Resurrection accounts

No New Testament text attempts to describe the actual return to life of the dead Jesus.  All we have are bits of circumstantial evidence, if they can be called evidence, divided into two classes.  The first entails various accounts of female witnesses  who, on the third day after the crucifixion , discovered an empty tomb.  … The second category of circumstantial evidence is given in all the Gospels except the shorter ending of Mark.  It consists of a series of apparitions to various individuals (Mary Magdalene, Peter, James, Paul) or groups (several women, two disciples at Emmaus, seven, ten or eleven apostles, or over five hundred brethren) at various times (on Easter Sunday, the following Sunday or on later dates) and in various places (in Jerusalem, at Emmaus, on a Galilean mountain or by the sea of Tiberias.  The meaning of the visions is not obvious:  no one realises at first that the appearing person is Jesus…. To put it bluntly, not even a credulous non-believer is likely to be persuaded by the various reports of the resurrection; they convince only the already converted”.  (Geza Vermes – Professor Oxford)

We can quickly see that the Bible is not inerrant, if we compare the accounts in the Gospels of Mary Magdalene and another woman, or women, coming to Jesus’ tomb on morning of the Resurrection…I have chosen this event because the Resurrection is of the very first importance to Christians.  It is not some peripheral and insignificant event; it is the very foundation of the Christian faith… The conclusion is unavoidable:  some Gospel accounts of the empty tomb are not literally accurate.  (Keith Ward – Professor Oxford)

The Gospels pass over the [resurrection] appearance to Paul, although it is the best-documented appearance in the New Testament:  we have authentic testimony to it from the witness himself!  (Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz – Professors Heidelberg and Utrecht)

The oldest Gospel, Mark, written forty years later around AD 70, ends
with Jesus being laid in his tomb, never mentioning the Resurrection.  Mark’s account
of the resurrection was a later addition.  (Simon Sebag Montefiore
– Professor University of Buckingham)

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