When Jesus’ body had been laid in the tomb, several of the women who had followed him went to anoint his body with spices. The gospels all agree that they visited the tomb early in the morning on the first day of the week, but they disagree about whether it was light or still dark.
Matthew and Luke both have the women visiting the tomb at dawn, suggesting that it was just getting light:
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. [Matthew 28:1, NRSV]
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared… [Luke 24:1, NRSV]
Mark confirms this, but says more clearly that the sun had risen by the time that they arrived:
And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. [Mark 16:2, NRSV]
John, however, explicitly states that it was still dark at the time of the visit:
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb… [John 20:1a, NRSV]
So was it light when the women arrived at Jesus’ tomb, or was it still dark?
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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