The Resurrection of Jesus
Read the Lutheran Bible Commentary “The Resurrection Of Jesus” pgs 169-173.
Identify and list at least 3 seeming contradictions that appear in the Gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. Then explain why they may not be actual contradictions at all.
The Biblical Accounts of the Story of Resurrection of Jesus
The Lutheran Bible commentary presents seemingly four different accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. The accounts are Mathew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-11, Luke 24:1-12, and John 20:1-8. It is often reported that the accounts are in variance with one another. Primarily, none of the accounts ultimately reports all the facts concerning the resurrection of Jesus. All of them talk about the actual events that took place when the resurrection occurred. Thus, it is possible that the reports can be fragmented, but the contents of various accounts present actual occurrences. If the story of resurrection is understood from various biblical accounts, some crucial information may be lost. There seem to be contradictions in the biblical story of resurrection of Jesus. However, the contradistinctions only exist in names of those who visited the tomb on the day but the story remains the same. The story is told differently, but the number of people and the actual events concur.
For instance, according to Mathew, the other Mary and Mary Magdalene visited the tomb on the day of resurrection. On the other hand, Mark mentions that Mary, the mother of James, Mary Magdalene, and Salome, came to the tomb on that day. According to John, there is only a record of one woman visiting the Tomb, Mary Magdalene. The inconsistencies leave many people asking whether there are contradictions in the story of the resurrection of Jesus.
However, there may not be actual contradiction in the accounts. For instance, all the accounts of resurrections have the name of Mary Magdalene. Furthermore, the book of Mark and Luke identify Mary, the mother of James, as among the people who visited the tomb at the time of the resurrection. Mathew also talks about the same Mary but refers to her as the other Mary. Thus, the two accounts discussions about the same person but using different descriptions. Primarily, the Mary mother of James appears in three gospel accounts. Therefore, the three accounts agree concerning the identity of the women who visited Jesus’ burial place. However, there seems to be some differences in the gospel according to Mark and Luke. It is noticed that Luke mentions Joanna, and Mark too identifies Salome as one of the women who visited the tomb. However, the difference in names does not indicate that Mark and Luke provide contradicting information. In fact, their reports complement one another.
Salome and Joanna were among the women who visited on the resurrection day. John only mentions the name of Mary Magdalene in his account. However, he said that she was in the company of other women. Probably, these are the same women identified in other gospel narratives. Mary Magdalene reported to Peter and John as indicated in John 20:2 that “They have taken the lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” She used the term we to show that she was not the only person who visited the Tomb.
While various biblical accounts provide seemingly conflicting information on the story of resurrection of Jesus, evidence indicates that the stories are the same and refers to the same events. Mary Magdalene is present in the narratives of John, Mark, Luke, and Mathew. Mathew, Luke, and Mark talk about the same Mary, the mother of James, but uses different descriptions to identify her during their gospel narration. John reports that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb alongside other women that are not named in his account. Thus, the biblical narrations of the story of the resurrection of Jesus are not at variance.