How do accounts of the resurrection in Matthew Mark Luke and John differ?

Stumbled on

Q: How do accounts of the resurrection in Matthew Mark Luke and John differ?



Mark's Gospel was the first canonical gospel, written approximately 70 CE. The earliest known manuscripts of Mark do not even have a resurrection narrative, beyond the young man telling the women that Jesus had risen. Later texts included resurrection appearances which bring this gospel more or less into line with the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. However, the answer in respect to Mark must be that the earliest known gospel text did not mention the women speaking to the risen Jesus.


Matthew's Gospel reports an earthquake that rolled away the stone. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw the angel who caused the earthquake sitting on the stone. The women saw Jesus later while on the way to tell the disciples of their experience. Finally, the eleven disciples went to a mountain in Galilee and saw Jesus.


In Luke's Gospel, the stone had already been moved when a group of women arrived, but there is no mention of an earthquake. This time, two men appeared to the women in shining garments, apparently angels. Later, Jesus appeared to two men, Cleopas and (possibly) Peter, but they did not recognise him, even after conversing with him, inviting him home, and eating dinner with him. They suddenly realised that he was Jesus, ("their eyes were opened and they knew him") but then he vanished out of their sight. At his next appearance, Jesus went to some lengths to assure them that he really was Jesus, showing the disciples his wounds, and finally being drawn up into heaven. All this happened in and near Jerusalem, not in Galilee.


In John's Gospel, only Mary Magdalene is mentioned going to the sepulchre and saw the stone moved. Then came 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' and Peter, who went in and saw only the linen clothes and the napkin. Next 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' went in, saw and believed. Only after they left did Mary see two angels in the sepulchre. Mary afterwards saw Jesus standing and knew not that it was Jesus, supposing that he was the gardener. The next two appearances are quite similar to a single appearance in Luke's Gospel except, as Elaine Pagels points out in Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas (2003), the account seems intended to disadvantage the disciple Thomas, by causing him to miss the blessing of the Holy Spirit and then appear to doubt that it was Jesus that he saw [Pagels identifies a thread of anti-Thomas narrative in John's Gospel.]. Finally, Jesus appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberius but, although 'the disciple whom Jesus loved' quickly identified him, none of them dared to ask who he was, "knowing that it was the Lord."

Views: 32

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Stuff most of us are aware of, so nothing ground breaking. But kinda cool to see that listed in WikiAnswers.
Check out what I just stumbled upon!

Synoptic Parallels - you can read and scroll through the four gospels all side-by-side.
Excellent link, Johnny!
ProfMTH, on YouTube, has an excellent series of videos on this topic, where he goes through and compares the gospels' stories piece by piece.


© 2018   Created by Rebel.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service