I’ve recently finished listening/reading the book “Goodbye Jesus” by former Pastor Tim Sledge. The vast majority of the book is his life story told in great detail (he had a significant ministry in the southern Baptist movement in the 80s and 90s) however in the last chapters, he really outlines in his various grievances with belief in the Christian God. I’m not saying I believe everything he says but he is a sensible, intelligent and down to earth man. What he says is certainly coming from a place of common sense analysis and reflection, and also from experience in ministry very few could parallel. Anyhow, in one chapter he explains how he conducted an analysis of the difference between Jesus’ last days on earth as described in the four gospels. Here is a below quote summarising the differences he found in the post resurrection appearances of Jesus
Where did the first appearances of the resurrected Jesus occur? Matthew says they saw the resurrected Jesus in Galilee. Luke says they saw him in Jerusalem. John’s Gospel doesn’t specify the location, but indicates it was on the same day as the day the empty tomb had been discovered. Did the disciples see Jesus on the Sunday of the resurrection in Jerusalem, then ignore Jesus’s command to stay in Jerusalem, instead making the 100-mile trip to Galilee where they saw Jesus again, although Luke indicates he had already ascended into heaven in Jerusalem? Then, did they head back to Jerusalem where they saw Jesus another time with Thomas present—even though there is no mention of Thomas not being present in Galilee?
— Goodbye Jesus: An Evangelical Preacher’s Journey Beyond Faith by Tim Sledge
He then later states about the resurrection being described as the single most important event in all human history and yet the descriptions around it being marked and varied. He reflects how odd and unsettling that is.
In doing some justice to this topic, I’ve looked to see if there is a way to blend the various appearances of Jesus post resurrection and the old Answers in Genesis team gave it a very solid go in this article
The article is too long to quote here but seems to reconcile the issue of appearing in Jerusalem or Galilee fairly well, although I’m not 100% sure. So, I’m wondering - who’s right? Is Tim Sledge justified in his newfound skepticism of the post resurrection accounts or, have Answers In Genesis sufficiently synchronised the account to all blend together harmoniously?
It will be interesting to read people’s thoughts on this and hopefully a helpful topic to discuss, albeit I realise a very sensitive one with the resurrection being the most critical aspect of Christian faith