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Author Topic:   Matthew 28 versus John 20.
rstrats
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Posts: 139
Joined: 04-08-2004


Message 1 of 89 (595491)
12-08-2010 9:48 PM


Matthew 28:1-10 says that when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb that she was told by an angel that the Messiah had risen and would be seen in Galilee. Matthew then says that she ran "with great joy" to tell the disciples and while on the way that she met the Messiah (this occurred before she got to the disciples).
However, John 20:1 and 2 say that when she came to the tomb and didn’t find the Messiah there, that she ran to the disciples and told them that He had been taken away and that she didn’t know where He was. In Matthew she knew where He was (or at least had been) and where He would be, but in John she didn’t.
Also, Matthew has Mary encountering the Messiah before she gets to the disciples. But in John the encounter with the Messiah happens AFTER she talks to the disciples.
How can this be reconciled?

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Adminnemooseus
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Message 2 of 89 (595496)
12-08-2010 10:11 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Matthew 28 versus John 20. thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
jar
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Posts: 34054
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 3 of 89 (595499)
12-08-2010 10:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by rstrats
12-08-2010 9:48 PM


Why would they need to be reconciled?

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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Otto Tellick
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Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008


Message 4 of 89 (595505)
12-08-2010 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by rstrats
12-08-2010 9:48 PM


Rather than ask "How can this be reconciled?", perhaps the better question is "What should we conclude from this discrepancy?"
The two accounts are from different authors, writing at different times and/or different places, with neither of them basing their accounts on direct or recent eye-witness experiences.
I haven't done serious research on this myself, but I gather from seeing numerous discussions, here at EvC and elsewhere, that the earliest NT writings date from a least 50 years after the purported death and resurrection of Christ. It seems entirely normal and expected that oral accounts would diverge over that sort of time span. Indeed, two different perceptions/reports of the supposed events could easily have arisen very soon after they occurred.
Presumably, at least one of the authors was padding the account with "details" for which there was never any firm evidence. It could be that both accounts contain one or more fabrications (or, to put it another way, different versions of some original fabrication).
What a shame that the Abrahamic religions have held such a fanatical insistence on maintaining and promulgating "sacred texts" entirely as-is, with no intention of assessing, let alone correcting, apparent mistakes.
It should be pretty obvious that the bible is not perfect, the various assertions of so many "holy men" notwithstanding. On the whole, their attempts to justify claims of perfection, in spite of the obvious inconsistencies, are ridiculous.
Even if we grant that it's all "God breathed" or "inspired" or whatever, nonetheless the text seems to show pretty clearly how the deity itself is prone to reassess its actions from time to time, and apply some "course corrections" now and then... At least, that's what a reasonable observer would have to conclude from the overall narrative.

autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.

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GDR
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Posts: 6202
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 5 of 89 (595509)
12-09-2010 12:35 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Otto Tellick
12-08-2010 11:50 PM


Otto Tellick writes:
Rather than ask "How can this be reconciled?", perhaps the better question is "What should we conclude from this discrepancy?"
Really good point.
Otto Tellick writes:
The two accounts are from different authors, writing at different times and/or different places, with neither of them basing their accounts on direct or recent eye-witness experiences.
They were written about 40 years after the resurrection so there would still have been eyewitnesses.
Otto Tellick writes:
I haven't done serious research on this myself, but I gather from seeing numerous discussions, here at EvC and elsewhere, that the earliest NT writings date from a least 50 years after the purported death and resurrection of Christ. It seems entirely normal and expected that oral accounts would diverge over that sort of time span. Indeed, two different perceptions/reports of the supposed events could easily have arisen very soon after they occurred.
I think it is generally agreed that the first books were by Paul around 50 AD and the first gospel, (Mark) was about 15 years later. I agree that the minor details would vary over that span of time.
Otto Tellick writes:
What a shame that the Abrahamic religions have held such a fanatical insistence on maintaining and promulgating "sacred texts" entirely as-is, with no intention of assessing, let alone correcting, apparent mistakes.
That I disagree with. If everything lined up perfectly it would be a strong indication that there was an agreed upon agenda and they were going to make everything fit into a preconceived narrative. The fact that there are discrepancies should lead us to believe that we have the letters that accurately reflect what the original authors believed to be truthful, and not what someone later wanted to promote.
Otto Tellick writes:
It should be pretty obvious that the bible is not perfect, the various assertions of so many "holy men" notwithstanding. On the whole, their attempts to justify claims of perfection, in spite of the obvious inconsistencies, are ridiculous.
Essentially I agree, but just because there are these unimportant irregularities in the gospels does nothing to diminish the overall importance of the foundational narrative as it applies to the resurrection.
Otto Tellick writes:
Even if we grant that it's all "God breathed" or "inspired" or whatever, nonetheless the text seems to show pretty clearly how the deity itself is prone to reassess its actions from time to time, and apply some "course corrections" now and then... At least, that's what a reasonable observer would have to conclude from the overall narrative.
I think that essentially this is a point that so many Christians overlook. It is clear in scripture that God largely relates to the world through the very fallible human creatures that He created. So many of the OT stories have God negotiating with people like Moses, Abraham etc. From the beginning it seems we keep screwing it up but God is faithful and doesn't give up on us but continues to work with us. In order to do this He has to adapt to the changing human condition. (Sure makes herding cats look easy.)
In other words I agree.
Edited by GDR, : typo

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frako
Member (Idle past 387 days)
Posts: 2932
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 6 of 89 (595523)
12-09-2010 4:45 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by GDR
12-09-2010 12:35 AM


They were written about 40 years after the resurrection so there would still have been eyewitnesses.
Not many look at the average lifespans of that time if the eyewitness was a child 10 years old he would be 50 by the time it was written down so most likely dead tough lets say some children did survive that time and where interviewed by the authors. How much would their story differ from the actual events? Try it yourself look for a video that was made when you where young and you are in it. Then write down what do you think happened in the video in the greatest detail possible then watch the video and see how well you did.
Bronze Age and Iron Age[10] 35+
Classical Greece[11] 28
Classical Rome[11] 28
Pre-Columbian North America[12] 25-30
Medieval Islamic Caliphate[13] 35+
Medieval Britain[14][15] 30
Early Modern Britain[10] 40+
Early 20th Century[16][17] 30-45
Current world average[18] 67.2

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rstrats
Member
Posts: 139
Joined: 04-08-2004


Message 7 of 89 (595524)
12-09-2010 6:23 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by jar
12-08-2010 10:16 PM


jar,
re: "Why would they need to be reconciled?"
I say "why" in the OP.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by jar, posted 12-08-2010 10:16 PM jar has replied

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rstrats
Member
Posts: 139
Joined: 04-08-2004


Message 8 of 89 (595525)
12-09-2010 6:32 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by GDR
12-09-2010 12:35 AM


GDR,
re: I think it is generally agreed that the first books were by Paul around 50 AD and the first gospel, (Mark) was about 15 years later. I agree that the minor details would vary over that span of time.
I question if a flat out contradiction - if there is one - can be classified as a minor detail.

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jar
Member
Posts: 34054
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 9 of 89 (595536)
12-09-2010 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by rstrats
12-09-2010 6:23 AM


Why reconcile?
Well, I reread the OP yet again and still see nothing in there that explains why they need to be reconciled. You point out that the stories contradict each other.
Okay.
But why do they need to be reconciled?
Edited by jar, : fix subtitle.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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GDR
Member
Posts: 6202
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 10 of 89 (595563)
12-09-2010 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by frako
12-09-2010 4:45 AM


frako writes:
Not many look at the average lifespans of that time if the eyewitness was a child 10 years old he would be 50 by the time it was written down so most likely dead tough lets say some children did survive that time and where interviewed by the authors. How much would their story differ from the actual events? Try it yourself look for a video that was made when you where young and you are in it. Then write down what do you think happened in the video in the greatest detail possible then watch the video and see how well you did.
Yes but during that time the story would have been told many times over, so that it wouldn't be as if something had to be recalled that hadn't been thought of for 30 or 40 years.

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jar
Member
Posts: 34054
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 11 of 89 (595564)
12-09-2010 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by GDR
12-09-2010 10:47 AM


And the story, like all good folk tales, evolved and grew over those decades.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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GDR
Member
Posts: 6202
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 12 of 89 (595565)
12-09-2010 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by rstrats
12-09-2010 6:32 AM


rstrats writes:
I question if a flat out contradiction - if there is one - can be classified as a minor detail.
Hypothetically let's say that 3 armed men walk into a busy bank wearing balaclavas and rob the place. There are plenty of witnesses but there will be plenty of minor variations of what the men looked like, what they were wearing and the sequence of events when the witnesses tell what happened to the police.
However, the one thing that they will all agree on is that a robbery took place.
In the stories that you refer to there is some disagreement in the details but they are all in complete agreement that Jesus was resurrected. I go back to what I said earlier. If this was something that was being made up to fulfill some other agenda then they would have made sure that all of the accounts were in agreement, so I contend that the fact that there is disagreements in the stories are evidence that what is written accurately records what they have recalled from the experience, with the main point being the resurrection of Jesus.

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GDR
Member
Posts: 6202
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 13 of 89 (595567)
12-09-2010 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by jar
12-09-2010 10:56 AM


jar writes:
And the story, like all good folk tales, evolved and grew over those decades.
But this wasn't a story that would be considered a folk tale. This was something that was being told, within the lives of eyewitnesses as something that actually happened, and it was a story that caused people to commit their lives to this new cause and change their way of living.
I contend that the evidence is strong to be able to say that the followers firmly believed in the resurrection of Jesus. The question then for us today is whether or not they were mistaken.

Everybody is entitled to my opinion.

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nwr
Member
Posts: 6419
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 14 of 89 (595570)
12-09-2010 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by GDR
12-09-2010 10:58 AM


GDR writes:
Hypothetically let's say that 3 armed men walk into a busy bank wearing balaclavas and rob the place. There are plenty of witnesses but there will be plenty of minor variations of what the men looked like, what they were wearing and the sequence of events when the witnesses tell what happened to the police.
You cannot have it both ways. You cannot claim that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, yet dismiss contradictions as due to human fallibility.

Jesus was a liberal hippie

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jar
Member
Posts: 34054
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 5.1


Message 15 of 89 (595571)
12-09-2010 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by GDR
12-09-2010 11:06 AM


Belief in the resurrection is irrelevant to the content of the stories and tales.
The question in the OP seems to revolve around apparent contradictions in two versions of the tale. Whether or not you consider it a folk tale, the evidence certainly supports that designation. Like so many urban legends, what we find is a series of tales about the events that evolve over time.
Whether or not the resurrection is a fact, the tales about the event did vary and did evolve and the different versions do often disagree.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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