Skip to comments.Are There Discrepancies in the Resurrection Accounts? If so, Can They be Resolved?
Posted on 04/09/2012 8:42:59 AM PDT by marshmallow
When we read the various accounts of the Resurrection in the four Gospels, Acts and Pauline Epistles we can easily be puzzled by some apparent discrepancies in the details.
The Pope in his recent book, Jesus of Nazareth (Vol II) says, We have to acknowledge that this testimony [of Scripture] considered from an historical point of view, is presented to us in a particularly complex form and gives rise to many questions. (P. 242)
The Pope goes on to explain what he considers to be the reason for this complexity and apparent divergence in some of the details.
What actually happened? Clearly for the witnesses who encountered the risen Lord, it was not easy to say. They were confronted with what, for them, was an entirely new reality, far beyond the limits of their own experience. Much as the reality of the event overwhelmed them and impelled them to bear witness, it was still utterly unlike anything they had previously known. (p. 242).
The Pope then reminds us that Jesus resurrection was experienced by them as something far beyond the resuscitation of a corpse. Rather, Jesus had taken up a wholly new and transformed humanity that was beyond anything they could fully describe or had ever experienced.
With all this in mind we are better able to appreciate the ecstatic qualities of the resurrection accounts and appreciate why all their details do not perfectly line up. The accounts have a rather crisp, lets get to the point quality; especially the accounts of the first day of the appearances. Frankly, one would be surprised if every detail in the account of an astonishing event were exactly the same. One might even suspect a story that was too controlled and wonder as to a kind of brainwashing or conspiracy having taken place.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.adw.org ...
CBS Sunday Morning featured a guy (atheist) who admits the Shroud of Turin dates to the time of Christ’s death. His little Satan’s twist is that people did not see the resurrected Jesus, they were shown the image on this shroud.
You can have a bunch of people witnessing the same thing and all of them will come up with slightly different versions. If they all agreed critics will say it’s collusion; if they differed in their version critics will say they couldn’t agree. Can’t win in either case.
Much of the discrepancies can be resolved by the fact the Apostles and disciples learned about it from different people and would have learned a slightly different account.
I don’t believe any of the discrepancies are problematic ones.
Of course there are discrepencies. There are discrepencies regarding the Kennedy assassination, but we all know it happened.
That pretty much accounts for all of the discrepancies noted in the Gospels. These people led real lives and couldn’t always be there. Undoubtedly, when Christ told a parable, He often repeated them. The Apostles and disciples would have heard them in different times and places and in different ways.
“For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
vs the fact He was only in the tomb one full day—the Sabbath? I've read some explanations, but I wonder if there is a better one I haven't heard.
Thanks in advance to any who take the time to answer. I'm going to be away from the computer most of today, but I will try to thank anyone who responds later. Please don't think I'm a hit and run poster, however, if it takes a while for me to do it. Thanks again.
It counted as a day, if it was only part of a day. So, if Christ went into the grave prior to the Sabbath, it would ha e counted as the first day, the Sabbath would have been counted as the second day, then the evening until first day morning would have counted as the third day.
You likely are referring to an early test which later was shown to lack proper controls. A later, far more detained set of tests verified that the shroud dates back to the time of Christ.
Correction: I thought flawed carbon dating determined the oldest it could be was 300 years after Christ died?
Good answer and your tag line is even better.
I doubt if the Apostles told the stories in different ways, I doubt that they were at all confused. They did after all receive instruction from the ressurected Christ for 40 days before His Assention.
The problems lies in the methodology of the day. In the Apostles time writing was not like it is today, today writing is everywhere. While Israel was the most literate society in the world during it’s day, literacy was still not universal. Another problem was the written language was often in 3 popular languages and the spoken language a 4th. The written languages were Roman Greek and Hebrew while many locals spoke Aramaic. The Aramatic language was not often written. Official texts were generally Roman, while religious texts were generally Hebrew and many business texts were Greek. Most of the Apostles were, at least to some degree tri-lingual and in some cases spoke fluently in 4 languages. They had to speak so that the audience they were speaking to could understand them. It is not hard to understand how a story could be carried in a variety of different versions.
We have a tendency to think of the Apostles sitting down to record their stories or Gospels. That is not generally the case. We know that John did indeed write and Paul and James both were writers but that is about all we have for sure, and I emphasize “sure”. The Gospels were committed to writing after the Apostles death, for the most part, by those who traveled with them and heard their stories over and over again. What is amazing is how similar the different versions of the Gospel are.
All these things are unimportant when you consider just a couple of things. The Apostles believed Mary when she said she saw the risin Lord enough to run to the tomb. Thousands believed the Apostles when they said they saw the risin Lord. Paul on the road, completly unconnected to the Apostles had his own meeting with the Risin Lord and writes about it in his own hand. So far we have a small enough group that you could suppose that there could have been a conspiracy of lies BUT there were upwards of 500 people who witnessed His Assention. 500 is just too many people to maintain a conspiracy. There would be some who recant. Actually getting 12 people to go to their deaths without recanting a lie would likely be impossible.
I can tell you this, I have never seen The risin Lord, I have however felt His presence and know as certain as anybody that the Apostles witnessed to that He is real. These talking head idiots on TV and in our universities will have a very rude awakening on resurrection morning. Christ lives, if you don’t know it or believe it simply ask Him.
In the CBS piece it was claimed, without any dissenting opinion, that carbon dating places it from the middle ages. From my reading I have found various scientists have been critical of that dating on technical grounds.
I haven’t read that 300 AD date before.
Entire article here — http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2869469/posts?page=56#56
Does not need to be excerpted.
The fact that he was raised back on Earth is a discrepancy but for different reasons,I have no problem believing he was raised from the dead.....just why he came back here.
It is not a form of damnation when that happens but it “can”
speak of a certain distance between the Lazarus(the raisee) and God.Essentially it speaks of unfinished work not of the world but of the individual.
Otherwise I am not unfamiliar to this subject,just have never experienced it from a first-hand perspective.Jesus could have experienced it face to face with people who’d died and then decided to try it for himself.
As if any of this could make any sense to anyone here.......
The sign of Jonah was the ONLY sign Jesus gave as proof of His Messiahship. 3 Days - and 3 Nights in the heart of the earth. That is 3 full days (6Am to roughly 6PM) and 3 full nights (6PM to roughly 6 Am). You cannot even get parts of days and nights from a Friday crucifixion to finding the tomb empty on Sunday morning.
Based on my own understanding and study - it is likely that Jesus was crucified possibly on Wednesday around 9 AM in 33 AD. That would correspond with Passover occurring at that date in that year. The fact as Leviticus 23:5 points out that at sunset (or even) on Nissan 14, “It is the Lord’s Passover”. Jesus led His disciples in the upper room to install the New Covenant. Notice that Passover is NOT a commanded assembly or ‘High sabbath” as the next verse in 23:6 states that the 15th of the month WAS an High Sabbath to the Lord, at Sunset. The High Sabbath being the First Day of Unleavened Bread.
Of interest to note is that in Jerusalem in 33 AD, the slaughtering of the passover lambs for the big Seder meal that opens the High Sabbath of Unleavened Bread, was taking place in the Temple at 3PM, the Ninth Hour in which it is recorded that Jesus died.
The Gospels tell us that the ‘High Sabbath” (The First Day of Unleavened Bread) was drawing on (The Bible counts God’s days as beginning from sunset until the following sunset) and they broke the legs of the two thieves so they would die quicker so they could get the bodies down from the crosses and into the tombs before sunset.
Jesus was put in the tomb before sundown on our Wednesday before sunset in my understanding.
Wednesday night until Thursday morning was the first night in the grave, and it was an High Sabbath Day.
On Thursday evening at Sunset - Jesus was in the grave one night and one day.
At sunset on Thursday evening until Friday morning, Jesus was in the grave 2 full nights and one full day.
Friday morning at dawn began what the Jews called “The preparation” for the regular weekly seventh Day Sabbath. The Gospel accounts tell of the women buying preparations for Jesus’ burial as was their custom - and after all of their purchases and preparations of the spices and ointments (probably also in preparation for the regular Sabbath in which all heavy cooking was to be done for the following day on Friday before Sunset). The Gospel accounts tell us that they then “rested according to the Commandment” which came at sunset on Friday.
Friday at Sunset is two full nights and two full days in the grave for Jesus.
From Friday night until Saturday morning, the Sabbath- Jesus was in the grave for 3 full nights and two full days.
On Saturday - at sunset, Jesus was in the tomb for 3 full nights, and 3 full days.
The Gospel of John tells us in chapter 20:1 - “On Sunday morning while it was still yet dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance”.
This was BEFORE the sun came up on Sunday morning that John asserts Mary Magdelene reported that Jesus was not in the tomb. Mark and Matthew differ in the time - and some of it may have been alterations in the original Greek to support the doctrine of the church that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose Sunday morning.
In any event, my understanding is that Jesus had fully spent 3 days and 3 nights in the grave as He said - and rose sometime after sunset on our Saturday night so the tomb was empty whether it was still dark or the sun had just come up.
Literally and figuratively - Jesus IS the undisputed Lamb of God in accordance with the scriptures. The trouble always begins when traditions of men are grafted into the plain words written in the bible, and it is how the Secularists and Atheists are able to convince many people that our faith is nothing but a fable.
What people forget is that their C14 results were skewed by samples that were taken from expertly repaired sections of the Shroud (not to be confused with the huge triangular repair patches from 1532). The repairs were made (it is believed) in the 16th Century.
More details are available from http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/marben.pdf