The resurrection narratives in the four Gospels differ in detail, but in all four the women become the first witnesses, and Mary Magdalene is explicitly named as one witness among them (also Gospel of Peter 12:50—13:57). One could harmonize the accounts, but as they stand they present strong evidence for the basic story: E. P. Sanders (1993:280) may be right to argue that "a calculated deception should have produced greater unanimity." Two matters remain clear: (1) the differences in accounts demonstrate that the Gospel writers were aware of a variety of independent traditions, and (2) these divergent traditions overlap significantly and hence independently corroborate the basic outlines of the story.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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