Ending of Gospel of Mark (chapter 16)

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Theology' started by Scottish Monk, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    In a separate thread, a discussion began on the ending of the Gospel of Mark (chapter 16). I think this would make an interesting thread to discuss.

    For what it is worth, I am in the camp that Mark ended the original gospel with verse 8, as we have it. I also believe, however, that the "additions" reflect the thinking of the early church and contain information that is supported elsewhere in Scripture.

    To get the discussion rolling, here are some notes from some of the study bibles on my shelf.

    Jerusalem Bible

    The "long ending" of Mark, vv. 9-20, is included in the canonically accepted body of inspired scripture. This does not necessarily imply Marcan authorship which, indeed, is open to question. The manuscript tradition is the main objection. Many MSS (including Var. and Sin.) omit the present ending. . . . it is difficult to see how the original gospel could have ended so abruptly at v. 8. Hence the hypothesis that, for some unknown reason, the original ending has been lost and the present ending, vv. 9-20, composed to fill the gap. This ending is, in fact, a brief summary of the appearances of the risen Christ, and its style differs notably from the usually concrete and pictorial style of Mark. The present ending, however, was known to Tatian and to Irenaeus in the 2nd century, and is to be found in the vast majority of Greek MSS and of the versions. That Mark was its author cannot be proved; it is, nonetheless, 'an authentic relic of the first Christian generation' (Swete). (Jerusalem Bible, 1966, New Testament, p. 89).

    New Interpreter's Study Bible

    16:1-8 The resurrection story in Mark is actually an empty tomb story; Jesus' resurrection is announced, but he does not appear himself, letting the empty tomb stand as proof that he is risen. (New Interpreter's Study Bible, 2003, p. 1843).

    16:8 . . . The ending is probably rhetorically intended to raise the emotions of listeners, encouraging them to act in faithful ways in order to succeed where the women and disciples did not. However, ending on a further report of failure by Jesus' followers, while consistent with much of the story, has continued to be unsatisfactory to many generations of Gospel readers up to the present. . . . The "shorter ending" and "longer ending" (16:9-20) change failure into success to end the Gospel on a positive note. (p. 1844).

    Life in the Spirit Study Bible.

    This much is certain about Mark 16:9-20, it represents the authentic witness of the early church's beliefs and charismatic experience of the Holy Spirit at a very early period. When properly interpreted, nothing in these verses contradicts other portions of Scripture. . . . And since the composition likely occurred after the death of John the apostle (c. A.D. 96), this passage demonstrates that the church of this period expected the ongoing occurrence of miracles in its midst (a problem for those who claim miracles ceased when the last of the original 12 apostles died). At some point there came to be widespread acceptance of this ending [16:9-20] by the church; in the providence of God it has been preserved for the church today. (Life in the Spirit Study Bible, 2003, p. 1530).

    Catholic Study Bible, 2nd ed.

    16:1-8 . . . The Gospel ends on a note of awe; the women leave the tomb, trembling and bewildered, struck silent by the awesome message entrusted to them (16:8). Some interpreters understand their silence as another instance of discipleship failure; the message given them is never delivered because of paralyzing fear. But it is unlikely Mark wants to suggest that the women never told the disciples about the empty tomb. The notes of awe and silence and fear are Mark's way of expressing profound reverence for the events he narrates. In Jesus' victory over death, God's power has transformed the world forever. (Catholic Study Bible, 2nd ed., 2011, p. 396).

    16:9-20 This passage, termed the Longer Ending to the Marcan gospel by comparison with a much briefer conclusion found in some less important manuscripts, has traditionally been accepted as a canonical part of the gospel and was defined as such by the Council of Trent. Early citations of it by the Fathers indicate that it was composed by the second century, although vocabulary and style indicate that it was written by someone other than Mark. It is a general resume of the material concerning the appearances of the risen Jesus, reflecting, in particular, traditions found in Lk 24 and Jn 20. (Catholic Study Bible, 2nd ed., 2011, p. 1432).

    ...Scottish Monk
     
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  2. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Scottish Monk
    I just came to this section of the forum to start a new thread on Mark Chapter 16 and you beat me to it. Great resources. I'll repost my info:

    The interesting thing about this Mark Chapter 16 passage is that it has been questioned as perhaps a later addition. I've read about this in a number of sources.

    The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV) An Ecumenical Study Bible:

    "Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at verse 8. One Authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and then continue with 9-20. In most authorities verses 9-20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful."

    "16.9-20: Two attempts to provide a satisfactory ending to the Gospel of Mark. The shorter ending. Although present in some manuscripts, this ending is clearly different from the rest of Mark in style and understanding of Jesus."

    "16.9-20: The longer ending. Possibly written in the early second century and appended to the Gospel later in the second century. These sentences borrow some motifs from the other Gospels and contain several unusual apocryphal elements. . . ." The note goes on to list references to the other Gospels.

    So, sadly for this pastor who died handling snakes (link: http://abcnews.go.com/US/serpent-han...5#.T8d0ltVumSo) , the passage of Scripture which speaks of handling snakes may have been added at a later date, meaning it may not have been contained in the autograph.

    This is an example (a tragic one) of why we must be careful about the Biblical translations we trust.

    Anna
     
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  3. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    To a great extent we are at the mercy of Biblical scholars, who study the transmission of Holy Scripture, know the ancient languages, consider newly discovered manuscripts, and are adept in textual criticism. There are more than 5000 N.T. manuscripts and there are more variants among them than words in the N.T. Most variants are clear errors, but some variants seem to have a theological motivation.

    I must admit it is difficult, as a layperson, to sort through all this; but I keep reading.

    Peace,
    Anna
     
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  4. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    That is a logical assessment. :)

    Anna
     
  5. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    It's a fascinating subject, especially given Irenaeus' familiarity with these verses. Clearly, it's widely believed that they're not part of Mark's original writing. However, we then must answer questions of authority. What do we make of these verses? How do we respond to them in private or corporate Scripture reading? I know that they recently appeared in our BCP's Daily Office Lectionary.

    If the Church historically recognizes something as Scripture, I (as an individual) lack the authority to reject it as such. Otherwise, I become a mini-pope in my own private Rome. So, I accept the later verses as Scripture because the Church sees them that way. I tend to think that the snakes refer to Paul on Malta, and the drinking of poison probably refers to John (if the legend of his poisoned wine has any basis in fact). But I wouldn't base any doctrines on them. Scripture supports Scripture. The same Spirit guided its writing, and He is not the author of confusion. If the concepts here do not seem to mesh with other parts of Scripture, we must use the rest of the Bible to guide our understanding of this. Nothing else in the Bible, and nothing from the Creeds or Councils or ECFs, speaks of "new practices" (snakes, etc) based on this passage. They clearly didn't see it that way.
     
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  6. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    Please see a new thread on "Manuscript Transmission" that I plan to start later today.

    ...Scottish Monk
     
  7. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Adam,
    You certainly make very important and valid points.

    Its a tough subject and one that I have struggled with in reading about multiple variants in N.T. manuscripts.

    Certainly, the ECF's use of Scripture is important in our Anglican view of Tradition. At the same time, even the N.T. made reference to writings that didn't make it into the N.T. Cannon.

    I do agree that Scripture interprets Scripture in so many instances (perhaps all) and Scottish Monk posted other references to snakes.

    I'm pondering. . . .
    Anna
     
  8. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Adam,
    See my thread entitled, "Is Lucifer a Biblical Name for Satan?"
     
  9. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    I found a link for Biblical Resources at Anglicans Online (http://anglicansonline.org/resources/biblical.html), which led me to the following comment on Mark Chapter 16:

    OUR BIBLE & THE ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS by SIR FREDERIC KENYON - formerly Director of the British Museum - © Sir F Kenyon 1895. First published Eyre & Spottiswoode 1895. - fourth edition 1939. - Prepared for katapi by Paul Ingram 2003.

    Chapter II
    II Variations in the Biblical Text
    The Mistakes of Copyists.

    3. Errors of Deliberate Alteration.

    ". . . . .The long passages, Mark xvi.9-20 and John vii.53-viii.11, which are absent from the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament, must have been either omitted in these or inserted in the others intentionally.

    If, as is more probably the case, they have been inserted in the later copies, this was no doubt done in order to supplement the Gospel from some other good source, and the narratives are almost certainly authentic, though the Evangelist in whose Gospel they now appear may not have written them.

    There is, however, no reason at all to suppose that additions of this kind have been made in any except a very few cases.
    The evidence for our Bible text is too great and of too varied a description to allow us to suppose that passages have been interpolated without any sign of it being visible. . . ." Link: http://www.katapi.org.uk/

    Adam Warlock and Scottish Monk:
    This seems to support the sentiments you both have expressed.

    Interesting discussion!

    Peace,
    Anna
     
  10. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow. Very interesting!
     
  11. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Adam,
    It's pretty cool when a scholar agrees with you. I'm jealous :p (oops. I think that's a sin--my bad.)
    Anna
     
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    It all opens a very big can of worms - especially for those Christians who believe the only version of the Bible that contains the inerrant word of God is the Authorised King James Version of Bible...

    Where does that leave the rest of us? :)
     
  13. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Gordon,
    I suppose we do the best we can with the information we have. Pursuits of the latest manuscript discoveries take away from mediation on the Scripture in our hands and our worship. Perhaps the study of the transmission of Scripture should be a secondary concern.

    Besides, even scholars say these variants do not really alter the message of the Gospel. They have so many manuscripts for comparison.

    I think part of the problem, as in the sad case of the minister who died due to handling snakes, is in interpretation of Holy Scripture. When you depart too far from the Tradition of the Church, it's easy to get into trouble. What would be the point, really, in handling snakes? It seems like this would call attention to one's self, but maybe I don't understand the practice. I love the liturgy of the Anglican Church. It keeps us focused on the Holy Trinity.

    Peace,
    Anna
     
  14. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree and even sadder for that particular pastor was instead of going to a hospital for treatment in the first instance he went home and was only taken to a hospital when it was obvious he was a very ill man.

    I know of another situation that happened a number of years ago in my old town Ipswich just west of Brisbane here in Australia. There had been a very bad termite infestation at our local Anglican Church and at one of the Pentecostal Churches in town. Our congregation got together and raised the money via our building fund to have the termites treated and the damage repaired, our Pentecostal brethren believed it could be fixed through prayer alone. I am sorry to say that it didn't work for that particular congregation and they ended up without a church for awhile so the church could be extensively repaired at a much later date.

    I suppose the moral of the story is that God works in mysterious ways and not necessarily the way we want him to... the point is if do pick up snakes and get bitten go to the hospital that God provided and use the medicine he provided to heal thyself. :)
     
  15. James Snapp Jr

    James Snapp Jr New Member

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    Scottish Monk (and Anna Scott and Adam Warlock),

    Regarding Mark 16:9-20: some of the resources you are citing are not very precise or accurate. Let’s stroll through them, testing as we go. Except for the Jerusalem Bible and the Catholic Study Bible, the notes you presented do not really supply readers with a review of the relevant evidence; instead they merely offer assertions or optimistically spin the abrupt ending at 16:8 – that is, they present conclusions, not evidence. That is sometimes required of footnotes which must fit into a small area on the printed page. Fortunately we have more space here (although not enough to fit what I intend to say into a single post at this forum.) So let’s look into the statements about the evidence.
    But before that, let me state the theory about Mark 16:9-20 to which my research has led me. I believe that Mark, in the midst of Roman persecution in the mid-60’s, was suddenly interrupted as he wrote 16:8, and entrusted colleagues at Rome to finish and distribute his work. He escaped to Alexandria where he was subsequently martyred. Meanwhile his colleagues, recognizing that Mark’s narrative was unfinished, but equally unwilling to create a fresh ending for what they regarded as the Memoirs of Peter, decided to complete the book by attaching an already-existing composition that Mark had written, on a separate occasion, about Christ’s post-resurrection appearances. With the narrative thus completed, the production-stage of the Gospel of Mark ended, and its transmission-stage began as copies of the full text, including 16:9-20, began to be made and distributed from Rome.

    Now about those Bible-footnotes.
    The Jerusalem Bible’s footnote says (as you presented it) that “Many MSS (including Var. and Sin.) omit the present ending.” (No doubt “Vat.,” as in, Vaticanus, was intended, not “Var.") As far as the Greek manuscripts are concerned, that is simply not true. Vaticanus and Sinaiticus do not contain Mark 16:9-20, and one medieval copy, 304, does not contain it (although the exact testimony of that MS is in question; it may simply be a damaged copy). All other Greek manuscripts of Mark 16, unless they are damaged, either include Mark 16:9-20 or show clearly that they included it when they were in pristine condition.

    Perhaps the Jerusalem Bible’s annotator was referring to non-Greek evidence (such as the 100+ Armenian copies of Mark that lack 16:9-20). But since he does not specify versional evidence, and since he proceeds to list two Greek manuscripts (Vaticanus and Sinaiticus), I doubt it. It rather looks like this note was not well-edited, inasmuch as it affirms that “Many MSS” omit verses 9-20 but later affirms that the passage is found “in the vast majority of Greek MSS and of the versions.” Just to clear this up: if we collect all extant Greek manuscripts of Mark 16, the number of Greek MSS in which the text of chapter 16 clearly ends at verse 8 is two (or three, if the medieval MS 304 is generously assumed to have not had additional pages when it was in pristine condition). If we collect all extant manuscripts of Mark 16 in all languages, produced before the year 700, the number of manuscripts in which the text of chapter 16 ends at verse eight is four: the Greek codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and the Sinaitic Syriac manuscript, and one Sahidic manuscript (the production-date of which was initially assigned to c. 425 but which may be centuries later). Added to their testimony is that of the Old Latin Codex Bobbiensis, produced c. 430, which has several anomalous features in its text of Mark 16, including the distinction of being the only extant manuscript of Mark in any language to conclude with the Shorter Ending, without verses 9-20.
    The Jerusalem Bible’s annotator mentioned a hypothesis that verses 9-20 were composed for the purpose of concluding the Gospel of Mark. That is very unlikely, inasmuch as 16:9 does not continue naturally from 16:8; the narrative stage is reset: nobody composing an ending for chapter 16 would restate the day and the time, and reintroduce Mary Magdalene. Notice too that Mary Magdalene’s companions seem to disappear between v. 8 and v. 9. This does not indicate that verses 9-20 were written to continue the chapter, but indicates instead the opposite. Another thing to consider is that although Mark 14:28 and 16:7 foreshadow an appearance in Galilee, the post-resurrection appearances described in 16:9-20 seem to be located in or near Jerusalem.

    The Catholic Study Bible correctly states that early citations of Mark 16:9-20 by the church fathers show that it was composed by the second century. Let’s be clear about the production-dates of the patristic writings to which we refer, and about how they relate to the production-dates of the relevant manuscripts; thus readers may plainly picture a timeline on which to frame the evidence.

    Around A.D. 160, Justin Martyr made a strong allusion to Mark 16:20 in his composition First Apology, chapter 45 (and may also refer to 16:14 in chapter 50). Now, when Justin quoted from the Gospels, he hardly ever cited a specific Gospel-account; his quotations seem to be from a Harmony of the Synoptic Gospels – that is, a text in which the contents of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were woven into one continuous account. Justin seems to have been using this Synoptics-Harmony not only when he composed First Apology, but also earlier, when he composed Dialogue With Trypho. So the presence of Mark 16:20 in Justin’s Synoptics-Harmony implies its presence in at least one copy from the late 130’s or 150’s, contemporary with P52 (the earliest catalogued manuscript of any portion of the New Testament).

    One of Justin’s students, named Tatian, took Justin’s Synoptics-Harmony a step further, and composed the Diatessaron, which combined all four Gospels into one continuous account. The Diatessaron was, for over 200 years, rather popular in Syria, but Tatian was considered a heretic (to be precise, an Encratite, advocating celibacy and vegetarianism) and his work was suppressed in the 400’s. It was not, however, altogether eliminated. The Latin Gospels-text in Codex Fuldensis (produced in 546) is based on the Vulgate, but its arrangement is based on a manuscript which was believed to be Tatian’s Diatessaron. Similarly, two medieval copies of the Arabic Diatessaron contain a Gospels-text with many readings drawn from the Syriac Peshitta version, but the text is arranged and combined in accord with its (non-extant) exemplar, which, appears to have been a Syriac copy of the Diatessaron. When we compare the arrangement of Mark 16:9-20 in Codex Fuldensis to the arrangement of Mark 16:9-20 in the Arabic Diatessaron, it is virtually the same (even though it involves an eyebrow-raising difficulty; namely, Jesus is describes leading out the disciples from Galilee to Bethany as if it is a short stroll). Thus Tatian, c. 172, also attests to the inclusion of Mark 16:9-20 in the Gospels-texts from which he drew the component-parts of the Diatessaron.

    The author of a rarely-cited second-century composition called the Epistula Apostolorum does not quote Mark 16:9-20 directly. However, the framework of his narrative corresponds to Mark 16:9-20 better than it does to the other Gospel-accounts. He pictures a woman encountering Christ after His resurrection, and telling the disciples, and not being believed. He also pictures the apostles, as a group, stating that they did not believe the woman’s report that Christ was risen from the dead. He also pictures the apostles, as a group, confessing to the risen Christ that they had been unbelieving. He also pictures Jesus then telling the apostles to “Go ye and preach to the twelve tribes, and preach also to the Gentiles,” etc. Collectively, this sequence of events in Epistula Apostolorum parallels events in Mark 16:9-15 more closely than it parallels the other Gospels.

    To be continued . . .
     
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  16. James Snapp Jr

    James Snapp Jr New Member

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    (continued from the previous post)
    The testimony of Papias, who wrote c. 110, should not be altogether ignored (especially if silent witnesses such as Clement of Alexandria and Origen are misrepresented as if they are major evidence against Mark 16:9-20).Papias does not quote from Mark 16:9-20.In a statement preserved by Eusebius (and, in a slightly different form, in a comment attributed to Philip of Side), Papias reported a miracle “regarding Justus surnamed Barsabbas” – the individual nominated for apostleship in Acts 1 – “he swallowed a deadly poison, and received no harm, on account of the grace of the Lord.”Philip of Side’s version has a little more detail:Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, drank the poison of a viper in the name of Christ when put to the test by the unbelievers, and was protected from all harm.”It is of course possible that Papias had no awareness whatsoever of Mark 16:18, and merely mentioned this event because it is intrinsically interesting.On the other hand, it is possible that he mentioned it as an example of how Jesus’ prophecy in Mark 16:18 about believers being unharmed in the event that they ingested something deadly was to be properly fulfilled, that is, it was to be understood as something that would happen incidentally, rather than as something that believers were to initiate.

    So in the 100’s, we have the following pieces of evidence:
    (1)from Papias (c. 110):a report about Justus Barsabbas that might conceivably allude to Mark 16:18, or which might be entirely unrelated.
    (2)from Justin (c. 160, extrapolated to the 140’s on the premise that Justin’s Synoptics-Harmony remained the same):a strong allusion to 16:20, and a probable allusion to 16:14.
    (3)from Tatian (c. 172):the incorporation of all 12 verses into the Diatessaron.
    (4)from Epistula Apostolorum (150, edited 180):a narrative framework apparently based on Mark 16:9-15.
    (5)from Irenaeus (c. 184):the specific quotation of Mark 16:19 as part of the Gospel of Mark.

    Setting aside the precarious testimony from Papias, that leaves us with four pieces of evidence from the 100’s that support the inclusion of 16:9-20 in the Gospel of Mark.

    Meanwhile, the two extant Greek copies in which the text of Mark 16 stops at 16:8 were made considerably later:in the 300’s (when Eusebius, and then the Arians Acacius and Euzoius, filled the office of bishop at Caesarea).In addition, both of those manuscripts have quirks at the end of Mark.In Codex Vaticanus, the copyist left a distinct blank space after Mark 16:8, as if he was using an exemplar that did not contain verses 9-20 but recollected the passage from another source and attempted to reserve space for it in case the eventual owner of the manuscript wanted to include it.In Codex Sinaiticus, all four pages that contain Mark 14:54-Luke 1:46 constitute one sheet of parchment (folded vertically in the middle, church-bulletin style) on which the handwriting is not the handwriting of the copyist who produced the surrounding pages.These four pages are replacement-pages.Someone – almost certainly the proofreader of the manuscript – removed the pages that had been made by the main copyist, and rewrote the contents of these four pages.The lettering on these pages is notable for two reasons:first, the rate of letters per column on these replacement-pages shifts erratically.Second, the lettering on these pages in Codex Sinaiticus (and not only the lettering, but also the use of a space-filling symbol, and the spelling, and the form of the sacred-name abbreviations) is remarkably similar to the lettering of one of the copyists who was involved in the production of Codex Vaticanus.This makes it very likely that both of these manuscripts were produced at the same scriptorium, and other features of Codex Sinaiticus make it very likely that this scriptorium was located at Caesarea.

    Now I want to address the rather out-of-focus comments found in the New Oxford Annotated Bible.Its statement, “One authority concludes the book with the shorter ending” refers to the Old Latin Codex Bobbiensis, which I described previously.The NOAB note does not mention that Codex Bobbiensis has an interpolation between Mark 16:3 and 16:4 which pictures Jesus ascending at the time of His resurrection.With this interpolation in the equation, the reliability of Codex Bobbiensis is drawn very much into question, both in terms of the orthodoxy of its text and the competence of its copyist. (The witnesses that have the Shorter Ending include a Greek-Sahidic lectionary which has a prefatory note that is also found in Greek; the thing to see is that the Shorter Ending clearly descends from a locale in Egypt. Egypt is where Bobbiensis was made; Egypt is where the Shorter Ending was composed, and Egypt is the place where the manuscripts were made which were taken to Caesarea c. 230 when Origen moved there. The existence of the Shorter Ending implies the previous existence of the abrupt ending in the locale where the Shorter Ending was made, and that locale was somewhere in Egypt.)

    The NOAB also states that “in most authorities verses 9-20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful.”First let’s draw the evidence into focus; although it is a common axiom in textual criticism that manuscripts should be weighed rather than merely counted, sometimes an awareness of the quantities involved can be illuminating.The “most authorities” to which the NOAB’s note refers includes over 1,700 Greek copies of Mark, plus the lectionaries (in which Mk. 16:9-20 is the third lection in the Heothina-series and is also a reading for Ascension-Day).The “others” which include the Shorter Ending between v. 8 and v. 9 consist of dozens of Ethiopic copies, but only five Greek manuscripts (plus one which has the Shorter Ending in the margin).

    The NOAB’s claim that the passage is marked in some authorities as being doubtful does not survive a careful test of Greek manuscripts.Although a claim is frequently found in commentaries to the effect that some copies accompany Mark 16:9-20 with asterisks or obeli to indicate scribal doubt about the passage, such a claim is not true. Symbols which refer to the beginnings and ends of lections have been misunderstood by earlier researchers who apparently examined them in a cursory way.

    Similarly, the NOAB’s claim that Mark 16:9-20 borrows some motifs from the other Gospels does not survive careful analysis.A written aware of Matthew 28, in which the disciples go to Galilee after receiving the report of the women who visited Christ’s tomb, would have no motivation to state that the apostles did not believe the report that Jesus was alive.And a writer aware of Luke 24, in which Jesus apparently appears to the disciples at the same time that the two travelers are reporting to the main group, would have no reason to separate those two events as two distinct scene (as is done in Mark 16:12-14).Now, clearly Mark 16:9-20 is describing some of the same events that are described by Matthew and Luke, but that does not necessarily imply a literary relationship among the three works, and the differences imply rather the opposite, namely, that the person who wrote Mark 16:9-20 was not aware of the contents of Matthew 28 or Luke 24.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.
     
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  17. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the input; you've clearly done your homework! Additional resources and commentary are always welcome. I should add that this particular discussion is probably different than most forum debates of Mark 16, because we're approaching it from a specifically Anglican perspective. In short, our churches accept the entire chapter as Scripture - though there is no "official" position on the authorship of the final verses.

    It's certainly an interesting chapter, and the ECF witnesses to it are also quite interesting.
     
  18. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    James...

    Welcome to the Anglican forums.

    Thank you for your lengthy comments on the end of the Gospel of Mark. I checked a couple of textual commentaries on the Greek text that I have in my personal library. Both of these are in support of ending the original text to the gospel at Mark 16:8, as are the notes in the UBS 4th ed, Nestle-Aland 27th ed. Three commentaries that I have in my personal library also support the ending of the original text with Mark 16:8.

    Of course, as to be expected, textual notes favoring the longer ending of Mark (16:9-20) can be found in other sources, as you must be using some of those sources in your replies above. Would you be able to provide citations (author, title, date, publisher, link to Amazon.com) to the sources you are using that favor the longer ending? This would be a courtesy to our forum participants who may want to research the ending themselves.

    Here are three sources to the Greek text that support the Mark 16:8 ending.

    Metzger, B. M. (1994). A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed.). United Bible Societies; German Bible Societies. P. 102-107.​

    Omanson, R. L. (2006). A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament. German Bible Societies. P. 103-107.​

    Brown, R. K., Comfort, P. W. (1990). The New Greek English Interlinear New Testament. Tyndale House Publishers. P. 191.​

    Here are three commentaries that support the Mark 16:8 ending.

    Comfort, P. W. (2008). New Testament Text and Translation Comentary. Tyndale House. P. 156-163.​

    Garland, D. E. (2002). Mark. [In C. E. Arnold (gen. ed.), Zondervan Illustrated Biblical Backgrounds Commentary, Vol. 1: Matthew, Mark, Luke.] Zondervan. P. 308-309.​

    Hendriksen, W. (1975). Mark. [In New Testament Commentary, Vol. 2.]. Baker Books. P. 682+693.​

    I do not expect you and I will reach agreement on the ending of the gospel of Mark--as this has been discussed for many centuries. However, as I said above, I do appreciate your extensive research and do respect your interpretation.

    ...Scottish Monk
     
  19. James Snapp Jr

    James Snapp Jr New Member

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    Scottish Monk,
    Thanks for the welcome; it’s nice to be here. For the citations you asked for, at the risk of sounding self-promoting I recommend consulting the footnotes in my research-book Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20. (It’s available as a Kindle ebook. If you cannot afford it, just email me and ask for a copy.) This is the best available book on the subject.

    Regarding the works you mentioned which support the abrupt ending at 16:8: there is a saying in textual criticism that manuscripts must be weighed, not merely counted. The same is true of commentators. The book by Omanson is essentially a simplified form of Metzger’s Textual Commentary. And if you compare P.W. Comfort’s statements about Mark 16:9-20 to Metzger’s statements, as found in early editions of The Text of the New Testament and in his Textual Commentary, I believe you will see that Comfort closely echoes Metzger again and again. I strongly suspect that Dr. Comfort’s research on this subject did not extent much farther than reading Metzger’s work, which Comfort distorts so as to turn it into propaganda for the Alexandrian Text. His readers probably think that they are reading an even-handed, well balanced presentation of the evidence. But that is not the case. His evidence-presentations are extremely one-sided; he omits very many important pieces of evidence and fails to describe important aspects of the ones that he does mention. Looking for inaccuracies in Comfort’s work is like looking for teeth in a tiger’s mouth. If you really want the details I could describe all the things that are wrong with Dr. Comfort’s statements, but for now let’s move along.
    Regarding Garland and Hendriksen: suppose someone asked you to point out things that Garland and Hendriksen say about the evidence pertaining to Mark 16:9-20 that Metzger does not say. What would be your answer?

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.
     
  20. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    James Snapp, Jr....

    Thank you again for your recent post. My position remains as I recorded in my first post.

    For what it is worth, I am in the camp that Mark ended the original gospel with verse 8, as we have it. I also believe, however, that the "additions" reflect the thinking of the early church and contain information that is supported elsewhere in Scripture.​

    I have decided to no longer debate this topic. Please feel free to post whatever textual criticism comments you wish to share on this forum. Maybe others will exchange posts with you.

    Peace of Christ be with you.
    ...Scottish Monk
     

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