Other evidence aside, the apostles choosing to flee to Galilee in the way supposed is highly implausible.
• …the apostles would obviously prefer to hide amidst a large crowd.2
• …the apostles would not choose to conspicuously leave.3
• …the apostles—as Jews—wouldn’t travel on the Sabbath.4
Rather than feeling to Galilee at Jesus’s arrest, Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John are very clear and invest time in narrating Peter’s staying in Jerusalem and denying Christ in the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion. This is relevant because the Gospel writers are competent historians. Their reports all had ample opportunity to preserve a tradition wherein the apostles fled to Galilee, and yet instead it matches the unanimous attestation that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem.
But against the relevance of that first claim,…
• …the story of Peter’s denials is fictional.1
After Jesus’s arrest, Peter stayed in Jerusalem, specifically following the events of Jesus from a distance, and ultimately denying being a disciple of Jesus’s multiple times because of it.
• This is multiply attested in all four Gospels.1
• This is unlikely to have been lyingly invented;2 memory is a far more likely source.
John says that the Beloved Disciple was at the cross with Jesus’ mother and bore witness to what happened there. (Jn 19. 26-27, 35.)
We read in Jn 18:15 — “Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple”, listing off several detail about this disciple.1 This is relevant because John was a competent history which aimed to getting things right, and grounded its reports in eyewitness testimony. [All forthcoming] This was very much an opportunity to preserve a tradition wherein the apostles fled to Galilee, and yet instead it matches the unanimous attestation that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem.
We read in Lk 23:49 — ‘[Jesus breathed his last and] all his [Jesus’] acquaintances … stood at a distance and saw these things’ This is relevant because Luke was a very competent historian who was dedicated to getting things right, and grounded his reports in eyewitness testimony. [All forthcoming] This was very much an opportunity to preserve a tradition wherein the apostles fled to Galilee, and yet instead it matches the unanimous attestation that the apostles stayed in Jerusalem.
In both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, the women visit Jesus’s tomb (in Jerusalem) on Sunday morning, and are Divinely instructed to tell the apostles to go from where they are to Galilee.
• Mt 28:7 — “tell His disciples that… He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him;. … Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.’”
In c. AD 30-75, Jews complained, “The apostles stole Jesus’s body” Starting some time between AD 30 and 70, at least some Jerusalem Jews were publicly maintaining that Jesus’s body went missing because it was stolen by the apostles. This is relevant because their complaint reflects an early believe—even by the local Jews—that the apostles were still in Jerusalem during Jesus’ crucifixion and the following days. This was an opportunity to preserve a competing tradition, and yet it instead matches the unanimous tradition that the apostles stayed.
The pseudonymous Gospel of Peter reports that the the apostles returned to Galilee after the feast, since like everyone else they had no reason any longer to stay in Jerusalem.
The Gospels say that at Jesus’ arrest, the apostles “scattered” and “fled”.
But against the relevance of that first claim…,
• …the word “scattering” best implies a mere dissembling from a central point: the Garden.1
• The texts say nothing about Galilee,1 and common sense says they hid in the vicinity of Jerusalem. (See above.)