Monday, February 26, 2018

READ IT! - Introduction to Joshua 17-24

Readings for this week

Monday: Joshua 17
Tuesday: Joshua 18
Wednesday: Joshua 19
Thursday: Joshua 20
Friday: Joshua 21
Saturday: Joshua 22
Sunday: Joshua 23

Introduction to Joshua 17-24

Chapter 17

Joshua continues to divvy up the land until all tribes received an allotment. Inheritances determined by “lot.” There was a lot for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh and a lot for the rest of Manasseh. Manasseh did not drive out the Canaanites.

Chapter 18

Joshua sent surveyors from the remaining tribes and then divided the land. Benjamin's lot was from Kiriath-jearim to the Salt Sea.

Chapter 19

Simeon's lot was within Judah's. There were lots for Zebulun, Issachar, Asher, Naphtali and Dan. The Israelites gave Joshua a city.

Chapter 20

The LORD said to Joshua, "Appoint the cities of refuge." So they set apart Kedesh, Shechem, Hebron, Bezer, Ramoth and Golan.

Chapter 21

The Israelites gave cities and pasture lands to the special priestly tribe of Levi. So the LORD gave Israel all the land he had promised to their fathers.

Chapter 22

Reuben, Gad and Manasseh went back to their land and built an altar. This became a controversy, and a civil war nearly erupted, but they reassured Phinehas the priest that they had not turned from the LORD, and war was avoided.

Chapter 23

Joshua summoned Israel in order to give his farewell address, and he said, “…it was the LORD your God who fought for you.”

Conditional Message...

Stress on Obedience:

“Be careful to obey everything in the Law of Moses…”
“Do not associate with these nations that remain among you…”
“Do not serve their gods.”
“Hold fast to the LORD…”

Warnings about Disobedience:

Nations will remain... 

“If you ally yourselves with them or intermarry with them, God will not drive them out.”
“They will be a snare for you until you perish from the land.”

Expulsion from the land...

“if you violate the Covenant…the LORD’s anger will burn against you and you will quickly perish from this good land He has given you.”

Chapter 24

Joshua performs a ceremony to have the Covenant Renewed at Shechem. First, God’s saving action is emphasized:

“Your ancestors worshiped other gods, but I brought Abraham out of their land.”
“I gave Abraham his son Isaac.”
“I gave land to Jacob and Esau.”
“I rescued Israel from Egypt.”
“I destroyed your enemies.”
“I made Balaam bless you when he tried to curse you.”
“I gave you land you did not plant and cities you did not build.”

Then a command is given to choose:

“Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Then a declaration is given to serve Yahweh:

“We will serve the LORD!”
“We are witnesses against ourselves if we do not!”

Then there is the recording of the Covenant:

Joshua recorded this event in “The Book of the Law of God.”
He set up a large stone under an oak tree and said the stone would be a witness against them if they were untrue to their God.

The end of the book of Joshua says that after he had spoken all of these things, he died at the age of 110. He was buried in Ephraim, the land of his inheritance. The text also says that the Israelites buried Joseph’s bones, which they had brought up out of Egypt, at Shechem. This text says that Jacob had bought this land from the sons of Shechem’s father Hamor… which is a bit different than the gruesome version we read in Genesis. Eleazar the priest also died and was buried at Gibeah in the hill country of Ephraim.

Monday, February 19, 2018

READ IT! - Introduction to Joshua 10-16

Readings for this week

Joshua 10
Joshua 11
Joshua 12
Joshua 13
Joshua 14
Joshua 15
Joshua 16

Introduction to Joshua 10-16

Chapter 10

King Adoni-Zedek of Jerusalem forms a coalition of kings from Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon and attacks Gibeon because of their treaty with Joshua. Israel comes to the aid of the Gibeonites, marching all night from Gilgal. The text says that Yahweh fights for Israel by throwing the armies into “confusion,” and by pounding them with large hailstones. Joshua also prayed for the sun and the moon to stand still, and the text says that God caused the sun to stand still for half a day.

The kings of the coalition hid in a cave from Israel, but Joshua captured them, impaled them on poles, and then buried them. The text also says that on that same day, Joshua and the Israelites conquered several other southern cities and completely destroyed them:

Lachish… along with Horam king of Gezer who had come up to help Lachish.

The text says that “All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel.”

Chapter 11

King Jabin of Hazor called together all of the northern kings to fight against Israel:

The northern kings who were in the mountains
The kings in the Arabah south of Kinnereth
The kings in the western foothills
The kings in Naphoth Dor
The Canaanites in the east and west

And the text says that “They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots—a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore.” But the text says that Israel came upon them and destroyed them, chasing them all over the land until they were killed. The text says that Joshua himself burned the city of Hazor, but that they did not burn any of the other cities.

Verse 18 says that Joshua waged war against all of these people for a long time... which seems to be a different perspective than what we just read. The text also says that the LORD hardened the hearts of these people so that they would go to war against Israel and be destroyed “without mercy.”

Chapter 12

We then read that Joshua gave the conquered land to the tribes of Israel and “the land had rest from war.”

The Book of Judges has a very different take on the conquest of the land, saying that many of the cities that were on the list of conquered cities in Joshua weren't actually conquered... this could also possibly explain why little to no detail is given on the battles that would have taken place to conquer them. As already mentioned, some passages of Joshua seem to agree more with Judges when they say that it actually took a really long time to conquer much of the land.

Chapter 13

Now Joshua was old. The LORD said, "Divide the remaining land among the tribes." Moses had previously given land to Reuben, Gad and Manasseh.

Chapter 14

The tribe of Judah came to Joshua, and Caleb said, "Moses promised me the mountain because I obeyed the LORD fully." So Joshua gave Hebron to Caleb.

Chapter 15

Judah's land bordered with Edom to the south. Caleb took Hebron, and Othniel (Caleb's son) took Kiriath-Sepher, but Judah could not defeat Jerusalem.

Chapter 16

Joseph's land was from the Jordan River to the sea. Ephraim's territory was within Manasseh's. Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites.

Monday, February 12, 2018

READ IT! - Introduction to Joshua 3-9

Readings for this week

Monday: Joshua 3
Joshua 4
Joshua 5
Joshua 6
Joshua 7
Joshua 8
Joshua 9

Introduction to Joshua 3-9

Chapters 3-4

In chapters 3–4 we see Israel crossing the Jordan. Like at the red sea, Israel faces another water obstacle, the Jordan River. The text says that at this time the river was at flood stage.

Instructions are given to the people to follow the Ark. And a Command is given for people to “sanctify” themselves.

The Details of the crossing are as follows:

The priests carried the Ark and stepped into the Jordan River.
The river immediately stopped flowing.
The priests stood with the ark in the middle of the Jordan and waited for the nation to cross.
After everyone crossed, the priests came up and the water returned to normal.
The people were also instructed to take twelve stones from the river bed and set them up as a memorial.

The role of the Ark is significant in the book of Joshua. It is mentioned 16 times, 9 of those times in chapter 3, and 7 times in chapter 4. The Ark was understood to be the responsibility of the Kohathites according to Numbers 3:31

The reference to “dry land” during the crossing seems to draw a direct connection between Exodus 14:21-22 in the crossing of the Red Sea, and Joshua 4:18 and 22 in the crossing of the Jordan River. These two passages seem to parallel each other.

Chapter 5

In chapter five, Joshua is portrayed as the faithful leader in regards to commanding the men to undergo circumcision. No one had been circumcised since Israel left Egypt. And the place where this mass-event took place was called “Gibeath Haaraloth” …which means “hill of foreskins.”

Joshua also commands that Passover be celebrated. The text says that the people ate the food of the land that day, and also that this was the same day that God stopped sending manna from heaven.

Joshua also has theophany experience here. A man with the sword appears to Joshua with a message from God. He identifies himself as neither a friend nor an enemy, but as "The Commander of the Army of The LORD." God commands Joshua to remove his sandals, just like the beginning of Moses’ ministry

And Joshua is given instructions:

Have the army march around Jericho once a day for six days in silence.
On the seventh day march around the city seven times while the priests blow trumpets.
Have all the people shout, and the walls will collapse, and you will go in and destroy the place.

Chapter 6

Chapter six carries out these events …with the military plan for the Jericho conquest resembling a cultic event more than anything else. Emphasis is placed on the faithful implementation of God’s commands. And Yahweh is seen as the one who fights for Israel.

There’s only a simple note about the battle details, saying, “They took it…they destroyed it…”

But we also get to see the function of something known as “kherem” at this point, which means to “devote to destruction.” This term occurs 80 times in the Old Testament, with 27 of those times occurring in Joshua. 25 of those 27 times occur in Joshua chs. 6–11. Second runner up is Deuteronomy where the word only occurs 10 times.

Chapter 7-8

In chapters 7–8, we hear about how Achan, one of the Israelites, took some of the “devoted things” for himself from the plunder of the city. Meanwhile The people claim, “We don’t need the whole army…” to conquer the city of Ai… which seems to border on cockiness… But When Israel attacked the city of Ai, they were defeated.

Joshua laments, and he weeps in front of the Ark, and cries, “Why have you let this happen?” But God tells him to stop making noise, because the covenant has been broken. All Israel is incriminated.

They use lots to determine the guilty party. Judah is singled out from Israel. The Zerahites are singled out from Judah. Zimri’s descendants are singled out from the Zerahites. And Achan is singled out from the descendants of Zimri.

Achan first confesses his sin and then explains why he did it. And then everything associated with Achan is destroyed. They were stoned, and then they were burned. And the people piled rocks on top of what was left of Achan’s estate.

And they named the place Achor, which means “trouble.” It is a pun on Achan’s name because he was a “trouble-maker.” However, this word has a different connotation in Hosea, when God says of his sinful people… “I will speak tenderly to her…and make Achor a door of hope.”

Unlike Jericho, the second attack on Ai includes an elaborate military strategy. Joshua sends 30,000 of his best men out at night to hide on the other side of Ai. Joshua then leads the other men in a frontal attack. Everyone from Ai comes out and fights against Joshua, and Joshua has his men flee from them. God then tells Joshua to hold out his sword in the direction of Ai so that the city will be taken. Meanwhile, the 30,000 men come up from behind Ai and set fire to the city. And the people of Ai panic… and are captured.

And Joshua destroys the city and its people. The name “Ai” means “the ruin” and this is the story the Israelites told to explain how a once great and powerful city came to become “Ai.”

The people hung the king of Ai on a pole. But Joshua took the king’s body down at sunset in keeping with the law of Deuteronomy.

And unlike the story of Jericho, this time God allows Israel to keep the spoil and livestock for themselves.

Later, Joshua built an altar on Mount Ebal. Joshua prepared a burnt offering and a fellowship offering. Joshua made a copy of the Law of Moses on stone tablets. He had half of the tribes stand on Mount Ebal and the other half stand on Mount Gerizim. Joshua read the entire Law to the people. He read the blessings and curses of the covenant. Everybody listened, both native-born Israelites and the foreigners who lived with them.

Chapter 9

Two different responses of the people of Canaan are portrayed: resistance or acceptance. The Gibeonites choose path of non-resistance and are spared through a ruse. The Gibeonites feared Israel, so they dressed themselves up in rags and packed their bags with moldy bread and wandered into the Israelite camp. They claimed they had come from far away and wanted to make a peace treaty with Israel. Joshua felt sorry for them and agreed without consulting God. They made a covenant of peace, but soon after Joshua found out that these people had not come from far away, nor were they poor. The text says that this covenant is the reason why the Gibeonites live among the Israelites “to this day.”

However, this covenant was of unequal status. Israel could not kill these people because of their covenant, so they made them into their own personal “wood-cutters” and “water-carriers.”

Saturday, February 10, 2018

READ IT! - Introduction to Joshua 1-2

Introduction to Joshua 1-2

The Deuteronomistic History

The Deuteronomistic History is made up of:

1st Samuel
2nd Samuel
1st Kings
2nd Kings

The Deuteronomistic History is a collection of many different stories written by many different people. These stories cover events in Israel’s history between the time of their entry into Canaan to their exile to Babylon. These many stories were compiled by an historian (redactor) who put them into one work. This historian is known as the “Deuteronomistic Historian” because he arranged all of these stories with connections he made with the book of Deuteronomy.



Joshua holds many diverse tribes together in unity his entire life
The name “Joshua” means “Yahweh is Salvation.”
Israel was more faithful to him than they were to Moses
Joshua was a better leader than most of Israel’s future kings

The Land

The land is understood as Israel’s inheritance
The land is frequently described as a rich and good land
God ultimately decides which tribe gets what land
God is faithful to Israel and gives Israel land
Israel is not always faithful to God and does not get all the land they wanted

The Divine Warrior

The text says that God himself fought for Israel
The victory of “The Divine Warrior” is inevitable and complete, as seen when God destroys seven pagan nations
Everything conquered by God is devoted to God

Comparing Joshua and Moses

Send Spies into the Land (Num. 13:1-3; Josh. 2:1)
Led Israelites Across Body of Water (Ex. 14-15; Josh. 3-4)
Theophany Experience (Ex 3:1-6; Josh 5:13-15)
Role of Intercessor (Ex 32:11-12; Josh. 7:7-10)
Lifting Sword/Staff in Battle (Ex 17:10-13; Josh 8:18, 26)
Conquerors of Territory (Num. 21; Josh. 1-12)
Farewell Addresses (Deut. 4-30; Josh. 23-24)

Comparing Joshua and Judges

Joshua should not be read on its own, but in the context of the surrounding books.

The Book of Judges has a very different take on the conquest of the land, saying that many of the cities that were on the list of conquered cities in Joshua weren't actually conquered... this could also possibly explain why little to no detail is given on the battles that would have taken place to conquer them. Some passages of Joshua also seem to agree more with Judges when they say that it actually took a really long time to conquer much of the land.

Elsewhere in the Bible also seems to lean more towards a Book of Judges version of the entering of the Israelites into Canaan...

“They did not destroy the peoples
    as the LORD had commanded them,
but they mingled with the nations
    and adopted their customs.”
-- Psalm 106:34

The two versions of history in Joshua and Judges exist to balance each other out. Joshua represents Israel’s complete success. Judges represents Israel’s complete failure. The truth emerges when the two histories are told together.

Chapter 1

In Joshua chapter one, land is given to the Israelites. We see God’s role when he says, “I will give you this land.” But we also see Joshua’s responsibility when God tells him “You will lead these people” and “Be strong and courageous.” Ironically, there is a strong lack of military language and strategy throughout the book of Joshua.

First, directions are given to the Transjordan tribes. Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh are to help their fellow Israelites conquer the land west of the Jordan River.

Then we also see a transfer of leadership take place, with Joshua seen as the legitimate successor of Moses. God says, “As I was with Moses so I will be with you.” And the people say, “Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the LORD your God be with you as he was with Moses.”

Chapter 2

In chapter two, we have the story of Rahab and the spies. Joshua sends spies from Shittim. And he told them to look over the land, especially Jericho. But the Spies go to Rahab’s house…who is…a prostitute?

Here, there’s a possible connection to Num. 25:1-3, which says “while Israel was at Shittim, the men committed harlotry with Moabite women.”

However, Rahab is seen as a heroine and a Savior figure:

Rahab hid the spies when the king’s guards came looking for them
She let the spies down the wall with a rope
She told the spies to hide in the hills for three days

She also gives a Confessional statement, saying:

“I know that the LORD has given you this land…”
“The LORD your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.”
“Spare the lives of my family.”

The spies told her to let down a red cord from her window as a sign of protection.

Rahab is remembered in both Jewish and Christian tradition.

Hebrews 11:31 says:

“By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”

In Matthew 1:5, Rahab is listed in the genealogy of Jesus.

And Jesus’ brother James wrote:

“You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?”

According to the Talmud, there was a rumor among the rabbis that Rahab married Joshua and became the ancestor of eight prophets.

Monday, February 5, 2018

READ IT! - Introduction to Mark 12-16

Readings for this week

Monday: Mark 12
Tuesday: Mark 13
Wednesday: Mark 14
Thursday: Mark 15
Friday: Mark 16
Saturday: Joshua 1
Sunday: Joshua 2

Introduction to Mark 12-16

Chapter 12

Jesus tells the Parable of the Tenants, and is questioned about paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar, and about marriage at the Resurrection.

While Jesus was debating with the Sadducees a scribe was impressed and asked Jesus a question: What is the most important commandment?

Jesus recites the Shema in response, saying, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

He then adds that the second is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The scribe strongly agrees with Jesus on this, and Jesus tells him that he is not far from the Kingdom of God.

Jesus teaches about the Messiah and warns against the Teachers of the Law.

Jesus was at the Temple and sat across from the offering place and watched people come and give offerings. He saw many rich people come and put in bunches of money, but then he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And Jesus tells his disciples that she gave more than the others because she gave everything she had.

Chapter 13

The disciples were impressed with the large stones used to build the Temple, so Jesus began to tell them about the future and how all these stones would be toppled over.

He began to tell them about the terrible days that would come in the future, and the signs that would appear in the sky, and the false messiahs who would come, and how one day he himself – the Son of Man – would appear in the clouds in power and glory to gather up his children from the earth.

But then he added no one knows when this is all going to take place – no one – not the angels, not even Jesus himself – only God the Father knows. It will be a surprise, so be prepared!

He adds:

“It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.”

Chapter 14

Jesus is anointed by a woman at Bethany.

After Jesus shared his last Passover Meal with his disciples, they sang a hymn and went to the Mount of Olives. Jesus predicts that all of the disciples will fall away from him, reciting, “Strike the shepherd, scatter the sheep.” But he promises that after he rises he will go to Galilee and meet them there. Peter then declares his loyalty to Jesus saying he would never fall away. Jesus says to him that Peter will disown him three times that very night. But Peter insists he’s willing to die for Jesus, and all the others say the same thing.

Jesus took his disciples to a place called Gethsemane and had them sit and pray while he took Peter, James, and John along with him.

“The word gethsemane means ‘olive press’ and symbolizes the weight that Jesus carried as He went to the cross. The gethsemane was symbolic of a human burden in Christ’s time, too, but it was on the shoulders of the Jewish people.

The gethsemane was an economic leash, tying the lower classes of society to the purse strings of the wealthy who owned the olive presses. The masses looked to the promised Messiah, who would come from the ‘stump’ - understood to be an olive tree - of Jesse, to release them from their burdens.”

Jesus became deathly terrified at this point and told them to stay and keep watch. Jesus went off a bit further by himself and began to cry out to God to take away this cup of wrath… but also for God’s will to be done.

Jesus came back to his disciples and found them asleep, so he said to Peter, “You’re asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus went to pray again and when he came back later he found them sleeping again and they didn’t know what to say to him.

This happened a third time and Jesus exclaimed, “Are you still taking a nap? Enough already! The hour has come! Look! The Son of Man is being handed over to sinners! Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Just then Judas showed up with an armed crowd of thugs from the chief priests and Torah-teachers. Judas came over and kissed Jesus, which was his signal to the crowd to come arrest that man. The men seized Jesus, and one of the disciples panicked, grabbed a sword and cut off the ear of one of the servants of the high priest.

Jesus then points out the irony of the teachers of the “light” sneaking around in darkness.

Then everyone with Jesus ran away and hid, including an unnamed young man (possibly Mark himself) who’s in such a hurry he leaves his clothes behind.

Jesus is then taken before the Sanhedrin, and Peter disowns him three times. 

Chapter 15

Very early in the morning, the Sanhedrin decided to drag Jesus over to the Roman Governor Pilate for a decision on what to do with him. Pilate asks, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus says, “You say so.” The priests started accusing Jesus of all kinds of stuff, but Jesus didn’t say anything, so Pilate was like, “Aren’t you going to say something in your own defense?” But Jesus still said nothing and Pilate was amazed at him.

At this point the narrator informs us that it was traditional for a prisoner to be released once a year at the request of the people. He also tells us that there was at this time a known terrorist and murderer locked up in prison named Barabbas. The crowd chose this opportunity to ask Pilate for the traditional release of a prisoner. Pilate was like, “Uhh… okay. Do you want this ‘King of the Jews’ back?” But the crowd had turned against Jesus, and they were like, “No! Give us the terrorist! Set Barabbas free!” Pilate thought this was kind of stupid, so he was like, “What should I do with this ‘King of the Jews’ then?” The crowd shouted, “Crucify him!” Pilate was dumbfounded, and asked, “Why? What crime has he committed?” But the crowd kept screaming “Crucify!” so Pilate gave in to them. He released Barabbas, and had Jesus flogged and handed him over to be crucified.

Jesus is brought to the Praetorium and surrounded by the company of soldiers. Jesus is given a purple robe and a crown of thorns and is beaten with a scepter. The soldiers chant “Hail, King of the Jews!” and pay homage to him. Jesus is taken in procession out to the streets, where Simon the Cyrene follows along with him, carrying the instrument of execution.

They took Jesus to a hill called Golgotha. They offered him wine mixed with Myrrh, which he refused. Immediately after this refusal, they crucified him. He is placed on the cross at 9:00am, at the exact time of the daily morning sacrifice at the Temple. He dies at exactly 3:00pm, at the exact time of the daily afternoon sacrifice at the Temple. And the curtain in the Temple was suddenly torn in two from top to bottom at this very moment – no more separation from God. When a Roman soldier saw the way Jesus dies and everything that had happened he declared, “Surely this man was the son of God!”

Jesus was dead and the Sabbath would begin at sunset, so a man named Joseph who was from Arimathea went to Pilate and demanded Jesus’ body. Joseph was a member of the Jewish council who believed in Jesus and did not take part in their plot against him. Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead, so he called for the centurion as witness and the centurion confirmed Jesus’ death. Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb while Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph watched.

Chapter 16

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?" We learn from Matthew’s Gospel that they weren’t concerned about moving the stone because it was too heavy for them, but because it had Pilate’s seal on it. But when they 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 afraid. The young man in white said:

“Don’t be afraid! You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. Look! You can see where they laid him! But go! Tell his disciples, especially Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. And you will see him there, just like he told you.”

Shaking from fear and confused, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Later Additions

Mark originally ended with them being afraid and not telling anyone anything. This was perhaps his way of saying that the story of Jesus wasn’t over yet, and it was up to the reader to decide whether or not they would put their faith in the resurrection. However, later members of the church apparently thought Mark’s gospel was a bit too open-ended and needed more closure, so they added to it details taken from the other three canonical gospels to help clean up Mark’s rather abrupt and confusing ending. They came up with both a short ending and a longer ending for Mark.

The short version sums things up this way:

“Then they quickly reported all these instructions to those around Peter. After this, Jesus himself also sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen.”

The longer version takes details from the other gospels and Acts:

From Matthew and John:

The book describes Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene, who is now described as someone whom Jesus healed from possession by seven demons. She then tells the other disciples what she saw, but no one believes her.

From Luke:

Then Jesus appears "in a different form" to two unnamed disciples. They, too, are disbelieved when they tell what they saw.

From Matthew, Luke, and John:

Jesus then appears at dinner to all the remaining eleven Apostles. He rebukes them for not believing the earlier reports of his resurrection and gives them instructions to go and preach his message to all creation. Those who believe and are baptized will be saved, but unbelievers will be condemned.

From Acts:

In verses 17-18, Jesus states that believers will "speak in new tongues." They will also be able to handle snakes, be immune from any poison they might happen to drink, and will be able to heal the sick.

From Luke and Acts:

According to verse 19, Jesus then is taken up into heaven where, Mark claims, he sits at the right hand of God. The right hand is seen as the position of power. After the ascension, his eleven disciples then went out and preached "everywhere," and several signs from God accompanied their preaching.