Saying, Say this, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
Read Chapter 28
George Leo Haydock
It hence appears, that the chief priests themselves were fully convinced of the fact; for otherwise, they would not have bribed the soldiers to dissemble, but would have accused the soldiers before the president of a neglect of duty. (Tirinus)
How was it possible for the timid and weak disciples, who dared not show themselves in public, to come in defiance of an armed multitude to steal away the body! If these men dared not even to come forward in defence of their Master when alive, is it probable that these same men after his death would steal away his body? And could they, even allowing the possibility of conceiving the design, have removed the stone, which required a great number of hands to stir? Was not the mouth of the sepulchre also sealed? But why did they not steal away the body the first night, before the guards were stationed? For it was on Saturday the priests petitioned for a guard. Why did they not also take the clothes, which St. Peter saw lying in the sepulchre? Would ...
For the sake of these soldiers that earthquake took place, in order to dismay them, and that the testimony might come from them, which accordingly was the result. For the report was thus free from suspicion, as proceeding from the guards themselves. For of the signs some were displayed publicly to the world, others privately to those present on the spot; publicly for the world was the darkness, privately the appearance of the angel, the earthquake. When then they came and showed it (for truth shines forth, being proclaimed by its adversaries), they again gave money, that they might say, as it is expressed, that His disciples came and stole Him.
How did they steal Him? O most foolish of all men! For because of the clearness and conspicuousness of the truth, they are not even able to make up a falsehood. For indeed what they said was highly incredible, and the falsehood had not even speciousness. For how, I ask, did the disciples steal Him, men poor and unlearned, and not venturing so...