This has been talked about for 2,000 years!
8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.]
9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
- Mark 16:8 Some manuscripts have the following ending between verses 8 and 9, and one manuscript has it after verse 8 (omitting verses 9-20): Then they quickly reported all these instructions to those around Peter. After this, Jesus himself also sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen.
I’ve been sat thinking this morning about the ending of Mark. What I remember from my Bible college days is this. If I am wrong, it is my memory loss!
The original gospel is lost.
There are 2 copies of the gospel which are the oldest that end after verse 8 and several hundred copies that are a little later that contain v 9-20.
Abrupt ending v nice ending and in line with the other gospels added by a well-meaning author.
What do I think?
If Mark ended at v8 then he finishes on an interesting cliff-hanger. They are afraid to witness that the tomb is empty and that Jesus is alive. Do they find their courage? More to the important, will we?
If Mark ended at v 20 then we have a God who does perform signs and wonders through the Church!
I am sure Google is full of articles of the debate of the ending of Mark. It will reveal that scholars have studied this since the 1st century. It will show how the early Christian writers quoted verses 9-20 and how some ignored them completely.
But what is my over-riding thought this morning?
The Bible that is in my hand today and the one that is in easy reach of you or maybe it is on your tablet or even your phone has been read, quoted, discussed and debated for 2,000 years. It has inspired, changed, transformed millions. It is sought after all over the world. People are killed or imprisoned for just having one copy. These are powerful words inside the Bible that is in your hand.
May we all read it more!!