“The shadow side of the human race towers over us all…yet the little creature…manages to survive.  It is this little creature that is the bearer of the divine miracle, for this little creature is nothing less than the creative individual.”  (Erich Neumann)

Listen to some Indian Sarangi music here:

Mark 15:42-47 and Parallels  (Bible Hub Parallels, pg. 179)

The body of Jesus is given to whom?

What did he do with it? 

Along with Jesus, what is dead?

What is still alive?

What does it mean that women are present throughout?


It is important to note that Mark’s gospel ends with 16:8 in the oldest manuscripts – 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.  

Thus the first gospel ends in fear and uncertainty.

Some later manuscripts have a short ending – And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.

And some have verses 9-20 added.  The leaning of scholarly opinion is toward the notion that the writer of Mark did not know of post-resurrection appearances of Jesus (or if he did, he didn’t believe them), for they certainly would have been included in his gospel if he had. Verses 9-20 were added later, as the belief spread, in order to include a resurrection story

The earliest evidence that resurrection was part of Christian tradition is provided by Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians in 56 AD. 

Mark, the earliest gospel, tells only of an empty tomb. List all the possibilities you can think of, no matter how unlikely, for the tomb being empty?

Undoubtedly, something happened in the lives of the disciples, but what? The Christian myth calls it resurrection, but what does it represent?  The transformation of the disciples apparently happened within a relatively short time, for in the tradition, the birth of the church at Pentecost is a mere 50 days from Easter, but the stories of resurrection appearances may not have arisen for years.

We are looking at some basic questions, to be kept in mind as you proceed:

  1. Who or what is deemed to be alive by the disciples?
  2. Behind the reports, what might have come ‘alive’ for the disciples?
  3. What might have caused the coming alive for the disciples?
  4. What was the outcome?
  5. What would you say was the basis for the origin of Christianity?

The Synoptic gospels, post-Easter

Most of the gospel material having to do with resurrection is in Luke, with some in Matthew, but the total content of this material amounts to only about 50 verses. Compare this with the Sermon on the Mount which occupies 3 chapters in Matthew and another  33 verses in Luke.  Considering the immense importance and uniqueness of the resurrection, how do you explain the brevity of its treatment? 

Luke 24:13-32 and parallels (Bible Hub Parallels, pg. 188)

Where and to whom did Jesus appear? 

Where and to whom did Jesus appear in Lk 24:33-34? –  And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 

Note that Emmaus is 12 Km from Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is 127 km from Galilee.

Where and to whom did Jesus appear in Mt. 28:16-20? –  But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”?

What in us would want these stories to be factually true?

What in us would want these stories to be factually untrue?

What in us would want these stories to be mythically true?

In Luke 24:35-36, who does Jesus say he is?

How has he related himself to the Christ previously?

In Luke 24:44-49, Jesus is quoting scripture from Hosea 2:6. Compare with his words with the words from scripture. What is different?

With whom is Jesus identifying himself hee?

What does he say in Lk. v.47?

What is reference in v. 49?

How much of this did Jesus teach in our study of the gospels?

In Mt. 28:18-20, what is Jesus saying?

How many of these were included in Jesus’ teachings while alive?

Taken altogether, what is the source of this material?

What are all the possibilities you can think of to explain this change? 

How much time passed between crucifixion and their preaching of the risen Christ? 

If Jesus can be the Christ who died and rose, what follows?

Out of all this, what might have been the origin of Christianity, as distinct from the ‘People of the Way’, as the early followers were called)? 

Write: What came alive in the disciples?

See Responses for the questions in this section

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