Site Meter

Contact Us

For enquiries, questions, or anything else, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Newsletter Subscription

The Empty tomb of Jesus, it's contradictions, and inconsistencies (Part 1)

Share

 

Christian apologists argue that one of the best proofs for the resurrection of Jesus is the empty tomb; they argue that the empty tomb accounts prove that Jesus must have been raised from the dead.

Does the empty tomb actually count as strong proof for a resurrection? Some Christian apologists say the resurrection is the best way to explain the empty tomb, but is that really so? There are a number of explanations that can account for an empty tomb, the first explanation is that there was never an empty tomb, that the whole story of an empty tomb is actually a fabrication, it’s mythology made up by later Christians. We will get to more of this further into the article.

Another very plausible explanation of an empty tomb is that somebody stole the body, put it this way, if a body goes missing from the morgue, do you assume that dead body was raised from the dead? Or if you visit a gravesite, and the buried person’s body is no longer there, would you automatically assume that the best possible explanation is that a resurrection must have happened? Obviously not, so Christian apologists are truly stretching it when they claim that the resurrection is the best explanation for the empty tomb. It isn’t, somebody could have stolen the body, or heck, even misplaced the body.

Now onto the point of the story being a fabrication, a myth that was created by later Christians to serve their own belief, do we have strong evidence for this? The answer is a positive yes.

The strong indication we have that this story is false, is due to the amount of contradictions between each account, if you read from one Gospel to another Gospel, each account varies, each account is different. These contradictions are the key to letting us know that this story is a fabrication, each author was making up their own nice version of the story, which is why you find the contradictions.

In fact we have major proof that the story was being fabricated and made up, namely with the ending in the Gospel of Mark. If you read the last chapter of Mark, the chapter ends at verse 20. What you may not know is that most scholarly textual critics of the Bible, acknowledge that verses 9-20 were added later on into the Gospel of Mark! An entire fabrication was inserted.

You can even see a major Bible website admit this, the New International Version of the Bible write:

The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mark%2016&version=NIV)

Bruce Metzger, a highly regarded Christian scholar on the textual integrity of the Bible writes the following concerning Mark’s ending:

Four endings of the Gospel according to Mark are current in the manuscripts. (1) The last twelve verses of the commonly received text of Mark are absent from the two oldest Greek manuscripts (אand B), from the Old Latin codex Bobiensis (it k), the Sinaitic Syriac manuscript, about one hundred Armenian manuscripts, and the two oldest Georgian manuscripts (written A.D. 897 and A.D. 913). Clement of Alexandria and Origen show no knowledge of the existence of these verses; furthermore Eusebius and Jerome attest that the passage was absent from almost all Greek copies of Mark known to them. The original form of the Eusebian sections (drawn up by Ammonius) makes no provision for numbering sections of the text after 16:8. Not a few manuscripts which contain the passage have scribal notes stating that older Greek copies lack it, and in other witnesses the passage is marked with asterisks or obeli, the conventional signs used by copyists to indicate a spurious addition to a document.

(2) Several witnesses, including four uncial Greek manuscripts of the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries (L Ψ099 0112), as well as Old Latin k, the margin of the Harelean Syriac, several Sahidic and Bohairic manuscripts, and not a few Ethiopic manuscripts, continue after verse 8 as follows (with trifling variations): "But they reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told. And after this Jesus himself sent out by means of them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation." All of these witnesses except it kalso continue with verses 9-20.

(3) The traditional ending of Mark, so familiar through the AV and other translations of the Textus Receptus, is present in the vast number of witnesses, including A C D K W X Δ Θ Π Ψ099 0112 f 1328 33 al. The earliest patristic witnesses to part or all of the long ending are Irenaeus and the Diatessaron. It is not certain whether Justin Martyr was acquainted with the passage; in his Apology (i.45) he includes five words that occur, in a different sequence, in ver. 20. (του λογου του ισχυρου ον απο ιερουσαλημ οι αποστολοι αυτου εξελθοντες πανταχου εκηρυξαν).

(4) In the fourth century the traditional ending also circulated, according to testimony preserved by Jerome, in an expanded form, preserved today in one Greek manuscript. Codex Washingtonianus includes the following after ver. 14: "And they excused themselves, saying, 'This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits [or, does not allow what lies under the unclean spirits to understand the truth and power of God]. Therefore reveal thy righteousness now — thus they spoke to Christ. And Christ replied to them, 'The term of years of Satan's power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was delivered over to death, that they may return to the truth and sin no more, in order that they may inherit the spiritual and incorruptible glory of righteousness which is in heaven.' "

How should the evidence of each of these endings be evaluated? It is obvious that the expanded form of the long ending (4) has no claim to be original. Not only is the external evidence extremely limited, but the expansion contains several non-Markan words and expressions (including ο αιων ουτος, αμαρτανω, απολογεω, αληθινος, υποστρεφω) as well as several that occur nowhere else in the New Testament (δεινος, ορος, προσλεγω). The whole expansion has about it an unmistakable apocryphal flavor. It probably is the work of a second or third century scribe who wished to soften the severe condemnation of the Eleven in 16.14. (Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart, 1971), pages 122-126.)

So verses 9-20 in Mark 16 are a total fabrication written by some scribe. Why is this very important? Because it shows how easy it is/was for any scribe to just make up what they wanted to, they created and invented their own mythology about what was happening, so we have a very strong basis for what we are saying here. We aren’t merely saying the empty tomb accounts are false because they disagree with our beliefs, or because we don’t like it, but because we have solid information that fabrications were being made up and being put into the Gospel as truth.

Now let’s move on to point out the several contradictions between each account of the empty tomb, which again is very important, because we would expect to find contradictions between the accounts if the story was being made up, contradictions are usually the smoking gun that allows you to know something false is at play here. Since these authors were inventing their own mythology, you expect to find differences, because they’re just making it up.

 

Who was at the empty tomb?

So who exactly was at the site of the tomb when the women got there?

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb? ”But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. (Mark 16:1-5)

Mark says that there was a young man inside the tomb.

Here is Matthew’s version:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid (Matthew 28:1-5)

Matthew says it was an angel of the lord, not a man.

Here is Luke’s version:

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? (Luke 24:1-5)

Luke says it was two men.

And finally, the Gospel of John says:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him! ”So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) Then the disciples went back to where they were stayingNow Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. (John 20:1-12)

So which one was it? Was there one man inside the tomb as Mark says? Was there one angel inside the tomb as Matthew says? Were there two men inside the tomb as Luke says? Or was there two angels as John writes:?

 

Was Jesus inside the tomb?

According to the Gospel of John, Jesus was at the site of the tomb, and talked to Mary:

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for? Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her. (John 20:11-18)

So the Gospel of John writes that Jesus was at the tomb and that he talked with Mary Magdalene, who then went off and told the disciples that she had seen Jesus.

In the other 3 accounts however, there’s never any mention of Jesus being at the tomb site, or even talking with Mary Magdalene who then went off to tell the other disciples about her encounter.

In fact the Gospel of Mark explicitly says the women, including Mary Magdalene left the empty tomb side confused, frightened, trembling, and telling nobody about what happened:

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb? ”But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. (Mark 16:1-8)

So was Jesus at the tomb site, did he talk with Mary Magdalene as the Gospel of John says? Or was he absent, having never talked to Mary Magdalene at the tomb site as the other 3 Gospels indicate?

 

Where the women scared or happy? Did they tell others about what happened?

As we just read from Mark, the women left the tomb being very scared, they were trembling, and didn’t say anything to anyone because they were afraid.

So what does Matthew say about this:

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matthew 28:5-8)

According to Matthew, the women were scared, but filled with joy. The women also rushed to tell the other disciples about what had happened.

Luke’s version mentions nothing about their feelings, scared, or joyful. He does however state that the women did go off to tell the other disciples.

So which one was it? Were the women filled with fear as Mark says? Or were they filled with joy as Matthew says? Also did the women tell the others about what happened as Matthew and Luke say? Or did they tell nobody as Mark says?

 

Who went to the tomb?

Now who actually went to visit the tomb, Mark says:

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body (Mark 16:1)

Mark says it was Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome who went to visit the tomb.

According to Matthew it was:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb (Matthew 28:1)

Matthew says it was Mary Magdalene, the other Mary, but no Salome. Also is the other Mary, the same Mary as the mother of James?

According to John, the ones who visited the tomb were:

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. (John 20:1-4)

According to John, it was also Mary Magdalene who had originally visited the tomb alone, followed by Peter and the ‘other disciple’.

So who actually visited the tomb? Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome as Mark says? Or was it Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as Matthew says? Or was it Mary Magdalene alone followed by Peter and another disciple as John says?

So this ends part one of our dicussion. The contradictions and inconsistencies between both accounts are as clear as daylight, and indicate that something dishonest is going on here. The reason why the story is filled with contradictions is because the story itself has no basis or foundation, but was made up and created by later Christians, they made their own mythology of an empty tomb to try and support their theology of a resurrected Jesus, and this is why we find the contradictions and inconsistencies.

Part 2

Who's Online

We have 28 guests and no members online

Visitors Counter

4674045
Today
Yesterday
All days
3248
2838
4674045

Server Time: 2017-11-18 19:07:57