Easter - The Resurrection Myth
The contradictions begin at the Last Supper and continue through the betrayal, trial, crucifixion and burial of Jesus – but I'm going to concentrate on the resurrection stories because that’s the important bit. As Paul says in Romans (1:4) it is the resurrection that “proves” Jesus was the Son of God, and in 1 Corinthians (15:13-17) the Christians are told: “if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain.” It’s that important.
So let’s take a look at the eyewitness accounts inspired by the God of Truth:
When did the women visit the tomb?
Mark: At the rising of the sun.
John: When it was yet dark.
Matthew: Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
John: Mary Magdalene alone
Mark: Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome
Luke: Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary mother of James, and other women.
Was the tomb open or closed when they arrived?
Whom did they see at the tomb?
Matthew: An angel
Mark: A young man
Luke: Two men
John: Two angels
Were these men or angels inside or outside the tomb?
Mark Luke John: Inside
Were they standing or sitting?
Matthew Mark John: Sitting
Did Mary Magdalene see the messengers?
Matthew Mark Luke: Yes
Who became frightened when they saw the messengers?
Matthew: The keepers
Mark Luke: The women
Did the women see Jesus?
Matthew: They did – just after they left the tomb
Luke: They did not.
Did the women tell the disciples what they had seen?
Did Mary Magdalene recognise Jesus when she saw him?
How many disciples visited the tomb?
Luke: Peter alone
John: Peter and another
Was Mary Magdalene permitted to touch Jesus?
Where did Jesus appear to the disciples?
Matthew: In Galilee
Luke: In Jerusalem
Were all the disciples convinced of the resurrection?
John: They were
Matthew: Some doubted
How did the disciples feel when they saw the resurrected Jesus?
Luke: Terrified and affrighted
[Source: The Bible Contradicts Itself – Ingersoll News, 1968]
The apologists have been working for centuries, trying to get rid of the contradictions by “harmonizing” the gospel stories until all the bits and pieces seem to fit together, but none of them stand up to scrutiny. Despite the best efforts of the apologists it is clear that the gospels are packed full of real contradictions.
But how come?
Simple. Jesus never existed. There was no last supper, no betrayal, no trial, no crucifixion, and no resurrection. Back in the early first century AD the Jews came up with the idea that a messiah would soon appear and rescue them from Roman rule, and they started telling stories about him; just making them up as they went along. Paul, for example, says that he would spend time preaching his gospel in a town, only to find that a few days after he had left, another group of evangelists would arrive in town and preach a different gospel. [2 Corinthians 11:4 and Galatians 1:6-9]
Years later, when these evangelists wrote down their ideas about Jesus, they all had the same basic plot-line, but they were making up the details as they went along. They weren’t collaborating with each other – and that’s why there are so many contradictions.