After Jesus’ death, his body was laid in a tomb which was sealed with a large stone. Some of the women who had followed Jesus went to the tomb to anoint his body with spices. But was the tomb still sealed when they arrived?In Mark, the women worry that they won’t be able to get into the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body, but fortunately find that the stone has already been rolled away:
They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. [Mark 16:3-4, NRSV]
In Luke, too, they find the tomb open:
… they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb… [Luke 24:1b-2, NRSV]
John also has the tomb already open:
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. [John 20:1b, NRSV]
In Matthew, however, when the women arrive the tomb is still sealed, and an angel then opens it for them:
… Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great Earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. [Matthew 28:1-2, NRSV]
So had the stone already been rolled away when the women arrived at the tomb, or did they see it being rolled away by an angel?
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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