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The empty tomb of Jesus, it's contradictions, and inconsistencies (Part 2)

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It is our contention that the stories regarding the empty tomb are a fabrication, that these stories were invented by the Gospel writers, whom essentially made up their own mythology of an empty tomb to try and substantiate their belief in a resurrected Jesus.

In part 1 we highlighted a number of contradictions and inconsistencies between the Gospel accounts on the empty tomb, and it is our contention that these contradictions prove this story is false, as the contradictions are proof that these authors were just making things up for their own mythology, which is precisely why we’d expect to find contradictions in the story.

Part 1 can be read here: http://www.muslimdebate.org/polemics/christianity/173-the-empty-tomb-of-jesus-it-s-contradictions-and-inconsistencies

We encourage all readers to catch up on part 1, before they proceed with part 2.

In part 2, we will continue to highlight the contradictions, and inconsistencies in the empty tomb accounts.

 

Were there guards placed at the tomb?

Christian apologists often say the body of Jesus couldn’t have been stolen because guards were placed at the tomb. The question is this though, were guards actually placed at the tomb?

Mark says nothing about any guards being placed at the tomb when Jesus’ body is given for burial:

It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid. (Mark 15:42-47)

So there’s nothing about any guards placed to protect the tomb of Jesus.

According to Matthew, a guard was placed on the tomb the next day:

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. (Matthew 27:62-66)

So Matthew says one guard was posted because the chief priests were worried that Jesus’ disciples would steal his body.

Both Luke and John mention nothing of a guard being posted at the tomb.

So we ask, was a guard posted at the tomb or not? According to Matthew, one guard was posted. According to Mark, Luke, and John there is nothing about any guard being posted to protect the tomb.

Also Matthew says the guard was posted the day after Jesus was buried, thus giving ample time already for someone to have stolen the body, thus their claim that nobody could steal the body because a guard was posted is false, since the tomb was not guarded from the moment Jesus was placed in it, and again, only Matthew claims that a guard was posed at the tomb. To put it bluntly, Matthew made that up to try and strengthen the empty tomb story, he’s trying to make the mythology sound more believable, and it worked, modern day Christian apologists use the supposed guard as evidence for Jesus’ body not being stolen!

 

Where are the disciples to meet Jesus? Jerusalem or Galilee?

According to both Mark and Matthew, the man (in Mark) and the angel (in Matthew) told the women that Jesus has risen and will meet them in Galilee:

“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.’” (Mark 16:6-7)

Now in Luke’s account, the 2 persons at the tomb site tell the women that Jesus has arisen, but says nothing about them having to go to Galilee to see him:

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? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” (Luke 24:4-7)

The immediate context of these passages makes it further clear that the women were never told that they and the disciples would see the risen Jesus in Galilee, because if you go on to read the rest of the chapter, the disciples remain in and around Jerusalem when they finally see the risen Jesus:

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven milesfrom Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16)

So two disciples come into contact with Jesus while going to the village of Emmaus, located near Jerusalem. Jesus finally reveals his true identity to them, and then they go tell the rest of the disciples in Jerusalem, where Jesus appears to all of them in Jerusalem:

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”  Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” (Luke 24:33-39)

So Jesus reveals himself to all of them at Jerusalem according to Luke.

So which one is it? Was Jesus to meet the disciples in Galilee as Mark and Matthew allege? Or were they to meet Jesus in Jerusalem as Luke says?

 

Conclusion

In both parts 1 and 2 we have seen several contradictions and inconsistencies within the empty tomb accounts, if this was ever taken to the court of law, it would be thrown out for being completely unreliable. The problem gets more complicated when we’re supposed to believe that this is God’s word on which our salvation is at stake!

How can one put their salvation and trust in such inconsistencies and contradictions? Surely if this was from God, and it was of utmost importance, you’d expect some clarity rather than major contradictions and inconsistencies.

Put it this way, if a business man wanted you invest your life savings in his company, and the business plan he put forward to you was mired in contradictions and inconsistencies, would you give him your life savings to invest? Off course not! Now what about your life’s salvation? Your soul? Are you willing to give that up to a story filled with contradictions and inconsistencies? If you wouldn’t be willing to do it with something like money, then how can you be willing to do it with something far more important like your soul and salvation?

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