Since there are many ways to read the Bible, I wanted to understand multiple points of view, that being: 1) those who understand this as a non-literal, non-historical event (modern, liberal scholars, perhaps) – this question; 2) those who interpret this event as literal – see my other question.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. (Matthew 27:51-54, KJV)
With phenomenal events such as an earthquake so mighty it opens a number of graves and then the righteous dead arise and interact with the community, one would expect Matthew to explicate these miracles beyond the pithy lines in his text; or, at least, expect the other evangelists to also document these incidences in their narratives. The Markan narrative denotes the temple’s rented veil and the centurion’s response, but does not make any mention of an earthquake or the resurrection of saints. Similarly, Luke and John do not make even the slightest reference to these events.
Additionally, during Peter’s pontifical address during Pentecost, not even a nebulous reference to a powerful earthquake or the resurrection of these saints is conveyed. Pentecost occurred fifty days following Christ’s resurrection and the supposed Holy Ones’ appearance to “many.” Therefore, the omission of these events in Peter’s address, especially to an audience that were likely witnesses to these events, is a curious oversight.
Why didn't the other Gospel writers write about these? Why aren't there other extra-biblical sources for these events? It seems like more than Christ's followers would have witnessed these events.... And it certainly seems like something people would continue to talk about for ages thereafter... Are there other sources that may imply the opening of tombs and rising of the deceased? Or were only the righteous ones able to "see" these?
Just confused why no one else mentions it. (Please correct me if I'm wrong!)
Did Matthew have a reason as to why he interpolated this into the text (if we take the stance that it isn't a literal event)? If so, what role does this pericope play? How does it assist in the overall message that Matthew is conveying to his audience? Is there some symbolism? If so, what?