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Oct 10, 2011

72 So when did Mary see the risen Jesus

It’s Mr. Matthew vs Mr. John

In the Gospel of Matthew:
Jesus appeared just once to Mary Magdalene when she was at the tomb with other women.

But hold it! 

In the Gospel of John: 
Jesus appeared once and only once to Mary Magdalene when she returned to the empty tomb with two male disciples.

The dissimilarity: Matthew relates that Mary Magdalene and other woman visited the burial place. All together 

Matthew 28:1 After the Sabbath, as Sunday morning was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake; an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. ... 5 The angel spoke to the women. 6 “He is not here; he has been raised, just as he said. Come here and see the place where he was lying. 7 Go quickly now, and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from death.’” 

There, the risen Jesus greeted them  

Matthew 28:8 So they left the tomb in a hurry, afraid and yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Peace be with you.” They came up to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 “Do not be afraid,” Jesus said to them. “Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee.”

But John relates that Mary Magdalene went alone to the burial place and didn't see an angel or Jesus

John 20:1 Early on Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been taken away from the entrance. 2 She went running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!” 

So she went away and returned with two male disciples. Then Jesus greeted her 

John 20:3 Then Peter and the other disciple went to the tomb. 4 The two of them were running, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and saw the linen cloths, but he did not go in. 6 Behind him came Simon Peter, and he went straight into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there 7 and the cloth which had been around Jesus' head. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and believed. ... 

10 Then the disciples went back home. 11 Mary stood crying outside the tomb. While she was still crying, she bent over and looked in the tomb 12 and saw two angels there dressed in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and the other at the feet. ... 

14 Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there; but she did not know that it was Jesus. ... 16 Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned toward him and said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (This means "Teacher.") 17 Go to my brothers and tell them that I am returning to him who is my Father and their Father, my God and their God." 18 So Mary Magdalene went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord.  

Recap: Matthew says Jesus greeted all the women while they were walking on the path to the disciples' house. Mary Magdalene was with them, too. 

But John says Jesus greeted Mary Magdalene while she was alone at the tomb entrance. He didn't greet her a second time after that.

So Mary saw Jesus just one time not both. I myself would expect the Gospels to give strikingly similar accounts, especially since the resurrection was a central event. But compare one Gospel with another and you find they don't tell the same resurrection story. In fact it's got to be the most dissimilar story the Gospels tell.

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