Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Part 4: Angel, Young Man/Men? Was what was recorded a contradiction?

We return back to the gospel records for our fourth out of six postings on whether or not the accounts of the Garden Tomb have contradictions to them. The fourth one deals with the angel or angels/young man/young men and what they did and said.

Setting up the problem.

In Matthew's gospel (28:1-8), states that an angel sat on the stone (v. 5). Mark's gospel (16:1-8) tells us that they saw a young man sitting wearing a white robe, and they were amazed (v.5). In Luke's gospel, we read that there are two men in dazzling clothing (24:3,4). Finally John's gospel gives a total different picture, with Mary Magdalene who was expected to go inside the tomb, but she leaves. In all of this though we see that there are two angels sitting in the tomb, one at the head and one at the feet of the stone-bed.

Now, is there a problem with whether these were human men or supernatural beings? What were doing and was it in conflict with the other accounts? Let's take a look.


If we look at each of the gospels in their contexts, we can see that there is really not a problem. Remember that the gospel writers record what they do with their personalities in tact and still under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Two angels (Luke), one angel (Matthew). One or two angels is no problem, because wherever you have two, you have one. This is not a problem. One young man in dazzling clothing or two angels in white clothing again, there is no problem.

Some may think that John’s gospel might be in conflict with the other three but this is not the case since John opts to record more details before telling us that there were “these two angels present”, than some of the other gospel writers. Again the problem that skeptic needs to remember not to do in reading the texts is that they do not need to impose upon the text how things really should be, but take the texts at face value. In so doing, there is no contradiction as the writers personalities and what they chose remained in tact while they were writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

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