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History of the Church #24

The Gospel of Mark


BRIEF CHURCH HISTORY #24

30-100 AD


From "History of the Christian Church " by Philip Schaff
(1858)


LIFE OF MARK


The second Evangelist combines in his name, as well as in his
mission, the Hebrew and the Roman, and is a connecting link
between Peter and Paul, but more especially a pupil and companion
of the former, so that his Gospel may properly be called the
Gospel of Peter. His original name was John or Johanan (i. e.,
Jehovah is gracious, Gotthold), his surname was Mark (i. e.,
Mallet). The surname supplanted the Hebrew name in his later
life, as Peter supplanted Simon, and Paul supplanted Saul. The
change marked the transition of Christianity from the Jews to the
Gentiles. He is frequently mentioned in the Acts and the
Epistles.

He was the son of a certain Mary who lived at Jerusalem and
offered her house, at great risk no doubt in that critical period
of persecution, to the Christian disciples for devotional
meetings. Peter repaired to that house after his deliverance from
prison (A.D.44). This accounts for the close intimacy of Mark
with Peter; he was probably converted through him, and hence
called his spiritual "son" (1 Pct.5:13). He may have had a
superficial acquaintance with Christ; for he is probably
identical with that unnamed "young man" who, according to his own
report, left his "linen cloth and fled naked" from Gethsemane in
the night of betrayal (14:51). He would hardly have mentioned
such a trifling incident, unless it had a special significance
for him as the turning-point in his life. Lange ingeniously
conjectures that his mother owned the garden of Gethsemane or a
house close by.

Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas as their minister (Greek) on
their first great missionary journey; but left them half-way,
being discouraged, it seems, by the arduous work, and returned to
his mother in Jerusalem. For this reason Paul refused to take him
on his next tour, while Barnabas was willing to overlook his
temporary weakness (Acts 15:38). There was a "sharp contention"
on that occasion between these good men, probably in connection
with the more serious collision between Paul and Peter at Antioch
(Gal.2:11 sqq.). Paul was moved by a stern sense of duty;
Barnabas by a kindly feeling for his cousin. But the alienation
was only temporary. For about ten years afterwards (63) Paul
speaks of Mark at Rome as one of his few "fellow-workers unto the
kingdom of God," who had been "a comfort" to him in his
imprisonment; and he commends him to the brethren in Asia Minor
on his intended visit (Col.4:10,11; Philem. 24). In his last
Epistle he charges Timothy to bring Mark with him to Rome on the
ground that he was "useful to him for ministering" (2 Tim.4:11). 
We find him again in company with Peter at "Babylon," whether
that be on the Euphrates, or, more probably, at Rome (1 Pet.5:
13).
(NO, it was not at Rome, but indeed Babylon on the Euphrates -
Keith Hunt)

These are the last notices of him in the New Testament. The
tradition of the church adds two important facts, that he wrote
his Gospel in Rome as the interpreter of Peter, and that
afterwards he founded the church of Alexandria. The Coptic
patriarch claims to be his successor. The legends of his
martyrdom in the eighth year of Nero (this date is given by
Jerome) are worthless. In 827 his relics were removed from Egypt
to Venice, which built him a magnificent five-domed cathedral on
the Place of St. Mark, near the Doge's palace, and chose him with
his symbol, the Lion, for the patron saint of the republic.

HIS RELATION TO PETER

Though not an apostle, Mark had the best opportunity in his
mother's house and his personal connection with Peter, Paul,
Barnabas, and other prominent disciples for gathering the most
authentic information concerning the gospel history.

The earliest notice of his Gospel we have from Papias of
Hierapolis in the first half of the second century. He reports
among the primitive traditions which he collected, that "Mark,
having become the interpreter of Peter (Greek), wrote down
accurately (Greek ) whatever he remembered, without, however,
recording in order (Greek) what was either said or done by
Christ. For neither did he hear the Lord, nor did he follow Him;
but afterwards, as I said, [he followed] Peter, who adapted his
instructions to the needs [of his hearers], but not in the way of
giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses. So then Mark
committed no error in thus writing down such details as he
remembered; for he made it his one forethought not to omit or to
misrepresent any details that he had heard.

(And Mark had the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - Keith Hunt)

In what sense was Mark an "interpreter" of Peter? Not as the
translator of a written Aramaic Gospel of Peter into the Greek,
for of such an Aramaic original there is no trace, and Peter (to
judge from his Epistles) wrote better Greek; nor as the
translator of his discourses into Latin, for we know not whether
he understood that language, and it was scarcely needed even in
Rome among Jews and Orientals who spoke Greek; nor in the wider
sense, as a mere clerk or amanuensis, who wrote down what Peter
dictated; but as the literary editor and publisher of the oral
Gospel of his spiritual father and teacher. So Mercury was called
the interpreter of the gods, because he communicated to mortals
the messages of the gods. It is quite probable, however, that
Peter sketched down some of the chief events under the first
impression, in his vernacular tongue, and that such brief
memoirs, if they existed, would naturally be made use of by Mark.

We learn, then, from Papias that Mark wrote his Gospel from the
personal reminiscences of Peter's discourses, which were adapted
to the immediate wants of his hearers; that it was not complete
(especially in the didactic part, as compared with Matthew or
John), nor strictly chronological.

Clement of Alexandria informs us that the people of Rome were so
much pleased with the preaching of Peter that they requested
Mark, his attendant, to put it down in writing, which Peter
neither encouraged nor hindered. Other ancient fathers emphasize
the close intimacy of Mark with Peter, and call his Gospel the
Gospel of Peter.

THE GOSPEL

This tradition is confirmed by the book: it is derived from the
apostolic preaching of Peter, but is the briefest and so far the
least complete of all the Gospels, yet replete with significant
details. It reflects the sanguine and impulsive temperament,
rapid movement, and vigorous action of Peter. In this respect its
favorite particle "straightway" is exceedingly characteristic.
The break-down of Mark in Pamphylia, which provoked the censure
of Paul, has a parallel in the denial and inconsistency of Peter;
but, like him, he soon rallied, was ready to accompany Paul on
his next mission, and persevered faithfully to the end.

He betrays, by omissions and additions, the direct influence of
Peter. He informs us that the house of Peter was "the house of
Simon and Andrew" (1 29). He begins the public ministry of Christ
with the calling of these two brothers (1:16), and ends the
undoubted part of the Gospel with a message to Peter (16:7), and
the supplement almost in the very words o� Peter. He tells us
that Peter on the Mount of Transfiguration, when he proposed to
erect three tabernacles, "knew not what to say" (9:6). He gives
the most minute account of Peter's denial, and - alone among the
Evangelists - records the fact that he warmed himself "in the
light" of the fire so that he could be distinctly seen (14:54),
and that the cock crew twice, giving him a second warning (14:
72). No one would be more likely to remember and report the fact
as a stimulus to humility and gratitude than Peter himself.
On the other hand, Mark omits the laudatory words of Jesus to
Peter: "Thou art Rock, and upon this rock I will build my
church;" while yet he records the succeeding rebuke: "Get thee
behind me, Satan." The humility of the apostle, who himself warns
so earnestly against the hierarchical abuse of the former
passage, offers the most natural explanation of this conspicuous
omission. "It is likely," says Eusebius, "that Peter maintained
silence on these points; hence the silence of Mark."

CHARACTER AND AIM OF MARK

The second Gospel was - according to the unanimous voice of the
ancient church, which is sustained by internal evidence written
at Rome and primarily for Roman readers, probably before the
death of Peter, at all events before the destruction of
Jerusalem.
It is a faithful record of Peter's preaching, which Mark must
have heard again and again. It is an historical sermon on the
text of Peter when addressing the Roman soldier Cornelius "God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power:
who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of
the devil; for God was with him." It omits the history of the
infancy, and rushes at once into the public ministry of our Lord,
beginning, like Peter, with the baptism of John, and ending with
the ascension. It represents Christ in the fulness of his living
energy, as the Son of God and the mighty wonder-worker who
excited amazement and carried the people irresistibly before him
as a spiritual conqueror. This aspect would most impress the
martial mind of the Romans, who were born to conquer and to rule.
The teacher is lost in the founder of a kingdom. The heroic
element prevails over the prophetic. The victory over Satanic
powers in the healing of demoniacs is made very prominent. It is
the gospel of divine force manifested in Christ. The symbol of
the lion is not inappropriate to the Evangelist who describes
Jesus as the Lion of the tribe of Judah!

Mark gives us a Gospel of facts, while Matthew's is a Gospel of
divine oracles. He reports few discourses, but many miracles. He
unrolls the short public life of our Lord in a series of brief
life-pictures in rapid succession. He takes no time to explain
and to reveal the inside. He dwells on the outward aspect of that
wonderful personality as it struck the multitude. Compared with
Matthew and especially with John, he is superficial, but not on
that account incorrect or less useful and necessary. He takes the
theocratic view of Christ, like Matthew; while Luke and John take
the universal view; but while Matthew for his Jewish readers
begins with the descent of Christ from David the King and often
directs attention to the fulfilment of prophecy, Mark, writing
for Gentiles, begins with "the Son of God" in his independent
personality. He rarely quotes prophecy; but, on the other hand,
he translates for his Roman readers Aramaic words and Jewish
customs and opinions. He exhibits the Son of God in his mighty
power and expects the reader to submit to his authority.

Two miracles are peculiar to him, the healing of the deaf and
dumb man in Decapolis, which astonished the people "beyond
measure" and made them exclaim: "He hath done all things well: he
maketh even the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak" (7:31-37).
The other miracle is a remarkable specimen of a gradual cure, the
healing of the blind man at Bethsaida, who upon the first touch
of Christ saw the men around him walking, but indistinctly as
trees, and then after the second laying on of hands upon his eyes
"saw all things clearly" (8:22-26). He omits important parables,
but alone gives the interesting parable of the seed growing
secretly and bearing first the blade, then the ear, then the full
grain in the ear (4:26-29).

It is an interesting feature to which Dr. Lange first has
directed attention, that Mark lays emphasis on the periods of
pause and rest which "rhythmically intervene between the several
great victories achieved by Christ." He came out from his obscure
abode in Nazareth; each fresh advance in his publie life is
preceded by a retirement, and each retirement is followed by a
new and greater victory. The contrast between the contemplative
rest and the vigorous action is striking and explains the
overpowering effect by revealing its secret spring in the
communion with God and with himself. Thus we have after his
baptism a retirement to the wilderness in Judaea before he
preached in Galilee (1:12); a retirement to the ship (3:7); to
the desert on the eastern shore of the lake of Galilee (6:31); to
a mountain (6:46); to the border land of Tyre and Sidon (7:24);
to Decapolis (7:31); to a high mountain (9:2); to Bethany 
(11:1); to Gethsemane (14:34); his rest in the grave before the
resurrection; and his withdrawal from the world and his
reappearance in the victories of the gospel preached by his
disciples. The ascension of the Lord forms his last withdrawal,
which is to be followed by his final onset and absolute victory.

DOCTRINAL POSITION

Mark has no distinct doctrinal type, but is catholic, irenic,
unsectarian, and neutral as regards the party questions within
the apostolic church. But this is not the result of calculation
or of a tendency to obliterate and conciliate existing
differences. Mark simply represents the primitive form of
Christianity itself before the circumcision controversy broke out
which occasioned the apostolic conference at Jerusalem twenty
years after the founding of the church. His Gospel is Petrine
without being anti-Pauline, and Pauline without being
anti-Petrine. Its doctrinal tone is the same as that of the
sermons of Peter in the Acts. It is thoroughly practical. Its
preaches Christianity, not theology.

The same is true of the other Gospels, with this difference,
however, that Matthew has a special reference to Jewish, Luke to
Gentile readers, and that both make their selection accordingly
under the guidance of the Spirit and in accordance with their
peculiar charisma and aim, but without altering or coloring the
facts. Mark stands properly between them just as Peter stood
between James and Paul.

THE STYLE

The style of Mark is unclassical, inelegant, provincial, homely,
poor and repetitious in vocabulary, but original, fresh, and
picturesque, and enlivened by interesting touches and flickers.

He was a stranger to the arts of rhetoric and unskilled in
literary composition, but an attentive listener, a close
observer, and faithful recorder of actual events. He is strongly
Hebraizing, and uses often the Hebrew and, but seldom the
argumentative for. He inserts a number of Latin words, though
most of these occur also in Matthew and Luke, and in the Talmud.
He uses the particle "forthwith" or "straightway" more frequently
than all the other Evangelists combined. It is his pet word, and
well expresses his haste and rapid transition from event to
event, from conquest to conquest. He quotes names and phrases in
the original Aramaic, as "Abba," "Boanerges," "Talitha, kum," 
"Corban," "Ephphathah," and "Eloi, Eloi," with a Greek
translation! He is fond of the historical present, of the direct
instead of the indirect mode of speech, of pietorical
participles, and of affectionate diminutives. He observes time
and place of important events. He has a number of peculiar
expressions not found elsewhere in the New Testament!

CHARACTERISTIC DETAILS

Mark inserts many delicate tints and interesting incidents of
persons and events which he must have heard from primitive
witnesses. They are not the touches of fancy or the reflections
of an historian, but the reminiscences of the first impressions.
They occur in every chapter. He makes some little contribution to
almost every narrative he has in common with Matthew and Luke. He
notices the overpowering impression of awe and wonder, joy and
delight, which the words and miracles of Jesus and his very
appearance made upon the people and the disciples; the actions of
the multitude as they were rushing and thronging and pressing
upor Him that He might touch and heal them, so that there was
scarcely standing room, or time to eat. On one occasion his
kinsmen were about forcibly to remove Him from the throng. He
directs attention to the human emotions and passions of our Lord,
how he was stirred by pity, wonder, grief, anger and indignation.
He notices his attitudes, looks and gestures, his sleep and
hunger.

He informs us that Jesus, "looking upon" the rich young ruler,
"loved him," and that the ruler's "countenance fell" when he was
told to sell all he had and to follow Jesus. Mark, or Peter
rather, must have watched the eye of our Lord and read in his
face the expression of special interest in that man who
notwithstanding his self-righteousness and worldliness had some
lovely qualities and was not very far from the kingdom.

The cure of the demoniac and epileptic at the foot of the mount
of transfiguration is narrated with greater circumstantiality and
dramatic vividness by Mark than by the other Synoptists. He
supplies the touching conversation of Jesus with the father of
the sufferer, which drew out his weak and struggling faith with
the earnest prayer for strong and victorious faith: "I believe;
help Thou mine unbelief." We can imagine how eagerly Peter, the
confessor, caught this prayer, and how often he repeated it in
his preaching, mindful of his own weakness and trials.

All the Synoptists relate on two distinct occasions Christ's love
for little children, but Mark alone tells us that He "took little
children into his arms, and laid his hands upon them."
Many minor details not found in the other Gospels, however
insignificant in themselves, are yet most significant as marks of
the autopticity of the narrator (Peter). Such are the notices
that Jesus entered the house of "Simon and Andrew, with James and
John" (1:29); that the Pharisees took counsel "with the
Herodians" (3:6); that the raiment of Jesus at the
transfiguration became exceeding white as snow "so as no fuller
on earth can whiten them " (9:3); that blind Bartimaeus when
called, "casting away his garment, leaped up" (10:50), and came
to Jesus; that "Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him
privately" on the Mount of Olives about the coming events (13:
3); that the five thousand sat down "in ranks, by hundreds and
fifties" (6:40); that the Simon who carried the cross of Christ
(15:21) was a "Cyrenian" and "the father of Alexander and Rufus"
(no doubt, two well-known disciples, perhaps at Rome, comp. Rom.
16:13).

We may add, as peculiar to Mark and "bewraying" Peter, the
designation of Christ as "the carpenter" (6:3); the name of the
blind beggar at Jericho, "Bartimaeus" (10:46); the "cushion " in
the boat on which Jesus slept (4:38); the "green grass" on the
hill side in spring time (4:39); the "one loaf" in the ship (8:
14); the colt "tied at the door without in the open street"
(11:4); the address to the daughter of Jairus in her mother
tongue (5:41); the bilingual "Abba, Father," in the prayer at
Gethsemane (14:36; comp. Rom. 8:15; Gal.4:6).

CONCLUSION

The natural conclusion from all these peculiarities is that
Mark's Gospel, far from being an extract from Matthew or Luke or
both, as formerly held, is a thoroughly independent and original
work, as has been proven by minute investigations of critics of
different schools and aims. It is in all its essential parts a
fresh, life-like, and trustworthy record of the persons and
events of the gospel history from the lips of honest old Peter
and from the pen of his constant attendant and pupil. Jerome hit
it in the fourth century, and unbiassed critics in the nineteenth
century confirm it: Peter was the narrator, Mark the writer, of
the second Gospel.

Some have gone further and maintain that Mark, "the interpreter
of Peter," simply translated a Hebrew Gospel of his teacher; but
tradition knows nothing of a Hebrew Peter, while it speaks of a
Hebrew Matthew; and a book is called after its author, not after
its translator. It is enough to say, Peter was the preacher, Mark
the reporter and editor.

The bearing of this fact upon the reliableness of the Synoptic
record of the life of Christ is self-evident. It leaves no room
for the mythical or legendary hypothesis.

INTEGRITY OF THE GOSPEL

The Gospel closes (16:9-20) with a rapid sketch of the wonders of
the resurrection and ascension, and the continued manifestations
of power that attend the messengers of Christ in preaching the
gospel to the whole creation. This close is upon the whole
characteristic of Mark and presents the gospel as a divine power
pervading and transforming the world, but it contains some
peculiar features, namely: (1) one of the three distinct
narratives of Christ's ascension (ver.19, "he was received up
into heaven;" the other two being those of Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:
9-11), with the additional statement that he "sat down at the
right hand of God " (comp. the similar statement, 1 Pet.3:22);
(2) an emphatic declaration of the necessity of baptism for
salvation ("he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved "),
with the negative clause that unbelief (i.e., the rejection of
the gospel offer of salvation) condemns ("he that disbelieveth
shall be condemned"); (3) the fact that the apostles disbelieved
the report of Mary Magdalene until the risen Lord appeared to
them personally (vers.11-14; but John intimates the same,20:8 9,
especially in regard to Thomas, ver.25, and Matthew mentions that
some doubted, (28:17; comp. Luke 24:37-41); (4) an authoritative
promise of supernatural powers and signs which shall accompany
the believers (vers. 17,18). Among these is mentioned the
pentecostal glossolalia under the unique name of speaking with
new tongues.

The genuineness of this closing section is hotly contested, and
presents one of the most difficult problems of textual criticism.
The arguments are almost equally strong on both sides, but
although the section cannot be proven to be a part of the
original Gospel, it seems clear: (1) that it belongs to primitive
tradition (like the disputed section of the adulteress in John,
ch.8); and (2) that Mark cannot have closed his Gospel with verse
8 without intending a more appropriate conclusion.

The result does not affect the character and credibility of the 
Gospel. The section may be authentic or correct in its state-
ments, without being genuine or written by Mark. There is nothing
in it which, properly understood, does not harmonize with
apostolic teaching.

(WE HAVE COVERED ELSEWHERE ON THIS WEBSITE THAT THE CLOSING OF
MARK IS PROPER AND CORRECT - Keith Hunt)

NOTE ON THE DISPUTED CLOSE OF MARK 16:9-20.

I. Reasons against the genuineness:

1. The section is wanting altogether in the two oldest and most
valuable uncial manuscripts, the Sinaitic (Hebrew) and the
Vatican (B). The latter, it is true, after ending the Gospel with
ver.8 and the subscription KATA MAPKON, leaves the remaining
third column blank, which is sufficient space for the twelve
verses. Much account is made of this fact by Drs. Burgon and
Scrivener; but in the same MS. I find, on examination of the
facsimile edition, blank spaces from a few lines up to two-thirds
and three-fourths of a column, at the end of Matthew, John, Acts,
1 Pet. (fol. 200), 1 John (fol. 208), Jude (fol. 210), Rom. (fol.
227), Eph. (fol. 262), Col. (fol. 272). In the Old Testament of
B, as Dr. Abbot has first noted (in 1872), there are two blank
columns at the end of Nehemiah, and a blank column and a half at
the end of Tobit. In any case the omission indicates an objection
of the copyist of B to the section, or its absence in the earlier
manuscript he used.

(THE VATICANUS AND SINAITIC MSS ARE CORRUPT AND DESERVE NO
ATTENTION, AS WE PROVE IN OTHER PARTS OF THIS WEBSITE - Keith
Hunt)

I add the following private note from Dr. Abbot: In the
Alexandrian MS. a column and a third are left blank at the end of
Mark, half a page at the end of John, and a whole page at the end
of the Pauline Epistles. (Contrast the ending of Matthew and
Acts.) In the Old Testament, note especially in this MS.
Leviticus, Isaiah, and the Ep. of Jeremiah, at the end of each of
which half a page or more is left blank; contrast Jeremiah,
Baruch, Lamentations. There are similar blanks at the end of
Ruth, 2 Samuel, and Daniel, but the last leaf of those books ends
a quaternion or quire in the MS. In the Sinaitic MS. more than
two columns with the whole following page are left blank at the
end of the Pauline Epistles, though the two next leaves belong to
the same quaternion; so at the end of the Acts a column and
twothirds with the whole of the following page; and at the end of
Barnabas a column and a half. These examples show that the matter
in question depended largely on the whim of the copyist; and that
we can not infer with confidence that the scribe of B knew of any
other ending of the Gospel."

(THE VAST MAJORITY OF GREEK MSS PROVE THAT 99 PERCENT OF THE KJV
BIBLE FROM THE MAJORITY OF GREEK MSS IS CORRECT, AS WE PROVE
ELSEWHERE ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt)

There is also a shorter conclusion, unquestionably spurious,
which in L and several MSS of the Ethiopic version immediately
follows ver.8, and appears also in the margin of 274, the
Harclean Syriac, and the best Coptic MS. of the Gospel, while in
k of the Old Latin it takes the place of the longer ending. For
details, see Westcott and Hort, II., Append., pp.30,38,44 sq.

(WESTCOTT AND HORT WERE TWO MIXED-UP AND CORRUPTED SCHOLARS THAT
SHOULD BE FORGOTTEN THAT THEY EVER LIVED - Keith Hunt)

2. Eusebius and Jerome state expressly that the section was
wanting in almost all the Greek copies of the Gospels. It was not
in the copy used by Victor of Antioch. There is also negative
patristic evidence against it, particularly strong in the case of
Cyril of Jerusalem, Tertullian, and Cyprian, who had special
occasion to quote it (see Westcott and Hort, II., Append., pp.
30-38). Jerome's statement, however, is weakened by the fact that
he seems to depend upon Eusebius, and that he himself translated
the passage in his Vulgate.

(AGAIN ANYTHING FROM WESTCOTT AND HORT SHOULD BE DISCARDED AS
CORRUPT - Keith Hunt)

3. It is wanting in the important MS. k representing the African
text of the Old Latin version, which has a different conclusion
(like that in L), also in some of the best MSS. of the Armenian
version, while in others it follows the usual subscription. It is
also wanting in an unpublished Arabic version (made from the
Greek) in the Vatican Library, which is likewise noteworthy for
reading os in 1 Tim. 3:16.


4. The way in which the section begins, and in which it refers to
Mary Magdalene, give it the air of a conclusion derived from some
extraneous source. It does not record the fulfilment of the
promise in ver.7. It uses (ver.9) (Greek) for the Hebraistic
(Greek is given) of 16:2. It has many words or phrases (e.g.,
Greek used three times) not elsewhere found in Mark, which
strengthen the impression that we are dealing with a different
writer, and it lacks Mark's usual graphic detail. But the
argument from difference of style and vocabulary has been
overstrained, and can not be regarded as in itself decisive.

(PEOPLE WRITE DIFFERENTLY AT DIFFERENT TIMES, ESPECIALLY IF
INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. HENCE SUCH ABOVE ARGUMENTS HOLD NO
WATER - Keith Hunt)

II. Arguments in favor of the genuineness:

1. The section is found in most of the uncial MSS., A C D X etc.
in all the late uncials (in I. as a secondary reading), and in
all the cursive MSS., including 1, 33, 69, etc.; though a number
of the cursives either mark it with an asterisk or note its
omission in older copies. Hence the statements of Eusebius and
Jerome seem to need some qualification. In 22 (as Dr. Burgon has
first pointed out) the liturgical word Greek denoting the end of
a reading lesson, is inserted after both ver.8 and ver.20, while
no such word is placed at the end of the other Gospels. This
shows that there were two endings of Mark in different copies.

2. Also in most of the ancient versions, the Itala (with the
exception of "k," or the codex Bobbiensis, used by Columban), the
Vulgate, the Curetonian Syriac (last part), the Peshito, the
Philoxenian, the Coptic, the Gothic (first part), and the
Ethiopic, but in several MSS. only after the spurious shorter
conclusion. Of these versions the Itala, the Curetonian and
Peshito Syriac, and the Coptic, are older than any of our Greek
codices, but the MSS. of the Coptic are not older than the
twelfth or tenth century, and may have undergone changes as well
as the Greek MSS.; and the MSS. of the Ethiopic are all modern.
The best MSS. of the old Latin are mutilated here. The only
extant fragment of Mark in the Curetonian Syriac is vv.17-20, so
that we cannot tell whether vv.9-20 immediately followed ver.8,
or appeared as they do in cod. L.  But Aphraates quotes it.


3. In all the existing Greek and Syriac lectionaries or
evangeliaries and synaxaries, as far as examined, which contain
the Scripture reading lessons for the churches. Dr. Burgos lays
great stress on their testimony (ch. X.), but he overrates their
antiquity. The lection-systems cannot be traced beyond the middle
of the fourth century when great liturgical changes took place.
At that time the disputed verses were widely circulated and
eagerly seized as a suitable resurrection and ascension lesson.

4. Irenaeus of Lyons, in the second half of the second century,
long before Eusebius, expressly quotes verse 19 as a part of the
Gospel of Mark (Adv. mm., III. 10, 6). The still earlier
testimony of Justin Martyr (Apol., I. 45) is doubtful. (The
quotation of vers.17 and 18 in lib. viii., c. 1 of the Apostolic
Constitutions is wrongly ascribed to Hippolytus.) Marinus,
Macarius Magnes (or at least the heathen writer whom he cites),
Didymus, Chrysostom (?), Epiphanius, Nestorius, the apocryphal
Gesta Pilati, Ambrose, Augustin, and other later fathers quote
from the section.

5. A strong intrinsic argument is derived from the fact that Mark
cannot intentionally have concluded his Gospel with the words
(Greek) yip (16:8). He must either have himself written the last
verses or some other conclusion, which was accidently lost before
the book was multiplied by transcription; or he was unexpectedly
prevented from finishing his book, and the conclusion was
supplied by a friendly hand from oral tradition or some written
source.

In view of these facts the critics and exegetes are very much
divided. The passage is defended as genuine by Simon, Mill,
Bengel, Storr, Matthaei, Hug, Schleiermacher, De Wette, Bleek,
Olshausen, Lange, Ebrard, Hilgenfeld, Broadus ("Bapt. Quarterly,"
Philad., 1869), Burgon (1871), Scrivener, Wordsworth, McClellan,
Cook, Morison (1882). It is rejected or questioned by the
critical editors, Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles,
Alford, Westcott and Hort (though retained by all in the text
with or without brackets), and by such critics and commentators
as Fritzsche, Credner, Reuss, Wieseler, Holtzmann, Keim,
Scholten, Klostermann, Ewald, Meyer, Weiss, Norton, Davidson.
Some of these opponents, however, while denying the composition
of the section by Mark, regard the contents as a part of the
apostolic tradition. Michelsen surrenders only vers.9-14, and
saves vers.15-20. Ewald and Holtzmann conjecture the original
conclusion from vers.9,10, and 16-20; Volkmar invents one from
elements of all the Synoptists.

(ANYONE IN THE SAME COMPANY AS WESTCOTT AND HORT NEED TO BE
THROWN IN THE GARBAGE BIN. WESTCOTT AND HORT WERE THE TWO CHIEF
GUYS THAT LED THE WAY TO THE MODERN VERSIONS BASED UPON THE
CORRUPT VATICANUS AND SINAITICUS MSS. THE LATTER MSS WAS FOUND BY
TISCHENDORF IN THE GARBAGE BASKET IN A CATHOLIC MONASTERY. EVEN
THEY THOUGHT IT WORTHLESS. THE MAJORITY OF GREEK MSS SUPPORT THE
NKJV AND THE GREEK/ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT BY J.P.GREEN - Keith
Hunt)

..........

To be continued


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