Monday, February 3, 2014

Rising of the Saints: R.T. France's View

NT scholar and Anglican cleric, the late R.T. France, comes to swallow that the report in Matthew 27 about individuals that had passed away but rose after Jesus' death “has no parallel in the other gospel accounts” while at the same time “leaves plenty of unanswered questions for the historically-minded interpreter.”[1]

Some of these unanswered questions France brings into light are: 1) Why was there a two day pause between the opening of the tombs and the saints showing themselves in the holy city (Jerusalem)? 2) What happened to them when all was said and done? 3) If “many” appeared to individuals in Jerusalem how come it is not in any other “historical sources?”[2]
 France concludes, “As with many of Jesus’ scientifically unexplainable miracles, Matthew is not interested in satisfying our natural curiosity or answering empirical skepticism. He tells the story for its symbolic significance.” [3] This commentary is edited by Gordon Fee professor at Regent College and affiliated with the Assembly of God denomination. [4]

 [1]R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 1081.

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