There seems to be a disagreement between the gospels of Luke and Matthew regarding the location of the first appearance of the resurrected Jesus to the eleven disciples.
The author of Luke states, Luke 24:
33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.
36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
Verse 33 starts with two disciples relating their encounter with a post-resurrection Jesus to the eleven upon meeting them in Jerusalem. Via the use of the word "indeed" by the two disciples in verse 34 we can deduce that the eleven were unconvinced of the resurrection during this time.
So how are we to know this is their first time witnessing post-resurrected Jesus? Well, they are:
- Startled and frightened, thinking they had seen a spirit
- Troubled and doubtful of the risen Jesus
- Jesus tries to reassure them -- he shows them his mutilated hands and feet, compels them to touch him, and ate before them.
These are not the signs of people who had previously seen the risen Jesus. The author of Luke clearly tries to relate to us that this is the very first time the eleven witness the risen Jesus, and this occurs in Jerusalem. Furthermore, during this encounter Jesus orders the disciples not to leave Jerusalem until a certain event is to have occurred:
49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
The book of Acts, which is widely regarded to belong to a single composite work by the same author, often called "Luke-Acts", reaffirms the previous command of Jesus in Luke towards the apostles to remain in Jerusalem, Acts 1:
4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
We know that the disciples did not receive the Holy Spirit until after the Ascension of the resurrected Jesus, as told in Acts chapter 2. Therefore according to the author of Luke, from the moment of Jesus' first appearance to the eleven disciples, up until to his Ascension, they never left Jerusalem.
On the other hand, the author of Matthew states the following, Matthew 28:
8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
The women at the tomb run off to tell the disciples of the empty tomb, and suddenly meet Jesus. This occurs immediately after the angels appear at the tomb. None of Jesus' followers had seen the resurrected Jesus before this point. Contrary to Luke however, where the eleven first meet Jesus in Jerusalem, Jesus says here he will meet them in Galilee. Now, this would have been resolved if these disciples were other than the eleven, however we know that he is referring to the eleven:
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
According to the author of Matthew, the eleven first encounter the risen Jesus in Galilee. This is exemplified in the doubt of some of the eleven. Of course we are not given elaborate descriptions of their reactions like in Luke, but if this would've been anything other than their first encounter then they wouldn't have doubted.
How is this supposed discrepancy resolved?