How many men or angels appeared at the tomb?

Matt 28:2; Mark 16:5; Luke 24:4; John 20:1-2, 12

  1. An angel of the Lord on the stone (Matthew 28:1-2) - "Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave. 2 And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it."
  2. A young man (Mark 16:5) - "And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed."
  3. Two men (Luke 24:4) - "And it happened that while they were perplexed about this, behold, two men suddenly stood near them in dazzling apparel."
  4. Two angels (John 20:1-2,12) - "Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. 2 And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him...12 and she beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying."

There is no discrepancy at all.  An angel of the Lord moved the stone and was sitting upon it outside (Matthew 28:2).  The two men (Luke 24:4) were angels (John 20:12).  Mark 16:5 presents the only potential issue and it isn't the only one at all.  If there were two angels in the tomb, then there was at least one.  This one was on the right.  Therefore, we see that there was one angel outside and two on the inside of the tomb.





About The Author

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