Catholic writers, most notably Mike Aquilina, have in recent years produced dozens of accessible works that have successfully popularized patristics for a predominantly Catholic audience.
These treasured writings predating the Schism and the Reformation nonetheless remain a blind spot for many non-Catholics. Skip to main content. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
He taught the idea often enough that it is evident that he was trying to make the doctrine clear. But the idea was too foreign for his disciples to readily accept. They understood that he would go to Jerusalem and there die, but they do not seem to have grasped what would happen after that. Yet after they had received an outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, the Apostles were able to view the Resurrection with new eyes.
THE ORAL TRADITION OF THE APOSTLES
This background is vital in helping us understand why the gospel writers wrote as they did. The four Gospels are more testimonial in nature and purpose than they are biographical and circumstantial. Each Gospel writer stresses that the Savior truly died. Matthew notes that in addition to Joseph of Arimathaea, three women were present when the Lord was buried.
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We also learn from this account that Joseph carefully wrapped the body in preparation for burial, placed it in the tomb, and personally rolled a large rock over the opening, after which some of the women lingered see Matt. Although no mention is made of the presence of women or of sealing the tomb with a stone, John satisfies the need for more than one witness by noting that Joseph was not alone in his preparations. Taken together, the Gospels leave no doubt that the Savior actually died and was buried.
The spear thrust, the wrapping of the body, the sealing of the tomb, the presence of more than one person at the time of and after the burial amply witness to the actual death of the Lord. Only two facts connected with the Resurrection are common to all four Gospel narratives: that the tomb was empty and that Mary Magdalene was either the first or among the first to see it. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
The Gospel of Mark adds more information.
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He identifies the other Mary as the mother of James and notes the presence of another woman, Salome. The women also learned that they, also, would see the risen Lord. In this account, no angels were present when the women entered the open tomb; rather, the angels are reported to have appeared a few moments later. Luke also tells of another angel who attested the Resurrection; and instead of instructing the women about a future meeting with the risen Lord in Galilee, the angels had them recall a resurrection prophecy the Lord had made while in Galilee.
John outran Peter to the sepulchre but did not enter. While John looked inside and saw the discarded grave clothes, Peter rushed right in.
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Mary of Magdala was the first such witness see Mark —10 ; John Drawn back to the tomb, she stood near it for a time, weeping. Then, looking inside the tomb, she saw two angels, likely the same two she had seen earlier and who had testified to the other women. But Mary did not recognize the angels as divine. When they inquired why she wept, she expressed her fears and, before they could respond, left. At this point the Savior appeared to her.
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Unfortunately, this account offers no sure witness to a physical resurrection. Until he had ascended to the Father, physical contact by itself or physical contact that would unduly detain the Lord was not appropriate.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
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