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Re: [textualcriticism] Jesus Dynasty and the Ending of Mark

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  • Marion Fox
    Marion Fox here, With regard to the question of Mark 16:9-20, I have a couple of questions. First, what are good sources of materials that give arguments pro
    Message 1 of 26 , Jan 2, 2007
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      Marion Fox here,
       
      With regard to the question of Mark 16:9-20, I have a couple of questions.
       
      First, what are good sources of materials that give arguments pro and con on this passage.
       
      Second, is there not a blank space in one of the manuscripts (Codex B) where there is enough space to insert the text of the disputed verses?
       
      Yours in His service,
       
       
      Marion R. Fox
       
      On 12/30/06, David Robert Palmer <watutman@...> wrote:


      Since you charge that Dr. Tabor's material is deceptive, it is up to you, I think, to demonstrate how he is being deceptive.

      It would be deception if he was presenting data that he knew to be false, as true.  But, that is probably not the case.  I'm assuming he is presenting claims he believes to be true.

      Furthermore, many people agree generally with what you say he said, including myself.  I believe "Mark" 16:9-20 is a concocted ending.  I don't agree with him, however, that it was made 400 years after Christ; it clearly was composed much earlier than that.  Is this the fact which you are saying he must surely know better about, and is being deceptive about?

      David Robert Palmer

      James Snapp, Jr. wrote:

       
      Any thoughts? My thought is that
      Dr. Tabor, the Chair of Religious Studies at UNC-Charlotte, doesn't
      know what he's talking about. I don't mean to sound belligerent, but
      at some point, the writers of deceptive material should be treated as
      deceivers, and they should be held accountable for the false and
      misleading statements that they write.







      --
      Marion Fox

      http://www.fivefpublishing.com
    • James Snapp
      Greetings Marion, I can t think of a better resource to acquaint you with the relevant data than my own four-part online presentation, the first part of which
      Message 2 of 26 , Jan 3, 2007
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        Greetings Marion,
         
        I can't think of a better resource to acquaint you with the relevant data than my own four-part online presentation, the first part of which is at www.curtisvillechristian.org/MarkOne.html .   William Farmer's 1974 book "The Last Twelve Verses of Mark" is also a good resource (even though Farmer was uninformed about the Sahidic evidence).  James Edwards' commentary on Mark (in the Pillar commentary series) presents the data accurately. 
         
        Regarding your question about a blank space in one of the manuscripts that lacks Mark 16:9-20 ~ Vaticanus has a prolonged blank space which seems to have been placed there to give the eventual owner of the manuscript the option of adding the Long Ending or the Short Ending.  In the course of my online presentation I present a replica of the page of Vaticanus which has the blank space.
         
        Yours in Christ,
         
        James Snapp, Jr.


        Marion Fox <mrfox1@...> wrote:
        Marion Fox here,
         
        With regard to the question of Mark 16:9-20, I have a couple of questions.
         
        First, what are good sources of materials that give arguments pro and con on this passage.
         
        Second, is there not a blank space in one of the manuscripts (Codex B) where there is enough space to insert the text of the disputed verses?
         
        Yours in His service,
         
         
        Marion R. Fox
         
        On 12/30/06, David Robert Palmer <watutman@sbcglobal. net> wrote:

        Since you charge that Dr. Tabor's material is deceptive, it is up to you, I think, to demonstrate how he is being deceptive.

        It would be deception if he was presenting data that he knew to be false, as true.  But, that is probably not the case.  I'm assuming he is presenting claims he believes to be true.

        Furthermore, many people agree generally with what you say he said, including myself.  I believe "Mark" 16:9-20 is a concocted ending.  I don't agree with him, however, that it was made 400 years after Christ; it clearly was composed much earlier than that.  Is this the fact which you are saying he must surely know better about, and is being deceptive about?

        David Robert Palmer

        James Snapp, Jr. wrote:

        Any thoughts? My thought is that
        Dr. Tabor, the Chair of Religious Studies at UNC-Charlotte, doesn't
        know what he's talking about. I don't mean to sound belligerent, but
        at some point, the writers of deceptive material should be treated as
        deceivers, and they should be held accountable for the false and
        misleading statements that they write.







        --
        Marion Fox

        http://www.fivefpub lishing.com

        __________________________________________________
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      • williampenawells@aol.com
        In most cases, the word deceptive even if used in a narrow technical sense does not stray far (through Old French and Middle English) from its Latin root
        Message 3 of 26 , Jan 4, 2007
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          In most cases,  the word "deceptive"  even if used in a narrow technical sense does not stray far (through Old French and Middle English) from its Latin root decipere -- to ensnare. It is not a content neutral word and implies in the common understanding some unfairness.  Clearly, a scholar of Dr. Tabor's background was aware of the controversial nature of his statement and made it by accident of poor writing or poor scholarship. I think that the underlying tone of this discussion has more to do with the other conclusions in the book which are more substantial and disliked by some.
           
          Taken as a whole, Dr. Tabor's book is written in a general audience conversational tone and to apply rigorous standards of academic debate to one passage is unfair to the text and its goals.
           
          It is really quite irrelevant as one commentator added in a response that he disagrees with the conclusion of the book and supports the resurrection of Jesus. That is totally irrelevant to the core issue and I would urge everyone not to stand on faith based soapboxes.  After the 18th Dynasty (1551-1310 B.C.), everyone who worshiped Osiris was promised the possibility of life after death. It was as god of the Underworld that he enjoyed his greatest popularity, for he gave those who worshipped him the hope of an eternally happy life in another world ruled over by a just and good king.  It would be as necessary to the discussion to bring in Osiris as it is to bring in the factual question of the resurrection of Jesus.
           
           
        • David Robert Palmer
          Jim, I don t understand why you use the blank space in Vaticanus as anything that supports your position.  I don t see that it supports it at all. 1. 
          Message 4 of 26 , Jan 4, 2007
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            Jim, I don't understand why you use the "blank space" in Vaticanus as anything that supports your position.  I don't see that it supports it at all.

            1.  Codex Vaticanus lacks the longer ending of Mark.

            2.  What is remarkable about a blank space between books?

            3.  You yourself phrase your assertion about the blank space in Vaticanus as follows: "which SEEMS to have been placed there..."

            4.  I am more impressed by the fact that the scribe did not include vv. 9-20, as evidence that it was not Markan, than by any possibility that he wanted someone to be able to add it.

            5. I think it would take a greater conviction and sureness to impel of a scribe to OMIT something from Mark deliberately, than the conviction required to cause a scribe to ADD something deliberately.

            6.  I have done a harmony / continuous blend of the gospels, which only made sense when I omitted the longer ending of Mark.  My harmony blends perfectly without vv. 9-20, and the harmony would have been impossible when including that passage.  I have looked at other harmonies, how they deal with the ending of the gospels, and they are all erroneous, and show that the authors did not spend near the amount of time pondering the various possible solutions that I did, like playing chess, and analyzing, if I worded it this way, what would that part then have to be, etc.

            7.  For what it is worth to anyone, I am 99% convinced that Mark 16:9-20 was not originally part of the gospel of Mark.  If I did not believe, as I do, that the gospels agree with each other, then I could allow that Mark 16:9-20 is authentic, since it contradicts Luke and John.

            David Robert Palmer

            James Snapp wrote:
            Regarding your question about a blank space in one of the manuscripts that lacks Mark 16:9-20 ~ Vaticanus has a prolonged blank space which seems to have been placed there to give the eventual owner of the manuscript the option of adding the Long Ending or the Short Ending.  In the course of my online presentation I present a replica of the page of Vaticanus which has the blank space.

          • Daniel J. Mount
            David, You said: 2.  What is remarkable about a blank space between books? The answer is typically nothing, but it becomes remarkable when it is to my
            Message 5 of 26 , Jan 4, 2007
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              David,

              You said: "2.  What is remarkable about a blank space between books?"

              The answer is typically "nothing," but it becomes remarkable when it is to my knowledge the only such blank space in the manuscript.

              Sincerely,
              Daniel J. Mount
              Mansfield, Ohio


              David Robert Palmer wrote:


              Jim, I don't understand why you use the "blank space" in Vaticanus as anything that supports your position.  I don't see that it supports it at all.

              1.  Codex Vaticanus lacks the longer ending of Mark.

              2.  What is remarkable about a blank space between books?

              3.  You yourself phrase your assertion about the blank space in Vaticanus as follows: "which SEEMS to have been placed there..."

              4.  I am more impressed by the fact that the scribe did not include vv. 9-20, as evidence that it was not Markan, than by any possibility that he wanted someone to be able to add it.

              5. I think it would take a greater conviction and sureness to impel of a scribe to OMIT something from Mark deliberately, than the conviction required to cause a scribe to ADD something deliberately.

              6.  I have done a harmony / continuous blend of the gospels, which only made sense when I omitted the longer ending of Mark.  My harmony blends perfectly without vv. 9-20, and the harmony would have been impossible when including that passage.  I have looked at other harmonies, how they deal with the ending of the gospels, and they are all erroneous, and show that the authors did not spend near the amount of time pondering the various possible solutions that I did, like playing chess, and analyzing, if I worded it this way, what would that part then have to be, etc.

              7.  For what it is worth to anyone, I am 99% convinced that Mark 16:9-20 was not originally part of the gospel of Mark.  If I did not believe, as I do, that the gospels agree with each other, then I could allow that Mark 16:9-20 is authentic, since it contradicts Luke and John.

              David Robert Palmer

              James Snapp wrote:

              Regarding your question about a blank space in one of the manuscripts that lacks Mark 16:9-20 ~ Vaticanus has a prolonged blank space which seems to have been placed there to give the eventual owner of the manuscript the option of adding the Long Ending or the Short Ending.  In the course of my online presentation I present a replica of the page of Vaticanus which has the blank space.

            • James Snapp, Jr.
              (We re drifting away from the subject of Dr. Tabor s misleading statements about the ending of Mark in Jesus Dynasty, but let s follow the conversation where
              Message 6 of 26 , Jan 4, 2007
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                (We're drifting away from the subject of Dr. Tabor's misleading
                statements about the ending of Mark in "Jesus Dynasty," but let's
                follow the conversation where it goes anyway.)

                DRP asked (pertaining to the long space after Mark 16:8 in
                Vaticanus), "What is remarkable about a blank space between books?"

                A blank space consisting of merely the leftover space underneath the
                final text of a book, preceding the start of the next book at the top
                of the immediately-following column, would be nothing unusual.
                Partly-blank columns are not unusual. But that is not what we
                observe in B at the end of Mark. At the end of Mark in B, we have a
                partly blank column. (To be precise, the text ends in the 31st out
                of 42 lines, followed by the subscription.) Then we have, instead of
                the beginning of Luke in the next column, a completely blank column.
                And that's unusual. In two other places, the end of a book is
                followed by a lengthy blank space that includes at least one blank
                column: after the end of Nehemiah, and after the end of Tobit. But
                the blank spaces in those two instances exist because at each of
                those two points, a new scribe took up the following material. At
                the end of Mark, though, the same scribe who was writing Mark 16
                continues -- on the other side of the same page -- writing.

                So it should be obvious here, at the end of Mark, there is a
                deviation from normal practice. Instead of proceeding to write Luke
                in the following column after Mark 16:8, the scribe left a blank
                column. This is the only occurrence of such a deliberately-placed
                blank column in the entire codex. That is why it is remarkable.

                It's remarkable, and it's suggestive. Hort stated that the copyist
                of B did this "evidently because one or the other of two subsequent
                endings was known to him personally, while he found neither of them
                in the exemplar which he was copying" (p. 29-30, Notes). I agree
                (with the qualification that the copyist may have known of *both*
                endings). Don't you?

                But which ending -- the Short Ending or the Long Ending -- did the
                copyist have in mind? It's hard to tell. But if he intended to
                leave space for the Short Ending, he could have started Luke at the
                top of the column immediately after Mk. 16:8. The Short Ending would
                rather neatly fit the space at the bottom of the column following the
                end of Mk. 16:8, as I show at
                www.curtisvillechristian.org/Vaticanus.html . The subscription would
                thus need to be placed in the lower margin, but elsewhere this
                doesn't seem to be a concern of the copyist: the lower margin is
                where we find the subscription to Philippians, as you can see at
                http://www1.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vaticanus/ends.html . So, if the
                copyist had only intended to leave space for the Short Ending, he had
                no reason to leave an entire blank column.

                However, the answer to the question, "Which ending did the copyist of
                B have in mind?" might be "Both." In the Greek MSS of Mark which are
                textually most aligned with B -- L and Psi -- the Double-Ending
                appears. B's format can be interpreted as the insightful resolution
                of a problem by a smart copyist: if his exemplar looked like L and
                Psi, with the Short Ending and the Long Ending both displayed, a
                smart copyist could think to himself, "They can't both be right.
                But I don't want to decide between them. Let the diorthotes, or the
                eventual owner of the MS, decide." He formatted the page so that a
                subsequent copyist could add the Short Ending by stretching the
                lettering, so that the text extended into the top of the next column
                AND so that a subsequent copyist could add the Short Ending by
                compacting the lettering and extending each light a bit farther into
                the margin than usual. (It wouldn't do to leave two blank columns,
                even though the Long Ending could be easily written into two columns
                with plenty of room to spare, because if the subsequent copyist chose
                to adopt the Short Ending, a completely blank column would
                unavoidably remain.)

                In other words, the format of the text at the end of Mark in B is
                consistent with a scenario in which the copyist of B knew the Short
                Ending and the Long Ending, and expected the eventual owner of the MS
                to adopt either the Short Ending or the Long Ending (but not both!).
                B's format may be the result of a copyist's clever reaction to the
                Double-Ending in his exemplar.

                If that's NOT what the format of B means, then of all possible
                alternatives, the most likely is that the copyist's exemplar ended at
                16:8 and the copyist wanted to leave room for the Long Ending, with
                which he was familiar.

                DRP: "You yourself phrase your assertion about the blank space in
                Vaticanus as follows: "which SEEMS to have been placed there...""

                Yes; to complete that sentence: "Vaticanus has a prolonged blank
                space which seems to have been placed there to give the eventual
                owner of the manuscript the option of adding the Long Ending or the
                Short Ending." I cannot read the mind of the copyist of B to verify
                that he was thinking about both endings, or to verify that he was
                just thinking about the Long Ending. But those are the only two
                reasonable options. It is much, much, much, much more probable that
                the copyist of B skipped an entire column after Mark 16:8
                thoughtfully than that the copyist of B skipped an entire column
                after Mark 16:8 accidentally. Don't you agree?

                DRP: "I am more impressed by the fact that the scribe did not
                include vv. 9-20, as evidence that it was not Markan, than by any
                possibility that he wanted someone to be able to add it."

                But there are more facts to consider that the fact that the scribe of
                B did not include vv. 9-20. There is the fact that the blank column
                after 16:8 is unique in B. There is the fact that B's closest Greek
                allies have the Double-Ending (with a feature that Byzantine MSS
                don't have -- "And in their hands" in 16:18). There is the fact that
                we're dealing with the last (vulnerable-to-accident) portion of a
                book. All these facts should be taken into consideration. When they
                are, the *reasons,* or possible reasons, for the facts can become
                just as pivotal as the facts themselves, and help us realize what the
                facts are capable of implying.

                DRP: "I think it would take a greater conviction and sureness to
                impel of a scribe to OMIT something from Mark deliberately, than the
                conviction required to cause a scribe to ADD something deliberately."

                Why? Are accidental omissions, or omissions based on
                misunderstandings, or omissions which are actually merely expressions
                of indecision, impossible?

                DRP: "I have done a harmony / continuous blend of the gospels, which
                only made sense when I omitted the longer ending of Mark. My harmony
                blends perfectly without vv. 9-20, and the harmony would have been
                impossible when including that passage."

                Are you suggesting that a second-century author of the Long Ending
                depended on Matthew, Luke, and John, and still managed to write an
                ending for the Gospel of Mark which was impossible to harmonize with
                Matthew, Luke and John? Are you saying that for an individual
                concerned about being able to harmonize the Gospels, the Long Ending
                is the more difficult reading?

                Yours in Christ,

                James Snapp, Jr.
                Curtisville Christian Church
                Indiana (USA)
                www.curtisvillechristian.org/MarkOne.html
              • James Snapp, Jr.
                In the sentence He formatted the page so that a subsequent copyist could add the Short Ending by stretching the lettering, so that the text extended into the
                Message 7 of 26 , Jan 5, 2007
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                  In the sentence "He formatted the page so that a subsequent copyist
                  could add the Short Ending by stretching the lettering, so that the
                  text extended into the top of the next column AND so that a
                  subsequent copyist could add the /// Short Ending /// by compacting
                  the lettering and extending each light a bit farther into the margin
                  than usual," the second occurrence of "Short Ending" (between the ///
                  marks, which I threw in there) should be replaced by "Long Ending."

                  Yours in Christ,

                  James Snapp, Jr.
                  Curtisville Christian Church
                  Indiana (USA)
                  www.curtisvillechristian.org/Vaticanus.html
                • malcolm robertson
                  Dear Daniel, This statement of yours is not correct. Because He lives, Malcolm ________________ Re: [textualcriticism] Jesus Dynasty and the Ending of Mark
                  Message 8 of 26 , Jan 5, 2007
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                    Dear Daniel,
                     
                    This statement of yours is not correct. 
                     
                    Because He lives,
                     
                    Malcolm
                    ________________
                     
                     
                    Re: [textualcriticism] Jesus Dynasty and the Ending of Mark

                     
                    David,

                    You said: "2.  What is remarkable about a blank space between books?"

                    The answer is typically "nothing," but it becomes remarkable when it is to my knowledge the only such blank space in the manuscript.

                    Sincerely,
                    Daniel J. Mount
                    Mansfield, Ohio



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                  • George F Somsel
                    Malcom, You should be a bit less cryptic. To which statement are you referring? (1) That there is typically nothing remarkable about a blank space or (2)
                    Message 9 of 26 , Jan 5, 2007
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                      Malcom,
                       
                      You should be a bit less cryptic.  To which statement are you referring?  (1) That there is typically nothing remarkable about a blank space or (2) that this is the only blank space in the MSS.
                       
                      george
                      gfsomsel
                      _________


                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: malcolm robertson <mjriii2003@...>
                      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Friday, January 5, 2007 11:19:51 AM
                      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Jesus Dynasty and the Ending of Mark

                      Dear Daniel,
                       
                      This statement of yours is not correct. 
                       
                      Because He lives,
                       
                      Malcolm
                      ____________ ____
                       
                       
                      Re: [textualcriticism] Jesus Dynasty and the Ending of Mark

                       
                      David,

                      You said: "2.  What is remarkable about a blank space between books?"

                      The answer is typically "nothing," but it becomes remarkable when it is to my knowledge the only such blank space in the manuscript.

                      Sincerely,
                      Daniel J. Mount
                      Mansfield, Ohio



                      ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ __
                      Do You Yahoo!?
                      Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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                    • David Robert Palmer
                      James Snapp, Jr. wrote: Are you suggesting that a second-century author of the Long Ending depended on Matthew, Luke, and John, and still managed to write an
                      Message 10 of 26 , Jan 20, 2007
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                        James Snapp, Jr. wrote:

                        Are you suggesting that a second-century author of the Long Ending
                        depended on Matthew, Luke, and John, and still managed to write an
                        ending for the Gospel of Mark which was impossible to harmonize with
                        Matthew, Luke and John? Are you saying that for an individual
                        concerned about being able to harmonize the Gospels, the Long Ending
                        is the more difficult reading?
                        _,___

                        I'm saying that an author around the second century used Matthew, Luke and John, plus Acts, to write an ending impossible to harmonize with Matthew, Luke and John.

                        I'm saying the gospels are in harmony without the Long Ending, and not in harmony when it is included.

                        How long has it been since you read my endnotes on Mark?  They still have your original addendum you sent me years ago.  I emailed you several months back asking for an update to it, but you did not answer.  I need to update my translation of the gospel of Mark, as well, since I did it in 1997-1998, and have changed a few opinions since then.  Why don't you check all that out, by downloading Mark from here: http://www.bibletranslation.ws/trans/markwgrk.zip This is a 368kb .zip file, a Unicode Word 2000 for Windows document.

                        I have been meaning to finish my harmony of the gospels based on my own translations.  I did one based on the NIV, and filed it with the copyright office in 1991.  I have much to change and have learned much, obviously, since 1991.  And I don't know if I need permission from NIV copyright holders to send it to individuals.  I think I might need their permission to publish it.  But I don't intend to publish it anyway, since I have been slowly revising it toward my own translations of the gospels.

                        Thanks for all your work studying Jim.

                        David Robert Palmer
                      • James Snapp, Jr.
                        David R. Palmer, DRP: I m saying that an author around the second century used Matthew, Luke and John, plus Acts, to write an ending impossible to harmonize
                        Message 11 of 26 , Jan 20, 2007
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                          David R. Palmer,

                          DRP: "I'm saying that an author around the second century used
                          Matthew, Luke and John, plus Acts, to write an ending impossible to
                          harmonize with Matthew, Luke and John."

                          I don't think the LE is impossible to harmonize with the other
                          material in the Gospels. But suppose that some folks in the second
                          or third century thought that was the case. To them, wouldn't
                          Gospels-codices without this impossible-to-harmonize ending be
                          preferable to Gospels-codices that contained it?

                          A few more questions:

                          (1) Why would a copyist bold enough to compose new material not be
                          bold enough to clean up the transition from v. 8 to v. 9? (The
                          scribe of Old Latin k (or the scribe of an ancestor of k), after all,
                          was bold enough to make a smooth transition to the SE).
                          (2) Why would a copyist, attempting to tie up the thread of Mark's
                          narrative which anticipates an appearance in Galilee, summarize
                          events that he knew his own readers would know took place in
                          Jerusalem?
                          (3) Why would a copyist with the goal that you described, and the
                          material you listed, not make good use of John 21?

                          DRP: "How long has it been since you read my endnotes on Mark?"

                          I don't know; God willing, I'll try to do so using a library-computer
                          soon.

                          DRP: ... "I emailed you several months back asking for an update to
                          it, but you did not answer."

                          E-mail me again using the e-mail button at the Curtisville Christian
                          Church homepage (see the link below) and, God willing, I will send
                          the latest edition of the lengthy essay right away. Apparently I
                          lost your earlier e-mail.

                          DRP: "Why don't you check all that out, by downloading Mark from
                          here: http://www.bibletranslation.ws/trans/markwgrk.zip " ...

                          I'll try to, once I get to a less obsolete computer. Thanks for
                          reminding me of these resources.

                          Yours in Christ,

                          James Snapp, Jr.
                          Curtisville Christian Church
                          Indiana (USA)
                          www.curtisvillechristian.org
                        • David Robert Palmer
                          Jim, I can only speculate about what a scribe did and why.  I m sure there are scholars that can do that much better than I can. Here is why I consider the
                          Message 12 of 26 , Jan 21, 2007
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                            Jim, I can only speculate about what a scribe did and why.  I'm sure there are scholars that can do that much better than I can.

                            Here is why I consider the Long Ending of Mark impossible to harmonize:


                            1.) The passage contains a statement that is contrary to the gospel of Luke.

                            The statement is found in verses 12 and 13 about the two walking to Emmaus:

                            12 And after these things he was manifested in a different form to two of them who were walking along in the country.
                            13 And those went and reported to the rest; neither did they believe those.

                            This is contrary to Luke 24:13, 33-35 where we read:

                            13  And behold, two of them during that same day were making their way toward a village sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, which was called Emmaus...
                            33  And they got up and returned that same hour to Jerusalem, and found the Eleven and those with them assembled together,
                            34  saying, 'The Lord really has risen, and he appeared to Simon.'
                            35  And the two told what things happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

                            Luke says the rest responded "The Lord really has risen," thus agreeing with the two.  The others agreed that Jesus was alive, because Simon Peter had already come back and told them the same thing as the two were telling them.  But "Mark" 16:13 says the rest disbelieved the two.  Thus, Mark 16:12-13 contradicts what Luke 24:33-35 says.  So then, we either have to believe that the scriptures contain an error, or else believe that one of these passages is not scripture.  The problem of the contradiction is solved, by concluding from the objective external evidence that the longer ending of Mark is not scripture, therefore we do not have a case here of scripture contradicting other scripture.

                            Some say that there is not a contradiction between Mark in the TR and Luke, because later in Luke, in 24:40-41, it says

                            "40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.  41But, since they were still not believing, out of joy and astonishment, he said to them, "What do you have to eat in this place?"

                            But I say this is another event.  The passages I already compared, are talking about the same event.  That is the more legitamate comparison.

                            There are other contradictions involving the ending of Mark also, that do not show themselves until you do a harmonization of the gospels, as I have.  My harmonization, called Palmer’s Diatessaron, will come out when I have finished translating all four gospels.

                            2.) The passage contains another statement that is impossible harmonize.  "Mark" 16:9 says, "he appeared first to Mary of Magdala"...  This statement is impossible to reconcile with the other accounts.  It appears that Jesus first appeared to the other women as they were returning to report to the apostles, and then to Mary of Magdala later, since she stayed behind weeping at the tomb longer than the other women.


                            The Alexandrian text stream certainly contains some corruptions.  But the Byzantine stream contains this whopper of a corruption.  And a whopper of a corruption it certainly is.

                            David Robert Palmer


                            James Snapp, Jr. wrote:

                            David R. Palmer,

                            DRP: "I'm saying that an author around the second century used
                            Matthew, Luke and John, plus Acts, to write an ending impossible to
                            harmonize with Matthew, Luke and John."

                            I don't think the LE is impossible to harmonize with the other
                            material in the Gospels. But suppose that some folks in the second
                            or third century thought that was the case. To them, wouldn't
                            Gospels-codices without this impossible-to- harmonize ending be
                            preferable to Gospels-codices that contained it?

                            A few more questions:

                            (1) Why would a copyist bold enough to compose new material not be
                            bold enough to clean up the transition from v. 8 to v. 9? (The
                            scribe of Old Latin k (or the scribe of an ancestor of k), after all,
                            was bold enough to make a smooth transition to the SE).
                            (2) Why would a copyist, attempting to tie up the thread of Mark's
                            narrative which anticipates an appearance in Galilee, summarize
                            events that he knew his own readers would know took place in
                            Jerusalem?
                            (3) Why would a copyist with the goal that you described, and the
                            material you listed, not make good use of John 21?

                            DRP: "How long has it been since you read my endnotes on Mark?"

                            I don't know; God willing, I'll try to do so using a library-computer
                            soon.

                            DRP: ... "I emailed you several months back asking for an update to
                            it, but you did not answer."

                            E-mail me again using the e-mail button at the Curtisville Christian
                            Church homepage (see the link below) and, God willing, I will send
                            the latest edition of the lengthy essay right away. Apparently I
                            lost your earlier e-mail.

                            DRP: "Why don't you check all that out, by downloading Mark from
                            here: http://www.bibletra nslation. ws/trans/ markwgrk. zip " ...

                            I'll try to, once I get to a less obsolete computer. Thanks for
                            reminding me of these resources.

                            Yours in Christ,

                            James Snapp, Jr.
                            Curtisville Christian Church
                            Indiana (USA)
                            www.curtisvillechri stian.org


                          • James Snapp, Jr.
                            David R Palmer, DRP: I can only speculate about what a scribe did and why. So speculate. When proposing a hypothesis which would require a copyist to act
                            Message 13 of 26 , Jan 22, 2007
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                              David R Palmer,

                              DRP: "I can only speculate about what a scribe did and why."

                              So speculate. When proposing a hypothesis which would require a
                              copyist to act in an apparently unreasonable way -- by creating an
                              ending for the Gospel of Mark about events in Jerusalem instead of
                              Galilee, and by deciding not to use available material which would
                              have perfectly fit his purposes, and by devising an ending which made
                              the accounts harder, rather than easier, to harmonize (or, you claim,
                              impossible to harmonize!) -- a bit more is needed to keep the
                              hypothesis alive besides saying that we can only guess why the
                              copyist did these things. Without explanations, you're positing a
                              miracle of irrationality.

                              It looks like one reason why you reject Mk. 16:9-20 is because you
                              think it's "impossible to harmonize" with the other Gospels. It
                              almost seems as if you are rejecting the LE on theological or
                              apologetical grounds. That is, it looks like you are saying that one
                              reason the LE can't be original is that it poses a problem for
                              harmonization. That is, you are saying that from an apologetic
                              perspective -- from the perspective of a believer who has intensely
                              pursued the harmonization of the Gospels (a description which fits
                              not only you but also some patristic writers, not the least of whom
                              was Eusebius) -- the LE is the harder, more difficult reading.

                              Let's examine those two difficulties you mentioned.

                              The first difficulty is that Mk. 16:13 says that the two disciples
                              walking into the country told about their encounter to the others and
                              the others did not believe them, but Lk. 24:33-35 says that after
                              their encounter, they rose up that same hour and returned to
                              Jerusalem, and found the Eleven gathered together with those that
                              were with them. The group that those two found was saying, "The Lord
                              is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon." Then the two road-
                              walkers told what had happened in the road, and how He was known to
                              them in the breaking of bread.

                              After this, while they were continuing to speak, Jesus Himself
                              appeared in their midst; they were frightened; Jesus greeted them;
                              they were terrified and thought He was a spirit; He spoke again,
                              showing them His wounds and inviting them to touch Him -- all a la
                              Lk. 24:36-39 -- and tried to settle them down. Their reaction at
                              this point is described in Lk. 24:40 ~ "But yet while they were
                              disbelieving (APISTOUNTWN) for joy and were wondering."

                              You seemed to say that Mk. 16:13 says that the main group of
                              disciples did not believe the two road-walkers, but Lk. 24 says that
                              the main group *did* believe the two road-walkers. But Lk. 24 does
                              not say that the main group believed the two road-walkers. Luke says
                              that when the two road-walkers found the main group in Jerusalem, the
                              main group was already saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and
                              appeared to Simon." *Then* the two road-walkers tell what happened
                              to them.

                              Luke does not say that the main group believed the two road-walkers.
                              Whatever else Luke says, it is not a statement that the main group
                              believed the two road-walkers. (The "APISTOUNTWN" in Lk. 24:40, if
                              applied to the testimony of the two road-walkers, would be in harmony
                              with Mk. 16:13, but it shouldn't be thus applied because it is
                              plainly meant merely to describe the disciples' incredulity upon
                              seeing and hearing the risen Jesus. It was not the testimony of the
                              two road-walkers that they were unsure of at that point, but the
                              testimony of their eyes and ears.)

                              Again: contra your description, Luke does *not* say that the rest
                              "responded" to the testimony of the road-walkers. In Lk. 24:33-35,
                              the main group spoke first, and then the road-walkers spoke. Your
                              claim that the main group "responded" to the road-walkers' testimony
                              in Lk. 24:33-34 is unwarranted, and should be abandoned. Mark 16:12-
                              13 does not contradict what Lk. 24:33-35 says, because Luke does not
                              describe the main group's reaction to the testimony of the road-
                              walkers one way or the other. Thus your first objection is answered.

                              (I leave it to readers' imagination to picture the resultant thoughts
                              and words of the disciples that commenced: "Jesus appeared to Simon
                              -- so how could He have been with these two fellows on the road to
                              Emmaus and stay with them most of the afternoon and evening??" It
                              could've been a long discussion.)

                              Just to be thorough: your objection -- what there is of it --
                              involves the usual reading of Lk. 24:34, LEGONTAS. But in D, the
                              word there is LEGONTES. In which case, it woud be the two road-
                              walkers, not the disciples, who announce, "Truly the Lord is risen,
                              and has appeared to Simon!" Which would be weird, even if one of the
                              road-walkers was named Simon, because one would expect them to say,
                              "Truly the Lord is risen, and has appeared to US." (This might be
                              salvaged, though, by supposing that the road-walker not-named-Simon
                              assumed that the main group would be more likely to believe Simon.)

                              What would cause a copyist to change LEGONTAS into LEGONTES in Lk.
                              24:34? Itacistic confusion, maybe -- or maybe a desire to bring the
                              Lukan text into closer accord with Mk. 16:12-13. Which would imply
                              that Mk. 16:12-13 was known to whoever created the LEGONTES
                              reading.

                              Your second objection was that Mk. 16:9 says that Jesus appeared
                              first to Mary Magdalene, but "This statement is impossible to
                              reconcile with the other accounts." Your grounds: "It appears that
                              Jesus first appeared to the other women as they were returning to
                              report to the apostles, and then to Mary of Magdala later, since she
                              stayed behind weeping at the tomb longer than the other women."

                              Matthew 28:1 relates that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to
                              the tomb, saw that it was open, and received the angel's message to
                              go tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and so forth
                              (Mt. 28:6-7). Then "they" departed from the tomb, in Mt. 28:8. In
                              28:9, Jesus meets them. Now, if we were to only have Matthew in the
                              equation, this would align just fine with Mk. 16:9, since Mk. 16:9
                              says that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene, and a Matthew-Only
                              reader would assume that Mary Magdalene was right there, in Mt. 28:9,
                              encountering Jesus.

                              It's when we bring Luke and John into the equation that it becomes
                              clear that Matthew left out some details about the number of women
                              and other details. Luke doesn't help us out a lot -- he mentions
                              more women in 24:10, but Luke only mentions their encounter with
                              angels at the tomb; Luke says nothing about any women encountering
                              Jesus. Which leaves us with John.

                              In John, Mary Magdalene's first visit to the tomb is told in one
                              verse (20:1) -- it's still dark; she comes and sees that the stone
                              has been moved. That's it. John tells about no angelic messengers.
                              Mary Magdalene leaves the scene, finds Peter and the beloved
                              disciple, and by the time Peter and the beloved disciple finish
                              investigating the empty tomb, Mary Magdalene has returned herself to
                              a location just outside the tomb. Then Jesus appears to her, in Jn.
                              20:11-18.

                              So if we compare Mark 16:9 with Matthew 28, it's non-problematic.
                              And if we compare Mark 16:9 with Luke 24, it's non-problematic (at
                              least, no more problematic than Mt. 28). And if we compare Mark 16:9
                              with John 20, it's non-problematic. The only problem that exists,
                              exists when you harmonize Matthew and John in a certain way, so that
                              Jesus appears to the other women, as they return from the tomb,
                              before He appears to Mary Magdalene, who lingers at the tomb after
                              returning to it (a la Jn. 20). But why insist that the appearance to
                              the other women (in Mt. 28:9-10) occurs before, rather than after,
                              Jesus' appearance to Mary Magdalene? Istm that it's just as possible
                              for Jesus to appear to Mary Magdalene, at the tomb, and then appear
                              to the rest of the women en route to the disciples, as it is for
                              Jesus to appear to the rest of the women, and then to Mary
                              Magdalene. So, the second difficulty that you describe emanates not
                              from Mark 16:9, but from your arbitrarily arranged order of
                              events.

                              Now let me anticipate yet another supposed difficulty: Mark 16:14
                              says that Jesus appeared to the main group of disciples "Later,"
                              while Luke 24 presents Jesus appearing to the main group of disciples
                              "As they were telling these things." But this objection is also
                              superficial, inasmuch as 16:14's "later" does not require a long
                              period of time, any more than Mk. 16:12's "And after these things"
                              requires a long period of time. 16:14's "later" refers to a point
                              later in the course of the discussion that the disciples were having
                              as they considered the report of the two road-walkers.

                              (I add that it's hard to explain why a second-century compiler would
                              read Luke 24 -- where a Luke-Only reader could easily and naturally
                              picture the road-walkers' report and the next appearance of Jesus as
                              a single scene, and where a Luke-Only reader would have no reason to
                              think that the main group of disciples rejected the road-walkers'
                              report, as I explained above -- and proceed to describe the road-
                              walkers' report and the next appearance of Jesus as two scenes.
                              Meanwhile the staccato style of Mk. 16:9-14 is completely explained
                              if it is an independent summary of Christ's appearances on Easter
                              Sunday, composed by someone who had never read the Gospel of Luke.)

                              Yours in Christ,

                              James Snapp, Jr.
                            • Mark Thunderson
                              ... wrote: I can only speculate about what a scribe did and why. I m sure there are scholars that can do that much better than I can. ... David, you have
                              Message 14 of 26 , Jan 23, 2007
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                                --- David Robert Palmer <watutman@...>
                                wrote:

                                I can only speculate about what a scribe did and why.
                                I'm sure there are scholars that can do that much
                                better than I can.

                                -----------------------------------------

                                David, you have answered very well, and I certainly
                                agree with many of your conclusions. I would like to
                                extrapolate on the "speculative side of things."
                                Given the reasonable assumption that Mark 16:9ff. is a
                                later addition to the the original ending to Mark's
                                Gospel; and given that this assumption does have
                                objective text-critical support; and given that this
                                text-critical support is also supported by theological
                                data; my own speculation as to why this later ending
                                has come about is the following:

                                Very early on in the history of Christianity (perhaps
                                3rd or 4th generation), the original meaning to Mark's
                                Gospel was quickly "lost". Mark's Gospel was just too
                                difficult to understand for many believers. Moreover,
                                since by this time the church had both Matthew and
                                Luke and John, it seemed reasonable to "some" that
                                Mark's Gospel must end. The seemingly paradoxical
                                ending was too much for the Church (especially the
                                institutional church) to swallow. Hence, the pressure
                                to seal-up the GAP at the end of the Gospel was
                                quickly remedied in the fashion you rightly
                                recognized: basically a quick summary of the other
                                three endings stuck at the end of Mark. However, the
                                pressure to make the Gospel of Mark come to an end is
                                still so strong, that its better for some to believe
                                what is clearly redaction, than what is clearly an
                                end.

                                Mark Thunderson.



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                              • James Snapp, Jr.
                                Dear Mark T. and David P., Mark, you ve re-stated a typical view -- the view that Mark originally ended at the end of 16:8, and the Long Ending was composed
                                Message 15 of 26 , Jan 25, 2007
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                                  Dear Mark T. and David P.,

                                  Mark, you've re-stated a typical view -- the view that Mark
                                  originally ended at the end of 16:8, and the Long Ending was composed
                                  and added later -- but that's /all/ you've done. I was looking for a
                                  defense of that view, not just a magnification of it.

                                  There's a reasonable explanation why the Long Ending does not appear
                                  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.

                                  On the surface of it, the motive of the later composer you posit
                                  seems reasonable: a copyist wanted Mark to end like the other
                                  Gospels, or, sort of like the other Gospels -- with post-resurrection
                                  appearances. So far, so good. But there are details in the Long
                                  Ending -- the things I have already mentioned -- that have to be
                                  countenanced to make that theory credible, or, more credible than the
                                  theory that it was not a second-century copyist, but an associate of
                                  Mark, who knew that Peter had talked about the post-resurrection
                                  appearances of Christ, and who knew that Mark had wanted to include a
                                  closing section about the post-resurrection apperances of Christ, and
                                  who himself wanted the Gospel of Mark to end with post-resurrection
                                  appearances of Christ.

                                  Regarding your statement that "This text-critical support is also
                                  supported by theological data" -- I'm not sure what "theological
                                  data" you mean. Maybe you mean the idea that there are
                                  contradictions between Mark 16:12-13 and Luke 24, regarding the main
                                  group of disciples' reaction to the report of the two road-walkers.
                                  But, as I've shown, that objection is not only doctrinally driven; it
                                  is a phantom. Maybe you mean the idea it's bad theology to handle
                                  snakes. But is it any better theology to walk on snakes and
                                  scorpions, a la Lk. 10:19? It looks like you've judged the text
                                  according to its abuse. By that kind of standard, oodles of passages
                                  can be excised.

                                  David,

                                  I managed to access your annotated translation of Mark. Here are
                                  solutions to the first three problems you pose there (which I'll
                                  summarize, so others will know what I'm writing about). (Problem
                                  Four = the theological concern I just addressed.)

                                  PROBLEM ONE: The connection between v. 8 and vv. 9-20 is abrupt and
                                  awkward.

                                  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
                                  smoother? We see a copyist do exactly that in the case of Codex
                                  Bobbiensis, where the Short Ending is attached only after the closing
                                  phrase of 16:8 has been excised. And, if a copyist's goal was to
                                  compose a new ending for the Gospel of Mark, why would he decide not
                                  to use John 21 -- where Jesus appears in Galilee, just as one would
                                  expect? Why would he follow up a text which induces the reader to
                                  expect a report about Jesus' appearances in Galilee with summaries of
                                  appearances which he knew his readers would know had occurred in
                                  Jerusalem?

                                  PROBLEM TWO: Mark 16:12-13 contradicts Luke 24:33-35.

                                  No it does not. You stated, "Luke says the rest responded, "The Lord
                                  really has risen," thus agreeing with the two." But Luke does not
                                  present that statement as a response. It's an announcement, not a
                                  response to the report from the two road-walkers. Luke does not say
                                  that the main group of disciples believed the report of the two road-
                                  walkers, so your contradiction-claim is not true.

                                  PROBLEM THREE: External evidence, as presented in the UBS textual
                                  commentary.

                                  Here's how you described some external evidence: these verses "are
                                  absent from many of the oldest translations of Mark into other
                                  languages, for example, the Latin, Sinaitic Syriac, and Georgian
                                  translations."

                                  That's not quite right. As a whole, the Old Latin MSS support
                                  inclusion; only Codex Bobbiensis -- with its interpolation in Mk.
                                  16:3-4, and with the Short Ending -- plainly attests to an ending of
                                  Mark other than 16:9-20. Latin Codex "a" (Vercellensis) is unclear;
                                  it ends with replacement pages and the original format is hard to
                                  determine; C.H. Turner calculated that if the scribe maintained his
                                  usual format, and if the MS didn't have further pages, then it
                                  wouldn't have contained the Long Ending, but all in all,
                                  Vercellensis' testimony is not secure. How can you look at the Old
                                  Latin MSS aur, c, d, ff-22, l, n+o, and q, and the Vulgate, and tell
                                  your readers that Mark 16:9-20 is absent from the early Latin
                                  translation? And why didn't you mention the Curetonian Syriac and
                                  the Peshitta? Why didn't you mention the Gothic Version? Why didn't
                                  you mention Tatian and Irenaeus and Aphraates?

                                  I have already addressed the unbalanced treatment that Metzger gave,
                                  and which you repeated. To sum up:

                                  (1) The silence of Clement and Origen is not particularly
                                  suggestive.
                                  (2) Jerome was parroting Eusebius. Really. The questioner pictured
                                  by Jerome asks four of the same questions that Eusebius' questioner
                                  (Marinus) asks Eusebius. That is not the stuff of which independent
                                  opinions are made. Jerome included the LE in the Vulgate, and
                                  casually referred his readers to Mk. 16:14 when describing where the
                                  Freer Logion could be found.
                                  (3) Eusebius' observation should be understood to refer to a
                                  particular batch of MSS at Caesarea, probably Alexandrian MSS either
                                  from Egypt, or descended from Egyptian copies.
                                  (4) Metzger's statement about "the original form of the Eusebian
                                  sections (drawn up by Ammonius)" is another way of saying "Eusebius"
                                  again. As I've explained previously, Ammonius is essentially a
                                  phantom-witness.
                                  (5) A lot of the MSS in which the passage is accompanied by special
                                  marks are also accompanied by notes which sum up Eusebius' comment.
                                  They are genealogically related, and the margin-note was perpetuated
                                  along with the text. These notes are not independent testimony; they
                                  boil down very considerably. Some descend from Eusebius. Others
                                  descend from Victor of Antioch's Catena/Commentary, which
                                  enthusiastically defends the passage as ancient.
                                  (6) Regarding Metzger's "vocabulary and style" argument, see the
                                  online analysis which has been done by Dr. Bruce Terry. In another
                                  12-verse section of Mark -- 15:40-16:4 -- there are more once-used
                                  words than there are in Mark 16:9-20. So much for the "vocabulary"
                                  point. As for the "style" point, if, as I contend, the Long Ending
                                  existed as a freestanding summary of post-resurrection appearances
                                  before being attached to Mark 16:8, some stylistic differences would
                                  be expected, just as one would expect an author to write a summary in
                                  a different style than he would write a detailed report.

                                  David, you also told your readers, "Other manuscripts which do
                                  contain the passage place it in differing locations in Mark." Isn't
                                  that decept-- umm, misleading? To what "differing locations" do you
                                  refer?

                                  Yours in Christ,

                                  James Snapp, Jr.
                                  Curtisville Christian Church
                                  Indiana (USA)
                                  Go Colts!
                                • Eric Rowe
                                  ... I suppose both of these are possible. But they involve their own problems. In the scenario of the Long Ending being accidentally lost, doesn t it strain
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Jan 27, 2007
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                                    Jim:
                                    > There's a reasonable explanation why the Long Ending does not appear
                                    > 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.

                                    I suppose both of these are possible. But they involve their own
                                    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 and
                                    > awkward.
                                    >
                                    > 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
                                    > smoother?

                                    It seems to me that the motive of making a smooth connection between
                                    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,
                                    > and which you repeated.

                                    Metzger addresses this both in his Textual Commentary and in his book
                                    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.

                                    In Christ,
                                    Eric
                                  • James Snapp, Jr.
                                    Eric, (This is a response to post #2891.) ER: ... In the scenario of the Long Ending being accidentally lost, doesn t it strain reason to suppose that the
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Jan 28, 2007
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                                      Eric,

                                      (This is a response to post #2891.)

                                      ER: ... "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."

                                      Not if the archetype itself was the document which was damaged. It
                                      would have been a two-piece document all along: Mark's scroll plus a
                                      one-page Resurrection Pericope, a.k.a. the Long Ending.

                                      ER: "In the case of the second scenario, does a scribe excising what
                                      looks incongruous 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."

                                      In the case of excision, I don't think the excisor thought, "Hmm;
                                      this just doesn't seem appropriate." In the case of excision, what I
                                      picture is more like a scenario in which the excisor thought, "Wait;
                                      I've read this before; this is a separate composition." Scribes
                                      weren't in the habit of encountering such situations, so it would be
                                      hazardous to guess what a particular copyist would do in such a
                                      situation based on what some scribes tended to do in other
                                      situations. (Btw, I don't grant that your last sentence there is
                                      true about early scribes. Royse presented some interesting data
                                      about early scribes' tendency to /omit/. Cf. David Miller's related
                                      "Long and Short" file here at TC-list, and the online Biblica article
                                      about scribal habits by Peter Head.)

                                      ER: "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."

                                      Yes (defining the second century as "early," and defining "some
                                      places" as "Egypt"). But in its original form, the Gospel of Mark
                                      contained the LE.

                                      ER: "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?"

                                      No.

                                      ER: "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?"

                                      No; it's unlikely that Mark's survivors would release the truncated
                                      text and then re-release it with the Long Ending. They would require
                                      two different motives. Knowing that Mark's intent was to tell
                                      Peter's story about Jesus, they would not release it in a form which
                                      they knew was incomplete if another option was open. And I don't
                                      think anyone would /compose/ Mark 16:9-20 as an ending for the Gospel
                                      of Mark.

                                      ER: [Addressing the question, "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 smoother?"] "It seems to me that
                                      the motive of making a smooth connection between 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."

                                      That's because Mark wasn't looking at the Gospel of Mark when he
                                      wrote it. But why do you think that mitigates against the theory
                                      that it was added at a pre-publication stage? The awkwardness, in
                                      that case, is a vestige of the hesitation of Mark's survivors to add
                                      or detract from what they considered authoritative texts. Meanwhile,
                                      those who say that the LE was composed in the second century have to
                                      explain why the same scribe who was bold enough to concoct a new
                                      ending (which *does* contain stuff that is not in the other Gospels
                                      or Acts!) was also timid enough to refrain from making a better
                                      transition from v. 8 to v. 9.

                                      ER: [about Metzger's comments on Mk. 16:9-20] ... "I have found his
                                      treatment of this problem (as well as most others) quite balanced on
                                      the whole."

                                      Metzger treats it a lot better than some other writers, such as James
                                      Tabor. But he left out a lot of significant details:
                                      (1) He mentions that the passage is absent from Vaticanus BUT he
                                      does not mention the long blank space in Vaticanus after Mk. 16:8.
                                      (2) He mentions that in it-k, the SE is attached to 16:8 BUT he does
                                      not mention that in it-k, the last part of 16:8 is absent.
                                      (3) He mentions that Clement of Alexandria and Origen "show no
                                      knowledge of the existence of these verses," BUT he does not mention
                                      (as Hort did) that their silence in this regard does not necessarily
                                      mean that they were unfamiliar with the passage. (Hort expressed a
                                      strong suspicion that Eusebius' comments about Mk. 16:9-20 in "Ad
                                      Marinum" were borrowed from Origen -- see "Notes," p. 32.)
                                      (4) He mentions that "Eusebius and Jerome attest that the passage
                                      was absent from almost all Greek copies of Mark known to them" BUT he
                                      does not mention that no reading other than the LE seems to be known
                                      to Marinus; nor does he mention that Jerome's comment is essentially
                                      an echo of Eusebius; Jerome's composition echoes four questions and
                                      four answers found in Eusebius' composition. That matters,
                                      especially when one notices that Jerome included the LE in the
                                      Vulgate, and casually used the contents of 16:14 to locate the Freer
                                      Logion for his readers, and once mentioned to someone in a letter
                                      that when pressed for time, he adapted the works of others.
                                      (5) He mentions that "The original form of the Eusebian sections
                                      (drawn up by Ammonius) makes no provision for numbering sections of
                                      the text after 16.8," BUT he does not convey that Eusebius is
                                      responsible for the "Ammonian Sections." (I invite whoever doubts
                                      this to consider the data in Appendix G of Burgon's "Last 12 Verses
                                      of Mark.")
                                      (6) He mentions that "Not a few manuscripts which contain the
                                      passage have scribal notes stating that older Greek copies lack it,"
                                      BUT he does not mention that not a few MSS have scribal notes
                                      (echoing the commentary-catena of Victor of Antioch) stating that
                                      older copies contain it. Nor does he mention that not a few of the
                                      MSS with the margin-note are relatives within a narrow transmission-
                                      channel.
                                      (7) He describes the vocabulary of 16:9-20 as "non-Markan" BUT he
                                      does not mention that a higher number of "non-Markan" words can be
                                      found in another 12 verses (namely, Mk. 15:40-16:4).
                                      (8) He states that "The external evidence for the shorter ending"
                                      "resolves itself into additional testimony supporting the omission of
                                      verses 9-20" BUT he does not mention that this evidence is as capable
                                      of echoing an earlier loss as it is of echoing the original text.
                                      (9) He does not mention the use of the LE in Macarius Magnes'
                                      "Apocritus," which preserves a citation of 16:18 in from material
                                      older than B.

                                      ER: ... "Even though I tend to think Eusebius' reference to "almost
                                      all the manuscripts" is an exaggeration 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."

                                      I agree.

                                      ER: "Metzger ... 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."

                                      Something like that. (And this is one reason why it is preposterous
                                      for James Tabor of UNC-Charlotte to claim that he is relying on
                                      Metzger when he, Tabor, claims that Mark 16:9-20 was not written
                                      until the fourth century!) Metzger wrote, in "Textual Commentary,"
                                      p. 125, "In view of the inconcinnities between verses 1-8 and 9-20,
                                      it is unlikely that the long ending was composed /ad hoc/ to fill up
                                      an obvious gap; it is more likely that the section was excerpted from
                                      another document, dating perhaps from the first half of the second
                                      century."

                                      However, in the appendix of the 3rd edition of "Text of the NT," (p.
                                      397) he described Joseph Hug's 1978 doctoral thesis and, referring to
                                      the Long Ending, he wrote, "Those who were responsible for adding the
                                      verses were intent, not only to provide a suitable ending for the
                                      Second Gospel, but also to provide missionary instruction to a
                                      Christian Hellenistic community," etc. That's different from the
                                      view he advocates in the "Textual Commentary." I'm not sure if this
                                      means that Metzger truly changed his mind, or if it just means that
                                      the problems with Hug's theory did not occur to him the day he wrote
                                      that appendix-note.

                                      Yours in Christ,

                                      James Snapp, Jr.
                                      Curtisville Christian Church
                                      Indiana (USA)
                                      Go Colts!
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