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The Empty Tomb


(1a) Mark 16:1-8 = Matt 28:1-10 = Luke 24:1-11
(1b) John 20:1,(2-10),11-18
(1c) GPet 11:44; 12:50-13:57



(1a) Mark 16:1-8 = Matt 28:1-10 = Luke 24:1-11

16:1 When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 16:2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 16:3 They had been saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?" 16:4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 16:5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 16:6 But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." 16:8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

= Matt 28:1-10
28:1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 28:2 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. 28:3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 28:4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 28:5 But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 28:6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 28:7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.' This is my message for you." 28:8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 28:9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 28:10 Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

= Luke 24:1-11
24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 24:2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 24:3 but when they went in, they did not find the body. 24:4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 24:5 The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 24:6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 24:7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again." 24:8 Then they remembered his words, 24:9 and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 24:10 Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 24:11 But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.


(1b) John 20:1,(2-10),11-18

20:1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.

[20:2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. 20:4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 20:5 He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. 20:6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, 20:7 and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. 20:8 Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 20:9 for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 20:10 Then the disciples returned to their homes.]

20:11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; 20:12 and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. 20:13 They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." 20:14 When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 20:15 Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." 20:16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). 20:17 Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" 20:18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

(1c) GPet 11:44; 12:50-13:57

Report to Pilate
11 1 These men then consulted with one another about going and reporting these things to Pilate. 2 While they were still thinking about it, again the skies appeared to open and some sort of human being came down and entered the tomb. 3 When those in the centurion's company saw this, they rushed out into the night to Pilate, having left the tomb which they were supposed to be guarding. And as they were recounting everything they had seen, they became deeply disturbed and cried, "Truly, he was a son of God!" 4 Pilate responded by saying, "I am clean of the blood of the son of God; this was all your doing." 5 Then they all crowded around <Pilate> and began to beg and urge him to order the centurion and his soldiers to tell no one what they saw. 6 "You see," they said, "it is better for us to be guilty of the greatest sin before God than to fall into the hands of the Judean people and be stoned." 7 Pilate then ordered the centurion and the soldiers to say nothing.

Mary at the tomb
12 1 Early on the Lord's day, Mary of Magdala, a disciple of the Lord, was fearful on account of the Judeans and, since they were enflamed with rage, she did not perform at the tomb of the Lord what women are accustomed to do for their loved ones who die. 2 Nevertheless, she took her friends with her and went to the tomb where he had been laid. 3 And they were afraid that the Judeans might see them and were saying, "Although on the day he was crucified we could not weep and beat our breasts, we should now perform these rites at his tomb. 4 But who will roll away the stone for us, the one placed at the entrance of the tomb, so that we may enter and sit beside him and do what ought to be done?" 5 (remember, it was a huge
stone.) "We fear that someone might see us. And if we are unable <to roll the stone away> we should, at least, place at the entrance the memorial we brought for him, and we should weep and beat our breasts until we go home."

Empty tomb
13 1 And they went and found the tomb open. They went up to it, stooped down, and saw a young man sitting there <in> the middle of the tomb; he was handsome and wore a splendid robe. He said to them, 2 "Why have you come? Who are you looking for? Surely not the one who was crucified? He is risen and gone. If you don't believe it, stoop down and take a look at the place where he lay, for he is not there. You see, he is risen and has gone back to the place he was sent from." 3 Then the women fled in fear.
[Complete Gospels]




John Dominic Crossan

Item: 275
Stratum: III (60-80 CE)
Attestation: Single
Historicity: -


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The empty tomb story is a Markan creation.


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