Jewish Criticisms of the Resurrection: How Did Luke Know that the Eyes of the Disciples on the Emmaus Road were “Holden”?

Image result for image of disciples on the emmaus road

And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 

–Luke 24


The failure of the two disciples [on the Emmaus Road] to recognize Jesus refutes this claimed physical appearance.  From the morning until almost evening, in plain daylight, Jesus was in full view of the travelers.  In addition, during this multihour journey the pilgrims not only heard Jesus’ voice but they also saw his gestures and mannerisms.  Yet they did not recognize him, although they had apparently previously known him well.

Furhermore, they did not even recognize any physical signs of trauma that Jesus was subjected to prior to his crucifixion.  Chronologically, Jesus was…

  1. beaten after his arrest and in custody of the chief priests
  2. ordered flogged and scourged by Pilate, which were carried out by Roman soldiers
  3.  plaited with a crown of thorns onto his head
  4.  struck prior to his crucifixion

Moreover, the two pilgrims did not recognize Jesus despite supposed nail wounds in this hands or feet as a result of his crucifixion, yet later, these wounds were shown to “the eleven gathered together” in Jerusalem.  …The fact that the two travelers did not recognize Jesus demonstrates that he had no nail wounds in his hands.  Unmistakably, it would have been impossible for the travelers not to have seen the approximate thirty-six hour nail wounds virtually any time during their excursion.  This would be especially true when Luke 24:40 records that Jesus broke bread, blessed it, and handed to them.

The only other possible explanation is that Jesus wore a pair of gloves, his wounds healed miraculously [only to resurface later that day in the Upper Room for the eleven], the traveler’s eyes were supernaturally blocked, or the account is legendary.  Danker (1988, 391), writing in his Jesus and the New Age, posits that “Luke’s use of the passive verb, were kept, points to God as the agent…Seeing Jesus after his resurrection is therefore more than a matter of ocular recognition.  What the mind does not anticipate it does not believe, and in the absence of faith the eye is blind.”

…How did Luke know that “their eyes were holden that they should not know him”?  What was the source of this claim?  …Because Luke is stating his opinion, it is merely that and nothing more.  An obvious and more practical alternative explanation is that this episode was written by Luke to serve a theological agenda.

–Jewish author, Michael Alter, The Resurrection, A Critical Inquiry, p. 537-538


Gary:  How did Luke know that the eyes of the two disciples on the Emmaus Road were “holden” or “veiled” so that they could not recognize Jesus?  This is nonsense, folks!  This is an ancient ghost story.  This is a magical tall tale.  This is theological propaganda at its finest.

This is not history!

And, if “Luke” invented this appearance story for theological purposes, what says he didn’t invent all the other appearances of Jesus in his Gospel for theological purposes??

The Gospels are not historically reliable sources!




End of post.


3 thoughts on “Jewish Criticisms of the Resurrection: How Did Luke Know that the Eyes of the Disciples on the Emmaus Road were “Holden”?

  1. Gary, yes, so many people think that the bible is history. It’s so annoying. People don’t stop and think about what they learned as students in history. They learned, I hope, that history is about written records: King so and so was crowned on that date etc. etc. Also many don’t realize that the new testament was put together a few hundred years after the supposed death of the Jesus character.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The victors always write history,” eh?

      And the Roman Empire certainly were the undisputed victors, conquerors both militarily and socially until 480 CE, if not sooner. Nevertheless, the Greek-based Christology was already firmly implanted/indoctrinated into the Hellenistic Gentile West. The rest, as they say, is maligned, bogus, distorted history. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. ‘They learned, I hope, that history is about written records: King so and so was crowned on that date etc. etc’.

      If you think that is the only type of written record that history is ‘about’ then you know nothing of history, especially ancient.


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