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Cradle Catholic with a lot of questions; such as, why am I just figuring this stuff out now?

January 10, 2011

Why didn’t early Christians just visit Christ’s tomb to prove that it was empty?

To answer this question, I guess you have to understand the burial process in Judea at the time of Jesus.  It’s believed that the sort of tomb that Jesus was buried in was meant as a temporary storage place.  Following decomposition of the body, the tomb would be emptied.  All remaining bones would be transferred to their final resting place in family tombs. The tomb would, most likely, be then reused.  Given that tombs were regularly emptied, they were not permanently sealed - rather they were shut with doors that could be pushed away when necessary.  The practice of tomb reuse  is supported by both Matthew 27:59-60 and John 19:42, who state that Jesus’ tomb was new and unused.  This is a significant notation recorded in two gospels, and it suggests that other tombs were older and reused.


References: Scripting Jesus by L. Michael White

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