I am not a Christian. I used to be, and there are many factors that played a hand in my departure from that faith, but those times are gone. I have read the Bible a good deal, and continue to do so on occasion, sometimes in an effort to see if there is anything of inspiration, and sometimes to reference what somebody might say, such as in a forum like this. I want to offer for consideration an observation that has bothered me for some time. In my research, there seems to be a general consensus that of the four gospels, Mark is considered to be the oldest and freest of influence from the other three. I don't know if this is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, simply what appears to be a consensus of many theological sources as well as what is supported by textual criticism. I have read all four accounts of the resurrection passages, and there has been, for some time, something that bothers me immensely about a stark contrast in details between Mark and the other gospels. Let's start with the discovery of the open tomb. In Mark, Mary Magdalene finds the tomb open, Jesus not there, and a man, not an angel, but a man dressed in white, telling her that Jesus is risen. In Luke, it is two men, in robes gleaming like lightning delivering essentially the same message. In John, Mary observes an open, empty tomb, fetches two disciples who come and see the empty tomb and then depart, and after that Mary sees two angels, then talks to Jesus, although it is unclear if he appeared to her or if he was simply speaking to her. The account with the most fireworks is Matthew, in which there is an earthquake, the two Mary's see an angel who looks like lightning remove the stone (presumably Jesus must have walked through the stone when he was resurrected?) I can forgive some discrepancies in narrative, but that is a pretty big gap in accounts. Now, if Mark is indeed the oldest of the gospels as I am to understand, something very peculiar would seem to be going on. We start with a fairly mundane depiction of a man sitting in Jesus' tomb telling Mary that he is risen, which then becomes increasingly more dramatic and supernatural in the other gospels. Now on to Jesus' appearance to Mary and the disciples. In Mark, he appears to two of the disciples, and then later to all of them, in a different form, to the point that they do not recognize him. Presumably, he changed appearance and looked like a completely different person, OR, it wasn't Jesus at all but somebody claiming to be Jesus. It doesn't say that he looked different and had lighting shooing from his fingertips or anything, simply that he was in a different form and they did not recognize him. Then this person gets very angry with them for not believing that it is him, and at that point they believe. In Luke, the narrative of failing to recognize him remains, but is a bit more detailed and at some point the gathered disciples thought he was a ghost. Disbelief continues in the John narrative, although it is a more stubborn disbelief, no talk of being in a different form, just that they won't believe unless they can see the nail marks. In Matthew, there is little about disbelief, and the narrative ends rather tersely. There are some pretty big discrepancies here. When I read the resurrection passages of Mark, I am dumbfounded by how glaringly suspect the story is. I came to this independently, and then researched a bit to find that there are others who have made the same observation. It sticks out like a sore thumb. If I accept that Mark is the oldest of the gospels, this begs the question: did the others take the Mark narrative and embellish it? It seems likely enough, as a man in a white robe become an angel or even two, gleaming like lightning. Further, the Mark narrative makes the disciples' disbelief understandable, since here is a man saying he is Jesus who doesn't look anything like him, then in the other narratives makes their disbelief ore stubborn, and instead of admonishing them he shows them nail marks. In other words, the somewhat mundane narrative of Mark becomes more extraordinary and supernatural in the others. I am voicing my disbelief and being very upfront about it, and not trying to trick any Christians into anything. So there are not attempts at deception involved. I am being about as honest as I can possibly be about what I see as a rather glaring issue with the narrative of the resurrection. Since the resurrection is such an integral part of Christian belief, it seems hard for me to believe that other Christians haven't read the passages and at least questioned this to some extent. I am opening the subject up for debate, and fully expect some lashing for it.