this example of people rising from the dead in the bible is probably an embellishment or false
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51 When Jesus died, the curtain in the Temple was torn into two pieces. The tear started at the top and tore all the way to the bottom. Also, the earth shook and rocks were broken. 52 The graves opened, and many of God"s people who had died were raised from death. 53 They came out of the graves. And after Jesus was raised from death, they went into the holy city, and many people saw them. -Matthew 27:51
Aside from Jesus healing people, this appears to me as the biggest supernatural event in the Gospel: Other people rising from the dead, out of graves!
The fact this story is only mentioned in one of the gospels (and incredibly briefly at that) is interesting. More interesting, perhaps, is that we have a range of non-Biblical records from a similar time, and this event is not recorded. Frankly, it would have been. Corpses stumbling through the streets is not something that people idly dismiss. Even for the people not all that interested in "yet another prophet", but just wanted to eke out their existence - this would have been a huge event.
I know this won't be popular, but it seems the most likely explanation is that this was an embellishment, perhaps intended to resonate with a particular audience, but equally perhaps just accidentally added during the oral tradition (IIRC the gospel of Matthew is usually dated between 40 and 70 years after these events).
The problem, though, is that it is not kosher to suggest/acknowledge this view, because it raises the ugly question: "if that bit is an embellishment, what else is?", and throws the "divine inspired" into chaos. But: I know plenty of Christians who raise an eyebrow at this part of Matthew, particularly because it is so throwaway.
If one visualizes this event happening then it is likely that the same was possibly not a public fanfare as it is made out in this question:
"The graves opened". It would be not right to take these words literally because when someone is raised from the death, this is likely to be an expression in describing that event.
"Many of God"s people who had died were raised from the death". Note that not all the dead people came out of graves but only God"s people (Holy people) came back to life.
Also note that the next passage is very specifically saying that they went to holy city- meaning Jerusalem. It is not that these dead people came out of the grave and strolled the streets of their respective localities where they lived. We can safely conclude here that they were seen by a very few people, that too by those who were in the know of recognising them.
This event would be a personal experience for each one of these people who saw the risen people and would not be a public phenomenon or an exhibition, where all the dead people would be parading through the holy city with a tag on them so that all people will see.
These "God"s people" could also be from all over the world. So it is unlikely that all the people who saw them in (holy city) Jerusalem would recognise them.
There is another possibility: These few chosen people witnessing the event, could be also holy people who were witnessing their presence in holy city something similar to encounter of Jesus with a few chosen, for we find something like this here:
Acts. 10:40 but God raised him up on the third day and caused him to be seen, 10:41 not by all the people, but by us, the witnesses God had already chosen, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
What Mathew is recording was possibly his own testimony of this unique event or of those pious witnesses who confided in him during his ministry in the holy city.
Hence it is likely that this event was occurring in isolation with the knowledge of few and failed to rattle everyone in the holy city to become it known to everyone at that time. We would never know God"s mind but one possible reason for restricting the knowledge of this event to few chosen could be that Jesus was not yet resurrected and for that reason the Jews were not be alerted about it till it happened. This event in Mathew could be one of such kind, which was known only to a very few and somehow Mathew was one of the few who knew it.
Regarding second sub-question: The context where this event is narrated is in the midst of narration of yet another great event that was occurring: Dying of Son of God on cross for the humanity. Deviating from the narration of this and detailing on an event of people rising from the dead (when there are already other detailed narrations running into several verses on such similar events elsewhere in Gospels) would have diluted the importance of this main event of dying on the cross.
Each and every miracle that Jesus performed, including numerous other phenomenons that surrounded Him (His birth, transfiguration etc.) were not ordinary but were all greatest supernatural events. Regardless of this, we find that some of these events are not mentioned in all the Gospels.
It is common to see that some people attack the Bible for having four versions of the same story in the Gospels and other people attack the Bible for not having four exact copies of the same stories in the Gospels. Birth of Jesus is mentioned only in Matthew and Luke. Since it is not mentioned in Mark and John does it means that we should discard the fact that he was ever born?
Likewise, the event of Lazarus rising from the dead is recorded only in John"s Gospel and in no other...."
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Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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