Monday, September 13, 2010

Stump the Christians #8

I think this was quickly turning into “Insult [or disgust] the Christians,” so I will tone it back a little. For now.

This one is more of a riddle: who discovered the rock in front of Jesus’ tomb rolled aside, and what else did they see there?


  1. In the Gospel of John, it was Mary Magdalene. In Luke, the story is subtly different: Mary had others with her, who went into the tomb instead of running back to the Mark, the details are further explained in that it was the afore-mentioned Mary, Mary Jesus' mother, and Salome, who is often regarded as one of Jesus' sisters. In Matthew, it is recorded that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus came to the tomb, though Salome is not mentioned...

    In all three, they saw an angel of some form I believe, and the empty grave clothes. I suppose the first people who saw it might also have been the soldiers who "became as dead men", but later went away and told the chief priests about what had happened, and were bribed to keep quiet...

  2. You were good until you got to "an angel." Just one? Maybe two? Was there any lightning, an earthquake maybe?

  3. [Also, the guards were there and shaking from fright in Matthew... did you ever wonder who on Earth ever puts guards at a tomb? I mean, he's a criminal... believe it or not, back then people used to steal body parts from the corpses all the time. The crucifixion nails in particular were always scrapped for the metal.]

  4. To your first comment- once again, the account varies. In one of them, there were two, sitting inside the tomb. In another account, there was one sitting on the rock. This kind of confusion is to be accepted, because just as there can be hundreds of different stories about an event witnessed, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were likely to disagree on certain details. The earthquake occurred during his crucifixion, during the event that tore the veil before the Holiest of Holies in the Temple.

    To your second comment- Pilate put guards at the tomb to keep Jesus' disciples from stealing the body and claiming he had risen again. Quite smart, actually. Unfortunately, Pilate didn't consider that Jesus might actually rise from the dead. ;)

  5. Actually, Matthew 28 (specifically verse two) attests an earthquake occurring at this point, and it was this (as well as the angel appearing like lightning) that spooked the guards.

    In John, Mary (alone) went back to get Simon Peter and another apostle, and no angel or guard is mentioned.

    In fact... only Matthew mentions a guard.

  6. Thanks for pointing that out. I confess I'm not as versed on this area of scripture as I should be. >.> You've inspired me to study, if nothing else. :D

    Just because only Matthew mentions a guard doesn't automatically discount the existence of one. Perhaps Matthew had information the others did not. As I stated, the disciples who wrote the Gospels had different points of view, and probably access to different information as well. This is a strength, not a weakness, for it shows that they didn't get together and "make a story", but rather told the same story of Jesus' coming and God's grace the way they knew it.

  7. Well, consider that none of them were eye witnesses, even as attested in the story they tell. The Bible does not include Mary's gospel, and the authors of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John didn't even know Jesus, nor were they there.

    I just like see whether people pay attention to details.


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