2962Mk. 16:9-20 - A Pastiche?
- Feb 26, 2007First, to answer Mark Thunderson:
MT: "How did you find out?"
By reading the Long Ending the other Gospels and Acts, of course.
Again, what piece of internal or external evidence is left
unaccounted for by the hypothesis I summarized in my previous post?
Now about jtantley's question:
Jtantley: "Isn't an alternate theory that the post 16:8 ending
derives originally from Q, Luke, or Matthew, and was later added to
Mark to agree with the other synoptic gospels?"
I don't know that Q is necessarily in the mix, but yes; a leading
alternative theory -- promoted in great detail by James Kelhoffer in
his dissertation "Miracle and Mission" -- is that the author of the
LE was intentionally writing something to finish the Gospel of Mark,
and that this author borrowed a lot of phrases from Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John, and Acts. I offer a step-by-step review of Kelhoffer's
approach in the newer editions of my essay "The Authenticity of Mark
16:9-20," a copy of which I will be glad to send to you by e-mail on
request. Or you can download a copy from the Files at the TC-
Alternate Yahoo! Groups discussion-board.
The gist of the "Long-Ending-as-pastiche" theory, as proposed by
Kelhoffer, is that the author consulted about 60 passages from which
he gleaned vocabulary and phraseology. If one figures that the Long
Ending is 171 words long (give or take a few words, depending on
textual variants), that would mean that the author was exceptionally
meticulous -- consulting Matthew or Mark or Luke or John or Acts (or
Revelation!) about every three words. A few problems with the LE-as-
pastiche theory are:
(1) The author of the LE would have no reason not to abundantly use
John 21. (Unless it was absent from his copy of John -- but
Kelhoffer clearly assumed that the author of the LE used John 21 a
(2) The author of the LE would have no reason to separate the
response of the disciples when they heard the report from the two
road-travelers, and the appearance of Jesus to the disciples. In
Luke these two events essentially share one scene.
(3) The author of the LE would have no reason to write part of
16:18, which is without close verbal parallels.
(4) The author of the LE would have no reason not to pick up the
narrative directly from the end of 16:8.
(5) Matthew gives no indication that the disciples rejected Mary
Magdalene's report that Jesus was risen and that she had seen Him.
Luke reports that the disciples rejected Mary Magdalene's report
about the angels at the tomb; she does not say, in Luke, that Jesus
appeared to her, and Luke does not say that the disciples rejected
her report that Jesus had appeared to her. And in John 20, there is
no statement that the disciples, as a group, disbelieved her report
that Jesus was alive and that she had seen Him. Rather, in John 20,
the narrative fast-forwards to the evening, at which time Jesus
appears to the disciples, and His words, in John 20:19-23, are not
words of rebuke.
So, where does the author of the LE get the idea that Mary Magdalene
saw the Lord, and reported to the disciples that she had seen the
Lord, and that the disciples -- not just Thomas, but the entire group
-- had not believed her, and that Jesus rebuked the Eleven (not just
Thomas) for refusing to believe those who had seen Him after He had
risen? Not from John. Not from Luke. And certainly not from
Matthew, who concludes one scene in 28:10 with Jesus telling the
women to tell His brothers to go to Galilee, and begins another scene
in 28:16 with the eleven disciples going to Galilee. There's no hint
in Matthew that they did not believe the women's report. So, it
looks like our meticulous and imitative author has become rather non-
meticulous and non-imitative; instead of affirming his sources, he
created a fresh new event in 16:11 -- the disciples' rejection of
Mary Magdalene's report that she had seen Jesus alive -- and another
fresh new event in 16:14 -- Jesus' rebuke of the disciples for their
refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
I'm looking forward to reading about the coming conference about Mark
16:9-20 in April, to see just how J.K. Elliott and Daniel Wallace
explain these looming obstacles -- all of which are blown down by the
theory that Mark 16:9-20, before being incorporated into the text of
the Gospel of Mark before the book was released, was a freestanding
composition written by Mark without knowledge of the contents of the
Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John.
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.
Curtisville Christian Church
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