Why Do Mark’s Women Tell Nothing to Anyone But Matthew and Luke’s Women Tell Everything to Everyone?

Scripture for Today: Luke 23:48-56 ~ on the Sabbath they rested according  to the commandment

 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.” 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

–Original ending of the Gospel of Mark

Gary: Christian apologists often tout the finding of the Empty Tomb by women as a sign of the authenticity of the Empty Tomb Story. “The testimony of women was not accepted in a court of law in ancient Palestine, therefore this detail must be historical. Why would anyone invent such a story?”

But think about this: What if no one had ever heard of an empty tomb of Jesus until the unknown author of the Gospel of Mark invented it!

Saying that a group of women (the names of whom never appear anywhere else in Mark’s Gospel except the crucifixion and burial scenes and never appear again in the annals of the early church), whose testimony would never be brought to a court of law, and who never told anyone about the Empty Tomb, is a clever way to introduce this tantalizing (fictional) tale into the Jesus Story. If one reads the Tomb Stories in Matthew and Luke, who we know heavily plagiarized “Mark’s” gospel, one will see that the authors of these Gospels completely reshape this detail of the Empty Tomb Story. Instead of running away and telling nothing to anyone, the women immediately run to the disciples and blab everything to everyone! No, in these later Gospels, the women keeping silent for 35 odd years was not acceptable. They needed the women to tell all immediately to set up their fictitious appearance stories!

So much for historical reliability! These tales are not to be trusted. These stories were told for evangelism purposes, not for historical accuracy.

An Article Excerpt from Bible scholar Lloyd Geering:

Lloyd Geering is a Presbyterian minister and former Professor of Old Testament Studies at theological colleges in Brisbane and Dunedia, and Professor of Religious Studies at Victorian University in Wellington, New Zealand.

We have already noted that there are reasons for thinking that the burial story had been in circulation in oral tradition for some time, as it exhibits signs of having passed through a transformation. But when did the discovery [of an empty tomb] story originate? Some have maintained that Mark actually created the story of the empty tomb.14 Since it is really dependent for its meaning and significance upon the burial story to which it is now linked, but which appears to have been once complete in itself, it probably never existed separately, at least not in the form of words in which it is now expressed. This suggests that the empty tomb story originated no earlier than the time when Mark’s Gospel was being completed.

Such a suggestion receives some confirmation in the last words of Mark 16:8. Ever since it was realized that the earliest extant manuscripts do not take us beyond this verse, there has been considerable discussion about the end of Mark’s Gospel, for the words

‘and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid’,

seem an exceedingly weak and rather strange way in which to draw the Gospel to a conclusion. It has been commonly supposed that the original end has been lost, or suppressed, or alternatively that for some reason the original author never succeeded in finishing his Gospel. A more likely explanation was first put forward by Wellhausen,15 and it has been widely adopted.16 This states that the story of the discovery of the empty tomb ends with these strange words in order to explain to readers why, as late as the mid-first century, they had never heard of this story before. The author of this appendix would be aware that readers would be genuinely puzzled by the sudden appearance of what seemed to be an important piece of evidence, and so he implied that it had never come out into the open before because for a long time the women who witnessed it were so afraid that they said nothing to anyone.17 This explanation of these otherwise strange words is even more convincing if this verse is seen, not as the original author’s conclusion of the whole Gospel, but as the end of an appendix added to the Gospel.

There was yet a further addition to be made. The only reference to an appearance of the risen Christ to be found in the tomb story is in Mark 16:7,

‘But go and give this message to his disciples and Peter: “He is going on before you into Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”’

This seems to point back to Mark 14:28, ‘But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.’ It has been pointed out by many that both of these verses are strangers in their respective contexts, for in each case the words that follow more naturally point back, not to these verses, but to the words which precede them.18 We may further note that both Mark 14:28, 16:7 are repeated by Matthew (26:32, 28:7) but in contrast with Mark’s Gospel, Matthew reports that the women immediately ‘ran to tell the disciples’. Luke, on the other hand, does not repeat the earlier verse, and when in the tomb story he comes to the second verse, he changes the content of what the women are told to ‘Remember what he told you. . .’ But along with Matthew, Luke narrates that ‘returning from the tomb, they reported all this to the Eleven and all the others’.

Both Matthew and Luke therefore reject the implication in the present arrangement of the Marcan story that the women disobeyed the command of the unknown messenger in keeping silent about the message they were instructed to tell the disciples and Peter. But this implication was only unwittingly introduced into Mark, if and when the addition of 16:7 was made. Originally the silence of the women did not refer to the instruction given to them, but to the discovery of the empty tomb and the announcement of the messenger that Jesus was risen.19





End of post.


7 thoughts on “Why Do Mark’s Women Tell Nothing to Anyone But Matthew and Luke’s Women Tell Everything to Everyone?

      1. hahaha….the fact that you are seemingly unable to detect that virtually everything I’ve been saying for the past two days is in the form of making jokes just makes your comment even funnier.

        May Lord Festivus fill your tube-sock with tinfoil hats and Irish whiskey!

        Liked by 1 person

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