1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  2 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.

-Matthew Chapter 28


Approximately 36 hours after the first earthquake, Matthew reports another earthquake; what today might be called an aftershock.

The quote above from Matthew mentions a Rolling Stone being jarred open and revealing an empty tomb. The picture below shows a Rolling Stone from around the time of Jesus.

It is possible to make a calculation of the likely amount of force that would be felt if this aftershock event was real. If you were near to the tomb, you would have experienced a jolt that felt like ~25% of your body weight just got slammed against you (link to calculations).


Another small seismic shock is written about by a different author (Luke). Approximately 5 weeks after the crucifixion, Luke writes

31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

– Acts Chapter 4

It appears that the people present viewed the seismic shock as having divine origin. This was a common belief in antiquity among Jews and peoples of the surrounding nations.

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