Some apologists explain the separate and different details of the passion narratives by claiming that all the accounts of the passion, particularly the empty tomb sequences, are harmonisable – ie that all the witnesses were at the empty tomb, that all the discrepancies of the gospels were actual individual events, not versions of the same event?  Reading around this, this is a classic situation of conservative vs liberal.  Liberals are not bound to interpret the evidence charitably, and can use historical methodology to reach more sound and plausible conclusions, such that it is clearly a singular event that has been interpreted differently by the Gospel writers.

Archbishop Peter Carnley declares this:

The presence of discrepancies might be a sign of historicity if we had four clearly independent but slightly different versions of the story, if only for the reason that four witnesses are better than one. But, of course, it is now impossible to argue that what we have in the four gospel accounts of the empty tomb are four contemporaneous but independent accounts of the one event. Modern redactional studies of the traditions account for the discrepancies as literary developments at the hand of later redactors of what was originally one report of the empty tomb... There is no suggestion that the tomb was discovered by different witnesses on four different occasions, so it is in fact impossible to argue that the discrepancies were introduced by different witnesses of the one event; rather, they can be explained as four different redactions for apologetic and kerygmatic reasons of a single story originating from one source.


This, to me, sums up a far more logically consistent approach to the empty tomb sequences.  In order for the ‘individual events’ hypothesis to be plausible, we have to stretch believability.