The first section, from 28:1-10, covers the visit of Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James to the tomb of Jesus. There an angel descends opening the tomb, and incapacitating the guards. The angel addresses the women, and as they leave the area they encounter the risen Jesus.
In the second section the guards return to Jerusalem, where they report to the priests about the events and the priests bribe the guards to lie about them and tell that the disciples had come and stolen the body.
Matthew 28 covers the same material as Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20 in the other gospels. As with the rest of Matthew it seems clear that Matthew is adapting what appears in Mark. Unusually the material not from Mark most closely matches the Gospel of John, unlike the rest of the gospel where non-Markan material is often matched in Luke. Some scholars thus believe that the authors of Matthew and John may have been working from a shared source on the resurrection that wasn't used by the other two gospel writers. A variation on the appearance of Jesus to the women does occur in John, but the wording is completely different in Matthew. The meeting with Jesus is a close variation on the meeting on the women's meeting with the angel, and may be based on that text originally from Mark.
The report of the guards is wholly unique to Matthew, but is matched with the guards content in Matthew 27. This material is thus a creation of Matthew's author, or based on a source only used by that writer. It also parallels the story of the women and the resurrection. This section is clearly apologetical, meant to address anti-Christian allegations that were current at the time of its writing.
The final meeting of Jesus and the disciples to issue the Great Commission appears in all four gospels, but with much variation. In Luke the meeting occurs in Jerusalem and it is also indicated that is the location in John. Mark does not give a location, but in Matthew it happens in Galilee. While similar to Mark, it is not believed that this section is based on that gospel, as the current ending of Mark 16 is today believed to be a later addition. Some scholars believe that the author of Matthew may have been working from the lost ending of Mark.
1In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
9And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
10Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
11Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
12And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
13Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
14And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
15So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
- Ploughman, A. Collection of the Evidence For and Against the Traditional Wording of the Baptismal Phrase in Matthew 28:19
- Hegg, Tim. Matthew 28:19 A Text-Critical Investigation, 2006.
- Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary on the Greek text. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 pg. 1244
- Davies, W.D. and Dale C. Allison, Jr. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1988-1997.
- France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985. pg. 409
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Gospel of Matthew