Jesus - Resurrection in the Gospels  

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The resurrection is the Christian belief that, after being put to death, Jesus rose again from the dead

In fact, the resurrection of Jesus is central to Christian theology. If Jesus was not 'Resurrected', Christianity would cease to exist. Paul confirms this fact in his writings:

And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins

The table below compares Jesus' Resurrection narrative across the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John.

  Mark Matthew Luke John
How was Jesus shrouded? 1 cloth 1 cloth 1 cloth 2+ cloths
Mary visits Tomb
Who went to the Tomb on Easter Sunday?
3 persons

Mary Magdalene, Salome and Mary

2 persons

Mary Magdalene and Mary

5+ persons

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary, 2 or more

1 person

Mary Magdalene
When did Mary go to the Tomb?
Early morning. At the rising of the sun

Before dawn

Early dawn

Still dark
Was the Tomb open or closed?
Open Tomb

Mary finds stone rolled away from Tomb entrance

Closed Tomb

Mary is met by Angel who rolls away stone from Tomb and sits on it

Open Tomb

Mary finds stone rolled away from Tomb entrance

Open Tomb

Mary finds stone rolled away from Tomb entrance
Did an earthquake occur? No mention According to Mary, a great earthquake occurs No mention No mention
Does Mary enter the Tomb? Mary enters Tomb to investigate Mary does not enter Tomb until the angel invites her in Mary enters Tomb to find it empty Mary runs back to tell Peter that someone has taken Jesus
When did Mary prepare the spices to anoint Jesus? After the Sabbath No mention Before the Sabbath Before the Sabbath (Nicodemus, not Mary)
Roman soldiers guard the Tomb No mention YES
Roman soldiers guarding tomb are terrified by angel's descent and 'become dead'
No mention

(Luke had access to Matthew and would have known the story of the guards at the Tomb, Yet he does not include it in his gospel?)
No mention
Roman soldiers take bribe from Jewish priests No mention YES
Roman soldiers receive large sum of money to claim disciples stole Jesus during the night
No mention No mention
Mary meets Messenger(s)
One young man wearing long white robe sitting on right

One angel in white descends from heaven

Two men in shining garments

No angels on first visit.

Two angels are inside sepulchre on second visit
Messenger(s) position Sitting Sitting Standing Sitting
Messenger(s) location Inside Tomb
On the right side, inside the tomb
Outside Tomb
Then go inside and sits on the stone he rolled away from the Tomb
Inside Tomb Inside Tomb
One angel at the head and one at the feet
Where do Messenger(s) say Jesus will return? Jesus is risen
Go tell Peter and Jesus will appear in Galilee
Jesus is risen
Go tell disciples, Jesus is risen from dead and will appear in Galilee
Jesus is risen
Go tell disciples
Son of Man was to be crucified and will rise on 3rd day.
Stay in Jerusalem
No mention of Jesus has risen or his return.

They ask Mary why she weeps and then Jesus appears
Mary meets Jesus
How does Mary react to seeing Jesus? Affrighted (fear, terrified) Fear, then great joy Fear, so they bow their faces to earth Weeps (no fear is mentioned)
Does Mary meet Jesus or the disciples first? Jesus first, then disciples Jesus first, then disciples Disciples first

Mary revealed all to the disciples before meeting Jesus
Jesus first, then disciples
Does Mary tell the disciples anything? NO
Mary tells no one as she is too afraid
Mary tells the disciples who at first, do not believe her
Mary tells the disciples, she has seen the Lord
Is Mary permitted to touch Jesus? No mention YES
Mary touches Jesus' feet and worships him
Mary touches Jesus' hands and feet
Mary is told not to touch Jesus, as he is to ascend to the Father
To whom does Jesus make his first appearance? Only Mary Magdalene Mary Magdalene and Mary Cleopas and another Only Mary Magdalene
Where does Jesus appear? Unknown location, but occurs sometime after Mary fled the tomb. On the way to Jerusalem, after leaving the tomb On the road to Emmaus At the tomb
Who was Mary?
Who was Mary in the Bible? Based on Bible accounts, Mary was completely overcome with a serious illness, but the nature of the illness is unspecified; later writers linked Mary's illness, her 'demons', with her sexuality; and a few went further and even suggest a mental-disorder type illness; but Jesus healed her of all these.
How did Pope Gregory view Mary? In 591 AD, Pope Gregory "the Great" introduced the idea to the Roman Church that Mary Magdalene was so sinful that she was possessed by seven literal demons. The idea was that she was a harlot (prostitute or promiscuous woman) and the term Magdalene was closely related to a similar word that meant "one with plaited hair", a symbol of harlotry (prostitution)
Guide to the Gospels – H.P. Mansfield
Was Mary possesed of the devil? YES
Jesus had cast out seven devils from Mary
No mention YES
Jesus had been healed of evil spirits; from whom went seven devils
No mention
Was Mary present at the crucifixion? YES, FAR OFF


Mary is not named; women are present
How disciples react
How do disciples react to Jesus' resurrection? They do not believe it
Some do not believe it. Others worship him
They do not believe it. Seems like nonsense.
No mention
What disciples do after hearing Messenger(s) instructions Go to Galilee (90 miles)

Mark 16:6-7
Go to Galilee (90 miles)

Matthew 28:10

Matthew 28:16-18 , we are told they see Jesus in Galilee, not in or near Jerusalem
Stay in Jerusalem to form the new Jerusalem church

Luke 24:33, 47, 49
Acts 1:4
No mention
Jesus' Appearance
3 appearances

2 appearances

2 appearances

4 appearances
Appearance 1 Mary Magdalene
After fleeing the tomb
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.
Leaving the tomb, going to the disciples
Cloepas and unknown follower
Mary Magdalene
At the tomb
Appearance 2 11 disciples
At a meal
11 disciples
Galilee mountain
11 disciples
10 disciples
Jerusalem, behind closed doors
Which disciples went to the Tomb?     Peter only Peter and John
Who did Jesus appear to first? 2 of them on the road, then to all 11 together All 11 together 2 of them on the road, then to all 11 together

To Peter, then the others
To 10 of the 11 (minus Thomas) together
Ascension to Heaven? Jesus ascended to Heaven   Jesus ascended to Heaven at Bethany after walking with the disciples some time

The disciples were at Mount Olivet, a days journey from Jerusalem, when the ascension occurred
Jesus appeared to the disciples three times near the Sea of Gallilee (Lake Tiberias)
Ascension witnessed by? Ascension occurred immediately after an appearance before the 11 disciples   Jesus appeared to more than 500 witnesses before his ascent to heaven  
Appearance 3 Two strolling followers
As they walked to the country
No mention No mention 11 disciples
Jerusalem, behind closed doors
Appearance 4 No mention No mention No mention Peter, Thomas, the two sons of Zebedee (James and John), Nathanael and two other disciples.
The Sea of Tiberias
Appearances (according to Paul)
6 appearances
Cephas (Peter); 12 disciples; 500 people (not mentioned in other gospels!); James; all the apostles; and finally to Paul himself

1092 views · 9 hrs ago |   Author: Guest   •   Updated: 02 May 2018

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