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[textualcriticism] ending of Mark - 3rd century evidences

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  • schmuel
    Hi Folks, The ending of Mark is the most notable manuscript variation in the entire New Testament - Christian Debater This post will concentrate on the ECW
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 14, 2007
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      Hi Folks,

      "The ending of Mark is the most notable manuscript variation in the entire New Testament"
           -
      Christian Debater


      This post will concentrate on the ECW references. Post-Nicean are abundant and
      well worth study as well, since any theories of late entry has to account for such as :

      Asterius (c. 340) Marcus-Eremit (pre-450) Severian (c. 400 AD) Didymus of Alexandria (390)
      Hilary of Poitiers (pre-360) John Chrysostom - Lectionary (pre-360) John Cassian (430)
      Nestorius & Cyril of Alexandria (pre-444) Cyril quotes Nestorius' 16:20.
      Theodoret of Cyrrhus (c. 450) Basil (pre-379)


      While Aphraates (Aphrahat), A.D. 337 and Ephrem (Ephraim) Syrus (370)  show that
      the Syriac translations of the time had the ending of Mark, complementing the
      Diatessoran and the Peshitta.

      Clearly there was wide-scale acceptance by the later time.

      Now to the early centuries.
      (Note:
      I plan a separate post on Tertullian, showing all the possible quotes and references.)

      ============================================================
      James
      > That's about all the third-century support I can think of at the
      moment.

      I will be interspersing discussion and referencing
      of what James gave with additional references :

      Ireneaus (2nd century) and
      Treatise on Rebaptism and more from the
      Apostolic Constitutions

      =============================================================
      2nd CENTURY

      Irenaeus (wrote c. 180) -
      Bishop of Lyon (now France), wrote in Greek, much now extant only in Latin translation,

      http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-60.htm#P7435_1989248
      Against Heresies, Book III,10:5-6  -- (3.10.5)

      Also, towards the conclusion of his Gospel, Mark says: "So then, after the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God; " confirming what had been spoken by the prophet: "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit Thou on My right hand, until I make Thy foes Thy footstool."

      In fine autem evangelii ait Marcus: Et quidem dominus Iesus,
      posteaquam locutus est eis, receptus est in caelos, et sedit ad dexteram dei.

      Mark 16:19
      So then after the Lord had spoken unto them,
      he was received up into heaven,
      and sat on the right hand of God.

      This is the single most powerful ECW reference, 2nd century, very clear,
      identifying the Gospel and even the location. 

      ===============================================================
      Peter Kirby

      http://www.iidb.org/vbb/archive/index.php/t-33724.html
      This passage was certainly used by
      Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 180)
      and

            probably by
      Tatian for his Diatessaron (c. 170).
            A good number of scholars think that the passage was also known to
      Justin Martyr (c. 155) and to the
      Epistula Apostolorum (c. 145)

      Those could be in an addendum, including various allusion quotation issues, and various
      apocrypha issues, however I want to concentrate on what James discussed and the
      clearer and more substantive and interesting potential references.

      =======================================================
      3rd CENTURY

      Council of Carthage

      James Snapp
      At the Seventh Council of Carthage (A.D. 256), Vincentius of Thibaris chimed in by saying the following:  "We have assuredly the rule of truth which the Lord by His divine precept commanded to His apostles, saying, "Go ye, lay on hands in my name, expel demons." And in another place: "Go ye and teach the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.""   His second reference is to Matthew 28:19; his first reference uses Mark 16:15-
      18.  (Hort tried to dodge this point, but unsuccessfully imho.)

      http://ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-05/anf05-124.htm#P9407_2933203
      The Seventh Council of Carthage Under Cyprian.1
      "Apparently in reference to Mark xvi. 17, 18"

      Ite, in nomine meo manum imponite, daemonia expellite.

      Mark 16 15-18
       And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature
      ....
      In my name shall they cast out devils; ....
       and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
      they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

      With a strong fivefold match:
        Jesus speaking
        To the apostles
        Go ye
        Lay hands
        Cast out devils

      My note:
      Hort must do some fancy footwork on this one.
      From a balanced point of view such handwaving would only work to severely discredit Hort.
      Even without the earlier Ireneaus.

      Perhaps the idea of an actual Church Council accepting the ending of Mark for quotation
      was very discomfiting to the Hortian view ?  I know this comes up on other verses as well,
      that the huge significance of referencing at church councils can be attempted to be hand-waved.
      Yes, even on the Johannine Comma :-)  (Where there is a fifth century council reference.)

      =======================================================
      HIPPOLYTUS -
      Treatise on Christ and Antichrist,

      The testimony of Hippolytus was dismissed by Hort; apparently Hort thought that some composition attributed to Hippolytus actually came from some other source.  Let's take a look.  In Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, part 46, Hippolytus refers to how Christ "was received into the heavens, and was set down on the right hand of God the Father."

      (missing from ecatena, since the ECW book misses the footnote)

      http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/hippolytus-christ.html
      http://www.piney.com/FathHippoDogmaticII.html
      http://bennieblount.org/Online/ECF/ANF/ANF-05/anf05-18.htm
      HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME -TREATISE ON CHRIST AND ANTICHRIST.
      the Saviour ... the Lord alone should rise from the dead, by whom too the judgment is to enter for the whole world, that they who have wrestled worthily may be also crowned worthily by Him, by the illustrious Arbiter, to wit, who Himself first accomplished the course, and was received into the heavens, and was set down on the right hand of God the Father, and is to be manifested again at the end of the world as Judge.

      That's a pretty long parallel with Mark 16:19, but it could feasibly be based on a creedal formula.

      Mark 16:19
      So then after the Lord had spoken unto them,
      he was received up into heaven,
      and sat on the right hand of God.

      Definitely a good evidence, two long phrases in synch.  If it is a creedal formula,
      then the creedal formula likely came from Mark 16:19 (of course one can have
      the reverse theory that the ending of Mark was taking from an existing creed, but
      that is close to desperation in argumentation since we know from Irenaeus especially
      that the ending of Mark is early.

      =====================================================
      HIPPOLYTUS - APOSTOLIC TRADITION

      Let's have a look at Apostolic Tradition 32:1 (see below)
      "Let every one of the believers be sure to partake of communion before he eats anything else.  For if he partakes with faith, even if something deadly were given to him, after this it cannot hurt him." 

      Also missing in ecatena.

      http://www.bombaxo.com/hippolytus.html (Note: 36:1)
      The faithful shall be careful to partake of the eucharist before eating anything else. For if they eat with faith, even though some deadly poison is given to them, after this it will not be able to harm them.

      This looks like the sort of thing one could say only by filtering First Corinthians 11:27 through Mark
      16:18. 

      1 Corinthians 11:27
      Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord,
      unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

      Mark 16:18
      They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing,
      it shall not hurt them
      ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

      (Also note Paul's not being harmed in Acts  28)

      Kelhoffer seemed quite convinced (in "Miracle and Mission")  by this statement that Hippolytus knew the Long Ending.  In "The Four Gospels," Streeter wrote (p. 336), "Hippolytus himself used a text of Mark which contained the last twelve verses and understands the epithet (KOLOBODAKTULOS) of its author" but he doesn't justify this with a quotation, and might have just been expressing a deduction that Hippolytus used the same text that Irenaeus used.

      Yes, it seems like a solid reference, giving Hippolytus two solids,
      as long as the writings are referenced as to him, or to the period.

      =========================================================
      HIPPOLYTUS - MINOR REFERENCE POSSIBILITIES

      A couple of other citations, or pseudo-citations, should be mentioned regarding Hippolytus.  Burgon offered two citations as evidence of Hippolytus' use of the LE:  a use of 16:17-18 in "Peri Charismaton" (About [Spiritual] Gifts) and another reference in "Noetus."  It was the connection between Hippolytus and "Peri Charismaton" that Hort considered a "precarious hypothesis" (see p. 39, Notes).  So let's drop that one.  (I'm not sure what date should be assigned to Peri Charismaton as an anonymous composition.) 
       
      Here is one web article
      http://www.compassionatespirit.com/Cadoux/Chapter-11.htm
      The Early Christian Attitude to War by C. John Cadoux
      (Hippolytus)
      is known to have interested himself in ecclesiastical regulations and to have written peri charismaton apostolike paradosis. Whether this is the title of one work or of two ('Concerning Ministerial Gifts' and 'Apostolic Tradition') we do not know; neither do we know the exact meaning he attached to charismata. These uncertainties have added to the difficulty of identifying Hippolutos' composition among the various extant works possessing some sort of claim to embody it....

      Is this writing and Markan reference on the web ?
      It would be nice to research this more.

      In "Noetus," Hippolytus alluded to some events which took place after the resurrection, and he seems to be summing up scenes taken from the Gospels and Acts: 

      http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/ecf/005/0050018.htm
      http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/hippolytus-dogmatical.html
      HIPPOLYTUS OF ROME - AGAINST THE HERESY OF ONE NOETUS.
      This (is He who) breathes upon the disciples, and gives them the Spirit, and comes in among them when the doors are shut, and is taken up by a cloud into the heavens while the disciples gaze at Him, and is set down on the right hand of the Father, and comes again as the Judge of the living and the dead. This is the God who for our sakes became man, to whom also the Father hath put all things in subjection. To Him be the glory and the power, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in the holy Church both now and ever, and even for evermore.

      If John 20:22, John 20:19, and Acts 1:9 were the basis for the first three phrases, and II Timothy 4:4 was the basis for the last phrase, then he might have been basing his other phrase on Mark 16:19.  On the other hand, Mark 16:19 is not the only possible source; there are other NT references to Christ being seated at God's right hand (Colossians 3:1, Hebrews 8:1, 10:12...).

      Yes, this last is best omitted, except as minor auxiliary potential.
      An example of Dean John Burgon's occasional over-optimistic referencing.
      (Barnabas in 1 Timothy 3:16 is another such example, where he really is
       essentially neutral.)

      ========================================================

      http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-05/anf05-148.htm
      Treatise on Rebaptism (A.D. 250) - IX

      And in addition to these things, all the disciples also judged the declaration of the women who had seen the Lord after the resurrection to be idle tales; and some of themselves, when they had seen Him, believed not, but doubted; and they who were not then present believed not at all until they had been subsequently by the Lord Himself in all ways rebuked and reproached; because His death had so offended them that they thought that He had not risen again, who they had believed ought not to have died, because contrary to their belief He had died once.

      Mark 16:14
      Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat,
      and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart,
      because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

      This is a straight-up reference, often omitted in discussions (and in ecatena).

      ==================================================

      Porphyry/Hierocles-according-to-Macarius-Magnes 

      ... Here's a quotation of the pagan writer cited in "Apocritus,"...
      http://www.ccel.org/p/pearse/morefathers/macarius_apocriticus.htm#3_16
      "Again, consider in detail that other passage, where He says, "Such signs shall follow them that believe: they shall lay hands upon sick folk, and they shall recover, and if they drink any deadly drug, it shall in no wise hurt them."

      Clearly this is Mark ending. 
      As to the range of dates, as James discusses, I will leave that aside.

      What James says about not having an extant Eusebius counter to this sounds
      like a very minor pro-ending evidence from silence.  :-)

      ===============================================
      Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions (3 references)

      This may be unclear as to precise date, but they are considered to be from an ancient tradition.

      http://ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-07/anf07-45.htm#P6203_2174932
      Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions  - Book V - XIV
      And when He was risen from the dead, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, then to Cleopas in the way, and after that to us His disciples, who had fled away for fear of the Jews, but privately were very inquisitive about Him.[117]
      (117) Mark xvi. 9; John xx. 11, etc.; Luke xxiv. 18; Mark xvi. 14.

      Mark 16:9
      Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week,
      he appeared first to Mary Magdalene ...

      This phrase match is strong indication,
      especially "he appeared first to Mary Magdalene".

      ============================
      However, the other part..

      Mark 16:14
      Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat,
      and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart,
      because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

      Is not very consequential evidence, eg.

      John 20:9
      Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week,
      when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews,
      came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.


      Although it is a minor auxiliary to the main evidence which is strong.
      "he appeared first to Mary Magdalene".
      ==================================================

      http://ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-07/anf07-49.htm#P7001_2348812
      Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions  - Book VIII.-Chapter I

      With good reason did He say to all of us together, when we were perfected concerning those gifts which were given from Him by the Spirit: "Now these signs shall follow them that have believed in my name: they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall by no means hurt them: they shall lay their hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

      Mark 16:17-18
      And these signs shall follow them that believe;
      In my name shall they cast out devils;
      they shall speak with new tongues;
      They shall take up serpents;
      and if they drink any deadly thing,
      it shall not hurt them;
      they shall lay hands on the sick,
      and they shall recover.

      100%
      =======================

      Apostolic Teaching and Constitutions  - Book VI-XV
      http://ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-07/anf07-46.htm#P6455_2237399

      For the Lord says:
      "Except a man be baptized of water and of the Spirit,
      he shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven."
      And again:
      "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
      but he that believeth not shall be damned."

      Mark 16:16
      He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;
      but he that believeth not shall be damned.

      100%
      ================================================

      As mentioned, Tertullian deserves his own section.

      At the very least, one can see a pattern of strong and consistent usage from
      Irenaeus to Nicea, and then in the age of much greater Bible quotation we
      have a wealth of Mark-ending references (a separate page, if requested.)

      The few potentially significant silences, like Origen and Clement, are themselves
      unclear as they have their own potential Mark-ending allusions.
      However they are anyway strongly outweighed by the affirmative references.  

      At the very least the ending of Mark was in common usage in the pre-Nicean
      period by church writers and councils and directives.

      An interesting exercise would be to take the far longer ending section in
      Luke, from Luke 24:13 (the Road to Emmaus) to Luke 24:53, and
      compare the pre-Nicean and post-Nicean referencing.  My sense is that
      the pre-Nicean referencing will only be moderately greater than Mark,
      despite being a section three times as long.  And the fourth and fifth
      would be very close, they were both simply considered scripture by
      most everybody writing. 

      Shalom,
      Steven Avery
      Queens, NY
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Messianic_Apologetic

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