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Luke 24 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Luke 24 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

"They found the stone rolled away."
Was the tomb opened or closed?

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

On if the angels were inside or outside, see Matthew 28:2.
On whom the women did see, see Matthew 28:2.

4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

In the previous verse, the author of the SAB also asked if the angels were sitting or standing. And we have the usual sloppy logic. If angels are described as sitting, they will sit forever, right? They can never stand. Sigh.
Initially the angels sat, Mark 16:5. But they rose when they began to speak to them.
The verse in John 20:11 is a later occasion and should not be compared to this verse, it happened after Mary, John 20:2, had left and returned.

5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

"He ... is risen."
Jesus came back to life after being dead for a while.
(24:6-8) "Remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee."
Did Jesus forewarn the apostles of his death and resurrection?
Yes, Jesus did, but see John 20:9.

7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

8 And they remembered his words,

9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

"And told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest."
Did the women immediately tell the disciples?
They told the disciples, but not anyone they met while on their way to the disciples, see Mark 16:8.

10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

"Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women."
How many women came?

11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

"And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not."
When Mary Magdalene and the other women gave their account of the resurrection to the apostles "their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not."
Yes, sadly, and even after Jesus had told them these things would happen, they did not believe. They were afraid and unbelieving. How in the world came these people later to evangelize the world and how did all except John died a martyr?

12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

"Two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus."
To whom did Jesus first appear?
Lukas makes no claim that Jesus appeared first to these two people. Jesus appeared to many people on this day. See also Matthew 28:9.

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

"But their eyes were holden that they should not know him."
Two of Jesus' disciples failed to recognize him after his supposed resurrection. Maybe that was because the person they saw wasn't really Jesus.
As this verse says, there eyes were closed, not by themselves, but by the hand of God, that's why did not recognize him at this moment. But when God removed His hand, they certainly recognized him (verse 31). And they certainly recognized his teachings (verse 32).
But what other person does the author of the SAB have in mind that could appear and disappear at will (verse 31), who could show the signs of being crucified (verse 40), and could pass the test of being recognized by eleven very unbelieving disciples who walked with Him very closely for over three years?

17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

"They had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive."
Did Mary Magdalene recognize Jesus?
What the two relate here are not the words and story of Mary Magdalene. It is how they perceived what had happened. Mary couldn't have seen Jesus, because he was dead; it must have been a vision of angels, or so they thought. Matthew Henry explains their words as:

but we are ready to think it was only their fancy, and no real thing, for angels would have been sent to the apostles, not to the women

24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

"Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe."
The man (whoever he was) who talked with the two unnamed apostles on the way to Emmaus calls them "fools," thereby making himself a candidate for "hell fire." (Mt.5:22)
Is it OK to call someone a fool?
It is OK to call someone a fool, if there is a cause, see Matthew 5:22.

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

(24:33-36) "And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together."
Where did Jesus appear to the disciples?
"The Lord ... hath appeared to Simon."
Did the eleven disciples believe the two men?
The author of the SAB asks where Jesus did first appear to his disciples. Matthew gives a summary of the resurrection day, finishing with how Jesus appeared to the women, and taking up the narrative again in Galilee (Matthew 28:16). Matthew does not claim that the disciples saw Jesus for the first time in Galilee. Nor does he give us any details on what happened in Galilee (John 21). John gives more details and tells us that the appearance of Jesus to his disciples in Galilee was the third time he appeared unto them (John 21:14).

34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

The eleven did not believe as we read in Mark 16:13. The author of the SAB reads this verse as if these words were spoken by the eleven disciples. Which is a very strange reading as this and the next verse are just the narrative by those two returning people. And the disciples did not believe them.
The Simon in this verse is the name of one of the two, Cleopas is the name of the other (verse 18). Some think this might be Simon Peter.
John Gill reads this verse as if these words were spoken by the disciples, but interprets them as an exclamation by the eleven after seeing these two men return so soon, while not actually believing what they said (but interprets it differently in his comments on Luke 24:34).

35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

" But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit."
Were the disciples frightened or gladdened when they saw Jesus?
Initially terrified as in this verse, and later glad as in verse 41. See also John 20:20.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

"Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have."
Was it OK to touch the risen Jesus?
Does God have a body?
On if it was OK to touch the risen Jesus, see John 20:17.
On if God does have a body, no God does not have a body, but sometimes scripture speaks as if God has a body, in a kind of poetical language, to make things clear to us. For example God can speak, although he does not have a voice like us. We often use such language as well, for example we speak as if a CCTV camera could see.
But this particular verse is very different from the other verses the author of the SAB lists: Jesus is man and God. Because he is man as well, he does have a body like us.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

(24:44, 46) "Thus it is written"
Jesus claims that his suffering and death were a fulfillment of prophecy. But there is no such prophecy in the Old Testament.
As we see in the next verse (verse 45) the eyes must be opened for it. There are those who willfully ignore the abundance of evidence in the Old Testament that point towards the life, ministry and death of Jesus Christ. I mention just Is. 7:14 and Is. 53.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

There are about forty days between verse 48 and this verse. Luke doesn't recount that here, but does at the beginning of his second book (Acts 1:3). So this was spoken at Jesus ascension, see Matthew 28:10.

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

"and carried up into heaven"
This phrase appears to be a later addition, since it is not present in some early manuscripts.1
When did Jesus ascend into heaven?
Ah, our Open Source Bible project again. What the author of the SAB leaves out is how many manuscripts omit this phrase. Exactly two to be precise. It is in the earliest manuscripts we have, which the author of the SAB at other places calls the most reliable. But I suppose reliability depends on the argument you want to make.
It would be very strange for Jesus to take his disciples to Bethany in the middle of the night. As Luke tells us in verse 13, two of the disciples went to Bethany and back. The journey to Bethany was about 12 kilometres, or three hours walking. They arrived there close to the evening verse 29 where they asked Jesus to join him in supper. After that they walked back. So they arrived when it was in the middle of the night. And in the middle of the night Jesus would take his disciples back to Bethany again as the author of the SAB wants us to believe?
Luke skips the forty days between the resurrection and Jesus ascension in this book (perhaps for reasons of space?), but he gives us some details about this period in his second book (Acts 1:3). See also Matthew 28:10.

52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.