Matthew vs. John

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by rstrats, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. rstrats

    rstrats
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    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.

    How can this be reconciled?
     
  2. Agnus_Dei

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    To a skeptic (and I’m not implying you are), there can seem to be a problem, but here’s how I get around this.

    First, both accounts confirm the Resurrection and that’s important.

    Next I have to remind myself that these two Gospels are written by two different people and each are going to write what they perceive to be important or of significance to them.

    Then I have to ask if both St. John and St. Matthew were both physically present when Mary arrived to tell the disciples. Could it be that one of the two Gospel writers were not present and wrote about this event from a separate source that just happened to leave out Mary’s encounter?

    But for me having little quirks between the Gospels accounts proves to me the authenticity of the accounts. Take for instance a car wreck, two eyewitnesses will recount the wreck differently, but there can be no doubt…there was a wreck. I’d be more concerned if all the accounts between the Gospels were verbatim.

    Just my opinion.

    In XC
    -
     
  3. steaver

    steaver
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    Absolutely. If every jot a tittle was exact between the witnesses then callaboration would be the charge.

    Plus, is the detail relevant to the fact that is being told? Jesus was raised from the dead. This is what matters and is consistent throughout all of the NT writings.

    God Bless! :thumbs:
     
  4. rstrats

    rstrats
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    steaver,

    I guess I’m looking at this from the standpoint of someone who thinks that there shouldn’t be any contradictions in inspired scripture. When someone brings up an example of what they consider to be a Biblical contradiction, I like to be able to respond with a logical answer. I haven’t been able to with this particular one.

    Your responses are defending omissions. I have no problem with that. It’s the contradictions that concern me.

    And with regard to the car wreck example, if two witness say that the wreck was caused by a fire truck, I don’t think that someone would conclude collusion. But if one witness said that it was caused by a fire truck, and the other said by a bicycle, I think we’d have a problem.
     
  5. steaver

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    Ok, I took some time to study this out and this is what I believe the Lord has revealed to me. After reading and rereading and rereading both passages it comes to light that Matt 28:1-8 is not the same incident as John 20:1-10. Matt 28:1-8 is the same incident as John 20:11-18.

    Matthew does not record, as does John, the very first happenings of this day. Read the first ten verses of John 20 and you will see that this happens before any revelations given by the angels. They looked in and took off. No Jesus, no angels.

    (1) The first [day] of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

    (2) Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

    The women see the tomb empty and run to tell the disciples. No angel nor Jesus has told them to run to the disciples. They see the tomb empty and run to tell the disciples and run into Peter and the other disciple. They all then run back to the tomb and behold it's emptiness. This is why it is true when she says "and we know not where they have laid him."

    (3) Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

    (4) So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

    (5) And he stooping down, [and looking in], saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

    (6) Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

    (7) And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

    (8) Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

    (9) For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.

    At verse 10 you will see that the disciples went back home.

    (10) Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

    John's record does not end there. John continues and at verse 11 you will see that Mary stays at the tomb.

    (11) But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, [and looked] into the sepulchre,

    (12) And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

    And now she has the encounters with the angels and then later with Jesus. This is the record given by both John 20:11-18 and Matthew 28:1-10. Matthew did not record the beggining when the women looked in and ran away, running into the two disciples and returning back to the tomb. Matthew picks up the testimony at the second encounter with the tomb. John records both. John clearly records that the women went to the tomb, ran away, then came back a second time with two disciples, and after the disciples went home, the women encountered the angels.

    Does this solve the mystery? I am satisfied. :godisgood:

    At first glance things can sometimes appear contradictiing. But God has always been faithful to me to answer my prayers and give me light. He will do the same for all of His children who pray to understand the truth.

    God Bless! :thumbs:
     
  6. rstrats

    rstrats
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    steaver,

    re: "After reading and rereading and rereading both passages it comes to light that Matt 28:1-8 is not the same incident as John 20:1-10."

    As a minimum, then, the only way that Matthew 28:1 and 2 could be referring to a second visit is if the stone had been replaced sometime between then and her first visit. Do you think that is what happened?
     
  7. steaver

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    John 20 makes it very clear that they came, ran off and came again, which takes care of your original OP question answering why Mary said ""and we know not where they have laid him."
    .

    I will have to look further into Matthew's account and get back to you. I don't have time right now. Maybe later tonight, i hope.

    God Bless.
     
  8. rstrats

    rstrats
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    steaver,

    Also, if Matthew was referring to a second visit, Mary would have had to disbelieve what the angel/angels told her - which would have been curious because Matthew says she left with "great joy". (I wonder what she was joyful about?)
     
  9. steaver

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    I doubt it. The stone was rolled away to reveal Jesus was not there, He had risen. No need to put it back again.

    It appears to me that Matthew's record is laying out details not necessarly as happening one after the other in real time, but rather details that took place with time gaps between them. Like saying I woke up this morning around five am. And I took a drive down to the market. And I spoke to my friend Weber for about one hour. And the sun set and I fell asleep on our couch.

    Here I gave some details of my day but most of the events of my day are not recorded and the amount of time elapsed between each detail is not given. I might have went to the market at 10:15 or at noon day. Not necessarily right after I awoke.

    I don't believe the women witnessed the rolling away of the stone by the angel. I believe Matthew is just setting up the scene of what happen before the women got there.

    Matthew begins telling the record about the women encountering the tomb with verse (1) and then gives a detail of what had happened before they arrived there.

    In verse (2) Matthew says "And, behold, there was a great earthquake:" My notes tells me that "was" means "had been" which tells me that Matthew has begun the record and has broken his train of events to give added detail of what happened before he continues to record the events that came afterwards.

    Like saying, "let me tell you about these women who went to see Jesus' tomb" And then starting your details from before they ever got there.

    A Greek scholar who knows the ends and outs of the Greek idioms could probably shed alot of light on this passage. It does not trouble me for it has nothing to do with doctrine anyways. Doctrine is where the Holy Spirit inspiration is not contradicted and is what is profitable. As we see, the ressurrection is agreed upon, even if the nonessential details seem strangely worded. These details in no way effect the account of the empty tomb.

    Not sure I follow? Mary would have left the tomb with joy at the second visit after encountering the angels. She left with great sorrow the first visit because she perceived His body was taken.

    God Bless!
     
    #9 steaver, Jul 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 18, 2008
  10. rstrats

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    I have been asking this question on a number forums and am getting confused trying to keep straight and understand all of the responses that I have received. I need to step back, and take the various verses from the four gospel accounts regarding Mary Magdalene’s visit/visits to the tomb an see if they can be interweaved into some chronological order that avoids any contradictory problems. I will start with Matthew 28:2 by assuming that it is referring to an activity that occurred prior to the first visit of Mary to the tomb and go on from there.
     
  11. steaver

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    I pray you can figure it all out (and then come back and teach me :laugh: )

    What if one of them got the story mixed up and there is a contradiction? Would this change 2Ti 3:16 All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ?

    The Holy Spirit's role is to deliver doctrine accurately through fallible men. The verses in question have nothing to do with doctrine.

    Take these verses;

    1Th 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

    2Cr 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.

    1Cr 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.

    Rom 16:6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.

    There are hundreds of these type of verses. Would one determine that the Holy Spirit gave commandment to greet one another with holy kisses? The Holy Spirit is not speaking to believers in every line, only when doctrine is being delivered.

    Here is a passage that Paul tells us is not the Lord speaking but it is his own thoughts on the matter...

    1Cr 7:12But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.

    Tell the sceptics that the nonessential details surrounding the discovery of the empty tomb has nothing to do with doctrine delivered by the Holy Spirit and if they perceive there is a contradiction then they may place it squarely of the attributes of fallible men to get story details mixed up, but doctrine delivered by the Holy Spirit to these same fallible men never contradicts itself or one another.

    God Bless!
     

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