Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Easter chronology

Evangelical scholars often struggle to synchronize who was at the empty tomb at what time. I'll make a few programmatic observations:
i) Inerrancy makes allowance for reporting events out of sequence. 
ii) As a practical matter, it's often impossible to narrate a complex series of events in their chronological order. Take a historian writing about the Civil War. He couldn't adhere to a strictly chronological account even if he wanted to, because you have so many simultaneous or overlapping incidents at different places. What Northern or Southern politicians were doing at any given time. What Northern or Southern generals were doing at any given time. 
iii) But here's another complication. Why assume the men and women who visited the empty tomb only did that once? If you were a follower of Jesus, and you discovered the tomb was empty, or you heard from others that the tomb was empty, would you only go there one time? Or would you return to the site several times that day, because it was so astonishing that you kept going back to see it again and again? 
So, if we attempt to synchronize the relative order in which people went to the empty tomb, we should make allowance for some of the same people going there more than once on the same day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment