Anything to quibble with here?

The 11 resurrection appearances (Mt 28; Mk 16; Lk 24; Jn 20-21; Acts 9:3-6; 1 Cor 15:5-8)

  • First and second appearances (Mt 28:1-10; Mk 16:1-11; Lk 24:1-11; Jn 20:1-18)
    • Mary Magdalene, Aunt Mary (wife of Cleopas, Joseph’s brother), Cousin Salome (daughter of Cleopas and Mary), and Joanna see the angels and empty tomb, and at some point therein Magdalene leaves to get Peter and John (Mt 28:1-8; Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-9; Jn 20:1-10)
    • The other women eventually leave to give the testimony of the angels to the apostles, which is denied, while Mary Magdalene returns to the tomb with Peter and John (Lk 24:10-11)
    • First appearance to Mary Magdalene at the tomb on Easter Sunday (Mk 16:9-11; Jn 20:11-18)
      • Peter and John return to the upper room, while Magdalene encounters the risen Christ after mistaking him for the gardener
      • Magdalene’s testimony is denied by the apostles
    • Second appearance on Easter Sunday to Aunt Mary, cousin Salome, and Joanna at an undetermined place in Jerusalem (Mt 28:9-10)
      • Christ appears to the women after their testimony from the angels was denied by the apostles
      • Their testimony is again denied by the apostles
  • Third appearance on Easter Sunday to Peter, but no details are recorded (Lk 24:34; 1 Cor 15:5)
  • Fourth appearance on Easter Sunday to Uncle Cleopas (Joseph’s brother) and an unnamed disciple on the Road to Emmaus (Mk 16:12-13; Lk 24:13-35)
  • Fifth appearance on Easter Sunday to the 10 apostles (except Thomas) in the upper room for the institution of the Sacrament of Penance – the apostles should have immediately gone to Galilee upon the testimony of the women, but Christ must condescend to “prove” himself amidst their unbelief (Lk 24:36-49; Jn 20:19-23)
  • Sixth appearance the following Sunday to the 11 apostles in the upper room for the “doubting Thomas” episode (Mk 16:14; Jn 20:26-29; 1 Cor 15:5)
  • Seventh appearance an unspecified time thereafter at the Sea of Tiberias to the apostles Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James and John of Zebedee, and 2 unnamed disciples (Jn 21:1-23)
  • Eighth appearance an unspecified time thereafter at Galilee to more than 500 disciples, along with the “Great Commission” (Mt 28:16-20; Mk 16:15-18; 1 Cor 15:6)
  • Ninth appearance an unspecified time thereafter to cousin James the Lesser (son of Cleopas and Mary), but no details are recorded (1 Cor 15:7)
  • Tenth appearance at the Ascension on the 40th day after Easter Sunday at the Mount of Olives to the faithful (Mk 16:19; Lk 24:50-52; Acts 1:6-11; 1 Cor 15:7)
  • Eleventh appearance a few years thereafter on the Road to Damascus for Paul’s conversion (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Cor 15:8)


Some possible arguments, as well, as to why the Galilee appearance with the “Great Commission” in the Gospels in the same as the appearance to more than 500 disciples that Paul mentions:

  • Galilee seems to be the biggie, as it was spoken of from day 1, with both the angels and Christ telling the women to instruct the apostles to go to Galilee, which they seemingly should have on Easter Sunday, simply based on the testimony of the women. Thus, it seems reasonable that this biggie would be the one with the most witnesses.
  • Since this is the one resurrection appearance that is anticipated (Matthew says that they go to the mountain that Jesus directed them to, so the apostles seemingly know ahead of time when this is going to happen after having failed to respond to the call on Easter Sunday), the apostles would have been able to gather up all the troops in preparation. How else would more than 500 disciples otherwise be gathered together for a spontaneous resurrection appearance?
  • Matthew writes that those at Galilee worship Christ, though some doubt, but what apostles could still be doubting at this point? Surely there must be others there who have yet to see the risen Christ. This then explains why the Church was smaller come Pentecost Sunday, as some don’t believe, and so they fall away.
  • Galilee is the “Great Commission”, so it makes sense that the whole Church would be gathered together, as that way you can witness the authority that Christ has given to the apostles and the task distinct to the Church.
  • It’s on a mountain, a place where more than 500 could conceivably be gathered.