2891Re: Note re. Mark's LE and Gospels-Harmony
- Jan 27, 2007Jim:
> There's a reasonable explanation why the Long Ending does not appearI suppose both of these are possible. But they involve their own
> in some witnesses: in the second century, it was accidentally lost,
> or a copyist discerned that it was not attached by the main author of
> the book. The excisor's motive would have sprung from his interest
> in preserving the main author's work, separate from additions.
problems. In the scenario of the Long Ending being accidentally lost,
doesn't it strain reason to suppose that the very part that would be
accidentally lost would be a self-contained unit that happens not to
fit the rest of the book? In the case of the second scenario, does a
scribe excising what looks incongrous with the book fit what we know
about scribal habits? It seems like scribes tended to follow the rule
of when in doubt keep it in, and at the most marking it as questionable.
I think that we agree on two givens:
1) The LE was not the originally intended ending.
2) In at least some places, early in its transmission, the Gospel of
Mark circulated without the LE.
Even if the LE was composed in a way something like what you propose
(and I do think your proposal for its origin is well within the realm
of possibility), wouldn't these two givens still support the
likelihood that there was an early published edition of Mark without
the LE? Couldn't it be that Mark was unable to complete the Gospel as
he intended and that his cohorts determined first to publish it as it
stood (a beta version) and then to compose an ending they thought
proper for the final publication?
> PROBLEM ONE: The connection between v. 8 and vv. 9-20 is abrupt andIt seems to me that the motive of making a smooth connection between
> On balance, this works in favor of the theory that the LE was added
> during the book's production, and not in the second century. Why
> wouldn't a second-century author, bold enough to write a new ending
> to the memoirs of Peter, not be bold enough to make the transition
16:8 and 16:9-20 should mitigate equally against a theory of its being
added by a later scribe and a theory of it being added
pre-publication. The LE really looks like it was composed by someone
who wasn't looking at Mark's Gospel when they did it.
> I have already addressed the unbalanced treatment that Metzger gave,Metzger addresses this both in his Textual Commentary and in his book
> and which you repeated.
on the Text of the NT; so I can't quite recall exactly what he says in
each. But I have found his treatment of this problem (as well as most
others) quite balanced on the whole. He perhaps does overplay the
significance of the claim made by Eusebius and repeated by others.
But, even though I tend to think Eusebius' reference to "almost all
the manuscripts" is an exageration or limited to manuscripts within a
small segment of the Church or both, it is still a piece of external
data that has to be taken seriously. And Metzger, on the other hand,
really does not neglect to account for the early support for the LE
honestly. As I recall he regards it as originating in the late first
or early second century. He also accepts it as canonical, and holds it
in high enough regard to say that, on account of it, we have not four
but five evangelic accounts of the resurrection. This is pretty close
to the assessment of Hort, who said that the LE was of the apostolic
period. Incidentally, both of those scholars also agree with you, Jim,
that the LE cannot be dependent on material from the other canonical
Gospels, and thus must predate their being grouped together.
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