My wife is preparing her children's choir to do another musical for the church. While she was going through the songs, she noticed that one of the songs said there were two angels at the tomb on Easter morning. She had always thought there was only one, but she wanted to make sure so she did some research. After her research, she asked me this question:
"Okay, I looked it up in all four gospels. Only Luke (Luke 24:4) mentions two angels in shining garments.
Why would the others say one?"
I felt like I could not let my wife down by not giving her an answer. She always depends on me for my wealth of knowledge and this was too serious to let slide, it had to do with the Bible after all.
So I gave her an answer that very well could be fairly accurate although I must admit I took some artistic license with the facts.
ONE ANGEL OR TWO ?
Well... first off the books were written YEARS after the fact. They think John was the oldest written followed by Luke. Even then though, they estimate John was written about 60 years or so after the fact. Remember that game where you sit in a circle and whisper something in the person's next to you ear? by the time you get around the circle, the whole message had changed.
Then there is the little known, or at least little publicized issue that John had with Luke. These two did not get along at all. John was always writing how he was Jesus' favorite. Luke always thought that while he was trying to write down the truth, it was always "me me me" with John. Luke knew that Peter was the favorite but John just kept on going on about how Jesus trusted him more than the others and all of that. As a matter of fact at the crucifixion scene, you see John saying that "his fav was by his mother's side". Luke knew perfectly well that John wasn't there. Luke couldn't prove it of course, because he was off hiding like all the others. Luke knew that John was off in hiding somewhere as well, but he was hiding by himself so no one could prove or disprove whether he was with Mary or not..
John started writing before Luke did. John did not want anyone to know that he was writing the story and placing himself in the middle of absolutely everything. Luke had a suspicion that John was writing things down and so he decided to write his own version, the correct version of what had happened. He hired a ten year old kid to go get a copy of what John had so far. The problem was that by the time Luke had hired the kid, John had already published and his book started to appear in storefronts throughout the Holy Land. When the kid brought Luke a copy of John's book, Luke lost it. John had beaten him to the punch.
This was when Luke learned of John's tremendous ego and how he had written the story to be more a "Jesus and John with their Friends" book instead of a "Jesus Story". Luke was furious. He knew that the book was out there and people were reading, and believing that John was this great disciple a level above the other eleven. Luke bore down and started to write what he saw as the truth.
Unfortunately, Luke lost focus every once in a while and strayed off into a mode of proving John wrong on little things before getting back on track and writing the story the way he remembered it. When Luke got to the resurrection scene he noticed John had said that there was only one Angel at the scene. From the way John wrote it, the angel was either Micheal or Gabriel. Luke, while not knowing for sure which angel it was had assumed it was Andy Messersmith, who would later become an outstanding pitcher for the Angels when they returned to play ball in the American League in 1969. I digress, sorry. Just a nice little side tidbit there.
When Luke read about John's account of just one angel, he decided that this would be a good place for a little of that embellishment that he had used earlier in his book to kind of stick a thorn in John's side. He made the decision that there would have at least been two angels at such a remarkable and miraculous event. And so he wrote the two angel part just to one up John. He put the angels outside the tomb, kind of guarding it while John had the angle sitting inside the tomb as if he was taking the place of Jesus. Luke thought that was a little presumptuous for an angel to take the place of Jesus.
And so that is why Luke wrote of two angels while the others, Mathew and Mark, more or less just assumed John knew what he was talking about and followed his lead. After all John had written his book before Luke so surely his memory was clearer than Luke's.
Luke fell into a small depression because it didn't seem any one was taking his book as seriously as Johns. Then an idea popped in his head. None of the guys were writing a book about what happened AFTER the event and ascension. He immediately took up his pen and started writing about events after Jesus had left. He knew that this book would be a good one and possibly end up in the top five of books about life before and after Jesus. "The Acts of the Apostles" did indeed become a best seller and because of it's title, none of the other Apostles argued with anything in the book, because The Acts had set a pretty high bar for them to live up to.
And that is why Luke wrote of two angels instead of one.