Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Resurrection Challenge, Part Two

I decided to keep going, just for the fun of it, but I’m going to stop here. This isn’t complete in terms of all the events, but to keep going seems kind of silly now.

So they left the tomb quickly, frightened yet filled with joy; and they ran to give the news to his talmidim (Matthew). Trembling but ecstatic they went out and fled from the tomb, and they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid (Mark). When Yeshua rose early on Sunday, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had expelled seven demons (Mark). Suddenly Yeshua met them [Mary Magdalene and the other Mary] and said, “Shalom! (Matthew)” They came up and took hold of his feet as they fell down in front of him (Matthew). Then Yeshua said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and they will see me there (Matthew).”

She went and told those who had been with him, as they were crying and mourning (Mark). But when they heard that he was alive and that she had seen him, they wouldn’t believe it (Mark). After that, Yeshua appeared in another form to two of them as they were walking into the country (Mark). They went and told the others, but they didn’t believe them either (Mark).

Then they remembered his words; and, returning from the tomb, they told everything to the Eleven and to all the rest (Luke). The women who told the emissaries these things were Mary of Magdalane, Johanna, Mary the mother of Jacob and others in their circle (Luke). But the emissaries didn’t believe them; in fact, they thought that what they said was utter nonsense (Luke). However, Peter got up and ran to the tomb (Luke). Stooping down, he saw only the burial cloths and went home wondering what had happened (Luke).

That same day, two of them were going toward a village about seven miles from Jerusalam called Emmaus, and they were talking with each other about all the things that had happened (Luke). I’m going to paraphrase here. Jesus shows up, they are prevented from recognizing him, and he asks what they’re talking about. They ask Jesus how he can’t know about everything that’s going on, with Jesus and him being a prophet and proving it and how he was handed over, so he could be sentenced to death and executed as a criminal. They hoped he’d liberate Israel, and today is the third day, and this morning, some of the women astonished them saying that they couldn’t find his body and came back, but they also had a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of their friends went and found it as the women said, but didn’t see Jesus. Jesus calls them foolish, says that they’re unwilling to put trust in what the prophets spoke, and that the Messiah had to die like that before entering his glory, and then explained from Moses and all the prophets of all the things that can be found in the OT concerning Jesus. Everyone approaches the village, Jesus makes to go further, the two prevent him saying to stay with them because it’s almost evening and getting dark. So he stays with them, and reclines at a table, he breaks the bread and hands some to them, their eyes are opened and they recognize him, only he becomes invisible. They say that their hearts burned within them as he spoke. So they return to Jerusalam, and find the Eleven gathered together with friends, and say it’s true, the Lord has risen, Simon saw him (the other one was named Cleopas). Everyone is still talking about it when Jesus is suddenly standing among them. They’re terrified, thinking they’re seeing a ghost, but he asks them why they’re upset and have doubts, look at his hands and feet, touch him and see, a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones, and then eats fish. He also says that this is what he meant when he was still with them and said that everying written about him in the law of Mesoses, the Prophets and Psalms to be fufilled, and he opned this minds, so that they’d understand, and said that the Messiah is to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day; and in his name repentece leading to forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed to the people from all nations, starting with Jerusalame. They are witnesses, and he’ll be sending them forth on what his Father promised, so stay in the city until equipped with power from above. He leads them to Bethany and then, raising his hands, he blesses them, and as he was doing so, he withdrew from them and carried up into heaven. They worship, return to Jerusalem, and spend all their times in the Temple courts, praising God. Acts goes further and says that during a period of forty days they saw him, and they also asked if he’d restore self-rule to Israel. Jesus says they don’t need to know the dates or the times, the Father keeps this in His authority. But they’ll receive the power of the Holy Spirit and they’ll be witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Sameria, and the ends of the earth. Then he’s taken up, and a cloud hides him from their side. (This is from Luke and Acts)

John has Jesus showing up in the evening, when the disicples are hiding behind locked doors, out of fear of the Judeans. Jesus comes, stands in the middle, and greets them. He shows them his hands and side, the disicples are overjoyed, Jesus says “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you.” He breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit, if you forgive someone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you hold them, they are held.” Thomas, one of the Twelve, wasn’t there the first time, and when told, he says he won’t believe unless he sees nail marks, puts his finger in the place where the nails were and hand on the side. A week later, they’re once again in the room, with Thomas, and Jesus shows up. He says to Thomas to perform any proofs needed, Thomas says, “My Lord and my God,” and Jesus says, “Have you trusted because you have seen me? How blessed are those who do not see, but trust anyway.” In the presence of the disicples, Jesus performs many miracles which are not recorded in this book.

--Here are what I’m noticing: Matthew has Jesus showing up to the women, telling the women to tell the disicples to go meet Jesus as Galilee and it’s implied that it’s the first time the disicples see him. Mark has him first showing to Mary Magdalene, and then two of ‘them’ on a road, which can lead into Luke, and showing up to the two emessaries. But then at what point do the disicples head to Galilee, and why would Jesus have the disicples meet him there for the ‘first’ meeting if he met them in Jerusalem? Take a look at a New Testament map – those two are *not* close to each other at all. I don’t think one can travel between those two in a day. Plus, angels tell the women that Jesus is going ahead of them to Galilee and Mark says that people will see Jesus there.
--John really likes doing things in threes. I believe this is one of the Gospels where Peter denies Jesus three times, then says later he loves Jesus three times. John notes that Jesus has ‘three’ appearances. Three people are aware of the missing body in Jesus before he shows up to anyone in John.
--In John, the disicples are hiding due to fear. This makes sense, and ties into John because Jesus is much harsher towards the Pharisees in this then he is in the other Gospels. But Luke has the emissaries walking around and talking about this, and in the first appearnace in Mark, Jesus appears and reproaches them for lack spiritual sensitivity. Would they have bothered with food if hiding in fear from the Jews?
--Reading the ‘Eleven/Twelve’ is interesting in this. Taking it literally or symbollically depends on how one is harmonizing the Gospels. In Matthew, Mark and Luke, and Paul, anyone would say that Jesus appeared to the disicples all at once for the first time when using ‘eleven. ‘ But John forces one to read that differently, since Thomas isn’t there until the second appearance.

--Paul has Jesus seen first by Peter, then by the Twelve, and afterwards seen by more than five hundred brothers at one time, the majority of whom are alive. Later Jesus is seen by Jacob, and then by all the emissaries, and last he is seen by Paul.
--Notes on this: the impression I get is that Paul had a vision of Jesus, yet he doesn’t seem to differentiate between physical contact with Jesus, and the vision here. He treats them all the same. I know an argument was that the reason was Paul didn’t mention the women was that it would lack credibility – except one of the driving appeals of Christianity was that it saw everyone as equals. Paul makes references in his other letters of female disciples who held very high positions. Why would he leave them out as witnesses? The other thing is that one can argue Luke shows that Jesus appears to ‘Peter’ first, except the account uses ‘Simon.’ I think all the other mentions use ‘Peter.’ Luke also has the women going to the ‘emissaries’ and telling them everything, so the ‘them’ walking on the word to Emmaus goes back to the ‘emissaries.’

--John has them receiving the Holy Spirt the day of the resurrection, Acts implies that it takes a while.

4 comments:

HeIsSailing said...

Heather:
"John has Jesus showing up in the evening, when the disicples are hiding behind locked doors, our of fear of the Judeans. Jesus comes, stands in the middle, and greets them. "

A couple comments here -
Why are the disciples behind Locked Doors? Why are they afraid of the Judeans? This is at least - late Sunday night? Weren't they just out meeting with the women earlier in the day? Weren't Peter and John at the tomb earlier that morning? They were brave enough to risk encountering Roman Guards at the tomb, now they are frightened of Judeans? Even after knowing that their Messiah has risen from the Grave??

I dunno - see this is kind of what I mean when I say the stories lose all their flow when harmonized. They stop making much sense.

Heather:
"he says he won’t believe unless he sees nail marks, puts his finger in the place where the nails were and hand on the side."

Just as a fun trivia item, did you know this Thomas story is the ONLY time we get a hint that Jesus was *nailed* to the cross?

Heather:
"Jesus says, “Have you trusted because you have seen me? How blessed are those who do not see, but trust anyway.”"

Who is Jesus speaking to here? When I get around to filming this, I will have Jesus 'break the 4th' wall' at this point, because otherwise it makes little sense.

To his disciples, Jesus sez: "Have you trusted because you have seen me? "
Jesus slowly turns to the camera and sez: "How blessed are those who do not see, but trust anyway."

I can picture it now!!

Heather:
"...two of ‘them’ on a road, which can lead into Luke, and showing up to the two emessaries. But then at what point do the disicples head to Galilee..."

Yeah, this is the hardest part of the whole Challenge for me to harmonize. It just makes little sense for Jesus to be hoping all over the place to make first appearances to his frightened disciples. First at the tomb, then behind Locked Doors in Jerusalem, then on an Hilltop in Galilee.

And why all the Isolated Locations?? You ever notice that people who witness Bigfoot or Space aliens only do it when *nobody else is there to witness the event*? Just an observation.

Heather:
"In John, the disicples are hiding due to lack of fear"

I'm sorry, do you mean lack of courage?

Heather:
"Would they have bothered with food if hiding in fear from the Jews? "

You know, that is a good point. John 20:31 seems like a very natural way to close the book, but in the next chapter the story continues with the disciple fishing at the Sea of Tiberias. I have read that because of this, John 21 may be an appendix added later.

Heather:
" Paul makes references in his other letters of female disciples who held very high positions."

True, but I get the hunch Paul did not have the highest opinion of women - women keep your mouths shut in worship, ask your husband if there is something you don't understand, etc..

Heather said...

**Heather:
"In John, the disicples are hiding due to lack of fear"

I'm sorry, do you mean lack of courage?** Shoot. I do, yes. Thanks. It should be fixed now.

**Who is Jesus speaking to here? When I get around to filming this, I will have Jesus 'break the 4th' wall' at this point, because otherwise it makes little sense.** I guess, overall, Jesus knows that people will write down this saying, and so he's saying 'How blessed are those who trust without seeing' for future generations. I always saw that as a rebuke of Thomas, but his doubts made sense.

**And why all the Isolated Locations?? You ever notice that people who witness Bigfoot or Space aliens only do it when *nobody else is there to witness the event*? ** Yup. And I would think there'd be lots of independent confirmations, especially with something like this that's so important to Jesus's claim of being a Savior.

**True, but I get the hunch Paul did not have the highest opinion of women - women keep your mouths shut in worship, ask your husband if there is something you don't understand, etc.. ** I think one's perception of Paul's viewpoint depends on what books one believes Paul actually wrote.

HeIsSailing said...

Heather:
"I think one's perception of Paul's viewpoint depends on what books one believes Paul actually wrote. "

Yeah, that stuff comes mainly from the Pastoral epistles which few scholars attribute to Paul anyway - I was thinking that as I was typing but blast it was late.

Mark said...

Heather,

I linked over from Jumping From Conclusions.

Along the work you are doing with the resurrection narratives I would like to point you to an excellent piece of historical study/presentation titled: Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead?

The first 10 minutes are introduction to the speaker N.T. Wright, he speaks on this subject for about an hour then there is a Q/A at the end.

This is about an 89 megabyte download.

Regards,
Mark