Resurrection appearances of Jesus

Resurrection appearances of Jesus

The major Resurrection appearances of Jesus are reported in the New Testament to have occurred after his death and burial and prior to his Ascension. These are: , . Among these primary sources, most scholars believe First Corinthians was written first, authored by Paul of Tarsus, circa 55.

Appearances reported in the New Testament

1 Corinthians 15

# "seen of Cephas, then of the twelve" , ,

The antiquity of the creed has been located by many biblical scholars to less than a decade after Jesus' death, originating from the Jerusalem apostolic community. [see Wolfhart Pannenberg, "Jesus—God and Man" translated Lewis Wilkins and Duane Pribe (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968) p. 90; Oscar Cullmann, "The Early church: Studies in Early Christian History and Theology", ed. A. J. B. Higgins (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966) p. 66–66; R. E. Brown, "The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus" (New York: Paulist Press, 1973) pp. 81; Thomas Sheehan, "First Coming: How the Kingdom of God Became Christianity" (New York: Random House, 1986 pp. 110, 118; Ulrich Wilckens, "Resurrection" translated A. M. Stewart (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew, 1977) p. 2; Hans Grass, "Ostergeschen und Osterberichte", Second Edition (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1962) p. 96; Grass favors the origin in Damascus.] Concerning this creed, Campenhausen wrote, "This account meets all the demands of historical reliability that could possibly be made of such a text," [Hans von Campenhausen, "The Events of Easter and the Empty Tomb," in "Tradition and Life in the Church" (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1968) p. 44] whilst A. M. Hunter said, "The passage therefore preserves uniquely early and verifiable testimony. It meets every reasonable demand of historical reliability." [Archibald Hunter, "Works and Words of Jesus" (1973) p. 100]

Mark's account

Each appearance has been the focus of much literary comment during the medieval era, and the York Cycle of English mystery plays has a whole play about the appearance to Mary. However, the ending of Mark varies substantially between ancient manuscripts, and scholars are in near universal agreement that the final portion of the traditional ending, in which all Mark's resurrection appearances occur, is a later addition not present in the original version of Mark's gospel. of Mary Magdalene "and the other Mary" taking hold of his feet.

There are a wide variety of proposed solutions, perhaps the most facile being suggestions of textual corruption, with some saying that the word "not" was not originally there, while W.E.P Cotter proposed that the text originally said "fear" rather than "touch" (i.e. "do not fear me"), and W.D. Morris has proposed it originally said "fear to touch" (i.e. "do not fear to touch me").

There is, however, no manuscript evidence for these suggestions, and so most scholars concentrate on non-textual arguments. Some have proposed that Jesus' wounds were sore and so he disliked the pain inflicted by being touched, while others believe there were ritualistic reasons involved. Kraft proposes that it was against ritual to touch a corpse, and Jesus wished to enforce this, regarding himself as dead, while C. Spicq proposes that Jesus saw himself as a (Jewish) high priest, who was not meant to be "sullied" by physical contact, and others still have proposed that Mary is being ordered to have faith and not seek physical proof.

These non-textual solutions neglect the fact that John later describes Thomas Didymus as being encouraged to touch Jesus' wounds, apparently contradicting the prior arguments. Consequently other proposals hinge on portraying Jesus as upholding some form of propriety, with Chrysostom [Chrysostom's idea differs from any notion of merely human "propriety": he pictures Jesus as telling Mary not to hold him as if he were still as he had been before his resurrection ( [ Homily 86 on the Gospel of John] ).] and Theophylact arguing that Jesus was asking that more respect be shown to him. The notion of "propriety" held by some is linked to the idea that, while it was inappropriate for a woman to touch Jesus, it was fine for a man like Thomas. Kastner has argued that Jesus was naked, since the grave clothes were left in the tomb, and so that John portrays Jesus as being concerned with Mary being tempted by his body.

H.C.G. Moule suggested that Jesus is merely reassuring Mary that he is firmly on Earth and she need carry out no investigation, and others have suggested that Jesus is merely concerned with staying on-topic, essentially instructing Mary "don't waste time touching me, go and tell the disciples". Barrett has suggested that as Jesus prohibits Mary by arguing that he "has not ascended to [his] father", he could have ascended to heaven before meeting Thomas (and after meeting Mary), returning for the meeting with Thomas, though this view implies that the meeting with Thomas is some form of "second" visit to Earth, hence raising several theological issues, including that of a second coming, and is consequently unfavourably viewed by most Christians. John Calvin argued that Mary Magdalene (and the other Mary) had started to cling to Jesus, as if trying to hold him down on Earth, and so Jesus told her to give up. [If Calvin used the word "cling" or its equivalent, he was translating more exactly the original text of ]

Liturgical use

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Resurrection appearances of Jesus are used in an eleven-week Matins cycle of Gospel readings, known as Matins Gospels.

Appearances reported outside the New Testament

Gospel of the Hebrews

In the Gospel of the Hebrews, Jesus appears to James the Just [ and to Peter in , the Bible only records pre-Ascension appearances of Christ. Yet a number of post-Ascension visions of Jesus and Mary have been reported long after the Book of Revelation was written, some as recently as this century. The Holy See endorses but a fraction of these claims, yet some of these visionaries have received beatification and some have achieved sainthood. However, Catholics are not required to believe in these visions.

And, despite the expected controversies, the post-Ascension visions of Jesus and the Virgin Mary have, in fact, played a key role in the direction of the Catholic Church, e.g. the formation of the Franciscan order, the devotions to the Holy Rosary, the Holy Face of Jesus and the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (As an example of a recent reported appearance, see: Artemio Félix Amero, Cordoba Argentina.) [Interview in Spanish with pictures,]

The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican has a published and detailed set of steps for “Judging Alleged Apparitions and Revelations" that claim supernatural origin. The Holy See does, in fact, recognize a few post-Ascension conversations with Jesus. For instance, the Vatican biography of Saint Teresa of Avila clearly refers to her gift of interior locution and her conversations with Jesus [Vatican Biography of St. Teresa of Avila ] . The Vatican biography of Saint Faustina Kowalska goes further in that it not only refers to her conversations with Jesus, but quotes some of these conversations [Vatican Biography of St. Faustyna Kowalska ] .

The post-Ascension appearances may be classified into three groups: "interior locutions" where no visual contact is reported (e.g. Saint Teresa of Avila), "visions" where visual (and at times physical) contact is claimed (e.g. Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque) and "dictations" where large amounts of text is produced (e.g. Maria Valtorta). Saint Juan Diego's reported vision of the Virgin Mary produced a physical artifact, but (apart from stigmata) there are no reported physical artifacts from post-Ascension appearances of Jesus.

As a historical pattern, Vatican approval of a vision seems to have followed general acceptance of the vision by well over a century in most cases. However, some recent Catholic devotions have had an accelerated path. For instance the Holy Face Medal is based on a vision reported as recently as 1936 by Sister Maria Pierina and was approved by Pope Pius XII in 1958.



*Barrett, C.K. "The Gospel According to John, 2nd Edition". London:SPCK, 1978.
*Brown, Raymond E. "The Gospel According to John: XIII-XI" "The Anchor Bible Series Volume 29A" New York: Doubleday & Company, 1970.
*Bruce, F.F. "The Gospel According to John." Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983.
*Leonard, W. "St. John." "A Catholic Commentary on the Bible." B. Orchard ed. New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1953.
*Schnackenburg, Rudolf . "The Gospel According to St. John: Volume III". Crossroad, 1990.
*Tilborg, Sj. van and P. Chatelion Counet. "Jesus' Appearances and Disappearances in Luke 24", Leiden etc.: Brill, 2000.
*Wesley, John. "The Wesleyan Bible Commentary." Ralph Earle ed. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1964.
*Westcott, B.F. "The Gospel of St. John." London: John Murray, 1889.

External links

* [ Resurrection of Jesus Christ] from the Catholic Encyclopedia
* [
* [ What did the angels tell Mary?]
* [ a commentary on the appearances according to John] , written by John Calvin
* [ Jesus Appears to His Disciples] —a Protestant commentary
* [ Recognizing Jesus] —an evangelical argument
* [ A Harmony of the Resurrection Accounts] by an evangelical
* [ The Resurrection Account: Does it Make Sense?] —the view of a Puritan

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