Was the apostolic church saying “Mary found Jesus's tomb empty”

Reasons given for answering "Yes"
  • Their stance on the issue persisted to AD 40

      Regarding whether Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty, the Jerusalem church's public stance in AD 30 and AD 40 matched.1 This is relevant because, in AD 40, the public stance of the Jerusalem church was that Mary visually discovered Jesus's tomb empty.2

      1. This should be granted for two reasons:
        • There would sooner/plausibly be evidence/traces of an alternative pre-AD 40 stance, if one existed. (But no such traces exist).
        • The Jerusalem church persistently willed to not change from their AD 30 stance[Forthcoming], whatever it was.
      2. This should be granted for two reasons:
        • * The report that "Mary discovered Jesus's tomb empty" is pre-Markan[Forthcoming] (i.e. Mark simply was relaying information he felt was trustworthy), and this is relevant because the most parsimonious account of it's origin is that it was first told by Mary et. al. at Jerusalem.
        • In keeping with the first evidence above, the whole Mk 16:1-8 tradition (of which "Mary discovered Jesus's tomb empty" is an essential part) was formed very early[Forthcoming] and it was formed by the Jerusalem church itself[Forthcoming]
  • Their stance on the issue persisted to AD 70

      Regarding whether Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty, the Jerusalem church's public stance in AD 30 and AD 70 matched.1 This is relevant because, in AD 70, the public stance of the Jerusalem church was that Mary visually discovered Jesus's tomb empty.2

      1. This should be granted for two reasons: a) There'd sooner/plausibly be evidence/traces of an alternative pre-AD 70 stance, if one existed. (But no such traces exist). b) The Jerusalem church persistently willed to not change from their AD 30 stance, whatever it was[Forthcoming]
      2. This should be granted because: a) Mark and his community, in AD 70, were affirming that "Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty". (After all, the Gospel of Mark dates to/before AD 70[Forthcoming]). This is relevant because the Jerusalem church's gospel-history teachings generally matched the teachings of Mark[Forthcoming]). b) Most Christians in AD 70 were affirming that "Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty". (After all, the diverse extant 1st century reports are all in unanimous agreement on this point. Notably, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were affirming it, and their reports matched what contemporary Christian's at large were affirming[Forthcoming]). This is relevant because the teachings of the Jerusalem church and the Christians at large, or at least the most popular teachings, generally matched[Forthcoming]
  • Their stance on the issue was correct

      Regarding whether or not Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty, the AD 30 Jerusalem church's public stance matched the truth. This is relevant, because the truth of the matter is that Mary did visually discover Jesus's tomb empty.

      1. This should be granted for two reasons.
        • In general, the Jerusalem Church's Gospel-history beliefs were warranted/reliably-produced[Forthcoming] • The Jerusalem sought/lionized relevant eyewitness testimony[Forthcoming], and Mary and her feedback were overtly accessible to them[Forthcoming]
  • Mk 15 narratively anticipates 16

      Mk 15:42-47 (the burial account) narratively _anticipates _16:1-8 (Mary's empty tomb discovery account). This is relevant because the AD 30 Jerusalem church formed the Mk 15 burial account[Forthcoming] and would only affirm traditions which narratively anticipate x, if they believed x.

  • Reasons given for answering "No"
  • Paul didn't believe it

      Paul lacked any belief that Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty >1

      1. This (allegedly) should be granted for two reasons:
        • Paul could only believe that Mary witnessed Jesus's tomb empty if he believed Jesus's tomb was empty. But, he had no such belief[Forthcoming]
        • In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul did not affirm that Mary witnessed Jesus's tomb empty. This (allegedly) is relevant because Paul would want to affirm that Mary witnessed Jesus's tomb empty, if he believed it. We know this because Christians in general would desire to use/acquire a “Mary's testimony proves the empty tomb!” argument[Forthcoming], and Paul willed to give his best case for Jesus's resurrection in 1 Cor 15[Forthcoming]
  • 1 Cor 15 creed originators didn't believe it

      Regarding whether Mary saw Jesus's tomb empty, the 1 Corinthians 15 creed's originators did not include in their creedal report that she did.

      But, so what? Couldn't it simply be that women were considered inept as witnesses[Forthcoming]?1, 2

      1. For example, as noted by Rudolf Schnackenburg (NT professor at Würzburg [d. 2002]): “The reference to the oldest list of appearances in 1 Cor 15:5-8, in which such a Christophany to Mary Magdalene or more still is lacking, is, admittedly no serious counter-argument, because the primitive Church obviously did not place any value on the testimony of women.” [The Gospel according to St. John 3 (Crossroad, 1982), 321.]
      2. More generally, women were considered inept as inept as handlers of divine revelation[Forthcoming]
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