LAST  12  VERSES  OF  MARK?


FROM  THE  BOOK  “THE  REVISION  REVISED”  BY  JOHN  WILLIAM  BURGON





But in fact, it proves to have been, from the very first, a definite part of the Programme. The chairman of the Revisionist body, Bishop Ellicott,—when he had " to consider the practical question,"—whether "(1), to construct a critical Text first: or (2), to use preferentially, though not exclusively, some current Text: or (3), simply to proceed onward with the work of Revision, whether of Text or Translation, making the current Textus Receptus the standard, and departing from it only when critical or grammatical considerations show that it is clearly necessary,—in fact, solvere amhdando;" announces, at the end of 19 pages,—"We are driven then to the third alternative."3


We naturally cast about for some evidence that the members of the New Testament company possess that mastery of the subject which alone could justify one of their number (Dr. Milligan) in asserting roundly that these 12 verses are ‘not from the pen for St. Mark himself,’3, and another (Dr. Roberts) in  maintaining that ‘the passage is not the immediate production of S. Mark.’4 Dr. Roberts assures us that—


Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa, Victor of Antioch, Severug of Antioch, Jerome, as well as other writers, especially Greeks, testify that these verses were not written by S. Mark, or not found in the best copies.'5


Will the learned writer permit us to assure him in return that he is entirely mistaken? He is requested to believe that Gregory of Nyssa says nothing of the sort—says

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1 At p. 34 of his pamphlet in reply to the first two of the present
Articles.
2 On Revision, pp. 30 and 49. 3

3 Words of the N. T. p. 193.

4 Companion to the Revised Version, p. 63.

6 Ibid. p. 62.

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nothing at all concerning these verses: that Victor of Antioch vouches emphatically for their genuineness: that Severus does but copy, while Jerome does but translate, a few random expressions of Eusebius: and that Eusebius himself nowhere ‘testifies that these verses were not written by S. Mark.’ So far from it, Eusebius actually quotes the verses, quotes them as genuine. Dr. Roberts is further assured that there are no ‘other writers’ whether Greek or Latin, who insinuate doubt concerning these verses. On the contrary, besides both the Latin and all the Syriac—besides the Gothic and the two Egyptian versions—there exist four authorities of the 2nd century;— as many of the 3rd;—five of the 5th;—four of the 6th;— as many of the 7th;—together with at least ten of the 4th1 (contemporaries therefore of codices B and +) ;—which actually recognize the verses in question. Now, when to every known Manuscript but two of bad character, besides every ancient Version, some one-and-thirty Fathers have been added, 18 of whom must have used copies at least as old as either B or +, —Dr. Roberts is assured that an amount of external authority has been accumulated which is simply overwhelming in discussions of this nature.


But the significance of a single feature of the Lectionary, of which up to this point nothing has been said, is alone sufficient to determine the controversy. We refer to the fact that in every part of Eastern Christendom these same 12 verses —neither more nor less—have been from the earliest recorded period, and still are, a proper lesson both for the Easter season and for Ascension Day.

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1 Viz. Eusebius, — Macarius Magnes,—Aphraates, — Didymus, — the Syriac Acts of the App.t — Epiphanius, — Ambrose,—Chrysostom,— Jerome,—-Augustine. It happens that the disputation of Macarius Magnes (a.d. 300-350) with a heathen philosopher, which has recently come to light, contains an elaborate discussion of S. Mark xvi. 17,18. Add the curious story related by the author of the Paschal Chronicle (a.d. 628) concerning Leontius, Bishop of Antioch (a.d. 348),—p. 289. This has been hitherto overlooked…………..



(c) We are at last able to proceed, with a promise that we shall rarely prove so tedious again. But it is absolutely necessary to begin by clearing the ground. We may not go on doubting for ever. The ‘Angelic hymn’ and ‘The last 12 Verses’ of S. Mark's Gospel, are convenient places for a trial of strength. It has now been proved that the commonly received text of S. Luke ii. 14 is the true text,—the [Revisionists' emendation of the place, a palpable mistake. On behalf of the second Gospel, we claim to have also established that an important portion of the sacred narrative has been unjustly branded with a note of ignominy; from which we solemnly call upon the Revisionists to set the Evangelist free. The pretence that no harm has been done him by the mere statement of what is an undeniable fact,— (viz. that ‘the two oldest Greek manuscripts, and some other authorities, omit from verse 9 to the end;’ and that ‘some other authorities have a different ending to the Gospel’)— will not stand examination. Pin to the shoulder of an honourable man a hearsay libel on his character, and see what he will have to say to you! Besides,— Why have the 12 verses been further separated off from the rest of the Gospel ? This at least is unjustifiable.


Those who, with Drs. Roberts and Milligan,1 have been taught to maintain 'that the passage is not the immediate production of St. Mark,'—'can hardly be regarded as a part of the original Gospel; but is rather an addition made to it at a very early age, whether in the lifetime of the Evangelist or not, it is impossible to say:'—such Critics are informed that they stultify themselves when they proceed in the same breath to assure the offended reader that the passage 'is nevertheless possessed offull canonical authority,'2 


Men who so write show that they do not understand the question. For if these 12 verses are ‘canonical Scripture’— as much inspired as the 12 verses which precede them, and as worthy of undoubting confidence,—then, whether they be the production of S. Mark or of some other, is a purely irrelevant circumstance. The Authorship of the passage, as every one must see, is not the question. The last 12 verses of Deuteronomy, for instance, were probably not written by Moses. Do we therefore separate them off from the rest of Deuteronomy, and encumber the margin with a note expressive of our opinion? Our Revisionists, so far from holding what follows to be ‘canonical Scripture’ are careful to state that a rival ending to be found elsewhere merits serious attention.  S. Mark 16: 9-20, therefore (according to them),

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1 Companion to the Revised Version, pp. 62, 63.   Words of the N, T, p. 193.

2 Words of the N. T. p. 193.

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is not certainly a genuine part of the Gospel; may, after all, be nothing else but a spurious accretion to the text And as long as such doubts are put forth by our Revisionists, they publish to the world that, in their account at all events, these verses are not ‘possessed of full canonical authority.’ 


If 'the two oldest Greek manuscripts' justly 'omit from verse 9 to the end' (as stated in the margin), will any one deny that our printed Text ought to omit them also? 1 On the other hand, if the circumstance is a mere literary curiosity, will any one maintain that it is entitled to abiding record in the margin of the English Version of the everlasting page?—affords any warrant whatever for separating  ‘the last Twelve Verses’ from their context ?  


(d) We can probably render ordinary readers no more effectual service, than by offering now to guide them over a few select places, concerning the true reading of which the Revisionists either entertain such serious doubts that they have recorded their uncertainty in the margin of their work; or else, entertaining no doubts at all, have deliberately thrust a new reading into the body of their text, and that, without explanation, apology, or indeed record of any-kind.2………..   

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1 Drs. Westcott and Hort (consistently enough) put them on the selfsame footing with the evidently spurious ending found in L.

2  True, that a separate volume of Greek Text has been put forth, showing every change which has been either actually accepted, or else suggested for future possible acceptance. But (in the words of the accomplished editor), ‘the Revisers are not responsible for its publication.’ Moreover, (and this is the chief point,) it is a sealed book to all but Scholars.

It were unhandsome, however, to take leave of the learned labours of Prebendary Scrivener and Archdeacon Palmer, without a few words of sympathy and admiration. Their volumes (mentioned at the beginning of the present Article) are all that was to have been expected from the exquisite scholarship of their respective editors, and will be of abiding interest and value.   Both volumes should be in the hands of every scholar, for neither of them supersedes the other. Dr. Scrivener has (with rare ability and immense labour) set before the Church, for the first time, the Greek Text which was followed by the Revisers of 1611, viz. Beza's N. T. of 1598, supplemented in above 190 places from other sources; every one of which the editor traces out in his Appendix, pp. 648-56. At the foot of each page, he shows what changes have been introduced into the Text by the Revisers of 1881.—Dr. Palmer, taking the Text of Stephens (1550) as his basis, presents us with the Readings adopted by the Revisers of the ‘Authorized Version,’ and relegates the displaced Readings (of 1611) to the foot of each page.—We cordially congratulate them both, and thank them for the good service they have rendered.

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[THE  CHANGES  FROM  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT  IN  THEIR  “GREEK N.T.” IS  HUGE,  MASSIVE,  HUNDREDS  UPON  HUNDREDS.  I  HAVE  TO  ASK  THE  QUESTION: 


DID  WE  NOT  HAVE  THE  ACCURATE  NEW  TESTAMENT  TILL  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT  CAME  ON  THE  SCENE?  WAS  GOD  UNABLE  TO  PRESERVE  AN  ACCURATE  NEW  TESTAMENT  UNTIL  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT  CAME  ON  THE  SCENE?  DID  GOD  NEED  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT  TO  HELP  HIM  FIND  THE  ACCURATE  NEW  TESTAMENT  FOR  US?  


THESE  QUESTIONS  ARE  ABSURD  AND  JUST  DARN  RIGHT  SILLY.  OF  COURSE  GOD  WAS  ABLE  TO  PRESERVE  THE  CORRECT  NEW  TESTAMENT  AS  GIVEN  BY  THE  FIRST  CENTURY  APOSTLES,  WRITTEN  IN  THE  FIRST  CENTURY,  AND  WAS  PRESERVED  FAITHFULLY  AS  IT  WAS  HANDED  DOWN  FROM  THE  SECOND  CENTURY  TILL  TODAY.


THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  HAS  BEEN  PRESERVED  IN  THOUSANDS  OF  MSS  AND  IN  THE  WRITINGS  OF  THE  SO-CALLED  “CHURCH  FATHERS” - IT  WAS  ALL  THERE  FOR  THE  BODY  OF  TRANSLATORS  THAT  KING  JAMES  COMMISSIONED  TO  WRITE  THE  1611  EDITION  OF  THE  ENGLISH  BIBLE.


TO  PUT  IT  VERY  BLUNTLY;  THE  MINDS,  THEOLOGY,  GREEK  MSS,  USED  BY  WESTCOTT  AND  HORT  EDITION  OF  THE  GREEK  NEW  TESTAMENT  OF  AROUND  1880  WAS  FROM  PLANET  PLUTO.


MOST  CHRISTIANS  TODAY  ARE  DUNCES   WHEN  IT  COMES  TO  READING  THE  BIBLE,  SEARCHING  THE  BIBLE,  AND  LEARNING  ITS  TRUTHS.  MANY  CHURCHES  TODAY  ARE  ENTERTAINMENT  GIGS,  LITTLE  SERIOUS  BIBLE  STUDY  IS  FOUND  IN  THEM.  THERE  IS  NO  QUESTIONING  OF  BELIEFS;  THERE  IS  NO  LIVING  BY  EVERY  WORD  OF  GOD;  THERE  IS  NO  QUESTIONING  THE  TRANSLATION  OF  THEIR  BIBLE,  AS  TO  IF  IT  IS  THE  CORRECT  GOD  BREATHED,  INSPIRED  SCRIPTURES  OF  THE  FIRST  CENTURY  APOSTLES  AND  CHURCH  OF  GOD.


THE  VAST  VAST  MAJORITY,  AND  I  MEAN  THE  99.9  PERCENT  OF  “CHRISTIANS”  TODAY  ARE  BLIND  SPIRITUALLY,  LED  BY  BLIND  LEADERS  OF  THE  BLIND;  AS  JESUS  SAID  BOTH  SHALL  FALL  INTO  THE  DITCH!


Keith Hunt