Mark 16:9-20 Mark 16:9-20

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The science of textual criticism is a field of inquiry that has been invaluable to ascertaining the original state of the New Testament text. . Textual . criticism . involves “the ascertainment of the true form of a literary work, as originally composed and written down by its author” . ID: 708622 Download Presentation

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Mark 16:9-20 Mark 16:9-20

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Presentations text content in Mark 16:9-20 Mark 16:9-20


Mark 16:9-20


Mark 16:9-20

The science of textual criticism is a field of inquiry that has been invaluable to ascertaining the original state of the New Testament text.



involves “the ascertainment of the true form of a literary work, as originally composed and written down by its author”

(Kenyon, 1951, p. 1).


Mark 16:9-20

The fact that the original autographs of the New Testament do not exist (Comfort, 1990, p. 4), and that only copies of copies of copies of the original documents have survived, has led some falsely to conclude that the original reading of the New Testament documents cannot be determined.


Mark 16:9-20

The task of textual critics, those who study the extant manuscript evidence that attests to the text of the New Testament, is to examine textual variants in an effort to reconstruct the original reading of the text.

They work with a large body of manuscript evidence, the amount of which is far greater than that available for any ancient classical author (


, 1983, p. 139; Kenyon, 1951, p. 5; Westcott and


, 1964, p. 565).

Presently the number of Greek manuscripts – whole and partial – that attest to the New Testament stands at an unprecedented 5,748 (


, 2005)].


Mark 16:9-20

In one sense, their work has been unnecessary:

Vast majority of textual variants involve minor matters that do not affect doctrine as it relates to one’s salvation.

No essential feature of Biblical doctrine is at stake.

Nevertheless, textual critics have been successful in demonstrating that currently circulating New Testaments do not differ substantially from the original.


Mark 16:9-20

In one sense, their work has been unnecessary:

When all of the textual evidence is considered, the vast majority of discordant reading have been resolved (e.g., Metzger, 1978, p. 1985)

One is brought to the firm conviction that we have in our possession the New Testament as God intended.


Mark 16:9-20


Frederic Kenyon, longtime director and principal librarian at the British Museum, whose scholarship and expertise to make pronouncements on textual criticism was second to none, stated:

“Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established”


Kenyon, 1940, p. 288).


Mark 16:9-20

The late F.F. Bruce, longtime


Professor of Biblical Criticism at the University of Manchester, England, remarked

: “The variant readings about which any doubt remains among textual critics of the New Testament affect no material question of historic fact or of Christian faith and practice”

(1960, pp. 19-20).


Mark 16:9-20



, declared by the

London Times

to be “the ripest Bible scholar on earth” (Phillips, 1975, p. 184;


, 1870, p. 4), conjoined:

“All the authority and value possessed by these books when they were first written belong to them still”


1956, p. 17).


Mark 16:9-20

And the


critics Westcott and


put the entire matter into perspective when they said:


textual criticism has various readings for its subject, and the discrimination of genuine readings from corruptions for its aim, discussions on textual criticism almost inevitably obscure the simple fact that variations are but secondary incidents of a fundamentally single and identical text.


Mark 16:9-20


the New Testament in particular it is difficult to escape an exaggerated impression as to the proportion which the words subject to variation bear to the whole text, and also, in most cases, as to their intrinsic importance. It is not superfluous therefore to state explicitly that the great bulk of the words of the New Testament stand out above all discriminative processes of criticism, because they are free from variation, and need only to be transcribed (1964, p. 564, emp. added).


Mark 16:9-20

Writing in the late nineteenth century, and noting that the experience of two centuries of investigation and discussion had been achieved, these scholars concluded:


words in our opinion still subject to doubt can hardly amount to more than a

thousandth part

of the whole of the New Testament”


p. 565, emp. added).


Mark 16:9-20

I have had those who were skeptical of the inspiration of the scriptures appeal to questions regarding this text to bolster their unbelief.

However the following points need to be emphasized even if questions of the section were confirmed:

Most, if not all, scholars who have examined the subject concede that the truths presented in the verses are historically authentic and taught in other places in the New Testament - even if they reject the sections as originally part of Mark’s account (Christ’s post – resurrection appearance, Great Commission, etc.)


Mark 16:9-20

Even critics of the acceptance of this portion of Mark’s account have said the following,


example, writing in 1844, Alford, who forthrightly rejected the genuineness of the passage, nevertheless conceded: “The inference therefore seems to me to be, that it is an authentic fragment, placed as a completion of the Gospel in very early times: by whom written, must of course remain wholly uncertain; but coming to us with very weighty sanction, and having strong claims on our reception and reverence”


1:438, italics in orig., emp. added).


Mark 16:9-20

Understanding Textual Criticism:

External Evidence:


Geographical Distribution

Genealogical Inter-relationship of manuscript copies that contain or omit particular verses.

Internal Evidence:

Transcriptional Probabilities

Intrinsic Probabilities


Mark 16:9-20

Internal Evidence:

What the original writer was more probably to have written based on…

Writing style


Immediate Context

Remote Context By Author


Mark 16:9-20

Technically, there are four possible endings to the book, but practically there are only two options for the ending of Mark.

One is the one we have in our New Testament (16:9-20) and the other simply omits (16:9-20).

Over the last century scholars are divided right down the middle.


Arguments For Exclusion

The weightiest external evidence is the omission of the verses by the formidable Greek uncials, the




, which date from the fourth century.

“The two oldest Greek manuscripts, and some other authorities, omit from verse 9 to the end. Some other authorities have a different ending to the Gospel.” The New International Version gives the following footnote: “The two most reliable early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20

.” – American Standard Version Note


Arguments For Exclusion


marginal notations, however, fail to convey to the reader the

larger picture

that the external evidence provides, including additional Greek manuscript evidence, to say nothing of the ancient versions and patristic citations.


Arguments For Exclusion

Among some Patristic writers, neither Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 215) nor Origen (A.D. 254) shows any knowledge of the existence of the verses.

However, showing no knowledge or specific mention of such is no proof of omission.

If we were to discount as genuine every New Testament verse that a particular patristic writer failed to reference most of the New Testament would be denied on an illegitimate basis – no one writer reference every verse.


Arguments For Exclusion

Some make too much of this argument.

Eusebius of Caesarea (A.D. 339), as well as Jerome (A.D. 420), are said to have indicated absence of the verses from the Greek manuscripts known to them.

Yet, it should be noted that Eusebius occurs in a context in which he was offering two possible solutions to an alleged contradiction posed by



The fact that he couches the first solution in the phrase, “This…is what a person will say…” and then proceeds to offer another solution that accepts the genuineness of the verses is telling.

Jerome was merely quoting this exchange

and later quoted approvingly of the section (Mark 16:9-20).


Arguments For Exclusion

Eusebius is said to have omitted the section from his canons, however, on closer examination of 151 Greek


codices, 114 sectionalize and permit allowance for the last twelve verses (


, p. 391; cf. Scrivener, 1883).

There are several manuscripts which have markings that ordinarily signal the scribe’s suspicion of the presence of a spurious addition.

However, even here such markings can be misconstrued to mean the end of the book, whereas the copyist merely intended to indicate “a clear implication that the manuscript originally continued with additional material from Mark” (Metzger, 1994, p. 102, note 1).


Arguments For Exclusion

Internal Evidence – Two Central Contentions:

Vocabulary and style of verses are deemed Non-


Connection between verse 8 and verses 9-20 seems awkward and gives surface appearance of having been added.

We will deal with these arguments shortly


Arguments For Inclusion

The sheer magnitude of manuscripts which include this section is worthy of consideration.

While this is not sufficient as the lone cause of inclusion – it cannot be dismissed without pause.

This section is found in 99 percent of the Greek manuscripts.

It is at least possible that the prevalence of manuscripts support for the verses is due to their genuineness.

It is included in the


from the fifth century.


Arguments For Inclusion

The patristic writings that indicate acceptance of the verses as genuine are remarkably extensive.

From the second century,


, who died c. A.D. 202, alludes to the verses in both Greek and Latin. His precise words in his

Against Heresies


“Also, towards the conclusion of his Gospel, Mark says: ‘So then, after the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and


on the right hand of God”

(3.10.5; Roberts and Donald­son, 1973, 1:426).


is very likely that Justin Martyr was aware of the verses in the middle of the second century. At any rate, his disciple,


, included the verses in his Greek


(having come down to us in Arabic, Italian, and Old Dutch editions) c. A.D. 170.


Arguments For Inclusion

The patristic writings that indicate acceptance of the verses as genuine are remarkably extensive.

Tertullian (died A.D. 220); Cyprian (258), along with other second, third, fourth, fifth century writers quote from Mark 16:9-20 as a legitimate portion of Mark’s gospel.

The earlier writers predate both




. (Is it true that “older” is always


What must the unbiased observer conclude from these details?

All told, the cumulative external evidence that documents the genuineness of verses 9-20, from Greek manuscripts, patristic citations, and ancient versions, is expansive, ancient, diversified, and unsurpassed.


Arguments For Inclusion




omit the passage, but


includes it.


rivals the other two texts in both



age—removed by no more than fifty years.

Surely one is not saying two against one means it should be excluded.


leaves space for more text and there is no other instance of this in the whole N.T. portion of the MS.

Those who support exclusion of Mark 16:9-20 have not been forthright in divulging that, as a matter of fact,




frequently diverge from each other – with one siding with


against the other. (


included obvious uninspired material)


Arguments For Inclusion


Arguments For Inclusion


comments that it is only by “internal evidence” that he would reject the section – which I (BR) personally find to be very weak to say the least.

Nearly every scholar that rejects the section upon internal evidence.


Arguments For Inclusion

Connection Between 16:8 and 16:9-20

Jesus has been a discussion of Jesus throughout the text (16:1), whereas the brief mentioning of the women reveals the resurrection scene and then in 16:9 returns to a discussion of the Lord.

Her name is reported in 15:47 and 16:1 and yet no one is complaining about that text.

The reason she is mentioned again and not the other women is she is spreading the word.


Arguments For Inclusion

Regarding the question of the style of this writing – Is it not permissible that Mark could have legitimately used construction intentionally only one time—without subjecting himself to the charge of not being the author? To ask the question is to answer the question.

Other books have similar issues and they are obviously to be accepted.



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