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Critique of Robinson in Perspectives on the Ending of Mark

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  • James Snapp, Jr.
    Dr. Maurice Robinson s contribution to Perspectives on the Ending of Mark is the longest and most thoroughly documented chapter: 39 pages, with 133
    Message 1 of 11 , Aug 18, 2009
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      Dr. Maurice Robinson's contribution to "Perspectives on the Ending of Mark" is the longest and most thoroughly documented chapter: 39 pages, with 133 footnotes. Dr. Robinson has done his homework on the subject, consulting, besides a wide variety of essays and books, some participants in relevant discussions at the Textualcriticism and TC-Alternate discussion-boards (including me). In "The Long Ending of Mark as Canonical Verity," he advocates the view that neither the external evidence nor the internal evidence justifies the removal of Mark 16:9-20 from the text of the Gospel of Mark.

      The highly unusual sub-headings of this chapter (such as "Imaginary gardens with real toads in them") are taken from a poem which Robinson utilizes to illustrate how a text may be repeatedly revised. These sub-headings only distracted me; fortunately they do not detract from the contents of the chapter, which progress, like a normal text-critical study, through the external evidence, the internal evidence, and scholars' interpretations of the evidence.

      Robinson briefly mentions the main witnesses for the abrupt ending, the Intermediate Ending, and for 16:9-20, and lists a few possible origins of each ending. Then, after making a few preliminary points – the Alexandrian Text has some significant errors; the LE has widespread support among all text-types – he turns to patristic evidence. He augments the case that Justin Martyr displays an acquaintance with the LE, although he perhaps could have made an even stronger case if he had spent just a little more time answering Hort's misgivings about fully recognizing Justin as a witness. He presents Irenaeus' quotation of Mark 16:19. And then he moves on to manuscript-evidence. There is a two-page discussion of a poem by Marianne Moore, but (aside from a few allusions) there is hardly any further discussion of the patristic evidence!

      Robinson shares some details about Vaticanus and Sinaiticus: Vaticanus has a blank column after the end of Mark, and Sinaiticus has a cancel-sheet. Robinson is careful not to overburden these features, pointing out that the blank space after Mk. 16:8 in B is insufficient to contain the LE, and that space-calculations preclude the inclusion of the LE in the original pages of Sinaiticus. But he favors, with Hort (against Wallace), the view that the blank column in B indicates scribal awareness of the LE, or of the SE and the LE. While not stating everything that could be said about these quirks (a mention of the arabesque in Sinaiticus would have been nice), Robinson's descriptions helpfully supplement the nothing that Metzger wrote about them in TCotGNT.

      He then begins to discuss two possible reasons for scribal omission of Mk. 16:9-20: scribes' dislike for the apparent discrepancies between the LE and the other Gospels, and scribes' objection against a passage endorsing signs-gifts, which could appear vulnerable to abuse by proponents of "neo-Montanism." The idea that the LE may have been deliberately excised invites the consideration that the SE may have been composed deliberately to replace the LE. Robinson pursues this idea, describing the docetic-looking interpolation in Codex Bobbiensis (the only witness to the SE without the LE) between Mk. 16:3 and 16:4, and noticing a neglected Coptic witness to the SE and LE in a document that also contains the Gnostic text "Pistis Sophia." (This witness was mentioned, rather vaguely, by Hort – and has been noted by almost no one else.)

      Next, Robinson considers a less sinister idea: when Mark 15:43-16:8 was made into a lection separate from 16:9-20, the SE was composed to round off the otherwise negatively-ending lection. In other words, the SE may have originated as an insertion between 16:8 and 16:9, not as a substitute for 16:9-20. Robinson does not attempt to take this theory further; we never hear how, in this scenario, the abrupt ending in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus originated. Instead, we move along to the internal evidence. (There is a mistake in a footnote on p. 59; f-1 is treated as a witness to the Double-Ending (SE+LE), but in fact does not attest to the SE at all.)

      Robinson engages the internal evidence intensively, utilizing previous studies such as Dr. Bruce Terry's vocabulary-analysis. Perhaps anticipating (correctly) what Elliott would say about the internal evidence, Robinson makes a good point on p. 62 about the precariousness of some arguments from style. His negation of Elliott's claim about POREUOMAI, via observations about AKOLOUQEW, is a sight worth seeing. He also observes that Mark is capable of more than one style, using as an example the "abbreviated" style (as compared to the parallels in Matthew and Luke) of Mark's account of Jesus' temptations and noticing that the style of the LE is similarly "staccato."

      Robinson then turns to thematic parallels between the LE and other parts of Mark. The point of these comparisons must have been to illustrate that the LE is more Markan than it looks. However, many of the "linguistic and thematic parallels" seemed rather strained to me. A sunset is paralleled by a sunrise; a crowd is paralleled by a single individual; instructions to demons to be silent are paralleled by instructions to disciples to speak. Are those parallels, or opposites? Some proposed parallels (such as the ones in Mk. 3:14-15 and 6:7-13) are much more convincing than others. (There seems to be a mistake in the table on p. 70; 6:13 should say "and healed them" instead of "And they shall recover.")

      Robinson's next task is to face the claim that the LE is a pastiche. He tackles this head-on, asserting that much unparalleled material in the LE "is not derived from the remaining canonical Gospels nor from any known non-canonical material," and proposing that eleven unparalleled elements are contained in the LE.

      After a little more discussion about what a pastiche dependent upon the other Gospels would look like, Robinson begins to close his case with "Fifteen Points of Summary and Conclusion." These points include the dismissal of Wallace's idea that Mark intended to stop writing at 16:8; Robinson uses N.T. Wright as an example of an interpreter who, after trying unsuccessfully for years to convince himself that the AE was a deliberate postmodern ending, has concluded that there must have been more to Mark's story. Robinson also adds the point that stylistic objections can be aimed at John 21 and at Mk. 1:1-3 (as, in fact, Elliott has done) as easily as at the LE – his point being, it seems, that those who overburden internal evidence won't let the external evidence get in the way of a good theory. He also affirms (as if intending to correct Bock's claim to the contrary) that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are indeed "the eclectic touchstone" in the debate about Mark 16:9-20. The shortcoming of this list is that, as Robinson turns to possible mechanisms for the loss of the LE, he does not go into detail so as to interlock the possibilities with the external evidence. The chapter closes with a presentation of the Byzantine text of Mark 16:9-20, in which the words are formatted (via shading, underlining, etc.) to indicate differing levels of Markan-ness.

      This chapter was, in general, a solidly constructed edifice, with some distracting awnings (the sub-headings, and some illustrations) and some weak facades (the charts of thematic parallels). However, it could be compared to a well-built house with a sufficiently strong foundation, and solid walls, and a few windows, but no door. Those outside can peek in, but entering is not so easy. Suggestions are offered regarding how the LE could have been lost, but the default response to those suggestions (i.e., the response that scribes who saw some features in the LE as problematic would have adjusted the text rather than excised it) is not adequately addressed. And no support is given for the idea that lection-divisions were as early as Robinson seems to suggest. Fewer words about poetry, and more detailed interaction with the external evidence, showing when and where the theoretical loss-causing mechanisms caused the loss of the LE, could have improved this chapter.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • schmuel
      Hi Folks, Thanks for an excellent summary here, James. Very helpful, very informative. I probably would give Professor Robinson a pass on the poetry stuff ..
      Message 2 of 11 , Aug 18, 2009
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        Hi Folks,

        Thanks for an excellent summary here, James.  Very helpful, very informative.   I probably would give Professor Robinson a pass on the poetry stuff .. however that is from a distance.

        Dr. Maurice Robinson's ... There is a two-page discussion of a poem by Marianne Moore, but (aside from a few allusions) there is hardly any further discussion of the patristic evidence!

        Remember Maurice Robinson looks for a "Majority" text type, which  text will not be affected by early church writer evidence.  In another context he mentioned to me that this was not a major part of his interest (he probably knows more than most, but ...)
        and here is an example where the lack showed.  Thus also, no discussion of the apologetic issues.

        ...  Robinson's descriptions helpfully supplement the nothing that Metzger wrote about them in TCotGNT. 

        He then begins to discuss two possible reasons for scribal omission of Mk. 16:9-20:  scribes' dislike for the apparent discrepancies between the LE and the other Gospels, and scribes' objection against a passage endorsing signs-gifts, which could appear vulnerable to abuse by proponents of "neo-Montanism."  The idea that the LE may have been deliberately excised invites the consideration that the SE may have been composed deliberately to replace the LE. 

        Right.  Although not necessarily right away.

        Next, Robinson considers a less sinister idea:  when Mark 15:43-16:8 was made into a lection separate from 16:9-20, the SE was composed to round off the otherwise negatively-ending lection.  ...

        Robinson engages the internal evidence intensively, utilizing previous studies such as Dr. Bruce Terry's vocabulary-analysis.  Perhaps anticipating (correctly) what Elliott would say about the internal evidence, Robinson makes a good point on p. 62 about the precariousness of some arguments from style.  His negation of Elliott's claim about POREUOMAI, via observations about AKOLOUQEW, is a sight worth seeing.  He also observes that Mark is capable of more than one style, using as an example the "abbreviated" style (as compared to the parallels in Matthew and Luke) of Mark's account of Jesus' temptations and noticing that the style of the LE is similarly "staccato."

        Sounds good, like he was in his comfort zone, with the right info.

        Robinson then turns to thematic parallels between the LE and other parts of Mark.

        Robinson's next task is to face the claim that the LE is a pastiche.  He tackles this head-on, asserting that much unparalleled material in the LE "is not derived from the remaining canonical Gospels nor from any known non-canonical material," and proposing that eleven unparalleled elements are contained in the LE. 

        Right.  Can you have red herring and pastiche ?

        After a little more discussion about what a pastiche dependent upon the other Gospels would look like, Robinson begins to close his case with "Fifteen Points of Summary and Conclusion."  These points include the dismissal of Wallace's idea that Mark intended to stop writing at 16:8;

        Let me see if I have a bridge for sale.

        Robinson uses N.T. Wright as an example of an interpreter who, after trying unsuccessfully for years to convince himself that the AE was a deliberate postmodern ending, has concluded that there must have been more to Mark's story. 

        I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this example, or just smile.

        Robinson also adds the point that stylistic objections can be aimed at John 21 and at Mk. 1:1-3 (as, in fact, Elliott has done) as easily as at the LE ­ his point being, it seems, that those who overburden internal evidence won't let the external evidence get in the way of a good theory.

        Righteo.

        He also affirms (as if intending to correct Bock's claim to the contrary) that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are indeed "the eclectic touchstone" in the debate about Mark 16:9-20. 

        Isn't that -- tombstone ?

        as Robinson turns to possible mechanisms for the loss of the LE, he does not go into detail so as to interlock the possibilities with the external evidence.

        It is hard to do that .. the loss must be early, with centuries before the manuscripts. The number of extant lackers is so small. The data may only allow conjectures of little substance.

         The chapter closes with a presentation of the Byzantine text of Mark 16:9-20, in which the words are formatted (via shading, underlining, etc.) to indicate differing levels of Markan-ness.

        This chapter was, in general, a solidly constructed edifice, with some distracting awnings (the sub-headings, and some illustrations) and some weak facades (the charts of thematic parallels).  However, it could be compared to a well-built house with a sufficiently strong foundation, and solid walls, and a few windows, but no door.  Those outside can peek in, but entering is not so easy.  Suggestions are offered regarding how the LE could have been lost, but the default response to those suggestions (i.e., the response that scribes who saw some features in the LE as problematic would have adjusted the text rather than excised it)

        Directly or indirectly, isn't that the SE.

        is not adequately addressed.  And no support is given for the idea that lection-divisions were as early as Robinson seems to suggest.  Fewer words about poetry, and more detailed interaction with the external evidence, showing when and where the theoretical loss-causing mechanisms caused the loss of the LE, could have improved this chapter.  

        One question. Does he address authorship. It sounds like he, at least implicitly, is accepting Markan authorship, which is quite excellent.

        Shalom,
        Steven Avery
      • jcr4runner
        This is quite excellent. I feel as though I ve read the paper. I continually hear and read how there are virtually no textual critics who accept the LE as
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 6, 2009
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          This is quite excellent. I feel as though I've read the paper. I continually hear and read how there are virtually no textual critics who accept the LE as genuine. So it's interesting to find an LE ally.

          I had this discussion with a friend of mine who holds to the stark idea that the LE was lost and that all additions are spurious. I asked him how he views the affirmative patristic evidence precedes the negative manuscript evidence by a couple of centuries. He simply replied that the patristic evidence was late enough to suggest that the LE was added in the early second century.

          Now this has never made sense to me. It seems just as likely that the ommission of the LE could have occurred in an isolated area much later than the second century and that this ommission then became the archetype for a later recension of the Alexandrian text bringing the passage into doubt in later recensions.

          According to F.H.A. Scrivener (A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, fourth ed. (London: George Bell and Sons, 1894), volume 2, pp. 337-344) prior to Eusebius, the LE is quoted or alluded to in Irenaeus (both in Greek and Latin), Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, Vincentius at the seventh Council of Carthage, by the Acts of Pilate, the Apostolic Constitutions, Origen, Aphraates (in a Syriac Homily dated A.D. 337), and the Syriac Table of Canons.

          To this we must add Tatian in the Diatessaron.

          The conclusion I draw is that there must have been a sizeable number of Mark manuscripts with the LE in the second century.

          It seems that the argument in favor of omission all comes down to style criticism, ommissions in the two oldest codices, and Eusebius' testimony that it was missing from many manuscripts by the fourth century -- although the knowledge of its existence could conversely be considered an argument in favor of the LE.

          However, my mind immediately jumps to this question:

          If we had examples of the ending of Mark, which surely existed among the lost second and third century papyrii, what would these missing pieces of the puzzle tell us?

          I will rephrase that question in several ways:

          1. If the LE was known in the second century, then why is there no discussion among the Church fathers of the ommission of such an important passage prior to the fourth century?

          2. Without a second or third century manuscript witness, how do textual critics neglect that idea of this being an later ommission (instead of the LE being an early addition) that happened to gain acceptance among archetypes for the oldest important extant manuscripts?

          3. Given the numerous patristic witnesses, why is it even assumed that the original ending was lost very early and the LE inserted? Instead why is it not universally accepted that the LE was a common, if not universal, text type in the second century -- or even earlier.

          4. If second and third century papyrii fragments existed that gave a witness to the LE, then would the state of criticism of the TC be any different?

          5. And if so, why should we not use the wealthy patristic testimony as a reliable substitute for this witness?


          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "James Snapp, Jr." <voxverax@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dr. Maurice Robinson's contribution to "Perspectives on the Ending of Mark" is the longest and most thoroughly documented chapter: 39 pages, with 133 footnotes. Dr. Robinson has done his homework on the subject, consulting, besides a wide variety of essays and books, some participants in relevant discussions at the Textualcriticism and TC-Alternate discussion-boards (including me). In "The Long Ending of Mark as Canonical Verity," he advocates the view that neither the external evidence nor the internal evidence justifies the removal of Mark 16:9-20 from the text of the Gospel of Mark.
          >
          > The highly unusual sub-headings of this chapter (such as "Imaginary gardens with real toads in them") are taken from a poem which Robinson utilizes to illustrate how a text may be repeatedly revised. These sub-headings only distracted me; fortunately they do not detract from the contents of the chapter, which progress, like a normal text-critical study, through the external evidence, the internal evidence, and scholars' interpretations of the evidence.
          >
          > Robinson briefly mentions the main witnesses for the abrupt ending, the Intermediate Ending, and for 16:9-20, and lists a few possible origins of each ending. Then, after making a few preliminary points – the Alexandrian Text has some significant errors; the LE has widespread support among all text-types – he turns to patristic evidence. He augments the case that Justin Martyr displays an acquaintance with the LE, although he perhaps could have made an even stronger case if he had spent just a little more time answering Hort's misgivings about fully recognizing Justin as a witness. He presents Irenaeus' quotation of Mark 16:19. And then he moves on to manuscript-evidence. There is a two-page discussion of a poem by Marianne Moore, but (aside from a few allusions) there is hardly any further discussion of the patristic evidence!
          >
          > Robinson shares some details about Vaticanus and Sinaiticus: Vaticanus has a blank column after the end of Mark, and Sinaiticus has a cancel-sheet. Robinson is careful not to overburden these features, pointing out that the blank space after Mk. 16:8 in B is insufficient to contain the LE, and that space-calculations preclude the inclusion of the LE in the original pages of Sinaiticus. But he favors, with Hort (against Wallace), the view that the blank column in B indicates scribal awareness of the LE, or of the SE and the LE. While not stating everything that could be said about these quirks (a mention of the arabesque in Sinaiticus would have been nice), Robinson's descriptions helpfully supplement the nothing that Metzger wrote about them in TCotGNT.
          >
          > He then begins to discuss two possible reasons for scribal omission of Mk. 16:9-20: scribes' dislike for the apparent discrepancies between the LE and the other Gospels, and scribes' objection against a passage endorsing signs-gifts, which could appear vulnerable to abuse by proponents of "neo-Montanism." The idea that the LE may have been deliberately excised invites the consideration that the SE may have been composed deliberately to replace the LE. Robinson pursues this idea, describing the docetic-looking interpolation in Codex Bobbiensis (the only witness to the SE without the LE) between Mk. 16:3 and 16:4, and noticing a neglected Coptic witness to the SE and LE in a document that also contains the Gnostic text "Pistis Sophia." (This witness was mentioned, rather vaguely, by Hort – and has been noted by almost no one else.)
          >
          > Next, Robinson considers a less sinister idea: when Mark 15:43-16:8 was made into a lection separate from 16:9-20, the SE was composed to round off the otherwise negatively-ending lection. In other words, the SE may have originated as an insertion between 16:8 and 16:9, not as a substitute for 16:9-20. Robinson does not attempt to take this theory further; we never hear how, in this scenario, the abrupt ending in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus originated. Instead, we move along to the internal evidence. (There is a mistake in a footnote on p. 59; f-1 is treated as a witness to the Double-Ending (SE+LE), but in fact does not attest to the SE at all.)
          >
          > Robinson engages the internal evidence intensively, utilizing previous studies such as Dr. Bruce Terry's vocabulary-analysis. Perhaps anticipating (correctly) what Elliott would say about the internal evidence, Robinson makes a good point on p. 62 about the precariousness of some arguments from style. His negation of Elliott's claim about POREUOMAI, via observations about AKOLOUQEW, is a sight worth seeing. He also observes that Mark is capable of more than one style, using as an example the "abbreviated" style (as compared to the parallels in Matthew and Luke) of Mark's account of Jesus' temptations and noticing that the style of the LE is similarly "staccato."
          >
          > Robinson then turns to thematic parallels between the LE and other parts of Mark. The point of these comparisons must have been to illustrate that the LE is more Markan than it looks. However, many of the "linguistic and thematic parallels" seemed rather strained to me. A sunset is paralleled by a sunrise; a crowd is paralleled by a single individual; instructions to demons to be silent are paralleled by instructions to disciples to speak. Are those parallels, or opposites? Some proposed parallels (such as the ones in Mk. 3:14-15 and 6:7-13) are much more convincing than others. (There seems to be a mistake in the table on p. 70; 6:13 should say "and healed them" instead of "And they shall recover.")
          >
          > Robinson's next task is to face the claim that the LE is a pastiche. He tackles this head-on, asserting that much unparalleled material in the LE "is not derived from the remaining canonical Gospels nor from any known non-canonical material," and proposing that eleven unparalleled elements are contained in the LE.
          >
          > After a little more discussion about what a pastiche dependent upon the other Gospels would look like, Robinson begins to close his case with "Fifteen Points of Summary and Conclusion." These points include the dismissal of Wallace's idea that Mark intended to stop writing at 16:8; Robinson uses N.T. Wright as an example of an interpreter who, after trying unsuccessfully for years to convince himself that the AE was a deliberate postmodern ending, has concluded that there must have been more to Mark's story. Robinson also adds the point that stylistic objections can be aimed at John 21 and at Mk. 1:1-3 (as, in fact, Elliott has done) as easily as at the LE – his point being, it seems, that those who overburden internal evidence won't let the external evidence get in the way of a good theory. He also affirms (as if intending to correct Bock's claim to the contrary) that Vaticanus and Sinaiticus are indeed "the eclectic touchstone" in the debate about Mark 16:9-20. The shortcoming of this list is that, as Robinson turns to possible mechanisms for the loss of the LE, he does not go into detail so as to interlock the possibilities with the external evidence. The chapter closes with a presentation of the Byzantine text of Mark 16:9-20, in which the words are formatted (via shading, underlining, etc.) to indicate differing levels of Markan-ness.
          >
          > This chapter was, in general, a solidly constructed edifice, with some distracting awnings (the sub-headings, and some illustrations) and some weak facades (the charts of thematic parallels). However, it could be compared to a well-built house with a sufficiently strong foundation, and solid walls, and a few windows, but no door. Those outside can peek in, but entering is not so easy. Suggestions are offered regarding how the LE could have been lost, but the default response to those suggestions (i.e., the response that scribes who saw some features in the LE as problematic would have adjusted the text rather than excised it) is not adequately addressed. And no support is given for the idea that lection-divisions were as early as Robinson seems to suggest. Fewer words about poetry, and more detailed interaction with the external evidence, showing when and where the theoretical loss-causing mechanisms caused the loss of the LE, could have improved this chapter.
          >
          > Yours in Christ,
          >
          > James Snapp, Jr.
          >
        • David Robert Palmer
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 6, 2009
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             << He then begins to discuss two possible reasons for scribal omission of Mk. 16:9-20: scribes' dislike for the apparent discrepancies between the LE and the other Gospels,...>>
             
            There is indeed one serious discrepancy between the LE of Mark, and the gospel of Luke.  I consider the discrepancy so clear and blatant that I am forced to consider the LE un-inspired, if I take a theological point of view.  (It is clear in the Greek, and not as clear in most English translations.)  I wouldn't be able to consider the pertinent part of Luke's gospel as a spurious addition, since there are no significant textual variants to it.  Thus, since there exist early and important witnesses that omit the LE, they must be the witnesses to the true text here.
             
            It does not surprise me at all if church fathers might hold some false writings to be valid.  Have not some church fathers quoted pseudepigrapha and apocrypha?  Testimony of early church fathers to the existence of a text, is not a strong argument to me.
             
            I have also heard from people, responding to my arguments in my endnotes to the Gospel of Mark about this discrepancy, as to why it is not a discrepancy.  And not a one of those arguments are the least bit convincing.
             
             
            David Robert Palmer
          • Jonathan C. Borland
            ... There is one (singular?) textual variant (D/05) that has the two, instead of the eleven, saying that Jesus has risen. Is it possible that the indirect
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 7, 2009
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              On Oct 7, 2009, at 8:57 AM, David Robert Palmer wrote:

              > << He then begins to discuss two possible reasons for scribal
              > omission of Mk. 16:9-20: scribes' dislike for the apparent
              > discrepancies between the LE and the other Gospels,...>>
              >
              > There is indeed one serious discrepancy between the LE of Mark, and
              > the gospel of Luke. I consider the discrepancy so clear and blatant
              > that I am forced to consider the LE un-inspired, if I take a
              > theological point of view. (It is clear in the Greek, and not as
              > clear in most English translations.)

              There is one (singular?) textual variant (D/05) that has the two,
              instead of the eleven, saying that Jesus has risen. Is it possible
              that the indirect discourse in Luke 24:34 was meant to be
              interrogative and not declarative? The Byzantine tradition places the
              verb first.

              Jonathan C. Borland
            • james_snapp_jr
              David Robert Palmer, DRP: There is indeed one serious discrepancy between the LE of Mark, and the gospel of Luke. And, regarding the Gospel of Matthew, the
              Message 6 of 11 , Oct 9, 2009
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                David Robert Palmer,

                DRP: "There is indeed one serious discrepancy between the LE of Mark, and the gospel of Luke."

                And, regarding the Gospel of Matthew, the natural understanding of Matthew's account is that the disciples believed the women's report and went to Galilee accordingly, whereas in Mk. 16:11-14 it looks as if they did not believe the women's report. (Which is one reason why nobody with an awareness of the contents of Matthew 28 would have composed Mark 16:9-20.)

                DRP: "I consider the discrepancy so clear and blatant that I am forced to consider the LE un-inspired, if I take a theological point of view."

                Hmm. So, if you were, say, a copyist in the early 100's, and you noticed this clear and blatant discrepancy, and you were aware of a tradition that Peter (or Mark) had not authorized the inclusion of the pericope known as 16:9-20 -- would you be tempted to excise the pericope?

                DRP: "Testimony of early church fathers to the existence of a text, is not a strong argument to me."

                Nor to me. The testimonies of writers in the 100's -- Justin, Tatian, Irenaeus, and the author of Epistula Apostolorum (and feasibly, as a recent discussion here indicated, Clement of Alexandria) -- are not arguments. They are evidence.

                DRP: "I have also heard from people, responding to my arguments . . . and not a one of those arguments [of theirs] are the least bit convincing."

                I was unable to download your comments, but I intuit that you see a difficulty between Mk. 16:13-14 and Lk. 24:33-43. There is more than one way to resolve this difficulty.

                (1) The LEGONTES option. Usually Lk. 24:34 says LEGONTAS, conveying that the disciples told the two travelers that the Lord is risen indeed and has appeared to Simon. But Codex D says LEGONTES, which has the effect of picturing the two travelers as the speakers; they inform the main group that the Lord is risen and has appeared to Simon. With LEGONTES, the scene in Luke 24 poses no obstacle to the veracity of the account in Mk. 16:13-14.

                Origen seems to have used a text which read LEGONTES, because at one point in Against Celsus, iirc, he identifies Cleopas' fellow-traveler as Simon. Possibly the person who made Origen's copy made a careless interchange of letters; it is also possible that he made this change deliberately to avoid the very discrepancy which you perceive -- in which case he must have known Mk. 16:13-14.

                (2) The Chime-in option. Lk. 24:33 says that the group to which the two travelers returned consisted of the eleven gathered together, plus those who were with them. The statement, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon" does not, therefore, necessarily proceed from the eleven; it may proceed from their companions, chiming in before the eleven can say anything. In which case, the statement says nothing about the belief or disbelief of the eleven, and thus does not oppose Mk. 16:13-14.

                (3) The Long Discussion option. In this scenario, by the time the two travelers reach the eleven and their companions, the eleven and their companions are convinced that Jesus has risen from the dead and has appeared to Simon; a post-resurrection appearance to Simon has happened somewhere off the narrative stage. As soon as the two travelers arrive, the eleven and their companions announce, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared unto Simon!" -- and then the two travelers claim that Jesus appeared to them, on the road. The eleven do not believe them, simply because it seems to them that for both accounts to be true, Jesus would need to be in two places at the same time. The eleven and their companions, skeptical of the two travelers' story, begin to discuss the matter with them, and the discussion is still ongoing -- with the eleven disciples still disbelieving the two travelers, a la Mk. 16:13 -- when, as the disciples sit at table, Jesus appears in 24:36.

                Any one of these options can be adopted to resolve the perceived discrepancy.

                Yours in Christ,

                James Snapp, Jr.
              • David Robert Palmer
                DRP: I have also heard from people, responding to my arguments . . . and not a one of those arguments [of theirs] are the least bit convincing. Snapp:
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 24, 2009
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                   DRP: "I have also heard from people, responding to my arguments . . . and not a one of those arguments [of theirs] are the least bit convincing."
                   
                  Snapp:  <<  I was unable to download your comments, but I intuit that you see a difficulty between Mk. 16:13-14 and Lk. 24:33-43. There is more than one way to resolve this difficulty. >>
                   
                  DRP: Why were not able to download my comments?  Did my web site not work?  Does your browser not work?
                   
                  Here is the discrepancy.  The statement is found in Mark 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.
                   
                  Snapp:
                   
                  (1) The LEGONTES option. Usually Lk. 24:34 says LEGONTAS, conveying that the disciples told the two travelers that the Lord is risen indeed and has appeared to Simon. But Codex D says LEGONTES, which has the effect of picturing the two travelers as the speakers; they inform the main group that the Lord is risen and has appeared to Simon. With LEGONTES, the scene in Luke 24 poses no obstacle to the veracity of the account in Mk. 16:13-14.
                   
                  Origen seems to have used a text which read LEGONTES, because at one point in Against Celsus, iirc, he identifies Cleopas' fellow-traveler as Simon. Possibly the person who made Origen's copy made a careless interchange of letters; it is also possible that he made this change deliberately to avoid the very discrepancy which you perceive -- in which case he must have known Mk. 16:13-14.
                   
                  DRP:  Perhaps those textual variants were scribes' attempts to solve the discrepancy.  But it is settled that the correct reading is LEGONTAS.  So I don't see why you brought this up as a possible solution.  It is not.  They are interesting variants, yes, but not a solution resolving the discrepancy, clearly.
                   
                  Or are you seriously proposing that the text of Codex D is the original text?
                   
                  Snapp: (2) The Chime-in option. Lk. 24:33 says that the group to which the two travelers returned consisted of the eleven gathered together, plus those who were with them. The statement, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon" does not, therefore, necessarily proceed from the eleven; it may proceed from their companions, chiming in before the eleven can say anything. In which case, the statement says nothing about the belief or disbelief of the eleven, and thus does not oppose Mk. 16:13-14.
                   
                  DRP:  This does not address the actual words of the passages.  The Mark wording is "reported to the rest."  It doesn't say "to the eleven," or, "to the apostles."  The wording in Mark 16:13, "the rest," includes both the apostles and any chime-iners.  Thus this does not even address the actual contradition.  Even with your scenario, it is still a contradition.  Solves nothing.
                   
                  Snapp: (3) The Long Discussion option. In this scenario, by the time the two travelers reach the eleven and their companions, the eleven and their companions are convinced that Jesus has risen from the dead and has appeared to Simon; a post-resurrection appearance to Simon has happened somewhere off the narrative stage. As soon as the two travelers arrive, the eleven and their companions announce, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared unto Simon!" -- and then the two travelers claim that Jesus appeared to them, on the road. The eleven do not believe them, simply because it seems to them that for both accounts to be true, Jesus would need to be in two places at the same time. The eleven and their companions, skeptical of the two travelers' story, begin to discuss the matter with them, and the discussion is still ongoing -- with the eleven disciples still disbelieving the two travelers, a la Mk. 16:13 -- when, as the disciples sit at table, Jesus appears in 24:36.
                   
                  DRP  That is a long paragraph.  Let me address it in pieces.  First,
                   
                  Snapp: "(3) The Long Discussion option. In this scenario, by the time the two travelers reach the eleven and their companions, the eleven and their companions are convinced that Jesus has risen from the dead and has appeared to Simon; a post-resurrection appearance to Simon has happened somewhere off the narrative stage. As soon as the two travelers arrive, the eleven and their companions announce, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared unto Simon!" -- and then the two travelers claim that Jesus appeared to them, on the road."
                   
                  This is admitted by all as true, because it is what the scripture says.  Fine.
                   
                  Next,
                   
                  Snapp:  "The eleven do not believe them, simply because it seems to them that for both accounts to be true, Jesus would need to be in two places at the same time. The eleven and their companions, skeptical of the two travelers' story, begin to discuss the matter with them, and the discussion is still ongoing -- with the eleven disciples still disbelieving the two travelers, a la Mk. 16:13 -- when, as the disciples sit at table, Jesus appears in 24:36."
                   
                  DRP: What?  You had just admitted already that "by the time the two travelers reach the eleven and their companions, the eleven and their companions are convinced that Jesus has risen from the dead and has appeared to Simon"!  Now in this second part you are saying they were not convinced.  But they WERE convinced, because Simon had already come back and told them Jesus was risen, BEFORE the two come back from EMMAUS.
                   
                  This argument of yours makes no sense, Jim.
                   
                  Snapp: Any one of these options can be adopted to resolve the perceived discrepancy.
                   
                  DRP:  I strongly disagree.  Not remotely do they solve anything.
                   
                  I have interwoven the words of all four gospels into one seamless narrative, and it is my firm testimony that it cannot be done if you include the longer ending of Mark.
                • David Robert Palmer
                  Permit me please to offer an excerpt from my Diatessaron, of the burial and resurrection of Jesus. I completed this in 1991 based mostly on the text of the New
                  Message 8 of 11 , Oct 24, 2009
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                     Permit me please to offer an excerpt from my Diatessaron, of the burial and resurrection of Jesus.
                     
                    I completed this in 1991 based mostly on the text of the New International Version, but am currently in the process of re-doing it based on my own translations of the gospels.
                     
                    This document is copyrighted by me.  It is a pdf, 100 KB in size, and can be downloaded from my site with this link:
                     
                     
                    David Robert Palmer
                  • james_snapp_jr
                    David, My internet connection is not high-speed and I suspect that that is the sole reason why I could not download your comments. I ll try to remember to try
                    Message 9 of 11 , Oct 24, 2009
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                      David,

                      My internet connection is not high-speed and I suspect that that is the sole reason why I could not download your comments. I'll try to remember to try again the next time I visit the library.

                      DRP: "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."

                      Um – just a second. It looks like you're using a doctrinal premise – the Gospel-accounts cannot contradict one another (or look like they contradict one another) – as a text-critical tool, as if we should employ a new canon: the less contradictory-looking statement is more likely to be correct.

                      DRP: . . . "It is settled that the correct reading is LEGONTAS. So I don't see why you brought this up as a possible solution. . . . Or are you seriously proposing that the text of Codex D is the original text?"

                      I'm just observing that the adoption of LEGONTES is one option available. Some textual critics have argued for another nearly singular reading of D (in Mk. 1:41) and they were taken seriously enough that the reading ORGISQEIS was adopted in the TNIV. Such a thing is not an entirely non-serious option here in Luke, even though it's not the path that I take.

                      DRP: [about the Chime-in option] . . . "The wording in Mark 16:13, "the rest," includes both the apostles and any chime-iners."

                      That seems arbitrary; it's as if you are saying that when we read "the rest," we must interpret it to mean "each and every remaining disciple," even though Mark routinely uses "the disciples" to refer to the twelve disciples. We have a more specific term in Luke 24:33 – "the eleven" – and yet John 20 informs us that Thomas was not present that day. So if we interpret the term "the eleven" as something technically precise, we must conclude that Luke 24:33 contradicts John's statement that Thomas was not present! How is that little conundrum resolved? By figuring that Luke used the phrase "the eleven" in a titular sense. If one accepts the idea that a term like "the eleven" can thus be an imprecise reference to less than eleven people, wouldn't it be unreasonable to turn around and insist that the term "the rest" must include not only all the apostles but all their colleagues too? Especially considering that Mk. 16:12-13 is merely a summary?

                      DRP: [about the Long Discussion option] . . . "What? You had just admitted already that "by the time the two travelers reach the eleven and their companions, the eleven and their companions are convinced that Jesus has risen from the dead and has appeared to Simon"!"

                      Maybe, perhaps, the reason why you can't resolve the apparent discrepancies is because you have breezed too quickly through proposed explanations. There is no discord between the idea that the main group of disciples were convinced that Jesus was alive and had appeared to Simon (somewhere, somehow), and the idea that the main group of disciples did not believe the two travelers' report.

                      DRP: "I have interwoven the words of all four gospels into one seamless narrative, and it is my firm testimony that it cannot be done if you include the longer ending of Mark."

                      I've done the same sort of thing, without excluding Mark 16:9-20.

                      Speaking of Mark 16:9-20, I recently found another patristic reference: Gildas, the British quasi-historian of the early 500's. In the preface to De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, in part of a large passage that is absent in some copies – probably because it is prolix and superfluous – Gildas introduces snippets from the Old and New Testaments. After a quotation from Matthew 25:12, Gildas quotes Mark 16:16: "I heard, forsooth, `Whoever shall believe and be baptized shall be saved, but whoever shall not believe shall be damned.'" The English text is online, on p. 297 of J.A. Giles' 1896 book Six Old English Chronicles.

                      Yours in Christ,

                      James Snapp, Jr.
                    • bucksburg
                      ... 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
                      Message 10 of 11 , Oct 24, 2009
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                        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "David Robert Palmer" wrote:

                        >> Here is the discrepancy. The statement is found in Mark 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 24:33-35 where we read:

                        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 . . .

                        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.<<

                        I believe there could be another solution, a very simple one.
                        What is to say that these two records are of the same event? We know for a fact that the gospels do not record every post-resurrection appearance of Jesus, so why assume that Mark and Luke are talking about the same appearance, just because both accounts mention two people? Mark himself could have been one of the two for all we know.

                        The scenario into which all hypotheses need to fit is something like:

                        1. Jesus was publically executed and no one was in any doubt that he was dead.
                        2. He was buried in a location generally known to his followers.
                        3. His tomb was sealed and a guard set.
                        4. An angel descended in an earthquake and broke the seal, opening the door of the tomb.
                        5. The guards passed out from fright.
                        6. Women coming to the tomb were told by angels that Jesus had risen.
                        7. There followed a lot of running back and forth to the tomb and doubting that Jesus really had risen, mixed with believing that he had.
                        8. Jesus himself began appearing, first to women, then to men. Most of those who hadn't seen him yet still doubted.
                        9. Jesus appeared to ten of the disciples; Thomas still doubted.
                        10. Jesus appeared to all eleven of the disciples, but some doubted.
                        11. About the time everybody finally stopped doubting that Jesus was really alive and started asking him when he would restore the kingdom to Israel, he took off for heaven and hasn't been back yet.

                        There is lots of time to fit in people alternately believing and doubting right up until the last 4 verses of Matthew, so I see no problem whatsoever in resolving the apparent discrepancy in a Gospel Harmony by inserting Mark 16:12-13 separately from Luke 24:33-35 somewhere between #7 and #9 on the timeline.

                        Daniel Buck
                      • Jovial
                        [Moderator: This thread is now CLOSED!] There s no conflict. Mark 16:11-13 record that the first reports of the Resurrection were not believed. Luke 24:11
                        Message 11 of 11 , Oct 24, 2009
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                          [Note from Moderator: This thread is now CLOSED!]

                          There's no conflict.  Mark 16:11-13 record that the first reports of the Resurrection were not believed.  Luke 24:11 agrees with Mark 16:11-13 by saying this first report does not agree.  Luke 24:33-35 records a later report of His Resurrection, and this time, the report is believed.  So there's no conflict.  Mark 16:11-13 is not a cross-record of the events in Luke 24:33 but in Luke 24:11.
                           
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: bucksburg
                          Sent: Saturday, October 24, 2009 11:40 AM
                          Subject: [textualcriticism] Re: Mark 16:9-20 and a Harmonization Difficulty

                           

                          --- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, "David Robert Palmer" wrote:

                          >> Here is the discrepancy. The statement is found in Mark 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 24:33-35 where we read:

                          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 . . .

                          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.<<

                          I believe there could be another solution, a very simple one.
                          What is to say that these two records are of the same event? We know for a fact that the gospels do not record every post-resurrection appearance of Jesus, so why assume that Mark and Luke are talking about the same appearance, just because both accounts mention two people? Mark himself could have been one of the two for all we know.

                          The scenario into which all hypotheses need to fit is something like:

                          1. Jesus was publically executed and no one was in any doubt that he was dead.
                          2. He was buried in a location generally known to his followers.
                          3. His tomb was sealed and a guard set.
                          4. An angel descended in an earthquake and broke the seal, opening the door of the tomb.
                          5. The guards passed out from fright.
                          6. Women coming to the tomb were told by angels that Jesus had risen.
                          7. There followed a lot of running back and forth to the tomb and doubting that Jesus really had risen, mixed with believing that he had.
                          8. Jesus himself began appearing, first to women, then to men. Most of those who hadn't seen him yet still doubted.
                          9. Jesus appeared to ten of the disciples; Thomas still doubted.
                          10. Jesus appeared to all eleven of the disciples, but some doubted.
                          11. About the time everybody finally stopped doubting that Jesus was really alive and started asking him when he would restore the kingdom to Israel, he took off for heaven and hasn't been back yet.

                          There is lots of time to fit in people alternately believing and doubting right up until the last 4 verses of Matthew, so I see no problem whatsoever in resolving the apparent discrepancy in a Gospel Harmony by inserting Mark 16:12-13 separately from Luke 24:33-35 somewhere between #7 and #9 on the timeline.

                          Daniel Buck

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