Evidences and Reconciliations 7/21/2008

John NilssonMormon 10 Comments

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Matthew 28: 1-2

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

Mark 16: 1-5

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

Luke 24: 1-5

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must arise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

John 20: 1-14

Discuss, my friends:

Comments 10

  1. Hard to argue Biblical inerrancy. πŸ™‚

    On a more serious note, this is history – recorded based on memory and subject to the limitations of memory. It would be nice if everything were neat and tidy and easy, but that just ain’t history.

    Even in our own day of instant communication and non-stop reporting, when people look back at the volume of competing and sometimes contradictory accounts that are being produced they will wonder exactly which accounts were correct. We can’t even agree on what is happening and why in our own day and age – and some of the most complicated examples involve those who have changed their minds over time.

    We sometimes forget that as we criticize those of the past for the inconsistencies of their accounts.

  2. Ray – I was thinking much the same thing. This side by side rendition reminds me a lot of the various first vision accounts. It is very similar indeed.

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  4. John N. – as usual, I like John the best. His writing is more literary and ambiguous and has more layers of meaning. Plus, in this particular case, it’s got that nice twist ending.

  5. John resonates more with heterodox members, since it’s a lot easier to interpret his writings however one wants to interpret them. πŸ™‚

    I like the question in Luke’s account: “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” (and I just LOVE Luke 24 – one of my favorite chapters in all of our canon)

  6. Honestly it is four accounts of the same story with no real conlfict. Ever talk to four witnesses to the same car accident. You will get four different stories that are all true on their own and are still all true together. Everybody sees and retells the details diffently but you can’t discount any of them.

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    You at least must concede that all four of these accounts could not accurately describe the events they purport to, right? That one or more of them may be more accurate than others?

    “John resonates more with heterodox members, since it’s a lot easier to interpret his writings however one wants to interpret them. :)”


    Are you talking about me or the evangelist?

  8. I’m a little late coming to this conversation, but I kept thinking about this thought last night.

    RE: #2, Hawkgrrrl’s comparison to the First Vision accounts.

    This is a great example of something similar — very similar. People argue that Joseph must have been lying and making it up because he leaves out details in some of his accounts. We’ll here we find a whole group of people who also experienced the resurrected Jesus. They can’t even agree on who was there when it happened. Surely such an event would be impossible to forget … right? Or maybe they were just making it up so they could form a Church to trick people. They were, after all, poor fishermen who could really use the money.

    I don’t actually believe that, but that is what people say about Joseph. A great many of those who accuse Joseph would not want the same reasoning used on the resurrection of Jesus.

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