chosen to highlight different aspects of the women's motivations and actions based on their distinct theological and narrative purposes.

5. Collectively, the accounts suggest the women had a multi-layered purpose - to see the tomb, to bring spices to anoint the body, and to further honor and care for Jesus' remains. The writers simply focus on different facets of this overarching purpose.

By understanding the complementary nature of the gospel accounts and the distinct perspectives of the writers, the apparent contradictions regarding the women's purpose can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and detail rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.



State of the tomb when they arrived?

Matthew: Unclear if the women were present for the events (28:2-4)
Mark: stone was rolled away (16:4)
Luke: stone was rolled away (24:2)
John: stone was taken away (20:1)

The differences in the gospel accounts regarding the state of the tomb when the women arrived can be reconciled as follows:

1. Matthew's account is not entirely clear on whether the women were present for the events described in verses 28:2-4, where an angel rolls away the stone. This does not necessarily contradict the other accounts, as Matthew may be focused on other details.

2. Mark, Luke, and John all explicitly state that the stone had been rolled away or taken away when the women arrived at the tomb. This indicates a common understanding that the tomb was already open when the women got there.

3. The slight variations in wording, such as "stone was rolled away" versus "stone was taken away," do not represent contradictions. They likely reflect the different perspectives and emphases of the gospel writers rather than conflicting accounts of the same event.

4. Taken together, the accounts consistently convey that the tomb was already open when the women arrived, even if the exact details of how this came to be differ somewhat between the gospels.

By recognizing the complementary nature of these accounts and the distinct narrative purposes of the writers, the apparent contradictions regarding the state of the tomb can be resolved. The differences represent variations in perspective and emphasis, not irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.

Was there an earthquake?

Matthew: yes – stone rolls away

Who was at the tomb when they arrived?

Matthew: One angel outside sitting on rolled away stone (28:2-7)
Mark: One young man clothed in a white robe sitting inside on the right (16:5)
Luke: Two men suddenly appear standing inside BEFORE visit by disciples. Later text has women saying they were “angels” (24:4)
John: Two angels, already inside, sitting at the head & feet of where Jesus had laid AFTER visit by disciples (20:12)

The differences in the gospel accounts regarding the earthquake and the presence of angelic figures at the tomb can be reconciled as follows:

Earthquake:

- Matthew is the only gospel writer who mentions an earthquake associated with the rolling away of the stone (28:2). This detail is unique to Matthew's account and does not necessarily contradict the other narratives, which simply do not mention an earthquake.

- Silence on a particular detail in one account does not mean it contradicts an affirmation of that detail in another account. The writers may have had different focuses or simply chose not to include certain specifics.

Angelic Figures:

- The gospels present somewhat varying descriptions of the angelic messengers at the tomb, but these can be understood as complementary rather than contradictory.

- Matthew describes one angel outside the tomb, Mark one young man inside, Luke two men who are later referred to as "angels," and John two angels inside the tomb.

- These differences can be reconciled by recognizing that the writers may have been focusing on different aspects of the same event or encounters with multiple angelic figures. The core message conveyed - that there were divine messengers present at the tomb - is consistent across the accounts.

By acknowledging the distinct perspectives and narrative purposes of the gospel writers, the apparent contradictions regarding the earthquake and the angelic figures can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and detail rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.


What did the messenger(s) say?

Matthew: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” (28:5-7)
Mark: “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” (16:6-7)
Luke: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (24:5-7)
John: “Woman, why are you weeping?” (20:13)

The differences in the specific words and messages conveyed by the angelic messengers at the tomb can be reconciled as follows:

1. The gospel writers, while recounting the same basic events, focus on different aspects of the angelic messages and emphasize the details that are most relevant to their particular theological and narrative purposes.

2. The core content of the messages is consistent across the accounts - the messengers announce that Jesus has risen from the dead, provide instructions for the women, and sometimes remind them of Jesus' own predictions about his death and resurrection.

3. The variations in wording, such as "Do not be afraid," "Do not be alarmed," and "Why do you seek the living among the dead?" reflect the different styles and perspectives of the writers, but do not represent contradictory information.

4. John's account is shorter, focused on the initial question to Mary Magdalene, rather than the longer messages in the Synoptic Gospels. This difference in emphasis does not constitute a contradiction, but rather a selective reporting of the key details.

5. Collectively, the gospel accounts provide a harmonious and complementary presentation of the core angelic message at the empty tomb - that Jesus has risen, just as he said, and the women are instructed to tell his disciples.

By understanding the distinct literary and theological aims of each gospel writer, the apparent contradictions in the specific wording of the angelic messages can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and narrative style rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.

Did women or woman enter the tomb?

Matthew: NOT specified. Told to tell disciples Jesus would meet them in Galilee.

Mark: Yes. Told to tell disciples Jesus would meet them in Galilee.

Luke: Yes. NOT told where disciples would meet Jesus. Disciples doubted women.

John: No. NOT told where the disciples would meet Jesus.

Did the women see Jesus?

Matthew: Yes, “as they went to tell his disciples.” (28:9,10)

Mark: “He appeared first to Mary Magdalene.” (16:9)

John: Yes (20:14)

The differences in the gospel accounts regarding whether the women entered the tomb and whether they saw the resurrected Jesus can be reconciled as follows:

Did the women enter the tomb?

- Matthew's account does not explicitly state whether the women entered the tomb or not. The focus is on the angelic message and the instructions to go tell the disciples.

- Mark and Luke indicate that the women did enter the tomb, providing more detailed descriptions of what they encountered inside.

- John's account focuses on Mary Magdalene and does not mention the other women entering the tomb.

- These differences in emphasis do not constitute contradictions. The writers may have had different narrative priorities in terms of what aspects of the event to highlight.

Did the women see Jesus?

- Matthew, Mark, and John all affirm that the women, or at least Mary Magdalene, did encounter the risen Jesus.

- The variations in when and where these appearances occurred can be reconciled by understanding that there were likely multiple post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to the women.

- The writers selectively chose to focus on certain encounters based on their theological and narrative purposes, without intending to present a comprehensive, harmonized timeline of all the appearances.

By recognizing the complementary nature of the gospel accounts and the distinct perspectives of the writers, the apparent contradictions regarding the women's interactions with the tomb and the risen Jesus can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and details rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.

Did the women tell what happened?

Matthew: Yes (28:8 )
Mark: No. “Neither said they anything 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 )

The differences in the gospel accounts regarding whether the women told others what they had witnessed at the tomb can be reconciled as follows:

1. Matthew, Luke, and John all clearly state that the women did tell the disciples or others about what they had seen and experienced at the tomb.

2. The apparent contradiction arises with Mark's account, which states that "they said nothing to anyone" (16:8 ).

3. This difference can be understood in the following ways:

  a. Mark may be indicating that the women were initially silent or fearful, but then later did in fact tell the disciples, as the other gospels describe.
 
  b. Mark could be emphasizing the women's initial state of shock and amazement, without necessarily denying that they eventually shared the news.
 
  c. Mark may have been focusing on a specific, limited timeframe, while the other writers provide a broader perspective on the women's actions.

4. Taken together, the gospel accounts consistently convey that the women did ultimately share the news of the empty tomb and the resurrection with the disciples, even if there are variations in the specific details reported.

By understanding the distinct literary and theological purposes of each gospel writer, the apparent contradiction regarding the women's actions can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and perspective, not irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.

Did the disciples visit the tomb?

Luke: Yes (Peter). Later text says “some” went to the tomb.

John:  Yes (Peter and Beloved disciple)

Did the disciples enter the tomb?

Luke: No. Peter looked in and saw linen clothes. (24:12)

John:  Yes. Beloved Disciple looked in. Peter went in, then followed by Beloved Disciple (20:5-8 )

The differences in the gospel accounts regarding whether the disciples visited the tomb and whether they actually entered it can be reconciled as follows:

Disciples Visiting the Tomb:

- Both Luke and John indicate that some of the disciples, specifically Peter and the "beloved disciple" (traditionally identified as John), did visit the tomb.

- This is not a contradiction, as the accounts are complementary, providing details about the same event from different perspectives.

Disciples Entering the Tomb:

- Luke's account states that Peter "looked in and saw the linen cloths" (24:12), suggesting he did not fully enter the tomb.

- In contrast, John's account explicitly states that both Peter and the beloved disciple entered the tomb (20:5-8 ).

- These differences can be understood as the writers focusing on different aspects of the same event. Luke may have been emphasizing Peter's initial reaction, while John provided a more detailed description of what transpired inside the tomb.

- The accounts are not necessarily contradictory, but rather present complementary perspectives on the disciples' interactions with the tomb.

By recognizing the distinct narrative priorities and perspectives of the gospel writers, the apparent contradictions regarding the disciples' visits to the tomb can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and detail, rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.


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)

The apparent contradiction regarding whether Mary Magdalene knew Jesus had been resurrected when she returned from the tomb can be reconciled as follows:

1. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) all indicate that the women, including Mary Magdalene, understood and believed that Jesus had been raised from the dead when they left the tomb.

2. In contrast, John's account states that when Mary Magdalene first returned from the tomb, she did not yet know that Jesus had been resurrected (20:2).

3. These differences can be understood in the following ways:

  a. The Synoptic Gospels may be focused on the women's ultimate realization and belief in the resurrection, while John provides a more detailed account of Mary's initial confusion and lack of understanding.

  b. It's possible that Mary Magdalene went through a progression, first not understanding, and then later grasping the reality of the resurrection, which would not be a contradiction but a complementary perspective.

  c. The gospel writers may have had different narrative purposes in emphasizing certain aspects of Mary Magdalene's experience and understanding.

4. Taken together, the accounts do not present irreconcilable contradictions, but rather offer complementary perspectives on Mary Magdalene's experience and the timing of her realization that Jesus had risen from the dead.

By recognizing the distinct literary and theological goals of each gospel writer, the apparent contradiction regarding Mary Magdalene's knowledge can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and narrative focus rather than conflicting historical claims.


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 apparent contradictions regarding when Mary Magdalene first saw the resurrected Jesus can be reconciled as follows:

1. Matthew and Mark both state that Mary Magdalene saw Jesus before she returned to the disciples.

2. In contrast, John's account indicates that Mary Magdalene first saw Jesus after she had already returned to the disciples and reported that the tomb was empty (20:2,14).

3. These differences can be understood in the following ways:

  a. The gospel writers may be highlighting different appearances or encounters that Jesus had with Mary Magdalene. There could have been multiple appearances, with the writers focusing on distinct moments.

  b. The writers may have different narrative priorities in terms of emphasizing when exactly Mary recognized the resurrected Jesus and conveyed this information to the disciples.

  c. It's possible that the various accounts are describing the same basic sequence of events, but with subtle differences in the chronological details or emphasis.

4. Taken together, the gospel accounts are not necessarily contradictory, but rather provide complementary perspectives on Mary Magdalene's interactions with the risen Christ. The differences represent variations in narrative focus and emphasis rather than irreconcilable conflicts.

By understanding the distinct literary and theological purposes of each gospel writer, the apparent contradictions regarding when Mary Magdalene first saw Jesus can be resolved. The differences reflect complementary accounts of the same underlying historical events.

Could Jesus be touched after the resurrection?

Matthew: Yes (28:9)
John: No (20:17), Yes (20:27)

The apparent contradiction regarding whether the resurrected Jesus could be touched can be reconciled as follows:

1. Matthew's account indicates that the women were able to hold onto or grasp Jesus' feet when they encountered him after the resurrection (Matthew 28:9).

2. In contrast, John's gospel records two different accounts regarding Jesus' touchability:

  a. In John 20:17, Jesus tells Mary Magdalene, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father."
 
  b. Later, in John 20:27, Jesus invites Thomas to touch his wounds.

3. These differences can be understood in the following way:

  a. The accounts are not necessarily contradictory, but rather describe different moments in the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus.
 
  b. It's possible that there were some instances where Jesus allowed himself to be touched, and other times when he discouraged physical contact, perhaps for specific theological reasons.
 
  c. The writers may have selected and emphasized different details based on their respective narrative and theological aims.

4. Taken together, the gospel accounts do not present an irreconcilable contradiction, but rather offer complementary perspectives on the resurrected Jesus' interactions with his followers, including the matter of physical touch.

By recognizing the distinct literary purposes and theological perspectives of the gospel writers, the apparent contradiction regarding Jesus' touchability can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and narrative focus rather than conflicting historical claims.


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 differences in the gospel accounts regarding the order of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances can be reconciled as follows:

1. The Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) present somewhat different sequences, with appearances to various individuals and groups:

  - Matthew focuses on the appearance to the eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee.
  - Mark and Luke mention appearances to two disciples and then the eleven.

2. John's account indicates that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, and then to the ten disciples (excluding Thomas).

3. The apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, states that Jesus first appeared to Cephas (Peter) and then to the twelve.

4. These variations can be understood in the following ways:

  - The gospel writers may have chosen to highlight different post-resurrection appearances based on their specific theological and narrative purposes.
  - The accounts are not necessarily contradictory, but rather provide complementary perspectives on the sequence of Jesus' appearances.
  - It's possible that Jesus appeared to various individuals and groups multiple times, and the writers selectively reported on certain encounters.
  - The reference to "the twelve" in Paul's account may be a general term, even though Judas had already died.

5. Taken together, the gospel accounts and Paul's testimony present a harmonious picture of Jesus appearing to various individuals and groups after his resurrection, without irreconcilable contradictions.

By recognizing the distinct perspectives and purposes of the different writers, the apparent contradictions in the sequence of post-resurrection appearances can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and narrative focus rather than conflicting historical claims.

Did the disciples believe the two men?

Mark: No (16:13)
Luke: Yes (24:34—it is the group speaking here, not the two)

The apparent contradiction between Mark and Luke regarding whether the disciples believed the two men (referring to the disciples on the road to Emmaus) can be reconciled as follows:

1. Mark's account states that "they did not believe" the two disciples who had encountered the resurrected Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:13).

2. In contrast, Luke's account indicates that the Eleven (the disciples) did believe the report of the two Emmaus disciples, stating "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" (Luke 24:34).

3. These differences can be understood in the following way:

  a. Mark's statement that "they did not believe" may be referring to the initial reaction of the disciples, before they were fully convinced.
 
  b. Luke's account, on the other hand, presents the collective testimony of the group, affirming their belief in the Lord's resurrection after hearing the report.

4. There is no inherent contradiction between these two accounts. Mark focuses on the initial skepticism, while Luke highlights the ultimate acceptance and belief of the disciples.

5. The writers are presenting complementary perspectives on the same event, with Mark emphasizing the initial doubt and Luke emphasizing the final belief. These differences in emphasis do not constitute a contradiction in the underlying historical events.

By recognizing the distinct narrative priorities and perspectives of the gospel writers, the apparent contradiction between Mark and Luke can be resolved. The differences represent variations in focus and emphasis rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the accounts.

Where was Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples?

Matthew: On a mountain in Galilee (60-100 miles away) (28:16-17)
Mark: To two in the country while walking and then to eleven "as they sat and ate 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 locked room in Jerusalem to TEN disciples (i.e. minus Thomas) on same day as resurrection (20:19)

The differences in the gospel accounts regarding the location of Jesus' first appearance to the disciples after the resurrection can be reconciled as follows:

1. Matthew's account places the first appearance on a mountain in Galilee, which was some distance (60-100 miles) from Jerusalem.

2. Mark and Luke describe Jesus appearing to two disciples while they were walking, and then later to the Eleven in Jerusalem.

3. John's gospel states that the first appearance was to the ten disciples (without Thomas) in a locked room in Jerusalem on the same day as the resurrection.

4. These apparent contradictions can be understood in the following ways:

  a. The gospel writers may be highlighting different initial appearances of the resurrected Jesus, without necessarily presenting a comprehensive, harmonized timeline.
 
  b. It's possible that Jesus had multiple post-resurrection appearances, and the writers selectively focused on the ones most relevant to their theological and narrative purposes.
 
  c. The differences in location (Galilee, Emmaus, Jerusalem) and the specific disciples present do not necessarily constitute contradictions, but rather reflect the distinct perspectives and details provided by each gospel author.

5. Taken together, the accounts are not irreconcilably contradictory, but rather offer complementary perspectives on the initial appearances of the risen Christ to his followers.

By recognizing the distinct literary and theological aims of the gospel writers, the apparent contradictions regarding the location of Jesus' first appearance can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and narrative focus rather than conflicting historical claims.

Where was Jesus’ 2nd appearance to the disciples?

Luke: To all ELEVEN disciples in room in Jerusalem on day of resurrection. Told to remain in Jerusalem until Pentecost (24:33-35)
John: Eight days later in locked room to all disciples. Thomas examines Jesus’ wounds. (20:26-29)

The differences between Luke's and John's accounts regarding the location and timing of Jesus' second appearance to the disciples can be reconciled as follows:

1. Luke's account states that Jesus appeared to the Eleven disciples (excluding Judas) in a room in Jerusalem on the same day as the resurrection (Luke 24:33-35).

2. John's account, on the other hand, describes a second appearance of Jesus to the disciples (including Thomas this time) that occurred eight days later, again in a locked room (John 20:26-29).

3. These differences can be understood as follows:

  a. Luke and John may be describing two distinct post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to the disciples, occurring on different occasions.
 
  b. It's possible that Jesus had multiple appearances in Jerusalem in the days following the resurrection, and the gospel writers chose to focus on and emphasize different ones based on their respective narratives.
 
  c. The differences in location (a room in Jerusalem versus unspecified) and timing (same day versus eight days later) do not necessarily constitute a contradiction, but rather reflect the distinct perspectives and details provided by each gospel writer.

4. Taken together, the accounts can be seen as complementary, providing different snapshots of Jesus' post-resurrection interactions with his disciples, without presenting irreconcilable conflicts.

By recognizing the distinct literary and theological aims of Luke and John, the apparent contradiction regarding the timing and location of Jesus' second appearance can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and narrative focus rather than conflicting historical claims.


Where was Jesus’ 3rd appearance to the disciples?

John: At Sea of Tiberias to SEVEN disciples (21:1-3)

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)

The details provided regarding Jesus' third appearance to the disciples and what happened during that encounter can be reconciled as follows:

Jesus' Third Appearance:
- John's gospel is the only one that specifically mentions a third appearance, which took place at the Sea of Tiberias (also known as the Sea of Galilee) and involved seven of the disciples (John 21:1-3).

What Happened:
- Matthew describes the disciples worshipping Jesus, with some still doubting, and Jesus giving the Great Commission to "go and make disciples" (28:17-20).
- Mark states that Jesus reprimanded the disciples for their unbelief and then commissioned them to "go into all the world and preach the gospel" (16:14-19).
- Luke's account focuses on the "Emmaus Road" encounter, where Jesus appeared incognito, vanished, and then later appeared to the Eleven, offering a blessing and meal (24:13-51).
- John's record highlights the disciples' joy at seeing the risen Lord, who passed through locked doors, and then commissioned and blessed them (21:19-23).

These differences can be reconciled by understanding:
1. The gospel writers are selectively highlighting different post-resurrection appearances and encounters with varying details and emphases.
2. The accounts are complementary, providing different perspectives on the same underlying events without necessarily contradicting one another.
3. The writers had distinct theological and narrative purposes in how they presented these critically important resurrection appearances.

By recognizing the distinct literary styles and priorities of the gospel authors, the apparent contradictions can be resolved, allowing for a harmonious understanding of Jesus' third appearance and the events surrounding it.

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)

The differences in the gospel accounts regarding the duration of Jesus' time on earth after the resurrection can be reconciled as follows:

1. Mark's and Luke's accounts indicate that Jesus' ascension occurred on the same day as his resurrection appearances, suggesting a relatively brief post-resurrection period on earth.

2. John's gospel, on the other hand, records appearances by Jesus that spanned at least eight days after the resurrection, with the second appearance occurring a week later (John 20:26).

3. The book of Acts further states that Jesus remained on earth for at least forty days before his ascension (Acts 1:3).

These differences can be understood in the following ways:

a. The writers may have had different narrative priorities in terms of emphasizing certain post-resurrection events and timelines over others.

b. It's possible that Jesus had multiple appearances and interactions with his disciples over an extended period, and the gospel writers selectively focused on different aspects of this timeline.

c. The accounts are not necessarily contradictory, but rather provide complementary perspectives on the duration and timeline of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances.

By recognizing the distinct literary and theological aims of the gospel writers, as well as the possibility of multiple post-resurrection encounters, the apparent contradictions regarding the length of Jesus' time on earth can be resolved. The differences represent variations in emphasis and narrative focus rather than irreconcilable conflicts in the underlying historical events.

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)

The apparent contradictions regarding the location of Jesus' ascension primarily arise from the different accounts provided in the New Testament Gospels and Acts. Here's a breakdown of the various perspectives:

Matthew: In Matthew's Gospel, there is no explicit mention of Jesus' ascension. The book ends with a scene on a mountain in Galilee where Jesus commissions his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:16-20).

Mark: Mark's Gospel indicates that the ascension took place in or near Jerusalem, after supper (Mark 16:19). However, it's worth noting that there is some scholarly debate regarding the original ending of Mark's Gospel, with some arguing that Mark 16:9-20 might be a later addition.

Luke: According to Luke's account, the ascension occurred in Bethany, very close to Jerusalem, after supper (Luke 24:50-51). Luke also records the ascension in the opening of the Book of Acts, which specifies that it happened from the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:9-12).

John: John's Gospel does not contain an account of Jesus' ascension.

Paul: Paul's writings do not describe the ascension of Jesus.

Now, regarding the apparent discrepancies, it's essential to recognize that the Gospels and Acts were written by different authors, each with their own perspective, audience, and theological emphasis. The variations in details are not uncommon in historical accounts, especially those recorded orally and later compiled into written form. Here are some ways to reconcile these differences:

Geographical proximity: Bethany, the Mount of Olives, and Jerusalem are all in close proximity to each other. Therefore, it's possible that the events surrounding Jesus' ascension occurred in this general area.

Different perspectives: Each author may have chosen to emphasize different aspects of the event. Luke, for instance, may have focused on the location of Bethany as a way to tie Jesus' departure to significant events in his narrative.

Theological emphasis: The emphasis of each author might not be on the exact geographical details but rather on theological themes. For example, Luke's emphasis on the Mount of Olives could be to draw a connection to Old Testament prophecy or to symbolize the significance of Jesus' departure.

Literary convention: It's also possible that the different locations mentioned serve different literary purposes within each narrative.

In summary, while there are apparent differences in the accounts of Jesus' ascension in the New Testament, these can be understood within the context of different perspectives, literary conventions, and theological emphases of the respective authors. Ultimately, the core message of Jesus' ascension remains consistent across the texts.

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