Did or did not the women tell what happened?

Matt 28:8; Mark 16:8; Luke 24:9; John 20:18

  1. They told what happened
    1. (Matthew 28:8) - "And they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples."
    2. (Luke 24:9) - "and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest."
    3. (John 20:18) - "Mary Magdalene *came, announcing to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord," and that He had said these things to her."
  2. They said nothing
    1. (Mark 16:8) - "And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid."

The best explanation is that the women initially said nothing (Mark 16:8) and then later told the disciples what they saw (Matthew 28:8; Luke 24:9).  It would make sense that they were frightened and didn't know what to do or say.  But then later, of course, they spoke up.  The John 20:18 account is chronologically later than the other references and is not relevant in this difficulty.

Please see the Resurrection Chronology page to see how the verses fit together.


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About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.