The synoptic gospels all have some of the women who followed Jesus visiting his tomb and finding it empty. But did these first witnesses to the resurrection take the news to the disciples or not?
In Matthew, an angel speaks to the women at the tomb and gives them a message to take to Jesus’ disciples:
Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ [Matthew 28:7a, NRSV]
The women leave to do so, and meet the risen Jesus who repeats the instruction:
So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell the disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’ [Matthew 28:8-10, NRSV]
It isn’t explicitly stated in Matthew that the women pass the message on, but the next we hear of the disciples they have returned to Galilee, even to the mountain that Jesus had told them to go to, which strongly suggests that they did:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. [Matthew 28:16, NRSV]
Luke’s account also has the women spreading the word that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive:
… and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. [Luke 24:9, NRSV]
Mark, however, clearly states that the women, despite having been told to go and tell the disciples, kept the news of Jesus’ resurrection to themselves:
‘But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he [Jesus] is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. [Mark 16:7-8, NRSV]
So did the women take news of the Resurrection to the disciples, or did they say nothing to anyone out of fear?
N.B. All posts are written in a style sympathetic to the claim of Biblical error, even in cases where the author ("Errancy") disagrees with the claim. See the About page for the site's philosophy.
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