Mark 16:8—Did the women tell of their experience at the tomb or not?

Problem: Mark says that the women returning from the empty tomb “said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid” (16:8). But Matthew asserts that they “ran to bring His disciples word” (Matt. 28:8; cf. v. 9).

Solution: In response, it should be observed that Matthew does not actually say the women told the disciples, but they went back with the intention to tell them. Also, since Mark reveals that they did not speak because “they were afraid,” it may be that at first they held their peace (as Mark indicated), and then later spoke up (as Matthew may imply). It is also possible that the women left the tomb in two groups at slightly different times, Mark referring to one and Matthew to the other.

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.