Monday, January 23, 2012

Where did Jesus first appear to the apostles after the resurrection?

Galilee – Matthew 28:16 –
16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. (KJV)
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. (NIV)

Jerusalem – Mark 16:14; Luke 24:33-37; John 20:19 –
14Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. (KJV)
14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. (NIV)
33And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together , and them that were with them,34Saying , The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.35And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.36And as they thus spake , Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.37But they were terrified and affrighted , and supposed that they had seen a spirit. (KJV)
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon."35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. (NIV)

19Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (KJV)

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" (NIV)

 The accounts of the resurrected Jesus first appearing to his disciples in Mark, Luke and John all take place in Jerusalem.  The question of a possible discrepancy enters when we read Matthew’s account.  According to Matthew, Jesus appears to the disciples on the mountain in Galilee to which he told them to go.  Now, what isn’t clearly stated in Matthew is if this is the first meeting.
Back in Matthew 28:10, Jesus tells the women who went to his tomb to instruct his disciples to go to Galilee.  He does not, however, specify where in Galilee.  Galilee is a very mountainous, northern region in Israel, so there was any number of mountains to choose from.  Verse 16 states they went to the mountain on which Jesus told them to meet him.  Knowing this, it seems very likely that Jesus had already appeared to these disciples at least once and disclosed the location of their meeting place.

This begs the question: why is Matthew's account different than the others'?  My theory is he just chose to leave out some details.  After all, he was a tax man, not a journalist.

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