I did a thorough comparison of the four Gospels comparing the four versions of the resurrection story. The amount of discrepancies are ridiculous. The fact that the story does not better match between the four reports is evidence that the story did not actually happen as any of the four describe. They cannot all be right, as they contradict each other. But they can certainly all be wrong. 

Here is a table describing the differences side by side:

Notice that only one book bothers talking about the ZOMBIE JEW SAINTS that got up and walked the streets. Notice how different the actions taken by the women are. In the case of Mark, some manuscripts say they went out quickly and reported the incident whereas some other manuscripts say the women said nothing to nobody. Notice how only Matthew speaks of an earthquake and has the stone rolled away with the women present, whereas the other three all state the stone was already rolled away when the women arrived. And something I found interesting is how the women regarded the incident as a body theft... they did not think anything supernatural happened... except perhaps in Matthew, since in that case god came down and did it in front of them. 

So Christians must pick which story they prefer. They likely go with Matthew, which is ironic considering Matthew contains known forgeries mentioned in the margins of their own Bibles. Considering Matthew is the most divergent of the four, it should be the one least used, but it has all the magic hooey that Christians like which is likely why they prefer it, ignoring the major authenticity issue with that Gospel in particular. 

Not that any of the four books were actually written down by the individuals that they are named for. Heck, we cannot even confirm Matthew, Mark, Luke or John even existed. At some point some scribe wrote down hearsay of oral traditions passed on for decades after the reported events. That is all we can say for sure. There is no way to assign a truth value to the claims themselves, or even to the existence of individuals reporting the claims.

I abandoned Christianity a LONG time ago due to similar inconsistencies as these, and having never found evidence of any god. But I found this particular study pretty interesting and worth posting. 

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Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on August 10, 2014 at 2:08am

Thanks for all the compliments. I figured you all would like this one! I actually took the chart out of a chapter of the book I wrote for debating theism, where I did a more thorough analysis. 

What kills me is that if there is any truth to the claim at all, it would be that Jesus told his followers that he would rise from the dead, he got killed, was in the tomb for three days, and some follower figured that he had better snatch the body or the whole religion would fail due to that rather important prophecy that would remain unfulfilled. 

Another part of the story that I though was ridiculously funny is that Jesus, while vanishing supernaturally, bothered to fold his laundry before leaving the tomb. I think the guy that snatched the body did not think this through very well. He should have left the garments in the outline of the body flat where the body was laying so it would look like the body simply vanished. Instead, the guy that snatched the body thought it was a good idea to fold the garments and wrappings neatly and leave them there for discovery.

He probably figured that if he took the clothing with him, people would just think the body was stolen. He rationalized that leaving the clothing would seem like an unlikely extra step that body thieves would bother with. But again, the fact that he folded the clothing looks highly suspicious. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on August 9, 2014 at 1:31pm

I agree with Carl, The Flying Atheist.  I saved your post and chart.  Thanks Gregory.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on August 9, 2014 at 1:28pm

Great job.  That's a very clear and concise way of showing the contradictions -- in chart form.  It's much easier to see as an overview.  More charts like this should be made about the bible contradictions. 

Comment by Freethinker31 on August 9, 2014 at 12:39pm

@Loren......Actually, I was being  facetious....but your  reaction is priceless....:) 

Comment by Loren Miller on August 9, 2014 at 12:26pm

"A great Sci-Fi movie?!?"  EEEEWWWWWWWWW!  I'd sooner watch Plan 9 from Outer Space!!!

Comment by Freethinker31 on August 9, 2014 at 12:17pm

Well done  Gregory....Your piece  just reinforces  the absurdity  of the Bible....When  will our  Theist   friends  wake up and  realize  that the Bible  is pure fantasy and  would make a great  Sci-Fi movie... 

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 9, 2014 at 11:40am

Gregory, thanks for the "four versions of the resurrection story", I like the excellent example of how to read the bible. When the evidence begins to pile up, when prayers are not answered, when the "fruits of the spirit" do not materialize, the scales began to fall off my eyes and it became clear that the only prayers I had answered were the ones upon which I took decisive action. How many prayers of the Palestinians and Israelis have been answered? Where is peace and justice in the part of the world where three Abrahamic faiths began? Where is their god? 

I see no evidence of god ever existing except in the minds and hearts of Homo sapiens who created the concept to answer the mysteries of life, i.e. birth, life, death, day, night, water, Earth and sky, etc. Humanity and indeed, all living things have paid a high price for the constructs that came out of wondering why. 

Comment by Michael Penn on August 9, 2014 at 9:11am

Good job, GPD. Like you, I'm noticing that no one actually witnessed a resurrection. When was it that the diciples stopped believing the body was stolen and started believing it was resurrected? Even if we acknowledge that Jesus and an angel were at the tomb, why is it that they were not recognized? The theist thinks this all makes perfect sense and the persons at the scene were bright and shining, so this is why nobody recognized Jesus. Then we have to deal with one report that the young man in the white robe was not recognized either. Later, when everyone got their story straight, Jesus was said to have appeared to others "in a different form."(Mark 16:12) What form was that and how did they know it was him? Remember that Mary Magdalene even saw the risen Jesus and did not know it was him. How do you not recognize a man that all of them knew so well? In the writings of John she was even told "do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended onto my father." If she did touch him would she have been electrocuted or something, or would the freshly risen body of Jesus have been contaminated? LOL  Nobody knows for sure, but we do know they all had trouble believing it was really him. This was true for the limited number of people at the tomb and also for everyone much later.

Theists want to believe that body theft was not an option here, so the supernatural must have happened. Why? Maybe gullibility. They argue that the authorities would have nothing to gain in stealing the body, so Jesus must have been resurrected. How so? We find more and more today that other sects of believers existed back then, so why not even in Jesus' lifetime? Certainly Simon the Zealot and even Judas had different views of who Jesus was and why he was there. Maybe his body could of had significance to some of them. By descriptions of men seen at the tomb, the Essenes could have been present. Maybe they took him, but modern believers also argue that possibly Jesus and all the rest were Essene.

At any rate, it's easy to see how resurrection stories got started. Especially if there is something to be gained by the story.

I saw Bob yesterday, but he has become very crafty. Yesterday he looked just like Tommy, but that sly Bob is not fooling me. IRMC

Comment by Loren Miller on August 9, 2014 at 6:19am

It has been said that eyewitness testimony is the most unreliable form of evidence.  Looking at the above, all I can say is: "I give you Exhibit A!"

Comment by Gregory Phillip Dearth on August 9, 2014 at 3:10am

Regarding the 'WHAT' row: the point is that none of the four stories describe people actually witnessing the body of Jesus disappearing or being resurrected in their presence. They all START with just an empty tomb. Christians simply ignore the vastly more probable reason of body theft, something even the witnesses in the story initially thought was the case. 

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