Atheist's Attacks

Answering Humanist's Accusations Against the Bible

Christian Resources

Yes, there are answers. And there are no contradictions in the Bible. There are only people who desire God to not be there... who desire to escape accountability for everything they have done wrong... who, as scripture says, know there is a god but love their sin. We cry out to you... please turn to Jesus, trusting him as your Savior from the wrath of God that will be poured out on YOU as the just penalty for breaking God's laws.

When Did The Women Get To Jesus' Tomb?

Which women got to Jesus' tomb when?

HUMANIST QUESTION: Also in the resurrection stories, there are contradictions as to the identity of the women who came to the tomb, whether the men or angels the women saw were inside or outside the tomb, whether the men or angels were standing or sitting, and whether Mary Magdalene recognized the risen Jesus when he first appeared to her.

woman at jesus' tomb

Let's see if we can solve a murder mystery... a typical TV show type of murder mystery. A body is found in a swimming pool near a tall apartment building. The dead man had an apartment on the 20th floor, and the window facing the pool is broken. It looks like he feel through the window into the pool.

In the room with the broken window the police find the fingerprints of four people, and they interview each one separately. Each tells exactly the same story, down to the smallest details. The man was distraught and angry with the four men because a business deal had gone bad. He had smashed things in the room, throwing objects at the walls, tripping and banging his head on a lamp. The four men tried to help him, and he scratched the face of one and tore the clothes of the other. So the four men left to talk over what was happening in the hall. When they reentered the apartment the man had apparently smashed the window with a chair and jumped to his death.

Each of the four stories was exactly the same. Every minute detail matched perfectly. All four men tell exactly the same story. What does the police detective do?

He arrests all four men for murder. Why? If four witnesses tell exactly the same story, they must have colluded and prepared their stories in advance. Normally with four witnesses you get four different stories. Each is true. But each witness will tell the story from a different perspective, having noticed different details. And that's what we have in the four Gospels as they describe the scene at the tomb on the Sunday morning after Jesus was crucified.

If the four Gospels had all given exactly the same description, we would expect they had gotten together and concocted a story. They all then agreed that would be their story, and they were sticking to it. But, instead we get what would be expected in real life... four stories... giving us four perspectives of what happened that early Sunday morning.

Not all of the women arrived at the same time. Some immediately went to tell the disciples, then returned. So there were women coming and going. What they were seeing was shocking... unbelievable. It was a highly emotional scene. With the coming and going, some of women saw different events than others. (The angels didn't just sit around as if posing for pictures.) What we get in the four resurrection stories is a description of the mystery, confusion, excitement, and the running around that happened that Sunday morning.

In recording the events of that morning, the gospel writers do not try to list all of the women. Each only mentions the women who are important to their telling of the story. All four do mention Mary Magdalene, who appears to have arrived first and then left to tell Peter and John. Meanwhile the other woman entered the tomb and encountered the angel, and left to tell the disciples. Then Mary, Peter, and John return arrive at the tomb and Peter and John leave to find the other disciples, leaving Mary at the tomb where Jesus appears to her.

Assuming everything took place in a calm, orderly fashion is a wrong assumption. There was confusion, people coming and going and rushing about, some disbelief, some wonder and amazement, and lot's of excitement. And that is exactly the picture the four Gospels paint.

What did we find out here? There is no contradiction.

Next question (all questions are direct quotes from the American Humanist web site:

As a final example of a New Testament contradiction, the conflicting accounts of Paul’s conversion can be cited. Acts 9:7 states that when Jesus called Paul to preach the gospel, the men who were with Paul heard a voice but saw no man. According to Acts 22:9, however, the men saw a light but didn’t hear the voice speaking to Paul.

Click for the answer