I'd like to know if the resurrection of the Old Testament saints in Matthew 27:53 was ever written about in history or anywhere else than the Bible. Possibly there is something in other books that were not included in the KJV.

  • The 'Where can I find out more about other people rising from the dead, when Jesus died on the Cross?' question does not ask about verification or confirmation in history, nor do the answwrs seriously address this. The 2 questions do not appear to me to be duplicates. – Dick Harfield Feb 1 '15 at 4:34
  • @DickHarfield Verifying anything in the Bible would be off-topic here anyway. The duplicate is a good match otherwise. – curiousdannii Feb 1 '15 at 5:04

Wikipedia states that most modern scholars thus do not consider the events of Matthew 27:53 to be historical. It cites references to them as "pure novelistic motifs," "these events make more theological than historical sense," "the strength of this part of the narrative is atmosphere, not details."

There have been attempts to reconcile this verse with other sources. One proposition is that by the "holy city" Matthew is not referring to Jerusalem, but rather to heaven. The saints thus appeared only in heaven, explaining why no other source makes note of this event. Most scholars reject this understanding, as "holy city" has referred to Jerusalem throughout Matthew's gospel (such as at Matthew 4:5). The theory also fails to explain what is meant when Matthew states they were "seen by many."

Ian Wilson, in Jesus, page 143, says it is probably safest to regard this as a pious embroidery by an author demonstrably over-fond of the miraculous. Thus we should not expect these resurrections to be confirmed in history or in other writings, such as letters or reports from any of the "many" who saw them.

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