Did Mary visit the wrong tomb (not Jesus's)?

“No, after all…
  • Graveclothes were inside

    There is an empty tomb with a pile of clothes. Light rays are beaming off of them.

    The tomb that Mary visited lacked a corpse and instead had a corpses graveclothes in it.

    See this full page to analyze these three evidences:

    This is relevant because empty tombs would not standardly have graveclothes resting on their respective benches, and if they did the clothes would not be arranged so as to appear that human hand had not removed them, is how these graveclothes appeared to viewers).

  • Jesus's tomb was recognizable

    Jesus's empty tomb with the stone rolled back and a check mark over it.

    The tomb in which Jesus was placed was intrinsically recognizable.

    After all...

    • Jesus was observed to have been buried alone in a new tomb.1
    • Tombs in general were intrinsically recognizable.2

    This is relevant because, if the tomb was recognizable, then it by definition would be hard to mistake for another.

    1. This is multiply attested. Mt 27:60, Lk 23:53, Jn 19:41-42.
    2. In general it was hard to mistake such tombs. From the tomb's golel (the blocking-stone) to its surroundings, there was a plethora variation in tombs.
      • Robert Stein (NT professor): “…this was no Forest Lawn Cemetary-Jerusalem Branch, where one could mistake tomb 10,358 with look-alike tomb 18,494! This was a private burial tomb. We have no reason for concluding that there were similar tombs in the immediate area that could have been confused with this one.” [Jesus the Messiah (IVP, 1996), 267.]
  • The Jerusalem church didn't perpetuate a blunder

    If the AD 30 Jerusalem church continued to proclaim that Mary discovered Jesus's tomb empty, then it was not the result of their perpetuating a wrong-tomb blunder they inherited from her.

    This is relevant because the AD 30 Jerusalem did continue to proclaim Mary's discovery report as true.

    So? Plausibly...

      • C. E. B. Cranfield (NT scholar at Durham): “…it is difficult to imagine how [a wrong tomb] mistake would not have been quickly corrected.” [“The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” in The Historical Jesus in Recent Reserch, eds. Dunn & McKnight (Eisenbrauns, 2005), 390.]
SHOW/HIDE MENU