Describing the RESURRECTION of Jesus—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are NOT IN HARMONY as to the NUMBER OF ANGELS at the tomb, and the positions they were in! How come?
DESCRIBING THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS- MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN ARE NOT IN HARMONY AS TO THE NUMBER OF ANGELS AT THE TOMB, AND THE POSITIONS THEY WERE IN! HOW COME?
Let us first read the four records that the Gospel writers present.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. (Matthew 28:2-7)
And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. (Mark 16:5-7)
And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord
Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee. (Luke 24:3-6)
And John records:
But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the
sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of
Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why
weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. (John 20:11-13)
At the ascension of Jesus, the book of Acts records:
Two men stood by them in white apparel. (Acts 1:10)
So basically we see two angels had come on that resurrection morning, as recorded by Luke and John. Now, Matthew and Mark do not say that only one angel was sent from Heaven, but rather they just mention one, as, at that particular point of time, when some came, only one was seen, and at a different point of time two were seen. Once both the angels were standing outside the tomb, and at another point of time both the angels were sitting inside the tomb.
The four Gospel writers also talk about the people coming to the tomb. Matthew talks about, "Mary Magdalene and the other Mary"
(Matthew 28:1); Mark talks about, "Mary Magdalene and Mary the
Mother of James, and Salome" (Mark 16:1); Luke talks about,
"Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and other women that were with them" (Luke 24:10); and John records,
"Peter therefore, went forth, and that other disciples and came to the sepulcher. So they ran both together" (John 20:3, 4).
The four Gospel writers are highlighting the incident from different angles. Isn't this pattern also seen in the coverage of the reports in today's newspapers? Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are in perfect unity! In their narration they are basically covering different moments of time.