The difference in the the gospel accounts in regards to the resurrection

(Josh Stoltzfus) #1

What do you guys think about the the different Gospel accounts of the resurrection. They are all a bit different. Especially the one in Matthew where the angel descends from heaven and scares the guards and the women who were going to the tomb. Were the guards still there when the women came? Did they see the angel at the same time? Was the stone not rolled away when Jesus rose from the dead? The resurrection accounts are a bit confusing and each a bit
different. How do you reconcile them?

(SeanO) #2

@Josh_Stoltzfus Here are a few harmonizations of the resurrection accounts that should get you started :slight_smile:

The different perspectives in the gospel’s accounts of Christ’s resurrection are indicative of the veracity of the eye witness statements. Those who have seen something unexpected often report the details in somewhat of a frenetic and seemingly disconnected way, as they attempt to communicate the depth of what they have witnessed even while processing the events for themselves. Were the gospel writers or the disciples lying, they would have presented a uniform story. And the same critics who try to point out contradictions in the gospels would no doubt cry ‘collusion’ if they found exact verbal parallelism and a singular account of the resurrection.

In the end, the recordings of the resurrection found in the four gospels harmonize quite well upon closer examination, and perhaps most importantly, strongly agree on the one key fact that has universal life impact: Christ is risen from the dead!

(Josh Stoltzfus) #3

Thanks Yea that makes sense. Esp. since the gospels were written by different authors and we’re probably will a while after the events too place. Did you ever notice how Luke mentions that one robber believed in Jesus. Matthew and Mark say the robbers made fun of Jesus.

(SeanO) #4

@Josh_Stoltzfus Indeed I have noticed that fact. You know - what really helped me was understanding that the way people wrote historical narrative in the 1st century was very different than the way that we do today. Ancient authors focused on a particular theme - and then they chose certain elements of the historical data that helped them share that theme. They were not as focused on delivering an exact chronological sequence including every single event that took place. They were not misrepresenting the data - they were bringing to light certain truths by organizing the information in a particular way, which is one way people wrote back in those days.

Each Gospel writer had a different audience in mind and different purpose in writing. We can trace these unique themes through each Gospel. These are not contradictory accounts, but four beautiful portraits of Christ that each declare Him for a different audience with different emphases.

Matthew wrote for Jews, Mark for Romans, Luke for Greeks, John for advanced Christians; but all are suited for Christians in every age and nation. [876] The first Gospel exhibits Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah and Lawgiver of the kingdom of heaven who challenges our obedience; the second Gospel as the mighty conqueror and worker of miracles who excites our astonishment; the third Gospel as the sympathizing Friend and Saviour of men who commands our confidence; the fourth Gospel as the eternal Son of God who became flesh for our salvation and claims our adoration and worship, that by believing in him we may have eternal life. The presiding mind which planned this fourfold gospel and employed the agents without a formal agreement and in conformity to their talents, tastes, and spheres of usefulness, is the Spirit of that Lord who is both the Son of Man and the Son of God, the Saviour of us all.

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(Josh Stoltzfus) #5

Thank you sean. As I study apologetics that’s is the conclusion I’m coming to as well. One more question, How do I reconcile the fact that the eyewitness account were inspired by the holy Spirit? Did the holy Spirit inspired the writers to find the eyewitnesses to talk to interview? Did He lead the gospel writers on missions to write the truths of Scriptures similarly to how Christians follow the holy Spirit today? Thoughts??

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(SeanO) #6

@Josh_Stoltzfus In the case of authors such as Mark or Luke, who obviously used other sources, I would say that the Spirit led them as they wrote and compiled / interviewed first hand sources. In my personal opinion, the Holy Spirit was at work in the authors of Scripture in a unique and special way to preserve the story of Jesus for future followers.

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