Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


DID THE WOMEN STEAL THE JESUS CORPSE? 

The gospels say that a miracle man called Jesus Christ lived. They say he died by crucifixion and three days later he rose again. The tomb he was placed in was found wide open on Sunday morning, by women, with the stone that had been across the entrance moved back and the tomb was mysteriously empty. His body was gone. The gospels never say that anybody saw the body rising or coming out of the tomb.   No evidence is given that he wasnít stolen. Women were the first that we know of who were at the tomb.  They could have taken the body. The gospels fail to refute the idea that the women stole the body of Jesus from the tomb. In fact they donít even try!

 

Mark 15 says there was a lot of sympathetic women looking upon Jesus at his death. This amounts to a lot being around when he could have been taken from the tomb. However it only mentions Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses seeing where the body was put.  The trouble with Mark is his naming of women so differently. Mary mother of Joses sees Jesus die and sees his burial but she becomes the mother of James when the women come to the tomb. It is as if he is reluctant to tell this story which shows he was making it up for surely it had to have been out and about before he wrote anything?

 

What if the women at the tomb on Sunday morning was made up for the Christians could not say the tomb was empty unless somebody discovered it and the women were the safest for they had an alleged innocent reason to be there and saying it was somebody else maybe a disciple would suggest he robbed the body from the tomb?   If there were guards maybe the tomb was not robbed and Jesus is still there.  Maybe if women went to the tomb the real story is that they were turned away and made up the resurrection story for spite.  The stone being in place would have meant nothing.  On Sunday evening you can be sure that there was no sign the tomb was ever opened.  The stone would have been rolled into position again.

 

If the tale is a fabrication, then why not have the tomb sealed and opened and found empty then instead of being empty before anybody came along?  Probably to get around the allegation that the women needed males to move the stone for them and saying there were males there to oblige looks suspicious.


The women supposedly came to anoint the body.  Matthew and John say nothing about the women planning to anoint.  It is Mark and Luke that claim that.
 

The women supposedly said that angels appeared to them at the tomb and told them Jesus was alive again. 

 

If x murders y then why not start saying angels appeared and said x did not murder y?  You would only say that if you had no credible witnesses or if you were lying.

 

The Christians say that if Jesus was simply resuscitated then we should not base a religion on that and it won't change lives and hearts. A resurrected Jesus to them means one that is alive and transformed into something glorious. A resurrected Jesus has spiritual and moral significance for us. He is our salvation and he internally transforms us to free us from sin and he once was dead but is now safe from all harm and indestructible with supernatural powers and is full of glory.

 

The women were never claimed to be witnesses of the resurrection. It is never said that they testified and experienced the glorious Jesus. Seeing a man who was dead a few days before is seeing a resuscitated man not necessarily a resurrected one.

 

We must remember as well that even if some of the visions were authentic, there will always be those who have visions that are not authentic. So which is which? Its not always clear. Think of Lourdes where a girl claimed visions of the Virgin Mary and soon others started having visions too but which were not recognised by any authority as supernatural.

 

HOW MANY WOMEN AND ANGELS?

 

The gospels have women going to the tomb finding the stone rolled back.

 

John seems to think only Magdalene was there.  John gives the impression Mary Magdalene was alone when the other gospels mention a group of women. That may have been to offset any worry that the women opened the tomb or found it open and took the body themselves.  John's version has Mary saying somebody took the body but it was nothing to do with her.
 

Christians say that many stories are incomplete and there is nothing wrong with that for perhaps space and time can be a consideration. That is why they state that one gospel mentioning only one woman at the tomb does not mean the gospel thinks she was the only one there. The gospel of John gives no hint that more than one woman was at the tomb when it was found to be open. It is argued that when the woman, Magdalene, ran to Peter and John she said that the body of Jesus had been removed and we do not know where they have taken him (John 20:2). Who is the we? It could be that they were discussing where Jesus could have been taken so the we could mean Peter and John. She does not say the we refers to those who were at the tomb. It would be odd to say one woman is there and then mention we meaning others. It is funny how the Church is interested in the we but has little interest in the they who were thought to have taken the body.

 

John says nothing about more than one woman being there at the critical time and seeing the important stuff. 

 

The fact remains that even if Jesus had risen a crime, grave robbery, was a possibility even if a remote one.  It would have been a crime in the eyes of the people who did not believe Jesus rose.  Thus if a gospel says there was one woman there it means there was one woman there for too many women raises the question, "Were they they guilty party if there was a grave robbery?"  What if a whole gang of women had been there?  Given the way Christians reason there is nothing to eliminate that.

Matthew says two Marys went to the tomb and one angel told them Jesus was alive. In Mark the women go inside the tomb where they see one angel. In Luke there are two angels inside who tell them. Only Magdalene minus the angel gets a mention in John. The Christians say there is no conflict but only giving details omitted by the others but the gospels would not have people bewildered and surmising that it is an excuse to say these were contradictions and you donít write books to make people believe and leave out mention of how many angels and witnesses there were. The gospels donít say if this conflicting information came from the women which makes us agnostic. The fact that that if it did then the women could not tell the truth makes us move from agnosticism to scepticism. They proved themselves willing to lie and get into trouble for it so they could have given birth to the lie that they did not move the body and the lie of the resurrection.

 

The Gospel of John being the latest gospel could have changed the story from a number of women at the tomb to one to avert suspicion that the women robbed the tomb.  Mary blames some "they" for stealing the body which could be an attempt to send everybody off on the wrong scent.  It is all very suspicious especially when she does not say who the suspects were!
 
WHY SUSPECT THE WOMEN?

If there were women at the tomb they might have been behind the disappearance of the body and the resurrection fraud.
 
If the stone were movable by one man as the gospels suggest then the women could have moved it.
 
We read that Joseph of Arimathea rolled the stone across the opening of the tomb (Matthew 27:60). You donít speak of one man pushing John off a building when it would take two and when there were two. The Christians say the gospel is only mentioning Joseph but there must have been others too. Is that likely? Of course not. When Matthew gave the impression one man could move the stone in an account meant to show that Jesus came back from the dead it must have been one man. Why not mention that there were others? You would if you want your account to show the reader that the tomb was secure. It would be mad to say that a body miraculously vanished from a tomb that was easy to get in to.
 
If it is true as Matthew claims that the Jews feared a resurrection report, they would not have let very many people deal with the body of Jesus for the more people there are the more chance there is of the body being taken away elsewhere and then proclaimed missing. In Mark 15 we read that Joseph took Jesus from the cross, he could have done that alone, and then he rolled the stone across his tomb implying that the context indicates he was working alone. Luke 23 talks the same way, notice how at verses 55, 56 that the women saw how the body was laid out. This is to give the impression that this was witnessed by the women, he wants to give evidence. There were no other men when he chose women as witnesses for the Jews donít like female witnesses. However John adds Nicodemus as a witness. If one or two men could work with the stone the women could have moved it themselves and stolen the body.
 
If the Jews had feared a resurrection report as the Matthew gospel says then why did they appoint a guard to stop the apostles stealing the body and saying he rose? It would have been easier if they had put the body out of the public eye and where the disciples could never find it. There were no guards which opens the way for us to ask if the women might have stolen the Jesus corpse.

A visit of the women to do pointless anointing would show they were up to something. The Womb and the Tomb, page 113, tells us that everybody believed that decomposition set in on the third day making it unlikely for anybody to return to Jesusí tomb to start or complete the anointing. It was too late then. If there were guards they intended to lie to them about the purpose of their visit. Lazarus was only in his tomb four days and the gospel says he would have smelled by then. After what Jesus had been through decomposition and the stench would have set in quicker particularly when Jesus was not interred at the frosty time of year. It would have happened in April. That tells us why we cannot treat the view that the women came to make sure Jesus was dead for there was a tradition among some that the body had to be checked on the third day to make sure it was dead with any seriousness. The tradition was only for people who died naturally though occasionally practiced for those who had not. But Jesusí death had been certified by the Romans.

Why did the women go to the tomb so early in the morning? Why did they need to be sure nobody was about? The tomb was already known to be Jesusí so why worry about drawing attention to the tomb? And they were seen at the funeral so why worry about people seeing them on Sunday. They were hoping to perform some misdeed.

If the women were going to tell the guards that they were going to anoint they would have been disbelieved and punished or blackmailed to say something incriminating against themselves or the disciples because it was obvious that they were lying. Women who would tell stupid and deadly lies could race to the apostles and start a resurrection rumour.

The women went too early to the tomb. And everybody was ashamed of Jesus so he had no fans so it was not to avoid the crowds but to do some mischief when nobody was about. It is possible that the women had got wind that something was up and they visited the tomb to check up on it. If so this could be evidence that they knew of people who were planning to steal the body.

The gospel says that the women wondered on the way how they were going to get the tomb opened. This is accidentally accusing them of telling a lie for only the women could reveal that. And it was a lie because they would not have went to the tomb without being sure there was somebody to help them or that they would have been permitted to enter. Why couldnít their brothers or sons or husbands have come along? The ladies might have said they wondered for they desired people to think they could not move the stone themselves and they did not ask anybody to help them for they only knew anti-Jesus people. At least it shows there could have been no guards there for they would have heard about it in the city if there were. It is possible that the tomb was seen open from a distance and that was why they went out to it without helpers. But that scenario leads to the view that a robbery could have transpired.

 


Perhaps the tomb had not been closed right or aftershocks from the quake had shifted the rock? The gospels never report that it was closed right. The Turin Shroud is Genuine states that tombs were not closed fully for the first few days. When Matthew says that the angel sat on the stone and Mark and Luke say the women met the angel and a mate inside the tomb it could mean that the stone fell inside the tomb for the angel to sit on. (Perhaps it was the quake or it was a bit of the cave came away that supported the stone and with it gone the stone fell inside.) That is one way to reconcile the differences and enables the women to move and hide the body. But the women could have moved the stone themselves especially if there were at least five of them like Luke says. In John, Magdalene says she can carry the corpse herself so she must have been a strong lady even if Jesus was a small man. There is no evidence that she was mad when she said this so we must take her word for it.

The guards would not have let the women enter the tomb if they were there though the gospels say they were in it so when they went inside the tomb was unprotected against tricksters and thieves. There is no evidence given that the body was gone by the time the women came. The guards could have wrongly assumed it had vanished and fled leaving somebody free to take the body. Remember, the guards were reported to have had a terrible shock at the tomb and would have been dizzy. The women could have taken it. Magdalene alone could have done it which makes a laughing stock of attempts to dogmatise about a miracle happening.

Mark says the women said nothing at all to anybody about the happenings at the tomb for they were terrified. Morison assumes that this silence is not unconditional for it is part of a sentence the rest of which is lost (185). Mark continues with a conclusion that seems to have been created by a different author for the first version seems to have been lost. So the sentence in Mark could be broken. Perhaps it should be: the women said nothing about it for a while or the women said nothing about it to anybody except the apostles. But didnít Jesus promise in Mark that his words would not pass away implying that nothing could be lost from any scriptures based on him? If words are really lost from the sentence then Markís gospel is not from God or Christ was a fake. Matthew and Luke are rubbish if Mark is for they are dependent on it. It is a sin to trust a doubtful source in matters pertaining to God who deserves all our love. That is really putting the source before him. So if we want to affirm divine inspiration we have to say that Mark says that the women never spoke about what happened. Perhaps the women never said anything at all at the time. That must be admitted. This gospel gives us no reason to believe that a miracle resulted in Jesus risign bodily from the dead leaving an empty tomb.

So if Mark is inspired the women did not tell. That means that the longer ending of Mark which says they did tell the apostles and any other gospel saying the same is inspired by the Devil. And we must remember the allegedly broken sentence could stand on its own and be complete. Christians blame a fault in the text when there is a contradiction in the Bible while insisting the original is the perfect word of God and as for those that cannot be explained with this lie they ignore them and pretend they do not exist.

Some say Mark only means the women did not tell anybody until they reached the apostles. But does it look like it meant that?

And when the women did not spread the news all over the city and run to the guards it proves that they were happy to let it be assumed that the disciples stole the body of Jesus from the tomb for what else would anybody think?


Finally
 
Assuming the gospels are truthful about the women at the tomb, they had the chance and the ability to steal the body.  If the story of their visit is lies, then what else is the gospel lying about?  Some think (Dan Barker) that women at tombs was nothing out of the ordinary.  Their job was to attend the dead.  If so did they use that to their advantage?  Other think Jesus' case was too sensitive so nobody would have been near the tomb without permission or supervision.  And why is there no mention of the trouble they would have been in for being at a crime scene where a body vanished?  The story does not rely on female testimony for it says men validated that testimony.  The men in white did not speak to the apostles or the gospel writers so