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Posted September 7th, 2009 | Permalink

This, of course, is from the story of the resurrection of the dead towards the end of the Gospel of Matthew.


Among the early Christians, the gospels were not static, unchanging documents, but rather were freely changed and added to. For example, the earliest available copies of the Gospel of Mark have four different endings. Another example would be the fact that the "cast the first stone" story in the Gospel of John does not appear in the ancient manuscripts until the fifth century Codex Bezae (F. 133b through F. 134b)


The gospel of Matthew is a copy of the Gospel of Mark with some rewording and stories added to it. Almost every verse of Mark is included in Matthew, and almost always in the same order. Much of it is reworded, and much of it is taken word-for-word from Mark. By comparing the two books, and seeing what changes the author of Matthew made, one can see what his intentions were in compiling this gospel. One of his main intentions seems to be to convey to his audience that Jesus was the Jewish messiah prophesied about in the Jewish scriptures.


This story in the quoted passage about holy people raising from the dead at the time of Jesusís death is one such example of the author inserting a story with that intent. Jewish writings that predicted a resurrection of righteous people include Isaiah 26:19, Daniel 12, 2 Maccabees 7:9, 7:14, 7:23, 12:43-45, and 1 Enoch 51.


If one compares Matthew and Mark in their original Greek, it becomes easy to see exactly what parts in Matthew came from Mark, and what parts were added. Click here to see the context of this story compared to the corresponding section in Mark. Iíve highlighted in red where the words are the same in the corresponding verses.


Choose an English translation to read this passage in its context:

English Standard Version | King James Version| New International Version

Compare with its parallel passage in Mark:

English Standard Version | King James Version | New International Version

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Questions? Comments? Email me at fred@bibletastic.com
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