CONTRADICTION NUMBER TWO: The angels at the tomb: How many
angels were at the tomb—one or two—where and in what
position were they located—and were they angels or men?
There was a
violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came
down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the
stone and sat on it. His appearance was like
lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The
guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became
like dead men.
11. Is Matthew
wrong in saying there was only ONE angel OUTSIDE the tomb?
claim that Matthew refers to only one angel who was
outside the tomb and that this contradicts the
other Gospel narratives.
But when they
[the women] looked up, they saw that the stone, which
was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered
the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white
robe sitting on the right side, and they were
12. Does Mark
contradict Matthew in recording there was not ONE ANGEL
OUTSIDE the tomb but a young MAN INSIDE the tomb?
claim the account of Mark contradicts that of Matthew.
Matthew mentions one angel outside the tomb, but
Mark mentions not one angel but a young man who,
further, was not outside but inside the
the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they
entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two
men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood
beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with
their faces to the ground,...
13. Does Luke
contradict both Matthew and Mark by saying there were TWO
men, not OUTSIDE, but INSIDE the tomb?
claim that Luke contradicts both Matthew and Mark. Matthew
says that there is one angel outside the
tomb, while Mark mentions not an angel but a young
man inside the tomb. But Luke mentions not
one angel or one man but two men.
Further, Luke has the men inside the tomb, not
... but Mary
stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent
over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white,
seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and
the other at the foot.
14. Does John
contradict Matthew, Mark and Luke in saying there were TWO
angels INSIDE the tomb who appear ONLY to Mary?
claim that John’s account only confuses matters further
because John refers to two angels who appear only
to Mary Magdalene. Further, in John there are two
angels inside the tomb. Thus, the critics declare
unequivocally that the number of beings (one or two),
their exact nature (men or angels), and their location are
hopelessly confused and simply cannot be reconciled.
15. Do all four
of the Gospel writers contradict each other in describing
the LOCATION and POSITION of the angels?
assert that not only the location but also the position of
the beings is contradictory. Matthew has a single angel
sitting outside the tomb; Mark has a young man
sitting at the right side of the tomb; Luke has
two men inside the tomb standing beside the women;
John has two angels in the tomb, both seated, one
where Jesus’ head had been and the other where Jesus’ feet
Objections of the Critics Concerning the Number of Angels
the Gospel accounts, we should keep in mind, if two or
more angels are present at various times, they can be in a
variety of locations and positions both inside and outside
If two angels
are present, there is nothing contradictory or false about
mentioning the existence of one angel. If two angels are
present, obviously one angel is present. It is a
contradiction if one writer specifically states that
only one angel was present, and another writer
flatly contradicts this statement by asserting that two
angels were present at the same moment. But if anyone
examines the accounts, he will see that this is not the
case. In fact, in honor of Christ’s Resurrection, many
different angels could have been present at the tomb.
Objections of the Critics Concerning Whether the Persons
Were Men or Angels
persons men or angels?
writers seem to report different "beings" at the tomb.
Matthew reports "an angel." Mark reports "a young man."
Luke reports "two men." John reports "two angels." Do
these accounts conflict concerning the nature of the
beings reported—i.e., were they earthly men or heavenly
angels? How do we respond to the critics who claim these
When the Gospel
writers refer to angels as men, they are describing how
the angels appeared to them. Whenever angels appear
to men in the Scriptures, they are almost always said to
take the form of men. Nor is this surprising; it seems to
be a deliberate attempt to reduce the anxiety level of
those they contact. But they may reveal that they are
angels in some unique way as they did in Matthew 28:2-3 or
they may keep their angelic nature entirely hidden, as is
plain from Hebrews 13:2. Therefore, it is not
contradictory for the four Gospel writers to refer to the
angels as men or as angels. Both are correct.
Matthew specifically states it was an angel of the Lord.
When angels are described as men, there is really little
doubt as to the angelic nature of the men.
describing their appearance as "men," also clearly
identifies them as angels for he notes they were "in
clothes that gleamed like lightning." Throughout the Bible
angels are many times described as "men." In fact,
sometimes in the very same passage angels are first
described as "men" and later as "angels."
both Old and New Testament, refer to angels in this way.
It is not unique to these passages. Any critic who says
this is a contradiction has not read the rest of the Bible
(Genesis 18:1-3,22; 19:1,5,11-13,15; Judges
13:3,8,9-11,13; Luke 2:9-10; Hebrews 13:2).
Objections of the Critics Concerning the Location of the
Are we or are
we not going to accept the existence of "beings" called
angels? If we do accept their existence, then isn’t it
also logical to assume that they may come and go as they
please and appear and disappear as they please?
If the critics
are going to argue the number of angels reported and the
positions they were seen to be in, then why should they be
surprised if the eyewitnesses report that they are in
different positions at different times? If one assumes
that "beings" called angels do exist, then isn’t it also
reasonable to assume that even angels move at some time
during the day? And if angels exist and can seemingly
appear and disappear at will, the Gospel writers may all
be honestly reporting these phenomena. We will speak more
about this as we answer other questions. Now let’s examine
the location of the angels.
Matthew conflict with Mark’s description concerning the
LOCATION of the angels?
account, by the time the women arrived, the guards had
already been frightened away by the angel. Then the angel
proceeded inside the tomb so as not to frighten the women
intends us to understand that the angel rolled back the
stone, not to let the body out, but to let the witnesses
in, in proof of the resurrection. He sat in awesome
splendor on the great gravestone, making it clear that
no one could replace it. He sat there to frighten the
guard away, and then presumably went inside not to
frighten the women unnecessarily. He told them that
they were not to be afraid.1
Why did the
angels go inside the tomb? Again, probably so as to not
frighten the women and also because this is where the
women would naturally go, observing that the rock had been
rolled back. It seems the angels wanted the women to enter
the tomb to observe the absence of Jesus’ body. Now, does
Matthew conflict with Mark’s description concerning the
locations of the angels?
Mark is clear
that the women "entered the tomb" and there saw an
angel "on the right side" (Mark 16:5). Luke is also very
clear that the women entered the tomb: "They found
the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they
entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus"
(Luke 24:2, 3). Further, Mark states the women went inside
the tomb ("as they entered the tomb"), and tells us the
angel helped the women by giving them the same message
recorded by Matthew, "see the place where they laid him."
From this it
can be seen that the angel’s "request" in Matthew to "come
and see the place where he lay" is not a request for the
women outside the tomb to come inside the tomb, but to
take more specific notice of the exact location of Jesus’
body and to note that it was no longer there. Tombs in
those days were not small body-sized graves, but were
often large sepulchers the size of a small modern room.
The angels’ request is appropriate if it is made from
inside the tomb.
There is no
reason to assume that the angel’s message in Matthew was
given outside the tomb since: 1) Mark and Luke both record
the message as being given inside the tomb and 2) Matthew
has compressed his narrative, leaving out some of the
details Mark and Luke include.
difference between Matthew and Mark is that Matthew does
not include the details of the women entering the
tomb. But this omission is the kind of omission that all
of us make every day.
How many of us
have said to a friend, "Hey, let’s go to lunch. We’ll get
some burgers at McDonald’s." The fact that the incident of
driving to McDonald’s is omitted does not suggest
that lunch was not eaten at McDonald’s.
does not specify the location at which the angel delivered
his message to the women hardly proves it did not occur
inside the tomb, particularly when all the other writers
say it did. That’s why no contradiction exists between
Matthew and Mark.
critics wrongly assume that Matthew has stated the angel
always remained outside the tomb. Clearly, the
angel was outside the tomb at one point. But Matthew never
states anywhere that the angel was confined to existing
outside the tomb and could not change locations in order
to speak to the women.
It is very
important to understand how Matthew has recorded specific
events in his book. His account of what took place at the
tomb concerning the angels appearing, the guards being
frightened away, the women coming to the tomb, and what
happened next are all compressed. How do we know? By
comparing what the other Gospel writers say.
sometimes, even though Matthew relates his story of events
with no visible break in time, from other sources we can
determine that one event must be separated from another by
a period of time. Modern writers do this every day.
President of the United States delivers a message to the
nation, followed by a press conference the next day in an
adjoining room, reporters who failed to mention that
between the President’s two appearances he had dinner, met
with advisors, and slept, would hardly be considered
negligent in doing their jobs. They simply compressed the
events to report what they believed important. Sure, they
left out some details. But everyone who writes does the
narrative of the events which took place at the tomb is
one such example. When the guards were frightened away by
the appearance of the angel (Matthew 28:2-4), this is
actually separate from the next event Matthew records of
the angel appearing and speaking to the women who came to
the tomb (Matthew 28:5-8). As we shall see, there is good
reason to believe "gaps" exist between the events recorded
in this passage.
In brief, there
are "unidentified breaks" or "unspoken breaks" in
Matthew’s narrative. What proof is there that Matthew
compressed events here and is not describing every
occurrence that took place at and around the empty tomb?
The answer is that if it can be shown that Matthew
compresses events in other portions of his Gospel, then we
must hold open the possibility that he did the same in
this portion of the Gospel, especially when the other
Gospel writers supply the missing information.
To cite one
illustration of Matthew compressing his story elsewhere,
let’s compare Matthew’s account of the events identified
as Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and the cleansing
of the temple with Mark’s account of the same events.
Here is the
order of events as given by Matthew and Mark:
Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:8-10).
enters the temple and cleanses it (Matt. 21:12-16).
3) End of
day one, at night Jesus leaves Jerusalem and goes back
and rests in Bethany (Matt. 21:17).
Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Mk. 11:8-11).
looks around Jerusalem, leaves the temple and the
city, goes and rests in Bethany.
says, "early the next morning" (Matt. 21:18) Jesus
leaves Bethany to go back to Jerusalem. On the way to
Jerusalem He sees a fig tree, curses it, and
"Immediately the fig tree withered" (Matt. 21:19).
2) The same
day, Jesus enters the temple in Jerusalem and argues
with the chief priests (Matt. 21:23).
leaves Bethany, on the way sees the fig tree and
curses it (Mk. 11:12-14).
same day enters Jerusalem and cleanses the temple (Mk.
cleansing the temple, He argues with the chief priests
third day, during the morning on His walk toward
Jerusalem, the disciples discover the withered fig
tree (Mk. 11:20-25).
again returns to Jerusalem and argues with the chief
priests (Mk. 11:27-33).
even though these occurred over three days, Matthew’s
narrative reads as if they took place on only two days.
narrative, at first glance, leads us to think that on day
one Jesus enters triumphantly into Jerusalem and on the
same day, cleanses the temple. It is only when we read
Mark’s account, that we see Matthew has compressed the
What did he
leave out? On day one Matthew skips the night’s rest Jesus
had in Bethany after His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
Matthew does not report, "The next day Jesus again went
into Jerusalem from Bethany and at that time cleansed the
temple." He simply goes on in his account and describes
Jesus cleansing the temple immediately after His Triumphal
Entry. There is no pause or break in his narrative, but
the unidentified breaks must be recognized.
someone reading Matthew’s account might conclude there is
a contradiction between Matthew and Mark. But Matthew did
not say, "All of these events happened on two specific
chronological days"; rather, he is reporting events he
chooses to without mentioning what specific time, or what
specific day, they occurred. Only when we compare
Matthew’s account with Mark do we see that these events
are spread out over a three-day period of time.
compressing of the events helps us understand that there
may be periods of time in between the events described of
which Matthew is giving us no details. If we understand
how Matthew compresses events in his narrative throughout
his Gospel, it will help us answer the questions, "How
many angels were at the tomb?" and "Were the angels inside
or outside the tomb?" The only way we will know what
happened in the periods of time Matthew does not record is
to read the account of the other Gospel writers.
Matthew did not record the angel going into the tomb. But
it is clear from the other Gospel accounts that after the
angel appeared and frightened the guards away, he
proceeded into the tomb. It is also clear that another
angel appeared in the tomb with him.
We are now
prepared to examine what the other Gospel writers said
happened at the tomb.
17. Does Luke
contradict Matthew and Mark concerning the LOCATION of the
What does Luke
tell us about the location of the angels? Luke records
that there are two angels who are inside the tomb.
He further records that the two men suddenly appeared
beside the women. Critics say this conflicts with the
account in Mark which says that when the women entered the
tomb they saw an angel "sitting on the right side."
We need to
We know too
little about the manner of Angel appearances to be sure
that Luke and John mention the same two Angels, or that
Matthew and Mark mention the same one.... Where, out of
two or more, only one is spokesman, he is necessarily
remembered. The other or others may be easily ignored or
forgotten. It is an exaggeration to call such
the very plausible idea that instead of one or two
angels there was probably a whole legion of them present
to honor their Lord in his greatest moment of triumph on
earth. First one, then another appears in visible form.
they have to appear always in the same place and in the
same position. At one moment they may be seated outside
the sepulcher and the next be inside the sepulcher in a
standing position. If they remained in statuesque
immobility, the holy women might well have doubted that
they were real, living beings.3
We should also
keep in mind since we are dealing with angels, unlike men,
angels can make themselves visible or invisible at will.
Mark says that
as the women entered the tomb they saw an angel
sitting on the right side. However, Luke
says the women were inside the tomb when "suddenly two men
in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside
them" (Luke 24:4).
18. Did the
women see ONE angel to the right in a SITTING position or
did the TWO angels suddenly appear to them STANDING?
The Greek word
for "standing" may clear up the problem of the two
descriptions given about the angels’ positions. According
to Arndt and Gingrich, in their authoritative A
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, the
standard lexicon concerning the Greek words in the New
Testament, the word Luke uses in Luke 24:4 that is
translated "stood by" (epestesan), can also be
translated "came upon" or "appeared." In Luke 2:9 we read,
"An angel of the Lord appeared [This is the same
word used in Luke 24:4 about the angels] to them, and the
glory of the Lord shown round about them." Therefore, Luke
is probably stressing the suddenness of the angels’
appearing, and Mark only tells us that when they appeared
they were seated, a position that would be calculated to
put the women at ease.
graduate John Wenham agrees with this:
translation "stood by", which would bring Luke into
contradiction with Mark’s "sitting", cannot be insisted
on. The word [stood] is frequently used, meaning "to
appear to", often implying suddenness.
angels appeared in the little cave room, they may well
have appeared in a sitting position, very much as Mary
Magdalene saw them on her later visit—a position
calculated to minimize the alarm that their sudden
presence was bound to cause.
Mark do not make it clear that the angels appeared after
the women had entered, but both stress the awesomeness
of the figures they encountered. One might have inferred
even from then accounts that had the women seen such
dazzling figures from the doorway they would have been
too frightened to have ventured in.
But only Luke
says explicitly that the women had gone into the tomb
before the appearance of the angels [Mark refers to "as
they entered"]. The mention of two men is one of the
many differences between Mark and Luke which makes them
look like two independent narratives....
argued that he [the angel] had withdrawn into the cave
before the women arrived, so that his "Come, see the
place where he lay" is not an invitation to enter the
tomb, but to put away their fears and take a close look
at the grave space (now empty save for burial linen).4
together the data to obtain the whole story, it would
seem that there were two angels, one more prominent than
They (or he)
first lifted the great stone and rolled it from the
entrance and then sat upon it until the guards had left.
They then retired inside and were invisible when the
first women arrived. They made themselves visible to
them and delivered their message. When Peter and John
arrived they were again invisible [or gone], but they
had reappeared when Mary Magdalene looked into the tomb
[at her second visit].5
19. Does John’s
account of the angels’ LOCATION in the tomb conflict with
Matthew, Mark, and Luke?
claim that John’s account of the angels conflicts with
Matthew, Mark and Luke in that the two angels are seated,
one at the head and the other at the foot of where Jesus
had lain (John 20:12).
The critics are
right. Two angels speak to Mary from inside the tomb at
the locations stated. However, the critics are wrong in
claiming this is the same event described by Matthew, Mark
or Luke. Why? Because a careful reading of the text
clearly proves this.
John and Mark
apparently both agree that Mary Magdalene was the first
person Jesus appeared to (Mark 16:9; John 20:14). Yet,
according to Mark’s account, Jesus must have appeared to
Mary sometime other than when her companions, Mary the
mother of James and Salome, came to the tomb early Easter
Sunday morning (Mark 16:2). Reading Mark 16:2, it sounds
as if Mary was with her companions, but it brings up the
question, "How could Mark say Mary Magdalene was the first
to see Jesus if her companions were with her?" The answer
is that Jesus appeared to Mary at her second visit
to the tomb, not her first.
they all came to the tomb early Sunday morning. If we
assume Mary arrived earlier than her companions, there is
no contradiction in what Mark and John are saying. Mary
probably arrived early and intended to wait for her
friends. But after she arrived, she noticed the stone was
rolled away and the tomb was empty; she immediately set
off to tell Peter and John (John 20:1, 2).
companions, the other Mary and Salome, arrived at the tomb
and the angels appeared to them (Mark 16:1). The lead
angel tells them to report the good news to the disciples
that Jesus has risen from the dead. The women leave. A
short time later Peter and John arrive after hearing the
news from Mary that the tomb was empty.
Peter and John back to the tomb, although she trails
behind them. (Notice, because she had run from the tomb to
tell the apostles, she was already tired; also, the
apostles themselves ran to the tomb after she told them it
was empty. John even outran Peter (John 20:2,4).
By the time
Mary returns to the tomb, Peter and John have already left
(John 20:10). All alone Mary stands in front of the tomb,
begins to cry, and then looks into the tomb, whereupon she
sees two angels, one seated where Jesus’ head had been,
the other seated where Jesus’ feet had been. Then Jesus
appears to her.
this appearance of the two angels to Mary is a different
account entirely than the event described by Matthew, Mark
and Luke. Again, Mary’s encounter with the angels is after
Peter and John left to go and tell the others what had
happened (John 20:10). Looking at these events this way,
John’s account is clearly complementary and not
contradictory to Matthew, Mark or Luke.
20. Does Luke’s
recording of TWO angels contradict Matthew’s and Mark’s
recording of ONE angel?
remember that both Matthew and Mark are dealing with the
same event. But neither writer is obligated to include
refers to the fact that there is an angel the women
encounter sitting on the right side who proceeds to give
them a message. Mark compresses the story here as Matthew
has done in places in his account. Luke, on the other
hand, supplies more details about this event. He states in
addition to the angel that speaks, there is a second angel
present. Apparently the second angel does not say
number of angels recorded by Luke (two) and Matthew and
Mark (one) Wenham states:
It should be
said once and for all that the mention by one evangelist
of two angels and by another of one does not constitute
a contradiction or discrepancy.
If there were
two, there was one. When learned critics make heavy
weather about the accuracy of such accounts, they lack
common sense. Contradiction would only be created if the
writer who mentioned the one should go on to say
explicitly that there was only one.
In a scene
where one person is the chief speaker or actor it would
often be perfectly natural to omit reference to the
irrelevant fact that he had a companion.... It needs to
be remembered that we are dealing with two
descriptions of an event, and not with two witnesses
replying to cross examination.
who had been in the tomb at the same time, had been
asked independently, "Precisely how many men did you
see?" and had given different answers, that would have
shown one or the other to be unreliable. But these
witnesses are not answering the question "How many?",
they are giving (as all descriptions must be) incomplete
descriptions of a complex event.6
even though Matthew, Mark and Luke have recorded differing
details concerning the number of angels and their
activities, the accounts do not contradict. Rather, they
are complementary. Again, this does not show collusion but
rather truthfulness in reporting. The writers have merely
reported the events selectively, as all writers do.
contemporary critics continue to discount what the
Scriptures report concerning the story of the angels who
were present at the Resurrection. Let’s examine one theory
of a well-known critic.
21. Is Hugh J.
Schonfield correct in his theory called THE PASSOVER
(See Q. 23)
22. Why does
Schonfield believe the angels were simply invented by
Christians and falsely put into the story of the empty
(See Q. 23)
23. Why does
Schonfield think the empty tomb is not good evidence for
In his infamous
book, The Passover Plot, Hugh J. Schonfield claims
the Resurrection accounts evolved and were later doctored
by editors. According to Schonfield, Jesus never rose.
Mary Magdalene and others falsely concluded Christ had
resurrected on purely circumstantial grounds, not
states that Mary Magdalene was an "unbalanced" person.
When she visited the tomb, she was really in a
"half-crazed condition."7 She did not really
see angels there, but only an unknown person whom she
thought was an angel. Later, the church came to accept her
totally false story.
speculates that the story of the angels may have evolved
as a way of giving divine credence to the story of the
accounts... had acquired in telling and retelling many
Mark’s Gospel the man who was seen had been a young man
in a white robe who had told the women [including Mary]
that Jesus had risen....
registered at the time was that the body of Jesus was
gone and that a strange man was there. Trembling and
unnerved they fled, and said nothing to anyone because
they were afraid....
progressed in the light of belief in the resurrection of
Jesus. The young man became an angel, and then two
Schonfield argues that in his view this man was the one
who gave the potion to Jesus at the cross. The same man
allegedly helped take Jesus’ body to the tomb and later
moved the body.
believes Mary did tell Peter and John about the empty
tomb. When the three of them returned to the tomb, Mary
stayed there where she encountered the gardener. Because
of her "unbalanced" mental condition, she incorrectly
concluded the man was the risen Jesus, and ran to tell the
disciples that now she had actually seen Him alive.9
Because the tomb was empty, everyone else falsely
concluded that Jesus was risen from the dead.
back to the disciples with her tale of having seen the
Master. So another ingredient was added to the story.
been the empty tomb, the man seen by the woman who was
converted into an angel, the conviction of the Beloved
Disciple, and now the man who had spoken to Mary of
Magdala had become an appearance of Jesus himself.10
24. What six
false assumptions did Schonfield make in THE PASSOVER
evidence whatever exists that Mary was in a "half-crazed
condition," and that she was "unbalanced".11
This is Schonfield’s false assumption based upon the fact
that Mary had seven demons driven from her (Luke 8:2). If
this first assumption is wrong, the rest of his theory
crumbles as well. All of the evidence tells us Mary was
quite normal after her exorcism and certainly so on Easter
morning. Her recovery is consistent with that which occurs
through modern exorcisms.12
never expected to see Jesus. She would never have
identified the gardener, an unknown stranger, as her
beloved Lord and Master when she did not expect to
see Jesus. Thus, the record shows that even when Mary saw
Jesus, she had a hard time believing it was He (John
20:14-15). She knew Jesus was dead. And absolutely no
one mistakes a complete stranger for a well-known friend,
especially when they have just attended the funeral of
that same friend.
Schonfield’s assumptions that an unknown man or men could
somehow remove Jesus’ body from a guarded tomb without
being noticed would have been impossible (Matthew
Fourth, we have
already seen that the strange "young man" inside the tomb
was really an angel. Luke himself tells us the men were,
in fact, angels by describing them as having clothes "that
gleamed like lightning." Also, the women’s response of
fear and bowing their heads would have been inappropriate
if they thought that only some strange man was inside the
Fifth, it is
impossible that the story could have evolved in the manner
Schonfield suggests. Why? Schonfield contends that Jesus
never really resurrected from the dead. At best, He
survived the crucifixion and later died.13
Thus, there would have been no Resurrection appearances.
But this cannot explain subsequent events.
Would merely an
empty tomb without the Resurrection appearances
have been sufficient evidence to convert the skeptical and
downtrodden disciples to a belief that Jesus had risen
from the dead? The simple fact is that it not only took
the empty tomb, but more importantly, the numerous
Resurrection appearances to convince them. The church
could never have started with only an unexplained empty
would an unknown man or men move or steal the body of
Jesus in the first place? Schonfield admits, "It was a
capital crime to tamper with tombs and interfere with the
bodies of the dead. An imperial decree found at Nazareth
in 1870, which may date from the reign of the Emperor
Claudius (AD. 41-54), witnesses to this."14
Schonfield himself expresses doubts about the events he
outlines: "We are nowhere claiming for our reconstruction
that it represents what actually happened, but that on the
evidence we have it may be fairly close to the truth."15
But the problem is that Schonfield dismisses all the
evidence first and then speculates as to what happened.
demands that we believe all of the disciples were so
anxious to accept the idea of the Resurrection (which the
evidence itself denies; for example, the disciples were
skeptics) that they never even bothered to carefully check
out the facts.
Plot is simply not believable. This is one reason that
scholars have almost universally rejected the book as
little more than implausible speculation.