Conclusions to the Gospel of Mark


#1

I gather there are three conclusions around for the Gospel of Saint Mark, one of which is disregarded by everyone. The other two conclusions are the short (put to v. 8) and the long (up to v. 20). All reputable Bibles I have read include the long conclusion. I say "all reputable Bibles" because the New World Translation of the JWs doesn't include it and isn't a reputable version.

The reason they exclude the long ending is, according to the appendix of said version, that it is not found in the most ancient manuscripts.

Is that true, and if so, why do we have the long version of the Gospel? Is anything known as to which version was included in the Canon defined at the councils?


#2

All Catholic Bibles include the long version of the Gospel of Mark, if I understand it correctly. This ending is identified as part of Scripture via the Council of Trent as a matter of faith. However, I believe that ending was also included in most earlier editions of the Bible from antiquity, since the first collections of the New Testament shortly after apostolic times.

Wikipedia actually covers this fairly well:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16

Peace,

Tom


#3

I did read in the OCE that the vast majority of the most reliable documents include it, but to my knowledge they are all later than the ones that don't. :shrug:


#4

[quote="CutlerB, post:1, topic:342132"]
I gather there are three conclusions around for the Gospel of Saint Mark, one of which is disregarded by everyone. The other two conclusions are the short (put to v. 8) and the long (up to v. 20). All reputable Bibles I have read include the long conclusion. I say "all reputable Bibles" because the New World Translation of the JWs doesn't include it and isn't a reputable version.

The reason they exclude the long ending is, according to the appendix of said version, that it is not found in the most ancient manuscripts.

Is that true, and if so, why do we have the long version of the Gospel? Is anything known as to which version was included in the Canon defined at the councils?

[/quote]

I had a series of posts about the endings from a while back:

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10778947&postcount=19
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10779152&postcount=22
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10779218&postcount=24
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10783010&postcount=27
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10783152&postcount=28
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10783293&postcount=29
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10820758&postcount=30
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=10841871&postcount=31


#5

Hi Cutler,

It is true that several of the best manuscripts don't include the long ending. But it has been received ty the Church as inspired. The conclustion of the experts is that the passage was not originally in Mark's gospel but was added by persons close to him.

Since Protestants don't accept the role of the Church in receiving inspired scripture, it may be logical for them to omit the long ending.

Verbum


#6

Irenaeus quotes the long ending of Mark in the year 177.

It's enough for me that a learned man like him would regard it as Scripture way back then.


#7

My theory is that Mark wrote more than one copy of his Gospel, and at least in both Greek and Aramaic. I believe that manuscript and witnesses from the Church Fathers demonstrate that the various endings are very ancient, which leads me to believe that Mark is the author of both endings. If I was going to write something as important as a Gospel account to be spread abroad, I would write more than just one copy.


#8

[quote="COPLAND_3, post:7, topic:342132"]
My theory is that Mark wrote more than one copy of his Gospel, and at least in both Greek and Aramaic. I believe that manuscript and witnesses from the Church Fathers demonstrate that the various endings are very ancient, which leads me to believe that Mark is the author of both endings. If I was going to write something as important as a Gospel account to be spread abroad, I would write more than just one copy.

[/quote]

Actually only the Long Ending has some attestation among the ECFs. The so-called Shorter Ending ("But they [the women] reported briefly to Peter...") only appears in a few manuscripts (six Greek ones, dozens of Ethiopic ones, and one Latin: Codex Bobiensis) - where it usually precedes the Longer Ending - and is not mentioned at all by the Fathers. Besides, the Shorter Ending has a continuity error. 16:8 ends with "and they said nothing to anyone for they were afraid;" the Shorter Ending however contradicts this at the very first sentence: "[the women] reported briefly to Peter and those with him all that they had been told."

In fact, the one manuscript which only has this ending without the longer one, Codex Bobiensis, attempts to smoothen out the difficulty by eliminating the second half of verse 8 altogether, linking the ending directly with the earlier half of the verse.

Omnia autem quaecumque praecepta erant et qui cum puero (= petro) erant breuiter exposuerunt posthaec et ipse · h[esus] adparuit et ab oriente[m] · usque · usque in orientem (= *occidentem) · misit per illos · sanctam · et incorruptam · ha [praedicationis (= praedicationem)] · salutis aeternae · amen ·

Now all the things which they had been commanded they reported briefly to those who also were with (Peter). And after these things (Jesus) himself appeared; he sent out through them, from east to (west), the holy and imperishable (proclamation) of eternal salvation, Amen.

That's not to say that the Longer Ending has itself doesn't have some 'continuity errors'. I'm going to quote from one of the posts I linked to:

We could ask, why would the scribes of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus choose to reject the inclusion of the longer ending? One possible answer could be found in Eusebius of Caesarea's (yes, the Eusebius who wrote Church History) response to the questions of Marinus (which is repeated by St. Jerome in his response to Hedibia, as well as in comments appearing in Victor of Antioch) about the gospels. Marinus had expressed his concern that Mark 16:9 contradicts Matthew 28:1, to which Eusebius replies:

[INDENT]This can be solved in two ways. The person not wishing to accept [these verses] will say that it is not contained in all copies of the Gospel according to Mark. Indeed the accurate copies conclude the story according to Mark in the words of the young man seen by the women and saying to them, Do not be afraid. You seek Jesus ...] they were afraid. For the end is here in nearly all the copies of Mark. What follows is found but seldom, in some copies but by no means in all. It could be considered superfluous, especially if it should turn out to contradict the witness of the other evangelists. This would be a response that avoided and altogether set aside an unnecessary question.

But another [solution], on no account daring to reject anything whatever which is, under whatever circumstances, met with in the text of the Gospels, will say that here are two readings (as is so often the case elsewhere); and that both are to be received, - inasmuch as by the faithful and pious, this reading is not held to be genuine rather than that; nor that than this.

Jerome repeats essentially what Eusebius had said:

Why is it that the evangelists narrate matters relating to the resurrection and appearance of the Lord differently? ... There are two ways of solving this question. Either we do not receive the testimony of Mark because it is found in few Gospel books, nearly all Greek books lacking this final chapter - especially since it seems to narrate matters different from and contrary to the other Gospels - or we reply that both are true.

In other words, some 4th-century readers might have expressed concern about certain elements in the Longer Ending involving chronology, location and events which were in seeming contradiction to statements appearing in other gospels.[/INDENT]


#9

(Continued)

Specifically, Marinus had asked Eusebius that "[h]ow is it, that according to Matthew [28:1], the Savior appears to have risen 'in the end of the Sabbath;' but according to Mark [16:9], 'early the first day of the week'?" Jerome in his turn was also replying to pretty much the same question:

[INDENT]Here you [Hedibia] ask first why Matthew said that, "But when the evening of the Sabbath had begun to dawn, on the first day of the following week the Lord rose again", and Mark relates that his resurrection happened in the morning, thus writing, "However when he rose again, on the first day of the week, in the morning Mary Magdalen arrived, from whom he had expelled seven demons: and she departing announced to those who were mourning and weeping with her. And these hearing that he was alive, and that she had seen him, did not believe in him".

A third writer who repeated what Eusebius said is Victor of Antioch (ca. AD 425), author of a commentary on Mark:

In certain copies of Mark's gospel, next comes, 'Now when [Jesus] was risen early the first day of the week, He appeared to Mary Magdalene,' a statement which seems inconsistent with Matthew's narrative. This might be met by asserting, that the conclusion of Mark's gospel, though found in certain copies, is spurious. However, that we may not seem to betake ourselves to an off-hand answer, we propose to read the place thus: 'Now when [Jesus] was risen:' then, after a comma, to go on, 'early the first day of the week He appeared to Mary Magdalene.' In this way we refer [Mark's] 'Now when [Jesus] was risen' to Matthew's 'in the end of the sabbath,' (for then we believe Him to have risen) and all that comes after, expressive as it is of a different notion, we connect with what follows. Mark relates that He who 'arose (according to Matthew) in the end of the Sabbath,' was seen by Mary Magdalene 'early'.

You'd notice that both Eusebius, Jerome and Victor speak as if there weren't too many manuscripts containing the Longer Ending in their day. (In fact, Eusebius says that "the accurate copies conclude" at 16:8.) Which would of course be the reverse of the situation now: most copies of Mark in Greek we have today contain it.

A second possibility for the rejection of the inclusion of the Longer Ending might be due to perceived difficulties if certain "sign gifts" might be claimed in support of some revived form of prophetic leadership, partcularly neo-Montanism. Since such groups might use the passage as proof-text to bolster their claims of miraculous signs and advanced prophetic revelation over against established orthodoxy, removal or replacement of the passage might have been seen by some as the optimal solution.[/INDENT]


#10

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