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Blog Posts on the Longer Ending of Mark

The vast majority of text critics argue that the longer ending in Mark 16:9-20 is a later addition to a text that ended at 16:8, though whether the evangelist purposely ended the narrative on the note of the women leaving the empty tomb or the original ending was lost is a more debated question. However, there are a few monographs that have been written in defense of the originality of the longer ending:

  • Farmer, William R. The Last Twelve Verses of Mark. SNTSMS 25. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1974.
  • Lunn, Nicholas P. The Original Ending of Mark: A New Case for the Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20. Cambridge: James Clarke and Co,
  • Snapp Jr., James. Authentic: The Case for Mark 16:9-20: 2016 Edition. Amazon Digital Services, 2011.
  • See also the contributions of Maurice Robinson and David A. Black in Black, D. A., Editor. Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views. Nashville: B&H Academic, 2008.

There are two informative posts written by James Snapp and Peter Head debating the textual evidence for the longer ending of Mark 16:9-11. Snapp has also contributed a website on “Resources for the Study of Mark 16:9-20” and frequently discusses this issue on his blog “The Text of the Gospels“, while Head is a contributor to the blog Evangelical Textual Criticism that also has a number of informative posts on this topic. Stephen Carlson has written a critical review of Lunn’s book for the Australian Bible Review. A conference on Mark 16 was put on by Claire Clivaz, Mina Monier, and Dan Botovici. My take is that the scribal addition of a longer ending to Mark’s Gospel, like Matthew’s and Luke’s redactional changes (e.g., adding other traditions about Jesus’s birth or post-Easter appearances and editing select verses such as Mark 6:5 or 10:18) or the Patristic traditions linking the evangelist to the Apostle Peter, ultimately helped rescue Mark’s narrative for Christian orthodoxy and preserved Mark’s distinctive voice in the canon of Christian Scripture.

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