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One Angel or Two at the Tomb?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Scarlett O., Jul 20, 2021.

  1. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Moderator
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    Non-believers like to speak sometimes of the Bible contradicting itself. And sometimes, those who profess faith in Christ do, too. I'll be 60 years old in a few weeks and I've met COUNTLESS people both believers and non-believers who claim the Bible isn't all it's cracked up to be.

    How does this happen? Simple answer. Two parts.
    • People, usually non-believers, come to the Bible expecting it and desiring it to teach false things. The more "errors" one can "find" in the Bible - the less authority it holds and the less obedient one has to be to God. In fact, if one finds the Bible containing error, one can just pitch it in life's trash can.
    • But the main reason this happens is that people who profess faith many times just DO NOT READ the Bible. Oh, they might half-way listen to a preacher or read commentaries or non-inspired books ABOUT the Bible from famous people old and new, but as for actually and intently READING it - it just isn't done on a daily and intense basis.
    The Bible says about itself that it must be:
    I am in the process of writing my own and personal topical index. I'm doing it to make me a better teacher. I've taught the Bible for 40 years now to a variety of age groups from 3 to 99. Sunday School Vacation Bible School, Christian school, and a community-wide Bible study.

    It's taking me a very long time. I thought it would take about one year, but I'm into my SECOND year and may not be finished on December 31 of this year.

    I said that to say this. I study the Bible intently. I will never know it all or understand everything if I study it this intently until I die. If we could, then we could stop going to church and toss the Bible aside. Oh well, we read it once. That's enough, right? Dead wrong.

    I find no error or contradiction. Yes, there may be a copyist error or some such as translations are not perfect, but as for the message and Word of God as a whole, I find it flawless.

    Now, about those angels at the tomb. How many were there? All four gospel writers address this: It isn't that hard to answer. Here's what I see this morning as I read these four accounts.

    Matthew and Mark address the angel that rolled the stone away He sat on the stone in front of the guards and the guards fainted. By the time the women got there, he was inside the tomb.
    • He, singularly, told the women, [1] not to be afraid (amazed), [2] he knew that they were looking for Jesus, [3] he is not here, [4] he has risen, [5] come and see for themselves, [6] go tell, and [7] Jesus has gone on ahead of you.
    • Matthew and Mark never claim that their was only one angel. It's just that they focus on one angel only.
    Luke's focus is on the reaction of the women. He mentions the stone rolled away but not an angel doing so.
    • Two angels appear inside the tomb.. Again, the reaction of the women is the focus. They bow down. They are told [1] Why are you looking for the living here, [2] he is not here, [3] he is risen, [4] remember how he told you that he would. And once again, their reaction. They remembered Jesus' words. Luke's focus is different - NOT contradictory.

    John's focus is on Mary Magdalene and her encounter with the angels, but not the one that rolled the stone away and not the initial encounter!
    • John skips her first encounter at the tomb entirely and describes, instead, her going back AFTER she told the men what had happened.
    • At this second encounter, two angels ask her why she is crying. She tells them in tears, turns and THERE IS JESUS!
    All it takes is a simple reading. It take TIME, but it's important to do.

    I think people spend too much time picking the Bible apart and to death and not enough time turning and finding Jesus!!!
     
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  2. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    The mention of one angel does make the mention of two angels in another account false. Unless that mention of one disallows the presence of any other angel.
     
  3. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Right, a contradiction occurs only if one account excludes the possibility of the other account, which this does not.
     
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  4. OnlyaSinner

    OnlyaSinner Active Member
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    The same (non) issue arises concerning how many times the cock crowed after Peter's denials.
     
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  5. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    I do not see a problem with the angels, I see it as an example of a manufactured conflict to undercut the bible. As far as who Jesus first encountered, I discount the Mark account found in the questionable ending, and find no conflict in the other three.
     
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  6. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    There is an understanding that there was more than one rooster that crowed. One of which would in no way crow before Peter denied Jesus the third time.
     
  7. SavedByGrace

    SavedByGrace Well-Known Member

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    The 4 Gospels are 4 different reports that are in some places seen differently. One Writer reports 1 angel while another 2. There is no contradiction in either account, because both are right
     
  8. Humble Disciple

    Humble Disciple Active Member

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    That's an attempt to harmonize the accounts. That harmonization isn't inherent to the texts themselves. The important matter is that Jesus' physical resurrection really happened.



    While all historians agree that Hannibal crossed the alps, the available accounts contradict each other on which road he took to get there. The minor, secondary details like how many angels were present at the tomb have no bearing on whether or not the central fact really happened.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Moderator
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    I wasn't harmonizing or forcing anything. I merely stated what the gospels clearly said. and made sure people understood the different focuses of each writer.

    It is as plain as day - can you not see that? Or are you content to believe the Bible has mistakes in it? Mistakes authored by the Holy Spirit.

    I have no idea what the secular historians who wrote about Hannibal have to do with God's holy Word.

    If the Bible has blatant mistakes and is in error in one point, the whole thing is trash and we are all fools. If there are blatant contradictions, then the Holy Spirit of the Most High was wrong as he authored the scriptures in the first place.

    I believe mortal men wrote the Bible under the direction of the Holy Spirit as the Bible CLEARLY states.
     
  10. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    That’s the difference. Each writer had a different objective when writing the accounts. Luke was a Gentile and more of a historian as we know it today. He may have been particularly interested in details other writers discounted as not supporting their objective.

    John mentions three times that he outran Peter to the tomb. I find that kind of funny.

    Apparently, none of the other writers thought that particular piece of information was important
    peace to you
     
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