Day Sixty-Two with Mark: The End of Mark 16

Today we look at the end of Mark’s Gospel.  We’ll start with Mark 16:1-8, so read it, and then let’s talk:

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 4 When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

The Shorter Ending of Mark

[[And all that had been commanded them they told briefly to those around Peter. And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]]

holy_bibleOk, before we get to what actually happens, let’s look at what we see right at the end of verse 8, what’s call the “Shorter Ending of Mark.”  If you have what is called a “modern” version of the Bible, that’d be the NKJV, NIV, NLT, NRSV, ESV, NAB, NASB, any of these modern translations, they will have that, along with a not such as this – “Some of the most ancient authorities bring the book to a close at the end of verse 8. One authority concludes the book with the shorter ending; others include the shorter ending and then continue with verses 9–20. In most authorities verses 9–20 follow immediately after verse 8, though in some of these authorities the passage is marked as being doubtful.”

What does all this mean?  There are two terms in regards to Biblical translation.  One is “autograph” and one is “manuscript.”  The autograph is the original document.  This would be the actual letter that Paul wrote to the Roman church or the actual Gospel that Mark wrote.  The actual first documents.  A manuscript would be a copy of the original document.

We don’t have any of the original documents.  We do, however, have literally thousands of manuscripts. We have more manuscripts of the books of the Bible than we do any other ancient work.  We have more manuscripts than we do any other text, anything from that time period.

Within that, the fact that there are so many manuscripts there, that gives so much added authority and trustworthiness to the Bible.  When you understand the sheer number of documents that are available, it gives more weight to the Bible.

There’s no way it’s just “made up.”  It was there, and believers from the earliest days of faith understood how important it was to their faith.  Understood it’s authority, and understood it’s trustworthiness.

Through the years, the more I have come to know and understand about how we got the Bible, the more I trust it.

So what is happening here in Mark is this.  All of the ancient manuscripts, they have that first part of verse 8.  Some have that “shorter ending” of verse 8.  And some have a “longer ending” that is in verses 9-20. What does this all mean?

I take all that we have in Mark 16: 1-20 as authoritative, because that is the tradition of the church.  That is the church for the longest has regarded as authoritative.  It is what we have regarded as the whole of the book.  I do think it is important through for everyone to be able to understand how God put the bible together that different manuscripts differ on how Mark ends.  Verse 9-20 is the most common ending, the one that most have, but there are some that end after verse 8.

Why is that?

Great question.  Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about it.

Tomorrow, we’ll spend some more time talking about the text we just read and then we’ll finish up Mark on Wednesday.

What questions do you have?  How does this strike you?  Shoot me an email, comment below, or connect with me through social media.

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Day Fifty-Four with Mark: Mark 14:43-52

This will be our last day in Mark for a while.  From January 3-13, I am going to be in the Holy Land, and I intend to put up some daily thoughts from my time there.  I also will attempt to upload pictures and videos here to my blog.  It will be about 8 hours ahead, so these won’t come in the morning.  But hopefully they will come!  Pray for us while we are there, and I look forward to sharing as much as possible with you from there!

Today we are looking at Mark 14:43-52:

43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. 47 But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48 Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 All of them deserted him and fled.

51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.

q4305230Today, we see Jesus betrayed, and we see much what we talked about yesterday.  They came for Him with swords and clubs.  One of the disciples reacted with anger (John tells us it was Peter) but we see that Jesus doesn’t react that way.  He willing goes and says in fact, you know you didn’t have to come to me in this way.  I taught openly, you come in secret.

One of the spiritual points I always take away from this is we see that as humans how afraid, our worried, how angry everyone was when this was happening, can’t you always get a sense of calm from Jesus?  Don’t you almost get a sense of Him being in control in the midst of this?  I alway do.  He is the calm in the midst of this storm.  We see Peter attack.  We see others run.  We see Jesus full of peace.

Remember, He is peace, in the midst of the storm.  He is calm in the midst of the storm.  When the winds are blowing and the waves are rocking, He is our calm.

Trust Him.

One last thing, you know one of the reasons why I know the Bible is true?  If I was going to write something and make up these stories, you know what I’d do?  I’d make myself look GOOD.  I mean seriously, if I was going to invent all this, I’d be that man.

And look at everyone, except for Jesus.   They are imperfect.  They make mistakes. All their mistakes are cataloged, for all of us to see.  All their failures.  We see a young man get so scared, he ran away naked, which was even more embarrassing then, than it would be now.

Know who that man was?  Mark.  The author of this Gospel.  Believe me, I wouldn’t have included that.  But he did.  Why?  Because it shows that Jesus is the only perfect one, He is the only capable saving.

One of the many reasons why I believe the Bible is this, it is the story of God’s perfection and humanities imperfection.  It shows the love that a perfect God has for His imperfect creation.

What questions do you have?  How does this strike you?  Shoot me an email, comment below, or connect with me through social media.

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