Heathen, I’m with you on this one.
mP, we have been blessed with a brain more advanced than any computer. I think the idea is to use it. As to the distribution of Greek NT MSS, not much need to be said. As to uncials, there’s approximately 257, 93 papyrus MSS, and roughly 2795 miniscules catalogued. This tally excludes lectionaries and translations. So there’s a cloud of witnesses to choose from. The message is remarkably similar with few deviations. That’s good going.
Leolaia, I realize gut-feeling does not fly on JWN, so I was forced to do homework. Not much has been written on the subject in the commentaries at my disposal, except for it being a mystery, or the text being inserted at a later date. I put my money on an ancient transcription error. Nowhere in the Synoptic Gospels is a mass-resurrection mentioned except here. Would Mark and Luke not have mentioned such a significant event? So, what did Matthew mean? The general word that he uses for the “resurrection” is anastasin (cf. Matt. 22:23, 28, 30, 31). Here, at Matt. 27:52, he uses eigerthesan from egeirou (cf. Matt. 26:32). One of its meanings is to enter into or to be in a state of life as a result of being raised. It can also mean to move to a standing position (BDAG). [The noun egersis appears in the NT only in Matt 27:53, whereas anastasis, on the other hand, appears 42 times (EDNT).]
Thayer also have a few interesting comments on some of the meanings of egeirou:
3. in later usage generally to cause to rise, raise, from a seat, bed, etc.; passive and middle to rise, arise .
4. To raise up, produce, cause to appear ; a. to cause to appear, bring before the public (anyone who is to attract the attention of men).
I. Act. to awaken, wake up, rouse, Il., Trag.
2. to rouse, stir up,to stir the fight, Il., etc.
3. to raise from the dead, N.T.; or from a sick bed, Ib.
4. to raise or erect a building, Ib.
II. Pass., with pf. act., to awake, Od., Hdt., etc.: in aor. 2 also to keep watch or vigil, Il.:-in pf. to be awake, Hom., Att.
2. to rouse or stir oneself, be excited by passion, Hes., Thuc.
As you pointed out, a redactor could have added it, following the Ezekiel tradition. However, I don't think that is Matthew's style. I still prefer an ancient transcription error, being the culprit. It had to have happened early in the MS tradition, for it not to have been duplicated in the existing MSS. Whether it was because of the continuous script and/or lack of punctuation, or homoioteleuton/homoioarcton, I cannot say. A problem for the Greek scholars to solve. I don’t have a problem with the theological aspects, because if these were resurrected, they would have died again (as Lazarus). Jesus, as first fruits from the dead, would be the first to gain immortality. People, hiding amongst the graves because of the earthquake, would have come out and reported what happened. This is logical, and makes a lot of sense.