IF I SEEK US
Site Section Links
The surest foundation for building a belief system
Gospel Comparison of the Visit to the Tomb
John 20:1 Now on the first of the holidays Mary the Magdalene comes early,
Commentary on discrepancies: Notice that Mark has Mary and Salome going to the tomb, Matthew has Mary of Magdala and another Mary, Luke has Mary of Magdala, Joanna, Mary mother of James and other women, while John has only Mary of Magdala, and relates two visits. the latter by Peter and John. It should be understood that both the names of Mary and Salome were used in the culture and literature of the time as generic names for women, somewhat comparable to Jane Doe or Mary Jane in our society and time. All accounts agree on the time, and Mark and Luke bring in a purpose of the visit, involving spices, that is not negated by the other accounts. See the other gospel accounts listed below that of John.
John 20:1,2 the tomb still being in darkness, and sees the stone removed from the tomb. Then she runs, and comes to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus kept on loving,
Commentary on discrepancies: In John, Mark and Luke, the "huge stone" was rolled or taken away before the women arrived. Matthew has the embellishment of a living being, called an angel of the Lord, descending with a violent earthquake and rolling the stone away.
John 20:2-9 and says to them, "They took the Master out of the tomb, and we don't know where they put him."
Then Peter and the other disciple came out to the tomb. The two ran together, but the other disciple ran in front more quickly than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping he sees the linens, however, he did not go in. Then Simon Peter comes, following him, and entered into the tomb. And he sees the linens lying, and the cloth which was on his head, not lying with the linens but being folded up in a separate place. Then the other disciple, having come first to the tomb, also entered, and he saw and believed. Until then they did not understand the scripture, that it suits him to rise from the dead.
Commentary on discrepancies: John includes the very important admission that this is the first time that he, John, both understood and believed what Jesus was about, at least the resurrection. There is good reason to believe that the only other one of "the twelve" to ever understand and believe was Thomas, who understood but was determined to not believe unless he had his own tangible proof.
John 20:10-11 So then, the disciples went away by themselves. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb.
John 20:11-13 While she wept she stooped into the tomb, and she sees two angels in white sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. Those say to her, "Woman, why do you weep?" She says to them, "Because they have removed my Master, and I don't know where they put him."
Commentary on discrepancies:
Mark has the women entering the tomb, with only ONE youth in a
white robe sitting on the "symbolically correct," right side.
Luke has the women entering but finding TWO men in dazzling
garments by their side. Matthew has just ONE messenger in
white sitting on the stone OUTSIDE, with guards falling down as dead with fear. John
has Mary Magdalene OUTSIDE peering into the tomb on the second visit and
seeing TWO messengers sitting INSIDE at the head and feet.
The tenor of the Gospel of John is to focus on significant aspects
and to not be concerned with
superfluous details such as white robes.
John 20:14-17 Saying these things, she turned around and now sees Jesus standing, but she does not know that it is Jesus. Jesus says to her, "Woman, why do you weep? Whom do you seek?" Thinking that it is the gardener, that one said to him, "Sir, if you carried him away, tell me where you put him, and I will take him." Jesus says to her, "Mary." Turning, that one says to him in Hebrew, "Rabboni!", meaning Teacher. Jesus says to her, "Do not interfere with me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."
John 20:18 Mary the Magdalene now comes bringing word to the disciples, that she has seen the Master and he spoke these things to her.
Commentary on discrepancies: Mark has the women running away from the tomb in abject terror and not saying anything to anybody. Matthew and Luke have softened this version considerably, with Matthew having them hurrying away to tell the disciples with awe and great joy. Luke has them remembering the words of Jesus, in contrast to them being told by the messengers, and has them reporting everything to the incredulous "apostles". John recalls Mary running to tell Peter and himself after her first visit.
The account in Matthew
Matthew 28:1-10 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.
But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you."
So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Mark 16:1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
Mark 16:2 And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
Mark 16:3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?"
Mark 16:4 And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; ‑‑ it was very large.
Mark 16:5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.
Mark 16:6 And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.
Mark 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you."
Mark 16:8 And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.
Luke 23:54-56 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid; then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Luke 24:1-11 But on the first day of the week, at early
dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared.
And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went
in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about
this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they
were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to
them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he
told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be
delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the
third day rise."
The Synoptic combined account
Matthew 28:1-10 Mk 16:1-8 Lk 24:1-12 Now
during the Sabbath holiday, they rested according to the directive; but
toward the dawn with the passing of the first day of the Sabbath
holidays, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the sepulchre,
carrying the spices which they prepared. They said, "Who will roll
away for us the stone from the opening of the tomb."
* Not that Peter was more important, but he was probably feeling the worst.