The resurrection accounts in the Gospels are some of the most significant events that took place in history. As such, they can be examined historically for specific details about Jesus’ death and resurrection. In doing so, a historian can learn more about the events surrounding Jesus’ life and what truly happened during this time period.
What specific details in the resurrection accounts in the Gospels can be examined historically?
To begin with, one of the most important details found within these accounts is that Jesus was actually crucified. This fact is verified by both secular and non-secular sources that were written around the same time as when Jesus lived on earth. The Jewish historian Josephus mentions this event in his writings as do Roman historians like Tacitus and Pliny the Younger who wrote about it even further away from its occurrence.
Another detail in these accounts is where Jesus was buried after he was taken down from the cross. All four Gospels agree on this point: He was laid to rest in a tomb near Jerusalem owned by Joseph of Arimathea (Matthew 27:57-60). It is also mentioned outside of Scripture in works like Josephus’ Antiquities 17:12 which states that “he [Joseph] brought him down dead, locked up his corpse in a sepulcher…” Historians have argued for centuries over whether or not there really existed someone named Joseph of Arimathea, but modern scholarship generally holds to his existence as part of historical record.
In addition to those details, there are others unique to each Gospel account which are worth examining if one wishes to get an accurate picture of what transpired leading up to Christ’s resurrection. For example, Matthew 28:1-2 gives us information regarding how many women went to visit Christ’s tomb early Sunday morning—two Marys (Mary Magdalene being one) while Mark 16:1 says there were three women who visited at dawn (Mary Magdalene also being one). Luke 24:22-24 tells us that on their way back home after visiting His tomb they ran into two angels asking them why they were seeking Him among those who were already dead while John 20:11 records Mary Magdalene finding out her Lord had risen when she encountered an angel sitting atop His grave clothes (which had become empty). All these little pieces come together giving us a clearer image about what actually happened before and soon after Christ rose from the dead proving He truly has conquered death once and for all!
Finally, another major detail worth looking into if studying any Gospel account historically would be why exactly did Jesus rise? We know that he said himself He would die and then be resurrected but beyond just thinking it will happen why did it have too? A great answer lies within 1 Corinthians 15 where Paul explains how through His own physical body God Himself displayed victory over sin by conquering death itself once again fulfilling prophecies given beforehand about Him through various prophets throughout history including Isaiah 53:5-6 where we read “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was punishment that brought peace…and with his wounds we are healed.” By putting faith solely on Him mankind now could receive forgiveness thus allowing eternal life without having any other mediator between them either spiritually or physically!
Overall, when studying any Gospel account historically there are numerous specific details which need examination if one wants to gain insight into exactly what happened during this time period regarding Christ’s death & resurrection—details such as where He died & buried; how many witnesses came forth afterwards seeing Him alive postmortem; & above all else why did He decide resurrecting Himself with purpose so mankind too could experience freedom through faith alone thereby receiving eternal life at last!