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The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 24 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 12-28-2012
While presenting these gospel accounts it has often been said that the perspectives of all four gospel writers are needed in order to be able to piece together a more complete picture of the events surrounding the life, ministry and passion of Christ. That is especially true when trying to determine the chronology of the last week of His pre-Resurrection life and of the Resurrection itself.
The popular perception of the chronology of the death and resurrection of Christ comes from a calendar which was evidently made to suit the Roman church, however it does not agree with the Gospel. From John 19:31 we see of the Sabbath which was also the Passover that “that Sabbath day was an high day”. So we learn that Christ was placed into a tomb at the end of a preparation day for a high Sabbath, and not necessarily the day of the regular seventh-day Sabbath, and that He was in that tomb on a Sabbath day, and that he was found to have been arisen by dawn of the first day of the week, which is the day immediately following a Sabbath day. From three of the four gospels, from Matthew 27:55 and 61, from Mark 15:47, and from Luke 24:1, we see that the women who were with Christ had observed His death and burial right up to where He was placed into the tomb. From all four gospels, from Matthew 28:1, from Mark 16:2, from Luke 23:55 and from John 20:1, we find that the first thing Mary Magdalene and some of the other women did on the day immediately after a Sabbath – even before the sun had risen completely – was to go to the tomb of Christ and find that He had already arisen. If that day were the Passover Sabbath, it seems that they would hardly have had time to go shopping.
However in the opening verses of Mark chapter 16 we read the following: “1 And upon the passing of the Sabbath Maria the Magdalene and Maria the mother of Iakobos and Salome purchased herbs in order that having come they may anoint Him. 2 And very early in the morning on the first day of the week they come to the tomb upon the rising of the sun.” The “passing of the Sabbath” must mean to indicate the passing of the “high day” of John 19:31, which was the Passover itself. The Passover was a Sabbath day – a day of no work or commerce – but it was not the regular Sabbath day of the seven-day Sabbath cycle. So the women did not purchase herbs until the Sabbath had passed, and neither could the women have purchased and prepared the herbs before getting to the tomb before dawn on the “first day of the week”, unless there was an intervening day that the women could use for such a task which was between the “high day” Passover sabbath, and the Sabbath day prior to the “first day of the week” upon which the women had gone to the tomb. For all of the gospel accounts to be correct, there must have been a Passover Sabbath, and then another day, and then a regular seventh-day Sabbath before this morning where the women appear at the tomb to find that Christ was already risen.
Since Christ was slain on a preparation day for Passover, the Greeks and Hebrews not having names for the days of the week, let us arbitrarily call that Wednesday, so that we may have a point of reference. Christ was placed into the tomb near the very end of this Wednesday. Then we may assume that the Passover of the Judaeans that year was on a Thursday, and its passing would complete His first night and day in the tomb. Then we need a regular business day upon which the women, as described in Mark 16:1, could purchase “sweet spices, that they might come and anoint Him”, as the King James Version has it. Mark 16:1 clearly tells us that the women did not purchase the spices until after the passing of a Sabbath, which must have been the Passover day. The passing of this day upon which the purchase was made, and which we will call a Friday, would complete the second night and day that Christ was in the tomb. Then making their preparations, the women must have rested on the following day, which was the regular seventh-day Sabbath, and this day would have completed the third night and day that Christ was in the tomb, which we will call a Saturday. This is all in perfect accordance with the testimony of Christ, as He had said that “as Ionah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights, thusly shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights”, as it is recorded at Matthew 12:40. When the women came to the tomb on what we may call Sunday morning, they found that Christ had already risen, and He must have arisen the evening before. Otherwise, and especially if we want to believe the Roman Catholics, He did not spend three days and three nights in the tomb. One cannot squeeze three days and three nights into the Roman Church calendar no matter how many papal decrees one emits.
All of this and more is explained in detail in an article reproduced on Clifton Emahiser's website, which is entitled Three Days and Three Nights.
1 And on the first day of the week early at dawn they came to the tomb bearing the herbs which they prepared,
The phrase describing the first day of the week is literally “the first of the Sabbaths”. The Greek phrase which has the word for Sabbath in the plural was clearly used to denote the weekly cycle, and there is no other term which I have seen as of yet which described the concept of a week in Greek.
The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W), and the Majority Text have: “and they came to the tomb and certain others with them”. The words are also found in the Codex Bezae D and the 6th century Codex 070 which further have appended to the end of the verse the words “and they reckoned among themselves, ‘Who now may roll away the stone?’” The text of the Christogenea New Testament here follows the third century papyrus P75, and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C).
Luke does not name the women at the tomb on this morning until verse 11, where he names “Maria the Magdalene and Iohanna and Maria the mother of Iakobos” and then he mentions “the rest of the women with them”. Matthew chapter 28 mentions only “Mary Magdalene and the other Mary” as having been at the tomb at this time. The women at the tomb that morning which are named in Mark chapter 16 are “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome”. John in chapter 20 mentions only Mary Magdalene. The mention of only one or two women in some accounts does not preclude the presence of yet other women, even beyond those mentioned by the other accounts.
2 and they found the stone having been rolled away from the tomb, 3 then entering in they found not the body of Prince Yahshua.
While the gospel accounts certainly do not conflict here, only Matthew tells us how the stone had been rolled away, where he relates (Matthew 28:1-2) “1 And it being late on the Sabbath, while approaching dawn on the first day of the week, Mariam the Magdalene and the other Maria had come to watch the burial-place. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for a messenger of Yahweh descended out of heaven and having come forth rolled the stone away and sat upon it.” Matthew's record means to explain how the women had found the tomb opened, and not that the stone was moved after the women had arrived: it was clearly found opened by them upon their arrival.
4 And it came to pass while they were puzzled concerning this then behold, two men in shining garments stood over them. 5 And with their becoming terrified and bowing their faces to the ground they said to them “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has arisen!
Luke mentions two messengers, or angels, who were apparently inside the tomb. Matthew only recounts one angel outside of the tomb. Mark also only mentions one angel, but places him inside of the tomb. The accounts are all second-hand, from what the writers perceived as it was related to each of them or to others, as in the case of Luke, by at least one of the women who were actually present. Therefore it cannot be asserted with confidence that the accounts are in conflict with one another, but only that the perspective of the testimony was different as it was provided in one way or another to each of the other gospel writers.
John does not mention any angels in this first encounter at the tomb. John's account here consists of two lines only, “1 Now on the first day of the week Maria the Magdalene comes early to the tomb – it still being dark – and sees the stone having been lifted from the tomb. 2 Therefore she runs and comes to Simon Petros and to that other student whom Yahshua loved and says to them: 'They have taken the Prince out of the tomb and we do not know where they have laid Him!'” (John 20:1-2). The rest of John's account at the tomb concerns what happened when Mary Magdalene later returned to it, after Peter and John heard the report from her and the other women and had run to investigate the tomb for themselves. None of the other gospel writers even discuss that aspect of the events of the morning as John did.
Continuing verse 6 and the words of the angel:
Remember that He had spoken to you yet being in Galilaia, 7 saying ‘it is necessary for the Son of Man to be handed over into the hands of sinful men, and to be crucified, and to be resurrected in the third day’.” 8 And they remembered His words.
Matthew 16:21: “21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”
Matthew 17:22-23: “22 And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, 'The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.' And they were exceeding sorry.”
Mark 9:31: “31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, 'The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.'”
Mark 10:33-34: “33 Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: 34 And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
Luke 9:21-22: “21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 22 Saying, 'The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.'”
Luke 18:31-33: “31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, 'Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. 32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: 33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.'”
9 And returning from the tomb they reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 And they were Maria the Magdalene and Iohanna and Maria the mother of Iakobos [the words the mother are inferred, but the relationship is known from other gospel passages] and the rest of the women [the words of the women are inferred from the feminine gender of the noun, the same noun in the masculine in verse 9 is simply the rest] with them who spoke these things to the ambassadors, 11 and these words appeared before them as nonsense, and they did not believe them.
Even though on many occasions they were told by Christ that this would happen, they still found it difficult to believe.
12 But Petros arising ran to the tomb and peering in sees the linen cloths only, and departed wondering to himself what had happened.
The word παρακύπτω (3879), to peer into here, is defined by Liddell & Scott as “to stoop sideways...to stoop for the purpose of looking at...to peep in, look in...”, which seems to draw a picture for us of the situation of the door of the tomb.
The perspectives among the four gospels differ greatly at this point. Matthew relates that the arisen Christ briefly met with the women as they departed from the tomb, and that He instructed the women to report the matter to the apostles and tell them to gather in Galilaia. Mark's gospel ends at the point where the women depart from the tomb, as the angel tells them to report what they had seen to Peter and to the others, and also tells them to have them go to meet Christ in Galilaia.
Here in Luke's gospel we see that Peter ran to the tomb to see it empty for himself, and then the entire focus shifts to the traveling of certain men to Emmaous, which had evidently been underway as the events at the tomb were unfolding, because Christ is said to have encountered these men, causing them to subsequently return to Jerusalem and gather themselves to the other apostles. We are never given the identity of one of the two men, and can exclude the eleven. The other Luke names as Kleopas, who of course was not one of the twelve.
In John's gospel, we find that both Peter and John himself had run to the tomb. John says that after having heard the report from the women “3 Therefore Petros and that other student went out and went to the tomb. 4 Then the two ran together, and that other student ran ahead faster than Petros and came first to the tomb, 5 and peering in he sees the linens lying, however he did not enter. 6 Then comes also Simon Petros following him and he entered into the tomb, and he sees the linens lying, 7 and the cloth which was upon His head, not lying with the linens but apart, having been rolled up in another place. 8 So then the other student also entered, who came first to the tomb, and he saw and believed. 9 For not yet had they known the scripture, that it is necessary for Him to be resurrected from among the dead. 10 Therefore the students departed back to them.” At this point in John's gospel, we also learn that Mary had returned to the tomb, and then had her personal encounter with Christ which John describes at length.
13 And behold, two of them on that day were traveling to a village which was named Emmaous, sixty stadia distant from Jerusalem.
According to Liddell & Scott, a στάδιον (4712) is about 1/8 of a Roman mile, or 606.75 English feet, and so there are nearly 8.7 stadia to an English mile. The Codex Sinaiticus (א) and the 6th century Codex 079 have “one hundred and sixty stadia”, a distance of about twenty miles. Emmaous is mentioned frequently by Josephus, and he says that the name may mean “warm bath”. In spite of the fact that Josephus calls it a πόλις, or city, where here it is a κόμη, a town or a village, it must be the same place. In the reign of Herod Archelaus that ended in 9 AD, which would have been early in the life of Christ, the Roman general and governor of Syria Quinctilius Varus had burned Emmaous, and the city may well have been reduced to a village (Josephus, Antiquities 17:291).
The precise location of Emmaous is apparently unknown. Some commentators and mapmakers have placed Emmaous in the mountain country northwest of Jerusalem, however Josephus places it nearer to the plains. The passage at Josephus' Antiquities 12:307 shows that Emmaous was not in the mountains, where preceding a battle, a general not finding the opposing army at Emmaous as he expected, he imagines them to have instead fled into the mountains. The city seems to be west of Jerusalem, since it is often mentioned along with Joppa, Lydda, and Jamnia, all of which are on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea or in the plains west of Jerusalem (for example, in Wars of the Judaeans, 2:567, 3:55 and 4:444).
Josephus also mentions another village named Emmaous, “a little distance from” the city of Tiberias which Herod the Tetrarch had built on the shores of Lake Gennesaret. However that would be about 60 miles from Jerusalem, a distance of over 500 stadia. The Emmaous near to Jerusalem, according to Josephus' Wars of the Judaeans at 7:217, is “sixty furlongs”, or in another translation “about 8 miles”, from Jerusalem although according to the notes in Whiston's edition the Greek and Latin manuscripts are divided over whether the distance is 30 or 60 stadia.
14 And they were conversing with each other about all of those things which happened. 15 And it came to pass upon their conversing and disputing that Yahshua Himself approached, traveling with them. 16 But their eyes being restrained not recognizing Him 17 then He said to them “What are these words which you exchange with each other walking?” And they were in a sad state. 18 And one by the name of Kleopas replying said to Him “Do you alone dwell near Jerusalem and know not the things which happened in her [the phrase in her meaning in the city, the word her coming from the feminine pronoun αὐτῇ (αὐτός, 846)] in these days?”
The King James Version has in verse 18 taken a verb, παροικέω (3939), and has translated it as a noun, “stranger”. The word is “to dwell beside...to live near” (Liddell & Scott) and here it is in the Present 2nd person singular: [you...] dwell near. The statement reflects the fact that the apostles had expected all of those living in the area around Jerusalem to have heard about the things which transpired concerning the crucifixion of Yahshua Christ.
19 And He said to them “What things?” And they said to Him “The things concerning Yahshua the Nazarene who was a man, a prophet, powerful in deed and in word before Yahweh and all of the people. 20 And how the high priests and our leaders gave Him over to a judgment of death and they crucified Him. 21 But we have had hope that it is He who is going to redeem Israel. Yeah, and with all these things, this is the third day which passes from when these things happened.
The apostles, as we have discussed at length over the course of this presentation of Luke's gospel, thought that the redemption of Israel meant that the kingdom would be immediately restored to Israel upon the advent of the Messiah, as we see them ask Him at Acts chapter 1 verse 6, "Prince, then at this time shall You restore the Kingdom to Israel?"
The statement by the apostles that “this is the third day which passes from when these things happened” seems to refute the assertions made here earlier, that Christ was crucified on what we may call a Wednesday, and resurrected before the beginning of what we may call a Sunday, which is evidently the day upon which this statement was made. A scriptural expositor of the early twentieth century named R. A. Torrey, in his book Difficulties In The Bible also presented this view, and of this very passage he wrote the following:
Noon to Noon Madness, Part 2, where he uses Luke 24:21 to also illustrate that the Hebrew day began at sundown and not at midday, as some very foolish men would assert.
22 But then some women from among us had astonished us, having come early to the tomb 23 and not finding His body came saying also that they had seen a vision of messengers who said that He lives! 24 And some of those with us departing for the tomb also found thusly, just as the women spoke, and Him they saw not.”
While Luke explicitly mentioned only Peter's departing for the tomb after hearing the initial report from the women, seen in verse 12 of this chapter, here Luke tells us through the testimony from this man that there were more than just Peter who had done so. This in turn supports John's version of the account, and also illustrates for us that when one aspect of an event is mentioned, that does not preclude the possibility of other unmentioned aspects having taken place, which we then sometimes see elsewhere mentioned in other accounts. In other words, if Luke tells us that Peter did something, while John tells us that it was Peter and John who did that same thing, that does not make Luke wrong, it only indicates that the event as described in Luke's version was not related as completely as it was in John's version. Luke's version could not be esteemed to be wrong simply because it is not as complete as that of another. Only scoffers and those who wish to see lies where in reality there are no lies would consider it to be so.
25 And He said to them “Oh foolish and slow in heart to believe upon all which has been spoken by the prophets! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His honor?”
The third century papyrus P75 has kingdom in place of honor.
27 Then beginning from Moses and from all of the prophets He expounded for them by all of the writings the things about Himself.
The four gospels are replete with notices concerning the events of the life and death and resurrection of Christ in relation to the fulfillment of scripture. While the apostles had obviously just learned these things themselves, we had discussed at length while presenting the second part of Luke chapter 23 how large a challenge the apostles had in illustrating these same things from the Old Testament to the rest of their countrymen. One example was how Paul preached the gospel to the men of Beroia, and as it says in Acts 17:11, “These were of more noble a race than those in Thessalonika, who accepted the Word with all eagerness, each day examining the writings, if these things would hold thusly.” Therefore Paul said at Acts chapter 26: “22 However obtaining assistance from Yahweh, unto this day I have stood bearing testimony to both the small and the great, saying nothing outside of the things which both the prophets and Moses said are going to happen, 23 whether the Christ was to suffer, whether first from a resurrection from the dead is a light going to be declared to both the people and to the Nations.” Of course by people and nations Paul was referring to both the remnant Israelite people of Judaea and to those nations of ancient Israel in their dispersion.
28 And they came near to the village where they were going, and He pretended to travel further. 29 And they constrained Him saying “Stay with us, for it is near evening and already the day is past.” And He entered in to stay with them.
The phrase rendered “the day is past” is literally “the day is declined”, the verb being κλίνω (2827). In English we may say that it was late in the afternoon. The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D), Washingtonensis (W) and the Majority Text upon which the King James Version is based all want the word already. The reading of the Codex Bezae differs greatly here in other respects also, as it often does. The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Vaticanus (B).
30 And it came to pass upon His reclining with them, taking the bread He blessed it and breaking it He gave it to them, 31 and their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. Then He became invisible to them.
And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him: men can only see those things which God wants them to see, even if those same things are staring them in the face. How many times do men say to themselves “Why didn't I see that?” Often we do not see things because we cannot, and we are constantly reminded that we should be humble.
Then He became invisible to them: there is more to God's creation than what we can usually perceive in our physical bodies in this world. If God cannot transcend this world, then we have no hope that there is a God.
32 And they said to each other “Were our hearts not burning within us as He spoke to us on the road, as He explained the writings to us?”
I would like to take a few moments to discuss the belief in the possibility of a resurrection from the dead, or in the existence of the spirit of a man after his fleshly passing, which was from the earliest times found in all white cultures. Of the belief that men could be resurrected from the dead, when presenting Matthew Chapter 28 here last year (September 23rd, 2011), I discussed at great length the traditions both Hebrew and pagan which reflect such a belief among all of the various branches of the White race from the earliest times.
In 1 Samuel chapter 28 we see that the Israelite King Saul had gone to a necromancer in order to communicate with the deceased Samuel, and indeed the Scripture attests that he did. In the Book of Job at 19:25-29 we find these words: “25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. 28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me? 29 Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.”
In his epistles, Peter described the Spirit of Christ descending to preach “unto the spirits in prison” (1 Peter 3:19). Strong’s lexicon defines sheol, Hebrew #7585, as “hades or the world of the dead ... including its accessories and inmates”, and that is how the word is often used in Scripture. Yahshua Christ Himself mentioned Hades frequently, using the Greek word, and that was the name among the Greeks which originally designated the demon-lord of Tartaros. Tartaros was the underworld abode of the spirits of the dead, and the name Hades later became synonymous for the place itself. The 6th century BC Greek poet Hesiod calls it “dim Tartaros in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth” (Theogony, 119). From the time of Homer, and probably much earlier, this was the abode of the souls of the dead, and in the Odyssey Homer devotes an entire chapter to his hero Odysseus’ supposed visit to the place, where he is depicted as conversing with the spirits of the deceased. Homer and Hesiod wrote at least 600 years before the birth of Christ. In Euripides’ Alcestis, a play which was written nearly 500 years before Christ, the hero Heracles is said to have descended into Hades to bring the heroine Alcestis back from the dead.
Visits by both gods and mortals to the underworld abode of the dead, the living-place of rebels and evil-doers, is the subject of tales found in Sumerian and Egyptian inscriptions which predate the birth of Christ by two-to-three thousand years. Examples are found in the creation myths of the Egyptians, in the ancient Sumerian epic entitled Gilgamesh and the Land of the Living, and in the Sumerian myth entitled Inana's Descent to the Netherworld. Anyone wishing to investigate these inscriptions should locate a copy of Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament edited by James B. Pritchard and published by Princeton University Press in 1969. The volume is a collection of perhaps thousands of inscriptions from the ancient world, and they are replete with evidence that all of our most ancient ancestors and forebears believed in life after death and even the eventual return to a fleshly body, things which we see manifest in our Bibles.
In the Germanic literature which dates to a time long before Christianity came to the North, Niflheim is the underworld abode of Hel, or Hela, who was esteemed to be the goddess of the dead, and the souls of the dead dwelt there. Niflheim and Hela (from whence is the English “hell”) are mentioned in the Edda, i.e. the Voluspa paragraph 42 or The Lay of Vafthrúthnir paragraph 43. See The Poetic Edda translated by Lee M. Hollander, University of Texas Press and Hel in the index. The Voluspa also appeared in Sharon Turner’s The History of The Anglo-Saxons when it was published in the 1840’s, as an appendix to Book 2 of that monumental work. Likewise, the Greek historians attributed the bravery of the Germanic warrior in battle to his belief that being killed in this life, his spirit would not die but would have a better life beyond.
These beliefs in life after death and in resurrection existed therefore among all of the various branches of our White race, and to scoff at them we basically scoff not only at our Bibles, but at all of the traditions of our most ancient ancestors. We can only pretend to know better.
From the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter 2 verses 1, 22 and 23: “For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not aright, Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy: neither was there any man known to have returned from the grave.... [Now in response to the ungodly it is written:] As for the mysteries of God, they knew them not: neither hoped they for the wages of righteousness, nor discerned a reward for blameless souls. For God created man to be immortal, and made him to be an image of his own eternity.” If our Creator God cannot transcend the physical world, then neither shall we, and there is no God at all. Thus is the debate of the past several millennia, and we pray that the ungodly do not prevail. If they do, then all the visible Creation is left to corrupt and filthy reprobates, and then indeed there shall be no explanation for why things are as they are.
33 And arising at that moment they returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven gathered together and those with them, 34 saying that “The Prince really has arisen, and appeared to Simon!” 35 And they related the things on the road, and that He had become known to them as He broke the bread.
The men finding “the eleven gathered together”, it appears as if the other man who was traveling along with Kleopas on the road to Emmaus could not have been one of the twelve either. This also demonstrates that all of Christ's disciples were important to Him, and not only the eleven who remained of those first twelve. The announcement that “the Prince really has arisen, and appeared to Simon” is portrayed as it were coming from those who were gathered with the eleven, who seem to have heard it from them only recently and had in turn been announcing it to others.
It must be noted here, since the name Simon ostensibly refers to Simon Peter, that an appearance of Christ to Peter by this time is not reported in any of the Gospels. Matthew's gospel makes no mention of any appearance by Christ to the apostles from the time where He appears to the women and instructs them to tell the apostles to go to Galilaia, until the time when the apostles depart from Jerusalem and go to Galilaia (Matthew 28:10, 16). The legitimate portion of Mark 16 leaves the women departing from the tomb after having received those same instructions from an angel. John reports himself and Peter as having departed from the empty tomb early in the day, and then he describes at length the encounter which Mary had with Christ in the garden, which is apparently around that same time.
So the encounter with Peter mentioned here by Luke is not recorded anywhere in the other gospels, but that does not mean that it did not happen. Paul, in 1 Corinthians chapter 15, corroborates Luke's account, where not mentioning the encounters which Christ had with the women he writes: “3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas (from the Hebrew word for stone and a name equivalent to Peter), then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.” And here it is also quite clear that Paul used the term apostles to denote a group much larger than the initial twelve, or really eleven since Judas is no longer present.
It must also be noted here, that the spurious portion of Mark chapter 16 is in direct conflict with the testimony of Luke here, where it says (from the King James Version of Mark 16:12-13): “12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.” Here in Luke we learn that the eleven would have had no reason to disbelieve the men, since they themselves has already had similar reports and there is no exclamation of disbelief, but only an exclamation of joyous affirmation. For this and many other reasons, Mark chapter 16 from verse 9 through to its end at verse 20, verses which do not appear in any of the Greek manuscripts known to predate the fifth century, must be rejected.
36 Then upon their speaking these things He stood in their midst
The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W) and the Majority Text upon which the King James Version is based all have the words “Yahshua Himself stood in their midst”. The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Bezae (D).
and says to them “Peace to you.” 37 But being troubled [some manuscripts have terrified, others afraid] and becoming frightened they imagined to be seeing a spirit.
The Codex Bezae (D) has “seeing a phantom” (φάντασμα, 5326), rather than a spirit (πνεῦμα, 4151). In the Epic Cycle, in a poem called the Little Iliad, where the ghost of Achilles appeared to Odysseus the verb used to describe the event was φαντάζομαι, a verb related to φάντασμα. Thus again we also see another early example of a Greek belief in life after death. The noun φάντασμα may also be a “vision, dream...a mere image, unreality” where spirit is always πνεῦμα in the N.T. Yet here we see that in the earliest times ghosts and spirits were equated. In the account of Christ's walking on the water related by both Matthew and Mark, the word φάντασμα appears in all manuscripts at Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49, where the King James Version renders that word as spirit the equation is again manifest.
38 And He said to them: “Why are you troubled and for what reason do disputes arise in your hearts? 39 You see My hands and My feet, that I am He. You touch Me and see, that a spirit has not flesh and bones, just as you see Me having.” 40 And saying this He showed them the hands and feet. 41 But upon their still being incredulous from joy and wondering, He said to them “Have you any food here?” 42 And they gave to Him a piece of broiled fish. 43 And taking it He ate before them.
The Majority Text upon which the King James Version is based inserts at the end of verse 42: “...and of a cone of honey.” (i.e. some of the cone). None of the extant ancient manuscripts contain the words. The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Bezae (D) and Washingtonensis (W). Here we also see it explicitly mentioned that Christ ate fish, directly refuting the lies of many vegetarians. Furthermore, if we believe that He kept His Own law, which are the Old Testament laws, then we must also believe that He ate the meat of lambs, as the children of Israel were explicitly commanded to do on the Passover. He ate the food to further prove to them that He was real, and not merely an apparition, something which they also obviously believed was possible.
44 Then He said to them: “These are My words which I had spoken to you while yet being with you, that it is necessary to fulfill all the things written in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms concerning Me.” 45 Then He opened their minds for which to understand the writings.
Again, what things we perceive in this life are within the provenance of God, and unless God guides a man, the man will remain in blindness. We must consider these things when relating those things which we see as Truth to our brethren who are blinded with the things of the world. Repentance and recognition of God comes before a restoration of vision in every case where Christ healed the blind.
46 And He said to them that “Thusly it is written that the Christ is to suffer and to be resurrected from among the dead in the third day, 47 and for repentance for the remission of errors to be proclaimed in His Name to all the Nations beginning from Jerusalem.
Christ commanded His disciples to take the gospel to all of the nations, not to all nations, as the King James Version and others ignore the definite article when it is convenient for them to do so.
Isaiah 11:10-12 are a Messianic prophecy: “10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Nations seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” It does not ever say that He will gather anyone but the outcasts of Israel and Judah, which are not and never have been the Jews. Jeremiah 30:10-11 help to prove as much: “10 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. 11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” Jeremiah 31:10-11 also help to prove as much: “10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. 11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.”
For this reason, the nations to which the gospel was brought were those dispersed nations of the ancient children of Israel, as Paul explains in Romans chapter 4 that the nations of the promise are the nations which sprung from the loins of Abraham, where in part he had written: “13 Indeed, not through the law is the promise to Abraham or to his offspring, that he is to be the heir of the Society, but through righteousness of faith. 14 For if they from of the law are heirs, the faith has been voided, and the promise annulled. [Only the Jews had the law at the time, and not the long-dispersed and pagan Israelites] 15 For the law results in wrath, so where there is no law, neither is there transgression. 16 Therefore from of the faith, that in accordance with favor, then the promise is to be certain to all of the offspring, not to that of the law only, but also to that of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all; 17 (just as it is written, 'That a father of many nations I have made you,') before Yahweh whom he trusted, who raises the dead to life, and calls things not existing as existing; [the nations Abraham was made a father of had not yet existed, because they were to come into being in his descendants] 18 who contrary to expectation, in expectation believed, for which he would become a father of many nations according to the declaration, 'Thus your offspring will be:'” The universalist dispensationalists are wrong, the promise does not say that many nations would become Abraham's offspring, it says that Abraham's offspring would become many nations! The promises are wholly genetic, like it or not. By the time of Christ, the dispersed children of Israel had indeed become many nations, and they are the nations of the promise. If the children of Israel obtained the promise by keeping the law then all of them have failed and there are no heirs to the covenant. Those of the faith of Abraham are those in the nations that resulted in the promise to Abraham, those who had been dispersed far and wide centuries before Christ, those White nations of the Greco-Roman οἰκουμένη to whom the apostles brought the gospel. These very things are evident throughout Paul's epistles.
48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you, but you sit in the city until when you are endowed with ability [or power] from the heights.”
This is a promise of the events later realized in Acts chapter 2, of the Holy Spirit descending upon the apostles, and the ability given to them to speak in various languages, so that they could bring the gospel to the dispersed nations of Israel. Those languages, it is evident from the testimony there, were the languages of the Greco-Roman οἰκουμένη.
50 And He led them as far as to Bethania, and raising His hands He blessed them. 51 And it happened upon His blessing them that He had separated from them, and was carried up into the heaven.
The Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Bezae want the phrase “and was carried up into the heaven”, which is found in the third century papyrus P75 and in all of the other manuscripts.
52 And they worshipping Him [the Codex Bezae (D) wants the phrase“worshipping Him”] returned to Jerusalem with great joy 53 and were continually in the temple praising Yahweh.
In place of praising, the Codex Bezae has commending; the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Washingtonensis (W) the Majority Text have commending and praising; the text follows the third century papyrus P75 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), and Ephraemi Syri (C).
The Codices Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), and the Majority Text add amen, or truly, to the end of Luke's gospel. The text follows the third century papyrus P75 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Ephraemi Syri (C), Bezae (D), and Washingtonensis (W).
Of course, there were many more and minor variations among the gospel manuscripts than those mentioned here, and most all of them quite trivial.