The Gospels Record Different Witnesses for the Resurrection


بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The various Gospels contradict each other when it comes to the identity, and numbers of witnesses, on Resurrection Sunday.

Matthew 28:1-7
1 On the night after the Sabbath, at the hour when dawn broke on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, came near to contemplate the tomb.  2 And suddenly there was a great, because an angel of the Lord came to the place, descending from Heaven, and rolled away the stone, and sat over it; 3 his face shone like lightning, and his garments were white as snow; 4 so that the guards trembled for fear of him, and were like dead men.  5 But the angel said openly to the women, “You need not be afraid; I know well that you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, the man who was crucified.  6 He is not here; he has risen, as he told you.  Come and see the place where the Lord was buried.  7 You must go in haste, and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead; and now he is going on before you into Galilee, where you shall have sight of him.  That is my message to you.”

1 Ὀψὲ δὲ σαββάτων, τῇ ἐπιφωσκούσῃ εἰς μίαν σαββάτων, ἦλθεν Μαριὰμ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ ἡ ἄλλη Μαρία θεωρῆσαι τὸν τάφον.  2 καὶ ἰδοὺ σεισμὸς ἐγένετο μέγας: ἄγγελος γὰρ κυρίου καταβὰς ἐξ οὐρανοῦ καὶ προσελθὼν ἀπεκύλισεν τὸν λίθον καὶ ἐκάθητο ἐπάνω αὐτοῦ.  3 ἦν δὲ ἡ εἰδέα αὐτοῦ ὡς ἀστραπὴ, καὶ τὸ ἔνδυμα αὐτοῦ λευκὸν ὡς χιών.  4 ἀπὸ δὲ τοῦ φόβου αὐτοῦ ἐσείσθησαν οἱ τηροῦντες καὶ ἐγενήθησαν ὡς νεκροί.  5 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν ταῖς γυναιξίν: μὴ φοβεῖσθε ὑμεῖς: οἶδα γὰρ ὅτι Ἰησοῦν τὸν ἐσταυρωμένον ζητεῖτε.  6 οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε: ἠγέρθη γὰρ, καθὼς εἶπεν: δεῦτε ἴδετε τὸν τόπον ὅπου ἔκειτο.  7 καὶ ταχὺ πορευθεῖσαι εἴπατε τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ ὅτι ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἰδοὺ προάγει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν, ἐκεῖ αὐτὸν ὄψεσθε. ἰδοὺ εἶπον ὑμῖν.

1 Vespere autem sabbati, quæ lucescit in prima sabbati, venit Maria Magdalene, et altera Maria, videre sepulchrum.  2 Et ecce terræmotus factus est magnus.  Angelus enim Domini descendit de cælo: et accedens revolvit lapidem, et sedebat super eum: 3 erat autem aspectus ejus sicut fulgur: et vestimentum ejus sicut nix.  4 Præ timore autem ejus exterriti sunt custodes, et facti sunt velut mortui.  5 Respondens autem angelus dixit mulieribus: Nolite timere vos: scio enim, quod Jesum, qui crucifixus est, quæritis.  6 Non est hic: surrexit enim, sicut dixit: venite, et videte locum ubi positus erat Dominus.  7 Et cito euntes, dicite discipulis ejus quia surrexit: et ecce præcedit vos in Galilæam: ibi eum videbitis: ecce prædixi vobis.

Mark 16:1-7
1 And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought spices, to come and anoint Jesus.  2 So they came to the tomb very early on the day after the sabbath, at sunrise.  3 And they began to question among themselves, “Who is to roll the stone away for us from the door of the tomb?”  4 Then they looked up, and saw that the stone, great as it was, had been rolled away already.  5 And they went into the tomb, and saw there, on the right, a young man seated, wearing a white robe; and they were dismayed.  6 But he said to them, “No need to be dismayed; you have come to look for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified; he has risen again, he is not here.  Here is the place where they laid him.  7 Go and tell his disciples and Peter, that he is going before you into Galilee.  There you shall have sight of him, as he promised you.”

1 Καὶ διαγενομένου τοῦ σαββάτου Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ καὶ Μαρία ἡ τοῦ Ἰακώβου καὶ Σαλώμη ἠγόρασαν ἀρώματα, ἵνα ἐλθοῦσαι ἀλείψωσιν αὐτόν.  2 καὶ λίαν πρωῒ τῇ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων ἔρχονται ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου.  3 καὶ ἔλεγον πρὸς ἑαυτάς: τίς ἀποκυλίσει ἡμῖν τὸν λίθον ἐκ τῆς θύρας τοῦ μνημείου; 4 καὶ ἀναβλέψασαι θεωροῦσιν ὅτι ἀποκεκύλισται ὁ λίθος: ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα.  5 καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον εἶδον νεανίσκον καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν, καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν.  6 ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐταῖς: μὴ ἐκθαμβεῖσθε. Ἰησοῦν ζητεῖτε τὸν Ναζαρηνὸν τὸν ἐσταυρωμένον: ἠγέρθη, οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε: ἴδε ὁ τόπος ὅπου ἔθηκαν αὐτόν.  7 ἀλλὰ ὑπάγετε εἴπατε τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ τῷ Πέτρῳ ὅτι προάγει ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν: ἐκεῖ αὐτὸν ὄψεσθε, καθὼς εἶπεν ὑμῖν.

1 Et cum transisset sabbatum, Maria Magdalene, et Maria Jacobi, et Salome emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum.  2 Et valde mane una sabbatorum, veniunt ad monumentum, orto jam sole.  3 Et dicebant ad invicem: Quis revolvet nobis lapidem ab ostio monumenti?  4 Et respicientes viderunt revolutum lapidem. Erat quippe magnus valde.  5 Et introëuntes in monumentum viderunt juvenem sedentem in dextris, coopertum stola candida, et obstupuerunt.  6 Qui dicit illis: Nolite expavescere: Jesum quæritis Nazarenum, crucifixum: surrexit, non est hic, ecce locus ubi posuerunt eum.  7 Sed ite, dicite discipulis ejus, et Petro, quia præcedit vos in Galilæam: ibi eum videbitis, sicut dixit vobis.

Luke 24:1-12
1 And at very early dawn, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared: 2 and found the stone already rolled away from the door of the tomb.  3 They went into it, and could not find the body of the Lord Jesus.  4 They were still puzzling over this, when two men came and stood by them, in shining garments.  5 These said to them, as they bowed their faces to the earth in fear, “Why are you seeking one who is alive, here among the dead?  6 He is not here, he has risen again; remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 ‘The Son of Man is to be given up into the hands of sinners, and to be crucified, and to rise again the third day.’”  8 Then they remembered what he had said, 9 and returned from the tomb bringing news of all this to the eleven apostles, and to all the rest.  10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, who told the apostles this; 11 but to their minds the story seemed madness, and they could not believe it.  12 Only Peter rose up, and ran to the tomb, where he looked in, and saw the grave clothes lying by themselves, and went away full of surmise over what had befallen.

1 Τῇ δὲ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων ὄρθρου βαθέως ἐπὶ τὸ μνῆμα ἦλθον φέρουσαι ἃ ἡτοίμασαν ἀρώματα.  2 εὗρον δὲ τὸν λίθον ἀποκεκυλισμένον ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου,  3 εἰσελθοῦσαι δὲ οὐχ εὗρον τὸ σῶμα τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ.  4 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἀπορεῖσθαι αὐτὰς περὶ τούτου, καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες δύο ἐπέστησαν αὐταῖς ἐν ἐσθῆτι ἀστραπτούσῃ: 5 ἐμφόβων δὲ γενομένων αὐτῶν καὶ κλινουσῶν τὰ πρόσωπα εἰς τὴν γῆν εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτάς: τί ζητεῖτε τὸν ζῶντα μετὰ τῶν νεκρῶν; 6 οὐκ ἔστιν ὧδε, ἀλλὰ ἠγέρθη. μνήσθητε ὡς ἐλάλησεν ὑμῖν ἔτι ὢν ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ, 7 λέγων τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ὅτι δεῖ παραδοθῆναι εἰς χεῖρας ἀνθρώπων ἁμαρτωλῶν καὶ σταυρωθῆναι καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρᾳ ἀναστῆναι.  8 καὶ ἐμνήσθησαν τῶν ῥημάτων αὐτοῦ, 9 καὶ ὑποστρέψασαι ἀπὸ τοῦ μνημείου ἀπήγγειλαν ταῦτα πάντα τοῖς ἕνδεκα καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς λοιποῖς. 10 ἦσαν δὲ ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ Μαρία καὶ Ἰωάννα καὶ Μαρία ἡ Ἰακώβου, καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ σὺν αὐταῖς ἔλεγον πρὸς τοὺς ἀποστόλους ταῦτα.  11 καὶ ἐφάνησαν ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν ὡσεὶ λῆρος τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα, καὶ ἠπίστουν αὐταῖς.  12 ὁ δὲ Πέτρος ἀναστὰς ἔδραμεν ἐπὶ τὸ μνημεῖον καὶ παρακύψας βλέπει τὰ ὀθόνια μόνα καὶ ἀπῆλθεν πρὸς ἑαυτὸν θαυμάζων τὸ γεγονός

1 Una autem sabbati valde diluculo venerunt ad monumentum, portantes quæ paraverant aromata: 2 et invenerunt lapidem revolutum a monumento.  3 Et ingressæ non invenerunt corpus Domini Jesu.  4 Et factum est, dum mente consternatæ essent de isto, ecce duo viri steterunt secus illas in veste fulgenti.  5 Cum timerent autem, et declinarent vultum in terram, dixerunt ad illas: Quid quæritis viventem cum mortuis?  6 non est hic, sed surrexit: recordamini qualiter locutus est vobis, cum adhuc in Galilæa esset, 7 dicens: Quia oportet Filium hominis tradi in manus hominum peccatorum, et crucifigi, et die tertia resurgere.  8 Et recordatæ sunt verborum ejus.  9 Et regressæ a monumento nuntiaverunt hæc omnia illis undecim, et ceteris omnibus.  10 Erat autem Maria Magdalene, et Joanna, et Maria Jacobi, et ceteræ quæ cum eis erant, quæ dicebant ad apostolos hæc.  11 Et visa sunt ante illos sicut deliramentum verba ista, et non crediderunt illis.  12 Petrus autem surgens cucurrit ad monumentum: et procumbens vidit linteamina sola posita, et abiit secum mirans quod factum fuerat.

John 20:1-17
1 Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, and found the stone moved away from the tomb door.  2 So she came running to Simon Peter, and that other disciple, whom Jesus loved; “They have carried the Lord away from the tomb,” she said to them, “and we cannot tell where they have taken him.”  3 Upon this, Peter and the other disciple both set out, and made their way to the tomb; 4 they began running side by side, but the other disciple outran Peter, and reached the tomb first.  5 He looked in and saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.  6 Simon Peter, coming up after him, went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and also the veil which had been put over Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths, but still wrapped round and round in a place by itself.  8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and saw this, and learned to believe.  9 They had not yet mastered what was written of him, that he was to rise from the dead.  10 The disciples went back home; 11 but Mary stood without before the tomb, weeping. And she bent down, still weeping, and looked into the tomb; 12 and saw two angels clothed in white sitting there, one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.  13 They said to her, “Woman, why art thou weeping?”  “Because they have carried away my Lord,” she said, “and I cannot tell where they have taken him.”  14 Saying this, she turned round, and saw Jesus standing there, without knowing that it was Jesus.  15 “Woman,” Jesus said to her, “why art thou weeping?  For whom art thou searching?”  She supposed that it must be the gardener, and said to him, “If it is thou, Sir, that hast carried him off, tell me where thou hast put him, and I will take him away.”  16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  And she turned and said to him, “Rabboni”.  17 Then Jesus said, “Do not cling to me thus; I have not yet gone up to my Father’s side.  Return to my brethren, and tell them this; I am going up to him who is my Father and your Father, who is my God and your God.”

1 Τῇ δὲ μιᾷ τῶν σαββάτων Μαρία ἡ Μαγδαληνὴ ἔρχεται πρωῒ σκοτίας ἔτι οὔσης εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ βλέπει τὸν λίθον ἠρμένον ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου.  2 τρέχει οὖν καὶ ἔρχεται πρὸς Σίμωνα Πέτρον καὶ πρὸς τὸν ἄλλον μαθητὴν ὃν ἐφίλει ὁ Ἰησοῦς, καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς: ἦραν τὸν κύριον ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου, καὶ οὐκ οἴδαμεν ποῦ ἔθηκαν αὐτόν.  3 ἐξῆλθεν οὖν ὁ Πέτρος καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητής, καὶ ἤρχοντο εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον.  4 ἔτρεχον δὲ οἱ δύο ὁμοῦ: καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς προέδραμεν τάχιον τοῦ Πέτρου καὶ ἦλθεν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, 5 καὶ παρακύψας βλέπει κείμενα τὰ ὀθόνια, οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν.  6 ἔρχεται οὖν καὶ Σίμων Πέτρος ἀκολουθῶν αὐτῷ, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ θεωρεῖ τὰ ὀθόνια κείμενα, 7 καὶ τὸ σουδάριον, ὃ ἦν ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ, οὐ μετὰ τῶν ὀθονίων κείμενον ἀλλὰ χωρὶς ἐντετυλιγμένον εἰς ἕνα τόπον.  8 τότε οὖν εἰσῆλθεν καὶ ὁ ἄλλος μαθητὴς ὁ ἐλθὼν πρῶτος εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, καὶ εἶδεν καὶ ἐπίστευσεν: 9 οὐδέπω γὰρ ᾔδεισαν τὴν γραφὴν ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῆναι.  10 ἀπῆλθον οὖν πάλιν πρὸς αὐτοὺς οἱ μαθηταί.  11 Μαρία δὲ εἱστήκει πρὸς τῷ μνημείῳ ἔξω κλαίουσα. ὡς οὖν ἔκλαιεν παρέκυψεν εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον, 12 καὶ θεωρεῖ δύο ἀγγέλους ἐν λευκοῖς καθεζομένους, ἕνα πρὸς τῇ κεφαλῇ καὶ ἕνα πρὸς τοῖς ποσίν, ὅπου ἔκειτο τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Ἰησοῦ.  13 καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῇ ἐκεῖνοι: γύναι, τί κλαίεις; λέγει αὐτοῖς ὅτι ἦραν τὸν κύριόν μου, καὶ οὐκ οἶδα ποῦ ἔθηκαν αὐτόν.  14 ταῦτα εἰποῦσα ἐστράφη εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω, καὶ θεωρεῖ τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἑστῶτα, καὶ οὐκ ᾔδει ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν.  15 λέγει αὐτῇ Ἰησοῦς: γύναι, τί κλαίεις; τίνα ζητεῖς; ἐκείνη δοκοῦσα ὅτι ὁ κηπουρός ἐστιν, λέγει αὐτῷ: κύριε, εἰ σὺ ἐβάστασας αὐτόν, εἰπέ μοι ποῦ ἔθηκας αὐτόν, κἀγὼ αὐτὸν ἀρῶ.  16 λέγει αὐτῇ Ἰησοῦς: Μαριάμ. στραφεῖσα ἐκείνη λέγει αὐτῷ Ἑβραϊστί: Ραββουνι ὃ λέγεται διδάσκαλε.  17 λέγει αὐτῇ Ἰησοῦς: μή μου ἅπτου: οὔπω γὰρ ἀναβέβηκα πρὸς τὸν πατέρα: πορεύου δὲ πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφούς μου καὶ εἰπὲ αὐτοῖς: ἀναβαίνω πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ πατέρα ὑμῶν καὶ θεόν μου καὶ θεὸν ὑμῶν.

1 Una autem sabbati, Maria Magdalene venit mane, cum adhuc tenebræ essent, ad monumentum: et vidit lapidem sublatum a monumento.  2 Cucurrit ergo, et venit ad Simonem Petrum, et ad alium discipulum, quem amabat Jesus, et dicit illis: Tulerunt Dominum de monumento, et nescimus ubi posuerunt eum.  3 Exiit ergo Petrus, et ille alius discipulus, et venerunt ad monumentum.  4 Currebant autem duo simul, et ille alius discipulus præcucurrit citius Petro, et venit primus ad monumentum.  5 Et cum se inclinasset, vidit posita linteamina: non tamen introivit.  6 Venit ergo Simon Petrus sequens eum, et introivit in monumentum, et vidit linteamina posita,  7 et sudarium, quod fuerat super caput ejus, non cum linteaminibus positum, sed separatim involutum in unum locum.  8 Tunc ergo introivit et ille discipulus qui venerat primus ad monumentum: et vidit, et credidit: 9 nondum enim sciebant Scripturam, quia oportebat eum a mortuis resurgere.  10 Abierunt ergo iterum discipuli ad semetipsos.  11 Maria autem stabat ad monumentum foris, plorans.  Dum ergo fleret, inclinavit se, et prospexit in monumentum: 12 et vidit duos angelos in albis sedentes, unum ad caput, et unum ad pedes, ubi positum fuerat corpus Jesu.  13 Dicunt ei illi: Mulier, quid ploras?  Dicit eis: Quia tulerunt Dominum meum: et nescio ubi posuerunt eum.  14 Hæc cum dixisset, conversa est retrorsum, et vidit Jesum stantem: et non sciebat quia Jesus est.  15 Dicit ei Jesus: Mulier, quid ploras?  quem quæris?  Illa existimans quia hortulanus esset, dicit ei: Domine, si tu sustulisti eum, dicito mihi ubi posuisti eum, et ego eum tollam.  16 Dicit ei Jesus: Maria. Conversa illa, dicit ei: Rabboni (quod dicitur Magister).  17 Dicit ei Jesus: Noli me tangere, nondum enim ascendi ad Patrem meum: vade autem ad fratres meos, et dic eis: Ascendo ad Patrem meum, et Patrem vestrum, Deum meum, et Deum vestrum.

As can be seen, the accounts differ wildly, from one angel to two, to Jesus (a.s.) himself appearing unrecognised, with a changing cast of characters visiting the tomb, discovering the body is missing.  This creates doubt in the credibility of the crucifixion, and resurrection.



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