Resurrection of Jesus:
Christians point to Jesus resurrection as one of the things which distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. After all, the founders of other religions (like Muhammad and Buddha) are all dead; Jesus conquered death. Or did he? For something so important and central to the message, theology, and very nature of Christianity, its curious that the gospel authors would all have such radically different stories about what happened.
Jesus First Resurrection Appearance:
The resurrection of someone dead is an important event, but the gospels dont seem to know where and when Jesus first appeared.
Mark 16:14-15 - Jesus appears to Mary Magdalena but its not clear where (in older endings of Mark, he didnt appear at all)
Matthew 28:8-9 - Jesus first appears near his tomb
Luke 24:13-15 - Jesus first appears near Emmaus, several miles from Jerusalem
John 20:13-14 - Jesus first appears at his tomb
Who Sees Jesus First?:
Mark - Jesus appears first to Mary Magdalena then later to the eleven
Matthew - Jesus appears first to Mary Magdalena, then to the other Mary, and finally to the eleven
Luke - Jesus appears first to two, then to Simon, then to the eleven
John - Jesus appears first to Mary Magdalena, then the disciples without Thomas, then the disciples with Thomas
Womens Reactions to the Empty Tomb:
The gospels agree that the empty tomb was found by women (though not on which women), but what did the women do?
Mark 16:8 - The women were amazed and afraid, so they kept quiet
Matthew 28:6-8 - The women ran away with great joy
Luke 24:9-12 - The women left the tomb and told the disciples
John 20:1-2 - Mary told the disciples that the body had been stolen
Jesus Behavior After His Resurrection:
If someone rises from the dead, his actions should be significant, but the gospels dont agree on how Jesus first behaved
Mark 16:14-15 - Jesus commissions the eleven to preach the gospel
Matthew 28:9 - Jesus lets Mary Magdalene and another Mary hold his feet
John 20:17 - Jesus forbids Mary to touch him because he hasnt ascended to heaven yet, but a week later he lets Thomas touch him anyway
Doubting Jesus Resurrection:
If Jesus rose from the dead, how did his disciples take the news?
Mark 16:11, Luke 24:11 - Everyone doubts and/or is scared at first, but eventually they go along with it
Matthew 28:16 - Some doubt, but most believe
John 20:24-28 - Everyone believes but Thomas, whose doubts are eliminated when he gets physical proof
Jesus Ascends to Heaven:
It wasnt enough that Jesus rise from the dead; he also had to ascend to heaven. But where, when, and how did this happen?
Mark 16:14-19 - Jesus ascends while he and his disciples are seated at a table in or near Jerusalem
Matthew 28:16-20 - Jesus ascension isnt mentioned at all, but Matthew ends at a mountain in Galilee
Luke 24:50-51 - Jesus ascends outisde, after dinner, and at Bethany and on the same day as the resurrection
John - Nothing about Jesus ascension is mentioned
Acts 1:9-12 - Jesus ascends at least 40 days after his resurrection, at Mt. Olivet