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Mark 16
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Mark 16

Mark 16 is a shorthand for the 16th and final chapter of the Gospel of Mark. There is evidence that verses 16:9-20 are not part of the original document, but an ancient completion of it. There are arguments for and against the longer ending of Mark.

Table of contents
1 Possible Scenarios
2 Internal Evidence
3 Textual Evidence
4 Scholarly Conclusions
5 External Links

Possible Scenarios

Internal Evidence

Verses 16:8-9 run like this in the
King James Bible:

16:8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. 9. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

3:10 Πολλους γαρ [gar] εθεραπευσεν ωστε επιπιπτειν αυτω ινα αυτου αψωνται οσοι ειχον μαστιγας.

3:10 For he had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues.

6:20 Ο γαρ [gar] Ηρωδης εφοβειτο τον Ιωαννην ειδως αυτον ανδρα δικαιον και αγιον.

6:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy.

13:33 Βλεπετε αγρυπνειτε και προσευχεσθε ουκ οιδατε γαρ [gar] ποτε ο καιρος εστιν.

13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Textual Evidence

Thus the earliest evidence for the inclusion of Mark 16:9-20 pre-dates the earliest evidence for its non-inclusion. Also, the evidence for patristic use of the Long Ending is spread over a broad area: Justin (in Rome), Irenaeus (in Gaul [France]), Eusebius (in Caesarea [in Israel], Vincentius (in North Africa), and Tatian and Aphraates (in Syria). Against this, the ancient Greek evidence for non-inclusion is confined to Egypt (and Caesarea, but this is because the library at Caesarea included Egyptian manuscripts). The implication of this is that copies of Mark containing the Long Ending were in use at all these locations. And the blank column in Vaticanus suggests that the Long Ending was known in Egypt too.

Scholarly Conclusions

Many contemporary scholars, particularly those in the modernist tradition, do not believe verses 16:9-20 originally belonged to Mark, but many others, particularly those in the traditionalist or fundamentalist tradition, argue that the evidence is insufficient to justify its exclusion or that the evidence in fact supports its inclusion. Many modern Bibles decline to put the longer ending of Mark together with the rest of the gospel, but, because of its importance and prominence, it is often included as a footnote or an appendix to the rest of the gospel.

See also:

External Links

For and against the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20

Against the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20

For the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20