The various gospel accounts of the resurrection are so different, it's hard to know what to focus on to prove a contradiction. But the visit of Mary Magdalene to the tomb of Jesus is central. In particular, I don't think Matthew 28 can be harmonised with John 20. Here's why.
According to Matthew, Mary Magdalene (and also "the other Mary") went to the tomb at dawn on the first day of the week. As they did so, the stone blocking it was moved aside by an angel. This is Matthew 28:1-2:
It is not clear whether they actually saw the angel do this. In any case, after the angel speaks to them (verses 5-7), they leave - filled with joy - to inform the disciples. On the way, they actually encounter Jesus himself. This is Matthew 28:8-9:
John also describes an early morning visit by Mary Magdalene to the tomb. She finds the tomb deserted and tells Simon Peter and John that the body had been stolen. This is John 20:1-2:
The problem is obvious: if Mary met an angel at the tomb, and then Jesus himself (as Matthew says) then why does she merely report that the body had been stolen?
John later describes a second visit by Mary to the tomb. Perhaps one can say that the visit described in Matthew 28 is this second visit, which is at John 20:11-12 and onwards:
But this doesn't work. In John, the stone was removed before Mary Magdalene's first visit. And yet, Matthew 28:2 says that the stone was removed as Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were arriving; so he must be talking about that first visit, not the second visit.
Furthermore, Matthew is clearly describing the same visit to the tomb as Mark 16:1-8. In Mark, we are told that Mary and friends were bringing spices to the tomb to anoint Jesus' body with, whilst worrying about how they were going to move the stone. This makes no sense if Mary already knew the body was missing.
So, it seems we're forced into saying that Matthew and Mark are talking about the first visit John describes, in which case it's bizarre that Mary tells the disciples the body has been stolen, and then weeps at the empty tomb.
Apparently, the standard solution to this problem is to say: yes, Matthew is describing Mary's first visit, but she panicked and ran away (as per John 20:1-2) as soon as she saw the stone was missing. And so, she never actually met Jesus (or the angel) at that point. But this explanation is impossible. Matthew's account only mentions two women, and then says that "they" met Jesus on their way to tell the disciples about the angel.
It's certainly true that Mark's account mentions a third woman, Salome. But Matthew does not, so he can't expect his readers to understand "they" as referring to anyone but Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, who are the only women he mentions. Likewise, Matthew refers to "the women" at verse 28:5, and this faces exactly the same problem - which women? He can only mean Mary and Mary.
Anyway, this analysis is overly technical. Just reading Matthew 28:1-9 should convince any normal reader. Matthew's meaning is crystal clear.
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