Telling Evidence

Differences between eyewitnesses are by no means an uncommon phenomenon.  It makes for good drama in a criminal trial on the television.  The evidence of the various eye witnesses is tested under examination until a general impression or conclusion is reached about a particular event and the reliability of the eyewitness’s account or the guilt of he accused. When we read both Mark’s account, the other three Gospels, the report by Luke in Acts 10:34-48, also Paul’s account (1 Cor 15), we are left with witnesses who collaborate each other’s testimony, even if they differ in certain details. It would be in fact be suspicious, if each witness’s account agreed exactly. The discrepancies are good evidence that we do not have in Mark’s account (ch 16:1-9), a carefully fabricated one of deceit, or collaboration designed to pass off an agreed on position. When eyewitness accounts agree, it is often a sign that the course of justice is being perverted.

One telling piece of evidence of the truthfulness of the eyewitnesses is that they are women. It is this feature which the early Church would not be likely to invent. Entrenched prejudice existed in both Judaism and Greco-Roman culture due to patriarchal attitudes toward women. Yet it is women who are the first eyewitnesses of the empty tomb, not the disciples.

When we remember the resurrection of Christ, it does fill us with hope: death does not have the final say. We will be like Christ when he comes again, as he has shown in his own resurrection, that he has the power to transform our bodies, so they are like his glorious body (Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:2).

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